Tidespout Tyrant - Illustration by Viktor Titov

Tidespout Tyrant | Illustration by Viktor Titov

Djinns have existed in Magic since the beginning. Mahamoti Djinn dates all the way back to Magic’s first set, Alpha. Arabian Nights was home to a number of these creatures, and Invasion even featured a full cycle of uncommon djinns. They’re a rare occurrence these days, but the occasional djinn peeks its (often bald) head into sets here and there.

Today I’m looking at the best djinns in Magic, or at the very least the ones that have a fighting chance in Commander. King Suleiman, it’s your time to shine!

What Are Djinns in MTG?

Haughty Djinn (Dominaria United) - Illustration by Mike Jordana

Haughty Djinn (Dominaria United) | Illustration by Mike Jordana

I’m a little fuzzy on my djinn lore, but they’re typically beings that fall in line with genies, efreets, and the like. Powerful mystical entities, often bound to an ancient artifact or a despotic controller.

Djinns are often depicted as flying creatures that offer great strength at a price in Magic. Erhnam Djinn and Juzam Djinn are classics that punch above their weight class but punish their controller.

While djinns exist across all five colors they’ve specialized into blue and have become an iconic blue creature type alongside others like sphinxes and merfolk. They’re usually used as a world-building tool to flesh out the identity of certain planes and Magic sets, like how the djinn monks were used to represent the Jeskai () clan in Khans of Tarkir.

Best Blue Djinns

#15. Djinni Windseer

Djinni Windseer

I wanted to give a brief nod to Djinni Windseer as a possible addition to die-rolling decks. Windseer has a pretty anemic effect in game, but die-rolling abilities are in short enough supply that I could see this being a placeholder until stronger d20 cards get printed.

#14. Mahamoti Djinn

Mahamoti Djinn

Mahamoti Djinn is the OG djinn (the O-Djinn, if you will), and the list felt incomplete without mentioning it somewhere. You won’t see it on the Commander battlefield, but respect where respect is due.

This card crawled so modern-day djinns could fly.

#13. Tempest Djinn

Tempest Djinn

Mono-blue tempo decks that want to end the game quickly might be interested in Tempest Djinn. That’s not a popular deck choice, but I’ve seen stranger things.

#12. Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp

Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp

I’m only mentioning Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp because the 5/6 body is decent for the amount of mana you spend to cast it. Yes, you still have to pay the commander tax when you use the alternative casting cost, and no, Zahid doesn’t really do anything. It’s just a stat-beast with a few cute interactions, like shutting off a Howling Mine for a turn cycle.

#11. Soulblade Djinn

Soulblade Djinn

Soulblade Djinn can turn a frenzy of noncreature spells into loads of extra damage as long as you have a decent number of creatures on board. There are better spells-matter payoffs (especially ones that don’t sit so high on the curve), but Soulblade is serviceable.

#10. Mistfire Weaver

Mistfire Weaver

Morph decks crop up from time to time in Commander, and most creatures with morph are playable simply by virtue of having the ability. Mistfire Weaver isn’t a top-tier morph creature but it is a nice “gotcha!” effect to have waiting in the wings against single-target removal.

#9. Monastery Loremaster

Monastery Loremaster

I’m not here to debate whether or not “megamorph” is the worst named mechanic of all time (it is), so let’s focus on what Monastery Loremaster actually does.

You could just play Archaeomancer or a much more efficient version of this effect, so this would only see play in a dedicated morph deck. But morph decks excel at toolbox-style effect with Loremaster’s Regrowth ability coming in handy when needed.

#8. Old Man of the Sea

Old Man of the Sea

A single paper copy of Old Man of the Sea costs more than $400, and the effect hardly justifies the price-tag. You can steal 1- and 2-power creatures all day long, or you could buy a copy of Vedalken Shackles and save half a grand.

#7. Sage-Eye Avengers

Sage-Eye Avengers

Sage-Eye Avengers is a regular tenant of Clunk City. Six mana, an attack trigger, no immediate impact on board. These are immediately red flags in Commander, but not every Commander deck needs to be optimized and some players enjoy playing battlecruiser Magic with friends.

If that’s the case this card can do some serious board control, bouncing a creature back to hand every time it attacks.

#6. Djinn of Infinite Deceits

Djinn of Infinite Deceits

I had a soft spot for Djinn of Infinite Deceits in the early days of Commander. Being able to swap control of creatures at will is fun and disruptive in a chaotic sort of way. 6-mana creatures with tap abilities don’t hold up lately, and the ubiquitous “legendarysubtype means there won’t always be a good exchange on board.

#5. Djinn of Wishes

Djinn of Wishes

Cards don’t necessarily have to be good to be really cool, and that’s exactly what we’ve got going on with Djinn of Wishes. You only get three wishes, so use scry and surveil effects to set up the top card of your library for big hits.

Oh, and no wishing for extra wishes!

#4. Siani, Eye of the Storm

Siani, Eye of the Storm

Siani, Eye of the Storm rewards you for attacking with flying creatures by scrying deeper into your deck. It helps shape a gameplan and partners exceptionally well with both Eligeth, Crossroads Augur and Radiant, Serra Archangel.

#3. Stratus Dancer

Stratus Dancer

I love me a good Stratus Dancer. It’s one of the morph creatures that your opponents are likely aware of and have to tip-toe around if you have any facedown creatures and open mana.

You don’t have to be a full-stop morph deck to play this, but you probably want at least a few other morphs to help disguise it.

#2. Haughty Djinn

Haughty Djinn

Haughty Djinn knows exactly what it wants to be. It’s an enabler and a payoff all in one as long as you’re casting a steady stream of instants and sorceries. It’s not unfathomable to think this might have 10+ power in a well-supported deck.

#1. Tidespout Tyrant

Tidespout Tyrant

Tidespout Tyrant won’t win you any new friends, but who needs friends when you can win games of Magic? This has been largely overshadowed by Hullbreaker Horror (for good reason, that card’s absurd), but it’s still a menace when it hits the battlefield.

Unlike Horror the Tyrant can bounce lands to their owner’s hand, and you can do that every time you cast a spell.

Best Black Djinn

#1. Aku Djinn

Aku Djinn

You might immediately dismiss Aku Djinn as a “bad card” (and you’d be correct), but I see it as more of an opportunity.

Certain styles of group hug decks could be interested in pumping your opponents’ creatures, so I’m evaluating this as a tech card for political EDH decks. You usually want more agency over effects like this and it offers you very little, so it’s altogether more of a gimmick than something I’m heavily advocating for.

Best Red Djinn

#1. Emberwilde Captain

Emberwilde Captain

I desperately wanted Kookus on this list just to say “Kookus” a few times, but I couldn’t justify adding it. That makes Emberwilde Captain the only mono-red djinn to grace the list.

This crowns you as the monarch and punishes others for trying to get their hands on it. The type line gives it an extra layer of playability in pirate-themed decks.

Best Multicolored Djinns

#8. Warden of the Eye

Warden of the Eye

Warden of the Eye is one of the least flashy versions of this type of effect (compare to Monastery Loremaster, which has the same ability when it megamorphs). It’s a little more varied in the type of cards it can bring back from the graveyard, but it’s still clearly below the bar.

#7. Sage of the Inward Eye

Sage of the Inward Eye

Sage of the Inward Eye offers a set of stats and abilities that’s more in line with games of Limited Magic than Commander gameplay. Even so, lifelink is an excellent ability and granting it to your entire board can swing games in your favor.

#6. Thundering Djinn

Thundering Djinn

Sometimes you build a deck that’s capable of drawing tons of cards but struggles to convert that advantage into an actual win. Thundering Djinn might not be as blatantly powerful as something like Niv-Mizzet, Parun, but the budgeteers and peasant players among us might appreciate the option.

#5. Uvilda, Dean of Perfection / Nassari, Dean of Expression

I could get on an absolute soapbox about how much I dislike the Strixhaven Deans, but I came here to talk about djinns so I’ll save it for another time.

Uvilda, Dean of Perfection has some incomprehensible text that’s meant to mimic the effect of Jhoira of the Ghitu without explicitly using the word “suspend.” In actuality Nassari, Dean of Expression is the reason you’re playing this. Uvilda just happens to be the price of entry.

#4. Djinn Illuminatus

Djinn Illuminatus

Djinn Illuminatus is just the kind of card that doesn’t feel playable in modern EDH until it survives a turn cycle and copies an extra turn spell or cantrip six or seven times.

Replicate on any spell is powerful and works phenomenally with magecraft cards like Archmage Emeritus. The 7-mana cost holds this card back enough that you just don’t see it played that often.

#3. Maelstrom Muse

Maelstrom Muse

Maelstrom Muse is another explicit spells payoff in the same vein as Haughty Djinn. It has to attack to have a realistic impact on the game, but it discounts the next spell you cast by a meaningful amount. If you can pump the Muse’s power first then that spell will cost even less.

#2. Inniaz, the Gale Force

Inniaz, the Gale Force

“Flying tribal” is its own sub-archetype in Magic with cards like Inniaz, the Gale Force making perfect commanders for this type of deck. The game-plan is simple: play fliers, attack with fliers, and maybe give the player to your left a Bird token while stealing a Blightsteel Colossus from the player to your right.

You know, simple stuff.

#1. Elsha of the Infinite

Elsha of the Infinite

I imagine WotC knew exactly what they were doing when the named this Elsha of the Infinite. Billed as a spellcaster commander, Elsha can become enormous with prowess triggers, or enable some powerful infinite loops.

For example, Elsha lets you continuously cast Sensei's Divining Top from your library with just one mana reducer in play. Something like Etherium Sculptor or Foundry Inspector.

Best Djinn Payoffs

Vorthos Decks

I’m hard-pressed to think there’s a valid reason to fill your Commander deck full of djinns. There isn’t any synergy between individual cards, and no explicit payoffs for the creature type.

The best I can think of is building a flavorful Arabian Nights-themed deck meant to evoke the atmosphere and story of the classic tales. Maybe you’re an Aladdin fan who wants to express that through EDH deckbuilding.

I’m curious what you come up with if that’s the case.

Djinn Tribal

Djinn tribal doesn’t really exist, but if you insist on playing your Beta Mahamoti Djinn and $500 Old Man of the Sea then you could probably scrap something together.

Inniaz, the Gale Force Morophon, the Boundless

Inniaz, the Gale Force is probably your best bet, or perhaps Morophon, the Boundless if you’re reaching really deep. It’s a stretch and you’d probably have just as much luck trying to build a homarid and trilobite Commander deck.

Rest assured players will start jamming Suleiman's Legacy if your deck ever gets out of hand.

Final Wish

Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

That’s a wrap on djinns, so I guess it’s time to go back into slumber for another 1,000 years (do djinns so that, or just genies?)

This has been more of a look at individual game-pieces than a cohesive review of a specific creature type. We can expect more djinn creatures down the line, but I’m not holding my breath on a tribal payoff to pull all the djinns together into a nice neat package.

If you’ve had any success with individual djinn creatures or have somehow made djinn tribal a viable strategy, I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite djinns, and how do you use them? Let me know in the comments down below or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.

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