4 Great Oath of the Gatewatch Tiny Leaders Deck Ideas, by Mark Pinder

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4 Great Oath of the Gatewatch Tiny Leaders Deck Ideas

With the recent arrival of Oath of the Gatewatch, the new set included two new potential commanders for the Tiny Leaders format. We were also given a new general by the rules committee for people who want to play a wholly colourless deck.

I recently did a set overview of the best 10 Tiny Leaders cards from Oath of the Gatewatch, and we’ll see many of those cards making an appearance later on in this article.
This article will have four new deck lists, three built around these new leaders, and the fourth an Eldrazi themed deck. I’ll go through my thought process on the way the decks are built.


Deck: [card]Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim[/card]

After looking at the lady Ayli, you will see that her exile ability kicks in after your life total is 10 above your starting life total, which means we have to reach 35 life. This means we need to build a deck that first raises your life total. The easiest two ways to do so would be to include creatures with lifelink and also some life gain triggers.

Soul Sisters is a popular modern deck and whilst in Tiny Leaders it may be less consistent, it’s an engine I would like to try. It has lots of creatures that allow you to gain life when a creature enters the battlefield.

With so much life gain it also gives us two great finishers in [card]Ajani’s Pridemate[/card] and [card]Serra Ascendent[/card]. We also have a few flying creatures to add to the ability to finish the game.

[card]Kingpin’s Pet[/card] and [card]Blind Obedience[/card] both use the extort ability to stretch out the game more.

I did also consider the allies from Battle for Zendikar. [card]Lantern Scout[/card] can swing games but [card]Kalastria Healer[/card] and [card]Zulaport Cutthroat[/card] didn’t make the deck. However, I can see a deck built around this strategy.

This deck reflects my personal taste of playing midrange. The deck has both spot and mass removal to control the board. It also has flexible removal in [card]Vindicate[/card] and [card]Mortify[/card].

[card]Immortal Servitude[/card] is the deck’s main way to return creatures to play. It may well be an idea to add in other grave yard manipulation with, say, [card]Grim Harvest[/card] or the more expensive [card]Volrath’s Stronghold[/card].

1 Kabira Crossroads
3 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Godless Shrine
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Marsh Flats
1 Caves of Koilos
1 Scoured Barrens
1 Fetid Heath
1 Orzhov Guildgate
1 Temple of Silence
1 Shambling Vent
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Orzhova, the church of deals
1 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
1 Soul Warden
1 Soul’s Attendant
1 Auriok Champion
1 Suture Priest
1 Ajani’s Pridemate
1 Karlov, of the ghost council
1 Descendant of Kiyomaro
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Hopeful Eidolon
1 Martyr of Sands
1 Hidden Dragonslayer
1 High Priest of Penance
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Drana’s Emissary
1 Stillmoon Cavalier
1 Kingpin’s Pet
1 Necromantic Sliver
1 Blind Obedience
1 Path of Bravery
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Unmake
1 Condemn
1 Path to Exile
1 Smother
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Mortify
1 Vindicate
1 Orzhov Charm
1 Drown in Sorrow
1 Martial Coup
1 Black Sun’s Zenith
1 Immortal Servitude


1 Flaying Tendrils
1 Brave the Elements
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Righteous War
1 Night/Day
1 Soul Link
1 Vizkopa Guildmage
1 Sin Collector
1 Tidehollow Sculler
1 Kor Firewalker


Deck: [card]Jori En, Ruin Diver[/card]

Jori En is an excellent card, and in the Tiny Leaders format there will be plenty of opportunities to cast two spells per turn.

The mana base is excellent and allows reliable access to both colours of mana, which is essential in a deck that would have many multicoloured spells. We also have the new [card]Wandering Fumarole[/card] man land making an appearance in the deck.

The creatures are built around the instants and sorceries in the deck, or gain a bonus of some kind from the instants and sorceries. [card]Delver of Secrets[/card] is a threat in many formats and remains so in Tiny Leaders. [card]Young Pyromancer[/card] creates additional threats and is a valuable card. [card] Nivix Cyclops[/card], [card]Wee Dragonauts[/card], [card]Stormchaser Mage[/card] and [card] Spellheart Chimera[/card] all get bigger as you cast more spells. The potential for more prowess creatures is an option should that strategy play out well.

The sideboard includes an “awaken” package as these spells can be even more useful late game when lands become additional creatures.

1 Wandering Fumarole
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Swiftwater Cliffs
1 Temple of Epiphany
1 Caldera Lake
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Shivan Reef
1 Blighted Cataract
1 Blighted Gorge
1 Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
2 Island
2 Mountain
1 Nivmagus Elemental
1 Delver of Secrets
1 Frostburn Weird
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Izzet Guildmage
1 Marchesa’s Smuggler
1 Nivix guildmage
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Noggle Bandit
1 Stormchaser Mage
1 Young Pyromancer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Nivix Cyclops
1 Spellheart Chimera
1 Wee Dragonauts
1 Jori En, Ruin Diver
1 Fire//Ice
1 Izzet Charm
1 Mindswipe
1 Turn//Burn
1 Teleportal
1 Counterflux
1 Dragonshift
1 Electrolyze
1 Invoke the Firemind
1 Winterflame
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Shock
1 Mana Leak
1 Remand
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Volcanic Fallout


[deck]1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Goblin Flectomancer
1 Blistercoil Weird
1 Molten Disaster
1 Flame Slash
1 Halimar Tidecaller
1 Rush of Ice
1 Clutch of Currents
1 Scatter to the winds
1 Boiling Earth


Deck: Glass

“Glass” is a generic 3/3 Commander with no special abilities and costs CCC.

This by far the hardest deck to build as you are immediately restricted to colourless spells.

Clearly artifact creatures are a good place to start as you have the excellent [card]Arcbound Ravager[/card], [card]Hangarback Walker[/card], [card]Etched Champion[/card] and [card]Steel Overseer[/card]. Following the Modular theme for artifacts is a solid base to start from and expand outwards.

We also have a couple of options for creating big threats with [card]Endless One[/card] and [card]Chimeric Mass[/card]. [card]Matter Reshaper[/card] is potentially game breaking and was the first card on my list.

With the new commander rules, several man lands are included. They don’t affect the mana base, but they add threats to the deck that are hard to remove. Wastes are also included for the first time.

There is very little removal at our disposal so the deck will be more aggressive. Regardless, there are ways to deal with threats with cards such as [card]Brittle Effigy[/card] and [card]Spacial Contortion[/card].

[card]Crystal Ball[/card] and [card]Seer’s Lantern[/card] are both strong scrying cards to allow you to pull through your deck for new cards. They could also be very useful to fix your draw when [card]Matter Reshaper[/card] is about to die.

The sideboard includes a small infect package that will work with several of the other artifacts in the deck.

1 Blasted Landscape
1 Blinkmoth Nexus
1 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Buried Ruin
1 Dread Statuory
1 Foundry of the Consuls
1 Gargoyle Castle
1 Mutavault
1 Rath’s Edge
1 Stalking Stones
1 Urza’s Factory
6 Wastes
1 Endless One
1 Matter Reshaper
1 Arcbound Worker
1 Archbound Ravager
1 Archbound Stinger
1 Archbound Slith
1 Hangarback Walker
1 Steel Overseer
1 Chronomaton
1 Epochrasite
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Signal Pest
1 Chief of the Foundry
1 Etched Champion
1 Junk Diver
1 Myr Propagator
1 Shimmer Myr
1 Perilous Myr
1 Glass Commander
1 Warping Wail
1 Spacial Contortion
1 Titan’s Presence
1 Chimeric Mass
1 Crystal Ball
1 Seer’s Lantern
1 Brittle Effigy
1 Ghostfire Blade
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Aether Vial
1 Welding Jar
1 Druidic Satchel
1 Sensei’s Divining Tog


[deck]1 Necropede
1 Plague Myr
1 Ichorclaw Myr
1 Phyrexian Digester
1 Fountain of Youth
1 Lodestone Bauble
1 Mishra’s Bauble
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Grafdiggers Cage


Deck: [card]Sygg, River Cuttroat[/card]

Finally, I’ve looked at the Eldrazi and decided that blue/black gives some excellent options for an aggressive deck utilising the creatures from Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch. It’s a simple deck that I hope can win really quickly, and we can make use of additional abilities on several of the creatures.

[card]Bearer of Silence[/card] has a useful sacrifice effect built in. [card]Essence Depleter[/card] can close out a game that is going long. [card]Mindmelter[/card] has the potential to deal damage and also cripple a player’s hand.

1 Creeping Tarpit
1 Polluted Delta
1 Sunken Hollow
1 Watery Grave
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Swamp
3 Island
1 Blighted Fen
1 Blighted Cataract
1 Underground River
2 Wastes
1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
1 Endless One
1 Salvage Drone
1 Reaver Drone
1 Prophet of Distortion
1 Sludge Crawler
1 Bearer of Silence
1 Blinding Drone
1 Dimensional Infiltrator
1 Fathom Feeder
1 Essence Depleter
1 Mist Intruder
1 Sky Scourer
1 Benthic Infiltrator
1 Cultivator Drone
1 Dominator Drobe
1 Eldrazi Skyspawner
1 Kozilek’s Shrieker
1 Matter Reshaper
1 Mindmelter
1 Ruination Guide
1 Wasteland Strangler
1 Spacial Contortion
1 Warping Wail
1 Smother
1 Go for the Throat
1 Ultimate Price
1 Doomblade
1 Terror
1 Vapor Sang
1 Brainstorm
1 Unsummon
1 Ancestral Vision


[deck]1 Despise
1 Thought Seize
1 Duress
1 Distress
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Slaughter Pact
1 Darkblast
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Distortion Strike
1 Tide Drifter

Well, that’s four new decks for you to try out. I’ve enjoyed looking at the new cards and how they could interact with one another.

Which is your favourite? What would you change in any of the decks? Any Commander you’d like me to build a deck for? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for reading,

Mark Pinder


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Mark Pinder
I have competed twice at GB nationals in 2010/2008, was Runner Up at Senior Nationals 2010, Won a Grand Prix Trial which took me to Paris 2009. My love of the game was such that I did previously win a writing competition on MTG Twincast which led to me being a Feature Writer for around a year until the Sponsor sold up but still did the occasional article. There is also a verb "To Pinder"colloquially used in northern magic communities which means "to gain life", I was a solid fan of Martyr of Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth combo and many players have heard those fateful words, Sacrifice Martyr of Sands, gain 21 life against me to see the game go out of their reach with lethal damage available to them next turn.