Last updated on January 19, 2023

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity - Illustration by Aurore Folny

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity | Illustration by Aurore Folny

Dominaria is one of the most exciting Magic settings with its rich history and the famous Magic characters that populate it. Older players revisiting the plane might feel nostalgic for the days of Tempest or Urza’s Saga, and newer players will be excited to check in on recognizable characters like Jhoira from the more recent Dominaria set.

Just like our last visit to this plane, Dominaria United features a ton of new legendary creatures and planeswalkers that are commander ready. Sets like this are a gold mine for Commander players looking to try out something new. There are over 50 of these cards, some of which might not have been intended as commanders in the first place, so it’s safe to say they aren’t equally good to build a deck around.

I’ve gone over every one of the commanders from Dominaria United and the Dominaria United Commander sets to give you an idea of how they stack up. You might still love one of the lower-ranked commanders, so I encourage you to build that deck and follow your inspiration.

Table of Contents

How Many Commanders Are in Dominaria United?

Command Tower - Illustration by Evan Shipard

Command Tower | Illustration by Evan Shipard

There are a total of 98 commanders between Dominaria United and Dominaria United Commander. Of these, 71 are brand new cards introduced in the set or one of the preconstructed Commander decks. It seems like Wizards bring an abundance of legendary creatures with each visit to Dominaria, letting players check in on all corners of Magic’s most storied plane.

For ranking purposes, I’ve separated the new from the old. New card rankings are speculative and could change as players experiment with them and find ways to make them work. Older commanders have had a little more time to prove their mettle.

#71. Nael, Avizoa Aeronaut

Nael, Avizoa Aeronaut

Nael, Avizoa Aeronaut is unfortunately hindered by its ties to its domain ability. Being a two-colored commander makes it unable to fully benefit from its triggered ability. Without that, it’s basically just a 2/4 flier. I could see this card working in the 99 of a five-color legends matter deck, but I highly doubt it’ll see play as a commander.

#70. Baird, Argivian Recruiter

Baird, Argivian Recruiter

Baird, Argivian Recruiter doesn’t do enough to be a good commander. It only has one ability, and it will at most make you a single 1/1 token at the end of your turns. Boros is already a struggling color combination in Commander, and it requires a much stronger show from a commander card to make it work.

#69. Bortuk Bonerattle

Bortuk Bonerattle

Domain is a big problem for potential commanders in this set. Bortuk Bonerattle is a two-color commander, meaning that it’s unlikely to be able to get you anything over two mana from your graveyard to the battlefield. It’s also a very expensive commander with only a somewhat weak ETB effect. Even with a card like Prismatic Omen or Dryad of the Elysian Grove to get all of the land types, you’re still only getting a 4/4 and a 5 drop in your graveyard for seven mana.

#68. The Peregrine Dynamo

The Peregrine Dynamo

The main thing holding The Peregrine Dynamo back as a commander is the fact that it’s colorless. It interacts well with artifacts like The Planar Bridge or Thran Temporal Gateway, but building a legends matter deck without access to any of the mana colors is still going to be difficult. If you decide to go down this road, Karn Liberated should probably be included in the deck with some Eldrazi titans.

#67. Moira, Urborg Haunt

The Peregrine Dynamo

Moira, Urborg Haunt seems like a very hit-or-miss commander. It can be an asset to an aristocrats deck by allowing you to retrieve a creature the same turn that you sacrifice it, but you still have to get Moira’s attacks through your opponent’s blockers. Of course, including Whispersilk Cloak, Rogue’s Passage, or other forms of evasion can increase your chances. This commander would be a lot stronger if it weren’t for all the stipulations on its ability.

#66. Squee, Dubious Monarch

Squee, Dubious Monarch

I love Squee as a character, which makes it disappointing that he has yet to be given a card worthy of the command zone. Squee, Dubious Monarch is unlikely to get you more than one or two goblin tokens before it gets killed by a blocker. Of course, you can try to make it difficult or impossible to block, but you’re still only creating one goblin token per combat step. With cards like Krenko, Mob Boss or Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin out there, poor Squee has still yet to rise above his stiff competition for goblin commanders.

#65. The Raven Man

The Raven Man

The Raven Man’s appearance on a Magic card has been anticipated for years. He had a massive impact on the life of one of the most popular planeswalkers, Liliana, so it was assumed that his eventual card form would be a powerhouse. Unfortunately, the reality of The Raven Man is that it’s a wholly underwhelming card. It’s limited to creating a single bird token per turn and is further hindered by its activated ability only being useable at sorcery speed.

#64. Zeriam, Golden Wind

Zeriam, Golden Wind

When looking into Zeriam, Golden Wind, I was surprised at just how many griffins exist in Magic. Quantity doesn’t mean quality, and many griffins are underwhelming. Still, it’s an interesting trick to be able to grow your creatures exponentially by allowing all of them to spit out tokens (that will in turn spit out tokens). Unfortunately for Zeriam, Golden Wind, that’s its only trick.

#63. Tura Kennerüd, Skyknight

Tura Kennerüd, Skyknight

Tura Kennerüd, Skyknight might be better in a different color identity. There’s a lot more spellslinger support in Izzet than Azorius, and Azorius is so rarely used for token decks that EDHREC actually has one recorded.

Tura Kennerüd, Skyknight could be a decent inclusion in a control deck because it has a similar effect to Shark Typhoon. As a commander, it’s too expensive for what it does and its low power and toughness.

#62. Baru, Wurmspeaker

Baru, Wurmspeaker

Baru, Wurmspeaker is the first commander to specifically focus on wurms, a tribe with a deep lineage in Magic’s history. Wurms are typically large creatures, meaning that Baru, Wurmspeaker’s activated ability will likely get a lot cheaper once you get some strong ones onto the field. The ability to create 6/6 creatures with trample is a pretty good effect and giving trample to all other wurms can be very effective (hello, Impervious Greatwurm).

#61. Rasputin, the Oneiromancer

Rasputin, the Oneiromancer

Is Rasputin, the Oneiromancer was truly bad, or is it just good in some niche way? I’ve ruminated on it for several days, I’ve checked out the chatter online, and for now, it looks like an underwhelming commander. I’m totally prepared to be wrong once someone finds a strange and creative way to make this one work.

#60. Garna, Bloodfist of Keld

Garna, Bloodfist of Keld

I see Garna, Bloodfist of Keld more as an inclusion in the 99, but it could be interesting as a commander. I like that it could be a fit for either an aggro deck or aristocrats: each one makes good use of Garna’s ability in one way or another. However, I like my commanders to have a little more going on than just a single static ability, so Garna will probably be stuck in a deck somewhere instead of leading one.

#59. Jasmine Boreal of the Seven

Jasmine Boreal of the Seven

Jasmine Boreal of the Seven is a neat way to incentivize playing with vanilla creatures, but it took me a moment to realize how good of a commander it could really be. My initial thoughts were that there aren’t enough great vanilla creatures outside of maybe Gigantosaurus, but then I realized that lots of creature tokens don’t have abilities. Selesnya is full of token support like Anointed Procession and Rhys the Redeemed, so I could see Jasmine Boreal of the Seven headlining a formidable token deck. Any deck that lets me play Sandwurm Convergence is good in my book.

#58. Orca, Siege Demon

Orca, Siege Demon

Orca, Siege Demon could be a great Rakdos commander, but its mana cost gets in the way of its potential. I like that it discourages your opponents from removing it in fear of taking damage, and it has the potential to get big in the right type of aristocrats deck. Paired with an instant speed sacrifice outlet, you can also respond to its removal by pumping it up before it dies.

#57. Torsten, Founder of Benalia

Torsten, Founder of Benalia

Torsten, Founder of Benalia is a very satisfying card with all the sevens going on. It can be an okay commander, but it might be a bit too expensive. I like that it replaces itself with seven 1/1 tokens after it dies, but it’s a shame that it’ll be very expensive to recast. High mana cost commanders should be a little more powerful than this, so Torsten, Founder of Benalia isn’t worth it to me. It has a place in some Selesnya token decks though.

#56. Tori D’Avenant, Fury Rider

Tori D’Avenant, Fury Rider

While Tori D’Avenant, Fury Rider’s ability can be a big boost to your attacks, I’m not sold on it as a commander. Its ability is tied to it attacking, so it’s a bit more of a risk. This effect works much better with big groups of creatures, but it’s underwhelming earlier in the game. It’s unfortunate to have a commander that won’t do much until you’ve accrued a larger army.

#55. Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer

Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer

Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer is only the second card to have protection from planeswalkers, and it’s the first that can create Badger tokens. It could be a powerful landfall commander, but it’s a shame that it misses out on some of the better landfall cards by being restricted to mono green. A beefy commander can pose a big threat to your opponents, and green has a lot of great combat tricks like Become Immense that can help you finish off some opponents with commander damage.

#54. Astor, Bearer of Blades

Astor, Bearer of Blades

In Draft or Sealed, I could see Astor, Bearer of Blades being a very good option: it’s versatile and gives benefits to both your equipment and vehicle cards. Instead of being a strictly good vehicle commander or equipment commander, Astor, Bearer of Blades is just average at both. This wouldn’t be terrible if there were more inherent synergy between the two card types, but you may be better off with a more specialized commander.

#53. Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh

Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh

Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh seems like a straightforward commander build if you decide to try it out. Include combat tricks and auras that can target Rosnakht and some anthems to help buff the tokens you’re creating like The Immortal Sun or Coat of Arms.

The main issue with a deck built around Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh is the lack of good spells available to you that target Rosnakht in mono red.

#52. Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart

Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart

Poor Raff Capashen keeps failing to live up to his family’s legacy. While a potential draw engine isn’t terrible on your commander, Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart’s tapping requirement costs you blockers. You likely won’t be drawing more than one or two cards a turn.Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart’s second ability isn’t bad, but it’s pricey. Giving vigilance to your creatures can be a nice way to use them as both attackers and draw engines.

#51. Braids, Arisen Nightmare

Braids, Arisen Nightmare

Braids, Arisen Nightmare almost seems to be Wizards’ attempt at a less ban-worthy Braids, Cabal Minion. I honestly think that this version is an appropriate downgrade to make it much more fun to play against.

Braids, Arisen Nightmare is still relatively powerful. You can use it as a sacrifice outlet to force your opponents to choose between either taking some damage and filling your hand, or losing progress on their board state. This commander would pair well with Ophiomancer or Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker by allowing you to keep the heat on your opponents without losing too much momentum.

#50. Ertai Resurrected

Ertai Resurrected

I don’t usually consider commanders with only an ETB effect, but Ertai Resurrected could be fun to build around under the right conditions. It essentially turns any flicker spell into removal or a counter spell. Turning decent spells into more powerful ones is a huge asset for a commander, and the flicker spells in your deck can help your commander dodge removal. Black also has good cards like Kaya’s Ghostform that work well, returning Ertai Resurrected after its removal and triggering that ETB all over again.

#49. Tatyova, Steward of Tides

Tatyova, Steward of Tides

Tatyova, Steward of Tides is a high-risk, high-reward type of commander. It can be powerful to give all land creatures flying, especially since you’ll start turning a lot of your lands into creatures later in the game. The risk comes from your land creatures being easy removal targets unless you make your land creatures indestructible with an effect like Nissa, Who Shakes the World’s ultimate. A board wipe can be much more devastating when a chunk of your lands are also creatures: your mana and board state are swept at the same time.

#48. Emperor Mihail II

Emperor Mihail II

Merfolk is one of those tribes with a lot of great commanders to choose from, so Emperor Mihail II has a lot of competition. I don’t think it holds up despite having a really good effect. Its mono-blue color also holds this commander back because a lot of great merfolk cards are Simic, Dimir, or Bant. It might not be the best commander, but Emperor Mihail II could be a great inclusion in the 99 of a merfolk deck.

#47. Rulik Mons, Warren Chief

Rulik Mons, Warren Chief

Rulik Mons, Warren Chief can be a good bit of ramp for you if you’re lucky. It also pairs very well with green Commander staple Sylvan Library, since it can almost ensure that you’ll have a land at the top of your library when you swing with Rulik. The main downside is that Rulik Mons, Warren Chief is relatively weak. Your opponents will easily be able to block it as the game progresses, meaning you might not get as much value out of its ability.

#46. General Marhault Elsdragon

General Marhault Elsdragon

General Marhault Elsdragon is a strong option for an aggressive Gruul deck by allowing your creatures to hit above their weight class. You don’t have to worry about blockers that aren’t 3 power stronger than your creature’s toughness, so you can swing for the fences knowing that some opponents won’t block and give you the chance to take out some of their creatures.

This buff that your attackers get also synergizes well with staple Gruul abilities like trample, first strike, and double strike. Giving your creatures trample with a card like Garruk’s Uprising would be a great asset to help punch through blockers and deal some damage.

#45. Tobias, Doomed Conqueror

Tobias, Doomed Conqueror

Being able to drop Tobias, Doomed Conqueror at instant speed allows you to use your commander as a board wipe insurance on your opponents’ turns. You won’t protect your creatures from dying, but you’ll replace any who did with Zombie tokens and maintain a board state while other players’ are wiped out. This is a decent effect, but it gets more expensive each time you do it. Tobias, Doomed Conqueror is a one-trick pony, so you’re basically just playing without a commander and more like constant access to a specific spell.

#44. Balmor, Battlemage Captain

Balmor, Battlemage Captain

I could see Balmor, Battlemage Captain being somewhat powerful in a spellslinger deck because it gives all your creatures a slightly worse version of prowess. With flying, Balmor itself can possibly get past lots of blockers and deal out some good damage after buffing itself.

The flavor text mentions “an onslaught from the sky,” so I’d prefer if Balmor, Battlemage Captain granted flying rather than trample. That would probably make it too powerful.

#43. Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary

Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary

Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary has plenty of good Bant options to help it to build up an army of forestwalking cat warriors. Land walk abilities can sometimes be hit or miss, but Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth makes forestwalk one of the more powerful types.

Bant also has access to plenty of great token doublers like Parallel Lives and Anointed Procession, and Divine Visitation allows you to make powerful angels instead of cats.

#42. Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim

Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim

Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim is a cheap commander with a very powerful ability for an Orzhov aristocrats style. A deck built around sacrificing creatures and lifegain can easily drain your opponents out with the help of Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim. Add cards like Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose, Sanguine Bond, and The Meathook Massacre and you have a party.

Being Orzhov, you also have access to Teysa Karlov to double up Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim’s ability. Elas also works well in the 99 of a Teysa Karlov deck if you already have one made.

#41. Ohabi Caleria

Ohabi Caleria

I never would have thought to make archer tribal, but Ohabi Caleria triggered some brainstorming. Players that are only familiar with newer cards might not know that archers used to come standard with the ability to tap and deal damage to attacking or blocking creatures. Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile is probably the greatest example, but there’s also Elite Archers, Crossbow Infantry, and more.

Ohabi Caleria’s ability works well with this since you can deal damage with your archers on each turn. This combined with the option to turn the damage you’re doing into card draw makes this a unique and potentially powerful commander

#40. Verrak, Warped Sengir

Verrak, Warped Sengir

Understanding how good Verrak, Warped Sengir is requires a quick understanding of how it interacts with abilities. Once an ability is on the stack, you can pay the same amount of life to repeat it. Even if it had other costs (ex: sacrificing a permanent, discarding a card) you can copy it while only paying the life required. This means fetch lands can be used to grab two lands at a time and Yawgmoth, Thran Physician can distribute two -1/-1 counters and draw you two cards. In Orzhov, you’ll have plenty of options for life gain, so you won’t have to worry about paying life to double up effects.

#39. Stangg, Echo Warrior

Stangg, Echo Warrior

Stangg, Echo Warrior presents some interesting deckbuilding options in Commander. You’ll want to include a decent number of equipment and aura spells to make the best of its ability, and you can really benefit from ones with ETB effects. Since Stangg, Echo Warrior’s Stangg Twin token enters with copies of all auras and equipment attached to Stangg, you’ll be able to utilize ETB effects like Cartouche of Zeal over and over.

#38. Cadric, Soul Kindler

Cadric, Soul Kindler

I like Cadric, Soul Kindler a lot. I’d personally rather play it in the 99 in a five-color legends matter deck, but it also works well as a commander. The ability to copy any of your legends that enter the battlefield for the turn goes beyond just having extra attackers: it allows you to double up on ETB effects, attack triggers, and death triggers. Dropping a Magda, Brazen Outlaw and attacking with both it and its copy will make you four treasure tokens as a result of stacked abilities.

#37. Danitha, Benalia’s Hope

Danitha, Benalia’s Hope

You may be surprised to see a mono white commander this far up the list, but Danitha, Benalia’s Hope doesn’t need access to many colors to be powerful. Commanders with ETB effects aren’t always as good as those with static or repeatable abilities, but Danitha’s can give it a huge boost that might even put you in a position to win the game quickly.

I’d to try to go for a quick commander damage victory with Danitha, Benalia’s Hope. Fill your deck with a bunch of high-cost and effective equipment like Eldrazi Conscription or Colossus Hammer and you can make Danitha a huge threat.

#36. Hazezon, Shaper of Sand

Hazezon, Shaper of Sand

Hazezon, Shaper of Sand requires two big disclaimers before you play it as your commander. First, it’s not super likely that you’ll be able to get much from its desertwalk ability. There are only 20 desert lands in the entire game and none are considered basic lands, so you aren’t super likely to see one on the table.

The second disclaimer is that Hazezon, Shaper of Sand works best with mass land destruction cards like Armageddon. It won’t make you any friends, but it can be a pretty good way to get ahead or even win a game.

#35. Lagomos, Hand of Hatred

Lagomos, Hand of Hatred

Lagomos, Hand of Hatred is a natural choice to lead a Rakdos sacrifice deck and even gives you an extra creature to sacrifice during each of your turns. Lagomos, Hand of Hatred’s second ability could help you search up combo pieces. It’s not too tall an order in this type of deck to have five or more creatures die in a turn.

If you’re looking for a good combo, I might suggest Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood because you’ll only need to search for two cards. You can get going by doing any amount of damage or gaining life.

#34. Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant

Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant

Without Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant’s haste, I wouldn’t say this were too good of a commander. Since you’ll likely be able to hit at least one of your opponents the turn you play it, I think that there’s some potential for this version of Bladewing. If you’re building for a Rakdos aristocrats style or even just an aggro deck that’s willing to let some of its creatures die, there’ll likely be a good amount of creatures in your graveyard to help Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant make zombies. The menace on your Zombie Knight tokens can make them a decent threat, but they can also be fodder for your sac outlets in an aristocrats style.

#33. Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful

Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful

Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful can be powerful if built around properly. You’ll want to go with a spell-slinger style deck, and Isochron Scepter can do a lot of work for you by allowing you to consistently drain your opponents’ life. I also like Rona’s ability to be cast from the graveyard and  skirt around commander tax.

My main complaint is that it doesn’t do much for you. It deals out damage when you cast some spells, but it doesn’t make it easier for you to cast spells or give you another ability that synergizes with casting a lot of spells in a turn.

#32. Najal, the Storm Runner

Najal, the Storm Runner

Casting sorceries as though they had flash can be a huge asset to a spellslinger deck. Najal, the Storm Runner also gives you the option to copy one spell per turn. That’s effective, but  I wish it wasn’t tied to a combat trigger that forces you to risk your commander.

Najal, the Storm Runner is also too pricey mana-wise to be a super effective commander. Without haste, it’s vulnerable to removal during its first turn out.

#31. Sol’Kanar the Tainted

Sol’Kanar the Tainted

I’m honestly still not sure exactly how good Sol’Kanar the Tainted really is. I’m interested in the scenarios it can create at the table. Having your commander taken from you is usually one of the most frustrating things that can happen because it’s much more difficult to get it back than if it had simply been destroyed or exiled. This is a commander that eventually forces you to give it away, and without any real benefit to you like Xantcha, Sleeper Agent has.

I see Sol’Kanar the Tainted as an opportunity for players to make some deals with their opponents, or to do their best to help the table deal with threats. Opponents might see the Sol’Kanar player as a resource and keep them around because of it. Of course, you can always try using something like Thassa, Deep Dwelling’s effect to keep Sol’Kanar the Tainted from being forced to leave your board.

#30. Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord

Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord

Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord takes the relationship between kobolds and dragons in the lore and turns it into a game mechanic. Kobolds like Minion of the Mighty and Nogi, Draco-Zealot already work well with dragons, but Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord now allows any kobold you cast to come paired with a dragon for just 2 extra mana. Lots of kobolds are very cheap to play, so it’s easy to afford the two extra mana.

This dragon and kobold synergy work both ways since Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord also creates kobold tokens each time you cast a dragon.

#29. Dihada, Binder of Wills

Dihada, Binder of Wills

Dihada, Binder of Wills is a very interesting legends-matter commander. A Mardu deck can include a decent number of powerful legends, and giving them indestructible until your next turn is a great way to keep big targets like Etali, Primal Storm alive a little longer.

Dihada’s second ability is also a good way to draw some cards, ramp, or a bit of both. Its ultimate ability might be hard to activate, but it’s a huge potential game-winning move if you can get it off.

The one downside with Dihada, Binder of Wills is its inability to protect itself. The indestructible blockers can protect it somewhat, but it requires having a legendary creature on the battlefield to work. Dihada just isn’t as good as some other planeswalkers staying on the board.

#28. Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief

It’s hard to express just how versatile Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief is because there are just so many ways to use its ability. Got a cantrip like Slip Through Space? It now draws you two cards for one mana if you target a creature besides Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief. Mutating a creature? You also get to copy the creature whose mutate ability you’re using and put it over or under Ivy.

This can be super powerful with Auspicious Starrix by allowing you access to two free permanents instead of one.

#27. Ramirez DePietro, Pillager

Ramirez DePietro, Pillager

Ramirez DePietro, Pillager is a surprisingly fun commander for an uncommon legendary. Pirates in Magic already benefit from attacking with raid abilities. Lots of them, like Ghost of Ramirez DePietro, also have ways to evade blockers. Grixis would be the ideal color combination for pirate decks, but Dimir offers enough good options for getting past blockers and stealing some of your opponents’ cards. There are also a lot of great Dimir options for stealing cards like Xanathar, Guild Kingpin and Captain N’ghathrod. A deck built around stealing other players’ cards can be hit or miss if you aren’t getting anything good, but it can be a lot of fun because each game’s plunder is different.

#26. Tor Wauki the Younger

Tor Wauki the Younger

Tor Wauki the Younger seems to be a bit more powerful than other uncommon commanders in this set. Your direct damage spells can do extra damage, which can be very powerful. Combined with Tor Wauki the Younger’s second ability, a low damage spell like Shock can suddenly be dealing out 5 damage for just one mana.

Tor Wauki the Younger has lifelink, so you’ll also be gaining life each time it deals direct damage with its second triggered ability. Black cards like Bolas’s Citadel that allow you to use life as a resource work well with this. You may also want to include an Aetherflux Reservoir in this deck if you’re planning on casting a lot of spells.

#25. Sivitri, Dragon Master

Sivitri, Dragon Master

Sivitri, Dragon Master is a real glow up from the original Sivitri Scarzam card. It comes equipped with a repeatable Propaganda like effect, but it can also act as a tutor for your dragons.

The one downside for Sivitri, Dragon Master is the limited color identity. There are plenty of good dragons across all five Magic colors, but you lose out on a lot of great dragons when red’s missing.

#24. Rivaz of the Claw

Rivaz of the Claw

A couple other cards in this set support dragons, but Rivaz of the Claw is one of the better ones to run as a dragon deck commander. Being able to recast one of your dragons from your graveyard each turn will force your opponents to remove these creatures twice to make sure they’re through with them (Zombieland Rule #2).

Black offers ways to fill your graveyard intentionally like Buried Alive to get you quicker access to some creatures, and you’d want to include Bladewing, the Risen in this deck for sure. The fact that Rivaz of the Claw can also help cast these cards quicker is another huge advantage.

#23. The Ever-Changing ‘Dane

The Ever-Changing ‘Dane

What makes The Ever-Changing ‘Dane so interesting is its ability to change into other creatures at instant speed. You to mix and match the best of the best abilities from creatures on your board to create a powerful combination.

For example, The Ever-Changing ‘Dane can turn into an unblockable creature like Slither Blade and swing to attack. On the way to the damage step after no blockers have been declared, you can sacrifice a powerful infect creature like Hand of Praetors or even Blightsteel Colossus.

#22. Rith, Liberated Primeval

Rith, Liberated Primeval

By giving all your dragons ward 2, Rith, Liberated Primeval makes removing your creatures a pain for your opponents. They’ll be forced to waste more resources to remove any of your creatures, which can slow their turns down, but it might also stop them from being able to remove as many of them as they’d like.

The dragon tokens Rith, Liberated Primeval creates also have ward 2 as well. With red damage spells, green fight spells, and a variety of great Naya combat tricks, making these tokens should be relatively easy.

#21. Jared Carthalion

Jared Carthalion

Jared Carthalion is an interesting commander and is also the first black-bordered five-color planeswalker. Creating a 3/3 with trample is a powerful +1 ability to have on a planeswalker and doubles as a way to protect Jared Carthalion. Since these Kavu tokens are all colors, they also synergize well with Jared’s -3 ability, allowing you to make them 8/8 tramplers in two turns. Though Jared Carthalion’s ultimate is underwhelming, I don’t think you necessarily need to use it.

#20. Xira, the Golden Sting

Xira, the Golden Sting

Aesthetically, Xira, the Golden Sting takes the pageant crown. Building a deck around a fancy bee lady is the type of high fantasy hijinks that makes Magic so much fun. Apart from looks, Jund is a pretty good color identity for an aristocrats deck, and Xira, the Golden Sting’s egg counters can allow you to benefit each time you sacrifice a creature that has one. You can also put egg counters on your opponents’ creatures before you remove them to remove a threat and snag some resources at the same time.

#19. The Lady of Otaria

The Lady of Otaria

Alternate casting costs can do a lot for a somewhat expensive commander like The Lady of Otaria. The right opening hand lets you have this commander on the board early and start putting its second ability to use.

If there’s one issue with The Lady of Otaria, it’s that dwarves aren’t a super powerful tribe in Magic just yet. Even Magda, Brazen Outlaw, one of the best dwarves in the game, synergizes better when mixing dwarves and dragons.

#18. Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge

Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge

Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge is the alternate commander in the Dihada, Binder of Wills commander deck, and it’s the better one to go with. Giving all your legendary creatures menace makes them much more difficult to block, so you can benefit from their attack triggers. A draw engine built into your commander is a great way to make sure you aren’t running out of resources.

#17. Shanna, Purifying Blade

Shanna, Purifying Blade

Shanna, Purifying Blade is a great cheap commander and gives you a great way to keep your hand full throughout the game. Bant has plenty of great life gain abilities on cards like Soul Warden or Authority of the Consuls to give you plenty of extra card draw opportunities each turn.

You’ll also have access to several infinite combos surrounding the card Scurry Oak. That’s a huge advantage that can even win you the game when paired with something like Concordant Crossroads or Aetherflux Reservoir.

#16. Ratadrabik of Urborg

Ratadrabik of Urborg

Ratadrabik of Urborg is a great way to protect your legendary creatures and potentially make copies of them if you’re running recursion or reanimation. With enough ways to get creatures out of your graveyard, you can even purposely sacrifice legends to create more and more copies of them each time.

The ward 2 Ratadrabik of Urborg has will keep it out on the field longer than normally.

#15. King Darien XLVIII

King Darien XLVIII

Selesnya token decks can be very powerful, and King Darien XLVIII has a lot of ways of to help your creature tokens. When you’re creating a wide board of tokens, +1/+1 becomes a much more significant buff. The ability to buff your commander and create tokens can also be a very powerful way to make sure you aren’t letting any mana go to waste.

King Darien XLVIII can also protect against one of the biggest threats to a token deck: board wipes. Giving your creature tokens indestructible makes them really great blockers.

#14. Nemata, Primeval Warden

Nemata, Primeval Warden

Nemata, Primeval Warden’s versatility is a huge asset when playing against three other decks. Exiling your opponents’ creatures that die is a great way to get around reanimation strategies, and Golgari has a good amount of removal spells to help you. Saproling tokens also have a lot of support in Golgari, and Tendershoot Dryad is an easy auto-include in this deck.

#13. Tetsuo, Imperial Champion

Tetsuo, Imperial Champion

I wouldn’t normally associate Grixis with an equipment-themed deck, but I think Tetsuo, Imperial Champion is about to change that. This deck could work really well by utilizing swords to give Tetsuo protection and evasion, and Whispersilk Cloak would also be great in this deck. Once Tetsuo, Imperial Champion is nice and protected, you can start swinging out and either dealing damage or casting some free spells.

#12. Soul of Windgrace

Soul of Windgrace

Soul of Windgrace is one of the more interesting commanders in the set between its versatility and its ability to grab lands from your opponents’ graveyards. It’s likely that your opponents in Commander play some fetch lands and some Neon Dynasty channel lands. There’s also a good chance that any overly powerful utility lands will get destroyed by at least one of the players at the board. You have access to all of them with Soul of Windgrace’s ability.

#11. Queen Allenal of Ruadach

Queen Allenal of Ruadach

Some token commanders only help you to make them without a payoff for having such a horde. Queen Allenal of Ruadach, meanwhile, can become quite a big threat. Selesnya has most of the best token doublers in the game and can access cards like Growing Rites of Itlimoc, Circle of the Dreams Druid, and Cryptolith Rite to help produce a ton of mana with large board states.

Queen Allenal of Ruadach could easily close out some games with commander damage thanks to big token armies and being given trample with something like Garruk’s Uprising.

#10. Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile

Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile

Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile gives you incredible mana fixing attached to your commander. It’s also very cheap to get out, so you’ll most likely have access to every color of mana by your fifth turn or earlier.

Combining Jenson with cards like Fist of Suns or Jodah, Archmage Eternal essentially makes any of the cards in your deck just cost 5 generic mana. Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile can also help you to play powerful yet difficult to cast cards like The Prismatic Bridge, which itself helps you to get around mana costs for your spells.

#9. Aron, Benalia’s Ruin

Aron, Benalia’s Ruin

I see Aron, Benalia’s Ruin as a very strong option for a token deck due to its activated ability, and Orzhov is a good color identity for that. Several different Teysas, Thalisse, Reverent Medium, and Elenda, the Dusk Rose are just some of the great Orzhov token makers. Anointed Procession is another great token doubler that plays well with Ancient Gold Dragon. Dropping a +1/+1 counter on a lot of creature tokens makes a significant difference in the amount of damage you can deal. Since you can do it at instant speed, you have a chance to wait until after blockers are assigned or until your opponent’s turn.

#8. Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer

Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer

Winning a game with commander damage is usually somewhat difficult, but I think Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer makes that goal easier. Whether it’s mana rocks, equipment, or even just treasure tokens, there’s a good chance your opponents will have over three artifacts on the field at some point, so Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer will most likely be unblockable.

#7. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

Like all the recent Phyrexian Praetors, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse gives you a benefit while punishing your opponent. It can deal out a good amount of damage, and a 4/5 with deathtouch is good value for 4 mana. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse’s life gain also synergizes well with mono black staples K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth and Bolas’s Citadel.

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse paired with Lich’s Mastery allows you to draw your entire deck and gain a bunch of life, which can work well with Aetherflux Reservoir, Psychosis Crawler, or Diviner’s Wand.

#6. Jhoira, Ageless Innovator

Jhoira, Ageless Innovator

I first thought Jhoira, Ageless Innovator was the best commander in this set. It drops free artifacts of constantly increasing value, but it can be used more than once a turn with cards like Corridor Monitor and especially Umbra Mantle. Filling your deck with mana-producing artifacts can also make this a very quick ramping deck since you can drop a free mana rock and then use it that turn. The stiff competition amongst artifact-focused commanders holds Jhoira, Ageless Innovator back, though.

#5. Ramses, Assassin Lord

Ramses, Assassin Lord

Sometimes the best commanders are the ones that give you a whole new way of looking at the game. Thanks to Ramses, Assassin Lord’s alternative win condition, you now have an entirely new way to try and win a game of Commander. You don’t have to take out all your opponents, just one of them by using an assassin. That’s perfectly on theme and can be a lot of fun, especially as you try to scope out the competition and wait for the perfect moment to strike.

You don’t even have to worry about outlasting the entire table, either. Take out the weakest player when the time is right, and you win the whole game! It’s powerful enough to make you a big target, so I can’t give it the top spot.

#4. Zur, Eternal Schemer

Zur, Eternal Schemer

Zur, Eternal Schemer has some big shoes to fill, given the popularity of its original incarnation as Zur the Enchanter. I think this new Zur rises to the challenge and giving you a very powerful enchantment commander.

Zur, Eternal Schemer pairs well with Theros god cards by giving them a host of new abilities and making them as difficult to remove as any card can be. His second ability can also be very strong and give you a chance to mobilize some of your non-creature enchantments against your opponents for a reasonable cost.

#3. Stenn, Paranoid Partisan

Stenn, Paranoid Partisan

Being able to reduce the cost of a single card type can be a really good way to get ahead in a game. Stenn, Paranoid Partisan reduces mana costs for one card type, but you can easily switch to a different type of card with its activated ability. Stenn is cheap to play and cheap to activate, so there’s a good chance you can get it on the field early. Stenn, Paranoid Partisan’s activated ability can also help protect it since you can activate it in response to removal.

Stenn, Paranoid Partisan works well with artifacts, allowing 1 mana cards like Sol Ring and Mana Vault to be played for free.

#2. Jodah, the Unifier

Jodah, the Unifier

Jodah, the Unifier seems to cement Jodah as a go-to character for powerful 5-color commanders. This iteration is a little more difficult to cast than Jodah, Archmage Eternal, but it absolutely makes up for that with a very powerful effect.

First, Jodah, the Unifier doesn’t exclude itself on either part of its buff, so it’ll immediately buff itself up to a 6/6 even if no other legends are on the field. Building Jodah as a legends-matter commander gives you a huge buff to all your creatures and to your commander.

Jodah, the Unifier’s second ability also is a great way to get two legendary creatures for the price of one, making this deck snowball even faster.

#1. Meria, Scholar of Antiquity

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity

I’ve seen a lot of discourse online asking if Meria, Scholar of Antiquity is the Gruul Urza, Lord High Artificer. In short, yes and no. I don’t think Meria’s second ability comes close to Urza’s activated ability, and the fact that tokens can’t be tapped for it is a drawback. Meria is still an incredibly strong commander and can take full advantage of some great green cards that Urza can’t like Seedborn Muse.

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity makes 0 cost artifacts incredibly powerful by being able to tap for green. By keeping the ability on Meria itself, you don’t need to worry about summoning sickness for your artifact creatures. I’m both excited and a little scared to see the powerful decks that get built around this commander.


#27. Captain Lannery Storm

Captain Lannery Storm

Captain Lannery Storm is a great card in its own right, but it isn’t the strongest commander option. It can be good for some early game ramp, but it’s hard to fully capitalize on the treasure theme without access to treasure synergy like Bootleggers’ Stash or Revel in Riches.

A lucky roll with Ancient Bronze Dragon or a well-timed Dockside Extortionist may make you enough treasures to take out a player with commander damage if you’re very lucky, but I don’t think it’s a reliable strategy. Captain Lannery Storm can also easily be destroyed with some of the cheapest removal spells in the game.

#26. Kothophed, Soul Hoarder

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder is a reliable draw engine in Commander, but it may be a bit too reliable to want out long. You’ll watch your life total quickly plummet at the first signs of a board wipe. Without blue, you’re limited in the number of cards that give you no max hand size, so you’ll also likely have to discard a lot of cards.

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder is also pricey in terms of mana value. For similar mana costs you can get much better mono black commanders like Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon or K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth.

#25. Josu Vess, Lich Knight

Josu Vess, Lich Knight

Josu Vess is a card that I don’t think was ever intended to be a commander. Most of the time you play it, it’ll be a 4/5 with menace. Paying 10 mana for a commander and eight Zombie Knight tokens is a bit much, especially since the commander itself won’t do anything else once on the board.

#24. Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit

Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit

Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit’s ability isn’t bad, but it isn’t enough to carry a Commander deck. You’ll make sure that you’re always buffing at least one creature when another enters, and that could be paired somewhat effectively with white’s options for turning lifegain into buffs. Still, I don’t think Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit is going to do enough to keep up with other decks. You’d be better off with a commander that has more impactful effects, even if they’re more expensive to cast.

#23. Jazal Goldmane

Jazal Goldmane

Jazal Goldmane can make a pretty big impact in the right situations, but there’s too much holding it back. You can buff your creatures significantly, but your opponents will be able to chump block them if you can’t give them trample. You may finish them off on following turns with big attackers, but it’s always a drawback to allow more turns for your opponents to deal with your board.

Another downside for Jazal Goldmane is that he’s mono white. Wizards has been doing a good job trying to make white more playable in Commander, but it still struggles to keep up with other mono colored decks at the moment

#22. Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

Your best bet to make Kari Zev, Skyship Raider a viable commander is to buff it up and take advantage of its first strike and menace abilities. Using equipment and the limited auras available to mono red decks are a good way to go.

Kari Zev, Skyship Raider is cheap to cast, so you can get it back easily when destroyed and get your equipment reattached to it. It doesn’t do much for you besides being a potentially good attacker.

#21. Adriana, Captain of the Guard

Adriana, Captain of the Guard

Adriana, Captain of the Guard can be a fun build. A lot of times, a player tries to fly under the radar in Commander by only attacking a player that either can’t fight back or is perceived as a bigger threat than themself. Intentionally seeking to attack every player equally can be a fun way to mix up the game.

Adriana, Captain of the Guard’s text makes it clear that melee abilities stack, so having other creatures with melee in your deck can be very effective and allow you to buff them up to +6/+6. Be careful of getting hated off the table if you’re doing too much damage to the other players.

#20. Arvad the Cursed

Arvad the Cursed

Arvad the Cursed is a great inclusion for legends matter decks, but not the best commander for one. By limiting yourself to Orzhov cards, you miss out on a lot of great legendary creatures that Arvad could be buffing. It doesn’t really interact with creatures that aren’t legendary, so your only real way to build this deck is to still try to build around legendary creatures in Arvad’s colors. One of those other legendary creatures will likely be a much better option for a commander in this color combination, so you might want to build around them instead.

#19. Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a pretty good aggro commander for a vampire tribal deck. You’ll want to prioritize flying vampires so that they can attack more easily and take full advantage of Drana’s ability. Though it starts somewhat weaker, Drana buffs itself up as you continue to do damage, so you can feel safer attacking with it.

#18. Garna, the Bloodflame

Garna, the Bloodflame

Having a way to bring creatures back from the graveyard can be very powerful. Garna, the Bloodflame’s ability to grab creatures that were put into the graveyard from anywhere is also effective because it counts cards that you discard, mill, or tutor into your graveyard that turn. You’ll likely be able to grab a creature stronger than Garna or rebuild your board after a board wipe.

#17. Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant

Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant

Sometimes unique effects make commanders very strong, but Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant’s ability makes it more annoying than anything. You’ll never have a reliable number for its power, and you’ll have to do extra leg work to keep track of cards that get exiled. The upside is that you’ll get access to an additional card each turn, which can be powerful. If you want powerful cards that buff Bell Borca, you probably won’t be able to play them until late game.

#16. Tajic, Blade of the Legion

Tajic, Blade of the Legion

Tajic, Blade of the Legion is an incredibly powerful attacker and the indestructible ability makes it a huge asset as a commander. There are a few ways you can build this commander, but I’d stick with equipment or tokens. Equipment will allow you to have a very strong indestructible attacker, and tokens will guarantee that you’re getting Tajic’s battalion more often.

#15. Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

The ability to cycle through cards might be the best part about Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion because you’ll be able to consistently refresh your hand and search for the right cards. You also get a decent amount of ramp from this ability, which makes it easier to cast big cards sooner. Neheb is a very fun and interesting commander, but make sure that you’re prepared to discard cards and take a gamble.

#14. Ashling the Pilgrim

Ashling the Pilgrim

At first glance, Ashling the Pilgrim’s ability can only deal out a maximum of three damage. However, it only deals damage and removes counters if it’s the third time that turn that it’s done so. In commander, Ashling the Pilgrim can get dangerous by pumping it up more and more each trip around the table. You’ll either have a very buff commander or use its ability to deal a ton of damage.

#13. O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami is a very underwhelming commander for its mana cost. It costs a bunch of mana just to play the card, but you’ll also need to wait a turn to attack and use its ability. One thing that O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami has going for it is high power and toughness combined with flying and trample. It gives you a chance to eliminate a player with commander damage, but your opponents may have a way to deal with it by the time you can cast it and start attacking.

#12. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

You can make a ton of goblins with Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, but you’ll need to keep it safe. Including equipment that offers protection or evasion are great ways to allow Krenko to create you a ton of tokens. Extra combat effects can also do a lot of work in this deck, allowing you to activate Krenko’s ability multiple times a turn.

#11. Rienne, Angel of Rebirth

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth

A popular way to build Rienne, Angel of Rebirth is with a pod strategy. Rienne returns multicolored creatures that died during your turn to your hand, so you can sacrifice them to a pod effect and still have them for later (have your cake and eat it!). Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast can be a great asset in a deck like this by allowing you a slightly more flexible pod effect.

#10. Odric, Lunarch Marshal

Odric, Lunarch Marshal

I’ve always looked at Odric, Lunarch Marshal as a great budget way to experience playing a sliver deck, sans slivers. Including creatures with a bunch of different keywords is your best bet for this deck. The main downside to Odric is that it’s mono white, so your options for certain keywords are limited.

#9. Etali, Primal Storm

Etali, Primal Storm

Etali, Primal Storm has one of the most powerful attack triggers in the game. It sometimes whiffs, but you’ll likely be able to cast a few spells from your opponents’ decks each time Etali attacks. I personally prefer Etali in the 99 because players make sure to hold up counter spells or removal when they know it’s coming. This commander can still be a lot of fun, especially with haste enablers in your deck.

#8. Surrak Dragonclaw

Surrak Dragonclaw

Temur is a great color combination for creature heavy decks, and Surrak Dragonclaw offers a ton of great effects to help creatures. Stopping creatures from being countered and giving them trample are two of the best tricks green and red have up their sleeves. Giving Surrak flash allows you to bring it out right before your turn so that it’s primed to attack. Temur is also a great color for dragons, so this could be a good option for your dragon tribal commander.

#7. Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle is an interesting artifact commander. You’ll be able to easily reanimate your low to the ground creatures, so you can afford to be a little more aggressive or to sacrifice your creatures for powerful effects. This interaction works very well with cards like Selfless Savior or Kami of False Hope

#6. Selvala, Explorer Returned

Selvala, Explorer Returned

Selvala, Explorer Returned is a great commander for two of Selesnya’s better themes: elves and lifegain. You’ll likely be able to ramp a little bit and gain life each turn with its ability, but at the very least you’re drawing an extra card. Players are also less likely to remove a commander that is consistently drawing them cards, which allows you to reap the benefits of your commander without worrying as much for its safety.

#5. Illuna, Apex of Wishes

Illuna, Apex of Wishes

Mutate is a very fun and powerful mechanic, and Illuna, Apex of Wishes is one of the better commanders for a mutate theme. You can fill your deck with some high-cost creatures knowing that you’ll likely be able to cheat some of them in. You’ll also want cheaper mutate creatures that can target Illuna once it’s on the battlefield to allow you to repeat its effect. Mutating Illuna with Auspicious Starrix is a particularly strong combination in this deck.

#4. Archelos, Lagoon Mystic

Archelos, Lagoon Mystic

If you’re looking to either speed up your mana base or slow down your opponents’, Archelos, Lagoon Mystic is a great option. Finding ways to tap and untap Archelos at will is one of the best options for this commander, since you’ll be able to dictate whose permanents come in tapped and whose don’t. It’s also a good budget friendly commander because it allows you to play cheaper tap lands untapped. This will work well with Dominaria United’s new dual lands that have basic land types.

#3. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is a great aristocrats commander. It has access to the three best colors for the theme, and it also brings creatures back from the graveyard (“What about second sacrifice?”). You’ll want to find ways to protect Alesha in combat since it needs to attack to bring creatures back, but that’s made slightly easier because Alesha has first strike.

#2. Nethroi, Apex of Death

Nethroi, Apex of Death

Nethroi, Apex of Death is a very popular commander due to the many different hats it can wear. You can build a mutate deck, a pod deck, or a lifegain deck around Nethroi (to name a few), and it synergizes well with any of these themes. Whichever way you go, you’ll want to include some mutate creatures to repeat Nethroi’s ability without it having to leave the battlefield.

#1. Atla Palani, Nest Tender

Atla Palani, Nest Tender

Cheating out big creatures is always powerful in Commander, and Atla Palani, Nest Tender gives tools to do just that. Atla Palani is also in the right colors to have token doublers and populate effects to help you make a ton of Egg tokens. A quick board wipe later and you’ll be spitting out a ton of free creatures from your deck. Opponents will also be reluctant to attack you, knowing that you’ll block with an egg and replace it with something better.

Commanding Conclusion

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death | Illustration by Anastasia Ovchinnikova

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death | Illustration by Anastasia Ovchinnikova

In legend-heavy sets like this, it can be absolutely overwhelming to decide which new commanders are right for you. Hopefully, this has helped you to sift through and get ready to start playing with your favorite new cards from Dominaria United.

What commander are you thinking of building from this set? Do you think there’ll be a lot of legends with the next few sets staying in Dominaria? Let me know in the comments below or on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Get building those Dominaria United decks, and don’t forget to come back and let me know what you think after release!

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