Ashen Rider - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Ashen Rider | Illustration by Chris Rahn

We’ve already ranked some popular tribes like elves and goblins in our effort to cover all tribes in our beloved game. But there are plenty that remain, and today I’m going over archons. These elegant beasts fly across the multiverse to help the needed and exile the evil, with a few exceptions.

Are you excited to see all of the archons that exist so far? Let’s get started!

What Are Archons in MTG?

Archon of Sun's Grace | Illustration by Matt Stewart

Archon of Sun's Grace | Illustration by Matt Stewart

Archons are mighty creatures that fly and have powerful ETB abilities, but they often cost lots of mana as a result. For today I’m only considering creatures of this subtype and excluding all the honorific ones like shapeshifters and changelings.

Best White Archons

#14. Archon of Absolution

Archon of Absolution

Archon of Absolution was a solid sideboard card against white decks when it was legal in Standard, and solid in the early Historic metagame from time to time.

#13. Archon of Coronation

Archon of Coronation

Monarch is a vital ability, and it can be game-changing in tables when the game is down to two players despite it putting a target on your back. The second ability on Archon of Coronation isn’t irrelevant, but it’s not something I’d play this creature for.

#12. Ornitharch


Ornitharch is a 5/5 for five, or five power and toughness spread across three bodies. I wouldn’t run it, but you can try it out and let me know if you like it.

#11. Vengeful Archon

Vengeful Archon

Opponents will think twice before attacking you as long as you have enough mana since Vengeful Archon can redirect the damage to them or their planeswalkers.

#10. Archon of Falling Stars

Archon of Falling Stars

I remember playing Archon of Falling Stars in Theros Limited but have yet to see it much since then. It’s a good card to play in enchantress decks and I see it as a part of an Omniscience combo, but that’s too difficult to pull off.

#9. Archon of Redemption

Archon of Redemption

Archon of Redemption is a creature you want to take advantage of if you’re into gaining life.

#8. Celestial Archon

Celestial Archon

I can see Celestial Archon in Voltron-like strategies where you want a flexible enchantment that can sometimes be used as a creature for your auras to target.

#7. Guardian Archon

Guardian Archon

Guardian Archon is a weird creature to play. The surprise factor is a plus when you attack and may keep your opponent’s creatures from attacking, but I don’t know. Making it a name-based activated ability is weird.

#6. Harmonious Archon

Harmonious Archon

Harmonious Archon is another creature I have some experience with from Theros Limited. I’m not sure if it works in an archon tribal Commander deck outside of that, but it’s worth mentioning that most archons are bigger than a 3/3 so there may be something good going on there.

#5. Silent Sentinel

Silent Sentinel

Silent Sentinel is very similar to Archon of Falling Stars except it triggers whenever it attacks, which makes the Sentinel strictly better.

#4. Archon of Emeria

Archon of Emeria

Bant () decks running Collected Company love Archon of Emeria because it’s the perfect partner with other cards like Spell Queller since it denies your opponent entire turns while adding an evasive creature to the board.

#3. Blazing Archon

Blazing Archon

Again, Blazing Archon can stop entire strategies from winning if you can cheat this monster into play early with a reanimation spell or a Show and Tell strategy.

#2. Archon of Sun’s Grace

Archon of Sun's Grace

I loved Archon of Sun's Grace in my Historic enchantress decks because it was a powerhouse against a wide variety of decks. And generating an army with lifelink isn’t something a lot of other cards can do.

#1. Archon of Justice

Archon of Justice

I like Archon of Justice specifically in reanimator decks that can sacrifice it and later return it to sacrifice again to start killing permanents with that interaction.

Best Black Archon

#1. Archon of Cruelty

Archon of Cruelty

Archon of Cruelty has been a staple of Modern and Legacy decks since it was printed. It not only has a strong ETB ability but also triggers when it attacks, and it’s not legendary. Pretty sick.

Best Multicolored Archons

#4. Archon of the Triumvirate

Archon of the Triumvirate

Detain it isn’t the best of the abilities because it’s unreliable to pull off consistently. Still, Archon of the Triumvirate can end games on smaller boards in narrow scenarios.

#3. Krond the Dawn-Clad

Krond the Dawn-Clad

Krond the Dawn-Clad is another archon that goes great in an enchantress or Voltron-like strategy.

#2. Archon of Valor’s Reach

Archon of Valor's Reach

I can see Archon of Valor's Reach exceeding expectations if you can cheat it into play early to deny entire strategies.

#1. Ashen Rider

Ashen Rider

Ashen Rider is a better version of Archon of Justice since it triggers when it enters the battlefield on top of its death ability.

Best Archons Payoffs

Archons don’t have any theme in common as you may have seen from looking at these cards, except that the majority like enchantments. The rest are big creatures with some ETB effect or narrow ability.

So let’s list some cards that go well with the ones I mentioned!

Entomb Reanimate

This kind of strategy works best with the big archons like Archon of Cruelty where you can tutor it with Entomb and put it onto the battlefield with Reanimate.

Sanctum Weaver is used to ramp into your Archon of Sun's Grace, and those decks use effects similar to Enchantress's Presence to refill your hand and find more enchantments to keep creating horses with wings and not run out of cards.

The interaction of these cards makes any ETB effect of your archons a solid game plan against most of the decks. Before attacks you can sacrifice your archon with Viscera Seer, attack with Sun Titan, and bring Animate Dead back from the graveyard to return your archon. You can repeat this while smoothing your draws next turn.

Wrap Up

Archon of Emeria - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Archon of Emeria | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

There aren’t a lot of archons out there, but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. Archons will always provide powerful effects to put yourself far ahead into the game.

Did you like the rankings? What’s the next tribe you want to see covered? Let me know in the comments or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

As always, take care and I’ll see you next time!

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