For those unaware, Tiny Leaders, which I affectionately call “Baby Commander,” is a variant of the Commander format. One still plays a singleton deck with a legendary creature acting as commander. The most significant differences are its banned and restricted list, its deck size limit (50 instead of 100), and one huge caveat: all cards must have a converted mana cost of three or less. I’m here to help those new to the format to figure out ways to get ahead,
Restrictions Breed Cheating on Casting Costs
The biggest difference between Tiny Leaders and Commander is the restriction on the cost of spells. Not being able to play any cards that cost more than three mana limits the quality and power of the cards you can play. Or does it? I’ve found a few tips to get bigger effects from smaller cards.
These are just a few examples of the flexibility that X spells can give you in a game of Tiny Leaders. They are typically ineffective early, but when the game gets much longer and drawn out, their power is unquestionable. Some, like Engineered Explosives, are just fantastic for their flexibility. There are 221 X spells in magic that have a converted mana cost of three or less mana. That means plenty of choices for every deck!
Buyback spells are similar to X Spells (and sometimes also X Spells), as they give you a way to maximize your mana every turn. When you are playing a format of cards that cost three or less, it’s not uncommon for every spell to be played and a ton of mana to go unused every turn.
Kicker was developed as a way to strengthen otherwise weak spells. You could play Kavu Titan as a decent two-mana 2/2, or you could play it later as a much more impressive five-mana 5/5 trampler. The flexibility of these spells make them good stopgaps early and allow you to pack more power for the later game.
Getting the Most from Your Lands
If all of your lands only produce mana, you’re going to have a rough time winning games. This is just a tiny sample of non-basic lands you can use that have a serious power outside of producing mana. Every color has access to one on-color man land (with Treetop Village and Faerie Conclave being the best of the bunch), so it’s hard to not include any.
Keep Thinking Outside the Box
There aren’t as many of these, so they don’t each get their own categories, but it’s easy to see how morph, overload, cards with “additional cost” downsides, and cards with abilities that cost a lot of mana can give you additional power to add to your Tiny Leaders deck.
To top it all off, I’ll leave you with the deck I’ve cooked up. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but iterative deck design is my favorite way to play!
Geist of Saint Traft Tiny Leaders
Have you tried out the format? Found any ways to get big effects that I didn’t mention here? Sound off below.
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