Last updated on May 1, 2023
Knight of the Reliquary | Illustration by Michael Komarck
Knights have been part of MTG ever since the duality of White Knight and Black Knight in Alpha. Knights are usually a part of aggro and Boros () decks, often bleeding to black. They pair well with equipment, and several recent knights have equipment synergies.
Which are the best knights in Magic? Which decks do they click in? This is your one-stop shop for polishing up your knight knowledge!
What Are Knights in MTG?
Knight Exemplar (Magic 2011) | Illustration by Jason Chan
Knights are a creature type in MTG, and they appear in all colors. Knights are usually white with aggro oriented designs. Their mana value is often three or less, white weenie style, and this goes all the way to Magic’s origins.
There are good knights in every color, but more so in white than in blue. That’s why knight decks are often very white based, sometimes Boros or Orzhov () depending on the theme of the deck.
Almost every set has knights, and some of them have knight tribal as their theme. There are plenty of knights that are worth playing on their own, too. There have recently been cards that make 2/2 Knight tokens, so expect to see them here!
Best White Knights
#15. Knight Exemplar
It’s a knight lord, it gives all other knights indestructible, what’s not to like? Knight Exemplar is a very interesting card to play in a knight-dedicated deck.
#14. Thalia’s Lancers
Thalia's Lancers is a legendary tutor attached to a 4/4 body, so you can tutor for a legendary card. It can be very, very useful since Commander and singleton formats are often a sea of legends.
#13. Lone Rider / It That Rides as One
Lone Rider is a good piece in a deck full of knights and lifegain incentives. It’s just a 1/1, but it becomes a 4/4 trampler with lifelink if it transforms.
It’s not even hard to do! You only have to gain some life.
#12. Acclaimed Contender
A card that gets better the harder it is to whiff on its ability. Acclaimed Contender is a good card to have in a deck full of knights and equipment.
The 3/3 on its own is somewhat lackluster, but it’s a very good card if you can trigger the ability.
#11. Cavalier of Dawn
Good times when white got the worst card in the cycle. The cycle of Cavaliers from M20 is full of good and splashy mythics, and almost all of them are referenced in this list.
Cavalier of Dawn underperformed. It’s a good card in EDH, and the Generous Gift effect it brings is very good. The 4/6 vigilance body helps a lot.
#10. Hero of Bladehold
There was a time when Hero of Bladehold was the most pushed that a 4-drop could be. A 3/4 that attacks together with two 1/1s and it’s even got battery? Count me in.
This is a good card in every white EDH deck or Cube that wants to attack and make tokens.
#9. Armored Skyhunter
Armored Skyhunter does an Acclaimed Contender impression whenever it attacks, with the difference that it puts the card straight onto the battlefield.
Plus it’s got evasion to keep attacking continuously.
#8. Danitha, Benalia’s Hope
Hello Voltron strategies. A 4/4 with lots of abilities and that puts an aura or equipment onto the field for free is nice.
That ability makes Danitha, Benalia's Hope good to play with expensive auras and equipment like Colossus Hammer or Eldrazi Monument.
#7. Benalish Marshal
Benalish Marshal is an anthem on a stick. Besides adding three devotion to white decks that need it, it can also add to already existing knight synergies.
#6. Nadaar, Selfless Paladin
Nadaar, Selfless Paladin is played in venture into the dungeon decks, mostly in Historic. Every deck in EDH interested in the mechanic should want to play Nadaar, too.
You’ll be able to venture super fast because Nadaar becomes a lord for your creatures after completing one dungeon.
#5. Ambitious Farmhand / Seasoned Cathar
Ambitious Farmhand isn’t a knight per se, but it transforms into one. You’ll usually get a Plains with Farmhand, and it’s not difficult to transform.
It’s seeing play in formats like Standard as an answer to aggro decks.
#4. Knight of Dawn’s Light
Let’s compare Knight of Dawn's Light to the iconic White Knight. You’ll get an easier to cast creature, lifegain synergies, and a pump ability.
It’s no mystery why the knight’s seeing some play in Standard.
#3. Battle Angels of Tyr
Battle Angels of Tyr is already excellent in EDH. A 4-drop 4/4 with flying for four is nice, but myriad makes this attack everyone!
It’s a very good card indeed, and you can even get something extra like cards, life, and Treasure when attacking.
#2. Dauntless Bodyguard
Dauntless Bodyguard is one of the best riffs on Savannah Lions, usually a staple white 1-drop. It’s good by itself and protects one of your better threats later in the game from either spot removal or a wrath.
#1. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar has been crushing since it was printed. The fact that it’s usually huge and has vigilance means that it plays good offense and defense. It even makes a token each combat!
Adeline is one of the best 3-drops printed in white and a staple of many formats, including Standard and Pioneer/Explorer.
Best Blue Knights
#3. Ethersworn Adjudicator
EDH has transformed this bulk mythic into a pile of value. Able to shine in slower environments, Ethersworn Adjudicator can destroy a bunch of cards if the game goes long and you have mana to spare.
A 4/4 flier for five mana isn’t worthless either.
#2. Cavalier of Gales
Cavalier of Gales is a 5/5 flier related to two powerful blue spells: Brainstorm when it enters and Preordain when it dies. All of these for five mana, and it’s best used with Fires of Invention.
That Brainstorm ability works wonders with the free spells Fires of Invention provides.
#1. Sister of Silence
Creatures with flash that ETB and counter spells are very good, and blue doesn’t have that many knights. This is one of the more flexible ones.
Being able to protect your creatures from a wrath or stop your opponents from using a planeswalker’s ultimate in the same package is good. It’s like a mix of Stifle and Negate.
Best Black Knights
#7. Josu Vess, Lich Knight
It’s sad to see an old card like Josu Vess, Lich Knight compete with Sheoldred, Whispering One. Nevertheless, Josu has a good ability with its kicker, which floods the board with zombies.
It’s worth including in a zombie-themed deck.
#6. Blacklance Paragon
Blacklance Paragon has flash and can give deathtouch and lifelink to another creature, doubling as a removal spell and a combat trick.
#5. Champion of Dusk
Here’s some card advantage for the vampire decks and a good target to cheat with Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord. Champion of Dusk is a good threat as a 4/4 that gives you at least a card back.
#4. Midnight Reaper
Midnight Reaper is a good card to have in decks that play creatures because it draws you a card and loses you a life. It’s non-token, so there’s that. It’s also a zombie, so you’ll often see it in zombie tribal decks.
EDH is a good home because card advantage is so important there and you can mitigate the life loss.
#3. Syr Konrad, the Grim
Syr Konrad, the Grim sits there menacing the players while they slowly lose life. Coupled with a mill strategy you can inflict serious damage to all the players and even win by mill (or damage) if you have infinite mana.
#2. Murderous Rider
Some creatures have removal when they enter, and Murderous Rider is similar. You’ll pay three mana as an adventure for your typical Hero's Downfall effect, then you’ll be able to cast a 2/3 lifelink.
Another very good and flexible card from Throne of Eldraine.
#1. Knight of the Ebon Legion
It’s hard to find a 1-drop that scales so well, since Knight of the Ebon Legion can attack as a 4/5 deathtouch or more. It grows as your opponents lose life, and you can even activate it more than once.
Plus it has two relevant creature types (knight and vampire), and it’s become a staple of high power cubes.
Best Red Knights
#3. Rimrock Knight
What makes Rimrock Knight good is the flexibility between a combat trick and a creature, all in the same package. On the same turn you can give +2/+0 to a beater and cast another threat, which mono-red decks appreciate.
#2. Cavalier of Flame
Cavalier of Flame is an “out of nowhere” win condition for red decks, especially Fires of Invention decks. You can drop the Cavalier and another 5-drop attacking with haste for a bunch of damage.
#1. Fervent Champion
Fervent Champion is a staple of mono-red aggro decks, and it works very well in multiples. Suddenly you’re attacking on turn 2 with two 2/1 haste first strike creatures. First strike makes combat tricks extra valuable on the Champ, too.
You’ll see this card played in formats like Explorer and Pioneer.
Best Green Knights
#2. Steel Leaf Champion
Steel Leaf Champion was a staple in green aggro decks probably until the printing of Old-Growth Troll. A 5/4 creature for three mana with evasion still packs a punch, and this is even an elf for elf tribal decks.
It’s possible to play both in a green devotion deck.
#1. Cavalier of Thorns
Cavalier of Thorns is another staple of the Explorer/Pioneer format. Decks like green ramp/devotion where you’ll play also Nissa, Who Shakes the World and generate a bunch of mana are a good home for it.
This comes on a 5/6 reach body that’s difficult to attack into, and the ramp ability can find an extra land most of the time.
Best Multicolored Knights
#14. Adriana, Captain of the Guard
Adriana, Captain of the Guard gives every creature melee, and that’s very good certain EDH decks. It’s a perfect complement to the myriad mechanic or one that buffs your creatures with relevant abilities like flying, lifelink, and trample.
#13. Triumphant Adventurer
Triumphant Adventurer is a key card in dungeon decks in Historic since the mechanic has been buffed digitally. It’s a 1/1 (2/1 in its digital form) with first strike and deathtouch plus the “venture into the dungeon” mechanic.
This is a critical 2-drop to the deck if you’re going to play dungeon themed decks.
#12. Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
The combination of tap abilities and vigilance means that you can attack with Aryel, Knight of Windgrace and use the tap ability during the attack or after it. You can also choose between adding more knights to your team or destroying a creature.
#11. Arvad the Cursed
Arvad the Cursed gives +2/+2 to your other legendary creatures, which is quite the buff since most tribal bonuses are +1/+1. Some EDH decks are themed around legends, gods, and the like, so this has legends tribal potential.
#10. Knight of Autumn
With Knight of Autumn you get the choice between a Naturalize effect, two +1/+1 counters, or life. The options are reasonable, and this card can be a silver bullet in a creature deck full of tutors.
#9. Legion Lieutenant
Legion Lieutenant is a knight but also a vampire lord, so it definitely won’t be hanging around with the knights. Standard had the vampire theme in Ixalan and the knight theme in Dominaria, so lots of good vampires turned out to be knights to intersect those decks.
#8. Corpse Knight
Orzhov loves to bleed opponents out, and Corpse Knight is an interesting piece in those decks. It acts as a reverse Soul Warden and is a way to benefit from engines that make infinite “ETB creature triggers” like persist creatures and +1/+1 counters.
#7. Inspiring Veteran
Simple, elegant, lordly. And in Boros colors! So this veteran won’t be lonely. It’s not common to see a lord that’s a 2-drop, so play as many Inspiring Veterans as you can in your knight decks.
#6. Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge
Shanid, Sleepers' Scourge is more of a legends matter card since you draw a card each time you play a legendary card. Like Arvad the Cursed, this card keeps getting better and better since EDH decks have more legendary relevant cards to play with each set.
#5. Wilt-Leaf Liege
Wilt-Leaf Liege is an awesome card for creature decks in EDH. It was also a good card for Modern play, especially as an anti-Liliana of the Veil card thanks to the discard clause.
You give +1/+1 for every green creature and every white creature, and many Selesnya () EDH decks rely heavily on gold/hybrid creatures since they’re more powerful than their mono-color counterparts. You might even find ways to discard it in that format.
#4. Sunrise Cavalier
Sunrise Cavalier hits hard and grows quickly. It’s being played in Boros aggressive decks in Standard and has interesting stats.
Haste with trample on a 3/3 is already quite good, and the Cavalier will often be a 4/4 or stronger. You can even grow other creatures!
#3. Rafiq of the Many
Rafiq of the Many is one of the kings of Voltron strategies. It’s a 3/3 that becomes a 4/4 with double strike when it attacks alone. You’ll hit very hard with enough auras or equipment.
The best thing about Rafiq is that it gives the bonus and double strike to any creature, so it plays well with good creatures and auras. Giving evasion and a bonus to it can win you many games via commander damage.
#2. Knight of the Reliquary
Knight of the Reliquary was a staple in Modern and Cube for a long time. You’ll have a beater that allows you to tutor lands, filter your deck, and beat down hard. The only thing that you won’t get from this card is an ETB effect.
It’s still one of the best Selesnya creatures around, so be sure to play this card if your Commander deck revolves around lands.
#1. Edgar Markov
One of the most popular commanders ever, Edgar Markov only asks you to play vampires, which are abundant in Mardu () colors. You make a 1/1 token each time you cast a vampire thanks to the eminence ability, and you don’t even have to have Edgar Markov in the battlefield.
From there you fill your deck with vampires, vampire tribal, and anthems.
Best Knight Payoffs
History of Benalia is a powerful saga that makes 2/2 Knight tokens and then buffs them.
The Circle of Loyalty is a nice build around card for knights. It gets cheaper the more knights you have, it’s an anthem, and it produces knight tokens.
Knights' Charge drains your opponents for one and gains you between one and three life, on top of having the option to resurrect your knights.
Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale gives “equip knight ” to your equipment, so it’s free to equip your knights.
Knight Exemplar gives your other knights indestructible, which isn’t that common on a tribal lord.
Kinsbaile Cavalier gives all your knights double strike.
Are Knights Good?
There are very good knight cards in MTG that are staples of various formats. Knight of the Ebon Legion is one of the best 1-drops, and Edgar Markov is one of the best and more popular Mardu commanders (although it’s more of a vampire tribal card than a knight tribal card).
There are lots of staples in Constructed across the ages like Knight of the Reliquary, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, and the Cavalier cycle.
What MTG Sets Have Knights?
Knights are a common creature type in MTG, so there are lots of sets with them. There have been almost 400 knights printed.
Throne of Eldraine is one of the most powerful sets ever and had Mardu-colored knights, and Dominaria had knights in Orzhov colors. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms had a few interesting ones. Shadowmoor had the cycle of Lieges, which are knights.
Core sets usually have knights since they’re a common fantasy trope, and they can be also found in Ravnica sets like Guilds of Ravnica and Gatecrash, usually in Boros colors. Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow have a few vampire knights and human knights, too.
Sister of Silence (Warhammer 40,000) | Illustration by Games Workshop
With that you should be able to make your knights shine! There are over 400 knight cards and lots of knight token makers, and there’s a few ways to get going with knights. Knight tribal, equipment, or just “knight card good stuff” are all viable options. A lot of good knights are also other relevant tribes like zombies or vampires, so you’ll play those cards in more than one context.
What do you think of my knights list? Which knights do you like in your decks? What do you want to see from the tribe in the future? Let me know in the comments below or in the Draftsim Discord.
Thanks for reading!
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