Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale

Published March 2nd, 2020

Looking at the Throne of Eldraine Brawl Commanders there was one that was significantly leaned into as a tribal deck. The set had a focus on the knight class of creature types and provided even more support with this Commander. Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale is a powerful creature on it’s on. On top of the defensive advantage of vigilance and a bit of evasion with menace there you can stack plenty of equipment on her and run in for the Commander damage kill.

The theme and tribal aspect all route from the ability “Equipment you control have equip Knight 0” which pushes the equipment and knight theme to the forefront. Now equipment decks aren’t anything new and knights have tried to take off in the past but let’s see if we can tie everything together.

Commander (1)

Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale

Lands (38)

Arid Mesa
Ash Barrens
Badlands
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Bojuka Bog
Cavern of Souls
Clifftop Retreat
Command Tower
Concealed Courtyard
Dragonskull Summit
Flooded Strand
Godless Shrine
Inspiring Vantage
Isolated Chapel
Marsh Flats
Mountain x2
Path of Ancestry
Plains x3
Plateau
Polluted Delta
Reflecting Pool
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Scrubland
Smoldering Marsh
Strip Mine
Swamp x2
Tournament Grounds
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Artifacts (18)

Arcane Signet
Batterskull
Embercleave
Hammer of Nazahn
Heartseeker
Heirloom Blade
Helm of the Host
Lightning Greaves
Sigiled Sword of Valeron
Skullclamp
Shadowspear
Sol Ring
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
The Circle of Loyalty
Umezawa’s Jitte
Vanquisher’s Banner
Whip of Erebos

Enchantments (3)

History of Benalia
Knights’ Charge
Sigarda’s Aid

Instants (6)

Anguished Unmaking
Crackling Doom
Enlightened Tutor
Swords to Plowshares
Unexpectedly Absent
Vampiric Tutor

Sorceries (6)

Blasphemous Act
Council’s Judgment
Damnation
Demonic Tutor
Steelshaper’s Gift
Vindicate

Planeswalkers (2)

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Ugin, the Ineffable

Creatures (26)

Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
Balan, Wandering Knight
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder
Cavalier of Flame
Fervent Champion
Godo, Bandit Warlord
Heavenly Blademaster
Hero of Oxid Ridge
Iroas, God of Victory
Josu Vess, Lich Knight
Khorvath Brightflame
Kinsbaile Cavalier
Knight Exemplar
Mirran Crusader
Mirror Entity
Mother of Runes
Murderous Rider
Puresteel Paladin
Silverblade Paladin
Stoneforge Mystic
Stonehewer Giant
Sun Titan
Sylvia Brightspear
Thalia’s Lancers
Valiant Knight
Vona, Butcher of Magan

Synergies

Hammer of Nazahn/Sigarda’s Aid: While some equip costs aren’t too costly and with Syr Gwyn your knights can equip for 0 but we can’t rely of that so some alternatives are an order. These two are both enter the battlefield attach triggers for your equipment, one of which is it’s own equipment with +2/+0 and Indestructible and the other allowing Flash speed casting.

Puresteel Paladin: a knight, an equipment draw engine, and an alternative equip 0 ability to Syr Gwyn. Puresteel Paladin is a definite staple within this decks theme and the Metalcraft equip 0 ability is relevant when you may need to equip some of your non-knight support creatures

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: One of the knight token generating abilities in this deck. While Gideon himself is a soldier the tokens and even the emblem that can be created are well used in this deck.

Combos

Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host: With the amount of equipment in the deck to support our knights it’s a suitable place for Godo as a tutor. On top of that the additional combat phase allows you to strategize and bait people with your initial combat phase, whether you’d like to play politically or just bash in twice with your vigilant creatures. With Helm of the Host equip to Godo it creates a constant chain of Godo tokens and additional combat phases to attack with until your opponents are gone. Aurelia, the Warleader is an alternative to this combo but the tutoring and ease of casting of Godo were more in line with the strategy when it came time to make cuts.

Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale + Heartseeker: A great board clearing method where each knight passes around the Heartseeker to kill as many creatures on the board as possible. While this is dependant on your knights it’s very threatening as it takes minimal resources for you to destroy creatures at will. Shadowspear is a nice addition to remove abilities that may get in the way of the kill and Puresteel Paladin can be used as an alternative to Syr Gwyn.

Equipment Package

I’ll point out again that the equipment theme is nothing new but there are some fun pieces we can play within this deck. To get to the fun we should go over some solid staples and just powerful value equipment. The Swords of X and Y series, Skullclamp, Lightning Greaves and the like are good and all but what else can we do and what do we run to support it.

Stoneforge Mystic/ Stonehewer Giant/ Godo, Bandit Warlord/ Steelshaper’s Gift/ Enlightened Tutor: Multiple iterations of the ability to tutor for equipment that goes so well in this deck.

Balan, Wandering Knight/ Heavenly Blademaster: Just a couple of creatures that are happy to hold as many equipment as possible.

Emblercleave: A mythic flash equipment with attach that grants +1/+1, double strike, and trample. On a good swing it could cost as little as RR to cast as well for this amazing combat trick. I’m a bit fan of this card as it can lead to some lethal attacks.

Sigiled Sword of Valeron: A very flavourful addition but an effective synergy by turning the equipped creature into a knight to take advantage of Syr Gwyns ability. It also launches an additional vigilant knight during combat which isa helpful additional body.

Heirloom Blade: A fine piece of Commander equipment that supports especially well in tribal decks such as this. With high power boost and low equip cost in addition to digging out creatures from your deck this blade does a lot of work.

More Equipment Options

There are some more options of course, most equipment in the game technically, but I’d like to offer some entertaining options that didn’t make the cut here:

Summary

Syr Gwyn is the epitome of knight tribal commanders and the flavour that was pushed with Throne of Eldrain. besides taking advantage of the equip 0 ability to arm your knights any of your equipped attacking will trigger Syr Gwyn trading 1 life each to draw. This deck has resources, synergy, and flavour all tied together by it’s Commander.

This deck gravitates towards the equipment package for obvious reasons but there are many alternate ways to built this. Mardu swarm, Voltron beats, Alpha strike combo, just to name a few. If you’re a fan of knights, equipment, or just combat in general you may enjoy the battlefield that Syr Gwyn stands upon.

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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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