25, Dec, 21

Best Starter Commander - Donal, Herald Of Wings

If you've already got good creatures, why wouldn't you make a copy of them?
Article at a Glance

Just because a commander is a good choice for newer players, doesn’t mean they have to be one that’s been around for a while. In fact, a lot of great choices have been added to the roster this year.

One of our favorites from the recent offerings comes in the form of a really interesting mono-blue commander whose name isn’t Donald Duck, but it’s really close.

Meet your commander

Donal, Herald of Wings is a four-mana blue 3/3 that reads, “Whenever you cast a nonlegendary creature spell with flying, you may copy it, except the copy is a 1/1 Spirit in addition to its other types. Do this only once each turn.”

Essentially, it means we can lean into Spirit stuff if we want to or we can just focus on nonlegendary flying creatures and the cards that support them. We can also get a lot of use out of enter the battlefield triggers too. Donal’s a secret powerhouse if you build them right, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

So, we’ve put together a selection of some of the best nonlegendary flying creatures for Donal, along with the best cards to support their ability. Rather than sitting about, why don’t we dive on into them?

Read More: Commander Challenge – Harness Infinity

The best nonlegendary creatures for Donal

Scholar of the Lost Trove is a seven-mana 5/5 with flying, of course, that reads, “When Scholar of the Lost Trove enters the battlefield, you may cast target instant, sorcery, or artifact card from your graveyard without paying its mana cost. If an instant or sorcery spell cast this way would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.” Doing this twice is excellent.

Cavalier of Gales is a five-mana 5/5 that allows you to draw cards, and also lets you shuffle it back into your deck when it dies, and scry 2. It’s a great card for having a look for your next game-winning card, basically. There are a lot of other ETB cards too, but we also like permanent effects like Faerie Artisans, which makes copies of other creatures, and Roil Elemental, which allows you to steal stuff when you play a land card.

Finally, Spirit Noble is a three-mana flying 2/2 that gives other flying creatures +0/+1, but can also be tapped to give them +1/+0 to. When you have two of these out, that doubles the effect, and it makes you far more of a threat, which is always a good thing.

Read More: How Good Is Foretell In Commander?

The best support cards for Donal

Right, first up let’s make sure you’ve got a Vedalken Orrery in the deck if you can afford one. It’s a little pricey, but it lets you cast things with flash, which is huge. Kefnet’s Monument is another artifact, but this one makes your blue creature spells cost one less to cast, and also lets you stop other creatures from untapping. The final artifact here is Panharmonicon, which means your already doubled ETB effects get doubled again, which is lovely.

Outside of that, it can be useful to have ways to put cards back in your hand. Cards like Run Away Together are huge here because they allow you to handpick which ones you want back, and then recast them on other turns to get the biggest benefit. Crystal Shard also works well here.

Finally, as we’re mono-blue, good removal isn’t hard to come by, but we especially like both Engulf the Shore and Spectral Deluge here. Put all of these together and you’ve got a very strong start for your new deck, and it’s likely one that’s going to obliterate other people too.

Read More: Have You Ever Filled A Commander Deck With Lands?

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