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Justice League Commander Decks - Wonder Woman
Hello all! To coincide with Dragon Shield's release of the four new sleeve designs based on DC's Justice League, EDHREC authors are building four decks built around the DC superheroes! In case you haven't seen it on the front page already, check out the announcement video here!
And now, here's our exclusive first look at the newest art sleeve: Wonder Woman!
Today we're building around Diana Prince. Amazonian princess, warrior, and symbol of peace, also known as Wonder Woman! When I heard I would get to make a deck for Wonder Woman, I got very excited. First, because comics are weird, hilarious, and amazing, so talking about them in relation to Magic is a treat, and second, because there's a lot to Wonder Woman as a character that isn't talked about very much. Of DC's big three, she's the one people know least about, and even heroes like Green Lantern and the Teen Titans are more talked about in non-comic circles. I discovered a bunch of stuff I didn't know about this character while writing this article, and I've been keeping an eye on comics for years! It's honestly a shame because Diana is a superhero that represents qualities that no other hero does. Hopefully I can give you a deck that highlights those qualities that make Diana unique and encourage you to look more into the character.
Let's hop into Greek mythology, put on our earrings that let us breathe in space (yes, she really had those, and no, I couldn't fit them in the deck), and let's dive into the myths of Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman has had some interesting development when it comes to her creation. There's way too much for me to cover here, but here's the condensed version: she was originally created to be a role model for young girls in the 40s. In her first appearance, she was just a really strong woman who was trained by the best Amazonians. No divine powers to speak of, just her weapons. It's really only in the 60s that she got the more divine traits most people are familiar with: being born from clay and gifted attributes from each of the gods. These divine gifts were stressed more or less depending on the writer until 2013 where they were completely changed, so she's now the daughter of Zeus and Hera.
Regardless of which version you like best, the backstory for Wonder Woman's birth is something that highlights how the character is viewed, whether as the peak of physical performance that can be aspired to, or a divine savior to be admired, which version you get depends on the storyteller. Much like the 2017 movie, we've got aspects of all these views in the deck. As for the actual origin story...
All incarnations of the character hail from the Island of Themyscira, also called Paradise Isle (side note,is absolutely Themyscira, but I'm not gonna put a $200 card into a theme deck). A floating island from Greek mythology that housed the Amazons, immortal warriors that separated themselves from "Man's World."
When Steve Trevor crashes onto the Island of Themyscira, Hippolyta, the leader of the island and Wonder Woman's mother, hosts a contest to see who would escort Steve back to "Man's World". Wonder Woman enters the contest out of a curiosity for humanity and a desire to help, and she ends up winning. She escorts Steve back to America to spread the Amazonian message of peace.
Obviously, we've got the Amazonians represented in the deck. There are no men in the deck besides Daxos, obviously, and yes, I went with Daxos for the eye candy. Most of the Amazon creatures can be matched to a supporting cast member, likefor Diana's mom Hippolyta, for her aunt Antiope, and for Wonder Girl, Diana's sidekick/whatever the heck Donna Troy is. We've also got warriors like and to represent Amazonian warriors. You could run more Amazonians like , but the theme of the deck ended up going in more of a 'go tall' direction, as you'll see later, so feel free to tweak as needed.
The most recognizable Wonder Women weapon is the Lasso of Truth, a weapon that can make anyone trapped by it unable to lie, while also helping them recover from emotional distress and gain peace. Unfortunately, whips and ropes in Magic are kinda tough to find. There's stuff like, which is not only a bad card, but also not at all themed to the character. There's , of course, but that'll be out of our colors for sure, and other cards like and don't seem to have the power truly befitting our hero's signature weapon. The closest I could find was , which can prevent opponents from harming Diana, keeps them honest during our turn by preventing any instants, and is very whip-like, though I do hope we get some better options in the future.
Luckily, the rest of her weapons are covered pretty well. Her Bracelets of Submission are most often used defensively, and can deflect any bullet. The Sandels of Hermes give her super speed, and flight (or the ability to jump really really high in the 60s, but that's significantly less cool so that got changed). Most people probably recognize her with the Tiara, but Wonder Woman is just as likely to wear a Helmet, like, depending on what the battle calls for.
Being based in Greek mythology, her standard choice of weapon is the sword and shield. We got a few swords for her, including, because come on, it's a Sword of Freaking Truth and Justice, we can't get more on-brand. She's not just limited to these, though. Wonder Women can use almost any weapon, so we're giving her some other weapons like spears or bows that she can take into battle.
Oh, and she might be able to fly, but do you know what she takes on stealth missions? An invisible plane!
Yes, I know its not actually invisible, but when are you ever going to be able to tell people that Wonder Woman has an Invisible Plane!? Comics are amazing!
As mentioned before, the most famous incarnations of the character were given a gift by each of the gods. She's got the speed of Hermes, as mentioned above, but also the wisdom of Athene, the strength of Hercules, and the beauty of Aphrodite, represented by, because in the early days criminals would be so dumbstruck with how beautiful Diana was, they literally just surrendered.
In addition to the super strength and flight powers, Diana has some lesser-known stuff. For instance, she has indestructible skin that can take almost any blow, which is represented by a ton of different cards that grant indestructible.
Another of her lesser-known (but frankly most interesting) powers is her emotional intelligence and influence. She has an incredible amount of human empathy and can free people from emotional distress. She also has a deep connection to nature from Artemis, and she even has empathy with animals. Wonder Woman was originally created to highlight more than just physical prowess. She can talk an enemy down, take advantage of the world around her, and think ahead and plan for what someone might be driven to do. She highlights character traits that many other heroes don't.
Personality and Skills
When you say the word "Superhero", there's the typical picture that enters your head of someone putting bad guys in jail and protecting the innocent. While that's definitely part of Wonder Woman's character, it's really that way that she doesn't follow those rules - while still holding to her idealistic origin - that make her so compelling. Wonder Woman is, at her core, a warrior and tactician. While Batman might be who you want to plan a heist into a secret base, Wonder Woman is who you want in a war zone. She's a leader and an organizer of troops, using her forces to subdue enemies.
Speaking of enemies, many people are familiar with the big three's no-killing rule, and Wonder Woman follows that. The deck runs no card that can straight-up kill creatures, but her empathy and care is able to help her reach and out and reform villains in ways that other heroes can't. Her Lasso of Truth isn't just about preventing people from lying, but helping people find themselves. Wonder Woman is always ready to turn an enemy into a friend. When you get down it, I believe Wonder Woman's core identity is her focus on love and the beauty she sees in humanity.
Wonder Woman has a deep love for humankind. While Superman protects humans out of a sense of moral responsibility, Wonder Woman values individual people: their stories, their emotions, and how they react to their humanity. Superman can't understand the emotional core of humanity like Wonder Woman can. She is the superhero most likely to hurt herself to help others. Her love of humanity is so vast that in the comics she once became a Star Sapphire, a being that harnesses the power of Love, itself. In fact, if Wonder Woman has a flaw, it's when the desire to love and protect humanity conflicts with what is 'morally' correct, like the few times she's forced to break the no-killing rule.
I see DC superheroes as ultimately reflecting the ideals we want to live up to, but I don't think any hero gives such a perfect picture of understanding human emotion, and helping others work through that emotion, as Wonder Woman. That's what makes her so unique and what makes her a character worth learning more about.
So after highlighting all the facets of this deck, who do we have lead it? You may have noticed a lot of Auras throughout the above cards, and that's because there's really only one choice for our commander, both for flavor and function:
Come on! Not only is the artwork clearly in line with an Amazonian leader, but the ability to make tokens with Auras lets us keep a large number of Voltron pieces that can buff Diana up, while also being able to keep the tactician- and community-driven part of the deck. Siona also goes infinite withon her own, which I think is awesome flavor for the character, but if you’re not into infinite combos, it can be replaced with any number of protective Auras. This deck was a blast to build, and I hope I did the character justice!
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A Warrior of Peace
That’s all I got for Diana here. Did I miss anything? I had over 200 cards at one point, and cutting that number down was not easy. There’re all sorts of different ways to build this deck; let me know what you’d put into this deck or any ideas you have for the other Justice League members! Don't forget, our favorite commenter on this article will win a free pack of Wonder Woman sleeves from Dragon Shield®, and our favorite commenter from all the Justice League articles (or from the YouTube announcement video) will win a set of all four!
For now, I’ll bid you adieu with Wonder Woman’s philosophy, summed up in one quote:
”Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve extended it.”