Custom Commanders - Will it Balance?
Hey peeps! First time poster here. I'm in the need to get some feedback and help on a christmas present I'm looking to get my playgroup.
For the past 3 years, we've been playing Dungeons and Dragons together (stay with me, this is still related to MTG). Same campaign, same characters. To say we're attached to our characters is an understatement. We've created artwork, songs, and I've written almost four full-length novels about our adventures.
This christmas, I wanted to gift the other four players (and myself) a custom MTG Commander, each with a complete ready-to-play deck. However, I'm hella fresh to the whole custom MTG scene. I need talented (or semi-talented, or anyone for that matter) people who can give me some feedback in terms of balance and playability. Having that said, card flavour is hugely important for the project. One of the cards, for example, has Flanking, which is quite underused in modern MTG, but it's hugely important for playing a Rogue in Dungeons and Dragons. Therefore, the more closely these abilities can be tuned the better.
Should you have some spare amount of time, wishing to help me out, please write a comment or two on what changes you think need to be made to my setup or if there might be some cool interactions with some budgetfriendly (and janky) cards you'd recommend. All feedback and critique is greatly appreciated!
The characters/cards are as follows (sorry for no art, but it's being drawn as we speak :<):
Shou, Involuntary Paladin
2 U W/B
Legendary Human Warrior, 3/2
Vigilance, First Strike
Whenever Shou, Involuntary Paladin attacks, you may discard a card. If you do, Shou, Involuntary Paladin gains +2/+2 and fear, and you may draw a card.
Partner, with Terry, Primal Wolf
Terry, Primal Wolf
Legendary Wolf, 2/2
As long as Shou, Involuntary Paladin is on the battlefield, Terry, Primal Wolf is indestructible.
Whenever Shou, Involuntary Paladin leaves the battlefield, if Terry, Primal Wolf is on the battlefield, transform it and place it under its owner’s control.
Partner, with Shou, Involuntary Paladin
Transforms into: Terry, Wolfkin of the Ardswoald
Legendary Planeswalker, 4 Loyalty
+0 Scry 2. Draw a card. If the drawn card was a non-land permanent, you may reveal it to place a loyalty counter onto Terry, Wolfkin of the Ardswoald.
-2 Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
-8 Return all creature cards from the graveyard to the battlefield. You may cast instant and sorceries from your graveyard as if they had flashback without paying their mana cost until end of turn. Put Shou, Involuntary Paladin onto the battlefield from the command zone. Transform Terry, Wolfkin of the Ardswoald.
The deck will center around the Flashback mechanic, allowing one character to discard cards in order to play more aggressively, while the other acts as a shield.
Lee Ironwood, Noble Thief
W U G
Legendary Human Rogue, 2/2
Whenever Lee Ironwood, Nimble Thief attacks and is equipped and enchanted, it gains double strike until end of turn.
The deck would focus on enchantments and artifacts focused on empowering both Lee as well as other creatures landing on the battlefield. Balance-wise, this is the deck (and commander) I'm most worried about.
Akaris Willow, Touched by the Devourer
2 W B G
Legendary Tiefling Cleric, 2/3
Tap: Sacrifice another creature. Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand with converted mana cost lower than the sacrificed creature’s.
Being in Abzan, her focus would be on casting creatures with death triggers to then Devour and grow, protecting the player by recurring threats from the graveyard while regenerating lifepoints and deterring aggressive attackers.
Swenje Morningsteel, Three-eyed Monk
2 R W G
Legendary Human Monk, 3/3
Vigilance, Double strike
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, flip a coin. If heads, reveal the top card of your library. If it is an instant or sorcery, you may cast it without paying its mana cost.
The deck would focus on outvalueing your opponents and deliver sudden knockout-punches out of nowhere. I'm well aware that the final ability causes a potential loop, but that is intended. Being in Naya, there are plenty of spells focusing on buffing and making him stronger, while still allowing him some card draw.
Thaddeus Rayne, Lawmaster
2 R U B
Legendary Vampire Rogue, 4/4
Whenever Thaddeus Rayne, Lawmaster deals combat damage to a player, place a bounty counter on target permanent.
When a permanent with a bounty counter is destroyed, create an X/X Vampire creature token where X is the converted mana cost of the permanent.
Comment: The semi-BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) that we pursued for quite a while. Being a crime lord, and his bounty on one of the other characters being one of the adventure hooks, I wanted him to have a bounty counter mechanic. The second triggered ability means he'll be able to protect himself from board wipes, seeing as he could benefit from picking off his own minions from the board in the cases it would suit his needs for the moment. He is a political character, and should have a political tool.
I feel the deck's weakness is playing Vampires while not being in White (Mathas, Fiend Seeker, anyone?), but there are several control aspects I think suits him better, meaning Grixis ends up being a better colour combination. While there are other bounties to be found in green with Ikoria, the green colour-pairing doesn't make any sense for the character.
Phew, this was a long read, and my sincerest thanks if you're still here. All feedback is welcome, from mana-cost and power/toughness ratio, to ability reworks and cool interactions you can come up with.Please help me make this Christmas the most Commanderist Christmas ever .