Commander, known for its casual play, attracts players who seek to refine their decks and compete. Competitive Commander tournaments exist, but even casual players want winning deck ideas. With a vast range of options available, the overwhelming choices often lead to decision paralysis.
As players debate various interpretations of Commander decks, a few rise to the top. While personal preferences differ, some decks stand out as commonly played and highly effective. These strategies excel in numerous situations, although they may not dominate at the highest competitive tables. Nevertheless, they remain versatile and perform well in the majority of games, making them ideal for non-cEDH play.
If you find yourself struggling to achieve victory in Commander against your friends, consider exploring these decks for inspiration. Some decks may be more expensive, and card substitutions may be necessary. However, there is ample room for innovation while staying true to the deck’s core concept.
5. Omnath, Locus of All
When it comes to powerful Phyrexian Commanders, look no further than Omnath, Locus of All. This exceptional choice grants access to all five colors of mana, making it a versatile option. Not only does it enable you to play all five Praetors, but it also provides mana acceleration when paired with multicolored cards. What sets Omnath apart is its unique ability to retain unspent mana as black mana, which remains available until Omnath leaves the battlefield.
One exciting interaction to consider is with cards like Villainous Wealth. With the right mana ramp, you can exile a significant number of cards and benefit greatly. Additionally, creatures like Nyxbloom Ancient help generate excess mana, which can be immediately utilized or saved for casting massive X spells like Torrent of Hellfire, capable of ending the game in one fell swoop.
To fully harness Omnath’s potential, take advantage of its second ability, which relies on multicolored cards. At the start of your precombat phase, you get to choose three mana from a combination of revealed colors. This opens the door to swiftly playing various powerful cards. For example, you can bring Maelstrom Nexus or Maelstrom Angel onto the battlefield, both of which require high multicolored costs.
A solid strategy with Omnath involves overwhelming your opponents with powerful creatures before they can respond. You can also leverage other Phyrexian cards like Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, and Vorinclex, Monstrous Predator to inflict further damage and disruption on your foes.
Embrace the complexity and diversity that Omnath, Locus of All brings to the table. With its ability to tap into all five colors, fueling a burst of multicolored spells, the battlefield becomes your canvas for unparalleled magic and tactics.
4. Lathril, Blade of the Elves
Elves have always been a beloved choice in Commander, and Lathril, Blade of the Elves takes their allure to new heights. Witness the captivating dance of combat as Lathril strikes her opponents, summoning 1/1 Elf tokens equal to her power. Once you have a grand total of ten Elves on the battlefield, you can tap them to drain ten life from each of your adversaries.
Your opponents will want to avoid Lathril dealing damage since accumulating 21 cumulative combat damage from her spells certain defeat. Not only does the damage add up, but Lathril also creates tokens equal to the damage dealt.
To excel with Lathril, focus on summoning a legion of Elves while draining your opponents’ life. Cards like Elvish Warmaster enable you to flood the battlefield with Elf tokens quickly, initiating a relentless life drain. Supporting cards such as Elvish Archdruid and Leaf-Crowned Visionary transform seemingly weak 1/1 Elves into formidable fighters. Rather than relying on simple removal spells like Lightning Bolt, force your opponents into wiping the entire board.
Further augment your Elves’ strength by combining cards like Ezuri, Renegade Leader, who can turn your Elf army into a force to be reckoned with. Backed by naturally powerful Elves like Glissa Sunslayer and Abomination of Llanowar, your opponents will have to find a way to neutralize or exile them. While these cards may have higher mana costs, you can expedite their arrival with cards like Llanowar Elves and Wirewood Channeler. As an added bonus, the combination of Elvish Archdruid and Staff of Domination can even grant you infinite mana.
To ensure your Elves’ survival and maintain focus on draining life from enemies, equip them with protective equipment and enchantments. Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots can safeguard your most powerful Elves from harm. Additionally, cards like Coat of Arms or Beastmaster’s Ascension can amplify your Elves’ power, overwhelming your opponents’ defenses.
With multiple avenues to thwart your opponents, watch them scramble to react as you adjust your strategy to the changing circumstances. Master the art of the Elves, and orchestrate a symphony of victory, where the power of nature reigns supreme.
3. Tymna the Weaver
If you’re intrigued by the Partner mechanic that allows two Commanders, consider Tymna the Weaver. Tymna, often paired with Thrasios, Triton Hero, offers a range of benefits. With blue, green, white, and black mana, this partnership provides versatility and synergy.
Thrasios excels at ramping mana with his Scry ability. It allows you to reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land, you play it tapped, and if it’s another card, you draw one. This helps control your hand while quickly bringing lands into play.
With enhanced mana ramp, you can deploy powerful cards like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and Atraxa, Grand Unifier. The Scry ability isn’t limited to basic lands, so cards like Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth or Breeding Pool can be played. Creatures such as Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch can also contribute to your mana needs.
Tymna excels at card advantage. After dealing damage to players, you can pay life to draw cards equal to the number of players you damaged. This ability replenishes your hand in larger games, providing more options.
To offset Tymna’s life drain, include cards like Serra Ascendant or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse to gain life. Cards like Toxic Deluge can clear the board while benefiting from the extra life gained. Protecting your creatures, artifacts, and enchantments is crucial, so consider using cards like Counterspell or Heroic Intervention.
Tymna and Thrasios offer various paths to victory. Powerful creatures like Atraxa, Grand Unifier can end the battle. Exiling troublesome creatures with cards like Swords to Plowshares and strengthening your own creatures with counters can also lead to success.
2. The Ur-Dragon
For Dragon enthusiasts, The Ur-Dragon is a formidable Commander choice. It grants access to every color and reduces the mana cost of Dragons by one. Though summoning The Ur-Dragon requires a substantial cost, the benefits are worthwhile. It allows any number of Dragons to attack, drawing cards and putting a permanent from your hand onto the battlefield.
Combining The Ur-Dragon with cards like Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm quickly populates the battlefield with powerful threats. Lathliss, Dragon Queen and Utvara Hellkite create Dragon tokens, increasing your attacking force.
Mana ramp is crucial for playing expensive Dragons. Scaled Nurturer and Faeburrow Elder generate mana early on. Cards like Cultivate and Growth Spiral help you acquire lands. Dragonspeaker Shaman reduces mana costs, expediting Dragon deployment.
Reviving Dragons is important as opponents may target them. Bladewing the Risen revives a Dragon while providing a body on the battlefield. Patriarch’s Bidding brings back all Dragons from the graveyard. In challenging situations, Crux of Fate buys you time or secures victory.
1. Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice
Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice is ideal for counter-focused Commander decks. It possesses Flying, Vigilance, Deathtouch, and Lifelink. The standout ability is Proliferate, triggering during the end step. It adds an additional counter to chosen permanents with counters.
Atraxa’s Proliferate ability doesn’t require any action, making it valuable. Prologue to Phyresis applies a Poison Counter to opponents without combat. Bloated Contaminator breaks through defenses to poison opponents.
Cards like Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus and Inexorable Tide enable multiple Proliferations. Tekuthal can gain an Indestructible counter, enhancing resilience. Evolution Sage triggers Proliferation with each land played, while Ezuri, Stalker of Spheres aids in card advantage.
Atraxa also amplifies the power of planeswalkers like Teferi, Temporal Archmage. Combined with artifacts and mana-producing permanents, you can generate more mana and utilize loyalty abilities effectively. Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider capitalize on Proliferated poison counters.
To handle opposing threats, cards like Swords to Plowshares remove obstacles while preserving your survival. Astral Cornucopia and Shalai, Voice of Plenty provide other beneficial counters and advantage. Proliferation forces opponents to pay attention to you or risk defeat.