Whitemane Lion

Whitemane Lion

Creature — Cat

Flash (You may cast this spell at any time you could cast an instant.)

When Whitemane Lion enters the battlefield, return a creature you control to its owner's hand.

Latest Decks as Commander

Whitemane Lion Discussion

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 10: Selesnya …

1 month ago

Every dual color up until now has been some sort of aggressive, negative experience for other players, and Selesnya certainly has the potential to be no different. Combining Green’s predilection for quality with White’s penchant for quantity (AND stacking board buffs) makes for a lethal pairing in the combat phase. Rhys the Redeemed, Captain Sisay, and Gaddock Teeg are just a few commanders with justifiable appeal for power gamers. And don’t forget the enchantments: Aura Shards, Mirari's Wake, and Hunting Grounds all have singularly disruptive board presence, and that’s just a few on a stellar list.

And yet, undeniable potency aside, this is an almost grandmotherly pairing: you don’t so much play Selesnya to ruin someone else’s day as to ensure you have the best one. A properly built deck in these colors should wrap around its pilot like a blanket fresh out of the dryer, basting you in a pervasive feeling of shelter, growth, and self-promotion. Another good analogy might be a garden tended by someone with an emerald thumb, game-breaking fertilizer, and the patience of Saint Francis. In summary, players running these are very much there to do their own thing without interruption: the problem is, once they’ve done their own thing, opponents find out that the “game-breaking fertilizer” is typically their own mulched remains.

It’s also oddly human-centric.

Ok, enough poetry. Now to the really fun bit: we’re here to talk thematic commanders, so let’s dive into that roster. Today, we’re discussing the Selesnya themes of Lifegains, Counterplay, and “Don’t Look at Me!”. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders. Just don’t judge me harshly for including a lot of beasts.

Lifegains

I spelled with an "s" for a reason. Yes, as covered in a past article, Black has a more intimate relationship with the life total. Yes, Black both drains life and spends life. BUT… there is a profound difference between eating cookies and baking them. Black is the undisputed cookie monster (and a bit of a baker, to be fair), but Selesnya could, to continue the analogy, take any bake off by storm. Prize money, people: Selesnya’s about not only baking that cookie, but getting prize money for it. In other words, crossbreeding these colors gets you a thematic trend toward gaining life AND triggering something whenever you do. Think combotastic crap like the Accomplished Alchemist and Rhox Faithmender, or Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Spike Feeder. The possibilities are… well, a little scary.

Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn

The Oprah of lifegain. Who needs general damage when you can drown your opponent in creatures the approximate size of your life hack? Smack them with the Angel of Destiny, or… wow, there are a lot of relevant angels. Gather it. Just bring your lifelink and enjoy.

Trelasarra, Moondancer Direct, though the scry is a nice touch. This is a commander made for some sort of evasion, the Soul Warden cycle, and a pile of tokens. Like, maybe March of the Multitudes. Hehehehe…

Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice … Sheesh. I mean, I’ve had this built on and off, but… still, sheesh. If you’ve never heard of the Phyrexian Processor, enjoy the pearl I just gave you. Green-White is token central: hell, their own private keyword about it is right on this commander. This is a definite instance of the Green penchant for chunks being over-synergized with the white predilection to breed like rabbits. Or, in this case, Phyrexian Minions.

Counterplay

I’ve covered stax twice by this point, once in White and once in Azorius. I don’t deny that the potential for oppression is there: one of my favorite cards in Selesnya is Glare of Subdual. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s coming from a different direction in this slice of the pie. While Blue and White are geared toward inflicting stagnancy, Selesnya’s stax are angled toward preventing thematically negative effects, kind of a mercy mission for your opponent’s resources. I think Quakers would like it here.

Trostani Discordant Mind control pervasive in the local meta? Not anymore! Second Trostani is actually a rather inoffensive commander for everyone who’s not a thief, offering both board support and considerable political clout. Other players may even go out of their way to keep her up and you in the game, just to screw over that one guy.

Gaddock Teeg Ah, the man himself. I never found him especially oppressive, leaning more toward creatures by disposition. Not everyone will feel the same way. He cuts most conventional boardwipes out of the mix, and God help super-friends. You can almost picture the little hobbit raising his hands and saying “Let’s have a nice, simple game, shall we?” Which isn’t something you expect in a typical game of Commander, now that I think about it.

Yasharn, Implacable Earth Land fixing is nice, but this is where things are downright hostile. Those may look like tusks, but those are really two giant middle fingers pointed at black decks.

“Don’t Look at Me!”

When we were little, my brother would build cereal box walls between us as we ate breakfast, then stare at me over them. Whenever I eyed him like the nutcase he was, he’d scream “DON’T LOOK AT ME!!!”

I don’t think I need to explain the point.

Dragonlord Dromoka

I always liked the aesthetic of Dosan the Falling Leaf, but not enough to make him a commander. Dromoka, meaty beast of two colors that she is, has a bit more appeal. All but guaranteeing an uninterrupted turn, combo players could do worse.

Sigarda, Host of Herons A 5/5 with flying for five would be nice. Hexproof on a general is competitive. Putting a kibosh on all offensive-sacrifice decks ever tagging you? Downright savage. I like this card a lot.

Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist So… commander damage is a tried, true plan. Lots of people try it. Lots of people won’t be particularly offended by Mirri’s soft push for it. All the token-fiends out there, though, are going to flip their collective gourds when they find out the Silent Arbiter got legendary and started playing favorites. Word of advice: NEVER give her vigilance.

And, for a personal favorite: Karametra, god of the harvest

As readers know, I like ramp. However, even I think this is broken. I genuinely feel guilty whenever I think of building it again. While she doesn’t approach the misery of Zur the Enchanter or Purphoros, God of the Forge, the power dynamic here is shattering. One turn with a Whitemane Lion or anything similar will secure you a lead. One turn with whitemane lion and a Lotus Cobra? Amulet of Vigor? Tireless Provisioner? God have pity on your tiny, shriveled soul, because your opponents won’t. At least, if they ever manage to catch up under what I assume will be a deluge of ETB and blink effects. There are so many degenerate, savage combos encouraged by this reaping wench that I couldn’t list them all and reasonably expect anyone to finish the article. Let me just close this by saying she turns any card with landfall into a gamechanger, and there are a LOT of good landfall cards.

That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Simic!

Prior Articles:

Gruul

Rakdos

Dimir

Azorius

Green, with links to the other mono-colors

zapyourtumor on Soul Sisters + Unicorn

4 months ago

Also Quirion Ranger doesnt seem too good here without Dryad Arbor , maybe you could replace them with Whitemane Lion ?

DevoMelvminster on Bounce and Ye Shall Be Healed

5 months ago

I do love the versatility that Giant Killer brings; the deck loves 1 cmc creatures, it’s instant speed removal, and in the cases when i don’t have Whitemane Lion or the like, it can still tap down problematic creatures. I always avoid creatures with tap effects, because I want Oketra to have reactive options (especially as i slot Winding Canyons back in, but it has a lot more going on for it. Anyways, I used to run it, and i think i’ll swap it for Solitude .

Palace Jailer i used to run and it never worked out well.

Alms Collector is a good option.

I was also thinking Cartographer's Hawk would be decent card advantage simply as repeatable ramp and it returning itself to my hand if i’m top decking or something. The big downside is that it has to wait to attack. Best case you get an extra land on T3 and still have a creature in hand for oketra? Seems pretty decent.

Grasshoppeh1 on Can you chain whitemane lion …

5 months ago

Made a Karametra, God of Harvests deck for my playground and I had a question about interactions with Whitemane Lion and the stack.

  • Say it's outside of my main phase

  • I have priority and there is nothing else on the stack

  • I cast Whitemane lion and it resolves during a end step,, or combat phase,, or etc

Can I cast Whitemane lion again right after it resolves and returns to my hand or can I only cast it once each time there is something to respond too? For example again at the end of a turn.

DevoMelvminster on Bounce and Ye Shall Be Healed

8 months ago

Better yet; with Cloudstone Curio out, the zombie token God-Eternal Oketra makes upon casting, say, Whitemane Lion will bounce Skyclave Apparition , and then the lion can bounce itself. Leaving you ready to do it all again for 5 mana... 3 with any of the cost reducers.

I like it more and more.

DevoMelvminster on Bounce and Ye Shall Be Healed

8 months ago

RA_HORAKHTE I actually love Dust Elemental but ended up cutting it because I don’t often want to bounce more than one creature. Most of the time I end up bouncing the creature with a bounce ability ( Whitemane Lion or something similar) to reuse it, or Oketra to save her from removal.

Most other things are expendable, or recurrable. If worse comes to worse, I still have Stormfront Riders if i need to bounce more than one creature to my hand. It has the added benefit of going infinite with Cloudstone Curio Phyrexian Altar and a couple 1 cmc creatures, since you can sac the token created when you bounce your 1 drop and just keep playing spells. Infinite life for Aetherflux Reservoir , infinite etb triggers for Altar of the Brood , or if you’re lucky enough to still have oketra around, infinite zombies.

RA_HORAKHTE on

9 months ago

Hi,

Nice to see a cat tribal Nethroi deck!

I've played Arahbo, Roar of the World a lot, a when Ikoria was released, I pondered to make an abzan cat tribal with Nethroi. But I ended building it normal graveyard synergy as I wantet to keep my classic Arahbo constructed.

Anyway, I know the flavor is that all your cats are legendary, an I love that, but I think if you want to play the deck more efficient without losing cat theme, you can do some changes:

Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar in this particular deck is only a 2/2 vanilla, as your only commander Nethroi already has deathtouch. I love it, but in this particular case sadly doesn't do anything.

Cards you could add, knowing that aren't legendary, but they are cats that work very well with your deck:

Fleecemane Lion can became indestructible, and then you can mutate your commander on it, making a great indestructible menace and keeping that +1/+1 counter.
Fleetfoot Panther and Whitemane Lion can save one of your cats or can bounce your commander to keep doing his mutation and reanimating things. Bronzehide Lion also protects your creatures.
Qasali Pridemage you play it, control your opponent best artifacts or enchantments, dies and Nethroi will recover it later.
Necropanther to reanimate small cats or creatures, and can mutateo over your commander to repeat effects.
Feline Sovereign and Regal Caracal , if you go tribal, those are the best cats lords, in addition to Kaheera of course.
Rakshasa Debaser can be a wincon when you encore him.
Alms Collector for card draw and to control greedy card draws of enemies.
Phantom Nishoba and Phantom Tiger look scrapy, but they count 0 power when you reanimate them with Nethroi, and if you mutate Nethroi on them, you transform Nethroi into a crature that prevent all the damage that receibes, even if he loses all +1/+1 counters.

And playing something like Nethroi, believe me (I'm a Nethroi and a golgari player), you need graveyard synergy. If you don't, you'll find that you reached turn X, play Nethroi but you only can revive 1-2 sad creatures. You need to fill your graveyard before that.
Exmaples (of course there are much more):
Grisly Salvage
Satyr Wayfinder
Mulch
Buried Alive
Jarad's Orders
Entomb
Altar of Dementia
Life from the Loam

And last:
Eerie Ultimatum and Living Death you'll have much fun with those in this type of deck.

Hope that give you some ideas to improve the deck without changing its spirit.

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