Defensive Formation

Defensive Formation


Instead of the attacking player, you assign the combat damage of creatures attacking you.

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Set Rarity
Urza's Saga (USG) Uncommon

Combos Browse all


Format Legality
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Vintage Legal
Limited Legal
Duel Commander Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Leviathan Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Legacy Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Highlander Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Latest Decks as Commander

Defensive Formation Discussion

[email protected]_only on We're Getting the Band Back Together

1 year ago

WHAAAAAT!?! no love for Old Fogey in the "bands with others" section? for shame! =P

In all seriousness, fun stuff, and a decent explination (especially given the length of the actual rules text). the closest parallel I've seen was Defensive Formation, but for the band itself, rather than all blocking creatures. nice work!

TheDeckMaker2300 on List of Interesting cards some may have forgotten

2 years ago

Alright lets see if we can resurrect this

Reverence IN YOUR FACE Rhys the Redeemed AND Krenko, Mob Boss!!! >:)

Kuon, Ogre Ascendant flip it then congratulations you just got a budget version of The Abyss to the field

Thoughts of Ruin ados lands

Defensive Formation you get to puppet how damage gets threw asign all 12 of ghaltas damage to a pathetic 1/1 which is also being blocked by a deathtouch creature

Purify destory all artifacts and enchantments for 5 count me in

Planar Void do you reconize the effect?... anwser is Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void the void is $27 rest in peace is $4 (as of masters 25) but whats the price of planar void...28........CENTS WHY IS IT ONLY $0.28 BESIDES THE FACT IT HITS EVERYBODY!!

Outmaneuver here let me give my dudes or your dudes super trample for the attack

Harmonic Convergence enchantments to top which is hate love it

you think Reflect Damage is the only option for this think again we also have Mirror Strike which is one mana less by the way and a creature that does this magic trick its name is Glarecaster ability actiavtion is exspensive but did you notice the part its like shooting everything with redirect damage

Death Match token and creatures 3 toughness or lower hate coming at ya

Debt of Loyalty i will save your creature from being put into the graveyard.....too bad i get to steal it right after

Teferi's Veil unearth and i have to exil...oh wait they don't exist so the exile clause doesn't work and i get to keep my stuff lol

AEther Flash i promise this is underplayed not even the dinosaur tribal decks are using it that much

Tranquil Grove a infinite use enchantment nuke wonderful


Sudden Death nice try breya

Yixlid Jailer goodbye graveyard evil

Llanowar Mentor Llanowar Elves factory coming right up

to be continued......

Snacrifice on Adriana, Bargain of the Guard(<15$)

2 years ago

VegaBoralis257 Banding is a bit of a pain to explain, but it's worth it IMO since making a token at instant speed with banding specifically can counter an aggressive trampler. (that's also the reason for Defensive Formation) I admit it's also because I absolutely love the mechanic but it's incredibly useful as an instant-speed fog effect, that also has the upside of creating a dude if need be. On the opposite note, Holy Day was trending a little over 0.30$ last I checked, but now it's around .22$ so I'm going to swap those. Raise the Alarm is going to be put in to replace Brilliant Halo as well.

Woolly1 on Ib Halfheart, Goblin Sac-tician [PRIMER]

2 years ago

Hi Liquidbeaver. When I saw your deck list here, it reminded me of Defensive Formation. While you cannot play that card with this deck, it might be worthwhile trying Outmaneuver within this list, provided that the rules allow stacking Outmaneuver's effect so it resolves first before Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician's "on block, sacrifice creature" trigger.

Good to see Ib is getting some love as a commander, even though he only has half a heart.

SteelSentry on What mechanics should return for …

2 years ago


I know it's far out there, but we did see a card with phasing in the last Commander set, which people would have called me crazy for saying. Maybe something like Defensive Formation.

precociousapprentice on The Game of Houses (Daes Dae'mar)

2 years ago

Hey, after responding to your comment on my deck I realized that I had misread a card. For some reason I had read Defensive Formation as an instant. I am still not sure it makes as much sense as some other cards for my deck, but for different reasons than I had stated.

As for suggestions, I am not sure Tainted Strike is as powerful as it would seem, and I am curious about your thoughts. You have a low number of creatures (only 8 that are power 4 or greater), few creature pumps besides the damage doublers, and this is a one time effect. You need this spell, a damage doubler, and one of 8 creature cards that are 4 power or greater that actually connects in combat unblocked to turn this into a win. I guess a big block by Boros Reckoner may get it done as well, but that seems just as unreliable. Surely there are easier win conditions, or better uses of that card slot than what will usually just amount to a handful of -1/-1 counters on a creature. How has it played? Am I missing something? A three card combo to kill one player that requires connecting in combat seems fragile and not up to winning a multiplayer game.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 years ago

Muglacious_NiceFaceToad, thanks for the comment. I apprecite every bit of engagement in the conversation about the deck I can get, and appreciate the time spent considering and commenting.

I did consider the damage doublers, but found that they have a tendency to increase everyone's anxiety at the table, and caused some people to target me. I also have less overt threats to take advantage of them than many decks, and so I found I was a victim of them as much as my opponents were, or more. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight was a relatively late addition to the card list, partially due to the anxiety it causes at the table, partially for the cost, and partially because it is less subtle than I think is best for this deck. It has functioned well as a finisher, but it does so partially because of it's defensive power. In every way that Furnace of Rath or Dictate of the Twin Gods is a threat to me, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight protects me. Insult / Injury is a one time effect that only triggers on damage I cause, so it seems to be much less versatile than I would prefer for my offense. I had not seen or considered Angrath's Marauders, but it is very comparable to Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, only inferior in every way. It costs the same, is smaller, does not have evasion or first strike, and it only triggers off of damage that you cause, not just any damage. While it is not dangerous to you, it does not enhance the attacks of opponents that are pointed away from me, and does not decrease the attacks of my opponents pointed at me. It is not at all a Pillow Fort card, so it turns out to just be a threat and enhancer of my offense. Similar, but it is strictly inferior, and I only need a few effects like that.

While flashing things into play can be exciting and surprising, I often gain more value on those effects by announcing them innstead of surprising people with them. When people assess a board state, I want them to choose to attack someone else, not trick them into a bad attack against me. Winding Canyons would potentially be good as a threat of response to an attack, but letting them know I have that threat is often better than letting them guess. Why bluff when you can just show them, and then make their decision to attack someone else easy. This is basically the value of Vampire Nighthawk.

When considering Stuffy Doll, I had two problems with it that kept it out. First, it targets a single player, and picking fights is often a recipe for disaster for this deck. Obviously Curse of Opulence goes against this, but the value of ramp and redirection of attacks early often overshadows any retaliation effect from it. The second issue I had with Stuffy Doll is that to get it to work, people have to attack me. I want to discourage this. It is better to have people just directly attack another player instead of having them attack me, me blocking, and then the other player taking damage. Stuffy Doll is a good combo piece, but I really think that it is a terrible Aikido piece. It encourages exactly what we don't want.

Phyrexian Obliterator is just too damn expensive. You are often late in the game before you can ensure you can play it, and then you should be sealing control of the game, not intimidating other players into not attacking you. As a big threat, it can win games over a few turns, but I want my wins to mostly be a couple of turns after I go offensive, not 4-8 turns per player later. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is an evasive threat that smashes face for 10 by itself each turn, and makes every other threat double, all while being a defensive damage reducer. Master of Cruelties can basically take a player out in one turn. Serra Ascendant comes down early, is evasive, beats for 6 most of the time, and also regains a ton of life. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs can smash for just as much, but is also at least as defensive, or more, considering it can create a blocker for each attacker. Phyrexian Obliterator seems like a big rattlesnake, but as a threat, it only beats for 5, and no one wants to block it, so it effectively just has unblockable, and as a defensive piece, it is less effective than Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker. It just had less offensive impact than I wanted, and came down too late to matter as much defensively. When this card comes into play, I should have things in the bag, or this card doesn't matter much. Either way, I just raise my threat level without actually changing the chance of me winning by that much.

For your suggestion of Defensive Formation, if I want a CMC instant combat trick to pull defensively, I would add another Fog effect, most like Darkness, simply because a black fog is unexpected, and because I have a very pretty Legends printing with an amazing William Shakespeare quote about death as flavor text. Why decide how people attacking you declare damage when I can just prevent it all?

I hope you don't interpret these comments as discounting your input and suggestions. I appreciate the suggestions and consideration, and enjoy the discussion. I think the deck as I play it is very subtle, and often things that are powerful end up making the deck as a whole less powerful. They raise the threat level, decrease my safety directly or indirectly, are not able to be taken advantage of offensively as much as they are in other decks, are not stand alone pieces but require specific cards in hand or play to make them optimal, and overall at best either do not encourage the table behavior that I need, or at worst encourage the table behavior that I am seeking to avoid. The deck survives and thrives as much because of what is in it as it does by what is not in it, and the key is understanding how it all makes other players play. Consistently making other players choose to attack each other and not me, then taking advantage of their game state to quickly win the game, that is the key to Aikido wins. If a card can't do this basically by itself, plus have a multitude of other uses, then it is hard to justify. I could be wrong, but that seems to basically be the case for all those cards you listed, hence why they did not make the cut.

Muglacious_NiceFaceToad on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 years ago

Great Deck!

I see you are running Gisela, have you considered any damage doubling effects? Dictate of the Twin Gods, Furnace of Rath, Angrath's Marauders, or Insult / Injury quadruple the damage when using Comeuppance, Deflecting Palm etc.

Have you considered any of the aikido creatures like stuffy doll? I'm excited to tell you how frightening it is when one of your opponents, who you have let hit you a couple small times comes in with everything they have and you flash in a Stuffy Doll or Phyrexian Obliterator with Winding Canyons and if they are going wide add a Defensive Formation.

I do find with damage doubling effects/copy spells that significantly increase how effective the aikido cards work.

Waiting for the right moment is the best!

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