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MTG: Creator Spotlight – Commander Cookout

3 Minute Read
Oct 21 2023

Check out our spotlight on Magic community creators! This week, we talk to Ryan Peneff of Commander Cookout and Commander ad Populum.

Welcome in, Praetors and Planeswalkers! One of my favorite things about Commander is the rich community of creators, influencers, and players that have formed around it. YouTube, Twitch, and podcast influencers all provide a unique perspective on the game, whether through playing, deck tech, or just general banter. Creators like these are usually the first introduction players have to the game; they play a huge part in promoting and growing the community. If you love EDH, you probably have a creator to thank. This series is designed to shine a light on some of those brilliant creators.

This week, we’re talking to Ryan Peneff. Ryan is one half of the Commander Cookout podcast team, which runs out of Canada. He and his co-host, Brando, riff on the current meta, review spicy decks, and talk about some of their favorite hot takes. I caught up with him at MagicCon Vegas, and talking to him really showcased his love for the game.

Photo courtesy of their website. Ryan is the gent in the hat.

How Long Have You Been Playing Magic?

Ryan: I’ve been playing since 2000, so 23 years. Brando, my co-host, has been playing since either 1998 or ’99.


What Drew You to the Game?

Ryan: The Pokemon TCG. My friend’s family knew I played and said to me, “Hey, try Chess instead of Checkers.” Then they handed me a duffle bag of cards, and the rest was history.

How Long Has Your Channel Been Around?

Ryan: Since February 2017. Our first episode was a review of Horobi, Death’s Wail from Champions of Kamigawa.

What Makes Your Channel Unique?

Ryan: We swear, and we make fun of Josh Lee Kwai.

Seriously though, we produce the content we want for the people we know will enjoy it. Because of that, we’ve built the tightest and strongest culture out of any audience of creators. We have people from the other side of the globe that come to Saskatoon to stay with us, because they’ve found a family. #CCONation! It is a family for real.


What Advice Do You Have for Up and Coming Content Creators?

Ryan: There’s so much, but I’ll distil it: Be as real as possible. Don’t sacrifice who you are because you think the thing you’re trying to be is what makes you successful. Realism makes you successful. Authenticity. Also, don’t worry about how it looks or sounds. It will always be bad at first, but you have to start. Just do it.

What’s Your Favorite Set?

Invasion, and it’s not close. The draft environment was terrible, but that’s why it’s good. The story was great, the set was great, and it was the first true “multi-colored” set. It’s just the best.

Which Commander is Your Favorite and Why?

Animar, Soul of Elements. Temur is my favorite color combo because I love playing Blue and Red, but I also love Blue and Green. Animar has protection from the best two removals, and is a nasty card. I still have my first Animar deck to this day.

You can check out Ryan and the CommanderCookout on their website. Tune in next week for another Creator Spotlight!


Author: Clint Lienau
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