esika, god of the tree
22, Jun, 22

Flood the Board with Planeswalkers in Commander!

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Article at a Glance

This is the first Commander deck I’ve covered that isn’t based on a competitive venture from some point in my life where I managed to get decent results. This is instead based on my experience playing MTG for the first time. I started right around the Khans of Tarkir prerelease. While the power level of my pool wasn’t fantastic, my value was. I managed to open two fetch lands and a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, my first Planeswalker. Being a newbie, I had no idea why the fetch lands were any good, so I sold a Polluted Delta and a Flooded Strand for about $20 each. I would quickly learn to regret that decision, but the third card of interest was something I had no intention of giving up.

sarkhan, the dragonspeaker

Back in the day, Sarkhan fetched a pretty penny. It’s ironic now that Sarkhan, the one card I didn’t sell off, isn’t worth anything, but it sparked a love for the Planeswalker card type. I just had to make a deck around them!

Esika Superfriends

golos, tireless pilgrim

Initially, this was a Golos, Tireless Pilgrim Superfriends deck, but I had to adjust since he got the banhammer for being too accessible. The result is an Esika Superfriends deck that, like most of my decks, is a little more potent than the average casual deck but is far from being cEDH playable. The goal of this deck is to swarm the field with Planeswalkers and use their various Ultimate abilities to win the game. As a result, there’s a lot of ways to tick up their counters, and cheat multiple Planeswalkers into play at the same time.

Our Commander is an Enchantment?

The Prismatic Bridge

To be more precise, The Planar Bridge is what our Commander actually is. We want to use the upkeep ability on the Planar Bridge to cheat in various Walkers for free. Once you start getting hits on The Planar Bridge, things get out of control very quickly. With that in mind, we want to maximize the value we can get from Planar Bridge. As a result, as I usually do when starting a Commander escapade, I look for abilities that can copy what our Commander’s doing.

In terms of casting Esika herself, I’ve only done it in emergencies where I missed my land drops or my opponents blew up all my mana rocks. Typically, casting Esika is not where you want to be but gives you an option if you’re in trouble.

READ MORE: Best Cats in MTG Commander

Stack the Triggers

paradox haze

The Planar Bridge triggers on Upkeep, so copying our Upkeep should essentially copy Prismatic Bridge triggers. It may not seem like much, but being able to cheat out two cards at the beginning of each turn is a gross advantage. Paradox Haze is core to how our Esika deck works, and some other pieces need it to make sense.

sphinx of the second sun

The only other card in MTG that can copy upkeep triggers on its own is the Sphinx of the Second Sun. I cannot possibly overstate how disgusting this card is in our deck. Not only does it allow for an extra Prismatic Bridge trigger after our combat step, but it refreshes our lands and draws an additional card. This card is relatively cheap on the secondary market, so it shouldn’t be expensive. I had more trouble finding a copy at my LGS than affording it. This isn’t technically a core component but boosts the deck’s power level immensely.

READ MORE: The Best Tutors for EDH

Synergize With the Core

With our two copy abilities in place, we need to find them and exploit them. This section of cards aims to do just that.

extravagent replication

A relatively new addition to Commander, this allows you to create a copy of another permanent you control on your Upkeep. This with Paradox Haze has the potential of getting out of hand VERY quickly. Since Paradox Haze doubles upkeep triggers, Extravagant Replication triggers twice. This can make two copies of Paradox Haze. All copies of the Haze will trigger on your first Upkeep, giving you that many more Upkeeps. In each upkeep, Extravagant Replication will trigger. This means that these triggers will multiply exponentially. For each Upkeep you have, that’s another Prismatic Bridge trigger. The silver lining here is that players have a whole rotation of the table to stop this from happening in most cases.

Astral Dragon

Another new Commander card can copy your Paradox Haze with little effort. Astral Dragon is much better in a Panharmonicon or Flicker deck but can still give you multiple Upkeeps by copying Paradox Haze.

heliod's pilgrim

Tutor up you win condition for the sweet secondary market price of basically nothing. Sign me up!

zur, the enchanter
Zur, the Enchanter is capable of searching up Paradox Haze upon attack. Including some other search targets for Zur is good practice, so it doesn’t become useless if you find your Haze. Mystic Remora, Rhystic Study, and the new Smuggler’s Share are three Commander powerhouse examples that fit the bill. To make things even better, Zur is getting a Double Masters 2022 reprint, which should make it cheap!

READ MORE: Best Dogs in EDH

The Planeswalkers

An important thing to note with my list that will be included at the end of the article is that many inefficient Planeswalkers will be featured. This is because I use this deck to feature full-art foil printings of many Planeswalkers. As a result, I just play what I find instead of what’s good. I will, however, feature what some of the best Planeswalkers you should be playing are!

ugin, the spirit dragon

Mana cost isn’t a huge concern with this deck since you’ll be cheating in a majority of your Planeswalkers anyway. What you do need are gigantic Planeswalkers that immediately impact the board and can win the game if their Ultimate ability goes off. Ugin fits that bill perfectly.

teferi, master of time

This specific Teferi performs much better in Commander than constructed. Since four people have turns in this game, Teferi gets to +1 three times more than it should since it can trigger on other people’s turns. This makes Teferi, Master of Time‘s Ultimate much more accessible than it’s supposed to be.

teferi, time raveler

I tend to build a weakness into each of my decks so that it doesn’t wholly overpower a casual table. This deck’s fault is that it’s not too good at interacting with opponents at instant speed. This means that you’re pretty susceptible to countermagic. Teferi, Time Raveler stops that. It’s otherwise good early gameplay.

nicol bolas, dragon-god

We need splashy Ultimates that end the game, and this Ultimate literally ends the game when it goes off. This static ability also ends up being better than expected. There are a lot of cases where you will have a ton of Planeswalkers on board with more exciting things to do than Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God. The big reason I wanted to five color Planeswalker deck instead of just going with Atraxa is because I wanted access to Nicol Bolas Planeswalkers. This deck is going to want a ton of them.

nicol bolas, planeswalker

This is the best Planeswalker in the whole deck. All of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker‘s abilities are devastating. You get to use his plus ability and eliminate the most significant threat on the board. If that threat is a creature Commander, just take it instead. Your opponent won’t be able to place it back in the Command Zone without someone killing it first. The Ultimate isn’t great compared to others you’ll have access to, but it takes a player out of the game.

nicol bolas, god-pharoh

Finishing up the Bolas trifecta is Nicol Bolas from his time on Amonkhet. Since you will be copying Planeswalker abilities with this deck, the +1 on this card can wipe your opponent’s hands clean. If your pod has a Timmy player who likes to dump big creatures out, the +2 ability can be used to get a free haymaker if you’re lucky. This is getting a Double Masters 2022 reprint to boot!

teferi, who slows the sunset

I was more impressed with this card than I thought I would be. Teferi, who Slows the Sunset has the potential to create an absurd amount of mana. My iteration of this deck runs some mana dorks, and while those can be bad hits off of the Prismatic Bridge, the risk of hitting them is mitigated by the number of good hits in the deck. It’s not uncommon for this card to be creating ten or more mana with the right pieces.

ajani, mentor of heroes

I don’t personally play this Planeswalker (as I have significantly worse full-art foil ones). Still, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes can find you a new card to play each turn, considering the number of Planeswalkers you’re playing.

There’s a lot more than just these, and more ideas for potential Planeswalkers will be included in the decklist below. As a basic rule, Planeswalkers that interact with the opponent, draw cards, and have nasty Ultimates are the ones you want to have around.

READ MORE: What are Acorn Cards in MTG?

Planeswalker Support

This section is where we stuff in all the goodies that make your Planeswalkers go absolutely nuts. Most of these cards will be doubling activation abilities or granting a bunch of free loyalty counters to your Planeswalkers. If you’ve played a Superfriends deck before, you likely know about most of these. If not, this is an excellent place to start.

the chain veil

The Chain Veil is a slam dunk in this deck! Its ability allows you to activate any Planeswalker’s abilities under your control an extra time for each activation of The Chain Veil. Note that, because of its wording, you don’t need to have the Planeswalker in play for The Chain Veil to recognize it. You have extra activations as long as you play it during your turn. This card can even go infinite with select Planeswalkers like Estrid, the Masked, and Teferi, Temporal Archmage. Note that, when writing this article, The Chain Veil is starting to see competitive play in Pioneer. If you choose to pick this up, do so quickly.

doubling season

Doubling Season has been breaking Planeswalkers forever. Any Planeswalker that enters the Battlefield with a Doubling Season in play will enter with double loyalty. This, for many Planeswalkers, allows you to have instant access to its Ultimate. Counter doubling effects will end the game rather quickly for this deck.

Because Planeswalker activation abilities are costs, Doubling Season will not double counters gained from activations. This is due to the ability itself not putting counters on the permanent.

vorinclex, apex predator

Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is another counter doubling effect that will allow your Planeswalkers to Ultimate on entry. This creature can also cut any counters that land on your opponent’s cards in half, rounded down. If you know that your opponents tend to play steal effects, then play Vorinclex with caution. This will win the game on your board but cause your Planeswalkers to enter with half counters on an opponent’s board.

Note that Vorinclex’s abilities will affect counters gained by Planeswalker abilities. In this case, Vorinclex does not care about the ability but the player instead.

deepglow skate
Deepglow Skate is much worse than the other counter doubling sources mentioned, but it effectively does the same thing on a one-time basis. Flickering it can lead to some nasty situations. If you choose that route, consider playing Venser, the Sojourner.

oath of teferi
Oath of Teferi also allows for an extra Planeswalker activation. Upon entry, this Enchantment can Flicker another permanent. This ability was much more helpful when Golos was the deck’s Commander but can still find use if one of your Planeswalker’s loyalty is significantly lower than it would be upon entry (with or without doubling effects).

arena rector

I don’t need to explain Arena Rector. When it dies, you get a Planeswalker into play for free.

deploy the gatewatch

Deploy the Gatewatch has been a fantastic addition to this list. More often than not, it will convert into two free Planeswalkers. Sometimes it only hits one, but I’ve never seen Deploy the Gatewatch whiff. Like any Collected Company deck, this can whiff if you’re unlucky. To make things better, this card should only cost you a dollar!

I’ll add a small note at the bottom addressing the lack of Proliferate cards in this deck. Frankly, Proliferate is too weak of a mechanic for the current iteration of this deck. If you want to power down the deck a bit, you can swap Doubling Season for something like Atraxa.

READ MORE: Storm Out Your Opponent With Adventures in EDH!

Topdeck Manipulation

This is a theme that was carried over from the original Golos deck. It was much better there but still does work here. These cards will allow you to control what you flip over with your Prismatic Bridge triggers. This will enable an even smaller chance of accidentally hitting a mana dork. These cards get immensely more potent when played with Fetch Lands. If you aren’t using them, these are a lot less attractive.

jace, the mind sculptor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor is both a Planeswalker and top deck manipulation. This is an excellent addition to the deck if you can afford it. If you can’t, there are probably better additions that aren’t worth quite as much on the secondary market.

sylvan library
Sylvan Library allows you to refill your hand and organize your deck. The only real price you have to pay is its secondary market cost. As a small bonus, this can be searched with Zur, the Enchanter.

scroll rack

Scroll Rack is fantastic. Not only does it let you organize your Prismatic hits, but it can also get you out of some tough jams. If, at any point, you need more mana, just ship your hand to Scroll Rack and find it. If you get stuck redrawing the cards you just put back, use a shuffling effect to get rid of them (if you want to).

I’m currently not playing Aminatou, but it is a cheap Planeswalker that manipulates the top of your deck. It’s getting a new reprint, so it shouldn’t be too expensive. At Mythic, this seems like a default garbage rare to hit in the set (since it has a much smaller secondary market price than other cards), which is maddening.

Specific Notes

After playing this deck for a while and learning how some of the interactions work, these are some of the things I have to share:


Unfortunately, effects like Propaganda and Ghostly Prison don’t actually protect your Planeswalkers. Your opponents will still be able to attack them for free.

mana crypt

Mana Crypt is a much more fair card in this deck. Because its damage triggers occur on Upkeep, this card can potentially deal a ton of damage to your face. I lost a game with this deck because my opponent donated their Mana Crypt under my control when I had a bunch of Paradox Haze copies. I then untapped and had Mana Crypt deal 24 damage to my face, swiftly forcing me out of the game.

READ MORE: Use MTG Mutate to Accumulate Infinite Value in EDH!

The Rest

The rest of this deck is various ramp, draw, and removal pieces, so I’m not going to go over it. What you choose to do in that department is totally up to you. Regardless, my decklist is still provided below so that you can reference what some good options are. Note that, like most of my Commander lists up to this point, there are some unoptimal choices. I hope you enjoy swarming the board with Planeswalkers!

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