Commander Spotlight: Leafdrake Roost

Welcome back to our continuing episodes on our Guild-Themed Commander picks. We last left our heroes in the unstable laboratories of the Izzet guild, trying to fend off (or harness) the untapped arcane powers of the universe.

Luckily, other guilds aren’t so reckless in their science, right?


Oh. The Simic. Right.

To be fair, they aren’t into arcane workings. Rather, the Simic strive to perfect the world through the untapped potential they see in everyday surroundings. They just, you know, may want to graft some frog DNA into you to achieve that.

You’ll be better off with spare gills. Hey, it worked out for Kevin Costner*.

Green / Blue cards tend to focus on blending creatures on the battlefield with abilities that have spell-like attributes. Here is the color pairing where you see a lot of cards that care about card drawing, deck manipulation, creatures that behave as spells, and more. It also is the combination that allows for some fantastically bizarre creature type combinations.

However, to achieve such things, you need creatures to experiment with. Luckily, they’re exceedingly-well covered here. Green is known for making tokens. Blue is known for flyers. So let’s make some Green/Blue flyers.

Today we have: Leafdrake Roost

Name: Leafdrake Roost

Edition: Dissension

Rarity: Uncommon

Focus: Creature Generating

Highlights: Making flying token creatures in and of itself is not a unique thing. What is unique is that making flying tokens is usually limited to one of three areas:

  • One-shot effects through Enter The Battlefield triggers or Instants and Sorceries
  • Repetitive flying generators that only make 1/1s.
  • You have to use White to generate larger than 1/1s. Or Moonsilver Spear.

That’s sort of what makes Leafdrake Roost somewhat unique. If you don’t want to use White to make tokens via an activated ability (instead of a conditional situation such as casting spells or attacking), your options are limited. Fun trivia fact: do you know how many cards can tap to create flying 2/2s?

Just four. One requires a coin flip. One requires you to sacrifice an Island. One’s a double-faced vampire. And then there’s the Roost. Considering the company it keeps, it holds its own pretty well. Sure, some may balk at the idea of a five-cost land Aura, but it has the capability of being a useful sleeper card in large games. Players shouldn’t underestimate the fact that  you don’t have to provoke anyone to amass a small army of meatier-than-normal winged creatures. Additionally, Blue/Green can be played proactively, but it often has a lot of reactive spells as well. This means it’s not uncommon to see these players sitting on mana. So, the requirement to tap three lands to get another flyer is of minor concern, especially in the Commander format.

What’s more, manipulating lands just also happens to be a Green specialty. If the ability to reliably create one token a round isn’t enough, consider calling in the druids (or other creatures that untap lands) so you can produce more than one a round. Or use enchantments. Or just untap everything so you can make one a turn instead.

What you do with that air force is up to you, biomancer. Use them to swarm the skies or use them as pieces in a larger biology-driven agenda. Either way, this card has more use than it appears to on the surface. If for no other reason, consider helping the Drake population. Birds have it easy enough.

Stay tuned for the next guild-based Commander card. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.

* It did not actually work for Kevin Costner.

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