Last updated on May 9, 2024

Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge -Tovolar, Dire Overlord - Illustrations by Chris Rahn

Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge / Tovolar, Dire Overlord | Illustrations by Chris Rahn

Werewolves are an interesting creature type in Magic. Much like the mythical versions of them, each werewolf card has both a human side and a wolf side. Depending on when the cards were printed, there are slightly different ways to transform these creatures, but newer werewolves follow Magic’s more recent day/night cycle introduced in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.

As with any interesting type of creature, players like to build werewolf commander decks that focus primarily on these unique flipping creature cards. While there aren’t too many different commanders for werewolf typal right now, there are some pretty good options to choose from.

Let’s look at the few werewolf commanders that exist in Magic and a few commanders that can work for a werewolf deck, even though they aren’t werewolves themselves.

What Are Werewolf Commanders in MTG?

Neyith of the Dire Hunt - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Neyith of the Dire Hunt | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Usually when referring to werewolf commanders in Magic, I’d be talking specifically about legendary creatures with the werewolf type. Because there are only two legendary werewolves right now, I’ve also included popular choices for werewolf-themed commanders that aren’t themselves werewolves.

#6. Ulrich of the Krallenhorde

Ulrich of the Krallenhorde

Ulrich of the Krallenhorde is one of the two actual werewolf commanders. That said, I think there are better options for your werewolf deck. Ulrich’s buff can be a nice bonus on the occasion where it goes off, and Ulrich itself is helpful for removal, but it doesn’t give you a lot of added benefits for your other werewolves. I’d definitely put it in the 99 of a werewolf deck, but I’d likely choose one of the other commanders to lead your deck.

#5. Samut, Voice of Dissent

Samut, Voice of Dissent

Samut, Voice of Dissent is a decent choice for a werewolf commander. Having haste on your creatures is a nice bonus, and Samut is a pretty good attacker itself. The main upside of Samut is that it allows you to run white cards which can be a good supplement to werewolf decks.

There’s Brutal Cathar, a white werewolf you’d otherwise miss out on, and some good support cards. Cards like Rule of Law, Archon of Emeria, and Eidolon of Rhetoric make it easier to keep your werewolves in their more powerful form. If your opponent can’t cast two spells, they can’t turn it from night back into day, keeping your nightbound werewolves flipped until someone can remove one of these cards.

White also gives you access to Winota, Joiner of Forces. Because your werewolves are human before they flip, you can attack with a transformed werewolf to activate Winota, then put a werewolf from your deck onto the battlefield.

#4. Marisi, Breaker of the Coil

Marisi, Breaker of the Coil

Marisi, Breaker of the Coil has similar benefits as Samut, Voice of Dissent since they’re both Naya commanders. I personally prefer Marisi because it's arguably the best goad commander in MTG. You’re going to want to attack pretty aggressively with a werewolf deck, so if you can spread your damage out between all your enemies, you’ll force them to attack one another while keeping yourself safe. Goading opponents’ creatures also ensures they won’t have as many blockers, making it easier for you to continue doing damage and goading them.

This works well with cards like Howlpack Resurgence that give your creatures trample. I’d also include cards like Titanic Ultimatum or Unnatural Growth that are going to make your creatures more powerful and make it easier to deal at least some combat damage.

#3. Neyith of the Dire Hunt

Neyith of the Dire Hunt

Neyith of the Dire Hunt works well with werewolves because it can support your attacking creatures while also getting you some additional value. Fighting is a good sub theme for werewolf decks which may be lacking other forms of removal, so being able to draw a card each time you do gives you extra resources to play with. You can also use Neyith’s combat trigger to force your opponent to block, which can also help with removal and ensure that you’re able to draw a card during combat.

Though Neyith is only in Gruul colors, you still have access to a lot of werewolf card. Sticking to two colors also makes it slightly easier to establish your land base and more reliably get cards out quickly. This can also make your deck slightly more budget-friendly since you’ll need less nonbasic lands.

#2. Saskia the Unyielding

Saskia the Unyielding

Saskia the Unyielding is one of your best options if you want to have access to the most werewolf cards. With its color identity, there’s only a single werewolf card that you can’t use, Suspicious Stowaway. Apart from giving you access to powerful werewolves in black like Graveyard Trespasser, Saskia also has a good ability that complements your werewolves nicely.

You’ll want to be attacking a lot with your creatures, especially when they’re transformed. Thanks to Saskia the Unyielding, you can speed up the process of taking out your opponents by essentially damaging multiple opponents at the same time. This allows you to focus on the player who has the least blockers while also dealing damage to the player you decide is your biggest threat. Ideally, you can get the game to a one-on-one situation more quickly, one where your opponent has trouble keeping up with your attackers since werewolves can often be ahead of the curve in terms of power in their transformed state.

#1. Tovolar, Dire Overlord / Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge

Tovolar, Dire Overlord is the most popular werewolf tribal commander, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Tovolar’s starting side is designed to work with both the new versions and old versions of werewolves, so you don’t have to worry about sticking to just nightbound werewolves. It also allows you to transform your creatures more quickly and consistently, which is important for getting the most value out of werewolf cards.

On its transformed side, Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge helps you draw a lot of cards, making it more likely you’ll be able to go wide with creatures and have good responses for your opponents’ threats. Tovolar also has the same activated ability as Kessig Wolf Run as a werewolf which can allow you to make Tovolar or one of your other attackers a lot stronger for the turn.

Even though Tovolar won’t give you access to every werewolf or some of the helpful white cards, it makes up for it by making it easier to transform your wolves. You also still have access to some of the best werewolf support cards in Gruul like Immerwolf.

Best Werewolf Commander Payoffs

Immerwolf

One great payoff for running lots of werewolves is Immerwolf. As long as this card is on the field, your werewolves can only transform to become more powerful, but none of them will go back to their weaker human sides.

Moonmist

Depending on how many of the older werewolf cards you're running, Moonmist can also be a good option. It won’t help you with nightbound werewolves, but since it has to be night for them to stay in that form, it can flip the other types of werewolves and keep them transformed.

Because werewolf decks are creature-heavy, cards like The Great Henge and Beast Whisperer also get you a lot of extra value from each of your creatures.

You’ll also be doing a lot of attacking, so buffing your creatures can be really helpful in a werewolf deck. Cards like Unnatural Growth or Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus are also good ways to pay off having a board full of werewolves.

Commanding Conclusion

Saskia the Unyielding - Illustration by Greg Opalinski

Saskia the Unyielding | Illustration by Greg Opalinski

While there are a lot of werewolf creatures, there aren’t too many dedicated werewolf commanders. That isn’t terrible, since Tovolar does just about everything you’d want from one. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Wizards decides to design more legendary werewolves in upcoming visits to Innistrad, or possibly in a Masters set of some kind. With many planeswalkers losing their spark in the story, we may even have a legendary creature version of Arlinn Kord to look forward to. Still, for the time being, the commanders listed here are mostly great options if you want to get on building a werewolf deck now.

Which is your favorite werewolf commander? Would you like to see werewolves pop up on another plane? Let me know in the comments below or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Thank you for reading, and see you next time!

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