Tribal Laboratory: Tribal Ball Lightnings

Pat Cook
December 05, 2017

Ball Lightning is an iconic “pseudo-tribe” in magic. First introduced in 4th Edition, but the first time a ball lightning stared me down was in M10, and I’m sure it was just as scary for players back then as it was for me as a new player. “Swing 6?” for me back then was a scary question, with these decks I wanted to invoke that feeling of explosive dread into my opponent.

There are two main ways that I’ve found effective to build this deck. The first for me was the Rally the Ancestors build.

Rally the Ancestors abuses one of the most important parts of Ball Lightning creatures, their high power, low toughness and the fact that even if they’re not killed in combat, they’re sacrificed at the end of turn. Let’s take a look at the list!

Rally The Ball LightningsPatrick Cook Ball Lightning Hellspark Elemental Lightning Serpent Spark Elemental Spark Trooper Battlefield Forge Clifftop Retreat Mountain Sacred Foundry Boros Charm Fling Lightning Bolt Lightning Helix Rally the Ancestors Faithless Looting



The deck wants to play lands, and start flinging Ball Lightnings and Spark Elementals. Rally the Ancestors is one of the main forms of “card advantage” and reach the deck has, but it also plays some Bolts, Helixes and Boros Charms for a little extra damage. This version gets to play a favorite of mine, a modern take on Ball Lightnings, Spark Trooper.

For one more mana you get lifelink, seems like a good deal. This deck is great at pulverizing your opponent with disposable creatures that hit fast, but don’t last.

What a scary thing, attacking for 6 with a Ball Lightning and then flinging it at them for 12 in a turn, for a little extra reach, you should play Fling.

I have a second version prepared, if you don’t think that version is your thing. This version’s main value engine of this deck is no stranger to modern; Collected Company.

A card that really requires no introduction, it gave birth to tons of decks all on it’s own and it really helped green by being a super value card. Let’s take a look at that list.

Company Ball LightningsPatrick Cook Ball Lightning Birds of Paradise Eternal Witness Groundbreaker Hell's Thunder Hellspark Elemental Noble Hierarch Primal Forcemage Spellskite Fire-Lit Thicket Forest Mountain Stomping Ground Windswept Heath Wooded Foothills Copperline Gorge Collected Company

This list plays a lot of the cards in our other list except in this list, we get to play some cool green cards like Primal Forcemage. Primal Forcemage is a powerhouse with Ball Lightning creatures. Whenever a creature enters the battlefield he gives them +3/+3, turning our Ball Lightnings into 9/4’s. That’s insane. To protect our ball lightnings we play Spellskite, a great card that stops our opponents from interacting with our beaters. A vulnerability to our creatures is that they die to lightning bolt very easily. Our deck also makes good use of Eternal Witness, a card that’s perfect for almost any deck playing Collected Company. Eternal Witness allows us to get back our Ball Lightnings and our CoCo’s, for extra value, and a 2/1 body on top.

These two lists are great fun for anyone trying to have a little fun and make their friends sweat a little!

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