Magic: the Gathering – Tiny Leaders

Thassa, God of the SeaMy group is in the process of preparing for our Gathering the Magic tournament, which is the main way we celebrate each new release – a fatpack draft event where we create 60-card decks from our boxes and smash them against each other to see who wins. The prize is an additional, extra-super-duper-shiny new fatpack.

Now… after the fatpack challenge we normally follow it up with other random games. Sometimes we run massive multiplayer commander matches late into the night. Sometimes we run tribal themed decks and see what kind of constructed mayhem we can raise. This time, however, we’re going to try the relatively new Tiny Leaders format.

Tiny Leaders is essentially EDH-light. EDH stands for Elder Dragon Highlander, and it’s more popularly known as ‘Commander’. It’s a singleton format – there are no repeated cards – and the decks contain 100 cards including a commander which has its own special area. Commanders cannot die – the owner can choose instead to place the commander in the command zone rather than dying or being exiled. Each time it goes to the command zone, it costs 2 more mana to bring out to the battlefield.

Tiny Leaders follows this format almost exactly, except for the following exceptions – there are only 50 cards in the deck and each card can cost only 3 mana or less. This severely limits large creatures and spells, making the format very quick compared to the original EDH format where games can literally last for hours. One game I played recently took over 3 hours.

In preparation for the Tiny Leaders tournament I’ve created a simple and fairly cheap deck which relies on unblockable creatures, counter spells, control spells and some defenders.

The commander has indestructible and has the ability to give any creature ‘unblockable’.  There are enough counterspells and control spells to hinder your opponent.  Defenders will keep you safe while you swing through with your other creatures.  Simple, cheap, and fun.

More information on the Tiny Leaders format:

Tiny Leaders – Introduction to the Format
Reddit – Tiny Leaders

Sample Tiny Leaders Deck


Thassa, God of the Sea

Spells – Control

Pin to the Earth
Singing Bell Strike
Paralyzing Grasp

Spells – Utility

Hour of Need
Aqueous Form
Taigan’s Scheming

Spells – Counter

Dream Fracture
Rakshasa’s Disdain
Stymied Hopes
Stubborn DenialCounterspell

Creatures – Defender

Monastery Flock
Hover Barrier
Guard Gomazoa
Fog Bank

Creatures – Unblockable

Incursion Specialist
Hada Spy Patrol
Flitterstep Eidolon
Triton Shorestalker

Creatures – Flying

Illusory Angel
Riptide Chimera
Hypnotic Siren

Creatures – Utility

Simic Manipulator
Augur of Bolas
Battlefield Thaumaturge
Wavecrash Triton

Creatures – Hate

True-Name Nemesis


18 Island

About phoenexus

Phoenexus (aka Trent) has been playing games for as long as he can remember. While D&D and Magic: The Gathering have largely consumed his time since the '80s (D&D) and '90s (MtG), he is also an avid PC gamer who loves RPGs - logging, for example, 782 hours in Skyrim and thousands of hours in Eve Online. Phoenexus has recently rediscovered his love of tabletop RPGs and is currently running a self-created D&D 5E campaign focusing on an occult storyline.
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