Some cards deserve more love that you’re currently giving. Maybe they came out before you started playing, and haven’t made it to the top of EDHREC. Maybe you drafted it, slotted it in your binder without a second a thought, and now it’s collecting dust. Maybe it’s always the first draft of your deck, but always ends up being your 101st card. No matter what, you should be playing: Silverglade Pathfinder

 

There are more than 20,000 unique Magic cards in existence. And yet, most Commander decks play the same old handful of known creatures and spells. 

But Commander can be so much more than that. For us Johnny/Jenny players out there, our decks are a chance for us to show off. They are extensions of our personality. Sure we want to win, bu we want to do it with style. 

That’s why it drives me so crazy to see the same old packages of ramp and removal, the same old tricks and combos. Yes, Eternal Witness is great. Play your Sol Rings. But does everybody need to win with Laboratory Maniacs and Aetherflux Reservoirs

— start aside — 

I see you cEDH players – and I’ve got nothing against you. We just play two very different games. If your goal is to dominate your pod, feel free to be ruthlessly optimized and efficient. I wouldn’t fault a Modern grinder for laying the deck of the week. 

I’m not trying to run you off. It’s just that maybe this series isn’t for your…

Or maybe it is. Unless you have an encyclopedic knowledge of more than 20,000 cards, maybe you’ll find some interesting tech here too. You never know when you’ll stumble across the next Mystic Remora or Wayfarer’s Bauble.

— end aside — 

Will all that said, let’s dive into our first pick: Silverglade Pathfinder. This card is an oldy, but a goody, and it’s only being played in 275 decks on EDHREC (that’s basically zero folks). 

Why You Want to Play Silverglade Pathfinder

You’re the kind of person that likes using every part of the buffalo. Land is the fuel that powers your engine and you really like the idea of someone else pumping your gas. When you visit hospitals, senior centers, and airports it strikes you that they don’t have enough ramps. You can be proud knowing your wallet is just a little fatter because you don’t need no stinking Shock Lands anyway.

Tech, Tactics, and Strategies

It’s been a minute since Mercadian Masques hit the streets, so a lot of you might not be familiar with spellshapers. At their core, this cycle of creatures could tap to turn any card in your hand into another famous Magic card. 

Notorious Assassin got you Dark Banishing.

Dawnstrider got you a Fog

And our good friend Silverglade Pathfinder got you a Rampant Growth.

The problem is, she’s not really a ramp card – at least not a constructed powerhouse like Rampant Growth. Instead of taking you from 2 to 4, Pathfinder forced your acceleration to turn three. Four mana to get one extra land on turn three just wasn’t good enough for competitive play. 

But Commander is different. Let’s break down what you get with Silverglade Pathfinder, and where we can take advantage of her abilities. Here’s what we know:

  1. She gets you lands onto the battlefield. We can use this to jump ramp to big beastie boys, to fix our colors, and for lands-matter synergies. 
  2. Her “cost” is to discard a card. Tons have decks have found ways to turn that particular negative into a positive. 
  3. She’s got an activated ability. There might be something interesting we can do that cares that we aren’t actually casting a spell. 
  4. We can use her at instant speed. There aren’t any timing restrictions. That’s pretty unique as most ramp spells are sorceries. 

Lands Matter

The obvious place to start is with lands matter cards. There are a ton of these throughout the history of Magic. Just search for “Landfall” on Gatherer and you might be 50% done with your deck. Would you pay two mana and discard a card to search our library for a basic land and put it into play tapped AND get a 5/5 elemental that deals three damage when it dies. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. All you’ve got to do is team up with Omnath, Locus of Rage and you could do that every turn, at instant speed. 

It’s shocking how little play Silverglade Pathfinder sees considering she’s the perfect catalyst for landfall deck. You can get really funky with something like World Shaper. You might be pitching excess lands anyway. Kill off a World Shaper after a few turns of spellshaping, and you might get enough landfall triggers to win on the spot. 

One of my favorite Landfall cards doesn’t even technically have the ability. Tatyova, Benthic Druid offsets the card loss from Pathfinder and gives you a life just because. 

Other cards that meet your landscaping needs: Rampaging Baloths, Avenger of Zendkiar, Roil Elemental, Ob Nixillis, the Fallen

Discarding Doesn’t Matter

Eventually, if all you are doing is discarding cards to get lands, you are going to run into problems. Basic lands don’t really win you the game (most of the time). Maybe you should pack a Squee, Goblin Nabob. Discarding him every turn is a lot more compelling than discarding cards you might actually want to play. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Maybe you want to discard cards. Plenty of Black/Green decks want to mess with the graveyard. Discard a fatty or two, then use Victimize on the Pathfinder to bring the beats. If you want to keep your Pathfinder around use something like Stitch Together. Silverglade Pathfinder even helps you get to threshold. 

Reanimating massive creatures not your thing? Take a look at Flashback, Retrace, and Jump Start. Are you really losing cards if you sacrifice a Chemister’s Insight? Deep Analysis is even better because you can play it the next turn and save some mana. Silverglade Pathfinder could even be the lynchpin in your Burning Vengeance deck. 

Other ways to make sure your glass is half full: Unburial Rites, Lingering Souls, Artful Dodge, Creeping Renaissance

Since when does Snow Matter?

I’ve brought you this far, but now we’re going to get a little weird. I think Silverglade Pathfinder is the perfect addition to your snow deck. See, Snow-Covered lands are technically basics – which means our little friend here can find them for us. This is instantly useful as snow lands are essential to the functioning of a snow deck. You’d hate to have cast your Rimescale Dragon without the right lands to use it, or to cast an Ice-Fang Coatl without it’s full text box (okay that one might not be that bad). 

That’s not bad, but the two cards I think are most interesting with Silverglade Pathfinder are Glacial Crevasses and Sunstone. These two deep cuts from Ice Age let you dominate the combat step. It’s like having a Constant Mists that can’t be countered and doesn’t set back your board development. 

So Where Does Silverglade Pathfinder Fit?

So I hope you didn’t scroll all the way down here hoping to find a deck list you could Ctrl+V. That kind of defeats the purpose of this column. Instead, I want you to use this as a jumping off point. I won’t give you all the answers, but I will tell you the kind of decks I would want to play Silverglade Pathfinder in. 

The first is either a Gruul or Temur landfall deck. I think either of the appropriate Omnaths would be perfect commanders. If I’m straight Gruul, I want to make sure everything I’m doing is hasty. I’m going to love discarding Anger to make sure my elementals all have haste. I might even go crazy with Zendikar’s Roil and look to Overrun the table. The temur version would be similar, but you could keep the engine going with card draw and counterspells. 

The second deck would be Abzan Karador, Ghost Chieftain. If you really want to use every part of the buffalo this is the centaur spirit for you. In the early turns, you’ll be discarding cards to drop Karador’s cost. Then you’ll have plenty of fuel to bring back from the yard. You could go the traditional reanimator route with massive beatsticks, or you could grind them out with Plaguecrafter and Nekrataal. Either way, you’ll always have access to plenty of cards and the mana to cast them.

That’s my take. What about you? Sound off in the comments below with other deck ideas for Silverglade Pathfinder, or other combo cards to really unlock her potential.