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Commander Deep Dive: Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero

Bennie is back for another Commander Deep Dive, this time featuring Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero!

Wylie Dule, Atiin Hero, illustrated by Ekaterina Burmak

I’m always a little wary when a legendary creature has the words “draw” and “card” in its text box these days. In recent years, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has designed some really obnoxiously overpowered ones, making it way too easy to have a card draw engine sitting in your command zone.

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King Chulane, Teller of Tales Tatyova, Benthic Druid Voja, Jaws of the Conclave The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride Bonny Pall, Clearcutter

It’s not that I’m totally against a commander that draws cards, I just don’t like it when it’s way too easy to draw cards just by playing Magic.  I like when the designs are interesting in some way. I’ve long had a Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis deck that I love in part because it helps everyone at the table draw a little extra or ramp a little extra. The legend from Outlaws of Thunder Junction I want to dive into today I think is much more in the “interesting” camp — Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero!

Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero

Wylie’s card draw (and a little life gain) is tied to the card tapping, which would normally be easily done by attacking, but Wylie also has vigilance. So, to unlock Wylie’s power, you’ve got to load your deck with ways to tap Wylie outside of the combat step. Lucky for us, there are a ton of options for a Wylie deck to help with this plan, so let’s see what we can rustle up!

Saddle Up!

Miriam, Herd Whisperer Fortune, Loyal Steed Seraphic Steed Drover Grizzly Bridled Bighorn Congregation Gryff Trained Arynx

Wylie’s design is obviously inspired by the saddle mechanic from Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Much like Vehicles and the crew ability, creatures with the saddle ability tap another creature to gain some benefit. Fortune, Loyal Steed is awesome for this since its ability to blink itself and one creature that saddled it at the end of combat means the creatures will be untapped and able to block on your opponents’ turns. Seraphic Steed’s triggered ability is sweet, though as a 2/2 with no evasion, it quickly will get outclassed at most Commander tables. Bridled Bighorn is a common but I think it quite playable in this deck; it has vigilance and it creates token creatures when it attacks while saddled.

Miriam, Herd Whisperer is another Outlaws of Thunder Junction card designed to support Mounts with the saddle mechanic, but it also works great with Vehicles – a card type we’ll also want to include in our Wylie deck.

Start Your Engines!

Smuggler's Copter Mobile Homestead Parhelion II Weatherlight Skysovereign, Consul Flagship Reckoner Bankbuster Mechtitan Core Peacewalker Colossus Nautiloid Ship Surgehacker Mech Esika's Chariot Thunderhawk Gunship Mighty Servant of Leuk-o Golden Argosy Conqueror's Galleon Mysterious Limousine Aethersphere Harvester

Vehicles have been around a while now, so there are a ton of options you can choose to run in your deck. Mobile Homestead is a cool new Vehicle that also plays nicely with Mounts, and at two mana, it will be ready to crew when you play Wylie on Turn 3. Having access to white makes Peacewalker Colossus a great card to have in a Vehicle heavy deck, making it easier to use your Vehicles even if all your creatures have been destroyed by a sweeper effect.

I always like to give a shout-out to Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, which I think is criminally underplayed in Commander. I love it for its card draw power, but let’s not forget it’s also a 6/6 with trample and a powerful ward ability for just three mana; conveniently, Wylie easily meets the crew 4 requirement.

Convoke

Chord of Calling Clever Concealment Bennie Bracks, Zoologist Wand of the Worldsoul Sprout Swarm Ephemeral Shields Gather Courage Scatter the Seeds

The convoke ability is another way to tap Wylie. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist is a nice inclusion if your deck has ways to generate tokens, like Sprout Swarm and Scatter the Seeds!  I haven’t yet played Wand of the Worldsoul, but it seems like it has promise.  Have you played it yet?

Other Ways to Tap Wylie

Glare of Subdual Cryptolith Rite Relic of Legends Elven Chorus Paradise Mantle Springleaf Drum Jaspera Sentinel Loam Dryad Citanul Stalwart Survivors' Encampment Holdout Settlement Citanul Hierophants Honor-Worn Shaku Devout Chaplain Battle Screech

There are other ways to tap Wylie for profit, such as Glare of Subdual for tapping down a target artifact or creature. There are a ton of ways to tap creatures for mana, like Relic of Legends and Jaspera Sentinel, and I think some number of these are going to be awesome in the deck. Hey, another cool deck for Honor-Worn Shaku!

If your deck ends up having a fair number of Human cards, you might consider Devout Chaplain which taps two untapped Humans you control to exile a target artifact or enchantment.

Untap Wylie

Legolas's Quick Reflexes Mobile Garrison Halo Fountain Virtue of Loyalty Sting, the Glinting Dagger Patriar's Seal Thousand-Year Elixir Seedborn Muse Drumbellower Saryth, the Viper's Fang White Plume Adventurer Vitalize Benefactor's Draught To Arms! Rustler Rampage Village Bell-Ringer Instill Energy Nature's Chosen Copperhorn Scout Seeker of Skybreak Puppet Strings

One interesting thing to note about Wylie is there isn’t a “once per turn” limit on the ability to gain one life and draw a card, so I’d probably want at least a few ways to untap Wylie to tap again. Mobile Garrison is a great Vehicle for this, as attacking with it lets you untap another target artifact or creature you control. I also really love Halo Fountain in a deck with a bunch of Vehicles and Mount cards, since you will typically have at least two tapped creatures in a turn when you’re crewing a Vehicle or have saddled a Mount. Getting to untap them after combat is an awesome way to shore up your defenses. 

Any Selesnya deck with a bunch of Vehicles and/or Mounts are going to want to run Seedborn Muse and Drumbellower to untap your creatures. I also think one or two instant speed ways to untap your creatures could be quite a surprise, from Rustler Rampage, to Benefactor’s Draught.

Old school green enchantments like Instill Energy and Nature’s Chosen are interesting options that will surely stir some “what does that card do?” conversations at your table. If your deck has some enchantment synergies these would be no-brainer includes, but even without those I might give these a try.

If you do go with a fair amount of creature token production, Virtue of Loyalty becomes an awesome choice. Ardenvale Fealty can be played early on, and then Virtue of Loyalty will sit safely in exile waiting for the right time to play it, and for just five mana, it’s going to be easy to play.  

Draw Cards Matter

Psychosis Crawler Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse On the Trail Loxodon Eavesdropper

There are not a lot of cards available to Selesnya that care about drawing cards, but I’d definitely include Psychosis Crawler and Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse. On the Trail might be worth a slot to help you turn your extra cards into extra land drops.

Lifegain Matters

Well of Lost Dreams Trelasarra, Moon Dancer Heliod, Sun-Crowned Archangel of Thune Ajani's Pridemate Blossoming Bogbeast Ezzaroot Channeler Accomplished Alchemist Prize Pig Trudge Garden Gwaihir, Greatest of the Eagles Crested Sunmare

Conversely, there are a ton of cards available to Selesnya that care about gaining life, with Trelasarra, Moon Dancer being high on the list. That scry ability and adding +1/+1 counters is going to do some serious work in this deck! Archangel of Thune is another card that’s bound to be amazing, growing your entire team each time you gain life—and wow! That’s a card that’s in dire need of a reprint!  I’d even run Ajani’s Pridemate; early on it can saddle or crew other cards, but it won’t take long before it grows into a sizeable threat itself.

I love the lifegain payoff cards like Blossoming Bogbeast, Ezzaroot Channeler, and Accomplished Alchemist. If you really lean into life gain for your deck, Gwaihir, Greatest of the Eagles is a fun choice that can generate large flying Bird tokens that help give your other creatures evasion. And Crested Sunmare can churn out some really large Horse tokens that are indestructible as long as the Sunmare is around.

Extra Land Drops

Exploration Case of the Locked Hothouse Wayward Swordtooth Dryad of the Ilysian Grove Cultivator Colossus Rites of Flourishing

In green decks that have a consistent way to draw extra cards, I like to include ways to make extra land drops, which helps give you the resources to use all those extra cards. Exploration is a classic, but I’ve really been enjoying Case of the Locked Hothouse lately. Once it’s solved, you can really get a ton of advantage by playing lands, creatures, or enchantment spells from the top of your library, especially since you can use Wylie to draw a card you can’t or don’t want to play.

Assuming you’re not scrimping on your land count, I might consider running Cultivator Colossus in this deck. If you’re having a big turn where Wylie is drawing you two or more extra cards, you might very well have enough lands in hand to let Cultivator Colossus do some wild stuff for you when it enters the battlefield.

Power 4 or Greater

Garruk's Uprising Shamanic Revelation Bonders' Enclave Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma Rhonas the Indomitable Roar of Challenge

Wylie has four power, which is a threshold number a fair number of green cards care about. Garruk’s Uprising seems like a natural fit. I also might run Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma. Even though Wylie probably isn’t attacking much, Goreclaw can help save your commander tax if you need to replay Wylie from the command zone.

Humans Matter

Katilda, Dawnhart Prime Kogla, the Titan Ape Sigarda, Heron's Grace

While Wylie’s Ranger creature type doesn’t get any synergies, there are a ton of cards that care about the Human creature type. Katilda seems awesome here since it gives all Humans the ability to tap for mana. Kogla, the Titan Ape might be a sneaky one here since its activated ability is so rarely used, but you can use it to save Wylie from removal while you give Kogla indestructible. Sigarda, Heron’s Grace might be useful to protect Wylie and yourself from being targeted, and it can also churn out some token creatures by exiling cards from your graveyard.

What cards did I overlook in this deep dive on Wylie, Atiin Hero?  Let me know what cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander are you most excited to play with!

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and start conversations about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl, and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!

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