Shabraz, the Skyshark / Brallin, Skyshark Rider

Published May 24th, 2020

Is it a bird? Is it a shark? It’s both! Shabraz, the Skyshark and Brallin, Skyshark Rider come in as the Jeskai Partners for Commander 2020 and were the first partners spoiled for the set. The two work in conjunction with draw and discard synergies giving them both +1/+1 counters along with lifegain and damage effects respectively.

//Commander (2)

Shabraz, the Skyshark
Brallin, Skyshark Rider

//Lands (33)

Island x3
Mountain
Plains x3
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Cascade Bluffs
Cavern of Souls
Clifftop Retreat
Command Tower
Flooded Strand
Glacial Fortress
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Gate
Mystic Monastery
Path of Ancestry
Polluted Delta
Rugged Prairie
Scalding Tarn
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Steam Vents
Volcanic Island
Raugrin Triome
Plateau
Sacred Foundry
Hallowed Fountain
Tundra
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge

//Artifacts (12)

Arcane Signet
Chromatic Lantern
Coalition Relic
Commander’s Sphere
Crystal Shard
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Lightning Greaves
Skullclamp
Sword of Fire and Ice

//Enchantments (12)

Blind Obedience
Dawn of Hope
Detention Sphere
Mind Over Matter
Mystic Remora
Rhystic Study
Smothering Tithe
Whirlwind of Thought
Curiosity
Ophidian Eye
Search for Azcanta
Tectonic Reformation

//Instants (10)

Brainstorm
Cyclonic Rift
Enlightened Tutor
Fact or Fiction
Force of Will
Mana Drain
Mystic Confluence
Mystical Tutor
Snapback
Teferi’s Protection

//Sorceries (9)

Echo of Eons
Time Spiral
Open the Armory
Ponder
Preordain
Idyllic Tutor
Sevinne’s Reclamation
Supreme Verdict
Wheel of Fortune

//Planeswalkers (6)

Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Dack Fayden
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler
Tezzeret the Seeker

//Creatures (16)

Solemn Simulacrum
Recruiter of the Guard
Surly Badgersaur
Sun Titan
Dockside Extortionist
Imperial Recruiter
Serra Ascendant
Tandem Lookout
Trinket Mage
Stoneforge Mystic
Glint-Horn Buccaneer
Drogskol Reaver
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
The Locust God
Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

Synergies

Dawn of Hope: A steady source of token bodies, life gain, and card draw. With Shabraz it becomes continuous card draw for 2 mana as you gain life for each draw triggering Dawn of Hope again.

Surly Badgersaur: A great new card that sits within the same Timeless Wisdom deck. Since we don’t have an effect such as the one on Bone Miser our dinosaur friend here gives us some extra value for discarding to trigger Brallin.

Tectonic Reformation: Timeless wisdom is a cycling deck and cycling helps both our Commanders with discarding and drawing cards to trigger. Tectonic Reformation is great in both synergy and filtering. It does a ton of work in a land flood scenario and at worse it has cycling itself.

Combos

Curiosity / Ophidian Eye / Tandem Lookout: A classic combo since Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind which allows you to continue a chain of damage for drawing cards. While running the original Niv-Mizzet and Niv-Mizzet, Parun as a redundancy this curiosity combo also works with Brallin with either 8 cards in hand at your end step or with the help of our discard engine Mind Over Matter. Both he and Glint-Horn Buccaneer deal damage for discarding to each opponent rather than the others which are single target damage for drawing cards. To summarize there are multiple pieces to the combo and a number of redundancies including one of our Commanders to create a constant looming game ending threat.

Drogskol Reaver: A dangerous but effective creature who draws you cards whenever you gain life. With Shabraz gaining you life each time you draw this means with both on board you’re going to constantly trigger Drogskol Reaver and draw out your deck. Now if you have enough cards and damage to do this with one of the Niv-Mizzets you can finish off your opponents before you run out of cards in your deck and not lose. If not you will have to respond to the triggers and deal with either Shabraz or Drogskol Reaver. A similar case happens with The Locust God and Kindred Discovery. Snapback is one of the answers you can draw into end the chain but hopefully you’ll have a wining piece on board before triggering this combo.

Support

Tutors: Enlightened Tutor, Open the Armory, Idyllic Tutor, Recruiter of the Guard, Imperial Recruiter. These cards are all able to grab the curiosity pieces but also have an abundance of other targets throughout the deck.

Card Draw: Mystic Remora. Rhystic Study, Whirlwind of Thought. While the fish and the “Do you pay the one?” enchantments are proven I wanted to add in the new Ikoria Jeskai enchantment because of how steady and out of hand it feels like it can get. I enjoy it’s synergy with Sensei’s Divining Top and the other half of the deck that will trigger it.

Summary

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The Jeskai Timeless Wisdom deck Commanders feel like the hardest to balance of the five Commander 2020 decks. In this case the theme is just enjoyable because well flying sharks. With the theme though there are some fun cards that would have been nice to add but affect the consistency and power level. Shark Typhoon being the top one but things like Ominous Seas and other Windfall and Wheel of Fortune effects could have been pushed in as well.

Comparatively though this seems to be a fun compilation of effects and if you’ve run Nekusar, the Mindrazer , The Locust God, or Niv-Mizzet decks this will be a familiar archetype with some colour options differences and the partner card advantage.

Article by Cascade.Cascade

The editor-in-chief and creator of Command Beacon. They started playing Magic during the Scars of Mirrodin block and hasn’t been able to stop since.

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