Last updated on September 22, 2023
Meren of Clan Nel Toth | Illustration by Mark Winters
Whatever your feelings on Commander Masters, it’s hard to deny that Wizards did a good job curating a group of legendary creatures for the set. There are some much-needed reprints and some plainly popular commanders that will be fun for the set’s Draft environment.
As a Masters set, there aren’t any new commanders here except for the few that were designed for the Commander Masters precons. These are mostly commanders you’ve seen before, but if you’re newer to the game or format, this is a good way to see how some of the most popular commanders stack up against one another.
As always with these rankings, there’s a level of subjectivity here, so if one of your favorite commanders is at the bottom of the list, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing. If you think one of the commanders deserves a higher or even lower spot, I’d love to hear why in the comments!
How Many Commanders Are There in Commander Masters?
The Prismatic Piper | Illustration by Seb McKinnon
There are 138 commanders in Commander Masters.
#138. The Prismatic Piper
The Prismatic Piper is essentially a way to slap an additional color identity onto your partner commander. Often, there’s another partner commander that adds the color you want while also providing an additional bonus, making The Prismatic Piper primarily a card for Draft.
#137. Pianna, Nomad Captain
Pianna, Nomad Captain is a pretty underwhelming commander. This is a card from before Wizards was designing commanders specifically, so it makes sense that this is a creature whose legendary status is more to do with its place in other Constructed formats. You definitely have way better options in mono-white.
#136. Rorix Bladewing
Rorix Bladewing isn’t a bad creature, but it doesn’t offer a whole lot as a commander. There are much better mono-red options that also cost less to play.
#135. Heliod, God of the Sun
Heliod, God of the Sun’s ability to create tokens that are enchantment creatures can be an asset in an enchantment matters deck. That being said, it’s almost as expensive as just playing a powerful enchantment. There are better mono-white commanders for most themes that Heliod works for.
#134. Cabal Patriarch
Cabal Patriarch’s ability to use creatures in your graveyard the same way it would one on your battlefield does make it flexible in a useful way. That being said, it and its ability are both pretty expensive. This commander isn’t bad, but there are just better options for similar themes.
#133. Sakiko, Mother of Summer
Mono-green decks are already great at ramping, so by the time you’ve cast Sakiko, Mother of Summer for 6 mana, you probably aren’t in as much need of ramp anymore. Having mana you can only use on your second main phase is also more restricting than other mono-green commanders that can generate mana at instant speed.
#132. Lorthos, the Tidemaker
Lorthos, the Tidemaker can be pretty nasty if you’re able to keep tapping down your opponents’ permanents. That said, you need a consistent source of 8 mana to do so, on top of needing mana to cast other spells, since Lorthos and its ability won’t likely win you the game on their own.
#131. Rakka Mar
Rakka Mar is a fine enough creature for the 99, but it’s a bit underwhelming as a commander. Were it to offer you a wider range of colors to play with, things might be different, but as is I’d stick to putting Rakka Mar in a deck.
#130. Isareth the Awakener
Using Isareth the Awakener’s ability, you can double dip on powerful ETB effects like Gray Merchant of Asphodel or you can retrieve cheap sacrifice fodder easily. Isareth’s deathtouch helps it attack more safely, but evasion can also be helpful here
#129. Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp
Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp’s cost reduction is nice for getting it onto the field faster, but it doesn’t do much for you once there. If you want to build around this commander, you’ll want some equipment to make it a more effective attacker.
#128. Squee, Goblin Nabob
Squee, Goblin Nabob is a unique commander, because you’ll usually want it in your hand, not on the field. This way, you can discard Squee for looting effects, only to get it back in your hand next turn. This gives you a decent form of card advantage in mono red.
#127. Surrak, the Hunt Caller
Surrak, the Hunt Caller allows you to attack more quickly with big stompy creatures that don’t naturally have haste. This is nice when these creatures might otherwise get removed before they get to do damage or get off any attack triggers.
#126. Baird, Steward of Argive
Baird, Steward of Argive’s propaganda effect can really slow down your opponents’ game, or at least discourage them from attacking you. This commander works well with other control tactics like Stax or hatebears.
#125. Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer
Mono-green is a good color for a land-based deck. The color’s prowess for ramp works very well with Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer’s ability to grow stronger with each land you play. You’ll want a good mix of ramp and other expensive spells since Molimo is easily removed.
#124. Verdeloth the Ancient
Verdeloth the Ancient is a nice option for a deck built around Saproling tokens. Not only is it an anthem, but it can also create extra tokens. Cards like Circle of Dreams Druid can generate a lot of mana in a token deck, allowing you to kick Verdeloth for a lot.
Tromokratis can help you take out some of your opponents’ best creatures by forcing them to block or else take a lot of commander damage. Buffing Tromokratis with equipment and enchantments can make it even more effective at taking out opponents or their board.
#122. Nemata, Grove Guardian
Nemata, Grove Guardian can make a Saproling token deck much more dangerous at little additional cost. Since Nemata can also generate Saprolings, you’ll usually be able to get at least one buff off per turn, allowing you to swing out for a good amount of damage.
#121. Tuya Bearclaw
Tuya Bearclaw scales throughout the game, which is a great quality for a low mana value commander. There are plenty of stompy creatures in Gruul as well as ways to buff your creatures that can allow Tuya to get pretty big.
#120. Jazal Goldmane
If you build a deck that creates lots of creatures, which is possible in white, Jazal Goldmane can offer a pretty substantial buff to all of them. This buff is also repeatable, so later in the game you can really pump up your attackers. I personally would rather run this in the 99 of a Selesnya deck to get better token support, but I think Jazal is a passable commander in its own right.
#119. Inga Rune-Eyes
It isn’t a great sign when one of the best things your commander can do is die. If Inga Rune-Eyes had a different color identity, she might be better off, and I do think she’ll work well in Commander Masters Draft if paired with the right mono-black commander.
#118. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
It’s nice that Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs gives you free blockers when you’re attacked, and the tokens can make for good attackers if they survive or you just choose not to block with them. That said, there are 5-mana commanders in red that can help you out more consistently.
#117. Stitcher Geralf
Stitcher Geralf is undoubtedly a fun card, and it can be made more consistent by including cards that can untap it or cards that increase the amount opponents mill when you activate his ability. It’s still a little too random to be super competitive, though.
#116. Arasta of the Endless Web
#115. Razaketh, the Foulblooded
While Razaketh, the Foulblooded can be helpful in setting up a combo, you’ll have to contend with your opponents knowing that’s probably what you’re running it for. They might counter your commander or find ways to ensure you don’t have creatures to sacrifice for its ability.
#114. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames
I prefer Drakuseth, Maw of Flames as a bomb, especially in decks that can reduce its cost or cheat it out. That said, Drakuseth is still an incredibly powerful attacker and there are plenty of ways in mono-red to increase its damage output.
#113. Sliver Gravemother
Sliver Gravemother is by no means a bad card, and I think I’d run it in a sliver deck. That said, this card just has some pretty stiff competition when it comes to 5-color sliver commanders. Sliver Gravemother is good, but it’s no Sliver Queen or The First Sliver.
#112. Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Rishkar, Peema Renegade is a solid choice for a +1/+1 counter themed deck. By turning any creature with a counter on it into a mana dork, you make any card that distributes counters also a form of ramp. Rishkar is also inexpensive enough that you can start ramping early with its ability.
#111. Commodore Guff
Commodore Guff represents a card I’ve been wanting in Magic for a long time: a planeswalker commander who’s built for superfriends. Perhaps that’s why I find this card so disappointing. Not only is it unable to run a full spectrum of planeswalkers, but its static ability is just a more underwhelming version of Atraxa, Praetors Voice’s ability to proliferate each turn. I’d still run this in the 99 of a superfriends deck.
#110. Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit is a nice choice for a white weenies deck since each creature you play helps you buff up your weakest one. Over time, all your creatures steadily grow larger. Including other bolster effects, buffs, or effects that care about +1/+1 are good options for building.
#109. Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate
I think Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate is an interesting commander conceptually, but I’m just not sold on how good it’ll be in practice. I could be wrong, and it might prove very powerful, but as of now I just don’t see it being a popular choice over other colorless commanders.
#108. Demonlord Belzenlok
Demonlord Belzenlok has a nice ETB effect which can help you draw a lot of cards, especially if you build with a steep mana curve. The one issue with this card is that once Belzenlok is on the field, it’s a big attacker, but it’s not giving you any more powerful effects.
#107. Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
As a massive dinosaur with a lot of meaningful keywords, Zetalpa, Primal Dawn can make for a pretty good Voltron commander. White has good equipment support which is nice, but the main downside is that opponents might hold onto their counterspells or cards that exile creatures in anticipation of this commander hitting the field.
#106. Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath
Planeswalker commanders like Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath are nice because they offer several abilities to build your deck around. Ob Nixilis is a consistent source of lifegain, which can be a powerful theme in mono black, or you could go with a demon typal deck to synergize with your tokens.
#105. Yargle, Glutton of Urborg
Yargle, Glutton of Urborg is a pretty straightforward commander to build around. Just focus on making Yargle more powerful and evasive, then try to take out your opponents with commander damage. It’s not the most competitive strategy, but it can be a lot of fun.
#104. Sun Quan, Lord of Wu
Horsemanship is a pretty antiquated keyword at this point, meaning Sun Quan, Lord of Wu might as well say “creatures you control can’t be blocked.” This commander can help you cash in on combat damage triggers and allow you to deal consistent damage to opponents.
#103. Odric, Master Tactician
The amount of control Odric, Master Tactician gives you over your combat step can be very powerful. You can declare no blockers, allowing yourself to deal direct damage, or you can force players to block with creatures they’ve been sitting on as a form of removal.
#102 Grenzo, Havoc Raiser
Because Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is so cheap, you’ll likely be able to start triggering its ability as early as turn two. The more of your attackers that get through, the more cards you’ll have to choose from. Goading can also be helpful to ensure you can get future Grenzo triggers.
#101. Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse
Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse is a fun commander to build a cantrip-themed deck for. This can help build up a token army, while ensuring you’re consistently keeping a full hand. When you’ve gone wide enough, you can activate Jolrael and swing out with some seriously powerful cats if you’ve managed to keep replacing the cards you play.
Hanna, Ship's Navigator can be very helpful in keeping an artifact or unnatural deck more consistent. It’s more here to support whatever you have going on in the 99 than do something spectacular herself, so how effective it is relies a lot on deck construction.
#99. Mangara, the Diplomat
Commander players have long been crying out for more mono-white card draw, and Mangara, the Diplomat offers you two relatively consistent ways to draw cards. You can build plenty of common mono-white themes around it, like lifegain, stax, or hate bears.
#98. Narci, Fable Singer
While there are a lot of enchantment commanders, Narci, Fable Singer is one of the few that specifically names sagas in its abilities. I think this commander has a lot of potential, and even if you don’t build a deck around it, Narci definitely should slot into the 99 of any saga decks in the right colors.
#97. Nahiri, the Lithomancer
Nahiri, the Lithomancer is a great equipment commander because it helps mitigate all the downsides of equipment. Don’t have enough mana to cast and equip a card in your hand? You can either drop it for free with Nahiri’s -2 or you can pay to cast it and equip it for free to a Kor Soldier token for +2 loyalty. This allows you the flexibility to choose whichever cost is cheaper to actually pay.
#96. Rankle, Master of Pranks
Rankle, Master of Pranks can be a pretty effective discard theme commander, thanks to the consistent rate at which you’ll likely be able to activate its abilities. Removal and evasion can help keep Rankle hitting at least one of your opponents, forcing everyone to discard, or any number of its other triggered abilities. As long as you include discard payoffs, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition even when you’re pitching some of your own cards.
#95. Brinelin, the Moon Kraken
If you’re looking to build a deck that cares about big mana values, Brinelin, the Moon Kraken is a possible option. It is most often paired with Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood due to them both caring about 6+ mana value cards. Neither are overwhelmingly powerful, but Simic does offer a lot of options for ramp and big cards to cast.
#94. Teferi, Temporal Archmage
Teferi, Temporal Archmage’s -1 ability can be incredibly powerful. Even if you’re just using it to untap lands or mana-producing permanents, it can accelerate your game a good amount. It can also enable some combos, including one that only requires Teferi, The Chain Veil and a few mana rocks.
#93. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Usually, I’d say Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is a bit too expensive for my taste, but this is a special case. This commander can form a two-card game-winning combo with Walking Ballista or Triskelion, essentially making it a win con you can play at will.
#92. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos
Anikthea, Hand of Erebos is a good color combination for an enchantments matter deck, and its ability to get enchantments from your graveyard makes it easier for you to maintain the type of board state you want.
#91. Ghost of Ramirez DePietro
Ghost of Ramirez DePietro, like most partner commanders, lives and dies by what card it’s paired with. This card works pretty well with Tormod, the Desecrator, and will probably make some interesting pairs with Commander Masters’ Draft rules that allow all mono-color commanders to have a partner.
#90. Erebos, Bleak-Hearted
Erebos, Bleak-Hearted’s multiple abilities all synergize well with aristocrats decks. You’ll get some card advantage, as well as a relatively cheap sacrifice outlet. You can also be pretty sure Erebos will stick around longer thanks to being indestructible.
#89. Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Anax, Hardened in the Forge allows you to make good use out of temporary theft cards. Combining these cards with sacrifice outlets like Goblin Bombardment will allow you to attack with your opponents’ best creatures, then sacrifice them for some free tokens from Anax.
#88. Alharu, Solemn Ritualist
Alharu, Solemn Ritualist can be a pretty good +1/+1 counter themed commander. Partnering it with Reyhan, Last of the Abzan gives you a good color combination for this theme, and also creates some nice synergy between the two commanders.
#87. Keleth, Sunmane Familiar
Keleth, Sunmane Familiar works well with any other partner commander that will look to attack a lot, such as Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh. This will also offer some interesting unique combinations in CMM Limited.
#86. Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Padeem, Consul of Innovation helps protect your artifacts, which can be useful for trying to set up powerful synergies or combos. If you’re running an artifact-heavy deck, you’ll also have a good chance of getting extra cards each turn from Padeem as well.
#85. Thryx, the Sudden Storm, the Sudden Storm
One of the worst feelings in Commander is tapping out for a massive spell, only to have it countered by one of your opponents. Thryx, the Sudden Storm gives you more peace of mind when casting your best spells, and makes them cheaper to boot.
#84. Danitha Capashen, Paragon
Danitha Capashen, Paragon can be a nice option for a Voltron build thanks to her multiple keyword abilities and cost reduction on auras and equipment. White is also a good color for equipment themed builds.
#83. Gorex, the Tombshell
Gorex, the Tombshell’s own cost reduction can also be a good way to get specific cards out of your graveyard and eventually back into your hand. This allows you to get some card advantage while also saving yourself some mana cost on your commander.
#82. Kaho, Minamo Historian
Kaho, Minamo Historian can give you a lot of control over what spells you have access to, especially if you include ways to flicker her. While needing Kaho on the field makes this slightly risky, you can mitigate the risk slightly by keeping a couple counterspells stored up with Kaho.
#81. Captain Ripley Vance
Earlier in the game, Captain Ripley Vance might not be all that impactful. However, as you get access to more mana, spellslinger and cantrip decks can make good use of this card’s triggered ability as a form of removal or just direct damage to players.
#80. Taigam, Sidisi’s Hand
Taigam, Sidisi's Hand offers a lot of benefits. You get to fix your draws a bit, you get to fill your graveyard with resources, and you have some built in removal. Skipping your draw step will also protect you from losing when you run out of cards.
#79. Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
While Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder is meant to be somewhat self-limiting, there are plenty of ways to exploit its ability and never have to sacrifice it. It’s a great aristocrats commander because it consistently makes you sacrifice fodder, and it can be used to create combos.
#78. Whisper, Blood Liturgist
Whisper, Blood Liturgist makes it easy to cash in on death triggers while also cheating out creatures from your graveyard. You can also cycle the same few cards out every other turn if you want to use any ETB or death triggers multiple times.
#77. Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter[card]'s role as an artificer might lead one to want to build an artifact deck around her, however, I think she is more effective as a token commander. This will allow you to make some large constructs, and cash in on the token support green has access to.
#76. Heartless Hidetsugu[ci]Heartless Hidetsugu[/ci]
[card]Heartless Hidetsugu has an incredibly powerful effect that makes it easy to win the game. Add in a couple damage doublers, and all you need to do is wait until your opponent’s life totals are even and yours is odd or slap a Basilisk Collar on it.
#75. Leori, Sparktouched Hunter
Leori, Sparktouched Hunter is an interesting superfriends commander. Being able to copy a planeswalker’s activated ability can be pretty impactful, especially if it’s an ultimate ability or an emblem. Ral Zarek would be a great inclusion for this deck.
#74. Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist can sway combat in your favor in a pretty big way. It allows you to attack with multiple creatures without fearing too many blockers or retaliation from your opponents on their turns. Just make sure you have ways to keep Mirri on the field.
#73. Mowu, Loyal Companion
Mowu, Loyal Companion can become a pretty powerful attacker in a +1/+1 counter themed deck. Adding more cards that increase or double the amount of counters distributed can really accelerate this process, and allow you to threaten opponents with commander damage.
#72. Kemba, Kha Regent
One downside to playing a Voltron deck is that you can easily get stuck with an empty field due to removal. Kemba, Kha Regent helps mitigate that risk thanks to the cat tokens it creates. This allows you to focus on equipping Kemba, while it fills your board for free each turn.
#71. Experiment Kraj
Combining Experiment Kraj with cards that distribute +1/+1 counters essentially lets you pick and choose which activated abilities from around the battlefield you want access to. You’ll probably want something like Chromatic Lantern to give you access to all colors so you can use a wider range of abilities.
#70. Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper makes for a solid Jund aristocrats build. When you sacrifice a non-token creature for an ability, it’s instantly replaced, so you can maintain a board state or sacrifice yet another creature for a beneficial ability.
#69. Losheel, Clockwork Scholar
Losheel, Clockwork Scholar allows you to deal damage and use combat triggers without worrying about losing your attackers. Even better, Losheel offers mono-white decks some extra card draw which is always a huge plus.
#68. Yahenni, Undying Partisan
Yahenni, Undying Partisan is a good aristocrats commander if only for the fact that he has a free sacrifice outlet attached to him. Yahenni is also a nice blocker since it will be easy to make him indestructible.
#67. Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
Aryel, Knight of Windgrace works very well as a knight typal commander. Thanks to having vigilance, you can both attack with her and also activate her abilities before your next turn.
#66. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
While there are more popular Eldrazi commanders, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is still a good choice. You’d typically run this card as a bomb in this type of deck anyway, so if you’d rather just be able to cast it as soon as you have 10 mana, why not throw it in the command zone?
#65. Rukarumel, Biologist
Rukarumel, Biologist presents a lot of fun deck-building options. You can essentially add typal support for an additional creature type and give your slivers even more benefits. Its ability to create slivers also means it’ll do more than just sit on the battlefield granting its passive ability.
#64. Zhulodok, Void Gorger
Colorless decks typically have a steeper mana curve since costs aren’t restricted by color. This means lots of cards meet Zhulodok, Void Gorger’s requirements to give double cascade, giving you a huge amount of extra value especially when you start cascading into 7+ mana cards.
#63. Zilortha, Strength Incarnate
Cards like Hunted Troll get away with having higher power at a lower cost because they take a hit on toughness. Zilortha, Strength Incarnate essentially allows you to cheat the mana curve by making these cheaper, more powerful creatures also more durable.
#62. Godo, Bandit Warlord
Using Godo, Bandit Warlord’s ability to go find Helm of the Host can easily lead you to taking infinite combat steps on your turn, potentially with an increasing number of Godos each time. You’ll want some equipment that also protects Godo, since it’ll be a big target for removal with this strategy.
#61. Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner
Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner’s ability to let creatures attack unblocked is very helpful for activating attack and combat damage triggers. This paired with her second activated ability also allows you to start cycling through bum hands in search of powerful answers.
#60. Judith, the Scourge Diva
Judith, the Scourge Diva gives an extra edge to an aristocrats deck by allowing you to deal damage in addition to whatever benefits you get from sacrificing creatures. With a mana value of only three, Judith is also easy to get out and recast if necessary.
#59. Sephara, Sky’s Blade
As long as you build a flying-themed or angel typal deck, Sephara, Sky's Blade is relatively easy to cheat out. This can give you a big attacker for the early parts of the game while also keeping your other creatures pretty safe.
#58. Chainer, Dementia Master
Chainer, Dementia Master’s ability to reanimate creatures from any graveyard gives you a lot of options to play around with. Removing opponents’ creatures now becomes a sort of card advantage, and sacrificing your own creatures isn’t as big of a deal when you can bring them back. You’ll just want to make sure your creatures die before Chainer does.
#57. Taborax, Hope’s Demise
While there are a couple ways to build Taborax, Hope's Demise, one of the best options is to make a Shadowborn Apostles deck with this commander. When you sacrifice your apostles you’ll get to draw up to six cards, and you’ll put 6 counters on Taborax, which will also give it lifelink.
#56. Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury has a lot to offer an elf ball deck. It makes free elf mana dorks, or it can act as removal. Its ultimate also isn’t too hard to get off, and it can draw you a ton of cards in an elf typal deck.
#55. Sai, Master Thopterist
Sai, Master Thopterist is a great commander for an artifact deck thanks to the additional value and utility it adds to your artifacts. It would probably be higher on this list if it weren’t for a certain other mono-blue artifact commander that’s occupying one of the top spots.
#54. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Both of Gisela, Blade of Goldnight’s static abilities swing the game pretty heavily in your favor. Boros has good ways to output damage and keep Gisela on the field, but ramping to get it out could be a little difficult.
#53. Balan, Wandering Knight
Balan, Wandering Knight is a good option for an equipment-themed deck because you’ll be able to easily equip things like Colossus Hammer which would usually be a later gameplay. Adding double strike makes Balan a big threat when it comes to winning through commander damage.
#52. Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage
Being able to cast more types of spells at instant speed does present a pretty good advantage in Magic. Raff Capashen can therefore be an effective commander for a deck running a lot of historic spells, or even just artifacts.
#51. Braids, Conjurer Adept
Braids, Conjurer Adept can create some pretty fun and chaotic games when each player is dropping big permanents from their hand each turn. Of course, there are also ways to build so you benefit more from Braids than your opponents if you prefer to be more competitive.
#50. Ghoulcaller Gisa
Combining Ghoulcaller Gisa with zombie typal support can make for a pretty powerful deck. Even if you just have a few Zombie tokens, sacrificing one to Gisa makes twice as many, and you’ll make more once you have anthems out. This deck can snowball pretty nicely into a big board state.
#49. Ashling the Pilgrim
Ashling the Pilgrim’s ability might seem a bit underwhelming at first glance, but with the right equipment it can be a pretty powerful commander. It’s also a great mana sink for cards like Braid of Fire.
#48. Sliver Hivelord
Slivers already get pretty powerful on their own, so they don’t need a ton of support from a commander in terms of activated or triggered abilities. Sliver Hivelord is a great option for a sliver commander because it makes it harder for your opponents to remove your slivers, allowing their keywords and abilities to continue stacking up.
#47. Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard is a powerful pod commander, especially because you don’t have to sacrifice any of your creatures to activate its ability. You’ll want a good distribution of mana values to get the most out of its effect.
#46. Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Avacyn, Angel of Hope is a popular angel typal commander. Granting your permanents indestructible is always helpful in a deck that can go wide and relies on synergy between your creatures to pull off interesting moves.
#45. Xantcha, Sleeper Agent
Xantcha, Sleeper Agent decks typically have the goal of getting your opponents to focus on each other more than you. This is typically done by utilizing forced combat abilities like Xantcha’s or goad.
#44. Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Azusa, Lost but Seeking is a versatile commander. Its most obvious build is lands matter or landfall decks, but it’s also great for Eldrazi decks that are looking to cast massive spells more quickly. I’ve even found Azusa to be a surprisingly good stax commander.
#43. Melek, Izzet Paragon
Melek, Izzet Paragon is a great benefit for a spellslinger deck thanks to how easy it makes copying spells. Including some ways to fix the top of your deck can make this commander even more effective, allowing you to pull off powerful moves like copying extra turn spells.
#42. Gonti, Lord of Luxury
At first glance, Gonti, Lord of Luxury might seem like an underwhelming commander since its only effect is an ETB trigger. However, black has plenty of cards like Feign Death that allow you to use Gonti as a blocker to remove a bigger creature, then instantly get it back and use its ETB trigger again.
#41. Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Azami, Lady of Scrolls is a fantastic wizard typal commander. Because its ability can tap wizards as soon as they enter the battlefield, you’ll be drawing a lot of extra cards, making it likely you’ll always have answers for threats on the board.
#40. Rafiq of the Many
Rafiq of the Many is your best option if you want to build a deck around the exalted mechanic. With both Rafiq and plenty of exalted creatures, you can turn any single attacker into a massive double strike creature. This allows you to go wide and tall at the same time.
#39. Purphoros, God of the Forge
Purphoros, God of the Forge can deal a ton of damage, especially if you’ve built a deck that can generate lots of creature tokens. Because you’re dealing damage to each opponent at once, you can easily have a play that wipes out the competition all at once. There’s even a 3-card combo involving this commander, Birgi, God of Storytelling and Grinning Ignus if you want a competitive build.
#38. Neheb, the Eternal
Most burn spells actually generates positive mana for you with Neheb, the Eternal, allowing you to have some explosive turns. You’ll need to make sure you have a way to keep your hand full.
#37. Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Ghalta, Primal Hunger is a massive attacker that can get out relatively early in the right circumstances. Vehicles are a great way to reduce Ghalta’s cost because they usually have a higher power than a creature would at the same mana value.
#36. Heliod, Sun-Crowned
#35. Zacama, Primal Calamity
Zacama, Primal Calamity is a powerful attacker, and it also has some great activated abilities. It’s expensive for a commander, but its ETB trigger does help make up for that.
#34. Hamza, Guardian of Arashin
Selesnya has a lot of great +1/+1 counter support that pairs very well with Hamza, Guardian of Arashin. You’ll get to cast creatures at a pretty steep discount, and some possibly for free if you run colorless cards.
#32. Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign
There are plenty of ways to ensure Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign’s trigger gets you a free card pretty much every turn. You can include mostly odd cards, and you also can include ways to scry. There’s plenty of great topdeck-themed cards in Esper that you can include in the 99, too.
#32. Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
Valduk, Keeper of the Flame is an aggressive equipment commander which can be very effective at dealing damage. The tokens this commander creates work very well with red favorites like Warstorm Surge and Terror of the Peaks.
#31. Queen Marchesa
#30. Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive’s ability opens up a lot of deck building opportunities for you. You can focus on evasive creatures and cash in on damage triggers, you can use your unblockable creatures to activate Ninjutsu abilities, or you can sneak infect and toxic creatures past blockers to finish off opponents.
#29. Daretti, Scrap Savant
All Daretti, Scrap Savant’s abilities work so well together, it’s easy to build a powerful artifact deck around them. You can discard high-cost artifacts with its +2 ability, then later use its -2 to cheat them onto the field. If you manage to get its emblem, any artifact you sacrifice to its effect comes right back.
#28. Mizzix of the Izmagnus
#27. Akiri, Fearless Voyager
While Akiri, Fearless Voyager doesn’t have the flashiest effects of her own, but Boros is a great color combination for equipment decks and Akiri can offer a lot of meaningful support.
#26. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds works very well in decks that run a lot of big stompy creatures. Not only does it reward you for playing big creatures, it’ll also make it easier to do so thanks to its mana ability.
#25. Omnath, Locus of Mana
Although not an elf itself, Omnath, Locus of Mana makes for a very good elfball commander. Elf decks can often generate a lot of green mana, allowing you to make Omnath a massive attacker.
#24. Maelstrom Wanderer
#23. Talrand, Sky Summoner
Spellslinger decks sometimes have to sacrifice having a good boardstate in favor of casting instants and sorceries. Talrand, Sky Summoner allows you to focus on casting spells while also filling your board with creatures.
#22. Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle can create a very consistent artifact deck, as you’ll frequently be able to retrieve removed cards from your graveyard. Teshar also allows you to get more use out of cards like Mind Stone or Salvage Scout as you can sacrifice them knowing they’ll likely be back soon.
#21. Yedora, Grave Gardener
Yedora, Grave Gardener allows you to sacrifice your creatures while also ramping at the same time. This works really well in pod decks, and can also be an effective way to get multiple activations off landfall abilities on the same turn.
#20. Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma makes it easier to cast big creatures while also making those creatures even more effective attackers. Goreclaw’s cost reduction can be especially helpful with big colorless creatures like Eldrazi or Blightsteel Colossus.
#19. Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker
Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker is a very powerful aristocrats commander since you can sacrifice any number of power 1 creatures knowing you’ll get them back. Shirei also works well with Shadowborn Apostles since you can use their ability and then get all 6 back on the end step.
#18. Slimefoot, the Stowaway
Slimefoot, the Stowaway is one of the more popular options for a Saproling deck. His triggered ability can be very punishing once you’ve generated a lot of Saprolings, discouraging your opponents from wiping the board.
#17. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
Sidisi, Brood Tyrant allows you to mill yourself to create tokens while also getting more resources to play with dumped into your graveyard. If built right this deck can offer you a lot of card advantage.
#16. Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Karador, Ghost Chieftain works well in a variety of powerful builds, like pod, graveyard matters, or aristocrats. This commander also makes it a lot more difficult for your opponents to see the last of your best cards.
#15. Kozilek, the Great Distortion
Kozilek, the Great Distortion is one of the best colorless Eldrazi commanders. Not only is it a very powerful attacker, but the high mana value of Eldrazi cards means you can probably counter some of your opponents’ best spells with Kozilek’s effect.
#14. Morophon, the Boundless
Morophon, the Boundless is one of the most versatile commanders, being able to lead a ton of different typal decks equally as effectively. This card is also a great choice for Commander Draft or cubes.
#13. Narset, Enlightened Master
Narset, Enlightened Master can cast you a lot of free spells throughout the course of a game. It works very well in planeswalker decks or any deck that is light on creatures. Evasion or protective equipment/auras can be a big help in a Narset deck.
#12. Nekusar, the Mindrazer
Nekusar, the Mindrazer is a strong commander that punishes your opponents for doing something they’re forced to do each turn. There are plenty of great cards that can add to this ability, like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, and you can deal lots of damage with wheels or similar abilities.
#11. Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Simic is already a good color combination for lands matter or landfall decks, and Tatyova, Benthic Druid makes it even better. With this commander you can ramp while also gaining card advantage, which are two of the key components to winning a game.
#10. Zada, Hedron Grinder
Zada, Hedron Grinder can create some explosive turns once you’ve managed to establish a board state. Even the cheapest cantrips will end up drawing you a ton of cards, and combat tricks can buff your entire field for a low cost.
#9. The Ur-Dragon
The Ur-Dragon’s eminence ability alone makes it a very effective dragon typal commander. Add in the ability to draw extra cards and cheat out creatures for free, and it’s very hard to beat this dragon.
#8. Sythis, Harvest’s Hand
Few enchantment matters commanders offer as much easy value as Sythis, Harvest's Hand. You can get this commander out early, ensuring you always have card advantage and a bit of extra life if you want to build in that direction.
Kykar, Wind's Fury makes it very easy to cast spells, since you’re generating potential mana each time you cast a noncreature spell. Lots of players also run this as a Polymorph commander since you have plenty of tokens to target with these effects.
It’s hard to find a more powerful artifact commander than Urza, Lord High Artificer. It’s very easy to get to a point where you’re casting massive spells each turn, whether for free with Urza’s ability or with all the blue mana you can create with artifacts.
Teysa Karlov makes any aristocrats build twice as effective as it already is. You get so much value out of this commander simply being on the battlefield, and it’s very easy to cast so you can get off to a quick start.
Another of the most powerful aristocrats commanders is Meren of Clan Nel Toth. This commander ensures you consistently have creatures to sacrifice for powerful effects, and it can easily cheat out big creatures in only a short number of turns.
Krenko, Mob Boss decks can get out of control very quickly. Not only can you make a ton of Goblin tokens to attack with, red has plenty of ways to deal damage when the tokens enter the battlefield. It would take a lot of board wipes to keep a Krenko deck down for long.
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow gives you card advantage while also draining all your opponents of their life. Utilizing ninjutsu abilities and evasive creatures, you can easily trigger Yuriko multiple times a turn. It’s also one of the best cards in Commander Masters.
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow | Illustration by Yongjae Choi
Commander Masters is an exciting release for fans of the format. Even if you aren’t looking to pay the large price tag for sealed product, a reprint of all these commanders will hopefully help make them easier to get your hands on. It’s definitely great to see commanders like The Ur-Dragon getting a much-needed reprint.
What commander are you most looking forward to getting a reprint? Which, if any, of the new commanders are you interested in building around? Let me know in the comments or on Draftsim’s Twitter.
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