So today is an odd article. I was thinking about how some characters would make a lot of sense as partners, so you could run them together. So here is my thought. There are a lot of characters that are connected by various tethers. Shouldn’t they be able to partner with each other as well?
Certain legendary creatures in Magic could have partner, but only with each other, and only when that makes flavor sense. I’m going to call them Junior Partners. Let me give you a good example.
So these two people were married. So, you could make a Commander deck where Rayne and Barrin partner with each other. But they couldn’t be partnered with anyone else. Your deck is Mono-Blue. (Note that their child is Hanna, Ship's Navigator, so I would also rule that you could combine either Rayne and Hanna or Barrin and Hanna).
Using the partner mechanic to create Junior Partners seems like a great way to flesh out flavor and fun!
Today I’m giving you my favorite Junior Partner tandems, as well as a not-yet exhaustive list of every legendary creature that I know has a real connection with another. Feel free to add in the comments!
Now I know I didn’t get all of the major connections. I’ve read very few books, and many characters are described there in fiction. I don’t know about everyone out there.
Below we have some spots dedicated to Junior Partners that would make really good combos, and others that are just fun!
During their lives, both Jeska and Kamahl have some growing to do. As they both lead their respective duo of Blocks, Kamahl goes from a simple Pit Fighter to a massive Druid of Smashery. Jeska goes from the little sister to Phage the Untouchable and serves Chainer, Dementia Master before Kamahl kills her. And you could certainly run Jeska with either Kamahl. Shoot, you could even runtheir mentor, Balthor the Stout if you wanted instead. I’m sure you can find a lot of different synergies and color combinations here if you delved into it.
This creator and his grand experiment are a really fun duo. You can use Momir Vig to find the various synergetic pieces for Experiment Kraj to latch onto. The best would be creatures that have both +1/+1 counters and activated abilities. But you can add counters to creatures and then use the Kraj to copy them. Ideally, you’ll have two-color creatures to tutor with Momir Vig. Although that could be a bit nasty and combo-rific for a lot of tables, so instead you can stick to cards like Animation Module, Plaxcaster Frogling, and try out that new Deepglow Skate. Or you could just use the Kraj to protect your Momir Vig while you fetch up a bunch of utility creatures that will push the battlefield in your direction.
This is one of my favorite pairings for flavor. Play the Hound on the first turn and swing. And then, much latter, follow up with the pet’s master. Konda wants to get his groove on, and you aren’t stopping him with that Dog. Now Konda is not a lot of awesome anymore, coming down on the 7th round and sporting a 3/3 body. Sure, he has indestructible, and sure, if he blocks or is blocked, he’ll grow to giant size, and sure, he has vigilance. But he’s no big shakes. So he needs the Dog to be pertinent. This is an interesting tandem you could use to head off in a few different directions.
This power couple of early Magic is found together on a lot of early cards. Hanna is a great 3-drop that can immediately provide long-game grinding advantage, bringing back artifacts and enchantments each into your hand. You can find everything from Seal of Cleansing to Courier's Capsule as ways to do simple things on tap. And while Gerrard may not be the perfect bedfellow, he’s a great life gaining tool that can mug up the board, and keep you alive while you use Hanna again and again for card advantage and card quality. They have a level of synergy you might be surprised at.
Don’t forget that you can run Pia Nalaar here instead of the parents. The great thing is that this would be a Mono-Red deck and Chandra loves Red. So you get the parents and the daughter in your deck, and there are various ways you can run to get them to work together. Go wide with tokens? Sacrifice creatures for effects? Sacrifice artifacts for effects? Run artifacts? Crew vehicles? Mono-Red control and burn down enemy creatures? You have a surprising number of options for a Mono-Red deck. Enjoy!
5. Ghoulcaller Gisa and Stitcher Geralf
Luckily they already made Gisa and Geralf. And that would be fun, right? Right! But nothing is stopping you from partnering the initial two pairs to reanimate and then sacrifice a Zombie over and over again. Stich and cut. Zombie away! As a nice little plus, you can include Gisa and Geralf as well as, well, Gisa and Geralf. Zombies never looked so good as when Innistrad made them the top dog tribally. I think after that Block, Zombies became the favorite default casual tribe over Elves or Goblins. A pinnacle they still hold.
Neither of these Cats is dominant on their own. But because they play into the same space, and are related too, they work very well together. One is a quick play and quick to use Mono-White threat for equipment loving. The other is the later game battlefield changer. Both are great together. Each gives what the other lacks. Each reaps what the other sows. They are a powerful tandem, and arguably the simplest deck to build on this list. You want White creatures, equipment enablers, and the best equipment you can procure. Mix and serve.
3. Toshiro Umezawa and Tetsuo Umezawa
After helping out the plane of Kamigawa restore its balance, Toshiro is sent to Dominaria, where he starts the Umezawa clan, and Tetsuo is his descendant. Don’t both of these have a lot of offer? It doesn’t matter whether a creature is tapped or blocking, Tetsuo can tap to kill it. That gives you some seriously lethal swings. Attacking with any creature is more dangerous than deathtouch. As long as Tetsuo is untapped and you have the mana, no one wants to block that. Meanwhile you can destroy any attacker that swings your way so long as it taps. Tetsuo is a major threat, and suggests a Grixis style control build to me. Then you have Toshiro. When an opposing creature dies, you can play an instant spell from your graveyard, with the caveat that it’s exiled upon casting. It suggests a controlling build as well, with a good number of instants. Since Tetsuo can tap to kill a creature, and Toshiro has a “creature death” trigger, these two are a powerful tandem. They work very well together! Umezawa’s Delight!
This father and son duo is quite the fetching treat. Some people are on here for fun. Yay fun! But this duo is really powerful as a tandem. Sun Ce is a fine 5-drop, giving you an evasive and difficult to block 3/3 creature that bounces another to its hand. It’s the best Man-o'-War variant printed for Commander. Drop Sun Ce on turn five. Then the next turn you follow up with the amazing Sun Quan, Lord of Wu. Sun Quan gives all of your stuff a very-hard-to-handle level of evasion as well. And he’s a 4/4 to boot. He is Blue’s Overrun. I have killed more people with that than many other effects out there. And you can easily layer this horsemanship deck together from here. Lu Xun, Scholar General? Scapelexis? Mulldrifter? Ninja of the Deep Hours? Vedalken Shackles? This deck-builds itself! Good luck with it!
Duh. Anything else here is disappointing. They are Brothers! Don’t forget that when you control both of them, they get real big. So you could use them as the leaders of a Mono-Red aggro deck or a powerful antagonistic deck. Whatever suits your fancy is fine. And folks, make sure you run both of the art when you partner up your Brothers. For today, you are your Brother’s Keeper. Thanks!
I’ve read Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Here are some of the characters that are connected:
Pang Tong, “Young Phoenix” and Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon” — A prophecy to Liu Bei says that he cannot really do what he wants and become something until he secures either Young Phoenix or Sleeping Dragon as his advisor. He secures both. And the rest is history.
And there you have it! Junior Partners in Spades! So what did I miss? Any creatures that have a cool relationship I forgot? Is your table going to run some Junior Partners?
Magic is great. There’s always a cool way to connect a new mechanic to an existing set of cards. Make your own partner tandems! Enjoy it!