Commander, also known as Elder Dragon Highlander or EDH for short, is a unique and exciting format in Magic: The Gathering. With a vast card pool and a multiplayer focus, it demands a strategic approach to deck-building and gameplay. In Commander, players construct decks with a minimum of 100 cards, led by a legendary creature or planeswalker known as their “COMMANDER”.
Each deck is built around a specific color identity, which consists of the mana symbols present in the casting costs and rules text of the commander. This format encourages creativity, allowing players to explore synergies among thousands of cards and build decks that reflect their personal style and strategies.
The multiplayer aspect of Commander sets it apart from other MTG formats. The game typically involve four or more players, each starting with 40 life points, adding a social dynamic to the gameplay. The increased number of opponents introduces unique challenges and opportunities, as players must navigate alliances, politics, and threats from multiple angles.
Commander decks often focus on long-term strategy and the accumulation of resources. With a starting hand size of seven and the ability to draw an additional card each turn, card advantage and card selection play a crucial role. The larger deck size also means that redundancy and consistency become essential factors to consider when constructing a powerful and resilient deck.
The format’s popularity has resulted in a vast and diverse metagame, with countless themes, archetypes, and strategies represented. From tribal decks centered around specific creature types to combo decks aiming for game-ending interactions, Commander offers a wide range of playstyles and experiences.
In this article, we will dive into the realm of Commander and explore the top 5 best Commander cards. These cards have proven their worth time and time again, earning their place in the hearts and decks of many Commander players.
5. Streets of New Capenna Triomes
The completion of the Triome cycle has been eagerly awaited for a few years. Now, with the introduction of the Shard Triomes in Streets of New Capenna, we finally have a Triome for each three-color combination!
For those unfamiliar, the Triomes unveiled in New Capenna include Raffine’s Tower, Spara’s Headquarters, Ziatora’s Proving Ground, Jetmir’s Garden, and Xander’s Lounge. These Triomes aptly represent the Esper, Bant, Jund, Naya, and Grixis Shard colors, respectively.
The significance of Triomes extends beyond being fetchable sources that tap for three colors. They possess the additional ability to be cycled for three mana. This allows you to potentially find more valuable cards if you happen to draw them later in the game. While the cycling ability may not be exceptionally powerful, it does introduce utility to your land base, which is always advantageous.
The completion of the Triome cycle brings a new level of versatility and options to deck-building, particularly in three-color combinations. Whether used for their multicolored mana generation or the ability to cycle for card selection, the inclusion of Triomes in your land base is undeniably beneficial.
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for what might just be the ultimate board wipe in the entire Commander format. Farewell, while a bit pricier compared to more specific options, offers a unique and customizable board wipe experience that can essentially reset the game.
The sheer power of Farewell stems from its ability to exile everything you choose to target. This bypasses the resilience of Indestructible cards, which are surprisingly common in the format. By exiling your selected targets, Farewell ensures that even the toughest threats are permanently removed.
Moreover, Farewell provides an array of versatile modes for you to select from. With the ability to exile creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and graveyards, Farewell becomes a solution to virtually any non-Planeswalker dominated board state. This flexibility renders it capable of neutralizing numerous common strategies seen in the format.
The remarkable prominence of Farewell in the Commander format is evident in its substantial play rate. Currently, it boasts an impressive 13% inclusion across all decks on the EDHREC platform, solidifying its position as one of the most widely-played cards in the format.
3. Black Market Connections
Black Market Connections, a three-mana enchantment, has proven to be on par with Commander staples like Smothering Tithe. Initially overlooked, this card gained significant recognition after an impressive performance on the Command Zone. As a result, its price skyrocketed over a few months, solidifying its position as one of the most powerful options in the entire Commander format.
Black Market Connections presents a combination of card draw, mana advantage, and a creature body. However, there’s a catch: you must pay life based on your desires. Each of these abilities can be activated separately, allowing flexibility in choosing which modes to utilize each turn. Nevertheless, when playing Black Market Connections, the goal is often to leverage multiple modes simultaneously. While cards like Phyrexian Arena offer card draw at a more favorable rate, paying three life for an additional card and a Treasure Token on every turn undeniably delivers a more substantial impact. Should you consistently utilize all three abilities, you will find yourself paying seven life per turn. Although this may not seem significant in the context of Commander, it can quickly accumulate if not managed carefully.
2. Displacer Kitten
If Displacer Kitten and Paradox Engine were released simultaneously, it’s highly likely that both cards would have faced bans in the Commander format. However, with the advent of the Rule Zero concept deeply ingrained in the community, the need for numerous bans has been alleviated. This fact alone solidifies its contention for the second spot on our list.
Displacer Kitten, deceptively concealed behind its adorable feline appearance, is a ruthless combo piece. The intricacies of its combos are extensive, but they essentially revolve around utilizing Displacer Kitten’s abilities to blink mana rocks and trigger enter-the-battlefield effects, paving the way for a victorious outcome from various starting points.
In many deck builds, Displacer Kitten often falls outside the scope of Rule Zero discussions, making it a surprising inclusion in approximately 5% of decks, according to EDHREC’s play rate statistics. Its potency as a combo enabler remains undeniable, even with the nuances of deck customization and social agreement within the Commander format.
1. Boseiju, Who Endures
Boseiju, Who Endures, holds the prestigious number one spot on our list and has undeniably revolutionized the way Magic is played across multiple formats. Its immense influence solidifies its position at the top without question.
In the Commander format, Boseiju stands out as a cut above the other Channel Lands. While it remains exceptional in other formats as well, its significance is particularly pronounced in Commander. Given the format’s emphasis on powerful artifacts and enchantments, having a utility land that can destroy them is a significant advantage over a mere Basic Forest.
Notably, Boseiju is yet another card that Archivist of Oghma can transform into a cantrip, amplifying its versatility. Its ability to annihilate targets in a manner that’s challenging to interact with renders traditional countermagic useless against it. Ultimately, the unparalleled freedom and flexibility that Boseiju grants to all green decks in the Commander format establish it as the paramount MTG Commander card.