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Pride of the Clouds – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

If you’re a fan of flying creatures in Magic the Gathering, especially as a theme for a Commander deck, then Pride of the Clouds is a card for you to strongly consider. This Elemental Cat is a two-mana creature card that gets +1/+1 for each creature you control that has flying. For two mana, in a deck focused on creatures with flying, the Pride can grow immense very quickly.

Pride of the Clouds also has an ability called Forecast, a mechanic featured in the Dissension set. This was a mechanic featured on the Azorius Guild cards. You get to reveal the card from your hand during your upkeep. By paying some additional cost, you get an effect once per turn. The Pride’s Forecast ability costs 2UW and lets you put a 1/1 white and blue flying Bird token into play. The fact that you can do this every turn, even for 4 mana, provides pretty good value.

Believe it or not, Pride of the Clouds made a fairly high-profile appearance in a Blue-White Fliers deck in Modern. It was back in 2014 at Grand Prix Kobe. This deck was profiled and play by Frank Lepore for TCGPlayer’s Modern Monday series; unfortunately this article seems to have been lost to time, along with the deck list. This is because this Blue White Flyers deck has never done much on the competitive scene again; still, it shows that this card could do something in competitive play. Apparently, it was pretty good when it was in Standard, too, although it never made it to the top 8 cut of any major (or minor) tournament archived by MTGTop8.

However, there is one deck list featuring Pride of the Clouds we do have from a top tournament. In July of 2019, a copy of Pride of the Clouds even found its way into a Modern Death and Taxes deck listed on MTGTop8, with a single copy in the sideboard. I’m not sure if Tales Pereira ever brought in the Pride in games two or three of a match, but its very inclusion is striking to say the least.

Pride of the Clouds as a Flying Menace in Commander / EDH

For many years in Commander, Pride of the Clouds mostly saw play in Isperia the Inscrutable Blue-White Flyers decks. Later, the Pride would become a common support player in Kangee, Aerie Mystic Bird Tribal decks. 

The Elemental Cat would also see some occasional play in some Derevi, Empyrial Tactician and Grand Arbiter Augustin IV decks. The former is a Bird Wizard that can benefit from some Bird Tribal support out, while Augustin appreciates the flyers as a consistent board threat. 

In recent years, Blue-White Flyers has gained some new Commanders to lead them. These include Siani, Eye of the Storm (when partnered with Tymna the Weaver) and Inniaz, the Gale Force (who has a Blue and White color identity). Most recently, Errant and Giada has given a Flash Flyers deck a new lease on life, with Pride of the Clouds being a strong inclusion.

Also, being that the Pride is blue and white and its tokens are also blue and white, they can benefit from power boosters like Thistledown Liege (+2/+2 boost!) The Pride itself can also benefit from a card like Steel of the Godhead, an Aura Enchantment card that can make the creature it enchants unblockable and give it lifelink (any combat damage it deals gains you that much life.) 

All in all, Pride of the Clouds making it quite a formidable creature for a two-drop in a Flying focused strategy, as all of your other flyers pump it, as well. 

Some great cards to play alongside Pride of the Clouds:

Aven Mimeomancer – A card that I loved playing with when I first started playing Magic, this Bird Wizard from Alara Reborn lets you put a feather counter on a target creature during each of your upkeeps. That feather counter makes that creature a 3/1 with flying. If you use this on one of your bird tokens, it’s essentially a +2/+0 boost. Use it on the Pride and also gain a +2/+0 boost. But it also lets you put feather counters on opponent’s creatures. Big fatty in your way? Here’s how to deal with it. Such a fun card.

Airborne Aid – Four mana (three generic, one Blue) to draw a card for each Bird you control is quite efficient, especially as it’s easy to flood the board with flying creatures – and this incudes tokens. This common sorcery from Onslaught only gets better with the Pride fueling the draws.

Keeper of the Nine Gales – This rare Bird Wizard creatures from Legions lets you tap two untapped Birds you control to Boomerang a permanent.

Seaside Haven – This uncommon land from Onslaught lets you tap it and pay UW (White/Blue) to sacrifice a bird and draw a card – a great combo with the next card, Soulcatchers’ Aerie.

Soulcatchers’ Aerie – This Enchantment card from Judgment gets a feather counter each time one of your Birds is put into the graveyard. Since this includes your Bird tokens dying as well, this can get a lot of counters quickly. Then for each feather counter on this card, all Birds gain +1/+1. Suddenly, those 1/1 tokens get a lot bigger and a lot scarier. While it doesn’t help out Pride itself, it does a lot for its Bird friends, especially those tokens it creates.

Because Forecast is a mechanic unlikely to see a reprint any time soon, Pride of the Clouds is a safe investment for those wanting to secure their copies now. It’s a solid complimentary piece for any Flying deck, especially in Commander.

~ Amelia Desertsong

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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