Ishkanah Grafwidow Commander Spotlight!


Magic the Gathering has printed 43 Spiders, though only 38 are playable in the Golgari color pairing, and few of them have any tribal synergies. Thankfully, there a two pretty god token generators that produce Spiders. Tokens are key, since Ishkanah’s activated ability counts on them. Obviously, we’re going to want some mana ramp, to help get the ability going several times a turn.

Arachnogenesis helps fog out all the non-Spiders, and gives a bunch of spiders to block with. What your opponent thinks is the fatal blow leads to death by spiders, especially if you have a Coat of Arms ability out. Spider Spawning indicates we want some self mill, which we definitely do want, since we need to achieve delirium. Being able to flash it back or play it after it’s been milled is a big advantage.


Swarmyard can protect our Commander or other vital Spiders from some forms of removal and board wipes.

Arachnus Spider and Arachnus Web help us lock down a creature forever, just by tapping a spider a turn, because Arachnus Spinner gets Arachnus Web from the graveyard or the library. This also helps in a self mill strategy and can help us find an enchantment to achieve delirium. Just tutor up the web and let it get destroyed, and then you most likely have delirium.

Graverobber Spider benefits from a full graveyard by getting larger, and already is a spider! Silklash Spider can help shoot down flying tokens in one swoop, or take out bigger ones for even more mana. It deals to each creature, which is very useful.

Watcher in the Web can block a whole board of fliers, dissuading attacks. Nyx Weaver helps with self mill, and can count as an enchantment if it ends up in your graveyard. It’s activated ability can be used if necessary.

Oran Rief Recluse and Stingerfling Spider can help shoot down fliers of any size, which may prove useful when dealing with bigger fliers. Even though most spiders have reach, their power isn’t large enough to kill or even trade with the attackers.

Abzan Beastmaster and Assault Formation are powerful since spiders all have lots of toughness. Assault Formation can turn smaller 2/7s into effectively 7/7s. It can also boost the toughness as a mana sink, although Ishskanah’s effect is also a good mana sink for the deck.


Spidersilk Armor helps boost toughness and give reach to the Spiders that don’t already have reach.

Besides all the options discussed in this post, which are the more “obscure” cards, the deck needs some ramp, like Cultivate. It also needs some self-mill, like Mulch or Grisly Salvage, or Commune of the Gods.

What do you think? Comment below!



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