Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
Legendary Creature — Dinosaur
Flying, double strike, vigilance, trample, indestructible
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
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Latest Decks as Commander
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn Discussion
2 weeks ago
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn is kinda mana intensive, but can win you the game with all it’s keywords. Also surprised not to see a couple white staples, Tragic Arrogance and Darksteel Mutation are just phenomenal re moral in the commander format. Also, you’ve got a Boros Signet on your main list and Arcane Signet on the maybe board, but Arcane is just superior to Boros just because it doesn’t cost the mana the turn you play it. Though I’d recommend both, you could really use more ramp…
1 month ago
1 month ago
1 month ago
My friend's list usually had one or two because he played dorks like Sylvan Caryatid for the hexproof for Soulflayer or just to try and get it out faster. However, I do like the thought of Angrath's Rampage . It's in a binder as a potential for the deck (and because I found it in Japanese).
I'll try to send the list when I can communicate with my friend but his list was something like this:
Plus whatever lands and potential removal. I've seen lists online playing stuff like Chromanticore but he didn't play any red cards.
2 months ago
Welcome to the club, jojoevt!
Looks like you're working on a control deck, and you have a very good base for that. My first suggestion is to mark this deck's format as Casual, to get rid of all the red links.
I see five copies of Dispel in here, and deck building rules allow only four copies of a card.
The creature base is pretty loose, and can be streamlined and made more efficient. Zetalpa, Primal Dawn and Triplicate Titan in particular are very mana-heavy, and will likely sit in your hand for a long time before you can do anything with them. There are ways to get big creatures out at a huge discount, but unfortunately, white/blue control isn't really one of them.
How much money are you willing to spend here, and what sort of decks do you usually face?
What's the ideal victory condition for the deck? Do you want to attack with a swarm of Drake tokens, or a single powerful creature, or just completely lock your opponent out so that they can't do anything?
Above all, have fun!
3 months ago
This is the start of a project inspired by a TED talk. The speaker was part of a commission to create the perfect Pepsi, but the data he’d gathered was less than helpful. Instead of forming a nice, easy bell curve, the gathered preferences formed seemingly random clusters. That’s when he had an epiphany: a perfect Pepsi was impossible, but perfect Pepsis were. Some people liked it sweeter, some with less carbonation, some with more citric acid. I don’t remember how Pepsi took that report, but it was an interesting insight and I never forgot it.
Years later, I was reading the comments on an article about the ten best commanders. Most of them railed against the writer’s choices. Why wasn’t this one at the top, why wasn’t this guy on the list, why were all the picks garbage… That's when it occurred to me. Salt aside, the article was chasing the perfect Pepsi. Any article trying to rank options would be, because the commanders don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in context, and what works in one place is a wretched pile in the next. There is no perfect commander. However, there are perfect commanders, and that’s what we’ll be thinking about here.
Over the course of this project I’ll be discussing the thematic strengths of various colors and color combinations. Each article will highlight nine commanders who showcase those themes in different ways, then close with a personal favorite. This isn’t meant to be a list of the optimal but rather the fun, a celebration of the format.
Today’s topic is White, held by some to be the weakest color to run solo in commander. Funny, since this “weakest” color has little miss indestructible-on-a-stick Avacyn, Angel of Hope , that black hole of aggro Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite , and the wombo combo beast Heliod, Sun-Crowned himself. We’re not here to discuss the powerhouses, though. We are here to talk about why you would play mono-white in the first place. White, friends, is where you come to drown your opponents in tokens, where Voltron stashes the best kitties, and where the friendless beast Stax makes its lonely home.
While Marrow-Gnawer and Krenko may live in the limelight of mono-colored horde decks, white is where said horde hangs its thematic hat. Here be the lion’s share of “creatures you control get” goodies, crowned by the mathematically grueling Cathars' Crusade . Here be the Hero of Bladehold and the Knight-Captain of Eos . Here! Be! Elspeth!
First in our trifecta of white weenie lords is Mikaeus the Lunarch. Stick him at the head of a horde and watch his minions git gud. There are quite a few shenanigans, like Elite Scaleguard , that will delight in having this guy at the head of a deck.
Going a different direction, Darien makes minions himself rather than relying on token generators from the deck. Opponents will be understandably leery of touching his pilot with anything less than lethal damage. Add in Soul Warden and a few of her friends and things get downright silly.
Lord of keyword soup. What more needs to be said? Go in fear of his motley crew, in all probability lead by Zetalpa, Primal Dawn .
Anyone can sink money into a fistful of swords or powerhouse auras and turn their pet legend into an unholy terror. White, though, has the greatest affinity for soloing Voltron. Equipment or auras, or even both, there’s a deep pool of support to chose from. The keyword Protection is part of what makes the swords so lethal, and white hands out that keyword like candy.
Drawing is white’s weakest point, you say? Sram laughs at you and your lies as he beats you senseless. There is a pile of white cards that reward you for playing auras or for playing artifacts. Sram isn’t so picky. Be like Sram.
I really like this guy. Moving gear for free is great, but passing out double strike like free samples is downright brutal. Bloodforged Battle-Axe , anyone? Even as an equipment he does silly, silly things with friends like Kami of False Hope or Ranger-Captain of Eos .
Hulk or horde? Why not both? Stack some toys on Kemba and watch your board grow, then go full theme and drop Raksha Golden Cub to take the throne with your army of cranky Norwegian forest cats. Include Leonin Shikari and (cat)ckle with glee. I wasn't joking about white, Voltron, and kitties.
Here’s the mean side of white. Blue may counter you, red may burn you, black may drain you, but only white truly embodies the spirit of the Smallpox flavor text. Whether you share the pain with cards like Hushbringer or dish it out with Drannith Magistrate and friends, opponents will go in fear of those terrible words “can’t” and “don’t.”
If you’re building stax, we can assume making allies in the game isn’t a priority. Horoki has no friends. Horoki needs no friends. Only rocks. Rocks, and something to put victims out of their misery.
Somewhat kinder than Horoki, but only somewhat, since you don’t suffer with them. Their creatures can’t tap for mana. Their creatures can’t sacrifice each other. Their creatures can’t. So many can'ts, so little can.
Maybe you can’t outramp them, but you can slow them down. Thalia functionally robs opponents of turns, blockers, and, if you rob them enough, of the win. A 3/2 with first strike is already good for three mana, and at this point is just icing on this vicious cake.
And, for my personal favorite...
A rule of thumb of mine is that one mark of a good deck is that it can function without its commander.
This is a rule I gleefully break most of the time.
Rune-Tail will automatically flip on turn three in almost all games, and a commander with effects like this make Pariah and other, similar cards downright hilarious. I made and took apart a Rune-Tail deck over a decade ago. It was a terrible mess, but a fun one, and the tech available for it has grown since then. The deck was built around walling up, gaining life and otherwise stalling until a win-condition like Darksteel Reactor or Felidar Sovereign could be triggered. It was a fun idea, but these days I'd probably build Halvar for fun or Sram if I wanted to win.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Blue!
Code goes here
4 months ago
Without the need to champion an elemental anymore, you probably also don't need some of the weaker elementals like Cloudkin Seer and Squall Drifter . I do think cutting the big guy was a good idea since he isn't that impactful, but it does feel a shame to not have something Thryx, the Sudden Storm is trying to help bring in. Windreader Sphinx was the first card that came to my mind as a big creature that works well in flying tribal. There's also Zetalpa, Primal Dawn if you just want something exceedingly big and dumb. Finally, Celestial Archon could be a decent beater that also triggers Archon of Sun's Grace . On the subject of the Archon, Riptide Chimera seems like it could be a great partner to guarantee at least one pegasus every turn. Plus, it also lets you start your sagas from the beginning instead of needing to sacrifice them while getting even more buffs off Celestial Ancient .
5 months ago
Black and white are my two favorite colors in this game, so, naturally, I am excited about the cards in the black and white deck.
Tempting contract is nice, but very unreliable, so I am not certain if I can put it into any of my current decks.
Felisa, fang of Silverquill is nice, but nothing spectacular, and I notice that many cards that are associated with Silverquill generate inkling tokens, just as many cards that are associated with Quandrix generate fractal tokens.
I do not like the wording on combat calligrapher; would it really have taken up too much space to write “whenever a creature attacks one of your opponents, its controller creates…etc.?”
Return to Dust has already been reprinted numerous times, so I dearly wish that WotC had instead reprinted Heliod's Intervention in this set, since that card has been printed only once, and is better in the majority of situations.
Guardian archon is definitely a great card, but its controller shall need to find a way to “flicker” it to truly get great value from it, but that should not be difficult to do, in white. I also like that this is the second card in the game with the text “secretly choose an opponent” and “activate this ability only once,” after Stalking Leonin .
Nils, discipline enforcer is a perfect example of white’s authoritarian nature, and he will definitely be annoying for many players whose decks rely upon putting +1/+1 counters on their creatures; I have a deck with Atraxa, Praetors' Voice as the general, so he could definitely hinder that deck, if I cannot deal with him, quickly. At least he does not have flash, because that would make him ridiculous.
Promise of loyalty will definitely lead to some very complicated political dealings in games that have more than two players, so I will be interested to see how it works.
Sponsorship scholar is another example of how card advantage works in white, and, even better, it allows players to search for any basic lands, not merely plains! Finally, WotC is making white more powerful and helping it to reach the other colors in terms of power!
I really like author of shadows; first, that artwork is amazing, and, second, the effect is very sinister, and will definitely turn the tide of a game, if used properly.
Bold plagiarist is the latest in a long line of cards that punish players who seek to gain advantage, but, at least, this one does not actually stop them from gaining advantage; it merely copies their advantage. Why is it that the opponent is the one who places the counters on the plagiarist, and not the controller of the plagiarist?
In a similar manner, cunning rhetoric is a continuation of black’s ability to discourage an opponent from attacking one’s self, and punishing them, if they do.
Fain, the broker, has serious potential for powerful combos, and could definitely lead to major shifts in games if used properly.
Incarnation technique would be good for either my Mimeoplasm or my Teneb, the Harvester decks, but I cannot remove and existing cards to make room for it.
With keen duelist, I first am very glad that there are still black wizards in this game, now that warlocks are a creature type, and, second, a symmetrical Dark Confidant will definitely lead to some major politics and bargains between players, and it should go without saying that the best way to use it is with the ability to manipulate your own deck, such as with Crystal Ball or Sensei's Divining Top .
Stinging study is a nice way to take advantage of a general with a higher casting cost, especially if that general has been sent back to the command zone at least once, and has become too expensive to reliably recast; given that that card costs 5 mana to cast, I say that a player should have a general with a converted mana cost of at least 5 to truly get good value from it.
Inkshield is like Batwing Brume on steroids, but its high mana cost does mean that it will require strategy and careful timing to be used most effectively; I personally think that it could have cost 4 mana and still have been perfectly balanced.
As for the reprints, did we really need another reprint of Zetalpa, Primal Dawn or Sun Titan ? However, the reprints of Utter End , Oblation , Magister of Worth , and Mikokoro, Center of the Sea are all welcome, and I am glad that WotC has finally reprinted Deathbringer Liege , because that card very badly needed to be reprinted.
Overall, WotC has really increased the quality of this year’s Commander product, compared to those from previous years, so I hope that every Commander product has this level of quality, from this point forward.