Welcome back,

Instead of looking at regular Commander, I’ve decided to look at the newly emerging format that is Tiny Leaders. Tiny Leaders is a spin-off of the Commander format. It generally follows the same rules as its larger brethren in terms of its basic structure, but that’s where the similarities end.

Instead of a hundred card deck, each player only has fifty cards. Players also start at twenty five life instead of forty, and get access to a ten card sideboard. The largest difference, though, is that every card in each player’s deck must have a converted mana cost of three or less.

This massive restriction makes this format more akin to Legacy than anything, as many of the decks are full of Legacy staples. With that in mind I decided to essentially build a Standard deck. While that may sound like a bad idea, the deck in question is still quite powerful. As the only Minimander in Jeskai, let’s take a look at what Shu Yun can do for us.

shu-yun

He can end an opponents life in an instant without uttering a single word

Commander (1)
Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest
Lands (15)
Adarkar Wastes
Celestial Colonnade
City of Brass
Clifftop Retreat
Evolving Wilds
Flooded Strand
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Mountain
Mystic Monastery
Plains
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Terramorphic Expanse

Creatures (12)
Akroan Skyguard
Battlefield Thaumaturge
Battlewise Hoplite
Fabled Hero
Favored Hoplite
Grim Lavamancer
Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
Phalanx Leader
Sage of Hours
Satyr Hoplite
Tethmos High Priest
Wingsteed Rider

Instants (16)
Aerial Formation
Ajani’s Presence
Aurelia’s Fury
Boros Charm
Crypsis
Defiant Strike
Emerge Unscathed
Hope and Glory
Lightning Bolt
Path to Exile
Prismatic Boon
Reality Shift
Refocus
Swords to Plowshares
Titan’s Strength
Triton Tactics

Sorceries (2)
Distortion Strike
Launch the Fleet

Enchantments (2)
Jeskai Ascendancy
Unquestioned Authority

Sideboard (10)
Condemn
Council’s Judgment
Electrickery
Gods Willing
Kor Firewalker
Mizzium Mortars
Rest in Peace
Shattering Spree
Spellskite
Wear // Tear

This deck is designed to make combat a nightmare for your opponent. As long as you have mana up, your opponent should be wary. You might just have a trick up your sleeve that potentially will be a blow out for them. Most of the time, actually, you will. And even if you don’t, that fear will still be in your opponent’s mind.

The heroic mechanic is really powerful in this format. Anything that can beat a Tarmogoyf in combat is a force to be reckoned with. These cheap combat tricks and heroic creatures will go a long way to ensure that your opponent dies quickly. If not, Shu Yun will step in and get the job done.

Shu Yun is a commander that doesn’t mess around. If he is left unanswered for a couple turns he will kill your opponent himself, guaranteed.

Being able to turn any combat trick or pump effect into a boatload of damage via his ability is powerful. It turns any non-creature spell you have into a threat on its own. Those bolts and paths will clear the way for your double-striking monsters. Even if Shu Yun is the only creature on the board, it’s still possible to kill your opponent as long as you clear the path for him. He also makes a good blocker, as he will beat most creatures in combat if you get to use his ability.

I’ve been looking for a shell to put Battlefield Thaumaturge in, and I think I finally found it. He works very well in this strategy as he frees up your mana a little and combos with some cards that can win you the game. Being able to ping your opponents entire team with Aurelia’s Fury for two mana will most likely end the game right then and there. Prismatic Boon will have the same effect, as it also helps you shove your creatures through. It also plays defensively which is nice. Launch the Fleet might not end the game, but it will be difficult for your opponents to overcome, especially if you have an active Jeskai Ascendancy.

The largest problem I’ve had with this deck is if your opponent is playing Pernicious Deed. It’s this deck’s worst enemy. There aren’t many ways to prevent this card from taking out your team at instant speed outside of Boros Charm. If the deed goes off and you don’t have your charm, you’re pretty much going to lose. If you know your opponent is playing Deed then I would suggest racing them before they can draw it and get it into play. Outside of that, though, you shouldn’t have to worry about much. One-for-one removal can easily be dealt with using the handful of protection spells we are packing.

This deck is about messing with your opponents’ minds. It helps to have a good poker face while playing with this deck since being able to bluff that you have something in your hand (or the other way around) is important. You have to keep them second-guessing themselves. The more they do this, the higher the chance that they will play right into your hands. Being able to mess with your opponent just by leaving mana up is entertaining, as they won’t know whether sending in their best creature might result in a loss. Over time your creatures will overpower anything that will come your way. Just make it seem like you have nothing, and wait for them to send their team in. Then watch their face as their attack backfires in spectacular fashion. Trust me, it’s a good feeling.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. Like always, if you have any suggestions for Commanders for me to check out, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we look to the underground of the High City to meet the man who pulls the strings from below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

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