Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Partner Commanders in Magic?
Magic offers two types of partner leaders in commander format. The first can ally with any other generic partner, while the second (which we'll examine today) locks you into specific allies.
Both types allow you to have not one but two legendary creatures available throughout the match, expanding your options and diversifying your allowed colors. And while you're more restricted with today's cards, they mesh particularly well and are useful outside commander, as they can search their listed ally from your deck when summoned.
Top 10 Specialized Partners
But with numerous duos available, which companions reign supreme? These are the 10 best specialized partners in Magic: The Gathering!
- Ley Weaver/Lore Weaver
- Brallin, Skyshark Rider/Shabraz, the Skyshark
- Nikara, Lair Scavenger/Yannik, Scavenging Sentinel
- Ukkima, Stalking Shadow/Cazur, Ruthless Stalker
- Krav, the Unredeemed/Regna, the Redeemer
- Okaun, Eye of Chaos/Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom
- Rowan Kenrith/Will Kenrith
- Virtus the Veiled/Gorm the Great
- Pir, Imaginative Rascal/Toothy, Imaginary Friend
- Sylvia Brightspear/Khorvath Brightflame
10. Ley Weaver/Lore Weaver
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4/4
These lovely ladies pair green with blue, one of my personal favorite EDH color combinations. Ley is the team's ace; despite 2/2 stats, she can exhaust to untap two lands, a sweet ramp tactic.
The problem is Lore, who offers little more than a basic 2/2. Her wizard synergy is appreciated, and she can spend seven mana to draw twice, but that's a hefty fee for only modest gain; you should have better outlets for your boosted mana. Still, it comes in handy on rare occasion
9. Brallin, Skyshark Rider/Shabraz, the Skyshark
Brallin starts at 3/3, but whenever you discard, she gets a +1/+1 and shocks opponents for one damage. She can also spend a red mana to give a shark trample that turn.
Meanwhile, Shabraz is a 3/3 with flying who gets a +1/+1 and gives you a life whenever you draw, and he can spend a white or blue mana to give a human flying for the turn. These form an interesting blend that rewards both discards and draws, great for spells that toss your hand for a new one (like "Day's Undoing").
8. Nikara, Lair Scavenger/Yannik, Scavenging Sentinel
Nikara is the treat here, a 2/2 with menace who has you lose a life but get a draw whenever another of your creatures with a counter leaves the field. While I wish this could trigger of herself, she compensates by activating it with any exit (exiling and bouncing included). Also, any counter type makes it work, not just +1/+1s.
Sentinel is a 3/3 who exiles another creature when he arrives, then lets you distribute counters equal to its power among your other creatures as you like. This works well with Nikara, and you get the creature back when Sentinel leaves, so it can help reactivate entrance triggers.
7. Ukkima, Stalking Shadow/Cazur, Ruthless Stalker
The odd combo of whale and wolf, Ukkima is weak at 2/2, but can't be blocked. More than that, when he leaves the field, he hits a player and gives you life equal to his power; I like how this works with any exit, not just death.
Plus, he's supported by Cazur, a 3/3 who gives any creature that hits your opponent with combat damage a +1/+1 counter. That's a nice effect on its own, and since Ukkima can't be blocked…you get the idea.
6. Krav, the Unredeemed/Regna, the Redeemer
It's nice when partners differ in mana costs, letting you cast the cheaper while you amass lands for the more expensive. In this case, black demon Krav requires slightly less mana than white angel Regna.
Neither especially outperforms the other, offering two balanced champions who work well together. Krav can sacrifice creatures to gain life and draw cards; Regna creates two 1/1 tokens at any end step (including an opponent's) where you gained life. Forfeit these weak tokens with Krav for easy draws while Regna constructs more thanks to his lifegain, forming a continuous combo..
5. Okaun, Eye of Chaos/Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom
These two legendaries favor lucky players, offering rare coin-flip based effects. Okaun enters with just 3/3, but he flips a coin at the start of your combat until you lose, doubling his power and toughness whenever a player wins a flip!
Zndrsplt is a weak 1/4, but he also flips a coin at the start of your combat until you lose, drawing a card with each win. These two are especially dependent on each other, as having them both fielded doubles your coin flips (and thus the chances for their effects to trigger), so strive to keep them both alive. It also helps to give Okaun trample or double strike, compounding the pain for a quick commander damage win.
4. Rowan Kenrith/Will Kenrith
Unlike most planeswalkers, these twins have special permission to serve as commanders. Both require a hefty sum of mana and only arrive with four loyalty considering, but their unique mechanics are undeniably fun.
Will's the star here, as his +2 temporarily morphs two creatures into weak 0/3s who lose their effects, a great shutdown against big threats. Additionally, his -2 both draws twice and reduces the cost of your instants, sorceries, and planeswalkers by two until your next turn; use this to lessen Rowan's entrance fee and cast amazingly-cheap counterspells.
3. Virtus the Veiled/Gorm the Great
These two offer varied mana prices and several interesting effects. Virtus only bears 1/1, but he offers deathtouch and drains half a player's life (rounded up) when he damages them; try making him unblockable with various effects.
Meanwhile, Gorn is amazingly sturdy at 2/7, has vigilance, and when he swings, he must be blocked and by two or more creatures when able, helping clear the path for Virtus's direct damage. I've had lots of fun experimenting with this dynamic duo, especially since they're cheaper in terms of mana and money than most partners; both Virtus and Gorm cost less than a single dollar!
2. Pir, Imaginative Rascal/Toothy, Imaginary Friend
Differing mana costs and a green/blue pairing give these two a strong start. Pir is fragile at 1/1, but he adds an additional counter whenever a permanent you control would gain one. This works great for +1/+1 counters on creatures, charge counters on artifacts, and loyalty counters on planeswalkers, but note it increases any -1/-1 counters your army suffers.
Meanwhile, Toothy also arrives with just 1/1, but he gains a +1/+1 counter whenever you draw a card (and he'll acquire two with Pir out). If he dies, he also draws cards equal to the number of +1/+1 counters he has, ensuring you're well-equipped to cast new champions.
1. Sylvia Brightspear/Khorvath Brightflame
Sylvia and Khorvath require vastly different amounts of mana, granting a mid and late-game warrior, and both are surprisingly competent even without the other. Sylvia offers 2/2, which isn't bad at all considering her rare double strike trait, letting her hit twice with each attack). Better yet, she grants the ability to all dragons you control.
Meanwhile, Khorvath is a 3/4 dragon with flying and haste who bestows his abilities upon all knights you possess—like Sylvia. Thus, they boost not just each other but two entire creature subtypes, rewarding your devotion to crusaders and dragons.
Supporting Partner Commanders in Magic
Since today's allies rely on each other for maximum effect, try using instants, auras, or equipments to protect them, keeping them alive long enough for their comrade to arrive. And don't feel obligated to only use them as commanders; remember, they can also serve in your main deck, searching out their counterpart when summoned.
Still, having two generals available is almost like a bonus draw, ensuring you're never short on creatures, and I look forward to seeing future paired partners. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of codependent allies, vote for your favorite duo and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill