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

Jori En, Ruin Diver banner

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: Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim

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 Ajani’s Pridemate and Serra Ascendent. We also have a few flying creatures to add to the ability to finish the game.

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

I did also consider the allies from Battle for Zendikar. Lantern Scout can swing games but Kalastria Healer and Zulaport Cutthroat 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 Vindicate and Mortify.

Immortal Servitude 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, Grim Harvest or the more expensive Volrath’s Stronghold.

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


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


Deck: Jori En, Ruin Diver

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 Wandering Fumarole 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. Delver of Secrets is a threat in many formats and remains so in Tiny Leaders. Young Pyromancer creates additional threats and is a valuable card. Nivix Cyclops, Wee Dragonauts, Stormchaser Mage and Spellheart Chimera 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.

Wandering Fumarole
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Izzet Boilerworks
Izzet Guildgate
Swiftwater Cliffs
Temple of Epiphany
Caldera Lake
Cascade Bluffs
Shivan Reef
Blighted Cataract
Blighted Gorge
Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
Nivmagus Elemental
Delver of Secrets
Frostburn Weird
Goblin Electromancer
Izzet Guildmage
Marchesa’s Smuggler
Nivix guildmage
Snapcaster Mage
Noggle Bandit
Stormchaser Mage
Young Pyromancer
Nivix Cyclops
Spellheart Chimera
Wee Dragonauts
Jori En, Ruin Diver
Izzet Charm
Invoke the Firemind
Lightning Bolt
Mana Leak
Mizzium Mortars
Ancestral Vision
Volcanic Fallout


Izzet Staticaster
Goblin Flectomancer
Blistercoil Weird
Molten Disaster
Flame Slash
Halimar Tidecaller
Rush of Ice
Clutch of Currents
Scatter to the winds
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 Arcbound Ravager, Hangarback Walker, Etched Champion and Steel Overseer. 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 Endless One and Chimeric MassMatter Reshaper 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 Brittle Effigy and Spacial Contortion.

Crystal Ball and Seer’s Lantern 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 Matter Reshaper is about to die.

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

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


Plague Myr
Ichorclaw Myr
Phyrexian Digester
Fountain of Youth
Lodestone Bauble
Mishra’s Bauble
Tormod’s Crypt
Relic of Progenitus
Grafdiggers Cage


Deck: Sygg, River Cuttroat

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.

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

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


Thought Seize
Inquisition of Kozilek
Slaughter Pact
Snapcaster Mage
Distortion Strike
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.