MTG Commander (Rule Zero) Deck Of The Week: Rainbow Dash

He’ll have to talk to his pod before playing it, but that won’t stop Bennie Smith from bringing to the table his MTG Commander Deck of the Week, built around Rainbow Dash!

Rainbow Dash
Rainbow Dash, illustrated by John Thacker

This week’s deck is one I built around a legend from very recent Secret Lair, but since it’s a silver-border card, it’s not technically legal for Commander. That being said, I imagine most Commander pods will be fine with me playing it after I ask during our Rule Zero conversation.  The legend in question is Rainbow Dash!

Rainbow Dash

Now, I’m not myself a My Little Pony fan, and my kids never watched the cartoon either, so I don’t really know anything about the cartoon. But something about the idea of accumulating “coolness” and then once you’ve achieved 100% cool (or higher) you can cash in your coolness for a cool effect just seemed like a lot of fun.  Keeping track of your coolness level should be easy to do with a ten-sided die (Dungeons & Dragons die sets often even have a “tens” die you can pair up with a regular d10 to roll 1-100 percentile), so I think Rainbow Dash is a lot more in line with regular Commander play than other silver-bordered cards can be.

Five Colors or Two?

Even though Rainbow Dash’s activated ability gives you access to all five colors of Magic, making its color identity all five colors, I’ve decided to restrict myself to basically a Boros deck where every card is castable with white or red mana – just like Rainbow Dash’s mana value. I’ve included a few cards with activated abilities that can take advantage of the WUBRG mana burst from Rainbow’s activated ability, but mostly I’m using it as a way to draw an extra card and to cast a “big” splashy spell ahead of curve – you know, like a green-based deck does all the time! Thankfully, Boros is chock-full of creatures with haste and flying – the Cool Kids – so it should be pretty easily to achieve 100% cool on a regular.

Okay, let’s dig into the incredibly cool decklist!

Using the WUBRG Mana

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa Comeuppance Reflect Damage Response

Najeela doesn’t have flying or haste, but I can cast it with Boros mana, and if I’ve got enough cool creatures I can use Rainbow’s ability to get an extra attack step and a flush of lifegain. The Resurgence side of Response can also provide another attack step and be cast by the Sonic Rainboom ability.  Reflect Damage and Comeuppance are also two excellent reactive spells that are usually a bit too expensive to hold up mana for (especially in an aggressive deck), but Sonic Rainboom gives us extra mana for it.

I have an alt-art version of Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa that I’ve never played before, so this seemed the perfect deck to put it in, especially since it can potentially flash in and save Rainbow from a destroy effect.

Flying and Haste Creatures

Aurelia, the Warleader Velomachus Lorehold Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer Skyfire Phoenix Adult Gold Dragon Aurelia, the Law Above

Flying and haste makes this crew doubly cool, and they also hit hard and fast. Both Aurelias can really put the pressure on, with the Warleader providing extra attacks. While I’m playing many more creatures than instants and sorceries, I still like Velomachus Lorehold for the occasional free spell.

Skyfire Phoenix is fun here since it comes back from the graveyard whenever I cast Rainbow, and it’s good for stocking up coolness!

Flying Creatures

Cave of the Frost Dragon Remorseful Cleric Selfless Spirit Reidane, God of the Worthy Wojek Investigator Sunscorch Regent Incinerator of the Guilty Adarkar Valkyrie

Most of these flying creatures have some fun utility attached to them. Wojek Investigator offers up nice benefits, assuming the green player at the table is ramping their lands. I also love its vigilance so that it can poke someone, accumulate some coolness, and still play defense. Sunscorch Regent has always overperformed for me, gaining me a lot of life one point at a time before somebody realizes it has grown to a threatening size and takes it out.  Incinerator of the Guilty has also impressed me. Collecting evidence to destroy the defending player’s creatures is awesome, especially since I don’t really use my graveyard otherwise.

Adarkar Valkyrie always makes me chuckle whenever I run across it while deckbuilding. I played it for several years after Coldsnap came out as a way to protect my other creatures from dying, and then one day I saw someone use their copy of the Angel to target a creature someone else had that was dying, and then it came back to the battlefield under their control—holy moley, I had such a narrow view on the card!  That was definitely a level-up moment for me and the Valkyrie.

Haste Creatures

Slayers' Stronghold Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance Tajic, Legion's Edge Eowyn, Fearless Knight Shadowfax, Lord of Horses

In a deck that cares about haste, I just had to include Shadowfax, Lord of Horses so that I can quote Gandalf and say, “Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste!”, and then point to the reminder text that actually provides the meaning of haste.  Heh.

Big Mana Payoffs

Aggravated Assault Storm Herd Soulfire Grand Master Hit the Mother Lode Approach of the Second Sun Gisela, Blade of Goldnight Angel of the Ruins Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

Getting an extra five mana from Sonic Rainboom once I achieve 100% cool can lead to a huge turn! One of the first cards I added to the deck was Storm Herd, which is normally way out of reach for the typical Boros deck but very castable here. It will provide Rainbow with a bunch of other Pegasus creatures with flying (so they’re cool) because everypony is invited. I’m also excited to cast Hit the Mother Lode, which has a whopping discover 10 and generates a bunch of tapped Treasure tokens if the discovered card’s mana value is less than ten.  Approach of the Second Sun is another big mana spell that can eventually help me win the game if it goes long enough to cast it again.

Wizards of the Coast (WotC) seems to put Zetalpa, Primal Dawn in many precon decks as a late-game way to bring games to an eventual end, and it seems like a great card to cast here with all that extra mana.

Aggravated Assault is a great mana sink for the Sonic Rainboom ability, assuming I have an extra red mana to toss into the ability. I also think it’ll be fun to sink that mana into activating Soulfire Grand Master’s ability to “buyback” instant and sorcery spells when I cast them.

Card Draw

Skullclamp Chivalric Alliance Seize the Spotlight Wheel of Misfortune Sunforger Reforge the Soul

Sonic Rainboom draws a card, but I wanted some other ways to keep the cards flowing.  I’ve got a bunch of creatures, so Skullclamp is a given, and since I plan on attacking early and often, Chivalric Alliance is an excellent source of card draw too.

This deck really leverages Seize the Spotlight quite well—either I draw a card from each fortune vote, or for each fame vote, I get to borrow a creature, and it gains haste to ramp up my coolness!

Then of course there’s Sunforger, an excellent card for any Boros-esque deck that can “draw” and cast for free any red or white instant with a mana value of four or less in your deck by activating its ability.


Wear Swords to Plowshares Vandalblast Allay Shattering Pulse Rip Apart Crush Contraband Wrath of God

Speaking of Sunforger, these are many of the cards you might want to dig up with its ability so we can take care of pesky enchantments, artifacts, or creatures. Of note, the buyback spells Allay and Shattering Pulse cost five mana to cast with buyback, which is exactly what Sonic Rainboom provides!


Tyrite Sanctum Reconnaissance Barrow-Blade Soul-Guide Lantern Afterlife Insurance Blind Obedience Reprieve Boros Charm Unbreakable Formation Always Watching

Reconnaissance does great work in any deck that gets attack triggers, letting you run your attackers into certain death to ramp up your coolness to 100% or more, and then untapping them and removing them from combat before they could die. Afterlife Insurance can be cast for white mana, but thanks to Rainbow’s color identity, I can still play it in the deck even though it’s technically white and black. I bent my rules just a bit for this card, since it can keep my battlefield presence even in the face of a battlefield sweeper, and since the Spirit creature tokens have flying, they can continue the quest for coolness.

Always Watching seemed like a great addition to the deck; vigilance is an excellent multiplayer ability, and it lets Rainbow get in on the coolness quest and still be untapped to activate Sonic Rainboom after combat.

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Wayfarer's Bauble Talisman of Conviction Mind Stone Arcane Signet Boros Signet Patriar's Seal Solemn Simulacrum

Lastly, we have the expected mana ramp options for Boros, plus Patriar’s Seal, which can untap Rainbow in a pinch.

The Deck

Okay, here’s the full decklist!

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

So, what other must-have cards might I have missed including here?  What is your favorite Rule Zero commander?

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!