Last updated on March 6, 2023
Karumonix, the Rat King | Illustration by Helge C. Balzer
Phyrexia: All Will Be One is Magic’s first set for 2023, and it follows Wizards’ trend of printing lots of commanders in each set. The set itself contains a decent number of commanders, but there are also two Commander precons that introduce some new legendary creatures to the game. New commanders are always exciting because they bring the possibility of new decks and a chance to build around some of your favorite cards, both old and new.
All Will Be One’s commanders are interesting from a flavor standpoint because a lot of legendary creatures are characters we previously saw on our last trip to the plane in New Phyrexia. Heroic characters like Venser and Slobad have now been corrupted, adding to the horror of Phyrexia. It’s clear that even a heroic sacrifice won’t spare characters from being compleated and used as weapons against their old friends.
Now seems like a good time to put our speculating hats on to try to guess who will be the best of the ONE commanders. It’s all guesswork, of course, and it’s always valid to build a deck around a commander you like that’s considered less powerful. With that said, let’s get to it!
How Many Commanders Are There in Phyrexia: All Will Be One?
Ovika, Enigma Goliath | Illustratioin by Antonio José Manzanedo
There are 36 commanders in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. 33 of them are brand new commanders from the main set and its EDH decks, while the other three are reprints in the Commander precons.
With this many commanders it only makes sense that they aren’t all equally powerful. Some legendary creatures are also designed to be used in Limited or other Constructed formats, but have less potential as a commander.
#36. Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer
Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer is a somewhat underwhelming artifact commander. While the buff can help you deal extra damage to players or blockers, the lack of added toughness means your creatures can still just as easily die to combat or direct damage as normal.
This is likely a better card for the 99 than the commander of one.
#35. Melira, the Living Cure
Melira, the Living Cure will be a very helpful creature in All Will Be One Limited thanks to the prevalence of toxic creatures. But its abilities are a bit too specific for a commander. You’d be sacrificing a powerful commander for one that might prevent you from losing if one of your opponents runs infect.
There’s something to be said forthe Living Cure’s activated ability as a repeatable form of protection. Still, Melira will start to get prohibitively expensive as the game goes on if you’re regularly exiling it.
#34. Adriana, Captain of the Guard
Adriana, Captain of the Guard is one of the reprints in this set. It isn’t currently a very popular commander, and that’s likely because melee isn’t the most powerful mechanic to build around.
You can have some success with extra combats and allowing melee activations to stack, but that’s still a lot of effort for a little extra power and toughness.
#33. Vraan, Executioner Thane
Vraan, Executioner Thane can add a little bit of extra kick to cards like Blood Artist, but it isn’t too effective because it’s limited to only one trigger per turn. That makes sense because having a repeatable effect like this on a commander can be too powerful, but it also makes Vraan a less-than-exciting commander.
#32. Ovika, Enigma Goliath
Ovika, Enigma Goliath isn’t a bad card, but it’s very expensive for a commander. Ward can help keep Ovika on the field, but you’re not getting much value if it’s removed before you get to cast another spell.
It’ll be pretty effective for you if you’re able to keep Ovika on the field. But that’s a big “if” in a multiplayer game with lots of chances for counterspells or removal.
#31. Migloz, Maze Crusher
Migloz, Maze Crusher is a nicely versatile card in Limited or Constructed, and it also wouldn’t be terrible in the 99 of a commander deck. But it’s a bit underwhelming as a commander.
Gruul () isn’t necessarily the greatest color combination for blink or proliferate, so it’s difficult to get much out of Migloz besides the oil counters it starts with. Its effects also mostly target itself, so it’s too self-focused to be a super effective commander.
#30. Glissa Sunslayer
First strike combined with deathtouch makes Glissa Sunslayer an incredibly effective blocker, and it’s possible it’ll deter opponents from blocking Glissa earlier in the game. You can get some value out of its triggered ability at first, but players will have more chump blockers to throw in front of Glissa later in the game, if not other creatures with first strike.
You could build in evasion for Glissa Sunslayer, but its effects aren’t powerful enough to build an entire deck around.
#29. Kinzu of the Bleak Coven
Kinzu of the Bleak Coven can be a powerful commander thanks to its ability to reanimate your creatures for a relatively low price. You won’t get the full version of the creature back, but this is helpful with creatures who have useful ETB and death triggers that you want to cash in multiple times.
This can also be a great build for creatures with evasion like skulk or flying since your creatures come back with toxic 1.
#28. Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut
Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut is a bit of a head scratcher. The buff to your creatures is nice, but forcing them to attack each turn definitely needs to be something to work around. Being unblockable by walls won’t be super effective except against much besides wall tribal or changeling decks; it’s just a bit too specific to be a reliable form of evasion.
It’s also strange because there aren’t any walls in All Will Be One, so the effect clearly isn’t for Limited formats.
#27. Thrun, Breaker of Silence
Thrun, Breaker of Silence is a very powerful creature. It’s difficult to deal with since it can’t be countered and players need to use removal spells with green to get rid of it. It also has indestructible whenever you attack with it, making Thrun a reliable way to deal some damage to opponents. Add in ways to buff it up and you can have a pretty good way to take out opponents with commander damage.
But running Thrun as a commander prevents you from getting any global effects that could be helpful in combination with the rest of your deck. Instead your build has to either support Thrun or be able to stand on its own without the help of a commander’s abilities.
#26. Jor Kadeen, First Goldwarden
Jor Kadeen, First Goldwarden’s ability seems somewhat restrictive at first glance, relying on having equipped creatures to draw a card. But Jor Kadeen does count itself in that triggered ability. Giving it any equipment that buffs its power by at least one allows it to attack and draw you a card.
Jor Kadeen can be buffed with equipment and auras to make it a significant threat thanks to trample, especially with commander damage.
#25. Malcator, Purity Overseer
Creating a Malcator, Purity Overseer deck could be a fun challenge. You could include flicker or blink spells to take advantage of both of its token generation effects. Token doublers can also help increase Malcator’s output, and you’ll get some extra value out of your artifacts if you’re able to play enough in a turn.
I think Malcator will feature either in the 99 or in other formats, but it can still be an interesting build for an artifact commander.
#24. Kemba, Kha Enduring
Kemba, Kha Enduring is an interesting equipment commander thanks to its ability to mitigate equipment’s main downside. Having to pay to equip these artifacts has always been a big drawback, so Kemba’s ability to circumvent this cost can be effective. It also helps that Kemba creates cats on its own and then buffs them once they’re equipped.
The main downsides are the restrictions you have to deckbuilding, and activating its effect. Being stuck in mono white stops players from including great equipment cards like Embercleave, and you also can’t include a lot of good Selesnya () cat creatures like Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist.
#23. Prava of the Steel Legion
While Prava of the Steel Legion isn’t the best commander on its own, it doesn’t have to be. There are some good pairings that help you take advantage of Prava’s abilities thanks to partner. One of the most popular pairings is with Ikra Shidiqui, the Usurper since these two can gain you a lot of life together.
#22. Chiss-Goria, Forge Tyrant
Though Chiss-Goria, Forge Tyrant may seem too expensive for a commander at first glance, its affinity ability makes it a bit more desirable. It’ll come out more quickly in an artifact deck and also helps you gain access to more cards each turn.
The only real downside is that its ability exiles cards, so you need to be okay with a bit of risk when playing it.
#21. Zopandrel, Dominus of Hunger
Zopandrel, Dominus of Hunger has a powerful effect, but it’s a pretty expensive creature to have as a commander. It also doesn’t have the best power and toughness for a 7-mana creature, unlike other cards in the dominus cycle.
This may end up being a better card in a deck than leading one.
#20. Atraxa, Grand Unifier
Atraxa, Grand Unifier might not be as powerful as the character’s last incarnation, but it can likely still be a fun commander. This Atraxa almost has a classic Elder Dragon Highlander feel thanks to flying and seven power.
Unfortunately its only effect is a one-off ETB. You can get a decent amount of value out of it if you build in flicker effects. You’ll likely want some anyway to help keep it on the field.
#19. Kethek, Crucible Goliath
Kethek, Crucible Goliath offers a fun type of sacrifice commander that can also help you take out your opponents’ creatures. Including temporary theft cards like Act of Treason allows you a cheap way to take control of your opponents’ powerful creatures, use them for a turn, and then sacrifice them. You also get a free creature from your deck as a bonus.
#18. Vishgraz, the Doomhive
Vishgraz, the Doomhive is a little more expensive than I like for a commander, but the mana value isn’t so high that it’s unplayable. You also likely get a decently big creature when Vishgraz eventually enters if you’re building an infect deck.
Vishgraz is also in a great color combination for token support, so it’ll work well with cards like Carrion Call and Phyrexian Swarmlord.
#17. Urtet, Remnant of Memnarch
Myr aren’t the most powerful creatures in Magic, but there’s now a solution thanks to Urtet, Remnant of Memnarch. You can fill your deck with cheap creatures that generate tokens and then buff them up with Urtet’s ability.
You also have access to any spell in the game that can help with this strategy since Urtet is a 5-color commander. There are also plenty of myr that tap for mana both colorless and of each color.
#16. Venser, Corpse Puppet
Venser, Corpse Puppet gives you a good bit of value for only two mana. Its toxic ability makes up for its low power, and you don’t need to hit your opponents too many times since you’re building around proliferate.
There’s plenty of good proliferate support in Dimir () with cards like Inexorable Tide and the new Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting, so you can easily give your creatures some evasion with Venser’s triggered ability. This makes it easier to distribute poison with toxic, infect, or poisonous creatures.
#15. Ezuri, Stalker of Spheres
Simic () is a pretty good color combination for infect, so Ezuri, Stalker of Spheres fits nicely into the role of infect commander. Simic is also good for +1/+1 counter decks, so there are a few routes you could in an Ezuri build.
Allowing you to draw a card each time you proliferate adds value to any proliferate card and helps keep your hand full of answers.
#14. Otharri, Suns’ Glory
Boros () has a good number of rebel cards to help with Otharri, Suns’ Glory’s ability, and Otharri creates some on its own. You can avoid paying commander tax when Otharri dies with the likelihood that you’ll be able to have at least one rebel on the field.
I think Otharri could make a pretty good aggro commander, and it’s in an interesting tribe that doesn’t get as much love as humans or elves.
#13. Ria Ivor, Bane of Bladehold
Ria Ivor, Bane of Bladehold has some pretty interesting synergy with its own abilities. It can create a decent number of tokens, and then buff them all up.
Adding other ways to buff the tokens you make can be a fun way to make them hit harder and continue to grow your token army each turn with Ria’s ability. Going wide is also a great way to make use of the Phyrexian Mite tokens’ toxic 1 ability.
#12. Skrelv, Defector Mite
Skrelv, Defector Mite is an incredibly cheap commander, allowing you to easily drop it turn 1 and start dealing out poison counters on subsequent early turns. Even if you just manage to get a single counter on each enemy, you can then rely on proliferate abilities from cards like Throne of Geth or Karn’s Bastion to put pressure on them.
You can also add more counters using Skrelv’s activated ability, which can be activated multiple times a turn if you include ways to untap creatures or artifacts.
#11. Geth, Thane of Contracts
Reanimation strategies can be an incredibly powerful way to cheat out strong creatures early. Geth, Thane of Contracts’s ability to consistently reanimate creatures can be a great way to start cheating out big threats.
You just need to add ways to fill your own graveyard, like Buried Alive.
#10. Unctus, Grand Metatect
Unctus, Grand Metatect can give you access to a ton of card draw. Including payoffs for drawing cards can be very effective in an Unctus deck along with cards like Teferi’s Ageless Insight, which improves the quality of the card draw granted by Unctus.
Unctus can also allow any of your creatures to benefit from both of its effects thanks to its activated ability.
#9. Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus
Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus can be used to create a pretty nasty infect deck. While you’re a little limited being in mono blue, there are still plenty of cards to build a deck around.
Including planeswalkers in a Tekuthal deck is another good idea since you’ll be able to activate their ultimate abilities more quickly.
#8. Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard
Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard adds some much-needed card draw to Boros thanks to its triggered ability. Though it doesn’t create tokens there are plenty of cards in both red and white that can help you do so. This is a great option for you if you’ve been looking for a great deck to run Outlaws’ Merriment in.
Adding double strike to tokens can also be a great way to win a game if you build your deck around making powerful tokens, like Angels.
#7. Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa
Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa can be a very scary commander for your opponents to have to deal with. Flying, vigilance, and toxic 2 can help you distribute a good number of poison counters while still having a pretty tough blocker.
Ixhel also gives you extra value by getting you up to three more cards to play with each turn. On top of that you’re removing some of their threats from the game before they even hit the battlefield by exiling your opponents’ cards.
#6. Drivnod, Carnage Dominus
Drivnod, Carnage Dominus has an incredibly powerful ability for sacrifice decks. A deck like this would regularly dispose of creatures, so it’ll also be easy to activate its ability and give Drivnod indestructible.
Building around Drivnod with cards like Bastion of Remembrance and Blood Artist can make for a very punishing deck.
#5. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
Mono white is already pretty popular for stax decks, so Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines will likely be a powerfully oppressive commander. It’s also great for decks that use ETB and flicker effects.
This new Elesh Norn is one of the better commanders from All Will Be One with a very powerful effect and a couple of great ways to build.
#4. Slobad, Iron Goblin
Slobad, Iron Golem is the kind of card you need to think about for a moment before you realize just how powerful it is. Basically you’re giving yourself some reserve mana for later use every time you play an artifact.
If an artifact is no longer useful for whatever reason, like Ichor Wellspring or Solemn Simulacrum that’s just hanging around, it can be sacrificed for mana and whatever extra effect it has. Make sure to throw Spine of Ish Sah into the 99 if you build Slobad.
#3. Mondrak, Glory Dominus
Mondrak, Glory Dominus is a great commander because it’s basically a Anointed Procession that you can run as your commander. It’s easy to have Mondrak be indestructible and that much harder for opponents to get rid of it if you play it at the right time.
This will likely be a popular choice for mono white token decks.
#2. Solphim, Mayhem Dominus
Solphim, Mayhem Dominus may be the most powerful commander from the cycle. Its ability allows you to speed up games significantly, but Solphim also has the least restrictive cost for becoming indestructible.
Solphim still has solid power and toughness for its mana value even outside its abilities, making it an all-around great creature.
#1. Karumonix, the Rat King
Rat decks are pretty good at going wide with a lot of cheap creatures. Karumonix, the Rat King makes it much more threatening by giving those rats toxic 1.
Karumonix’s ETB effect also helps you fill your hand with rats, making it all that much easier to create a wide board state and finish your opponents off with poison counters. It’s a great contender for rat commander.
Mondrak, Glory Dominus | Illustration by Jason A. Engle
Phyrexia: All Will Be One has introduced a slew of exciting new commanders. Even the less powerful ones are still pretty interesting and could make for some unique decks. This set has some great options for you if you’re looking for a new commander to build a deck around.
I also think cards like the Dominus cycle will double as great cards for the 99 if you decide not to make them into a commander. I’m excited to see how this set plays once it hits the table and players start experimenting with it.
What’s your favorite commander from All Will Be One? Have you started experimenting with any of these decks yet? Let me know in the comments below or on Draftsim’s Twitter.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:
Wrong Jor Kadeen – this one is from Scars of Mirrodin block
Yes you’re totally right that Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer was originally printed in NPH, but it was reprinted in ONE’s Commander precons which we also included in the rankings. We did have the wrong card image pulling for it though so that’s been updated. Hope that clears up any confusion! 🙂