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Budget Commander: Morophon Everything Tribal | $50, $100, $200


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Morophon, the Boundless has quickly become one of my top favorite commanders of the entire year. I love the fact that this one card has become a proper commander for all tribes in existence, especially underrepresented tribes that either don't have any thematic commander at all or have a commander but isn't in all the colors necessary to build a deck that fully represents the tribe. I recently showed how Morophon can be the perfect leader of a Devoid Eldrazi deck, jamming together sweet tribal cards like Herald of Kozilek and From Beyond that is enabled thanks to our changeling lord.

There's a lot of great tribes that Morophon enables us to build with. But for this article I wanted to go even bigger. Morophon helps only one chosen creature type at a time, but it's also a changeling, which means it's all creature types at all times. So what if we built off that concept and instead of building around one tribe, we tried building a deck that cares about all tribes? Friends, let's build Everything Tribal!

This was by far the hardest Budget Commander article to write, mostly because of how difficult it was to research such a wild concept. But stick with me because it's worth it!

 

Boundless Possibilities

Everything Tribal is one of the most open-ended, modular, flexible decks you'll ever come across. It's the most Tribal deck any deck could possibly be. The core of the deck can be broken down into two parts that go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The first part is comprised of cards that are all creature types at all times. This ability was given a special keyword in Lorwyn block: changelings, like Mirror Entity. The keyword was revisited recently again in Modern Horizons, bringing us Morophon, the Boundless and a bunch more changelings, so we have more than enough to fill our deck with them. These provide a creamy rich base of endless possibilities for us to build upon.

The real fun begins when we add the second part of the deck: sweet tribal support cards! Which ones? ALL OF THEM! Our changelings are all creature types at all times, so all tribal support cards benefit them! Generate tons of mana with Harabaz Druid, draw cards off Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, blow things up with Reaper King, and steal things instead with Admiral Beckett Brass! All in the same deck! Every single cool lord stuck in a small ignored tribe suddenly has a new home in the ultimate melting pot we call Everything Tribal.

There's hundreds of tribal support cards for you to mix and match with your changelings, more than you could ever fit into a deck. And since tribal synergy is one of the most popular things in Magic, you can be sure that the list of tribal support cards will grow larger with every new set release. That means you'll always have plenty of tribal cards to choose from, no matter what your budget. This is a level of variety you just can't find anywhere else.

Unlimited variety can be overwhelming, however. I learned this firsthand when I took a rough draft of Everything Tribal to a recent Commander Clash. So this article won't just provide options for Everything Tribal, but will also go over certain subthemes you can focus on to narrow the card pool and build a focused deck out of.

You might like the deck if ...

  • You want to play a very unique deck
  • You want a highly modular deck that you can easily swap cards in and out of
  • You want a deck that has a ludicrously large card pool to work with
  • You like decks that play differently each game

You might NOT like the deck if ...

  • You want a focused tribal deck
  • You prefer linear decks that play out similarly each game
  • You find too much variety overwhelming
  • You dislike inconsistency

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Our Boundless Base: Changelings

Changelings are the foundation of this deck. They are every creature type at all times, making them the perfect blank canvas for all our tribal support cards to paint on. Your deck should run somewhere between 18-25 changelings, depending on how much card draw and tutors you run.

The bulk of the cards that are every creature type are changelings. A simple Scryfall search finds 37 changelings. Most of them are creatures, but there are a few notable tribal instants that are also changelings, such as Shields of Velis Vel. But there are a few other cards out there that don't have the "changeling" keyword but whose effect also creates creatures with all creature types: Mutavault, Volatile Claws, Amorphous Axe, Mistform Ultimus, and Runed Stalactite. There are a few more things we can do with creature types, like changing them with Artificial Evolution or Xenograft, but most options I found didn't seem strong enough to be worth mentioning. The only other sweet options that I found was Arcane Adaptation, which can add a relevant creature type to our non-changeling creatures so they too benefit from a tribal support card on the battlefield or in our hand.

With other 37 "changeling" card options, we have more than enough to build the foundation of our deck. Now it becomes a question of choosing the best changelings for our build. Here's how I'd rank them:

  1. Mirror Entity is by far the best changeling in our entire deck. It can repeatedly turn all our tribal support creatures (e.g. Master of the Pearl Trident) into all creature types so they too benefit from all the other support cards. Plus if you have enough creatures and enough mana, Mirror Entity turns into a legitimate win condition.
  2. Amoeboid Changeling is a distant second best, for the same reasons as Mirror Entity, even though it's far worse at it.
  3. Taurean Mauler grows into a beast very quickly. It's one of the only changelings that can actually be a threat all on its own.
  4. After those three, the best changelings are largely determined by their cmc, because the majority of their value in our deck comes from the changeling keyword and not the other stuff on the card. So next I'd pick all the 1 CMC changelings with Changeling Outcast being the best, then all the 2 CMC with Unsettled Mariner being the best, and so on.
  5. I'd generally avoid 5 CMC changelings, but in versions of Everything Tribal focused on ETB / LTB triggers, champions like Changeling Hero and Changeling Titan become stronger options because they can re-use the ETB / LTB trigger of the creature they champion. They're good with cards like Reaper King.

With that said, these are my favorite "changeling" cards for the deck.

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Tribal Lands

Since we're a 5C deck, the vast majority of our land slots must be devoted to generic mana-fixing. But there's some room for tribal spice as well!

A lot of tribal lands can actually help with mana-fixing, along with offering some other sweet utility or entering the battlefield untapped. Flexible "Choose a creature type" lands are easy includes, choosing whatever non-changeling creature type that you have the most of in your hand at the time that you play them. Unclaimed Territory, Path of Ancestry, and Cavern of Souls are easy includes for this.

Unfortunately I couldn't figure out a great way to search for tribal lands. I ended up using the MTG Wiki, skimming through each popular tribe on EDHREC, and browsing through Scryfall Tagger hoping to find most of the good ones, but it's possible that I missed a few gems. Still, I think this is a pretty good haul: cheap regeneration with Swarmyard, mana-fixing and cheap recursion with Haven of the Spirit Dragon, untapping and buffing with Griffin Canyon, some really sweet stuff here!

I will caution not to go overboard with lands that tap for colorless mana, however. You can run a few of them, but once you start running 10+ colorless lands the manabase it'll become difficult to consistently cast your spells.

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Tribal Ramp

Just like our lands, since we're a 5C deck we'll need to lean heavily on mana-fixing options so we can consistently cast our spells. Generic goodstuff like green land ramp (Farseek) and mana rocks (Chromatic Lantern) are going to provide a solid foundation for this deck. However, there's tons of sweet tribal stuff we can use as well!

For mana dorks, Priest of Titania and Harabaz Druid stand out as some of the best options available, tapping for obscene mana with the help of our changelings. We can also use Manaweft Sliver and Gemhide Sliver to turn all our changelings into Birds of Paradise! There are also land ramp options available, like Loam Dweller and the new hotness, Risen Reef. As changelings enter the battlefield, we can generate tons of mana off Mana Echoes as well.

There are some ramp spells that reduce the casting cost of a specific creature type. There are generic versions of this like Urza's Incubator and Herald's Horn, along with specific tribal ones like Stinkdrinker Daredevil. These primarily help us ramp out our changelings. If your deck has a high concentration of changelings then these are worth considering, but if you're only running ~20 cards or less that they can help ramp then I would avoid them unless they come with sweet utility like Goblin Warchief.

For broken ramp, there's the classic Morophon, the Boundless combo with either Fist of Suns or Jodah, Archmage Eternal, allowing us to cast all creature spells of a chosen type for free. Even better, we can cast all our changelings/zombies for free thanks to Rooftop Storm!

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Tribal Removal

Okay, now we're getting to the spice! There are a TON of powerful tribal removal spells we can build with! Researching these cards isn't straightforward, so if I missed any big stuff then please let me know and I'll add it.

The single best removal in the entire deck is probably Reaper King. Every changeling that enters the battlefield comes with a Vindicate. That's bonkers. But there's so many other good ones too: blow up enchantments/artifacts with Harmonic Sliver, steal stuff with Admiral Beckett Brass, burn creatures with Dragon Tempest, and cast one-sided board wipes with Thundercloud Shaman

Here are some of my top picks:

Here's a bonus jank interaction that you might get a kick of: Spirit Mirror. Unless your opponents are also running changelings, this card does nothing ... until you pair it with Shields of Velis Vel, Blades of Velis Vel, or Amoeboid Changeling! You turn all your opponents' creatures into reflections and then machine-gun them down! WHEE!

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Tribal Card Draw

Card draw is probably the most important aspect to an Everything Tribal deck. I know I have a healthy obsession for card draw, but it's true!

As explained earlier, Everything Tribal is like a peanut butter jelly sandwich, with changelings being the creamy peanut butter base and tribal support cards the sweet gooey jam on top. You need both the peanut butter and the jelly together for it to work. If all you've got are changelings but not tribal support cards to make them good, or vice versa, the deck doesn't really work. That's the biggest flaw of the deck.

One of the best ways we can mitigate inconsistent draws is by simply drawing tons of cards, guaranteeing we'll always have changelings and tribal support in hand to cast. Luckily, we have tons of spicy tribal card draw options. We can draw cards through combat damage with Ingenious Infiltrator, tap to draw cards with Azami, Lady of Scrolls, or draw cards on our upkeep with Graveborn Muse. Oddly enough, Kindred Discovery is not the best card draw in the entire deck, but rather only second-best. The honor of best tribal card draw has to go to Liliana's Contract, which is already solid card draw on its own, but is trivially easy to win the game with as well! Our changelings are demons, after all!

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Tribal Tutors

There's a ton of tribal tutors out there. I did my best searching for them with this Scryfall filter, but I'm certain I missed a few.

The most powerful tribal tutor that I came across while researching this deck has to be Sliver Overlord. It's a bit boring, and it's quite pricey, but it's hard to argue that Slivers happen to be the best tribal contributor to the deck, and Overlord can repeatedly fetch up all our tutors along with other support cards like Gemhide Sliver and Sliver Legion. Not only that, but Sliver Overlord is one of the few tribal tutors that can fetch any card with the sliver creature type, allowing us to fetch tribal noncreature spells like Crib Swap and, best of all, Shields of Velis Vel! So we can use Sliver Overlord to fetch Shields of Velis Vel, turning all our opponents' creatures into slivers, and then gain control of all of them with the Overlord! It's ridiculous!

We have some other powerful tribal tutors as well. Just like Overlord, Higure, the Still Wind can snag even noncreature ninjas if we want, important utility ninjas like Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, and can make our ninjas/changelings unblockable.

There's even two entire tribes whose sole schtick is tutoring more of their tribe: Rebel and Mercenary. Most of them aren't great on their own, but two standouts include Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero and Cateran Summons. All of these get much better if you build your deck around tapping and/or activated abilities such as with Training Grounds and Myr Galvanizer, however.

Here are some of my favorite tribal tutors that I found:

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Tribal Recursion

The strongest tribal graveyard recursion I could find is Patriarch's Bidding, snagging back all our dead changelings along with whatever tribal support creature(s) we want back. This can help our opponents too so it's important we pair it with graveyard removal.

There are other recursion options that just benefit us. Angel of Flight Alabaster and Wort, Boggart Auntie both get a changeling back on our upkeep. March from the Tomb can get multiple cheap changelings back. We also covered some tribal recursion lands like Haven of the Spirit Dragon in the Tribal Lands section earlier.

We can also recur our opponents' creatures with Agadeem Occultist!

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Tribal Protection

We have quite a few powerful ways to protect our board state from removal. We can stop targeted removal by giving our board shroud (Scion of Oona) or hexproof (Lord of the Unreal). And we can protect ourselves from most board wipes by making our stuff indestructible (Knight Exemplar).

If there's sweet stuff I missed, please let me know and I'll add it:

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Tribal Buffs

The most popular thing tribe support cards do is buff your tribal creatures so they hit better, harder, faster. We can give our team haste with Rushblade Commander and Goblin Warchief, take to the air with Cloudshredder Sliver or Khorvath Brightflame, give 'em double strike with Sylvia Brightspear, and pump them into huge beaters with Sliver Legion and Coat of Arms. If you're interested in winning through combat damage, Everything Tribal can easily do it!

I tried not repeat any cards that I've already covered elsewhere, but if there's some sweet tribal support cards that help us smash face that I missed here and elsewhere please let me know! These are the best ones that I found:

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Focusing Our Deck: Tap/Untap vs. Combat Triggers 

With a massive card pool consisting of all tribal support cards ever printed, the hardest part of building this deck is cutting down to just 99 cards. Personally, I've never struggled as much to cut down to 99 cards with any other deck like I have with Everything Tribal.

The only way to get all the way down to 99 cards is by narrowing your focus on what exactly you want your deck to do. Pick a theme, then for every card you're considering, ask yourself, "does this card support my theme?" If not, then you can safely cut it. Not only does this shrink your card pool to something much more manageable, but it also makes your deck stronger, since focused decks are stronger decks.

There's obviously a ton of themes you can focus on for Everything Tribal, but for the sake of my sanity I'm only highlighting two themes here that are generally opposed to each other.

Combat Triggers

This version of Everything Tribal is looking to rush into the red zone early and often. By focusing on attacking, we are rewarded with powerful attack triggers (Utvara Hellkite) and combat triggers (Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow). To really push this theme we want haste to attack immediately (Goblin Warchief), evasion to get around blockers (Cloudshredder Sliver), and double strike to double up on combat triggers (Sylvia Brightspear). Additional combat steps (Godo, Bandit Warlord) and extra turns (Notorious Throng) also means more combats which means more triggers!

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Untap/Tap Shenanigans

Instead of tapping our creatures to attack, we can tap them to activate abilities. Manaweft Sliver and Gemhide Sliver let our creatures tap for mana, Captivating Vampire lets us steal our opponents' creatures, Gilt-Leaf Archdruid steals lands, and Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero tutors any Rebel/Changeling. To really maximize our value from tapping, we can cheaply untap our board with Myr Galvanizer and Merrow Commerce (RIP Paradox Engine).

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Putting It All Together

Alright, now that we've gone over the card pool we're working with, it's time to talk about how we craft the deck. As I often explain in my Budget Commander articles, every time I build a rough draft of a deck, I make sure I have a certain ratio of mana, interaction, card advantage, etc. This gives me a reference point to compare to the deck and see which areas may need improvement. My general ratio is:

  • 50 mana; lands and ramp, usually a 37–13 split
  • 10 sources of "card advantage;" I use this term loosely but am mostly looking for card draw or any spell that nets me 2+ non-land cards in hand / directly into play
  • 6 targeted removal, split between creature / artifact / enchantment removal
  • 3 board wipes; creature-light decks might want one more, creature-heavy decks might want one less
  • 2 recursion
  • 2 flexible tutors
  • 1 graveyard hate; since you need to keep Graveyard decks honest 
  • 1 surprise "I Win" card; something that can win games the turn you cast it without too much setup

That's always my starting point, which is then tweaked to suit the individual deck's strategy and further tweaked with playtesting. I always find it immensely useful to figure out some quick ways to improve the deck in question.

 

$50 Combat Triggers

Alright, here we go! Sample lists!

The first list features a Combat Trigger subtheme. Our goal is to play a whole bunch of changelings and start attacking for value. Attacking buffs our creatures with Dromoka, the Eternal, draws us cards with Ingenious Infiltrator, and steals our opponents' stuff with Admiral Beckett Brass. To help our creatures in combat we've got Cloudshredder Sliver and Khorvath Brightflame giving them flying and haste, Sylvia Brightflame for double strike, and Full Moon's Rise for trample and protection.

That's just the tip of what this deck can do, however. We can easily remove opposing creatures with Dragon Tempest or just steal them with Peer Pressure. Our deck is loaded with excellent card draw like Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign. Our ramp is top-notch with stuff like Harabaz Druid and we can also cast our changelings for free with Morophon, the Boundless paired with Jodah, Archmage Eternal or just casting Rooftop Storm. We're rocking two incredibly powerful tutors: Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero repeatedly fetches changeling permanents, most notably Mirror Entity, while Cateran Summons is basically a 1 mana Demonic Tutor that fetches even instants and sorceries like Crib Swap and Shields of Velis Vel. We even have a bonus win condition thanks to Liliana's Contract. This deck is awesome.

 

$100 Tap/Untap Shenanigans

Here's how Everything Tribal looks like when we shift our theme from combat to tapping. Instead of attacking with our creatures, we're tapping them to fuel powerful cards like Captivating Vampire and Gilt-Leaf Archdruid. To get even more value out of our tap abilities we're running the untap cards Myr Galvanizer, Merrow Commerce, and Seedborn Muse.

We also picked up tons of upgrades to our deck outside of the tap/untap theme: better ramp with Priest of Titania, better lands with Path of Ancestry, and better protection with Knight Exemplar, to name a few.

 

$200 Combat

Here's how a Combat-focused Everything Tribal list looks like with the budget bumped up to $200. There's even better rewards for hitting our opponents such as drawing cards with Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Seshiro the Anointed. Higure, the Still Wind is an allstar here, tutoring up our powerful Ninjas and Changelings, even noncreature cards like Crib Swap, and also making our creatures unblockable if necessary. To close out games we've added Notorious Throng which works perfectly with our combat-focused gameplan and happens to synergize very well with Liliana's Contract.

There are numerous upgrades throughout the deck, but the most notable one has to be Reaper King which adds a Vindicate to all our changelings. The card is absolutely brutal.

 

That's All, Folks!

This was the hardest but one of the most enjoyable articles I've written. I love this deck archetype, even though it's a headache to research, let alone whittle a list down to just 100 cards when there's so many options. I hope you enjoyed it too! Please let me know if there's any spice that I missed out on for the deck and I'll try to add it to the card options. Thanks for reading!


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