Last updated on September 9, 2022

New Perspectives - Illustration by Darek Zabrocki

New Perspectives | Illustration by Darek Zabrocki

It’s safe to say that Commander has absolutely exploded in recent years: it’s now the most popular format by a long shot! The sets released in the last year (even the last few sets alone) have featured some incredible legendary creatures. Sadly, not all of them have received the attention they deserve.

I’ve combed the cards to select 15 commanders from last half-dozen sets or so that I think are worthy of your attention. Some you may know, while others may be strangers. Why are these commanders so good, and which cards and strategies do they work best with?

Let’s find out!

#15. Giada, Font of Hope Angels

Giada, Font of Hope - Illustration by Eric Deschamps

Giada, Font of Hope | Illustration by Eric Deschamps

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Giada, Font of Hope, a new commander from Streets of New Capenna. It’s quite honestly one of the most powerful angel commanders ever printed. It’s cheap, provides incredible value, and makes your creatures progressively bigger.

It’s great for plenty of reasons, and it may even be the best 2-drop that angel decks have. It synergizes well and even provides excellent mana through its activated ability to pull you ahead of the curve. Angels are already surprisingly powerful on-curve, but you can maximize your advantage by getting them into play a turn early.

#14. Florian, Voldaren Scion Aggro

Florian, Voldaren Scion - Illustration by Justine Cruz

Florian, Voldaren Scion | Illustration by Justine Cruz

Florian, Voldaren Scion is one of the most powerful commanders from Midnight Hunt. It’s not the most recent set, but there are a few big commanders from it that I think are incredibly overlooked.

Florian is one of those, and this card is capable of far more card advantage than you could possibly imagine. It lets you play one card from the top X of your library in the post-combat main phase, where X is the total life your opponents lost that turn.

The right aggressive Rakdos () deck can let you choose from 10 to 15 cards to find the right interaction for just about any interaction.

#13. Tovolar, Dire Overlord Werewolves

Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge | Illustration by Chris Rahn

If werewolves are your thing, you’re (fashionably) late on Tovolar, Dire Overlord. This human werewolf brings a fresh face to the werewolf tribal genre and provides incredible card advantage and power through the flipside’s activated ability. The ability that generates power and trample is an excellent infinite mana outlet to fuel an incredible infinite power attack against your opponents.

This strategy is so strong because there’s plenty of tribal support in Commander. Just one or two among Herald’s Horn, Vanquisher’s Banner, Door of Destinies, or Coat of Arms can transform the game and make your army of 2/2 or 3/3 werewolves into complete monsters. Not that they weren’t already…

#12. Slogurk, the Overslime Lands

Slogurk, the Overslime - Illustration by Nicholas Gregory

Slogurk, the Overslime | Illustration by Nicholas Gregory

Slogurk, the Overslime is a new ooze commander from Midnight Hunt that’s quickly become a seriously competitive lands commander. It grows as lands go into your graveyard and lets you return lands to hand from the graveyard when it dies.

It’s sort of like the ultimate Life from the Loam commander, which makes for a predominantly green version of a Simic () deck.

#11. Satoru Umezawa Ninjutsu

Satoru Umezawa - Illustration by Anna Pavleeva

Satoru Umezawa | Illustration by Anna Pavleeva

Commander (1)

Satoru Umezawa

Planeswalker (1)

Kaito Shizuki

Creature (35)

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Tormented Soul
Spectral Sailor
Triton Shorestalker
Slither Blade
Mist-Cloaked Herald
Changeling Outcast
Faerie Seer
Silver-Fur Master
Gudul Lurker
Ingenious Infiltrator
Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
Mist-Syndicate Naga
Mausoleum Wanderer
Thousand-Faced Shadow
Fallen Shinobi
Nashi, Moon Sage’s Scion
Void Winnower
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Thassa, God of the Sea
Toxrill, the Corrosive
It That Betrays
Higure, the Still Wind
Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
Razaketh, the Foulblooded
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Consecrated Sphinx
Emrakul, the Promised End
Blightsteel Colossus
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Sakashima’s Student

Instant (13)

Snuff Out
Swan Song
Deadly Rollick
Cyclonic Rift
Mana Drain
Vampiric Tutor
Fierce Guardianship
Force of Negation
Force of Will

Sorcery (9)

Feed the Swarm
Show and Tell
Sea Gate Restoration
Agadeem’s Awakening
Toxic Deluge
Demonic Tutor
Imperial Seal

Enchantment (3)

Rhystic Study
Dream Halls

Artifact (9)

Dimir Signet
Lightning Greaves
Commander’s Plate
Lotus Petal
Sensei’s Divining Top
Chrome Mox
Jeweled Lotus
Mana Crypt
Mox Diamond

Land (29)

Command Tower
Snow-Covered Swamp x4
Clearwater Pathway
River of Tears
Snow-Covered Island x5
Underground River
Watery Grave
Darkslick Shores
Marsh Flats
Sunken Ruins
Verdant Catacombs
Prismatic Vista
Mana Confluence
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Morphic Pool
Flooded Strand
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Bloodstained Mire
Polluted Delta
Underground Sea

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was one of the greatest set releases in a while, and it certainly didn’t disappoint with its crop of great new commanders. Satoru Umezawa is an incredible creature that gives all your creatures ninjutsu for , so some powerful Eldrazi will be attacking on turn 4. You know, on curve.

It’s a fun and explosive strategy that’s on par with Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow. The only real issue is the inconsistency. You need Satoru, a powerful creature worth ninjutsu’ing, and a cheap unblockable attacker to hit. You also need four mana, so your fourth land or a turn 2 mana rock.

You’ve got one of the most powerful starts you can have if you can assemble those pieces.

#10. Kess, Dissident Mage Spellslinger

Kess, Dissident Mage - Illustration by Izzy

Kess, Dissident Mage | Illustration by Izzy

Kess, Dissident Mage is another new commander from the Streets of New Capenna Commander decks, and I’m truly a fan of this one. It’s a Grixis () spellslinger commander that lets you basically flashback one instant or sorcery from your graveyard each turn.

This is good old fashioned spellslinging. There’s nothing too crazy going on, just easy to access value that helps you garner card and value advantage throughout the midgame and pull ahead into the late game. If you’re a fan of Izzet () in general, or even just of Snapcaster Mage, you gotta give this one a spin.

#9. Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief Faeries

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief (Dominaria United) - Illustration by Evyn Fong

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief (Dominaria United) | Illustration by Evyn Fong

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief is a new Simic commander from Dominaria United that’s drawn a lot of attention since it was spoiled. It essentially copies your single-target spells that target a creature other than itself. That’s extreme Simic value unlike anything seen before.

It makes for an excellent aura-based deck. You can start to buff up another body like Artisan of Forms, and your commander can become nearly unstoppable. It doubles your value, forces your opponents to be selective when removing threats, and greatly increases the consistency of assembling an incredible Voltron creature.

I expect this to be a super fun strategy once you get going, and Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief only costs !

#8. Captain N’ghathrod Horrors

Captain N'ghathrod - Illustration by Andrey Kuzinskiy

Captain N’ghathrod | Illustration by Andrey Kuzinskiy

[cad]Captain N’ghathrod[/card] is one of the newer commanders from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate. It’s a Dimir () horror commander that lets you mill your opponents, and lets you bring milled permanents onto the battlefield under your control for free.

Few cards let you steal from your opponent and play your plunder in the same turn, not to mention for free. That’s what makes N’gathrod so good, so you can get away with the incredibly large mana curve of high mana value horrors by swiping free cards in the midgame. It makes for a pleasant slow roll strategy with massive payoffs going into the endgame.

#7. Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver Zombies

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver - Illustration by Chris Rallis

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver | Illustration by Chris Rallis

It’s not too often that an excellent commander comes from a preconstructed Commander deck, but Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver is one of the best around. It’s one of the most fun and powerful zombie creatures in the game, and it was the first card to take the throne from The Scarab God.

Wilhelt turns your otherwise cannon-fodder zombies into card advantage, so you can scour your deck for the best cards for any given situation. It also capitalizes on the many decayed cards from the recent Innistrad block, which were balanced with the decayed downside in mind. A lot of those cards become incredibly strong and highly synergistic in this deck.

#6. Isshin, Two Heavens as One Samurai Tribal

Isshin, Two Heavens as One - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Isshin, Two Heavens as One | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Commander (1)

Isshin, Two Heavens as One

Planeswalker (1)

The Wandering Emperor

Creature (31)

Akki Battle Squad
Akki Ronin
Asari Captain
Blade of the Oni
Eiganjo Exemplar
Fumiko the Lowblood
Godo, Bandit Warlord
Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei
Heiko Yamazaki, the General
Iizuka the Ruthless
Imperial Subduer
Ironsoul Enforcer
Kentaro, the Smiling Cat
Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Leech Gauntlet
Lizard Blades
Nagao, Bound by Honor
Nezumi Bladeblesser
Norika Yamazaki, the Poet
Peerless Samurai
Raiyuu, Storm’s Edge
Reinforced Ronin
Risona, Asari Commander
Selfless Samurai
Sensei Golden-Tail
Seven-Tail Mentor
Sunblade Samurai
Takeno, Samurai General
Toshiro Umezawa
Upriser Renegade

Instant (8)

Akroma’s Will
Boros Charm
Call to Glory
Chaos Warp
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
You Are Already Dead

Sorcery (6)

Banishing Slash
Eiganjo Uprising
Imperial Oath
Ruinous Ultimatum
Sign in Blood

Enchantment (7)

Angelic Exaltation
Blind Obedience
Brave the Sands
Duelist’s Heritage
Fighter Class
Ghostly Prison
Unquenchable Fury

Artifact (12)

Ancestral Katana
Arcane Signet
Commander’s Sphere
Eater of Virtue
Lightning Greaves
Oathkeeper, Takeno’s Daisho
Sigil of Valor
Sol Ring
Swiftfoot Boots
Talisman of Hierarchy
Trepanation Blade
Umezawa’s Jitte

Land (34)

Bloodfell Caves
Caves of Koilos
Command Tower
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Evolving Wilds
Mountain x6
Nomad Outpost
Path of Ancestry
Plains x9
Rogue’s Passage
Secluded Courtyard
Shadowblood Ridge
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
Swamp x3
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Temple of Malice
Temple of Silence
Temple of Triumph
Unclaimed Territory

Isshin, Two Heavens as One is another new commander from Neon Dynasty that absolutely popped off. It recently became one of the top 15 commanders ever, and it’s an incredible tribal commander for samurai.

Extra triggers are an incredibly underrated ability, and Isshin makes otherwise mediocre cards like Asari Captain and Heiko Yamazaki, the General into god-tier mid-game cards. This deck creates interaction out of basically nothing, making for a fast-paced playstyle that keeps you busy with powerful and often game-deciding triggers.

#5. Shorikai, Genesis Engine Vehicles

Shorikai, Genesis Engine (Kamigawa Neon Dynasty Commander Decks) - Illustration by Wisnu Tan

Shorikai, Genesis Engine | Illustration by Wisnu Tan

Shorikai, Genesis Engine is a new commander from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander. If you haven’t played around with this card, you must be living under a rock.

Shorikai is the ultimate vehicle card, sporting 8/8 combat stats on four mana, but the real kicker is its ability. Pay mana and tap it and you can create a Vehicle token and generate some card advantage.

Blue loves drawing cards to access removal and threats, and this activated ability also helps the deck interact with the board. This is some of the best Azorius () value on a commander, so it’s no surprise that Shorikai has recently become the most popular Azorius commander.

#4. Moira, Urborg Haunt Reanimator

Moira, Urborg Haunt (Dominaria United Commander Decks) - Illustration by Marta Nael

Moira, Urborg Haunt (Dominaria United Commander) | Illustration by Marta Nael

I’m a big fan of reanimator decks, and Moira, Urborg Haunt is no exception. These decks are so fun when they work well. You can’t help feel great when you get an absolutely incredible hand that you know spells your opponents’ doom.

Moira reanimates a creature whenever it deals combat damage to a player, but only if that creature entered the graveyard from the battlefield on the same turn. It’s pretty niche, but it’s easy to trigger given the plethora of sacrifice outlets in Commander.

#3. Shanid, Sleeper’s Scourge Legends

Shanid, Sleepers' Scourge (Dominaria United Commander Decks) - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge (Dominaria United Commander) | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Commander (1)

Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge

Planeswalker (2)

Dihada, Binder of Wills
Kaya the Inexorable

Creature (34)

Arni Brokenbrow
Arvad the Cursed
Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Birgi, God of Storytelling
Breena, the Demagogue
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder
Cadric, Soul Kindler
Chainer, Nightmare Adept
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei
Greven, Predator Captain
Hope of Ghirapur
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Kambal, Consul of Allocation
Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Liesa, Shroud of Dusk
Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker
Norin the Wary
Piru, the Volatile
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
Ratadrabik of Urborg
Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh
Squee, the Immortal
Thalia’s Lancers
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
The Peregrine Dynamo
Tomik, Distinguished Advokist
Tymna the Weaver
Valki, God of Lies
Winota, Joiner of Forces
Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful
Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp
Zurgo Bellstriker

Instant (3)

Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Vanishing Verse

Sorcery (3)

Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
Search for Glory
Urza’s Ruinous Blast

Enchantment (2)

Day of Destiny
Legion’s Landing

Artifact (21)

Alhammarret’s Archive
Arcane Signet
Avacyn’s Memorial
Azor’s Gateway
Blackblade Reforged
Bolas’s Citadel
Eye of Vecna
Fellwar Stone
Ghirapur Orrery
Jeweled Lotus
Mox Amber
Mox Opal
Orzhov Signet
Rakdos Signet
Relic of Legends
Sol Ring
Talisman of Conviction
Talisman of Hierarchy
Talisman of Indulgence
Thran Temporal Gateway

Land (34)

Arid Mesa
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Eiganjo Castle
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Flagstones of Trokair
Flooded Strand
Geier Reach Sanitarium
Gemstone Caverns
Godless Shrine
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Inventors’ Fair
Kor Haven
Marsh Flats
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
Phyrexian Tower
Plaza of Heroes
Polluted Delta
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Volrath’s Stronghold
Windswept Heath

Shanid, Sleeper’s Scourge is another new legendary from Dominaria United. It’s a Mardu () legends commander, and it gives your other legendary creatures menace and generates card advantage when you cast a legendary spell or play a legendary land.

Legends is such a fun strategy since it’s basically a Commander-exclusive theme. No need to worry about the legendary rule with the Singleton rule for deckbuilding, and you’ve got access to far more legendary cards than you need for a complete deck. You don’t even have to resort to playing otherwise unplayable cards.

#2. Shanna, Purifying Blade Lifegain

Shanna, Purifying Blade (Dominaria United) - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Shanna, Purifying Blade (Dominaria United) | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Commander (1)

Shanna, Purifying Blade

Creature (17)

Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Birds of Paradise
Bloom Tender
Deadeye Navigator
Drogskol Reaver
Esper Sentinel
Essence Warden
Fyndhorn Elves
Gala Greeters
Heliod, Sun-Crowned
Hermit Druid
Noble Hierarch
Restoration Specialist
Scavenging Ooze
Serra Ascendant
Soul’s Attendant
Walking Ballista

Instant (19)

Argivian Find
Chord of Calling
Cyclonic Rift
Eladamri’s Call
Fierce Guardianship
Mental Misstep
Mystical Tutor
Nature’s Claim
Noxious Revival
Path to Exile
Swan Song
Swords to Plowshares
Tamiyo’s Safekeeping
Worldly Tutor

Sorcery (11)

Dance of the Manse
Eldritch Evolution
Green Sun’s Zenith
Merchant Scroll
Nature’s Lore
Sevinne’s Reclamation
Three Visits

Enchantment (5)

Dawn of Hope
Druid Class
Mystic Remora
Rhystic Study
Smothering Tithe

Artifact (17)

Arcane Signet
Chrome Mox
Fountain of Renewal
Ivory Tower
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Mox Amber
Mox Diamond
Mox Opal
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Sun Droplet
Tablet of the Guilds
Talisman of Curiosity
Talisman of Progress
Talisman of Unity

Land (30)

Adarkar Wastes
Ancient Tomb
Arid Mesa
Boseiju, Who Endures
Bountiful Promenade
Breeding Pool
City of Brass
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
Flooded Strand
Gemstone Caverns
Hallowed Fountain
Mana Confluence
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Radiant Fountain
Rejuvenating Springs
Scalding Tarn
Scorched Ruins
Spara’s Headquarters
Temple Garden
Tropical Island
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast

Shanna, Purifying Blade is a new legendary from Dominaria United that I’m quite excited to play around with. It’s a Bant () lifegain commander that turns lifegain into card advantage, like Oloro, Ageless Ascetic. This probably won’t be the new Oloro, but I’m happy to see that style of lifegain control coming to Bant rather than being an exclusive Esper () feature.

Being in green allows you to take advantage of a lot of cards that you’d otherwise miss out on with Oloro, like Accomplished Alchemist, Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn, and all the sweet green ramp.

#1. Raffine, Scheming Seer Reanimator

Raffine, Scheming Seer - Illustration by Johannes Voss

Raffine, Scheming Seer | Illustration by Johannes Voss

Commander (1)

Raffine, Scheming Seer

Creature (39)

Walking Ballista
Esper Sentinel
Giver of Runes
Hopeful Initiate
Mausoleum Wanderer
Serra Ascendant
Siren Stormtamer
Weathered Wayfarer
Archivist of Oghma
Cathar Commando
Containment Construct
Dauthi Voidwalker
Drannith Magistrate
Ethersworn Canonist
Ghostly Pilferer
Gilded Drake
Grand Abolisher
Ledger Shredder
Lion Sash
Malevolent Hermit
Priest of Fell Rites
Sygg, River Cutthroat
Thassa’s Oracle
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
Archon of Emeria
Aven Mindcensor
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Glenn, the Voice of Calm
Heliod, Sun-Crowned
Hushwing Gryff
Laboratory Maniac
Opposition Agent
Ranger-Captain of Eos
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Consecrated Sphinx
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Toxrill, the Corrosive
Void Winnower

Instant (15)

An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Demonic Consultation
Enlightened Tutor
Mental Misstep
Mystical Tutor
Swan Song
Swords to Plowshares
Vampiric Tutor
Cyclonic Rift
Tainted Pact
Fierce Guardianship
Force of Will

Sorcery (5)

Imperial Seal
Demonic Tutor
Unmarked Grave

Enchantment (4)

Deafening Silence
Mystic Remora
Animate Dead
Rhystic Study

Artifact (7)

Chrome Mox
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mox Diamond
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Fellwar Stone

Land (29)

Adarkar Wastes
Ancient Tomb
Arid Mesa
Cabal Pit
City of Brass
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
Flooded Strand
Forbidden Orchard
Godless Shrine
Hallowed Fountain
Mana Confluence
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Morphic Pool
Otawara, Soaring City
Polluted Delta
Sea of Clouds
Tarnished Citadel
Underground River
Underground Sea
Vault of Champions
Verdant Catacombs
Watery Grave
Windswept Heath

Raffine, Scheming Seer has been one of my new top commanders since its debut in New Capenna. It’s also become a renowned favorite in Esper, being the 7th ranked most popular commander deck in those colors.

Raffine can anchor so many strategies, but I like this reanimator list. Your commander is a great discard outlet that simultaneously lets you dig for your reanimation spells or other interaction. It’s a smoother, more consistent experience, which isn’t always so easy to get with reanimator decks.

Battle for Baldur’s Gate also brought some new toys for this list, like Archivist of Oghma, Ancient Silver Dragon, and Ancient Gold Dragon. All these dragons are certified bangers, and great reanimation targets at that!

Wrap Up

Command Tower - Illustration by Evan Shipard

Command Tower | Illustration by Evan Shipard

All of these commanders are worth a try, and I’ve enjoyed putting this list together. If you’ve got most of the cards already, all the better!

What do you think of the commanders? Which ones have you encountered so far? Which ones are you looking forward to trying out? Let me know in the comments below or over in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

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