Pia Nalaar - Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

Pia Nalaar | Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

Happy Mother’s Day!

I can’t guarantee that any of these best moms would be a great gift for a mom who plays Magic, but you could do a lot worse. You’ll spring for the foil if you’re a good kid. Maybe you’re just looking to start a moms tribal Commander deck?

Let’s see which mom is the best, shall we? (Mine, by the way. My mom is the best).

What Are Moms in Magic?

Mother of Runes - Illustration by Terese Nielsen

Mother of Runes | Illustration by Terese Nielsen

There is no “mother” or “mom” creature type. There are a few cards with mom-like names, but even though Abbey Matron looks like my mom looked in mid-lecture when I was a troublemaking kid, she’s more like a nun.

What did it take to get on this list? The character needed to be female-ish and have children. Those children could be biological, adopted, magical, avatars, whatever. There are plenty of great nongendered or male-gendered parents in the Magic world, but those are for other lists.

All that said, let’s figure out which are the best moms in the various colors!

Best Moms in White

#3. Linden, the Steadfast Queen

Linden, the Steadfast Queen

Queen of Ardenvale and mother to Rowan and Will Kenrith, you know Linden, the Steadfast Queen was something of a beating in mono-white lifegain decks and in Historic and EDH.

Linden met her husband Algenus (!) Kenrith while they were both doing some knightly questing but gave that up for the “greater purpose” of raising children. That’s certainly one kind of mother story, but I’d kind of like to see Linden add a few red pips and get back to kicking some more butt if we ever return to Eldraine!

#2. Serra, the Benevolent

Serra the Benevolent

This planeswalker populated her realm with angels, which is pretty much what her card does, a Serra Angel with upside. Planeswalkers in EDH are tough to evaluate but the tick up anthem ability is decent in a fliers deck. And that’s the sort of deck that can protect a planeswalker, which makes Serra the Benevolent‘s ultimate seem like a real possibility at certain tables. 

#1. Mother of Runes

Mother of Runes

World’s Greatest Mom right here! 

Mother of Runes a great card that provides a nice source of protection. She also has the most on-point mom flavor text: “My family protects all families.” She’s even sitting in her chair in a robe drinking from her purple mug of tea. Best. Mom. Ever.

Best Mom in Blue

There’s only one. Really? That can’t be right…

#1. Cosima, God of the Voyage / The Omenkeel

Wife of Alrund and mother of Toralf, Birgi, and Kolvori, Cosima, God of the Voyage is a strange card. It always seemed mysterious and powerful but never quite came together in Standard. But with the right pieces Cosima shines in vehicle decks, quirky landfall decks like Tameshi, Reality Architect, and even in exile-matters decks like Ranar, the Ever-Watchful

For my money Cosima is the best parent metaphor on a Magic card. She turns into a boat to help you on your way (minivan to practice, anyone?), and while she’s not always standing there on the battlefield with you, she’ll come quick if you need her.

Best Moms in Black

When a legendary character has multiple cards to their name I collapsed them into one entry for lore focus. That might lead to some slipperiness with card ratings but until we get mom tribal I think this is really the most interesting option.

#6. Grandmother Sengir

Grandmother Sengir

Apparently Grandmother Sengir bakes a terrific Feast of the Unicorn, which is a dish my grandmothers never made but that sounds, well… frankly terrible, so never mind. This mom has a pretty complex history and is a bit of an adopted grandmother to Baron Sengir.

As a card, this is one of the weaker and least played legends from Homelands. Let that sink in a bit.

#5. Irini Sengir

Irini Sengir

Irini Sengir isn’t a very good card, even with all the enchantress decks out there. She’s also a bit of a Mother’s Day flavor fail since she’s described as a dark and sadistic character. There are a lot of branches left out of her family tree even though she’s a grandmother. And given how vampires sire their children, who knows? Maybe only a wicked stepmother?

#4. Phyrexian Vatmother

Phyrexian Vatmother

Being a mom takes its toll. Being a Phyrexian mom can be a compleat pain. In this case, everyone gets poison counters. The downside means only the bold are dropping Phyrexian Vatmother into their infect decks.

Infect players, she’s not mad. She’s just disappointed.

#3. Mad Auntie

Mad Auntie

I know, maybe not a mom, but Mad Auntie can be confusing for goblins (check out the Wort entries in multicolor below). Even if she’s not a mother, it’s close.

Got some socks that need mending? Check. Got some elf skulls that need cracking? Check. Got some zoomers in your EDH group who’d like to hear you explain the rules of regeneration in exhausting detail? Checkmate.

This mom-adjacent is a goblin lord who can save other creatures and is pretty on rate for that ability, so why not?

#2. Drana

You think you’ve got problems? Save the drama for your Drana. She’s the Last Bloodchief, desperately trying to find a way for someone else besides her to sire new bloodsuckers. That’s a lot of stress! She’s like the only parent around. Like, who brings the little Blood boxes and helps the young ones figure out how to poke in the straw without it leaking? Drana. Who has to remind everyone to brush their fangs? You guessed it, Drana.

That’s a lot of work. It’s probably why each card keeps getting a little worse, and why Drana, the Last Bloodchief looks like she could use a wellness retreat. She’s just tired. All are fine picks for a vampire deck, but I‘ve actually lost to the Drana, Liberator of Malakir and Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief in Commander games, so that’s how you decide how to prioritize these.

#1. Lolth, Spider Queen

Lolth, Spider Queen

There is a lot of Dungeons & Dragons lore about Lolth, and part of that is that she’s mother to some drow goddesses. This planeswalker is pretty awesome in a tokens deck since she keeps refilling the board. Lolth, Spider Queen shows up in quite a variety of EDH decks, the most hilarious of which to me is Chatterfang, Squirrel General.

Best Moms in Red

#5. Pia Nalaar

Pia Nalaar

Pia Nalaar is a reasonable (if not exceptional) card in red artifact/Thopter decks where there’s a lot of competition for space. The couple card with her husband Pia and Kiran Nalaar is quite a bit better.

Where this card stands out is that both parents (but Pia especially) are the most well-developed set of parents in Magic lore. For example, see this story about them and their precocious kid, Chandra.

#4. Brood Keeper

Brood Keeper

The nanny of dragons? Brood Keeper may very well have adopted them given some of the close ties between humans and dragons in Magic, and her flavor text makes it clear how much she loves her little beasties. In a world where pet owners have become pet parents, I think we’ve got to have this card in this list.

You’ve gotta do a lot to get this card working right, but mothering is a tough job like that. There’s also a good case for this card in your Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker deck.

#3. Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner

Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner

Mother of Niambi and wife of Teferi, Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner is such a useful and flexible card for Commander, from go-fast decks using Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer to discard decks with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death.

It’s interesting to compare Subira to Linden, the Steadfast Queen, who gave up her adventuring for motherhood. This mom did the opposite, returning to her caravan to leave Niambi’s care mostly in Teferi’s hands. There are lots of ways to mom, so please put both of these cards in the deck and then send me the decklist if you find a way to build mom Tribal in EDH!

#2. Magda, Brazen Outlaw

Magda, Brazen Outlaw

Another person who adopts dragon babies! Well, I mean, it’s pretty hard to blame them. In Standard Magda, Brazen Outlaw makes a lot of mana really quickly in combination with Jaspera Sentinel. And in Commander she shows up in a Treasure-matters deck as well as dwarf tribal, as you’d expect.

#1. Goblin Matron

Goblin Matron

If there’s a broken goblin combo deck, Goblin Matron is tutoring up the combo piece whether that’s as simple as grabbing Muxus, Goblin Grandee, goblin tribal spells like Tarfire, or enchantments like Boggart Shenanigans. My favorite art for this card is Tony DiTerlizzi’s from Urza’s Saga with the cute goblin kid in stripey PJs.

Best Moms in Green

I want to mention before we get into the moms of green that, while Marwyn, the Nurturer may seem like a mom, she’s actually a midwife. She might well be a mom herself, for all we know, but that’s a corner of lore still unexplored. We also need more lore on Ayula, Queen Among Bears, stat!

#5. Sakiko, Mother of Summer

Sakiko, Mother of Summer

I know Sakiko, Mother of Summer is expensive to cast. I know that getting mana from attacks is dodgy and you probably don’t really need it anyway if you have enough mana for a 6-drop like this. I know that she only really shows up in orochi or snake tribal decks in EDH, but I just want to take a moment to recognize the work here.

Sakiko is dressed to kill! She’s got that funky Santa Claus dress thing happening. Eyebrows are on point. She did her hair toss, checked her nails. Feelin’ good as hell. 

#4. Autumn Willow

Autumn Willow

The first creature in Magic to have shroud as a static ability, Autumn Willow was definitely a powerful card in whatever format you had to play Homelands cards in. Lore-wise she’s more of a spirit whose avatar, Daughter of Autumn, is kind of like a copy of the Willow. I guess this is a flavor win?

#3. Mother Bear

Mother Bear

The powerful figure lurking at the edge of the art for Bear Cub got her own card in Modern Horizons. Mother Bear has that nice Seasoned Pyromancer ability to make creatures from the graveyard, but you really feel the parental sacrifice to this story given the flavor here.

Gimme a sec before the next card. I’ve got something in my eye.

#2. Ant Queen

Ant Queen

Ant Queen is a one-insect army for various green go-wide Commander decks. I don’t know how you live with yourself if you play Grist, the Hunger Tide as your commander when she’s not in your 99.

#1. Hornet Queen

Hornet Queen

The queen of the Cube is here, in almost 20,000 decks on EDHREC. Hornet Queen solves a lot of problems with six power and toughness across five bodies in the air. Tokens, deathtouch decks, insect tribal. All hail the this mom!

Best Moms in Multicolor

I really wanted to include Saheeli and her three planeswalker cards in here, but her cute little constructs are artistic creations and “artifact companions” that do her bidding, at least as the lore stands now. Sounds like no child or even domestic animal I’ve ever met, so for now, we move on.

#11. Oona, Queen of the Fae

Oona, Queen of the Fae

The queen and mother of the fae of Lorwyn, Oona, Queen of the Fae is a powerful (if expensive) card to cast. She leads faerie tribal decks as is only proper, as well as mill decks like Anowon, the Ruin Thief

#10. Wort, the Raidmother

Wort, the Raidmother

Aunt, mother? Goblin siring is a bit murky to me. The green in here makes it so that Wort, the Raidmother can’t really appear in all the goblin Commander decks you’d want and she’s better as a shaman tribal leader than as a goblin, well, matron. She’s powerful but expensive.

#9. Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

Flying cat dragon. Look, I don’t know about the moms you know in your life, but this seems pretty on point.

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen plays a vital role in a lot of Jund () dragon decks. The downside is the lack of haste and a combat trigger in a world of fast ETB dragons. Maybe she feels a little boomer? Don’t tell her that.

#8. Sliver Queen

Sliver Queen (Tempest Remastered)

This boomer sliver matron has been replaced as 5-color sliver commander by a few generations of new hotness. Well, sliver players, you need to call your mom more often. After everything she’s done for you and your tribe (“Her children are ever part of her”), you can at least put Sliver Queen in the 99.

#7. Dragon Broodmother

Dragon Broodmother

She’s raising those kids right. No one’s going to just give it to them. They’re gonna have to learn to devour for themselves!

Dragon Broodmother seems like a powerful auto-include in Gruul () dragon EDH decks, especially with keyword buddy Thromok the Insatiable. Six mana’s a lot to pay, but everything’s expensive anyways if you’re playing dragons.

#6. Pharika, God of Affliction

Pharika, God of Affliction

Did you know that all gorgons in Magic have a mother, and this is her? Well, the more you know.

Pharika, God of Affliction shows up in a large variety of Golgari () Commander decks. There’s gorgon tribal usually starring Sisters of Stone Death, infect with Hapatra, Vizier of Poison, and deathtouch tribal featuring Chevill, Bane of Monsters.

#5. Wort, Boggart Auntie

Wort, Boggart Auntie

Wort, Boggart Auntie is the leader of my goblin EDH deck. I love the two colors as they print more good goblins in black. I love that she can grab those pesky goblin tribal sorceries and enchantments.

I’ve won a few games by locking down remaining opponents with Boggart Auntie plus either Fodder Launch or Warren Weirding on loop from the graveyard. 

#4. Gavi, Nest Warden

Gavi, Nest Warden

“A mother’s love transcends species.” That’s the flavor text, and now we have the (dinosaur) cat mom to which our pets can compare us while they silently judge us. Gavi, Nest Warden is the perfect Jeskai () cycling commander.

#3. Olivia Voldaren

The progenitor of the Voldaren bloodline, each Olivia card is useful in Rakdos () vampires EDH decks, sometimes even commanded by her.

It’s hard to beat the original Olivia Voldaren with her ability to deal damage and steal things, but Olivia, Mobilized for War loves to hang with madness cards and Olivia, Crimson Bride can do fun reanimator things. She’s a tough one, and if Magic’s long-rumored television show stalls in development again maybe Netflix could consider The Crown: Innistrad?

#2. Tiamat

Tiamat

As with her Babylonian namesake, Tiamat in Dungeons & Dragons seems to give birth to the world. I think. Maybe.

Listen, friend, Magic lore has nothing on the complexity and sheer volume of text that is D&D lore, so I welcome your “well, actually” correction on this if I have it wrong. But my level nine bard, Adelbert, has a small flying snake he named Tiamat and that’s what Adelbert learned when we entered her dreamscape in the wizard’s library, so that’s what we’re going to go with, okay?

But after all that work Tiamat usually still plays EDH second fiddle to The Ur-Dragon, the progenitor in Magic cosmology. It’s still a powerful card and I think it would be better served with her in the lead if you find yourself more combo-oriented in your dragon build.

#1. Piru, the Volatile

Piru, the Volatile MH2

Move aside Daenerys Targaryen, this is the real Mother of Dragons! When Piru, the Volatile died to Dakkon’s Blackblade she left a chasm in the world which feels about right, doesn’t it?

This mom is a pretty good commander for the sorts of decks that want to use Brash Taunter sorts of effects since she synergizes and is the right colors.

Best Moms in Colorless

We’re really talking Emrakul here, or mom as reality crushing monster. So basically like that time my mom discovered that I gave my sister the World’s Worst Haircut™ when I was little.

#2. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Being the only female member of the Eldrazi titans makes Emrakul a mom to her brood lineage. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn may be just about the most powerful creature in Magic.

Just like the Eldrazi warp the worlds which they visit, this card has warped the metagame of almost every format where it’s legal. The cheeky rules text tries to prevent you from reanimating her but Ilharg, the Raze-Boar, Through the Breach, and other effects can get her onto the battlefield post-haste. The extra turn trigger is lost in that, but there’s so much going on here that it doesn’t matter much.

This mom is banned in Commander, so don’t get too excited.

#1. Emrakul, the Promised End

Emrakul, the Promised End

I guess she isn’t as good as the Aeons Torn? I guess?

But Emrakul, the Promised End is easier to cast, not banned in Commander, and can sit at the top of Eldrazi ramp strategies, reanimator strategies, and even Birthing Pod setups. You’d better win if you cast this mom, and her ability really helps with that.

Best Mom Payoffs

Ha! Isn’t Mother’s Day an attempt to pay mom back for everything she’s done for you, in an admittedly insufficient way? This is usually where I’d talk about the advantages of using these cards in your decks. Well, that’s a bit of a challenge here.

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

I’d be more likely to lean into my favorite mom in Magic, Wasitora, Nekoru Queen, and lean into the Jund-colored cards on this list which will end up some kind of dragon-vampire-snake-goblin tribal. It’ll be a mess, but honestly, is there a Jund deck in any format that isn’t a mess?

I’d make it a tribute to your mom and break it out in the next family Commander battle if you’re lucky enough to have that kind of family. Add rocks and creatures and spells that connect with your mom’s interests to be on theme and see how it goes.

For my mom that would be papercrafts, camping, and murder mysteries. So maybe Papercraft Decoy, Expedition Map, and Bookwurm?

Better throw in Wine of Blood and Iron, and maybe The Underworld Cookbook?

Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar

Maybe a Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar?

Wrap Up

Oona, Queen of the Fae - Illustration by Adam Rex

Oona, Queen of the Fae | Illustration by Adam Rex

Look, it’s time for mom tribal. The trouble is that there just aren’t enough moms in Magic yet, and none of these cards really connect together. Sure, you can use Tiamat for five colors, toss in all these cards and some sort of spells and mana rocks, and see what happens. 

Finding all the moms in Magic is pretty tough. I had to scour card texts and read up on my lore to get to this list. That said, I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Please let me know what moms I’ve left behind in the comments down below so we can make this list definitive! I’d also be curious to see what the combination would be for your mom’s deck, if you want to find us on Twitter to let me know.

Until then, as Hulk says in Endgame, “listen to your mom, she knows what’s best.”

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1 Comment

  • Conductress May 7, 2022 11:02 am

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been considering a mother commander deck and this helps! Still, forgot one of my favs: Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines.

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