Tiny Leaders: New Tribal Decks Inspired By Shadows Over Innistrad, by Mark Pinder

Olivia, Mobilized for War

Tiny Leaders: New Decks Inspired By Shadows Over Innistrad, by Mark Pinder

Whenever a new set comes out players are always excited about what new cards they can use for their existing decks, and for new deck ideas.

I covered what I considered to my favourite cards in the format in the article: Top 10 Best Shadows Over Innistrad Cards For Your Tiny Leaders Deck, by Mark Pinder

Inspired by the new set ‘Shadows Over Innistrad‘ I have designed the following decks which I hope you will like.


Olivia, Mobilized for War, Vampires

Vampires is a great tribe and one that I’ve always wanted to build, but the general’s until now have not never been in the same tribe. Olivia, Mobilized for War is a great vampire and has the potential to make other vampires better too.

A vampire deck is something that many players are going to have access to thanks to the plethora of vampire-themed cards from Shadows over Innistrad. Vampires cards are also popular in general and have been regularly printed in other sets with certain popular vampire cards seeing multiple reprints. The original Innistrad block had solid vampires that are very impressive.

This deck feels like it can be built on a very low budget.

Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Foreboding Ruins
Smoldering Marsh
Dragonskull Summit
Jund Panorama
Terramorphic Expanse
Evolving Wilds
Graven Cairns
5 Swamp
4 Mountain
Shadow Alley Denizen
Quag Vampires
Guul Draz Vampire
Sanguinary Mage
Bloodmad Vampire
Vampire Interloper
Heir of Falkenrath
Olivia’s Bloodsworn
Pulse Tracker
Vampire Lacerator
Bloodthrone Vampire
Viscera Seer
Blood Artist
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Vampire Hexmage
Vampire Nighthawk
Stromkirk Noble
Falkenrath Gorger
Stromkirk Captain
Olivia, Mobilized for War
Vampire’s Bite
Deviant Glee
Stensia Masquerade
Urge to Feed
Sign in Blood
Burst Lightning
Lightning Bolt
Strangling Soot

Viscera Seer is a very good card that allows you to Scry away with your creatures when you do not need them.

Gatekeeper of Malakir doubles as a removal and a body, it is very useful against a smaller board position.

Vampire Hexmage is a great utility card as plenty of decks use counters and it will deal with the few planeswalkers in the format.

Vampire Nighthawk Flying, Lifelink and Deathtouch is what makes this one of the best threats in the format, it’s even better if it can be pumped up.

Stromkirk Noble an excellent one drop that is very aggressive.

Falkenrath Gorger, a two power one drop is always a decent threat and this is no exception.

Stromkirk Captain, one of my favourite cards in the deck as making the other vampires more powerful and first strike is usually great.

Olivia’s Bloodsworn is an excellent card as flying vampires are good threats and her second ability which gives vampires haste really does make your opponents think.

Stensia Masquerade is annoying card to work around with attacking vampires having first strike but if combat damage is dealt to a player then they get bigger. This can make chump blocking more desirable.

Lightning Bolt is a solid card as either removal or killing opponents.

Smother the best removal card in the format.

Terminate probably the second best removal in the format.

Strangling Soot is a card I like as it has Flashback giving it extra value late game to be used again.

In essence we have fast creatures with efficient removal leading to a deadly combination.


Child of Night
Captivating Vampire
Ratchet Bomb
Kolaghan’s Command
Rakdos Charm
Ravenous Bloodseeker
Indulgent Aristocrat
Call the Bloodline
Insolent Neonate

We have some excellent options in the sideboard to solidify the deck against weaker match ups.

Ratchet Bomb is an excellent card as Black Red– whilst having good creature removal –struggles to remove enchantments. Ratchet Bomb can deal with anything.

Kolaghan’s Command and Rakdos Charm are two of my favourite sideboard options as they give you choices and flexibility. When you haven’t got many cards to play with then cards that can offer multiple options are at a premium.


Green-White Humans

Human creatures have always been efficient and with both Innistrad blocks, we’ve had Standard human decks make an impact on the format. However, Collected Company isn’t legal in Tiny Leaders so we need to be more inventive.

Selvala, Explorer Returned is our general, Saffi Eriksdotter is also an option but I’d like to try a new general out for this build.

Tranquil Expanse
Blossoming Sands
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse
Selesnya Guildgate
Selesnya Sanctuary
Selvala, Explorer Returned
Abzan Falconer
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Byway Courier
Champion of the Parish
Citadel Castellan
Duskwatch Recruiter
Gideon’s Lawkeeper
Hermit of the natterknolls
Honoured Hierach
Mayor of Avabruck
Obsessive Skinner
Relic Seeker
Thalia’s Lieutenant
Tireless Tracker
Topan Freeblade
Veteran Cathar
Bonds of Faith
Gods Willing
Feat of Resistance
Remember the Fallen
Unflinching Courage
Armadillo Cloak
Open the Armory
Gather the Pack
Hero’s Blade
Butcher’s Cleaver
Quest for the holy relic
Fleetfeather Sandals
Behemoth Sledge
Stoneforge Masterwork

Open the Armory and Quest for the Holy Relic are good ways to bring forth equipment to the fore and Open the Armory can in addition get a useful aura.

Hero’s Blade, Butcher’s Cleaver, Fleetfeather Sandals and Behemoth Sledge are all excellent equipment without the expense of playing ‘Swords’.

Unflinching Courage and Armadillo Cloak are great for causing mayhem in a race from the Lifelink they offer and trampling effect.

Abzan Falconer has lots of creatures it will interact with as many of the creatures generate their own tokens or we have spells that in addition grant tokens.

Banisher Priest
Fiend Hunter
Consul’s Lieutenant
Ainok Bondkin
Valorous Stance
Ajani’s Presence
True-Faith Censer
Dromoka’s Command
Soul Warden
Soul’s Attendant


Mardu Abbey

Westvale Abbey is one of my favourite cards in the format and I was interested to see if I could make it work in a Tiny Leaders deck. My initial thoughts were to make a deck with token generation and creatures that come in to play with friends to allow for a greater chance to flip Westvale Abbey into Ormendahl, Profane Prince.

My original idea was that a Black White build would be good to play Lingering Souls but I felt I’ve done quite a few Black White builds. Red also has some good token generation too so why not make the deck Mardu, Red, White and Black! Our commander then is Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. This is more a choice of matching the colour combination rather than being able to draw out extra creatures from the graveyard.

The mana base is potentially expensive with fetch and shock lands but less expensive solutions are always available but increases the likelihood to have a come into play tapped land.

Westvale Abbey
Sulfurous Springs
Caves of Koilos
Battlefield Forge
Warped Landscape
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Foreboding Ruins
Smoldering Marsh
Godless Shrine
Marsh Flats
Arid Mesa
Sacred Foundry
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
Intangible Virtue
Mardu Charm
Anguished Unmaking
Rootborn Defenses
Glorious Anthem
Zealous Persecution
Hangarback Walker
Attended Knight
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Thopter Engineer
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Goblin Rabblemaster
Ghirapur Gearcrafter
Mogg War Marshal
Rakdos Guildmage
Blade Splicer
Herald of Anafenza
Mardu Strike leader
Gather the Townsfolk
Raise the Alarm
Dragon Fodder
Krenko’s Command
Hordeling Outburst
Lingering Souls
Midnight Haunting
Secure the Wastes
Martial Coup
Launch the fleet
Goblin Offensive

[Card]Martial Coup[/card] will not only create tokens it has the potential to clear the board being one of the few mass removal spells in the format.

[Card]Zealous Persecution[/card] doubles as pump and potential mass removal spell . As it is an instant mid combat this could really tip the balance in favour of Alesha deck.

[Card]Anguished Unmaking[/card] is a card I like, I made it my top choice for an individual card in Shadows over Innistrad.

[Card]Drana, Liberator of Malakir[/card] whilst this card doesn’t create tokens it does synergise really well as plenty of creatures to get bigger once you attack with superior numbers.

[Card]Secure the Wastes[/card] is instant speed creature creation and proving to be a valuable card in Standard.

[Card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card] has always been a good card and in a format where most creatures are smaller it’s much more valuable. Blocking and attacking also creates another Cat Soldier token getting you closer to the elusive five creatures to sacrifice.

On the whole the deck doesn’t have many standout back-breaking cards but works on getting an incremental presence on the board with some impressive pump spells.


Drown in Sorrow
Flaying Tendrils
Bile Blight
Soul Warden
Soul’s Attendant
Blood Seeker
Burst Lightning
To the Slaughter
Doom Blade

So that’s my roundup of decks based on cards from Shadows Over Innistrad, I think there are some good Werewolves in the format but no real werewolf leader to make a difference, I’m hoping when Eldritch Moon appears I’ll have something new to work with.

Thanks for reading,


Tiny Leaders: New Tribal Decks Inspired By Shadows Over Innistrad, by Mark Pinder
Inspired by the new set 'Shadows Over Innistrad' I have designed the following decks which I hope you will like.

Please let us know what you think below...

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