Magic: The Gathering features over 1,200 legendary creatures, and you can make almost any of them your Commander. Sorry, Rofellos and Erayo, no Commander decks for you! There are currently eight legendary creatures banned from Commander; among the remaining choices, ten creatures stand ahead of the pack.
Commander is a format about having fun with friends, so you might not want to play with the most powerful cards. But if you do, this list is a good place to start!
Golos has been dominating Magic games across many formats for two years now. What’s not to love? With a mana value of five generic mana, and a free land to your hand every time Golos hits play, you can do whatever else you want to do and your Commander won’t get in the way. Plus, if you decide you want to play all five colors, you can pay the seven-mana activated ability cost and get the next three cards from your deck for free!
For real, though—Golos may be tireless, but many Magic players are sick and tired of this card. Branch out a little, because we’ve got nine more powerhouses to go.
The second most popular Commander choice (according to EDHRec) is the Jund shard powerhouse, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King from Throne of Eldraine. You don’t need to bother with all five colors when you get this massive card-drawing machine, as he only allows for black, red, and green mana. Korvold demands an endless stream of sacrifices but rewards you generously through cards and Commander damage.
You’ll have to arrange your deck around cards you can sacrifice profitably, but that strategy is well known and very popular. And remember, you only need to deal 21 damage to an opponent using your Commander, unlike the full 40 damage with the rest of your cards.
Kenrith offers a little bit of everything at the helm of your Commander deck. Unlike Golos, you don’t need to actually play all five colors to use his various abilities—but you’ll find plenty of opportunities to use each of them in games. Kenrith’s abilities are communal as well: He can give any player five life and let them draw a card; he can make their creatures bigger and give them trample and haste.
With the power to spread the love around the table, Kenrith helps keep you in the table’s good graces—another thing he does much better than Golos.
Sometimes you just want to proliferate all the counters early and often. Atraxa offers an efficient and powerful package of combat abilities to help attack and defend you every turn. You’ll miss out on playing red mana, but you probably won’t notice. You’ll be too busy ticking up the counters on your creatures and artifacts and everything else you can manage to put counters onto.
Ninjutsu was a popular and tricky combat mechanic that players hoped would come back after 2004-05’s Kamigawa block. Yuriko offers a very powerful take on ninjutsu, now able to enter play from the command zone for only two mana every time you bring her back. All you need is an army of attacking Ninjas. As a reward, you get to draw more cards and chip away at your opponents’ life totals. Sign me up for that!
Alela, Artful Provocateur pumps out Faerie tokens while also increasing their power by one. You’ll need a deck full of artifacts and enchantments, but that’s easy in Commander—and especially so for the Esper shard, which offers many combos and benefits to doing so across its three colors of white, blue, and black. Another powerful addition to Commander from Throne of Eldraine, Alela has become a favorite for players who want to stick to her three colors for their cards.
If you instead play blue, back, and green, you might be more interested in bringing cards back from your graveyard. Muldrotha is the perfect Commander to do that. This massive elemental allows you to cast one spell of each permanent type from your graveyard on each of your turns. All you need to power this ability is a way to throw a bunch of cards from your deck into your graveyard. Don’t worry, that’s easy too!
The Sultai colors offer more than just Muldrotha. Yarok, the Desecrated doubles your triggers when permanents hit your board, which can create some incredible shenanigans in these colors. Eternal Witness brings a card back from your graveyard to hand when it’s on the field, and that’s just the beginning.
You don’t need to mess with your graveyard at all with Yarok. In fact, if you like to play blue, black, and green spells but want to avoid relying on your graveyard—maybe you have a reputation that other players have prepared to beat—try this Commander instead! EDHRec has more than 4,100 Yarok decks!
Chulane steps out of Irish mythology and into your ready-made value engine. Every time you cast a creature, you draw a card and play a free land? Sounds great to me. You can see how Chulane would be a popular and powerful Commander, since he sets you up to do more of whatever else your deck wants to do. For a lot of players, that flexibility is more important that the actual words printed on their cards.
But maybe you care about words. Maybe you care about dragons. Maybe you want the final Commander on our list.
You know you want to play The Ur-Dragon. Come on: Look at that name. Look at those abilities. Look at all those dragons in your collection. The Eminence ability means you don’t even have to bother casting your expensive Commander until you are good and ready. Who wouldn’t want to command massive air forces of dragons? Not you!
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