How Najeela, the Blade-Blossom Creates a Ton of Warrior Tokens
Najeela is a Human Warrior Legendary Creature with 3/2 Stats costing only 2R to cast. At three mana, Najeela can enter play rather quickly. Whenever a Warrior attacks, herself included, that Warrior’s controller can create a 1/1 white Warrior creature token that’s tapped and attacking. That’s pretty nifty.
But, notice the wording of that ability. Yes, any player who controls a Warrior can take advantage of this ability. Still, most token creation abilities of this require that the attacking creature be a nontoken creature. This ability doesn’t have that restriction. So, each time you attack with a Warrior creature token, you can get another one. That means a lot of Warrior tokens. It can get out of control quite quickly.
While Najeela’s first ability is actually quite symmetrical, her second ability most certainly isn’t. Her second ability is a powerful combat ability. By paying one of each color mana (WUBRG) you untap all attacking creatures. Not only do you get an additional combat phase, but all of your untapped creatures gain trample, lifelink, and even haste until end of turn.
But, wait, why would a creature that’s already attacked and tapped need to gain haste? Well, technically, the Warrior tokens that Najeela creates don’t have haste even though they entered tapped and attacking. This little haste boost allows you to be able to attack with them yet again.
What gets even better is that you can use this ability multiple times during combat as long as you have the mana to do so. Even if your opponents have gotten a few tokens out of Najeela’s ability, this ability to attack one or more extra times in a turn while clearing even more Warrior tokens is brutal.
But that mana cost for her second ability is extremely restrictive. In what decks is Najeela, the Blade-Blossom going to see play that can consistently create all five colors of mana?
Najeela: Five-Color Warrior Tribal Commander
While there are certainly ways to create five colors of mana in Legacy, the best format for Najeela is no doubt Commander. But wait, if she’s a mono-Red creatures, how can you make five colors of mana? That’s because Najeela’s second ability gives her a color identity of all five colors. Yup, that means that Najeela is a Five-Color Commander who can take Warrior Tribal to a brand new level.
Not only can you play any Warrior that exists in Magic the Gathering, but you also have access to powerful token doublers in Green such as Doubling Season and Parallel Lives, plus Anointed Procession in White. Since you really need to build your deck entirely around Warriors for Najeela to be good, she’s actually a deadly Commander.
But the sheer amount of token creation isn’t all that’s good about a Najeela deck. Najeela also has a powerful combo with a three-mana Green Enchantment called Druids’ Repository. This enchantment allows you to put a charge counter on it each time one of your creatures attacks. You can then remove a charge counter from it to add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Since you’re attacking a lot, this is going to net you a lot of free mana. And, if you have Druids’ Repository in play when you’re using her second ability to take multiple combat phases, well, you can actually end up attacking an infinite number of times.
There are a lot of sweet things you can do with Najeela, but infinite combat phases is probably the best of them. There are over 600 warriors in Magic the Gathering to choose from for Najeela’s deck, and a lot of them do sweet things for tokens. Here’s just a few of them.
Aven Wind Guide is a four-mana Bird Warrior from Amonkhet. He gives all of your creature tokens flying and vigilance and can even be Embalmed to come back as a token himself! Turning all of your free tokens into fliers who are also vigilant is pretty sweet. Then again, this is actually a bit unfortunate when it comes to the wording of Najeela’s ability, as your vigilant creature tokens won’t get to gain trample and lifelink. But they’ll still be able to attack again, and that’s OK!
Blood-Chin Fanatic has an ability for 1B to sacrifice another Warrior creature you control to make a target player lose X life and you gain X life, where X is that sacrificed creature’s power. This is a nifty little way to finish someone off if you don’t have multiple combat phases going.
Boldwyr Intimidator is a pretty funny Warrior than can turn an opponent’s creature into a Coward until the end of turn for only one Red mana. A creature that’s a Coward can’t block Warriors. You can even have him turn a creature that isn’t a Warrior into one until end of turn for only 2R.
Bramblewood Paragon is an awesome Elf Warrior that makes every Warrior creature you control enter play with a +1/+1 counter on it. If that wasn’t good enough, any creature you control that has a +1/+1 counter on it gains trample. And she only costs 1G to cast! Ouch.
Brighthearth Banneret is going to be a Najeela staple as he makes your Warrior (and Elemental) spells cost 1 colorless mana less to cast. That’s going to add up to a lot of savings over the course of a game. You can also use his Reinforce ability for 1R by discarding himt o give a creature a +1/+1 counter. While this may not always seem relevant, remember that Bramblewood Paragon gives creatures with +1/+1 counters trample. It’s a corner case, for sure, but keep it in mind.
Brion Stoutarm was already a good Commander on his own for flinging creatures at people. Now he can do it here, too. While his ability requires him to tap, that’s not an issue with Najeela’s untap ability. You’ll have plenty of Red mana to activate his ability, too.
Brutal Hordechief is a mythic rare that’s always been good but needed a permanent home. Having Black, White, and Red in his color identity limited his Commander playability. But now, he’s right at home in Najeela. Not only does he make a defending player lose 1 life each time you have a creature attack, but you gain 1 life for each one as well. He even has a nifty 5 mana ability to force all creatures your opponents control to block. You even get to choose how those creatures block! If infinite combat phases wasn’t brutal enough, with Brutal Hordechief you can clear the board to have a free shot the next turn!
Champion of Lambholt was a pretty good Warrior in her Standard days and continues to see Commander play. What makes her brutal is that she gets big fast if you can pump out a lot of tokens. Plus, each time she gains a +1/+1 counter, it becomes increasingly difficult for opponents to block your creatures. It doesn’t take long for your creatures to become essentially unblockable, paving your way to an easy victory.
Champion of Stray Souls doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for a Najeela Warrior Tribal deck. But this skeleton warrior has an ability to sacrifice X creatures to bring back X creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield. Since you have a ton of expendable Warrior tokens to sacrifice, you’re easily going to be able to bring back important creatures from the graveyard. For only 5 mana, this is an amazing ability.
Chief of the Edge gives all your Warriors +1/+0 and Chief of the Scale gives all your Warriors +0/+1. While these little boosts don’t look all that great, they do make a difference. A 1 / 2 Warrior token is actually a lot better than a 1/1 one, after all. One point of power or toughness can make all of the difference.
Combat Celebrant has already enjoyed some competitive spotlight in Standard, but Najeela will ensure that he always has a home. Who doesn’t love even more extra combat phases? Sure, you have to exert him, and he won’t untap during your next untap step. But Najeela can untap him anyway, so who cares? Why not save five mana here and there?
Dragonscale General’s bolster ability seems pretty sweet, but why just have one creature gain a bunch of +1/+1 counters at your end step? There are plenty of reasons, Brion Stoutarm being one of them. Champion of Lambholt is another.
These are only a handful of Warriors with advantageous abilities. Plus, Battlebond has a few more, including Blaring Captain, Blaring Recruiter, Decorated Champion, Mindblade Render, Rushblade Commander, Thrasher Brute, and more. New Warriors are always being printed, too. So, Najeela is going to get new friends all the time.
Is Najeela, the Blade-Blossom Going to Be One of the Top Commanders of All-Time?
Being a five-color Commander, Najeela has a lot of great cards to choose from. Since Warriors are such a huge tribe with lots of support already, Najeela is definitely going to be popular and strong in both multi-player and 1v1 Commander.
While it’s doubtful she’ll ever see much play outside of Commander, Najeela should be a lot of fun in Two-Headed Giant. And, yes, there’s even Two-Headed Giant Commander. The Battlebond design team probably had that fact in mind, too. They made an awesome card in Najeela will probably be one of the most sought-after cards from the set for all time.
EDHREC is a great resource for seeing what cards players have been using for their Najeela EDH decks so far. There are deck lists for just about every budget, too.
How will you play Najeela, the Blade-Blossom?