Last updated on January 19, 2023
Zevlor, Elturel Exile | Illustration by David Rapoza
Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is coming out and bringing 66 new commanders for players to try and play around with. It’s the second supplementary set to Commander, and while it may not have the same power level as the original Commander Legends, this set leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to the number of new commanders.
It can be difficult to figure out what commanders interest you in the sea of new cards, which is why today I’m coming to you with a comprehensive list of every new legal commander in the set and a relative ranking for each.
Let’s get started!
How Many Commanders Are There in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate?
Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer | Illustration by Joshua Raphael
There are over 80 total commanders for players to test and try out in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate. This isn’t too surprising since it’s literally a supplementary set for Commander, but this is nonetheless quite a few more than previous sets, which had between 15 to 30.
#83. Nine-Fingers Keene
The Sultai () commander we’re looking at today falls in last place, and its name is Nine-Fingers Keene. This creature puts Gates from the top of your library onto the battlefield, and then gives you all of the cards you look at with its ability if you control nine or more Gates.
The catch is, there are only twenty gates in all of Magic and seven of them aren’t legal in this deck. Gates is very much a five-color strategy, and while Nine-Fingers Keene is great in those decks, it should not itself be a commander.
#82. Abdel Adrian, Gorion’s Ward
Next up on the list is Abdel Adrian, Gorion’s Ward. This is a pretty disappointing start. You’re basically giving up your permanents temporarily to create a bunch of 1/1s. It’s really good if you pair it with Inspiring Leader, because you’ll make a bunch of 3/3s instead. But I think the problem with this creature lies in that you have to give up other nonland permanents, which will be hard to come by if you’re already a token deck.
#81. Rasaad yn Bashir
Following up is another white commander, this time being Rasaad yn Bashir. This three mana 0/3 is your run-of-the-mill toughness commander, making your creatures assign combat damage based on toughness instead of power.
Toughness is a fine and strong mechanic to run with, but it’s much better done on other commanders like Arcades, the Strategist where you have access to blue and green instead of whatever other color you get with your background.
#80. Vhal, Candlekeep Researcher
Vhal, Candlekeep Research is one of the weirder commanders featured on today’s list, and it cares a lot about activated abilities. It taps for a sizeable chunk of mana, but the catch is that it can’t be used to cast spells from your hand.
I could see this working alright with Clan Crafter as your background, making your commander a cantrip that can draw more and more cards each turn. But I don’t really see the power level in that, especially when it requires a constant input of artifacts to work with. I just don’t think Vhal has enough text to make it very powerful, but I’d love to be proven wrong in the comments.
#79. Korlessa, Scale Singer
Next up on the list we have Korlessa, Scale Singer, a dragon commander who gives you some nice Simic () value right out of the gate. I think this is a fine commander, and probably a decent pick in Draft depending on what relevant dragons are in the set, but I just don’t think that’s enough for me.
#78. Renari, Merchant of Marvels
Renari, Merchant of Marvels is up next to be ranked, and this card is in a similar boat to the previous dragon commander. It simply doesn’t do all that much, and leaves me wanting when it comes to dragons. But it does have background, which means Acolyte of Bahamut can carry it somewhat, but then we’re still locked into two colors.
Alternatively, this commander could go into the artifact category and be paired with something like Clan Crafter to act as a value engine, but nonetheless it isn’t doing much else.
#77. Zellix, Sanity Flayer
In 77th place is Zellix, Sanity Flayer. Zellix is a horror creature with hivemind that creates a 1/1 horror whenever one or more creatures are milled. This card could work well with a background like Criminal Past, but then I’m just finding myself asking the question, “Why not play Slogurk?”
#76. Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant
While Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant may be ranked number one in terms of cuteness/adorableness, it’s coming up short in terms of power level. Its whole schtick is that it gives +1/+1 counters and untaps creatures if a permanent left the battlefield during your turn. This is almost exclusively only good with tokens.
But it does pair well Cloakwood Hermit as a consistent source of creatures to buff up and attack with.
#75. Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer
Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer is a mythic elf shaman that goads all creatures your opponents control with power less than Baeloth’s, then generates Treasure tokens when those creatures die. On its own, this commander makes an impact, but probably not enough.
Having two power naturally means you’ll need to buff this one way or another, and I think the best way to do that is with Cultist of the Absolute. It’s a simple way to make Baeloth goad basically everything, and sacrificing a creature is probably something you’ll be doing anyway in Rakdos ().
#74. Ganax, Astral Hunter
Next up we have Ganax, Astral Hunter. Ganax makes a [cad]Treasure[/card] token whenever it or another dragon enters the battlefield. This can go well with the background Acolyte of Bahamut for some extreme ramping. But I wish Ganax had some other line of text that gave it a big dragon-y ability, because it seems sort of bland otherwise.
#73. Erinis, Gloom Stalker
Another green commnader, Erinis, Gloom Stalker is a 3/3 for three with deathtouch that brings lands from the graveyard to the battlefield when it attacks. On its own, this shouldn’t even be a commander, but the background ability helps bring it to new life.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any land-based backgrounds to go with Erenis. Scion of Halaster could possibly work since it helps filter your draws and recuperate lost lands, but that’s about it.
#72. Safana, Calimport Cutthroat
Safana, Calimport Cutthroat is one of the first commanders on today’s rankings that utilizes the new initiative mechanic. It’s a pretty simple commander overall. Make a Treasure token if you have the initiative, make three if you’ve already completed a dungeon.
My only quarrel with this card is that you’re restricted to two colors, when in reality Esper () is where dungeon commander decks want to be. That being said, if you’re looking for a deck that can effectively and consistently have the initiative, this commander pairs well with Far Traveler.
#71. Gut, True Soul Zealot
It was only a matter of time until a goblin found its way onto today’s rankings, and that goblin is Gut, True Soul Zealot. Gut is a 2/2 goblin shaman who allows you to sacrifice an artifact or creature whenever it attacks. When you do, you create a 4/1 skeleton with menace tapped and attacking alongside it. It’s a pretty simple commander who probably performs better in Draft than as your actual commander, but it’s fun nonetheless.
#70. Livaan, Cultist of Tiamat
Livaan, Cultist of Tiamat is another one of these uncommon commanders who has background. This one gives a creature +X/+0 whenever you cast a noncreature spell, where X is that spell’s mana cost. I’m mostly just disappointed this doesn’t give trample. There aren’t exactly any super strong backgrounds that go well with it, and it makes it just a little too weak for my liking.
#69. Viconia, Drow Apostate
Viconia, Draw Apostate is an elf cleric with background who, at your upkeep, returns a creature from your graveyard to your hand if there are at least four in there already. This is a pretty mediocre recursion mechanic, but keeping in mind that it’s an uncommon with background, I suppose it’s fine.
I think the biggest issue a lot of these background commanders have is that, even when paired with a great background, simply execute strategies that already exist but in a worse fashion. That’s fine if Commander wasn’t a format that allowed to pick and chose these commanders, but at the end of the day the mechanic isn’t going to function in Draft so it’s pointless to judge it in that scenario. They’re just bad cards.
#68. Gluntch, the Bestower
The only jellyfish in the set, Gluntch, the Bestower is a 0/5 for three that loves to group hug. It essentially allows you to play politics with its benefits while still giving you something, but I just don’t know where this card fits in the format. It doesn’t do group hug better than anything else, and doesn’t even present a way to win.
#67. Skanos Dragonheart
Skanos Dragonheart is another one of these subpar dragon commanders that just doesn’t do enough. It gives a stats bonus when it attacks, which on its own is good, but I don’t ever see this being a prominent commander.
#66. Wyll, Blade of Frontiers
Wyll, Blade of Frontiers is a pretty powerful commander. It doubles your dice rolling, which gives you a much better result on average, and does it well. It even has
partner background to splash another color with some fun mechanics.
But dice rolling just isn’t really a prominent mechanic. The main purpose I could see for this commander is in a Krark deck, but in that case, it’d be an inclusion, not the commander.
#65. Mahadi, Emporium Master
Next up we have Mahadi, Emporium Master. This Rakdos cat devil makes a Treasure token on your end step for each creature that died that turn. It’s a great card in Rakdos sacrifice decks, especially ones that have big payoff creatures in the form of Eldrazi or Rakdos himself.
But I think this card is missing something. Not background necessarily, but some other line of text that says something along the lines of “Whenever you sacrifice a Treasure token, give a creature a +1/+1 counter and trample until end of turn.” That would make it a lot more interesting and powerful, but I suppose not every card needs to be great.
#64. Amber, Gristle O’Maul
Amber, Gristle O’Maul is your classic beatdown commander who can help refill your hand later in the game. I think this is a decent card on rate and a good inclusion in some Red/X casual creature deck. I think it falls a little short of being noteworthy as a commander, but it still pairs well with a creature like Guild Artisan or Scion of Halaster.
#63. Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy
Up next is Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy, a human wizard who essentially gives instants and sorceries in your graveyard flashback whenever you cast a spell that shares a type with them. Gale also has background, which means you can pair it with something along the lines of Scion of Halaster to make a nice graveyard/spellslinger combo deck.
#62. The Council of Four
The Council of Four is somewhat lackluster. Drawing a card and creating 2/2s is a decent stax piece, and this card’s stats reflect that, but something about it leaves me wanting. It’s certainly no Grand Arbiter, and while I’d play it in that sort of Azorius () stax deck, this card just executes that strategy too poorly to be in the command zone as opposed to in the library.
#61. Arasta of the Endless Web
Next up we have Arasta of the Endless Web, a spider commander who produces a 1/2 with reach whenever an opponent casts an instant or sorcery. While this is a decent card overall for spider tribal, it’s still somewhat lackluster as a commander. I’d like to see the background mechanic, or just another line of text before I’d use this myself.
#60. Lozhan, Dragons’ Legacy
Next, we have Lozhan, Dragon’s Legacy, a 4/2 flier who turns adventure spells into direct damage. This is a fun concept that I think helps take adventure to the next level, but I’m a little skeptical as to how many actually playable adventure cards are out there, and whether this has any real power behind it. That being said, I’m a sucker for tempo and I hope for the best with this card.
#59. Minthara, Merciless Soul
Don’t let the experience counters fool you, this isn’t an old precon commander. Minthara, Merciless Soul is a 2/2 for four that accumulates experience counters after your turn goes by with a permanent leaving the battlefield. Those experience counters then turn into… +1/+0 for your creatures. Very lackluster, this mechanic feels out of place in Orzhov (), and I think that’s because it doesn’t give lifelink or deathtouch.
#58. Cadira, Caller of the Small
Cadira, Caller of the Small is an orc ranger that creates a 1/1 rabbit whenever it deals combat damage to a player. That’s it.
I think this is a lackluster commander, but the fact that it’s still better than about 20 other commanders on the list speaks to the power level of many of these uncommon legendary creatures.
#57. Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar
Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar found its way into the CLB precons, and was granted a reprint with this set’s release. Graz is a 3/2 for three who bounces your blocked creatures, and draws you a card whenever you manage to connect to a player in combat. This is some great blue tempo, that strives to be the commander of a deck full of cheap flying faeries, but who also works well in any generic horror deck.
#56. Tasha, the Witch Queen
Here’s where things start to get a little more interesting, and what better way to start than with Tasha herself. This planeswalker is all about stealing cards, just how Dimir () likes it. My main quarrel with this card is that it seems too difficult to actually play the cards you steal. I’d like to see this planeswalker’s second ability be a -2 instead of 3, or have the first ability be a +2 instead of 1. I feel like I’ll only get maximum one card theft off with this card, and that burns.
#55. Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes
Next up is one of the other planeswalker commanders in the set, Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes. This commander makes a 1/1 hamster with haste and trample, who’s just begging to be given +1/+1 counters with the +1 ability. The other ability, which costs two loyalty counters, flings a creature and draws cards if that creature was a hamster. This is a very cute commander, and one that’s actually somewhat powerful, but it’s not the best in terms of power level when it comes to Gruul () stompy. Nonetheless, I like this card and think it’s a great casual commander.
#54. Alora, Merry Thief
Alora, Merry Thief is somewhat of a unique commander who very much wants to be a ninja but isn’t. It gives an attacking creature unblockable, then returns it to your hand at the end step. It’s sort of reverse ninjutsu, and could be a great way to bounce ninjutsu creatures the turn after they were ninjutsu’d in.
#53. Sivriss, Nightmare Speaker
Sivriss, Nightmare Speaker is up next. This snake cleric warlock is a 3/3 who lets you sacrifice a creature or artifact, only to bring it right back if your opponent doesn’t let you draw a card. This is a decent sacrifice outlet and a great way to fill the graveyard in a reanimator deck.
#52. Kagha, Shadow Archdruid
Kagha, Shadow Archdruid is up next. Kagha mills you two cards and gains deathtouch when it attacks, which works well with its second ability that lets you play whatever you ended up milling. This is a cute little card, but I wish this was a 2/3 or 1/3 for two instead of being a four-drop.
#51. Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald
One of the worse mythics on the list, Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald still brings some nice value to the world of Gruul stompy. It lets you play cards off of the top of your library, and gives you a 2/2 when you do it. I’ll admit I wish this was giving me a 3/3 or 4/4 instead of a 2/2 wolf, but I think the concept is still nice in a strategy that otherwise doesn’t have much card advantage.
#50. Raphael, Fiendish Savior
Raphael, Fiendish Savior is a demon/imps/tiefling tribal commander who creates 1/1 red devils whenever a creature entered a graveyard during any turn. It’s actually a pretty sweet commander, and this is sort of where the rankings start to hit an upward trend. Rakdos sacrifice has commanders like this already, but this one is actually good enough to compete and be played based on personal preference, which is a first with this set.
#49. Baba Lysaga, Night Witch
Baba Lysaga, Night Witch is a unique Golgari () sacrifice commander who loves when you sacrifice three types of permanents at a time. It rewards you with three cards, three life, and three damage to each of your opponents. I like this idea, but I wish three was replaced with X, where X is the number of permanent types sacrificed.
#48. Grumgully, the Generous
Grumgully, the Generous is up next. This Gruul goblin shaman commander gives your non-human creatures a +1/+1 counter when they enter the battlefield. This is a mediocre mechanic overall, despite being very strong in goblin decks. The problem here, however, is that there are many other, more powerful Gruul goblin and tribal commanders waiting to be used.
#47. Mikaeus, the Lunarch
The white Mikaeus, Mikaeus, the Lunarch is another reprint in the reconstructed decks for CLB. This one-mana cleric is a combo-piece waiting to happen, who can tap to add or remove and then distribute a +1/+1 counter. It is begging to be used with Walking Ballista and some other combo piece, which makes me more lenient to play it in some kind of Abzan reanimator combo deck rather than as my actual commander.
#46. Imoen, Mystic Trickster
Next up is Imoen, Mystic Trickster, a 2/3 for three with ward and the ability to draw a card on your end step if you have the initiative. This turns initiative into better monarch, and even better if you’ve completed a dungeon already. This is very intriguing to me, but I’m skeptical as to the power level since we won’t have access to both black andwhite with this commander.
#45. Firkraag, Cunning Instigator
Next, we have Firkraag, Cunning Instigator. I really like this dragon’s idea, it’s very unique to Izzet () while staying within the guild’s theme. I do think it’s a little simple and relies too heavily on your opponents having creatures, but at the end of the day if they don’t have any creatures to goad, you’re going to be connecting with your dragons anyway, so who cares?
#44. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs has been in a number of Commander reconstructed decks since its debut in Worldwake, and it’s yet to shock the metagame or really find its place. It’s an incredibly defensive card for red, and can be tricky to work around unless you’re including it in some kind of goad deck, but even then you wouldn’t want this as your commander. That said, it’s still a decent body and the best commander if you’re looking to do mono-red goad specifically.
#43. Keiga, the Tide Star
Keiga, the Tide Star is overall a very disappointing card. The thought of each color getting its own legendary dragon made me very excited initially, but I was quickly shocked at just how dull this blue one was and that it was a reprint. It steals a creature when it dies, which while that can be very good, it just doesn’t bring much to the table to make me want to have it as my commander.
#42. Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody
I think Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody is a very cozy commander which supplies plenty of card advantage for Selesnya () token decks. The only disappointment is that it doesn’t have some other line of text that buffs your tokens. It also sucks that the best background, Inspiring Leader, means you’ll be in mono white as opposed to green and white. A small plus, though, is that this commander reminds me of Osono from Kiki’s Delivery Service.
#41. Jaheira, Friend of the Forest
Jaheira, Friend of the Forest is a simple yet powerful token commander. It’s sort of a hybrid between elves and tokens, which turns all of your tokens (creature or not) into mana dorks. This effectively turns Treasures into lands. Pair this with something like Inspiring Leader and you have a nice little combo.
#40. Halsin, Emerald Archdruid
The first, but not last, bear-tribal commander on today’s rankings is Halsin, Emerald Archdruid. Halsin is a 2/4 for four who can turn any of your bears into a 4/4 for just . It also has background, which helps branch into another color or support the deck overall. My only disappointment with this card is that it doesn’t give trample, which kind of limits the aggressive effectiveness of this card.
#39. Wilson, Refined Grizzly
Wilson, Refined Grizzly, despite not being the most powerful, is one of my favorite commanders from the new set. It’s a perfect 2/2 bear for 2, who has ward accompanying vigilance, reach, and trample. It’s a super simple commander, but I wish it had more powerful backgrounds to be paired with.
#38. Sarevok, Deathbringer
Next up we have Sarevok, Deathbringer, a 3/4 human knight who causes players to lose X life if no permanent life the battlefield that turn. This is a pretty sweet commander who can comfortably supply damage on a regular basis, but it just makes me want to go play a Purphoros, God of the Forge deck instead.
#37. Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar
Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar is up next, and is a simple human elf cleric who lets you pay and a creature to draw cards equal to that creature’s power. This is actually a very strong sacrifice commander, who can be open to other colors through the background mechanic alone.
#36. Urabrask the Hidden
Urabrask the Hidden managed to slip into CLB while everyone was focuses on his appearance in Streets of New Capenna, but I’m not all too excited about this version. While this is a powerful card and creature, it’s overall somewhat dull and lacking in actual content. It’s just a little too stale and doesn’t do much to impact the board the turn it comes down. Plus, most of your creatures in mono-red will have haste anyway.
#35. Jazal Goldmane
Next up we have none other than Jazal Goldmane, a 4/4 legendary cat warrior with first strike who also buffs all of your creatures for . This is the premiere cat tribal commander, and does it exceptionally well. Tribal strategies are well supported in Commander, and do well as creature strategies that can develop a wide board early, which Jazal incentivizes.
#34. Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter
Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter is a simple three-mana 3/3 who can make Treasures out of creatures, and creatures out of Treasures. Each ability is permanent-positive, which means you could theoretically use this to continuously supply yourself with both Treasures and creatures, but the lack of blue is always disappointing.
#33. Astarion, the Decadent
In the twenty-fourth spot is Astarion, the Decadent, a 4/4 vampire elf rogue with both deathtouch and lifelink who makes you choose feed or friends at your end step. Feed makes target opponent lose life equal to the life they already lost this turn, while friends let you gain life equal to the amount you’ve gained.
This is the first commander in a while that has made me say “wow,” and for good reason. It’s very on-theme for Orzhov, and seems like the perfect blend of obscure jank combo with cards that drain half of your opponent’s life and actual synergy with Orzhov extort cards.
#32. Bhaal, Lord of Murder
Bhaal, Lord of Murder loves to cause chaos in pods, which it absolutely will if you play it right. Whenever another nontoken creature that you control dies, you get to goad a creature and give it a +1/+1 counter. This heavily incentivizes not killing your creatures, which you can either force through blocking or sacrifice themes, the latter of which I’d recommend.
#31. Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Another precon reprint in CLB was Gonti, Lord of Luxury, a 4-mana 2/3 with deathtouch that steals cards off of your opponent’s decks, allowing you to cast them easily later on. This is a great value card that works well in black or Dimir steal decks, but I think is better as an on-curve four-drop than as your actual commander.
#30. Laelia, the Blade Reforged
The last planeswalker commander on today’s rankings is Elminster, who seeks to have you scry as much as possible so you can cast massive X spells. Azorius already does a lot of scrying, through both cantrips and creatures, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of this discount outside of the cards +1 ability.
#28. Dynaheir, Invoker Adept
Next up is Jeskai () commander Dynaheir, Invoker Adept. This 4/4 human wizard for four gives your creatures the ability to activate their abilities has if they had haste while also having an activated ability which copies spells which you spent four or more mana to spend.
I really like this card, and I think it fits perfectly in the Jeskai theme. It also makes the value from creatures with abilities more secure since you’re not relying on hope and counterspells to untap with them.
#27. Burakos, Party Leader
Coming up next is Burakos, Party Leader, who is one of the few creatures in the set who utilize the party mechanic at all. This orc creature turns each combat step into an opportunity to drain an opponent and make some treasure tokens, which is some great value. It also has background, which means you can tap into white to take advantage of all the many other party and adventure cards in the color combination.
#26. Alaundo the Seer
Alaundo the Seer is next upon the list. This 3/5 human shaman for four is a wall of text, but put simply, exiles cards off the top of your library to play later. The benefit of doing so is that when these time counters are all removed, you can play the card for free. This is a commander that is begging to lead a Simic big-mana deck, full of Eldrazi and massive blue spells.
#25. Rilsa Rael, Kingpin
Another Dimir commander makes an appearance on today’s rankings, this time it is Rilsa Rael, Kingpin. A 2/5 for 5, Rilsa Rael makes up for its poor statline with the ability to take the initative and give an attacking creature +5/+0, first strike, menace, and deathtouch. While I’ll miss playing white in this dungeons-matters deck, this commander’s benefits for completing dungeons makes up for it.
#24. Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss
Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss has one of the funniest names in CLB, and I love this card as a commander. It’s a human boar who buffs your mana dorks in addition to untapping them when they attack. It even gives a creature +7/+7 and trample if you cast a spell with seven mana or more.
This is just the ultimate manifestation of Gruul beatdown. It mixes red aggro with green mana acceleration perfectly in a way that utilizes both of their strengths. This is really creative design and deserves credit.
#23. Mazzy, Truesword Paladin
Next up we have Mazzy, Truesword Palain, a Naya () commander who gives your enchanted attacking creatures +2/+0 and trample. More importantly, though, it gives your auras a second chance by allowing you to cast them from the graveyard for a turn after they are put in.
One of the ways enchantment/aura decks get shot down is when their overloaded creature gets axed, and their auras all go to the graveyard. Although these types of decks usually have protection and ways to get these auras back, Mazzy’s ability gives just that much more security and in turn power to the strategy.
Eight-and-a-Half-Tails received a reprint with this set, and it’s one of the better mono-white commanders out there. For you can essentially give anything protection from anything, which is a great defensive tool. This commander doesn’t do much else, though, which makes it an optimal commander for weenie or specific combo decks, but weak for anything else.
#21. Commander Liara Portyr
Commander Liara Portyr is practically begging to be your commander with that name. This 5/3 for five exiles cards off the top of your library equal to the number of players being attacked, and then also allows you to play those cards this turn for that much colorless mana less.
This is a cool commander because it sticks to the whole Boros () theme of do something powerful whenever you attack, but incorporates spells and off-the-battlefield cards into the equation.
#20. Gorion, Wise Mentor
About time we got to the Bant () commander on today’s list! Gorion, Wise Mentor is a 3/4 for three that copies your adventure spells. It’s a basic yet potent ability that’s entirely limited by the strength of the adventure spells you’re playing. This is one of those commanders that’s just okay/good now but will get stronger over time as more adventure cards are printed into the format.
#19. Myrkul, Lord of Bones
Myrkul, Lord of Bones is quite the interesting commander. It has a powerful ability which reanimates creatures that die under your control as enchantments. This is great for stax effects or creatures with consistently triggered abilities. The downside here is that the commander costs seven mana, which means most of your early threats that you want to have come back will have already died.
Regardless, it’s a great Abzan () graveyard commander and I’m all for it. The format is pretty saturated in this area, but I have to give props to WotC for giving us a new one to work with that comes with an interesting angle.
#18. Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Next up we have none other than Niv-Mizzet, Parun himself. The Izzet dragon is one of the better Izzet commanders out there, who loves spellslinger decks that draw tons of cards. It also supports wheel strategies very well and is the total embodiment of Izzet tempo.
#17. Durnan of the Yawning Portal
Next up we have Durnan of the Yawning Portal, a mono-green commander with background who exiles four cards off the top of your library when it attacks, allowing you to play a creature from that pile from exile while it remains exiled, and that creature has undaunted. This is pretty sweet card advantage for green, and with a mana discount in multiplayer commander games, you’ll be ripping some massive creatures off the top in no time.
#16. Bane, Lord of Darkness
Bane, Lord of Darkness has one of the more menacing (and easier to read) names on today’s list, and for good reason. Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies Bane returns it to your hand unless an opponent chose to let you draw a card instead. Esper sacrifice absolutely loves this card, and it’s enough value and consistency as a card to warrant being a commander in some Esper reanimator deck.
#15. Ryusei, the Falling Star
Ryusei, the Falling Star is one of the more menacing dragons in the set, and for good reason. This 5/5 flier for six is a board wipe waiting to happen, who blasts each non-flying creature for 5 whenever it dies. This is very strong in mono-red dragon aggro Commander decks, which primarily falter to board wipes as their only weakness. This helps insulate you from that threat.
#14. Volo, Itinerant Scholar
Voplo, Itinerant Scholar makes a return to this D&D collaboration set, this time noting the creature types you play and drawing you cards for each type. It’s great card advantage, and you can easily pair this with some green background like Master Chef or Raised by Giants for some good old healthy Simic creature fun.
#13. Oji, the Exquisite Blade
Oji, the Exquisite Blade comes up next on today’s power rankings. This 2/3 for four gains you some life and card advantage when it comes into play. It also flickers creatures when you cast your second spell, which we love to see.
This is Azorius flicker at its simplest, and I’m a fan of it. Nothing feels better than casting a second cantrip and flicking another creature that scries or draws you cards. Tempo is the name of the game here, and I’m not complaining.
#12. Thrakkus the Butcher
We’re into the final ten, and Thrakkus the Butcher is here to start us off. You could guess what this card does just by the name: Gruul beatdown. Thrakkus doubles the power of your dragons each turn when it attacks, which makes one-shot combat phases a possibility, especially if you can give your dragons double strike.
Red and green is where you’ll find most of the dragons, but I still wish I could get a third color to include the occasional elder dragon or three-color monstrosity in the list paired with some more interaction.
#11. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames
Into the top ten now, and we’re starting off with Drakuseth, Maw of Flames. This is a mono red dragon who deals 10 total damage each time it attacks across three targets, which is some of the most insane removal on a single creature I’ve ever seen. A free Char and two Lightning Bolts directed nearly however you want is great value, and can even be a great way to burn opponents down if they don’t have enough creatures to hit.
#10. Lae’zel, Vlaakith’s Champion
Lae’zel, Vlaakith’s Champion is a sweet +1/+1 counters commander who also extends benefits to planeswalkers. While this commander isn’t in enough colors to be a superfriends commander, it does +1/+1 counters well.
An additional counter often means double the number of counters, which is pretty sweet value and helps to solidify your board just that much more against damage-based removal. I think this is a sweet commander that also has room at the casual table.
#9. Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm
The only Temur commander in the set, Miirym Sentinel Wyrm doesn’t disappoint. It’s a 6/6 for six with flying and ward that makes non-legendary token copies of non-token dragons that enter the battlefield under your control.
This is by far the best dragon commander in the set, and the colors don’t leave much to be desired. Double dragons are great, even if you’re just duplicating 5/5 fliers. This commander speaks for itself.
#8. Duke Ulder Ravengard
Duke Ulder Ravengard is a card you’ve seen a thousand times. It’s your typical Boros military man who’s going to give some insane buffs during combat. This time around, it’s giving a creature you control haste and myriad.
Myriad itself is a nuts mechanic. It triples your threat’s power level and allows for you to equally distribute your power amongst your three opponents. Not only does it help you enact your game plan of kill everyone faster, but it helps avoid situation where the player you chose to kill last ends up popping off and winning in the very end.
#7. Jon Irenicus, Shattered One
Yet again, another Dimir commander is shining through the rest of the crowd. Jon Irenicus, Shattered One is a 3/3 for four who donates your creatures and goads them in the process. It’s the ultimate way to start fights between your opponents, and incentivizes deckbuilding that’s as creative as the playstyle itself.
I love, love, love this card. It’s style, creativity, art, all of it. Regardless, this is a power ranking, which means it’s in seventh place, not first.
#6. Etali, Primal Storm
Etali, Primal Storm was lucky enough to see a reprint in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate. As usual, this card is an absolute monster that can offer the mono-red aggro player incredible value in the mid to late game. It casts spells for free, which means you can fill your deck with powerful sorceries and instants while also rolling the dice with your opponents. Great interaction and very fun!
#5. Karlach, Fury of Avernus
Starting off the top five today is Karlach, Fury of Avernus. Karlach is another one of those extra-combat commanders, but this one does just a bit more. It also massively improves your first combat by giving your creatures first strike and untapping them, which allows for much safer and potent aggressive plays.
Karlach can also be paired with a background, which means you can go Boros or Gruul for better synergies in the beatdown department. Inspiring Leader and Popular Entertainer are both great here, but Guild Artisan can also work depending on the angle you go with in deckbuilding.
#4. Captain N’ghathrod
Next up we have Captain N’ghathrod, who I’m very impressed with and hope to play around with. The Dimir horror pirate mills your opponent a number of cards equal to the damage they take from it or another horror. Those cards are then put into the battlefield under your control at the end step, which is completely busted.
#3. Nalia de’Arnise
Nalia lets you play party creatures off the top of your library, which is great in creature-based decks like the one it’s supporting. Additionally, if you have a full party, you’ll get to put a +1/+1 counter (as well as giving them deathtouch) on each creature you control at the beginning of combat on your turn.
#2. Zevlor, Elturel Exile
The runner up today is Zevlor, Elturel Exile. This
Maestros Grixis () commander is a 4/2 for four with haste and the ability to copy spells you cast which target a single player or permanent. With this ability, it’ll instead target a permanent for each other opponent or that opponent themselves. It helps turn what would otherwise be a one for one into a three for one!
I really like this commander because one for ones aren’t generally that great in commander since it inherently puts the other two players which you’re not interacting with ahead by at least a card. With Zevlor, that simply won’t be the case.
#1. Neera, Wild Mage
We’ve finally made it, the number one spot on today’s rankings. Neera, Wild Mage has earned this spot, and it’s not even close.
This Izzet commander is a 2/7 for six, a weird statline, which essentially turns your cantrips into the ultimate cascade spell. With Neera in play, you can choose to put the spell you’re casting on the bottom of your library, and flip cards off of the top until you get a nonland card, which you can then cast for free.
I can’t imagine the joy I’d get from seeing my opponent’s faces when I play a Brainstorm only to rip an Omniscience off of the top on turn five or six. This is absolutely a commander I’ll be putting together and testing as soon as I can get my hands on it, and you should too!
Rasaad yn Bashir | Illustration by Dan Scott
With that, we’ve gone over every single commander in the new set! While most of these new commanders are pretty disappointing, even with the background mechanic, there are more than a few I’m super excited to get testing with.
What do you think of the new set? Are you excited to draft it and pick up some new staples for your favorite decks, or is it falling a little short of your expectations? I want to hear your thoughts, so let me know what you think down in the comments or over in the official Draftsim Discord.
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