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Building with Flavor: Sisay, Weatherlight Captain


A lot of people ask me for a list of Legendary Creatures that are perfect for building a Vorthos-themed Commander deck. Most of the time I'm pretty vague - not a long list of them could fill an entire 100-card deck with pure flavor... but every once in a while, there's someone who can. Enter: Sisay, Weatherlight Captain.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

While Sisay, Weatherlight Captain is neither the first Sisay card nor the only Weatherlight Captain, she is the first that has a five-color color identity, allowing every possible Weatherlight crew member to be a part of the deck. Let's start with all of the potential (and flavorful) Legendary Permanents for a Sisay deck.

What Makes A Crew?

The Weatherlight crew tends to be a transient bunch. It's not always easy to nail down exactly who counts as crew versus passenger, so for the purposes of this list, I'm counting anyone who has boarded the Weatherlight as 'crew' that Sisay could summon. I'll note who the official crew members are later, if you want to whittle down your list to just the official ones.

Urza's Saga

The Weatherlight was initially built in a partnership between the planeswalker Urza and Multani, Maro-Sorcerer at the Tolarian Academy during the novel Time Steams. Its first mission is to Serra's Realm, where Jhoira of the Ghitu captains the ship with Karn, Silver Golem on her crew. Barrin, Master Wizard and Darigaaz, the Igniter are also transported to Serra's Realm during this adventure and fight with the ship, but aren't explicitly crew members. The Realm is collapsed into the Weatherlight's powerstone during the finale, which technically makes Serra's Sanctum an integral part of the ship.

Later, in Bloodlines, both Rayne, Academy Chancellor and Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary ride aboard the Weatherlight captained by a woman named Ilsa Braven on various trips to Yavimaya. While the Weatherlight is mostly just a transport vessel at this time point, Rofellos joins the crew officially later, even though his card appears during Urza's Saga.

The Mirage War

The Mirage War's story is told between The Story of Jamuraa and Visionaries: the Backstory. In it, the gist is that temporal shenanigans on Teferi's Isle eventually cause 3 powerful wizards to go to war. Teferi, Temporal Archmage must repair the damage he's accidently caused, and so he sends visions to Jamuraa's heroes to resolve the conflict.

Sisay is among those that receive the visions, and allies herself with Asmira, Holy Avenger and Rashida Scalebane, who she transports to rescue Mangara of Corondor.

Sidar Jabari is a leader allied with Asmira and Radshida during this time, and while he doesn't explicitly join the Weatherlight (instead fighting elsewhere), he's another potential ally that works in flavor.

The Weatherlight Saga

The Weatherlight Saga was the one that started it all! I'm not going to dive into the backstory much here, except to point you toward my video on the subject, I will give you a basic run down of the various crewmembers who appear between the Tempest, Masques, and Invasion blocks. Karn, Silver Golem reappears on the crew, but for most of the saga does not remember his previous time on the Weatherlight.

Captain Sisay inherited the ship from her parents, but did not know its origin with Urza. She originally brought together the crew to help her search for the Legacy, a collection of artifacts with a mysterious purpose. Sisay's kidnapping was the catalyst for the main plot of the Weatherlight saga. Her first mate was Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, who would be tortured and mutated by Phyrexia in the mission to rescue Sisay from the Phyrexian plane of Rath. Squee, Goblin Nabob was likewise an early crew member. These three would also end up surviving the Phyrexian Invasion and joining a new crew with Sisay.

Rounding out the rest of the crew was Crovax the Cursed, whose obsession with his house's guardian Selenia, Dark Angel eventually results in her death, and his vampiric curse. Crovax turns traitor and becomes one of the Weatherlight's fiercest enemies as the Ascendant Evincar, although in an alternate reality he became Crovax, Ascendant Hero instead.

Ertai, Wizard Adept was a Tolarian mage who joined the crew because they needed magic to use the planeshifting engines. A narrow escape from Rath left Ertai behind, and

Ertai, the Corrupted represents his more Phyrexian later appearance.

Mirri, Cat Warrior joined to fight alongside her best friend Gerrard Capashen. She was more recently reprinted as Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist. Mirri died buying time for the rest of the crew to escape from Rath. In an alternate reality, Mirri, the Cursed slew Selenia instead of Crovax, and was cursed in his place.

Orim, Samite Healer was a healer who joined the crew, and one of its most competent members. On Mercadia, she fell in love with Cho-Manno, Revolutionary, and after the Phyrexian threat was ended she returned to Mercadia for good.

Starke of Rath was a duplicitous man who was a spy for Phyrexia, although it turned out it was to save his daughter who had been taken to Rath. Volrath the Fallen pretended to be his daughter, Takara, who they believed they had rescued from Rath. How far you'll bend to allow Volrath, the villain of the early Weatherlight Saga to be part of the crew is up to you.

Gerrard Capashen was raised by Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa alongside his adoptive brother Vuel. Tragedies growing up resulted in Vuel seeking revenge, and working for Phyrexia, eventually being transformed into the shapeshifter Volrath. Gerrard was the heir to the Legacy, and part of the key to Urza's plan to breed the perfect hero to stop Phyrexia.

Hanna, Ship's Navigator was the daughter of Barrin and Rayne, who had an affinity for artifice rather than magic. She was killed by a Phyrexian plague, and the promise of her resurrection lured Gerrard, for a short time, to Phyrexia's side.

Blind Seer was Urza in disguise, riding with the Weatherlight crew during the Invasion. No, it doesn't make much sense.

Eladamri, Lord of Leaves and Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero were heroes from Rath who led the Dominarian Coalition against Phyrexia. They were strong allies of the Weatherlight crew, even if they technically weren't crew themselves.

And of course, you have the Skyship Weatherlight itself and Urza's final plan against Phyrexia, the Legacy Weapon.

Return to Dominaria

More recently, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain rebuilt Weatherlight and recruited a crew to stop the villainous Cabal, many of whom had ties to the original crew: Arvad the Cursed, Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage, Shanna, Sisay's Legacy, Tiana, Ship's Caretaker, and Slimefoot, the Stowaway. They're joined by many members of the Gatewatch, although some longer than others: Ajani, Liliana, Gideon, Chandra, and very briefly, Jace.

Jaya Ballard appears alongside Chandra, as does Karn, Scion of Urza. While the crew is after Blackblade Reforged to destroy the demonic leader of the Cabal and eventually Nicol Bolas, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir resparks during the story, becoming Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Previous crew members or allies like Squee, the Immortal, Darigaaz Reincarnated, and Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar did not rejoin, but did get new cards. Liliana eventually falls In Bolas's Clutches, and the card is too good to pass up and should be included.

Other Flavorful Inclusions

You might have noticed there is a steep power curve when it comes to some of the crew. Anything printed later is generally better, and that's true for the art the crew appears on as well. Here's a few suggestions for other flavorful cards to add (that are actually pretty good). You can always refer back to my original Building with Flavor article for tips on how to find more cards for your deck!

Non-Flavor Inclusions

Not every card in a deck can always be 100% on flavor. Heroes' Podium is fantastic with Sisay and should definitely be in any deck. Fblthp, the Lost is a nice low CMC Legend that's also useful when fetched with Sisay.

I suppose I should offer some deck-building advice, too. The flavorful inclusions you're going to want for this deck are going to skew most heavily into White and Green, which conveniently is a good ramp color. Load up the deck with mana ramp so that by turn five you can start activating Sisay's abilities, but remember you don't need an even distribution of land types. Filters like Crystal Quarry and Cascading Cataracts are great ways to get a Sisay activation without having to load up your deck with basic lands you'll barely ever need. Prismatic Omen is always a must in five color decks like these, as is Chromatic Lantern.

The Decklist

There are two things to keep in mind here: first, I was just giving you lots of options above, below is how my deck actually panned out. I went heavy on the mana base, mostly because I want [Last Stand] to hit like a freight train if I ever get the chance to cast it, but you by no means need to do the same, and a less intensive mana base will serve you fine. This is not a finely tuned machine, and it's not meant to be.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain | Commander | Jay Annelli

So... what do you do with this deck? The deck is surprisingly versatile, given the characters involved having such powerful cards. With a less mana-intensive land base, you'll want more mana ramp available to hit all five colors, but make sure that the majority of your deck is playable with just White-Green colors.

My goal, with this deck, is to get the Blackblade on Sisay and open up every possible Legendary to summoning thanks to her boost. Sisay herself might win with Commander damage (supposing you can protect her). Clear your path with Urza's Ruinous Blast, or move the Blackblade to whichever creature you control that can do the most damage.

Squee, the Immortal works nicely with Kethis, the Hidden Hand's recursion ability, so keep that in mind as you're tutoring up cards. Also keep in mind that Kethis will let you cast your Legendary Sorcery cards from the graveyard. Kethis and Primeval's Glorious Rebirth are going to be the duo that keeps this deck going in the long game, as your opponents find they just can't keep your heroes down.

The Future

This is, of course, a first draft of a non-competitive deck. You might take just a few of my suggestions or copy my deck wholesale, whatever path makes you happiest. With Sisay being so new, this deck is not yet finely tuned for flavor, but it IS a janky fun flavor Commander deck.

I've leaned away from older cards, but I can absolutely see builds of this deck with nothing but Weatherlight Saga-era cards. Keep an eye out for strong Legendary-matters cards (like Kethis), and feel free to experiment over time with bending the flavor to allow strong synergies in this deck. The good news is that Historic and Dominaria were hits, and with supplemental products being free to re-explore old lore, we are guaranteed to get more flavorful inclusions as time goes on. Keep tweaking until Sisay is everything you want!

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