Games are more fun with friends.
Look, in the sky! Is it a bird, a plane, a… Planeswalker?
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In Magic: The Gathering, Superfriends has nothing to do with superheroes, but instead focuses on the “heroic” (though often morally gray or downright villainous) planeswalker card type. The vast majority of MTG decks focus in on certain card types: aggro decks use low mana value creatures, spellslinger decks use primarily instants and sorceries, and combo decks trying to win with very specific card combinations.
A Superfriends deck is yet another archetype, but aims to win through a critical mass of Planeswalker power, using a pile of walker abilities turn after turn to eventually bury the opponent in value.
Planeswalkers are popular win conditions in Standard and Modern for control decks, while also often serving as supplemental value for various midrange strategies. However, these strategies tend to only take advantage of a handful of Planeswalkers at any given time. A “true” Superfriends deck is much less common, but has seen some success, such as several Bant Superfriends variants that were played in 2018’s Standard.
Bant Superfriends (Standard 2018)
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Maindeck, 60 cards
Sortsort deckCreature (6)
- 4Servant of the Conduit
- 2Channeler Initiate
- 3Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
- 2Ajani Unyielding
- 2Dovin Baan
- 3Gideon of the Trials
- 3Nissa, Steward of Elements
- 2Karn, Scion of Urza
- 3Settle the Wreckage
- 2Cast Ou
- 2Oath of Teferi
- 4Seal Away
- 4Botanical Sanctum
- 4Glacial Fortress
- 2Hinterland Harbor
- 3Irrigated Farmland
- 4Scattered Groves
- 3Sunpetal Grove
- 2Carnage Tyrant
- 2Forsake the Worldly
- 3Lyra Dawnbringer
- 1Nezahal, Primal Tide
- 2Spell Pierce
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Oath of Teferi, alongside numerous powerful forms of removal, gave the deck a very good shot at overwhelming the opposition with endless Planeswalker value.
While Superfriends decks have seen some popularity across multiple formats, it should come as no surprise that their most common home is Magic’s most popular format: Commander. While you can’t run most planeswalkers as your commander (though some creatures flip into walkers like Nicol Bolas, the Ravager or have the special rules text “[Name] can be your commander” like Jared Carthalion), there are a number of legendary creatures that offer powerful support to a planeswalker package.
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Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice is the most well-known (and probably the most powerful) Superfriends commander. Proliferate is a powerful mechanic for planeswalkers, ticking up the loyalty of every walker you have on the board and potentially ratcheting them up to ultimates with surprising ease.
Commander Masters, Mythic
All three of the most notable Superfriends commanders also have the benefit of having green in their color identity, which means they can use one of the most powerful cards in the game when alongside planeswalkers: Doubling Season. A large number of planeswalkers can launch their ultimate the minute they hit the board with Doubling Season, representing a nuclear threat to many boardstates.
Support Your Local Planeswalker
In addition to the king of all Planeswalker synergies, there are a lot of powerful cards that support the theme.
Urza Assembles the Titans is the newest way to help empower your Superfriends, but there is a long history of tutors and counter support in the game. Deepglow Skate does a reasonable Doubling Season impersonation, The Chain Veil doubles up on your activations (particularly brutal with Oath of Teferi), and you can do some silly things with the right proliferate cards like Evolution Sage and Flux Channeler.
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Even better, however, is the toolbox nature of Superfriends. Cards like Arena Rector, Djeru, With Eyes Open, Thalia’s Lancers, and Ignite the Beacon can search for exactly the planeswalker you need to interact with the current board state. Once you’ve got your planeswalking army set up, all you need to do is defend them with cards like Teferi’s Protection and Fuel for the Cause (which has the added bonus of ticking up your walkers in the process).
Bring Your Friends
The planeswalker card type has been enduringly popular for a reason. There is definitely something to the feeling of forging an alliance with a Planeswalker and bartering that loyalty to use their exceptional abilities. Piling as many planeswalkers as you can onto the board and mass manipulating all that loyalty feels even better, making the Superfriends play experience one that I thoroughly recommend, especially at the Commander table.
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Just make sure that while you’re making friends with all these walkers, that you aren’t losing any real ones at the table. It can be very easy to combine Planeswalkers with nothing but piles of mass removal or even Armageddon-style land destruction—after all, it’s a lot harder for opponents to destroy your walkers if they have no resources!
These strategies can result in some salty play patterns, so make sure everyone’s on the same page so your Jacetice League can get in even more games.