Adam_the_Mentat's picture
Sep 10 2015 11:00am
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CJB: Manaty Scrython's Flying Circus


There's a subsection of cards in Magic that directly apply to, enhance, and piggyback off of Flying creatures. The green ones usually hose flying creatures, but the white and blue ones view flying as an advantage rather than a "darn you kids!" *shakes fist*. 

I'm speaking about cards like Pride of the Clouds, Favorable Winds, Sprite Noble and Moat (though Moat is not legal in CMDR, even though Magus of the Moat is). These kinda cards are the ones that love to be piled together into something cohesive.

Enter (Isperia, the Inscrutable). Also known as Isperia, the Flying Tutorable. She can tutor up Radiant, Archangel, who, OH WAIT, can also be a commander to a "flying matters" Commander deck. (Fun fact: before Avacyn was a thing, She was my tribal Angel commander).

So, Azorius and Monowhite. We got two decks to talk about, so pick up some takeout, put on some mood music and let's slow groove through this together. *Noms takeout*

Isperia, Supreme Judge 
Radiant, Archangel 
Arctic Aven 
Stormscape Familiar 
Warden of Evos Isle 
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV 
Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor 
Archetype of Imagination 
Commander Eesha 
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner 
Linvala, Keeper of Silence 
Major Teroh 
Sprite Noble 
Windborn Muse 
Archon of Justice 
Archon of Redemption 
Pride of the Clouds 
Ephara, God of the Polis 
Thassa, God of the Sea 
Magus of the Moat 
Baneslayer Angel 
Medomai the Ageless 
Drogskol Reaver 
Eternal Dragon 
1 Thunderclap Wyvern
1 Soulblade Djinn
Angel of Jubilation 
1 Archangel of Tithes
Avacyn, Angel of Hope 
1 Phyrexian Ingester

Other Spells 
Favorable Winds 
Serra Aviary 
Gravitational Shift 
Path to Exile 
Swords to Plowshares 
Council's Judgment 
Sword of Fire and Ice 
Sword of Light and Shadow
Chromatic Lantern 
Whispersilk Cloak 
Lightning Greaves 
Concerted Effort 
1 Thopter Spy Network
Cloud Cover 
Well of Ideas 
Jace's Ingenuity 
Mana Drain 
Coercive Portal 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Azorius Signet 
Staff of Nin 
Spin into Myth 
Oblivion Ring 
Karn Liberated 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 

Azorius Chancery 
Halimar Depths 
Maze of Ith 
Island of Wak-Wak 
Nimbus Maze 
Hallowed Fountain 
Glacial Fortress 
Skycloud Expanse 
Command Tower 
Azorius Guildgate 
Reflecting Pool 
City of Brass 
Opal Palace 
Encroaching Wastes 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
Thespian's Stage 
Ancient Tomb  
Tectonic Edge 

So this deck tries to employ Isperia's ability to tutor up flying creatures. If you can't tutor, it's still a good build with good flying creatures, and can win on its own right. But, being able to tutor up extra fliers can make all the difference.

First, let's check out the creatures:

Isperia, Supreme Judge: Isperia's alter-ego, her future self. It's always awesome to include different iterations of the same Legendary creature, and the new Isperia is pretty boss anyway. 

Radiant, Archangel: The Monowhite epitome of flying matters. Don't worry, Ma'am, we'll talk about your deck next. Until then, enjoy being a part of Team Isperia. 

Arctic Aven: I love this lil' birdy. I may be biased because it helped me out a lot when I drafted Azorius during M15.

Stormscape Familiar: No black in here, but this two drop helps around half the deck cost less. 

Warden of Evos Isle: This makes most of the creatures cost less.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV: Our first non-flying entry, the Arbiter is in here to, again, help our stuff cost less. 

Duplicant: Useful removal is useful.

Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor: Our third non-flying entry, its tap-down ability can come in handy. 

Archetype of Imagination: While seemingly redundant, this guy makes it so all of your stuff with flying-evasion does not have any of your opponent's stuff to contend with in the skies.

Commander Eesha: A tried and true pro:creatures flier.  

Glory: Getting this flier in your graveyard allows you to give protection of your choice as evasion to your creatures, thus allowing Isperia another tutor. 

Kira, Great Glass-Spinner: If you don't plan on a lot of spells that target your own stuff, then this card is really a winner.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence: One of the best four drop white angels in this fine game.

Major Teroh: This is a great backup to have in case you face a black mage, or, at least it's another flying body if you don't.

Sprite Noble: Flying Matters! Sprite Noble has been waiting for this day! 

Windborn Muse: Ghostly Prison on a flier is a wonderful addition to the deck.

Archon of Justice: This is a great card to have on the battlefield even without a sacrifice outlet. Folks are scared to block it, or hose it, if they have something sweet on the board they need to protect. This usually leads to not blocking, or blocking and losing creatures that won't actually kill it. I recommend it whenever it can be thrown into a deck.

Archon of Redemption: An Angelic Chorus for Flying!  

Pride of the Clouds: Flying Elemental Kitteh!

Ephara, God of the Polis: Another nonflier, this one helps with a card-draw engine. There are a lot of cards in the deck that plop out tokens and the deck is half creatures, so you know you are scoring some extra draws.

Thassa, God of the Sea: The Scry 1 is nifty, but the clutch is making Isperia unblockable so as to snag more flying critters. 

Magus of the Moat: Obvious nonflying inclusion, is, of course, obvious.

Baneslayer Angel: Best white five-drop flier. 

Medomai the Ageless: He draws hate, or scores you extra turns. Plus I think Isperia likes tutoring up her own kind.

Drogskol Reaver: Flying. Drawing. Lifelinking. Get in mah' deck!  

Eternal Dragon: a Dragon, or, a plains. Yer call.

Thunderclap Wyvern: The latest entry in the "flying matters" brigade!

Soulblade Djinn: Diggin this djinn from Origins; a great include.

Angel of Jubilation: This is such an underrated card. It shuts down Helm of Possession, Fetchlands, Erebos-- all manner of things. 

Archangel of Tithes: You can attack or block, but you gotta pay.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope: Avacyn, Angel of Annoying (for yer opponents).

Phyrexian Ingester: Duplicant x 2.

Now, let's talk noncreatures:

Telepathy: How perfect is this card alongside Isperia?

Concerted Effort: This is an MVP in here. Eesha gives everyone pro:creatures. Swords equipped to creatures grant their protection boons to everyone. You know how this works.

Cloud Cover: Just thematically fits so damn nicely, and it's actually useful to boot.

Flying Matters cards: Favorable Winds, Serra Aviary, Gravitational Shift, Thopter Spy Network.

Ding-ding-ding! It's once again time to cram a whole bunch of cards into one category to limit exposition! These cards are all pretty much standard inclusions in a Commander deck. They either draw cards, ramp mana, hose pesky things, etc.

Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Bribery, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Council's Judgment, Chromatic Lantern, Whispersilk Cloak, Lightning Greaves, Tithe, Well of Ideas, Jace's Ingenuity, Mana Drain, Saltblast, Coercive Portal, Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Azorius Signet, Staff of Nin, Spin into Myth, Oblivion Ring, Karn Liberated, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Lands: Island of Wak-Wak, because heck yes. The rest are pretty easy to figure out re: why they are in this here deck.

Due to numerous computer errors, I had to reinstall MTGO. I lost all of my replays again. I saved one screenshot, which is awesome, and I'll talk about it soon, but the rest is going to have to be left up to exposition.

I lost with this deck to a hilarious Elf-playing gentleman who cast not only Hurricane, but also Whirlwind in our games together. I'll take that loss any day of the week.

If you play any deck whatsoever that is not heavy with flying, this deck becomes pretty freaking hard to stop. Which essentially means: this deck is not nearly as nuanced as my previous decks. This deck is just: Cloud the skies with fliers, beat-down, rinse, repeat, add in some answers to common threats.

I like the idea of Thassa making Isperia unblockable, but Isperia really is fairly conditional, and not enough of the deck can be devoted to what she can pull off. More often than not, she is hosed and I just rely on playing the deck as if it were just a plain ol' singleton deck where I have a bunch of flying beaters and some removal and card draw.

One thing about Isperia: A great tip; If you have to fly blind when naming a card, just pick a basic land you think your opponent may be playing with.

Ok, on to the screenshot:

I used Meeseeks imagery to cover up my opponent's info, so they could remain anonymous. If you don't know what a Meeseeks is, then I'm sorry my life is slightly more full than yours.

The best thing about this matchup was my opponent has no real way of dealing with Enchantments, so, the Shift and Effort were going nowhere. The Effort was instrumental in winning this match. It actually proved its worth to the point where, prior to this game, I was considering removing it from the deck. Having out the sword and the Effort allowed me to beatdown unscathed. Also, everyone has different play styles, but this opponent kept forgetting my protected muse required all attacking creatures to pay two colorless, so often they cast a bunch of spells, attempted to attack with everything and were thwarted by their own forgetfulness of the board state.

Prior to me using the Duplicant to Exile the opposing Sheoldred, I used it to my advantage by sacrificing my Duplicant, attacking, and recurring it with the Sword of Light and Shadow.


Kor Cartographer 
Aegis Angel 
Archon of Justice 
Archon of Redemption 
Belfry Spirit 
Emeria Angel 
Geist-Honored Monk 
Hallowed Spiritkeeper 
Linvala, Keeper of Silence 
Eternal Dragon 
Baneslayer Angel 
Magus of the Moat 
Pristine Angel 
Major Teroh 
Commander Eesha 
Stoneforge Mystic 
Dawn Elemental 
Angel of the Dire Hour 
Angel of Finality 
Requiem Angel 
Avacyn, Angel of Hope 
Solemn Simulacrum 

Other Spells
Dictate of Heliod 
Glorious Anthem 
Angelic Destiny 
Ghostly Prison 
Sol Ring 
Mana Crypt 
Caged Sun 
Gauntlet of Power 
Light from Within 
Honor of the Pure 
Chromatic Lantern 
Marshal's Anthem 
Spear of Heliod 
Pearl Medallion 
Wayfarer's Bauble 
Darksteel Plate 
Ajani Goldmane 
Moonsilver Spear 
Sacred Mesa 
Spirit Bonds 
Midnight Haunting 
Spectral Procession 
Serra Aviary 
Sword of Fire and Ice 
Sword of Light and Shadow 
1 Sword of the Animist
Nahiri, the Lithomancer 
Path to Exile 
Council's Judgment 
Coercive Portal 
Staff of Nin 
Swords to Plowshares 
Angelic Edict 
Return to Dust 
Unstable Obelisk 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Karn Liberated 

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Emeria, the Sky Ruin 
Mystifying Maze 
Maze of Ith 
Strip Mine 
Ghost Quarter 
Encroaching Wastes 
Homeward Path 
Thawing Glaciers 
Drifting Meadow 
Secluded Steppe 
Ancient Tomb 
New Benalia 
Evolving Wilds 
Terramorphic Expanse 
Thespian's Stage 
17 Snow-Covered Plains 
Mouth of Ronom 
Tectonic Edge 

If I thought my last deck was a beatdown deck, this deck takes it and fully embraces it. It has multiple Anthems, and really tries to load the field with fliers, whether token or card, in order to pump Radiant. Nahiri and Stoneforge help tutor up useful equipment, and the rest, is, simply, flying beatdown.

I'll add in play-testing here, since there isn't much to talk about since the deck speaks for itself.

I played my FFTR cohost just this very day before publishing this article, and I won both games. I won 10 other games with this deck, and have played about 15 times total. This deck just comes out swinging, and everything is in the sky. Casting anthem after anthem, and attacking with an army of fliers is, again, not a nuanced approach to the game, but it gets the job done.

In one game I enchanted the Magus with Angelic Destiny it could now attack despite its latent ability.

Again, I'd love to have screenshots, but you'll have to trust me, that, of the two decks, this one punches harder. 

Thanks for joining me again!

Did I miss anything you would've included? Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

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