Justice League Commander Decks – I’m Batman

(Batwing Brume | Art by Richard Kane Ferguson)

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na

Hey everyone! We’re building a series of decks around DC heroes as a collaboration with Dragon Shield, who are releasing a set of card sleeves featuring the DCCU incarnations of those same characters! I suppose it was inevitable that after making decks for the Joker and the rest of Batman’s rogues gallery, I would end up building the decklist for the Dark Knight himself.

Full disclosure, this deck has no actual Bats in it, because the only Commander-playable Bat-related card (Regal Bloodlord) ended up being a terrible fit. Anyway, let’s get started!


Commander – Chromium, the Mutable

There are a few Legendary vampires that look like Batman, but the sad truth is that none of them really play like Batman. Fortunately for us, Chrome Dome here is sweetly whispering Batman’s catchphrase with every line of his rules text (Batman’s catchphrase is “I’m Batman”). After taking in his batlike shape, you’ll note that he can appear in a Flash, his combat expertise Can’t Be Countered, and he spends a lot of time Flying around with his wings(uit). His final text block is Flavor Fusion Supreme: he disappears in a smoke bomb, and reappears as a mysterious and low statted Bruce Wayne!

Now as you might guess, this deck is going to feature a lot of Equipment, and while that “loses all abilities” clause may be annoying in regards to keywords, it doesn’t have any impact on stat buffs. So while most of the time we’ll be using Chromium’s activated ability to dodge removal, we do have a way to sneak him through a wall of our enemy’s fliers to get those last few points of commander damage in.


Toys

As we know, Batman’s primary superpower of “being sad and rich” was a great jumping off point to acquiring his larger suite of superpowers in the form of an impressive suite of Equipment. Here we see the iconic Grappling Hook, the emblematic cowl with its reinforced Cranial Plating, and even the DCCU battlesuit in the form of Argentum Armor. Worth mentioning that equipping Chromium with the Hook and either of those other two is probably going to end with one of your opponents dead maimed and/or in prison.

Oh that’s rightBatman doesn’t kill, so no weapons! Well maybe a couple weapons. Shadowspear does a great impression of that Kryptonite spear in Dawn of Justice, and Hammer of Nazahn is… look, it’s an Equipment staple alright? Use whatever excuse you want, maybe Alfred’s getting into carpentry.

Utility Belt

For the true Batman experience, we can’t just march into battle with batarangs blazing, we’ve gotta whip them out with a flick of the wrist at the last possible moment.

Bigger Toys

Of course, the Bat-Vehicles! Specifically the Batmobile, Bat-Sub, and Bat-Copter. There’s an argument to be made for Fleetwheel Cruiser as the Batmobile, given its stronger visual resemblance and “remote piloting” feature. Daredevil Dragster is just a tad more playable, in that it’s sort of a delayed Divination that gets to deal some damage. Plus, falling apart into something more useful is exactly what the Bat-Tank thing does in The Dark Knight.


Allies

Of course, Batman would be nothing without all of his good pals, as we learned from The Lego Batman Movie. Side note: The Lego Batman Movie might be my favorite Batman movie, and this comes from a diehard Nolan fanboy.

Robins

This deck already has a pretty heavy Voltron lean, but in the event that Chromium ends up out of commission, any of these Boy Wonder iterations can step in to help. For Dick Grayson, we have Escape Artist, who is at least somewhat adjacent to Grayson’s circus performer background. Relic Runner fits Jason Todd’s retconned thief-turned-apprentice-vigilante backstory, especially with that flavor text. For Tim Drake, who grew up idolizing and wanting to be Batman, we’ll use Cephalid Inkshrouder, whose activated ability basically makes it a mini-Chromium.

These are obviously all chosen for flavor over function, so for redundancy’s sake we’ll toss in an Invisible Stalker, plus a Tormented Soul for a little angsty Batman flavor.

As it turns out, a few of these other artifact staples are great flavor fits for Batman Buddies. Arcum Dagsson is here to ask us, “Why do we fall, Bruce?” He’ll take one Vehicle out so he can provide us with another useful tool that we need right now, definitely taking great care of all the junk in the batcave. We have a rather literal interpretation of Catwoman in Kemba, Kha Regent, but they do both keep a lot of cats around. Stonehewer Giant takes on the role of Lucius Fox, suiting us up for a night on the town.

Barbara Gordon/Oracle has been known to airdrop Batman appropriate gadgets in a manner very similar to Deadeye Quartermaster. I get intense Commissioner Gordon vibes from Sram, Senior Edificer, and you could kinda stretch the flavor of “drawing cards” to be “giving access to classified police info”. Finally, Ugin, the Ineffable is a great fit for Batman’s limited team ups with Ra’as al Ghul. He’s willing to take a life, his Planeswalker loyalty shows their tenous partnership, and if you’ve read any Magic fiction with Ugin in it, you know he talks in funky little aphorisms just like Ra’as.


The One Rule

We are running black, but we still have to follow the rule—so no kill spells! I will say that given the propensity of certain interpretations of Batman to “accidentally” push people off of tall buildings, I came very close to including Tragic Slip and Fatal Push, but they’re honestly just not that great outside of Aristocrat strategies. We’ll have to settle for lawful alternatives like Arrest and Prison Term. As for noncreature threats, we’ll call in some help from Supes and toss them into the Phantom Zone using Oblivion Ring and Banishing Light.


World’s Greatest Detective

There isn’t an abundance of Commander-playable cards with Investigate, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more detective-like mechanic. Survive the Night is a flavor standout, given Batman’s tendency to put himself in mortal danger every night.


Misc. Bat-Lore

A literal beacon that summons our seven-mana commander in times of emergency? There’s no better stand in for the Bat-Signal than Command Beacon. And the sweeping walkways of Mirrorworks bear a striking resemblance to the Batcave.

Oh, and Batwing Brume seems like a perfect fit for Batman’s bat-swarms

Tragic Lesson is yet another representation of that one thing that every Batman movie desperately needs to show us for some reason (seriously, the JOKER movie just did it). If I were feeling evil, I would use Revel in Riches as an ironic representation of Bruce’s inheritance, but like the kill spells I mentioned earlier, it’s just not a great fit for the deck.

We’ll pad all that out with a bit more artifact and Equipment synergy, and we’re good to go! Here’s the decklist:

Holy Low Mana Curve Batman

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So what do you think? Is this the decklist Gotham deserves, or is it not the one it needs right now? If we made cuts, would these cards die as heroes, or live long enough to see themselves become the villains? Let me know!

Also, if you like decks based on pop culture characters, you’ll probably get a kick out of my column where I build decks for famous villains like Voldemort and Skynet. Check it out!

Amos has been playing Magic since OG Innistrad, where in his first ever draft pack he passed a shiny Grimgrin for a Corpse Lunge. He hails from the icy wastes of Vermont, where he enjoys hunting Warhammer players on his dogsled and watching movies. You can follow his Tweeter at @Byrnenator.