Crimson Vow is right around the corner, and with it a flurry of brand new cards to help revive some of Magic's most popular and interesting tribes. Tribal decks are a cornerstone of Magic and hold a special place in my heart. Be it Goblins, Spirits, or Vampires, there are so many delightful tribes, and so many pieces that can be slotted into tribal decks.
But which ones are the best? Well, this week I navigate you through some of the best tribal pieces for any tribal-themed Commander deck!
Maskwood Nexus can be slotted into almost any type of tribal deck. Cards like this help strengthen some of the weaker tribes in particular, like Cats, Frogs, and Scarecrows. Boom! Your Seedborn Muse is a Scarecrow now.
Another strength of this piece is that it poops out Shapeshifter tokens with changeling, meaning they are every creature type! YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN TRIBAL! Whether you slot this into Grist, the Hunger Tide to make all your creatures Insects or plop it into Arahbo, Roar of the World to make all your creatures Cats, Maskwood Nexus is a cheeky piece of tech that brings a new level of flair and synergy to any tribal list!
Have you ever wanted two of your best lords? What about two cost reducers? Well, with Reflections of Littjara that is now possible. (Some would even dare to say that it's lit.)
I feel like so many people are sleeping on Reflections of Littjara. The price is so low for a tribal variation of Parallel Lives. This can turn cards like Notorious Throng into two extra turns or give you two exiles with Crib Swap. This enchantment has so much potential, making it fit perfectly at our #9 slot!
There are many potent tribal artifact pieces, but Vanquisher's Banner stands out from them all. This card has a dual functionality that most tribal pieces lack. Not only does it buff your tribe of choice, but it also draws you cards whenever you cast a creature spell of the chosen type.
The slight buff is nice, sure, but the card draw is where it's at. The more you draw, the more of your tribe you can play. The more, the merrier, right?
Speaking of artifacts, let's move on to a fun artifact creature that can go in any tribal list your heart desires. It's Metallic Mimic!
This wacky little guy shines as an honorary member of any tribe because he spreads the love. When you choose your creature type, creatures of the chosen type enter the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter. This sprinkling of counters can beef up any tribal boardstate and turn wimpy tokens into pesky pokers.
I personally prefer this piece over Adaptive Automaton due to the fact that it gives +1/+1 counters as opposed to buffing them by +1/+1. The counters stay on your creatures if the Metallic Mimic dies, but the same cannot be said for the Automaton.
Fear is a keyword that doesn't get much love anymore, and I have no idea why. Creatures with fear cannot be blocked except by artifact and/or black creatures. Cover of Darkness gives creatures of the type you choose fear, essentially making them unblockable (or near unblockable). While you can't always make sure your opponents aren't running black and artifact creatures, this ability does exclude the rest of the color pie, and you can't argue with that kind of math! This can be such an incredibly potent piece, making all of your creatures slippery and a nuisance when it comes to attacking.
Steely Resolve gives creatures of your chosen type shroud. Indefinitely.
This is incredibly strong, but can also be a double-edged sword when it comes to playing tribal lists. This enchantment definitely provides great protection for your tribe of choice, however, it also makes it so you can't target your own things. Keep that in mind before you slot Steely Resolve—but if you want to blank your opponents' removal, there's nothing better.
Card draw isn't limited to blue. Sometimes you can find it in nifty places, like in black. Let's discuss a newer addition to the tribal family: Pact of the Serpent.
This card is beyond cool because you can use it in two different ways. The first way is on yourself. If you need some card draw, simply target yourself, using your life as a resource to draw cards equal to whichever tribe you desire! This is a cheap way to refill your hand.
The second way is a bit more devious, and only works if your opponent is playing tribal or tokens. Target them with Pact of the Serpent. Simply choose their tribe (or the highest creature type they're playing) and have them lose loads of life. Sure, they're drawing the cards, but if their life total is low enough, this can turn into a cheap kill spell for just three mana!
Let's talk about one of my favorite enchantments ever: Shared Animosity. This card is perfect for every aggro tribal deck, or really any deck that runs a substantial amount of one creature type.
One issue with tribal decks is that they are often fragile, and this piece is the perfect solution, especially for token-heavy tribal lists. Whether you're playing Zombies, Elves, or Goblins, your tokens are almost always going to be 1/1s or 2/2s. Sure, they can be annoying, but you want them to be truly lethal. Shared Animosity makes your small tokens exactly that! Whether you're playing this in The Locust God or Krenko, Mob Boss, Shared Animosity turns your 1/1s into 32/1s in the blink of an eye.
Card draw is key in Commander, and Kindred Discovery helps you unlock the door to victory. The sheer strength of this piece is intense, providing consistent card draw whenever your chosen creature type enters the battlefield or attacks. This means if you attack with 13 Merfolk, you'll draw 13 cards!
This piece shines brighter than Coastal Piracy and Reconnaissance Mission because you don't need your creatures to deal combat damage in order to draw! In all honesty, you don't even need to attack because this piece triggers off of tokens entering the battlefield as well. Kindred Discovery is such a massive value engine, making it a true all-star for any tribal deck in blue!
Cavern of Souls is a pillar in tribal decks everywhere. What makes it stand above other tribal lands such as Mutavault and Unclaimed Territory is the fact that along with fixing your mana, it makes it so that the chosen creature type can't be countered. That is huge. That means an uncounterable commander, uncounterable lords, and uncounterable cost reducers. YOU NAME IT! This alone makes your boardstate incredibly threatening.
Cavern of Souls is definitely a worthwhile investment for any tribal list, making it a shoe-in for our #1 slot!