Hello happy people! I hope that you are having an awesome day today! Recently we got a fun 1-drop partner in Neon Dynasty called Yoshimaru and I really wanted to take a looksee at various cards and archetypes you could build around our lil' pupper.
This is our doggie! Check it out! Yoshi can be cast as early as the first turn from the Command Zone. When another legendary permanent enters the battlefield, Yoshimaru nets a +1/+1 counter. Legendary lands? Check! Every planeswalker ever printed? Check! Legendary creatures? Check! Its partner? Check! Legendary enchantments? Check! Legendary artifacts? Check! Note this has good synergy with Mox Amber since you can cast it on turn 1, drop the Mox, get a 2/2 Dog, and then tap the Mox for mana on that turn.
What are my favorite combos and synergies and archetypes to unpack?
Honorable Mention #1. Selesnya Small Stuff
Hitting at #13 on my list is Sidar Kondo's small stuff getting evasive for smaller stuff unblockable. Kondo is a 4-drop 2/5 that lets stuff with a power of 2 or less to be unblockable. This archetype wants to drop legendary dorks with a 2 power or less like Gaddock Teeg, Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Thalia, Heretic Cathar and then swing with them unblocked while also making Yoshimaru into a bigger Commander damage threat. That ability to go wide and go big with a Commander is pretty cool and you can lean into some newer stuff.
Honorable Mention #2. Boros Spellslinger
Spellslinger is normally an Izzet archetype, but have you ever thought of Boros spellslinger that casts instants and sorceries with triggers like Guttersnipe and Young Pyromancer that are half of Izzet's builds? I think that Krark would be awesome there. Krark gives you value from either outcome of flips, since putting it back into your hand lets you cast it again and net another slate of triggers.
There are loads of legendary cards that could support this like Mirari, Firesong and Sunspeaker, Chandra, the Firebrand, Pyromancer's Goggles, Mavinda, Students' Advocate. Don't sleep on the power of Velomachus Lorehold here as well. Note a key synergy with Red is Norin the Wary since this dork will exile and come back over and repeatedly for free, basically once/turn in multiplayer, so that's four times in a four-player game and that's a big +4/+4 boost to Yoshi each time unable to be stopped for your Red/White Yoshimaru builds.
Honorable Mention #3. Selesnya's Legendary Fight Club
Halana is bigger than a Giant Spider for the same cost. When another dork arrives to the battlefield, you can spend 2 mana to shoot a foe equal to its damage which also mirrors Yoshi's ETB ability as well. There are loads of options that are on curve like Anara, Wolvid Familiar; Ao, the Dawn Sky; and Brimaz, King of Oreskos. You could add in lifelink and deathtouch like Basilisk Collar to gain life and kill foes at the same time. Good stuff!
#10. Orzhov Reanimation
Ravos Soultender is a 5-mana 2/2 flyer, a bit pricey. He can serve as a Glorious Anthem on legs for your team and during your upkeep you can Raise Dead a creature. That recursive card advantage engine is pretty nice, and you can go wide with dorks for boosts to power and size on your partner. This suggests a reanimation deck that uses legendary dorks to bring back over and over again, like reanimation stuff like Sheoldred, Whispering One and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed or dorks to bring back like Massacre Girl or Sidisi, Undead Vizier. You can kill a bunch of stuff with Hythonia the Cruel and then bring back your dead stuff. Don't forget to bring back Kokusho, the Evening Star over and over again. Go wide with big reanimation effects like Twilight's Call and Living Death so your Yoshi will get super big to threaten Commander Damage.
#9. Bant AND Naya Friends
We have two Planeswalker friendly options here, Kydele for Bant and Tana for Naya, each giving you 60% of the planeswalkers that have been printed as well as support. Kydele will tap for mana equal to your card draw, bigger in a card drawing planeswalker deck using cards like Jace Beleren and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Tana can attack with Access Tunnel to make two 1/1 tokens each time she massages a foe for damage to block attackers on your friends. I like Gruul haste enablers like Sarkhan Vol with her. Many of the key support spells for planeswalkers are also legendary, like The Chain Veil and Oath of Teferi and Djeru, With Eyes Open. With 20-25 planeswalkers you can easily get a fat Yoshi, and unlike other Planeswalker decks you have a game-winner in your Command Zone that can win with Commander Damage.
#8. Orzhov Go-Wide
Tymna is one of the most popular partners ever printed, and she works quite ably with Yoshimaru. Her abilities mean you want a bunch of cheap creatures that can smash as well as unblockage engines. If they are legendary, then you can pump Yoshi for no extra mana while also punching above your weight class. The best option is Adeline, Resplendent Cathar that benefits from attacking multiple opponents as well. Enter legendary cards like Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion, Kataki, War's Wage and Shaile, Dean of Radiance.
#7. Azorius Historic
Glacian isn't the best partner in the world with a 6 cost for a 3/6 body that can tap himself and artifacts to Impulse our library and cares about artifacts. He suggests a Historic build since a bunch of historic matters triggers that are all over this color combination from Dominaria like Board the Weatherlight, Artificer's Assistant and Daring Archaeologist. We also have legendary support cards like Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage, Weatherlight, Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle and Thran Temporal Gateway. We can also lean into artifact matters cards that are legendary like Emry, Lurker of the Loch. You could also toss in mass Clue and Treasure making for Glacian like Confirm Suspicions and Spell Swindle. Leyline of Singularity makes all nonland permanents legendary. Good stuff for the masses!
#6. Selesnya Midrange
Kodama of the East Tree was one of the big winners of the Commander Legends set and had tons of combos. This 6/6 with reach for six mana is on curve and can give you a free card each turn. Since it costs six mana to play, you can drop Yoshi on turn 1, and start swinging with the Commander damage amplified by legendary cards as well as removal and ETB triggers to keep up.
And then I like this best with Selesyna colored ETB triggers to play into a midrange theme. Cards like Yasharn, Implacable Earth; Titania, Protector of Argoth; Rishkar; Nissa, Vastwood Seer; Nadaar, Selfless Paladin; Lena, Selfless Champion; Kogla, the Titan Ape; Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer; or even God-Eternal Rhonas. Don't sleep on ETB triggers like Selvala, Heart of the Wilds and Renata, Called to the Hunt. Emiel the Blessed will blink your dorks and return it for another slate of triggers. You can also load up on 5 or 10 planeswalkers that play into a midrange style brew. Good opportunity for some fun stuff!
#5. Abzan +1/+1 Counters with a Shout-Out to Selesnya +1/+1 Counters
When the Abzan clan released, its theme was +1/+1 counters and outlast. Reyhan gives you a nice +1/+1 counter theme you can dip into quite ably with some legendary cards give +1/+1 counters on arrival (Anafenza, the Foremost and Daghatar the Adamant) or have +1/+1 bonuses for dorks with them (Rishkar again) as well as death triggers (Slurrk and Alharu, Solemn Ritualist). Also, a shout out to Cattie-Brie of Mithral Hall who can pull off +1/+1 counters to shoot things.
#4. Bant Lands-Matter
Arguably Thrasios is the most-played partner ever printed. In this archetype you ideally drop Yoshi turn 1, Thrasios on turn 2 and pump him and swing for two. Then you can spend four mana to activate your Triton Hero, scry 1, and then reveal the top card of your library and drop it to the battlefield tapped if it's a land. Use cards like Sylvan Library, Brainstorm and Top to make sure this happens. To pump up Yoshi a lot you'll want to make sure you include a lot of legendary lands in your three colors like Kor Haven, Academy Ruins, the three lands from Neon Dynasty, the three lands from Kamigawa, Dark Depths, Flagstones of Trokair, Pendelhaven, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea and loads more. Get tons of counters for Yoshi while also ramping you all day long. Don't forget Leyline of Singularity here as well. Also lean into cards like planeswalkers, powerful dorks and removal and counters to make sure you can kill with Commander damage from Yoshimaru.
#3. Boros Voltron
Here we have two options for Boros Voltron, Jeska and Kediss. There a number of legendary equipment you can run to kill with Yoshimaru. You'll want to give the Dog equipment to keep from getting targeted (Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves), the inability to block (Rogue's Passage, Whispersilk Cloak), indestructible (Darksteel Plate) and then legendary equipment that will pump up our Puppie while also giving him something to wear. Examples include Eater of Virtue from Neon Dynasty, Shield of Kaldra, Sword of the Animist, Blackblade Reforged, Umezawa's Jitte, Tenza, Godo's Maul; Toralf's Hammer, Shadowspear, Kaldra Compleat, Hammer of Nazahn, Embercleave, and Godsend. And then we have equipment support like Godo, Bandit Warlord; Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist; Sram, Senior Edificer and Danitha Capashen, Paragon. Don't forget planeswalker enablers like Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients and Nahiri, the Lithomancer. Toss in Norin as well. Deeper than you might think!
#2. Orzhov Aristocrats
Tevesh Szat for the win! This four-loyalty planeswalker can +2 to make two tokens, or +1 to sacrifice a another dork or planeswalker to control and if it was Yoshi you draw three cards, otherwise two. That both makes dorks for sacrifices and sacrifices for cards into your deck. All you need are legendary support cards to give a Commander Damage outlet like Yoshi that can serve as an adjunct kill option to your Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat. For example, you have sacrifice engines like Cabal Patriarch; Yahenni, Undying Partisan; Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter and Liliana of the Veil. You have legendary death triggers like Syr Konrad, the Grim and Liliana, Dreadhorde General. You have the massive synergetic Tergrid, God of Fright. You can replay Ebondeath, Dracolich from your graveyard and get the death trigger of Dragon Spirits like Kokusho, the Evening Star and Junji, the Midnight Sky. You can recast small stuff with Lurrus of the Dream-Den to sacrifice again. Good stuff!
#1. Azorius Blink
Sakashima Clones another dork you control and there's no legend rule for your stuff. In this brew you can drop Yoshi turn 1, this turn 4 and copy the Dog, and then play around 10 or so other Clones for your Dog and then you run a bunch of legendaries and around 10 or so blinks to blink them in and out and pump up the entire team of Yoshis. There are loads of legendaries with ETB abilities you can blink and reuse over and over again like Barrin, Tolarian Archmage; Djeru, With Eyes Open; Fblthp, the Lost; Inga Rune-Eyes; Lena, Selfless Champion; Linvala, the Preserver; Nadaar, Selfless Paladin; Niambi, Esteemed Speaker; Syr Elenora, the Discerning; Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign; Vendilion Clique; and don't forget the bouncing power of Venser, Shaper Savant. You can also blink with Venser, the Sojourner and Yorion, Sky Nomad. Don't forget Leyline of Singularity here as well. Unlike other Azorius Blink decks this one has a built in Commander Damage winner in your many Dogs so it just won't frump around and won't do anything. Good stuff!
And...there we go! What did you think of my 13 archetypes? Anything in there you want to run yourself? What did I miss? Just let me know and have an awesome day!