AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Haha.

Anyway, here's my rationale for building werewolf tribal:

There are several viable ways of making a werewolf commander deck, and this section will outline the most two basic strategies, based on werewolf mechanics and design.

The first way is an alpha strike strategy - this is my choice, and I'll address it in depth in the following section. In short, set up a board presence, and win in one giant combat step. If you're a green or red mage at heart, this is probably the one you'll enjoy.

If you prefer slower games, a more control centered build could be very powerful. In this strategy, you would play your wolves, and then focus on restricting your opponents. This decklist has elements of this such as Rule of Law , but in a focused control build you would likely run more serious deterrents. For instance, Armageddon , Gaddock Teeg , or even splashing black for stax effects. Punishing or restricting actions is important when your creatures are dependent on what your opponent does.

Essentially, the difference lies in your focus. The first strategy involves boosting your own creatures to wreck face, while the second focuses on restricting your opponents choices, all while slowly gaining an advantage.

However, whichever you choose, you'll want to run ways to occupy your time when you flip your wolves. For control players, I suggest instants and playing on other players' turns. Vedalken Orrery , Aurelia's Fury , Silence , and any instant speed removal is your friend. If you're more focused on building a better wolf (Build a Wolf?), mana sinks are the way to go. I enjoy things like Mastery of the Unseen , Quicksilver Amulet , Echoes of the Kin Tree , and Bow of Nylea , which allow you to make permanent improvements to your board state during your flip turn. A friend of mine pointed out the excellent Hibernation's End , which allows you to play werewolves, from your deck, without triggering the spell cast clause! Finally, you could also run more effects like Kessig Wolf Run , Leonin Sun Standard , and Nylea, God of the Hunt , for a bigger combat swing.

Also, another deck building resource I thought I'd add: http://www.smileylich.com/mtg/magocracy/Magocracy_G1.html ; it's an excellent compilation of cards someone (smileylich?) made, sorted by card function.
Check the "Activated" section for some good mana sinks to use with your wolves.

IMO, werewolves are not an aggro deck. If you're looking for a fast, aggressive win, I'd suggest cards like Ruhan of the Fomori , Rafiq of the Many , Cheatyface , or even Isamaru, Hound of Konda . Werewolves require set-up and support. As a result, there are generally three stages to this deck:

  1. Set-up

    Here, you're playing mana dudes, early dogs like Reckless Waif  , and your support package (e.g. Full Moon's Rise , Rule of Law , Howlpack Resurgence ). You'll probably get in early damage with your little guys, who often transform in the slow opening turns, but for now we're setting up an explosive mid-game.

  2. THE MOON RISES

    You've got a decent number of wolves on the ground, and some support set up. Hopefully by this point you've got some manner of "lock" card in play as well (e.g. Immerwolf ), so that you can keep your beasties once flipped. Unfortunately, werewolves require a full turn with no spells - something a smart opponent will deny you if possible. Therefore, you'll likely have to sacrifice one of your own turns to get your team ready to fight. That's ok though! We've got several mana sinks to occupy the "lost" turn. Cards like Duskwatch Recruiter  , Gavony Township , and Bow of Nylea allow you to be productive while not casting spells, and Mishra's Helix can even lock an opponent down if you haven't got a spell-limit card in play yet.

  3. The Fight

    So your wolves are down, they're ready to go, and your opponents are preparing their Wrath of God s. Your best bet at this point is an alpha strike, with cards like Titanic Ultimatum , Overwhelming Stampede , and Mirror Entity . This is also the point you drop bombs like True Conviction or activate a Beastmaster Ascension . Hopefully, you can take out an opponent in one blow. When the wrath hammer does drop, you've got a couple options to recover - Creeping Renaissance and Praetor's Counsel . However, the control decks win the long game - DON'T LET THEM.

So you're putting together a werewolf deck of your own! Woot woot/woof woof! This deck focuses on the flip mechanic, which got a huge boost after Shadows/Innistrad (yay!). It even has some of the less impressive werewolves like Reckless Waif  , which I'd understand if you skip. It doesn't include the wolves from Eldritch Moon that flip on command, though I'm considering adding a couple.

This deck focuses on flipping wolves and keeping them flipped. For 90% of your wolves, this is what you want - they're beefier and better able to fight. HOWEVER, keep in mind when building a werewolf deck that some wolves WANT to flip constantly, like Huntmaster of the Fells  , Cult of the Waxing Moon , and Afflicted Deserter  . In this regard, the deck works against them. Remember, though, that your opponents will want to flip your dudes back (and most people hate Rule of Law effects). Despite the use of lock cards, your flip-happy cards will still get to shine, as opponents will likely blow up your lock cards and force flips. Therefore, having lock cards in play does two things: they increase the power of most of your cards and act as lightning rods for artifact/enchantment/creature removal.

Red and green are out of the question; the tribe is split about evenly, and some of your best are both ( Immerwolf , Huntmaster of the Fells  , Ulrich of the Krallenhorde  ). Also, you need both for Arlinn Kord  . My original build of this deck was just Gruul colors, with Stonebrow, Krosan Hero at the helm. This worked pretty well, but to keep up the transform mechanic, I'd suggest splashing white.

With white you get cards like Curse of Exhaustion , Rule of Law , and Eidolon of Rhetoric , all of which keep your werewolves angry and ready to rumble.

An argument can be made for blue, as it has cards like Fatespinner and various clones. Also allows Fable of Wolf and Owl , which is fun tech. Arcane Laboratory is a blue Rule of Law , and Mana Maze can work well. However, a word of caution: cloned werewolves do not transform. This is good for certain wolves ( Kruin Outlaw  ), but bad for others ( Afflicted Deserter  ). Another fyi: counterspells do not stop your werewolves from reverting to humans - the spell you're trying to stop was still cast!

Black has three werewolves: Greater Werewolf , Lesser Werewolf , and Treacherous Werewolf - none of which have the fun + flavorful flip mechanic (they're old, it's not their fault). Black does allow Garruk Relentless  , which is flavorful and makes deathtouching wolves. I suppose you could also splash black for stax-y cards like Death Cloud and Destructive Flow , but that seems to be inconsistent with the casual feel of the deck (you're running werewolves, for pete's sake).

Thanks to Eldritch Moon, we have a legendary werewolf, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde  ! Woot woot!

If you want a purely werewolf deck, that's as far as you need to read in this section, haha. However, I'll explore some alternate choices below.

In the commander setting, werewolves are relatively weak. While I'm sure many of you can attest to the power of something like Duskwatch Recruiter   in draft, commander is an eternal format, which means the overall power level of cards is (OVER NINE THOUSAND...ahem) considerably higher. Thus, to compete, your commander should be chosen to supplement the weaknesses of the tribe, and help them contend with monsters like Grave Titan . This choice is obviously dependent on your deck's color, but as stated before, likely includes Gruul colors. In general, this discussion does not include commanders like Palladia-Mors , because while commander damage is great and all, she and similar commanders offer nothing to a tribal build.

Ulrich of the Krallenhorde  

Oh hey, you kept reading anyway! This dude is pretty amazing for our strategy - he pumps up dudes, kills annoying control commanders, and just overall embodies werewolf tribal. If you're going to run Gruul, Ulrich is probably your top choice. As a commander, I'd suggest some more equipment, as his power of 6 can easily be boosted to allow a commander damage victory. In addition, effects like Basilisk Collar would allow him to kill something crazy ( Lord of Extinction ), and lifelink would trigger on fight damage. Finally, he combos with Waxing Moon to become a 10/10 fighter in a single turn! Overall, a very powerful commander.

Mina and Denn, Wildborn

Mina and Denn are...ok. Ramp is always nice, and they do allow you to give trample, but...this really isn't the deck for them. Every Mina and Denn deck I've seen so far has been focused on huge, high mana bombs, ala Genesis Wave . Also, werewolf CMCs top out at 5, so the extra ramp isn't really necessary. Good commander, bad synergy.

Borborygmos

The big guy is pretty tempting as a werewolf commander, as he supports large numbers of creatures and can go for commander damage to boot. In addition, the counters he spreads around stay on your wolves, regardless of which way they're flipped. He also fits into an empty part of the mana curve; most of your wolves are cheap and likely already on the field. Of course, with a 7 mana general you might want more ramp...

Xenagos, God of Revels

Xenagos is a solid choice of commander, and I've had my share of headaches facing a friend's Xenagos deck. Unfortunately, haste with werewolves is, oddly enough, not that great. Upon entering they'll be wimpy 1/1 humans (looking at you, Reckless Waif  ), and you'll probably not be in a hurry to attack quite yet. Barring Geier Reach Bandit   shenanigans, it doesn't really fit with the tribe. That being said, he easily and effectively combos with your huge wolves like Sage of Ancient Lore  , and combat oriented effects such as Ulrich's Kindred . Xenagoat is more focused on one HUGE creature per combat, so if running Xenagos as your commander, you should probably build like an exalted deck. Equipment is your friend, as are any cards which give double strike.

Radha, Heir to Keld

Radha hits the ground running, and is going to be hitting early with the rest of your team. She also allows for you to get set up more quickly. However, I don't like her for werewolf tribal as most of your dudes are cheap anyway, and she doesn't support the group much.

Grand Warlord Radha

Radha x2! Similar to Radha v.1, but slightly better for werewolves, as her ability can scale with your boardstate. Hellkite Charger , Aggravated Assault if you like infinite combat steps, or just good pump effects like Moonveil Dragon would fit very well into this deck. Pretty solid even if you don't build around her, however, as she fuels your other mana sinks.

Hallar, the Firefletcher

There are some pump/burn spells that would help your werewolves, but I wouldn't suggest building like other commanders in this list. This commander is an interesting one for werewolves. You'd have two conflicting goals: flipping wolves and casting more kicker spells. The deck focus would have to be different - you'd want to push with werewolves early, and then finish people with burn kickers + Hallar (after they set up defenses/kill all your wolves). Pretty good commander, as he gives you another route to victory if your werewolves face a lot of resistance.

Nikya of the Old Ways

5/5 for 5 CMC, but you don't need the ramp that badly. You could run more stuff like Call of the Wild , I guess? Meh.

Omnath, Locus of Rage

Wrong tribe, buckaroo.

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

Ruric Thar is a great choice, as he punishes spell casts and rewards a aggressive playstyle. This is right in line with werewolf mechanics. The main problem with Ruric is his "must attack" clause - if you choose Ruric, you'll likely have to find some way of keeping him alive, as smart opponents can force bad combat trades. In addition, playing Ruric Thar is political suicide - people will generally remove him ASAP.

Stonebrow, Krosan Hero

Stonebrow is a great choice for werewolf tribal, and used to be my commander for the deck. He's right at the sweet spot in terms of CMC - by 5 your wolves are probably ready to rumble. His buff of +2/+2 is excellent for helping your werewolves compete with other fatties, and trample is rather easy to acquire with cards like Full Moon's Rise or Waxing Moon . Throw in cards like Rage Reflection and let boil.

Samut, Voice of Dissent

I used to run Gahiji, but then I picked up Samut at a sealed event and I couldn't help but switch! She's just an all around solid card with Double Strike, Haste, and Vigilance: good on offense and defense. Flash allows her to sneak in on other players' turns, allowing you to flip wolves, and she's even a little bit of a mana sink. The haste to your other creatures is nice, but usually not amazing (cough Reckless Waif   cough). Also, if you didn't know, her tap ability puts her in Naya color identity.

Gahiji, Honored One

This guy was the commander of my deck for quite a while, and here's why. Gahiji has the tribal pump, which is key. He's pumping the power of our wolves, which is great for our double strikers, and the idea of an alpha strike strategy. In addition, he offers a bit of political support, which is great as our aggressive strategy can use all the PR we can get. Finally, a CMC of 5 is just at the edge of our curve for werewolves - by 5 we should have a decent amount of wolves and support cards out.

Ghired, Conclave Exile

Not a bad choice, though if you're going Ghired, I'd focus more on wolves then werewolves. There are a hell of a lot more ways to make wolf tokens then there are werewolf tokens (especially without blue). My main problem with Ghired is his crappy combat stats - at a 2/5, he seems to want a slower build. Still, lots of value over time, and he plays well with Nightpack Ambusher .

Jacques le Vert

Like Gahiji, but worse. Who cares about defense in an aggressive build like this?

Johan

He's alright, I guess. Vigilance is nice with your huge flipped werewolves, and it can prevent a nasty back swing. Though, if you really want vigilance, I'd suggest other support cards like Brave the Sands or Always Watching , as 6 mana for a creature based effect is both expensive AND risky.

Marath, Will of the Wild

Marath's first two abilities are decent for support, as pump up and creature removal are always nice. He seems to be a build around commander to me though, as he needs stuff like Doubling Season to really shine.

Marisi, Breaker of the Coil

Marisi seems like it'd be hella fun, and pretty decent as well! He works very similarly to Gahiji, Honored One or Karona, False God : create a chaotic combat free-for-all which (hopefully) isn't directed at your face. He's competitively costed at 4 CMC, and has excellent combat stats. While the "no combat spells" seems like it would be circumstantial, it does limit your opponent's spell casts (helpful for werewolves). In addition, he still allows you to cast spells, so you could fill your deck with instant-speed pump spells, to help your werewolves compete with the monsters EDH invites.

Mayael the Anima

With Shadows/Innistrad, two werewolf cards have a power of 5 before being flipped: Gatstaf Arsonists   and Cult of the Waxing Moon . Definitely not enough to warrant running Mayael.

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth

She sounds like she would be nice support for your werewolves, until you realize that there are only three multicolored werewolf cards in the entire game. Scuttlemutt ?

Zacama, Primal Calamity

I really like Zacama as a werewolf commander, but you might have to build different from the decklist above. At a 9 CMC, more mana ramp is required, and protection for your expensive commander would be a good idea. The mana sinks you could keep, as they synergize quite well with Zacama's untap land ability. You could really do one of two things with Zacama: focus on the werewolves, or the commander. If you focus on the werewolves, Zacama would act as a Plan-B if your aggressive early game didn't work. If you focus on Zacama, your werewolves are just a distraction while you set up a controlling board state, and win via Zacama's utility or her crazy 9 trampling commander damage. TLDR; a value-heavy beatstick, with mana sinks for your werewolves. What's not to love?

Animar, Soul of Elements

He's protected and cheap, and gets bigger with consecutive creature plays. He even decreases the cost of your wolves! Keep in mind, however, that none of your werewolves cost more than 5.

Intet, the Dreamer

Get wolves for free, I guess? Meh.

Maelstrom Wanderer

As stated with regards to Xenagos, God of Revels , haste doesn't work particularly well with werewolves. In addition, cascading with the Wanderer almost guarantees that your werewolves will flip back to human (only Immerwolf could stop the flip). That said, double cascade on a 7/5 body is amazing value.

Riku of Two Reflections

As stated in the colors section, copied wolves do not transform. As a result, Riku can only copy your human werewolves (AGAIN, barring Geier Reach Bandit   shenanigans. Correct trigger stacking wins games.). He might be viable with more instant/sorcery pump spells, though keep in mind that you might be flipping at the end of turn.

Surrak Dragonclaw

Probably who I'd pick in this color pie. He's a solid creature who gives support to the rest of your team. Easy combo with the aforementioned Stonebrow, Krosan Hero . Flash is nice, because you can avoid the 2 spell limit by dropping him in on an opponent's turn. He's also the best flavor wise - dude is wearing a bear.

Adun Oakenshield

Recursion is always nice, and this guy might help you recover after a wrath. He's also cheap, so if your meta has a TON of wrath/control, he might be a good choice.

Shattergang Brothers

You can turn your wolves into Innocent Blood s! But can you stand to with those puppy-dog eyes?

Xira Arien

Draw cards, I guess? More of a vanilla commander, but an OK effect for Jund.

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

The newest commander in this shard. Not amazing - she's really better suited for a voltron build (or Cat Dragon tribal). Solid card, not really right for this deck.

Saskia the Unyielding

The best of the 4-color commanders for this strategy, so much so that I'm considering switching from Samut, Voice of Dissent . Her base stats are nothing to scoff at: 3/4 dodges small removal spells and outclasses weenies, while vigilance and haste allow for aggressive plays without compromising defense. In addition, her effect is EXTREMELY good for combat oriented aggro decks. She even allows you to play the antique werewolves in black if you want. The only downsides to her really is the finicky mana requirement, and the political consequences in multiplayer (not as good if you have to switch targets, and makes the chosen player focus you). Something to keep in mind if you choose Saskia: commander damage only includes COMBAT damage, and her damage doubling effect is NOT combat damage. Honestly, future versions of this decklist just might have her at them helm.

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis

Defense oriented stats of 2/8, super group huggy effect and colors. Not really the commander for this strategy. At least he (they?) has Bant colors, if you wanted to run the blue/green cards mentioned in the colors section.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

Great card, horrendous commander for werewolf tribal. Cascading ANY spell would cause your werewolves to flip back to human.

Child of Alara

Perhaps if you can finagle your way into indestructible werewolves, you could do this ( Eldrazi Monument , Heroic Intervention , Kindred Boon , Make a Stand , Boros Charm , Ajani's Presence , Soul of New Phyrexia ) It'd be tricky, but super interesting to see.

Karona, False God

Probably your best bet in 5 color, as she pumps your whole team! You'd need to run counter measures to your opponents getting her though - try Homeward Path , Maze of Ith , or any of the vow cycle of enchantments.

O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

This one is interesting...the card acts like a rattlesnake, providing a bit of political power. However, I feel that it might just act as a lightning rod for removal, because 1) it has to hit to work, 2) it's a commander with evasion, and 3) people hate getting their stuff exiled. Probably my second choice for a WUBRG commander though!

Morophon, the Boundless

I feel like Morophon would sit in the command zone until about turn 12 or so, when you suddenly remember that you're playing EDH, and should probably use that card sitting beneath your pile of tokens. His effects are good, but werewolves aren't that expensive CMC-wise, and the tribal pump is accomplished by a lot of cards cheaper than 7 CMC.

Foreword: Partner choices open up a ton of possible combinations and synergy (a deck brewer's dream), but makes discussion of the "best" commanders difficult. In addition, the color combinations can be anything you want. As long as you somehow incorporate Gruul colors, you can feasibly use any of these commanders.

TLDR: Anything can work, here's some opinions:

Akiri, Line-Slinger

Grants access to Boros colors, which is good for the spell limiting cards and half of the required colors. In my opinion, more of a voltron commander, but his low mana cost is very nice and scales well. He would probably work well in an equipment focused werewolf deck (equip costs aren't spells...hahaha!). If you want these colors though, I'd suggest...

Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

Also known as Braum, Heart of the Freljord. Access to Boros colors, and a very nice effect that triggers on ETB and attack, meaning excellent value both immediately and over time! His effects work best with your huge werewolves Sage of Ancient Lore  , and support an aggressive strategy. For a build strategy, it'd probably be similar to Xenagos, God of Revels - build up one huge dude via equipment/auras/what-have-you and go to town. This would probably be my third choice for commander if I built partner werewolf tribal. (Don't forget to make dozens of puns about the bruises you're giving out)

Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper

The color combo is nice, but she has the same problems as Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis - she's defensive and her effects don't really help the tribe much. 90% of wolves have more power than toughness - she's much better as a treefolk commander.

Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker

This card has one of my favorite effects in the game ( Forgotten Ancient is actually my favorite card in mtg, because of my Vorel of the Hull Clade deck :P)...BUT, it's a classic voltron commander. In addition, her color combo forces you to use Tana, the Bloodsower if you still want Gruul colors.

Kraum, Ludevic's Opus

This is actually one of the best choices for a partner commander: access to red, a CMC at the upper half of your mana curve, evasion, haste for aggressive plays, and most importantly of all, a mechanic which encourages your opponents to not flip your wolves! The only downside to that is it's nullified if you already have something like Rule of Law out, but he's still a 4/4 flyer with haste. My #1 choice for this tribe.

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix

I'll start by saying I don't like this commander, so I'm biased. I see her all the time, so I find her a bit boring (oh boy, another game where my opponent draws a billion cards, has a billion mana, and takes a billion years to win the game). I guess she has access to green, but as I've said about Animar, Soul of Elements , Mina and Denn, Wildborn , and Radha, Heir to Keld , you really don't need that much mana for werewolf tribal. (Sorry for the salty review, haha)

Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist

Ludevic is...ok. Which is sort of the problem - you'll use his ability and you'll like drawing cards, but you could be getting more out of your commander choice. He seems to be designed with a more control based deck in mind. In addition, if you're going for the alpha-strike strategy outlined in this primer, you might be saving your attacks for one huge turn, and not get to use his ability. If you do go for Ludevic, try pokey effects like Staff of Nin , Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius , Pestilence , or any card with extort. Mana sink cards that chip away at life totals would work very well!

Ravos, Soultender

I love Squee, Goblin Nabob ! I want all my creatures to be him! This is a great commander if you think you'll be facing a lot of removal in your meta, and his pump up effect is good to have. On the downside, he's fragile, expensive in CMC, and requires you combo with Tana, the Bloodsower if you want Gruul colors. One of the better ones for this tribe, but that color combination really is rough.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan

Reyhan is in the top three or four in my opinion, due to his synergy with mana sink effects like Echoes of the Kin Tree , Bow of Nylea , or Unspeakable Symbol . In addition, I like commanders with low mana costs, and he has access to green. If building Reyhan, you'd probably need to include a lot more counter based cards like Doubling Season and the aforementioned mana sinks.

Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa

I love the color combination, and his effect is a step in the right direction, but he really wants to be at the helm of a token deck with lots of weenies. The general idea I go for in werewolf tribal is to suddenly pump up everyone to kill in a single turn, which he doesn't help with. That being said, his color combination allows you to build any of the partners with access to red, and if you built him, you could chip away with your unflipped wolves while you're assembling your big swing. Overall, a solid choice of commander.

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

Really the wrong commander for this strategy.

Tana, the Bloodsower

The only commander in both Gruul colors, and you might build her just for that. I'm not a huge fan, maybe because she seems off theme to me (if she made wolves...). Also, she's fragile and really works well as a more voltron build, to make tons of tokens with her effect. IF you don't mind the saprolings/wolf flavor clash, her tokens will help you when you decide to cast Titanic Ultimatum .

Thrasios, Triton Hero

Another great commander choice - cheap, a built in mana sink, and access to green. Doesn't directly help with your offensive strike, but is a great way to set up your big turn (or keep up in value over longer games). This is another commander I would wholeheartedly suggest for werewolf tribal! 2nd choice after Kraum.

Tymna the Weaver

Almost identical in function to Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist , but doesn't give you access to red, so I'ma suggest you avoid her.

Vial Smasher the Fierce

This guy is going to want to go in a slower, more controll-y werewolf build. Most werewolves are pretty cheap in CMC, so it's not as good in this tribe, but it's still a good effect and Rakdos colors are nice to have. I think he and Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa would make a nice couple.

Combos I'd try first:

Thrasios, Triton Hero + Kraum, Ludevic's Opus

Thrasios, Triton Hero + Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa + Vial Smasher the Fierce

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan + Kraum, Ludevic's Opus

Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder + Reyhan, Last of the Abzan

Comments + Suggestions are always welcome! Thanks!

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