We have returned to the ongoing Ravnica-themed series of our Guild-Themed Commander cards. The thing is, we often forget that these guilds have to interact with one another in some kind of official capacity. Sure, there’s a lot of back room dealings, shady meetings, and secret rendez-vous , but at times these organizations have to stop and actually work together. They need neutral ground. We as players get so focused on the conflict between the guilds, it’s tough sometimes to stop and consider that there may be times of peace.
We were so wrapped up in providing you Commander cards for fighting, we clearly forgot at the onset to talk about those Commander cards for when you’re not. It was an oversight on our part, and for that we apologize.
But now the question becomes where, exactly? Where could a Golgari arbiter and an Azorius senator meet in safety with a Dimir representative or a Gruul clan lord?
Luckily we have the answer.
Today we have: Assembly Hall
Name: Assembly Hall
Edition: Mercadian Masques
Highlights: Assembly Hall won’t win you a lot of slug matches in Commander, what with its focus on seeking other like-minded creature cards out rather than doing anything directly to directly inflame or provoke other players. In a sense, Assembly Hall is the perfect Commander card to use if you’re trying to keep the peace. Therefore, it would seem the card is aptly named for its purpose.
The other added advantage it has though is strictly for flavor purposes. The Timmy, Johnny, Spike mentalities are about how a player experiences the game, and while not all of them focus on winning per se, all aim for an in-game payoff. Whether that’s to win decisively, pull of the ultimate combo, or simply drop your favorite giant Kraken of Doom, they’re after a tangible reward. Yet, there is another way of approaching deck-building too. That is the Vorthos way.
A Vorthos focuses more on theme and flavor than the mechanics of winning. Many Commander decks can certainly run with a Vorthos behind it, and if you had a deck around “guild peace”, you would want the Assembly Hall in it. In fact, you could make it a hallmark card of the deck. It wouldn’t be hard to find other cards that would be good to include. Here’s just a few areas to consider:
Where is it located: This is important. It has to be some kind of place all 10 guilds would be comfortable with. Consider some Familiar Ground, Fertile Ground, or High Ground. Be careful with Sacred Ground, however. It could work, but make sure you don’t involve preachy themes along with it. Not all of the guilds would like that.
Is it protected: There’s always the potential for anarchy or treachery from other players. You’ll want to ensure that these accords are properly defended. You don’t need a full-blown Castle necessarily, but things like a Moat and some Parapets couldn’t hurt. If trenches aren’t your thing, at least consider some kind of wall. There are many decent choices. A Great Wall would be ideal, but at the very least consider a Steel Wall or Wall of Stone. Avoid those that may cause damage upon entry, or those of a fleeting or elemental nature though; some guilds are not keen on arcane barriers. Go with something physical, and spring for a Builder’s Blessing.
Is it guarded: This is key. At the very least, have a Ceremonial Guard or Guard Dogs. Thematically, they’ll keep out intruders and evangelists (and whatever the Ravnican equivalent of door-to-door salesmen are). Avoid any Zealous Guardians or others that may have an agenda, and go with those Steadfast Guards you can trust to be impartial. If your deck plans on having a lengthy existence, indicating a prolonged peace or a lengthy concord of the guilds, go with some Veteran Bodyguards though as they have been around long enough to have experience and are known to be above coercion.
Does it have furnishings: For starters, make sure you have a Tablet of the Guilds, to denote your seriousness of the theme and a Silent Arbiter to provide some protection against a concentrated attack on your deck. After that, the angle really depends on if your deck will focus on the meeting ground approach, or the guild hall approach. If you’re going with the former, consider building our deck with various ways to depict the Assembly Hall’s size. One way would be to include other halls such as Dream Halls, Halls of Mist or a Hall of Gemstone. We’d recommend against the Hall of the Bandit Lord or Stensia Bloodhall though, as that could detract from the impartiality the deck would try to convey. Similarly, avoid stuff like Tunnels. Such things indicate subterfuge, and could motivate other players to attack you.
Now that we have their meeting place squared away, stay tuned for the next guild-based Commander card. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.
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