Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
How to Use Companions in Magic
Companions are legendary creatures in Magic available from your sideboard if you build around their unique deck requirements, which change with each card. Deemed too powerful on release, they were altered to require three mana to add from sideboard to hand during a main phase, then you can cast them regularly.
Arguably the best companion is blue/white "Yorion, Sky Nomad," who requires your deck have at least 20 more cards than the minimum (meaning 80 in standard). He has flying, strong 4/5 stats, and blinks any number of other non-land permanents you control on entry, returning them at the end phase—how can you best use his power? These are ten must-have cards in Yorion standard MTG decks!
10. Dance of the Manse
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): X
A great late-game finisher, Dance returns up to X non-aura enchantments/artifacts of cost X or less from your graveyard to the field—we'll soon see many great options. Plus, if X is six or more, they become 4/4 creatures, filling your field with strong creatures for a final aggressive push.
With the white and blue colors that Yorion already uses, this one's an easy pick for enchantment-focused builds.
9. Solemn Simulacrum
As an artifact creature, Simulacrum can be recovered with Dance, and more than that, he plays any basic land from your deck tapped when he enters the field—and you get to reuse this effect if he flickers with Yorion.
Simulacrum also makes a good blocker; while his stats are only 2/2, he draws you a card when he dies, giving you the resources needed for a control win.
8. Mazemind Tome
Tome's a versatile play with numerous uses. Like Simulacrum, it's an artifact that accepts any mana types. By tapping it, you can scry one, or you can tap it and spend two to draw a card; both actions give it a lore counter, and it's exiled when it has four, giving you four life.
This normally means you only get four triggers, but if you blink it with Yorion, you can reset its counters (sometimes, you'll want that four life, though, so don't feel like you have to).
7. Glass Casket
Casket is a colored artifact that exiles any creature of cost three or less until it leaves the field. So you can remove higher-cost threats, and if bounced with Yorion, you can pick a new victim.
Doing so gives your opponent back the initial target, but if it was a token or something with counters like "Stonecoil Serpent," it'll be lost anyway. Even if not, it'll have to deal with summoning sickness again, delaying its ability to attack.
6. Treacherous Blessing/Doom Foretold
Many Yorion decks mix in black for these powerful enchantments. Blessing has you lose a life whenever you cast another spell, but its entrance gives you an impressive three draws, which you can reactivate with a Yorion blink.
And to get rid of Blessing's self-harm, sacrifice it with Doom Foretold, which has both players sacrifice a permanent at their upkeep, and if your opponent can't, they discard a card and lose two life while you create a 2/2 vigilance token, draw, gain two life, and sacrifice Doom. Both good cards on their own, deadly in tangent or with enchantment supports.
5. Birth of Meletis/Elspeth Conquers Death
Sagas like these two activate several effects before leaving the field, and you can reset their abilities by flickering with Yorion. Birth is great for holding off aggro and securing land drops, as it first tutors a basic plains, then creates a 0/4 wall, then gives two life. Elspeth costs several mana, but exiles any non-land of cost three or more, makes opposing non-creature spells cost two extra mana until your next turn, then returns a creature or planeswalker from your graveyard to the field with a bonus +1/+1 or loyalty counter.
Both are strong cards in their own rights, and they're especially potent alongside Yorion's blinking or when recovered with Dance. Birth is also one of today's cheapest cards, costing less than a single dollar!
4. Skyclave Apparition
Skyclave offers a potent removal, exiling any opposing non-land of cost four or less upon entry. The tradeoff is that when Skyclave leaves the field, your opponent gets an X/X token, where X is the cost of whatever was exiled, but that's a small price for such a removal that can hit nearly anything.
Of course, Yorion can flicker Skyclave, which will give your opponent their token but let you exile another card.
3. Omen of the Sea/Omen of the Sun
Both of these enchantments have flash, letting you surprise opponents with them at instant speed. Sea lets you scry two then draw a card while Sun creates two 1/1 tokens and gives you two life.
From there, both Omens sit on your field until you sacrifice them for three mana to scry two. This is a good way to get them in graveyard to be recovered with Dance, but you can also keep them to blink with Yorion or use as fodder for Doom Foretold.
2. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
As an enchantment creature, Thassa works well with your enchantment supports, and her effect aids Yorion's blinking shenanigans, letting you blink and return one other creature at your end step. Thassa doesn't count as a creature until your blue devotion hits five, but between her and Yorion, you only need two more symbols (two Seas do the trick). Once you have all five, you're rewarded with an indestructible 6/5.
Thassa can also spend four mana to instantly tap a creature, another handy control tactic.
1. Charming Prince
Prince offers a nice early-game play, able to hold off red aggro while setting up combos. On entry, he lets you pick between scrying two, gaining three life, or flickering another creature, returning them to field at your end step.
All have their uses, but in ideal scenarios, Prince and Yorion can continuously flicker each other, letting you reuse Yorion's field-wide blink every turn, creating massive advantage. No enchantment synergy, but still a card you probably want four of in your deck.
Lands for Yorion, Sky Nomad
Today we saw several standard-legal (as of this writing) options for Yorion decks, but you'll need the right lands to support her ranks. White's "Castle Ardendale" can create tokens when you have excess mana, black's "Castle Locthwain" sacrifices life for extra draws, and "Fabled Passage" helps tutor needed colors.
You'll also want the double-sided lands from Zendikar Rising, like "Clearwater Pathway," but for now, vote for your favorite companion support, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill