This article is basically a love letter to one of my new favorite cards.

Gruff Triplets isn’t exactly a brand new design in the abstract. We’ve seen the likes of Grave Titan, Thragtusk, and the like. Big green creatures that just sit there aren’t new either, but they’ve certainly been effective before. 

But as you’ve read before, I’ve been working on some Birthing Podshenanigans. While I’m not trying to necessarily reinvent the wheel, I am trying to truly make the deck mine. While I don’t have a list for you yet, just know that a card like Gruff Triplets is very much what I want to be doing.

Being able to have three different ways to get to my seven drops, while also not losing any effective power, is valuable. Having strong effects when entering the battlefield is important in pod decks, but having strong effects when leaving the battlefield is also very important. The other big thing for me is that they attack, and attack fairly well. They are ripe for Overrun effects, and luckily, in Wilds of Eldraine, we’re going to get another one of those effects in Moonshaker Cavalry. Additionally, having bodies to hold down the ground is worth its weight in pod decks. Obviously there are cloning shenanigans that you can do, but that’s too win-more for me, and there are much better cards for that effect.

See, I don’t expect Gruff Triplets to dominate a Commander table or anything, not even close. It’s not going to be the next big staple or anything. However, a good Commander deck, competitive or not, needs a good bridge. It’s easy to establish an early game and an endgame, but if you don’t have a nice, clean, reliable way to bridge the two, then you can often find yourself lost in the four player shuffle. Gruff Triplets doesn’t need to be the star player, but its place as a reliable role-player cannot be understated. 

Finally, I want to touch on what might be an underappreciated part of the card, the +1/+1 counters. Now, it’s pretty obvious that it’s one of the reasons why the card is even good, but in Commander, you can do a whole lot of moving counters around. You’ll also have a lot of ways to make more counters, and those who enjoy that kind of thing will be right at home with this card. One other thing to note is that the number of +1/+1 counters you get is determined by its power, so any sort of pump spell will do just well with this card. If you do decide to do Craterhoof stuff, then you’re going to be rewarded quite nicely should your opponents somehow deal with any number of them.

There are certainly downsides to this card as well. Being 3/3s to start off is not the best defensively. Plenty of creatures at far less than six mana will outclass it. Hell, two 6/6s on the back end is often not enough in this climate. This is also part of why I think its role is firmly in the role player spot. It’s very hard to do much with it up front, and you might struggle to actually do meaningful combat with it by itself. If you do decide to play this, I implore you to have a very powerful payoff.

This piece may have hinted at what ideas I may or may not have for my own Commander deck, and I’m very excited to play Gruff Triplets in particular. This is just a small piece to the incredibly powerful idea I think I have, and I’m excited to share more of this with you very soon! 

Anthony Lowry (they/he) is a seasoned TCG, MMORPG, and FPS veteran. They are extensively knowledgeable on the intricacies of many competitive outlets, and are always looking for a new challenge in the gaming sphere.

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