We have explored different topics when it comes to Commander in our previous articles, which you can find here. But we have never actually made a list of the best commanders based on their power level.
Because we are gearing up for the release of the new set Kaldheim, and we received a bunch of new products specifically made for Commander this past year, we have decided to present you with a list of our Top 10 Best Commanders of all time.
I have made this list a little bit different (as I always do). The intent was to separate each number spot into different themes and strategies. This means that each inclusion into the list will be the best commander in the intended strategy or theme.
As always, this list is subjective to my opinion on what the best Commanders in the game are, but you are always free to disagree or give your opinion on what your list would be in the comment section at the end of the article. Feel free to share this article with your friends or anyone interested in discussing what the best Commanders are at the moment.
With that aside let’s start off with some Honorable Mentions.
There are three themes and strategies which did not make the cut:
These three different styles of decks can certainly be fun and powerful to play with. However, the game has evolved so much throughout the past years and has left these types of decks at a disadvantage compared to others further on in the list.
Of course, these types of decks can win you games from time to time but they usually don’t guarantee consistent performance.
Voltron decks are all about using your commander as a finisher. These types of decks look for the opportunity to deal the 21 Commander damage needed to eliminate a player. They achieve so by pumping the general and dealing the damage in a fast and precise manner.
This strategy is incredibly powerful because of the surprise and speed factor, but due to the game becoming faster and the availability of excellent removal these types of decks have fallen out of favor and the meta.
The best Commander for this type of deck is without a doubt Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice. This general can also be used as a Commander in plenty of other types of decks, but it is incredibly powerful in this one due to all of its keyword abilities – as well as it being able to proliferate, which allows you to make this an efficient one hit kill.
Stax decks are punishing your opponents for playing anything. This means that the strategy is to stall your opponents by making their spells cost more mana or deal them damage whenever they cast a spell. By stalling your opponents you get the change to build up your board and find a win condition.
The problem with this strategy is that it is reactive to what your opponents are playing, and sometimes you may not have the right answers to their threats or are too slow to control them. For this reason these types of decks are not as competitive as others.
There are plenty of Legendary creatures that can fill the role of Commander, but the best card that represents what a Stax deck can be, is Grand Arbiter Augustin IV. This card makes it easier for you to cast your spells and it taxes your opponents for casting theirs. Perfect example of the Stax theme.
The final theme is the Honorable Mentions is Aristocrats, which are decks based on playing small creatures and sacrificing them for value. Creatures played in this strategies often have an effect when dying. You get another befit by using sacrifice outlets and cards that trigger when creatures die.
The best commander to represent this theme is Teysa Karlov. She doubles your death-triggers, which is great in this type of deck. She also gives all tokens vigilance and lifelink, which is a good added bonus.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the main list.
#10 Sidisi, Brood Tyrant – Graveyard Theme
This theme is really fun to build around. As the theme name suggests, these types of decks revolve around the graveyard interactions. This can mean using self-milling strategies to fill your graveyard and utilize it in some way or another. This strategy can be both sneaky and powerful.
Although this is the case, it still has some drawbacks such as your opponents having exile-based removal as well as graveyard-hate cards. For this reason, this theme is not that powerful.
Examples of generals that fit with this theme are:
The best one without a doubt is Sidisi, Brood Tyrant. This card has the benefit that it allows you to access three of the most powerful colors in Commander (blue, black and green). With these them you get access to the three most powerful effects in this format:
- card draw with blue
- removal with black
- ramp with green
Sidisi’s casting cost isn’t that bad being at four mana. Her abilities are what makes her powerful. She allows you to mill yourself whenever she attacks or enters the battlefield, and her second ability gives you a 2/2 Zombie whenever one or more creatures are put into your graveyard.
This makes her one of the best commanders to build around employing self-mill and graveyard recursion strategies.
Some of the most synergistic cards with this commander are:
- Altar of Dementia
- Buried Alive
- Dread Return
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide
- Ramunap Excavator
- Sultai Ascendancy
- Syr Konrad, the Grim
#9 Omnath, Locus of Creation – Land Matters
This strategy is one of the most interesting to pilot. It requires a lot of planning, sequencing, and knowledge of both yours and opponents’ decks. The strategy is a self-sustained and doesn’t dependent on what other players are trying to do. It is also difficult to deal with, as lands are usually hard to interfere with.
Some of the best commanders for land-matters theme are:
The best commander in this theme is Omnath, Locus of Creation. This card allows you to gain access to all MTG colors except black. This means that you can pick and choose different ways to play the deck. Another great benefit of four colors is that finding replacements for cards out of your budget is easier. Its versatility is incredible.
But without a doubt the greatest advantage to this card is its ridiculous ability to produce a different effect every time a land enters the battlefield under your control:
- The first time it gains you life
- The second it gives you mana.
- Finally, the third deals damage to each opponent and each planeswalker you don’t control.
If that wasn’t enough, it draws you a card each time it enters the battlefield. This makes Omnath incredibly powerful.
Some of the best cards in this deck are:
- Crucible of Worlds
- Fetch lands
- Field of the Dead
- Nissa, Who Shakes the World
- Omnath, Locus of Rage
- Strip Mine
- Tatyova, Benthic Druid
#8 The First Sliver – Best Tribal Commander
This deck theme is one of the most flavourful, simple, fun, and powerful to play with. It is not a hard deck to assemble and pilot due to its straightforward plan:
- Play a lot of good creatures from the same creature type.
- Make them stronger together.
- Overwhelm your opponents with them.
This theme is one of the most varied because it can be built with all the tribes of the game in mind. Some of the best tribes out there are Zombies, Goblins, Humans, and Wizards with generals such as:
- Azami, Lady of Scrolls
- General Kudro of Drannith
- Krenko, Mob Boss
- Morophon, the Boundless (for any tribe you want)
- Varina, Lich Queen
The best tribal commander and also one of the most expensive decks to build without a doubt is The First Sliver. This tribe brings some of the most powerful creature types in the game equaled only by Eldrazi.
Slivers have the added benefit of working amazingly well together. Most of the creatures give all other Slivers their own ability making them an incredibly powerful force to deal with. The First Sliver, in this matter, brings all five colors to the table as well as the ability to cascade for itself and all other slivers as well.
Some of the best Slivers are the following:
- Cloudshredder Sliver
- Crystalline Sliver
- Diffusion Sliver
- Harmonic Sliver
- Manaweft Sliver
- Quick Sliver
- Sliver Hivelord
#7 Kess, Dissident Mage – Spellslinger Theme
This is one of the most explosive themes in magic because of the low cost of many of the spells included in this deck. As the name suggests, this theme is all about casting sorceries and instants fast and effectively.
Because this deck contains a low amount of creatures, the rest of the deck is filled with instants or sorceries which can deal with any threat your opponents present, as well as helping you set up for an explosive turn.
Some of the best generals in this theme are:
- Elsha of the Infinite
- Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge
- Kalamax, the Stormsire
- Mizzix of the Izmagnus
- Niv-Mizzet, Parun
The best general to use in this theme is Kess, Dissident Mage. She brings to the theme three very powerful colors when it comes to instants and sorceries. Black provides access to removal and tutors, blue provides access to card draw and counterspells, and red provides access to burn spells.
Her ability allows you to cast any one instant or sorcery from your graveyard in each of your turns. This gives you access to the same instant or sorcery two times in a game.
Some of the most useful cards in this deck are:
- Chaos Warp
- Cyclonic Rift
- Fierce Guardianship
- Lim-Dul’s Vault
- Underworld Breach
- Vampiric Tutor
#6 Zur the Enchanter – Enchantment Theme
This is a really interesting theme to build around. Enchantments as a whole are really powerful permanents in the game due to the fact that they are more difficult to remove in comparison to creatures, planeswalkers, and artifacts.
In general, enchantments have powerful effects that generally affect the flow of play immensely. Having a whole deck built around them is extremely powerful and fun.
Some of the most interesting and fun commanders for this theme are:
The most powerful and interesting commander in this theme is Zur the Enchanter, due to its incredibly powerful ability. This card provides you with access to the three best colors for enchantments in blue, black and white. You can also tutor for any enchantments that cost three or less, and put it into play whenever Zur attacks. Thanks to flying, he can often safely attack.
Some of the best cards that complement this commander are:
- Dance of the Manse
- Diplomatic Immunity
- Ethereal Armor
- Ghostly Prison
- Grasp of Fate
- Rhystic Study
- Swiftfoot Boots
#5 Brago, King Eternal – Best Control Commander
Control is one of the most notorious themes and strategies in Magic. It is loved by some and hated by many more. This is mostly due to its reactive and frustrating nature.
It is not an easy strategy to pilot and it requires someone that really knows their own and their opponents decks. Control exists in almost all formats in some shape of form. It without a doubt commands respect and appreciation, and is often one of the best strategies for winning.
Some of the best commanders for a control deck are:
Although these are some really good options, the best commander for winning is Brago, King Eternal. This deck provides you access with possibly the two most characteristic colors of the control strategy in Azorius.
It also has the interesting but powerful ability to blink any permanent you control whenever he deals damage. As a 2/4 flyer, it can often safely attack and deal damage.
Some of the best cards in this type of deck, which can also provide access to infinite combos are:
#4 Captain Sisay – Legendary Theme
This is one of the most expensive and flashy themes out there because of it revolving around the legendary mechanic. It involves some of the most powerful creatures, planeswalkers, lands, artifacts, and enchantments. It is an extremely fun strategy to play with, and it packs a punch.
However, the most recognizable and powerful commander in this theme is Captain Sisay. She is very well known as the go to commander for legendary theme decks, as well as for being extremely good. While her color identity is limited, her ability makes up for it big time. She can tutor for any legendary in your deck, which allows you to plan, respond, and attack against anything your opponents come up with.
Some of the best cards in this deck are:
- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- Mangara, the Diplomat
- Mox Amber
- Reki, the History of Kamigawa
- Urza’s Ruinous Blast
#3 Najeela, The Blade-Blossom – Aggro Stretegies
This archetype is one of the most efficient and fast deck themes out of all. Aggressive decks are present in almost all the major formats, thanks to their quickness and high win rate. It is known for fast and efficient ways of dealing damage to opponents – at least faster than opponents’ ability to defend.
In some formats, like Standard, this theme is easy to pilot because of its direct nature.
One of the flaws aggro strategies have in other formats is the ability to adapt and react against this strategy. In Commander, it’s a bit different because the format is slower and there are usually multiple opponents instead of one.
Although this is the case, the theme is still one of the best, because it can be played in many different ways and iterations. Some of the generals excellent for this theme are:
- Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
- Prossh, Skyraider of Kher
- Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
- Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
The best commander for this theme is Najeela, The Blade-Blossom. This general provides access to all colors available, which opens up the card pool to enable all of the theme variations.
Her first ability invites you to attack with her and other Warrior in order to create even more Warriors. Her second ability untaps all creatures and provides you with another attack phase. This has the potential to go infinite with the combination of pieces. In general, she is fast and deadly, which makes her one of the best commanders out there.
Some of the cards that will allow you to win are:
- Blood-Chin Rager
- Combat Celebrant
- Druids’ Repository
- Grand Warlord Radha
- Mindblade Render
- Samut, Voice of Dissent
#2 Urza, Lord High Artificer – Artifact Theme
This theme is one of the most efficient, complex, and explosive out of all. It is one of my personal favorites because of it being centered around artifacts, which are one of the most interesting and fun permanent types in the game.
This theme is really flexible in the way it can be centered around different strategies inside the theme. It can be played aggressively, with control elements, combos in mind, and many other alternatives.
Some of the best commanders for this theme are:
The best commander for this theme is – without a doubt – the incredibly powerful and arguably broken Urza, Lord High Artificer. He just does everything you’d want from an artifact commander, and then some more.
Some of the best cards in this deck are:
- Isochron Scepter
- Mirrodin Besieged
- Sai, Master Thopterist
- Tezzeret the Seeker
- Unwinding Clock
- Whir of Invention
#1 Thrasios, Triton Hero & Tymna the Weaver – Best Value Commanders
The best theme, the best commanders, the best strategy over all is just to have good stuff work together to produce value. This “theme” really has no particular characteristics and can be put together with any commander and any strategy in mind. It basically focuses around gaining the most value (advantage) possible from the combination of your commander and the cards in the deck.
This is one of the most creative decks to build because of its huge range of strategies available, as well as the different commanders that can serve as generals. Overall, the goal of this type of deck is to win by utilizing the best of the best available to you.
Overall the best commander, or commanders in this case, is the combination of Thrasios, Triton Hero and Tymna the Weaver. I have chosen these two partner commanders specifically because of the range of gameplay they provide, as well as the access to four colors instead of only three or two.
In general, the commander that matters the most is Thrasios. The pairing of this card with any other brings incredible power, because Thrasios is essentially the best partner Commander overall, thanks to his ability to utilize mana in card selection. Tymna, on the other hand, is just one of the best ways to translate damage into card draw.
Some examples of cards that fit perfectly into this deck are:
- Carpet of Flowers
- Deathrite Shaman
- Mystic Remora
- Mystical Tutor
- Seedborn Muse
- Sylvan Library
- Veil of Summer
In conclusion, Commander is filled with plenty of different styles, themes, strategies, and individual expression as well. It is a format where there is freedom to do whatever you want with your Magic cards. It is also a place to be competitive and motivated to get wins.
Hopefully this article has shown you some of the themes and generals which I personally believe are the best in the game. As always, you can comment down below if you agree, disagree, or have any other thoughts about this article.
If you want more Commander content, here are some articles that might interest you:
- Top 10 Fun Commanders That Everybody Will Enjoy
- Is White Really That Bad in Commander?
- Overview of All Commander Precons
- Top 10 Best Free Spells in Commander
Have fun, stay safe, and go for wins!