Welcome back, Lore Seekers! After almost a month of Commander Legends content... I still have more to say about this incredible set! Today I'm going to take a look at which Legends make the best pairs from a flavorful perspective! That means today I'm going plane-by-plane with the Legends from known planes and examining which ones could have which worked together, and which ones did! It's a shorter list than you'd think, given how many of the new partners are plane agnostic. Let's start going alphabetical by plane, starting with Alara!
Alara is an easy plane to address, because the two confirmed partners from Alara are perfect flavor matches.
Silas Renn and Armix
Silas Renn, Seeker Adept is a Seeker of Carmot, the organization that Bolas used on Esper to sow division with false promise of the secrets of creating new Etherium. Now that Alara is whole again, people like Breya, Etherium Shaper have discovered the missing ingredients for Etherium, and one of the very first projects made with this new Etherium is Armix, Filigree Thrasher. Losing out on White costs you a number of fun Esper cards, but it should still be pretty easy to build a thematic Blue-Black Esper deck with these two. They're also an excellent mechanical match, with Silas being able to cast the card you discard with Armix.
Dominaria is the most difficult plane to address because there's such a wide gulf of time and distance between characters. I'll do my best to matchup reasonable flavor pairs here, however.
Glacian and Rebbec
Glacian, Powerstone Engineer and Rebbec, Architect of Ascension are one of the easiest flavor matches here, given they're husband and wife. They're two of only a handful of cards set before the Fall of the Thran, however, so building a flavorful deck for them will be a bit harder. Mechanically they're also clearly designed for one another, creating a White-Blue artifact synergy.
Kondo and Ramirez
This might seem like one of the most off-the-wall flavor pairs, but bear with me, here. Ramirez DePietro was a pirate known for operating in the waters around Jamuraa, while Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa was a Sidar, a chieftain, of a northwestern Jamuraan tribe. Learning that the Ghost of Ramirez DePietro might still be around means that any timeline issues that might come up between the two are irrelevant. While there isn't any canonical history of them working together, it's possible, so I'm including this combination here. They also make excellent mechanical partners for a White-Blue-Green deck with a lot of small creatures.
Akroma and Jeska
While in life, Akroma, Vision of Ixidor was mortal enemies with Jeska, Thrice Reborn's alter ego Phage the Untouchable, they were both part of Karona, False God. I think this combo can work, flavorfully, as a 'was a part of Karona' flavor pair.
Jeska and Kamahl
The brother and sister pair of Jeska, Thrice Reborn and Kamahl, Heart of Krosa is an easy flavor slam dunk. While they were at odds for most of the story of Odyssey and Onslaught, it's not hard to see these two versions of the characters, who've grown significantly, working together.
Tevesh Szat and Rograkh
Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools and Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh: We don't have an exact timeframe on Rograkh, which means that theoretically, this could work. The Kobolds of Kher Keep have been around for a long time, and we know Szat was active on Terisiare, the continent of Kher Keep. Maybe Szat is urging the overthrow of Rohgahh of Kher Keep, or maybe he's using the Kobolds in other ways. Either way, this makes for a great Kobold deck, as the Kobolds can be sacrificed to Szat to fuel some card draw!
Other Possible Partners
Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith plus any of the other Otarian characters could work. They're all contemporaries of one another, but because so much of Odyssey and Onslaught blocks' cards was distinct from anything happening in the main plot (see also: the Riptide project) it's hard to say for certain. Mechanically, Toggo doesn't synergize well with anyone either.
Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood is a new character, but as an elf of the Wirewood, he would have been on Otaria. Partnering with the druidic version of Kamahl, Kamahl, Heart of Krosa, especially to save Otaria, probably isn't out of the question.
Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools and Tormod, the Desecrator: Timeline-wise, Szat and Tormod would have coexisted, and Tormod seems like the exact sort of person Szat might use to further his own goals. They don't really work great together, so unless your deck could really use both, I'd go with someone else.
Unfortunately, Livio, Oathsworn Sentinel is all on his own on Fiora in terms of Partners.
Innistrad has two partner pairs that are perfect flavor and mechanical matches.
Hal and Alena
Alena, Kessig Trapper and Halana, Kessig Ranger are the perfect flavor and mechanical pair, they were clearly designed to go together in a Kessig-themed gruulfriends deck. For those of you not in the know, these two are partners and lovers.
Ludevic and Kraum
Kraum, Ludevic's Opus and Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist are an obvious pair from the first set of flavor and mechanical partners. I'm not going to talk more about them here because they're both older cards.
While there are many pirates in Commander Legends, only two of them are known to be from Ixalan. The rest are plane agnostic, so we don't really know where they belong to yet.
Malcolm and Breeches
Breeches, Brazen Plunderer and Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator are both members of the crew of the Belligerent, which was once captained by Vraska. They make a great flavor and mechanical pair, one of only a handful in this set that make absolute sense together.
Sakashima and the Kodama
Kodama of the East Tree and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces are the only Kamigawa partners, so unfortunately that makes them the only viable partners, although flavorfully it doesn't make a ton of sense. I suppose you could view it as Sakashima seeing if he can successfully impersonate a Kami (and the answer is yes!)
While Miara, Thorn of the Glade has a number of viable mechanical partners, unfortunately she's the only Lorwyn partner.
Ich-Tekik and Keskit
Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer and Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor are both New Phyrexians, though from different factions. They have some synergy, both caring about artifacts, so they make mechanical and flavorful sense.
Other Possible Partners
Krark, the Thumbless is the only Mirran partner, but I suppose you could pair him with one of the above New Phyrexians, there's just no mechanical synergy there.
Radiant, Serra Archangel is all alone as the only Serran partner. One could pair her with, say, Akroma for the tribal aspect, from lore-wise Radiant didn't really overlap or align with anyone but Serra. And some Phyrexia Sleeper agents.
Tarkir is a weird one, as it has partners from both timelines! Given how many of the Legendary Creatures we've seen have versions of either side of the Khans/Dragons timeline switch, I'll say that it's pretty reasonable to include an Ojutai and Jeksai together, for instance, since there would probably be a version of that character in both timelines. Unfortunately, the factions themselves prove a barrier here, with only Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker and Siani, Eye of the Storm being a flavorful pair. Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper, Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, and Vial Smasher the Fierce all come from different timelines AND factions, and in Reyhan's case even the distant past.
None of the Theros partners, from the first wave of Partners way back in Commander 2016, and none of them work super well together, as there is no indication any of them ever knew one another. Still, they're all Therans, and you might even say they could meet in the Underworld at some point so... have at it with any of them. I will say that Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix and Thrasios, Triton Hero, and Ravos, Soultender and Tymna the Weaver make more mechanical sense together than others.
Sengir, the Dark Baron is fairly lonely, although given that he was once on Dominaria, I could see arguments to fit him in there.
Zendikar is great for flavorful partners, and has a fair number of them, although they're not all slam dunks.
Akiri and Ardenn
Akiri, Line-Slinger is a hookmaster and an expedition leader, while Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist is a fellow kor and someone who, as an archaeologist, could use Akiri's services. They work great together mechanically as well, as both want to play into an Equipment deck.
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder is a member of the Goma Fada caravan on Akoum, but he's a contemporary of the other partners here so he could still work flavorfully with almost anybody. Mechanically he wants to partner with Akiri or Ardenn the most, though.
Numa, Joraga Chieftain doesn't really play well mechanically with the other Zendikari, and the Joraga were notoriously xenophobic. Regardless, the rise of the Eldrazi forced all of Zendikar to work together, and while we don't know Numa's ultimate fate, he might still be out there.
Brinelin, the Moon Kraken lives off the coast of Akoum and could make an interesting Akoum Partner pair with Bruse Tarl, but there's no lore basis for it. The only land dweller known to befriend Brinelin was Speaker Sutina, the leader of the Tajuru elves up until the Eldrazi began attacking the plane once more.
See You In 2021
That's it for me this week... and this year! I've been writing more-or-less nonstop for the last few months and I'm going to take December off. I'll be back once more of Kaldheim has been revealed!