Within the new spoilers of March of the Machine, we had an interesting addition to the game: cards with multiple legendary characters, in partnership, representing some of their abilities and capabilities together on a single card. Although they are a new addition to Magic, they reminded me of cards from another game, the GX Tag Team from the Pokémon card game.
Tag Team cards are a type of Pokémon card that were introduced in the "Team Up" expansion in 2019. They are characterized by featuring two or more creatures together on a single card, representing a partnership.
With Tag Teams, we were wondering which duos or groups would appear, how they would work and their abilities. And in a way, that's already happening with Magic. Many players are looking forward to and wondering how their favorite characters would look together. Will we see a pair of planeswalkers? A character wielding some iconic equipment in a legendary creature and artifact duo?
Looking at the MOM cards revealed so far, today we will analyze and rank each of these creatures, discussing them in Commander and in other formats, if necessary. The EDH format will be prioritized as some of these creatures will be more geared towards the format and won't be Standard-legal either.
7 - Yargle and Multani
It's a pity that this card is here, since it is one of my favorite duos. Yargle and Multani has one of Magic's most beloved frogs being protected by the tree armor created by the elemental Multani and one of the best flavor texts ever written. That alone calls attention to the card, but when we look closer, we see an incredible 18 power, the highest Attack ever printed in Magic history in a non-Un-Set expansion.
Despite the incredible number printed on the card, it still deserves to be in last place. You see, Yargle and Multani, despite their brute strength, have as many abilities as a chicken has teeth. Without any kind of evasion or effect, it is difficult to fit the frog and elemental into a deck, and a huge creature without evasion can easily be blocked by several small tokens.
A deck built around it, too, won't have the classic Fling, and can handle other evasions like Whispersilk Cloak or Prowler's Helm, but still, it'll be built just for the colors, since the card's abilities, or lack thereof, make it difficult to come up with a strategy that doesn't involve brute aggression.
6 - Goro-Goro and Satoru
Here's one I'd like to rank higher, but literally, everything conspired to make it a bit underwhelming. Basically, with this duo, creatures with haste create 5/5 dragon tokens. And if your creatures don't have haste, you can pay two mana to give them haste.
The big problem with this duo is the fact that the tokens come in after combat, requiring a way to grant a second combat phase, such as through an Aggravated Assault.
In the end, this commander generates a much more rectilinear strategy, which benefits the continuous flow of creatures that just entered the battlefield, but without blink possibilities like in white, having to resort to slow blue bounce strategies to recycle creatures.
Also, red creatures for quick strategies are usually small, and the blue ones are usually very fragile, making both more difficult to connect combat damage in the late game, greatly reducing the advantage of this Kamigawa duo.
5 - Drana and Linvala
As much as I liked this duo, it's quite delicate to play with. Drana and Linvala lock the activated abilities of opposing creatures and allow you to use all of them for their proper activation costs. The tricky thing here would be building decks based on your opponents' decks. It's one thing a Sen Triplets-style deck that lets you cast cards from opponents, since your opponents will always have cards to be cast, it's another thing to rely on what's on their battlefield.
If you come across at least ONE deck with few activated abilities on your table, the power of that card already drops by a third. A friend of mine has a great Voltron deck witg Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, and it would suck to go against this guy piloting a Drana and Linvala, for example.
The vampire and angel duo serves much more as one of the 99 cards in your deck as a commander, but in a situation where they are the main star, it is excellent to make a deck filled with Stax and Taxes.
4 - Slimefoot and Squee
Slimefoot and Squee is probably the roundest creature of the duos. Good cost, cool stats, creates tokens that can be sacrificed to their ability, which is also cheap, and might make a very honest reanimator on EDH.
But that's precisely the point, Slimefoot and Squee suffers from the same problems as a common reanimator, needing all the support from the graveyard, but it also needs a saproling on the battlefield to pay the costs, which isn't hard in this deck, but it is still an extra condition, in addition to the legendary creature itself in the graveyard to return with the reanimated creature.
This all in a format with Relic of Progenitus, Grafdigger's Cage and Scavenger Grounds routinely leaking into decks makes this strategy fall into a low position.
3 - Katilda and Lier
One more in the line of great commanders full of possibilities. Katilda and Lier have a lot of what we want in EDH: good colors that interact with cool abilities.
This duo allows when a human comes into play, a target card in your Graveyard gains Flashback, with the recursion cost being the card's original mana cost. In simple words, all of your humans becomes a Snapcaster Mage.
Known to be an extremely valuable and expensive creature, the Innistrad wizard can really do a lot for your game, when the deck is built with the ability in mind, balancing humans well with the non-permanents of the deck.
As such, the deck becomes as strong as your deck building skills allow. It may seem like an obvious phrase for Magic, but this is a particular case where its deckbuilding capabilities will increasingly come to the fore - meaning that sometimes, the list may need a major overhaul in assembly, with the deck not behaving as peaceful as it should be, flooded with humans or spells, depending on the proportions.
But still, I would say that in terms of abilities, this is the most interesting Commander for building a powerful deck.
2 - Ghalta and Mavren
The first thing I want to point out about this creature's ability is: it triggers whenever you attack. Not when you attack with Ghalta and Mavren, but in every combat you advance.
That said, I found this to be one of the best Token generators I've ever seen. Either you create a massive beast that drops right into combat trampling, or you create a legion of vampires for blocking.
With the colors, we can add Mondrak Glory Dominus, Parallel Lives, Doubling Season and Anointed Procession, to further enhance this commander.
Ghalta and Mavren are a duo with a simple ability that always generates the exact value needed for your strategy, sometimes with no need to expose yourself in combat.
It's as simple as Slimefoot and Squee, but with more versatility and harder to get around.
1 - Thalia and the Gitrog Monster
For starters, deathtouch and first strike are a killer duo. Allows you to resolve the vast majority of combats with no worries - which the 4/4 body of Thalia and the Gitrog Monster would already allow without any of that. Things start to go off the rails when they have three excellent abilities.
The first is simple, it allows for an extra land, which never hurts.
In the second, we already have the Stax abilities from Thalia, Heretic Cathar, slowing down the opponent's creatures and non-basic lands. It doesn't matter whether it's a Volcanic Island or a Shivan Reef, it'll be tapped.
And finally, the ultimate ability synergizes very well with The Gitrog Monster, allowing you to draw cards through land or creature sacrifice when you attack with the legend. Creatures can be small tokens created with a Skrelv's Hive and lands can be retrieved by Crucible of Worlds every turn. Remembering that you MUST sacrifice a card of one of these types (or both, maybe you're tired of your Dryad Arbor).
Thalia and the Gitrog Monster speeds up your mana, creates conditions for you to draw more cards, slows down your opponents and, on top of that, withstands any combat very well. Don't want to sacrifice anything? All right, leave the blonde and the frog untapped and be sure that almost nothing gets past them. Thus solidifying this card as the best announced duo card in the set so far.
I wonder what can come out of these duos on March of the Machine. Perhaps a five-color card with multiple planeswalkers together, or even multiple legendary slivers defending their plane against Phyrexia.
This design is a great way to spark players' imaginations and create fun, cohesive design options based on the capabilities of characters who already exist within the game.
And you, what's your favorite duo so far?
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