Zendikar Rising is bringing a number of fantastic legendary creatures to use as your commander. The set is packed with some great new and returning mechanics, and several of the legendary creatures make use of these, allowing you to build fun and unique decks.
So today I’ll talk about the 10 best Zendikar Rising commanders. The list includes the Zendikar Rising Commander decks that tie closely into to the Standard set.
#10 Charix, the Raging Isle
Charix seems like it could be a lot of fun. It’s a very unique ability that seems to enable a unique style of deck in mono-blue. Commander damage isn’t at all common in that color and it could be interesting to explore.
However, blue is not really meant for the beat-down plan. Even if it were, Charix costs a lot of mana each turn to enable its high damage. At maximum it’s a 16/1, which is very susceptible to removal and blockers as Charix isn’t unblocklable or flying. It doesn’t even have true hexproof.
Overall, it seems like it came from a great design space, but will probably never made it to the playable level.
#9 Orah, Skyclave Hierophant
Orah is a pretty sweet commander to build around, especially if you like underrepresented tribal decks.
There are a lot of Clerics in Magic. Some are just good cards on their own, like Mother of Runes or Weathered Wayfarer. On the other hand you also have some tribal support with cards like Edgewalker and Rotlung Reanimator.
Whisper, Blood Liturgist is another Cleric that plays really well with Orah’s theme of bringing Clerics back.
While Orah, Skyclave Hierophant probably won’t be the most powerful commander from Zendikar Rising, he’ll surely be fun to play and build around.
#7 Kaza, Roil Chaser
We’ve seen a number of blue-red Wizard commanders before, from Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, to Rielle, the Everwise. Adeliz is an aggressive commander but rarely keeps up with other aggressive decks. Rielle draws you cards, but does little else on her own, making her less interesting to play.
Kaza, however, lets you use whatever Wizards you want, then take advantage of them to cast big spells. I can see an X-cost spells build, casting Augur of Bolas and Sea Gate Oracle for card advantage, then casting a huge Braingeyser to draw out your library or loose a massive Jaya’s Immolating Inferno to kill all your opponents at once.
Kaza definitely is a niche card, but seems like a fun option to build around. Who doesn’t like casting big spells for very little mana?
#7 Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats
Even more niche and casual is Zagras. The party mechanic makes Zagras cheaper, but isn’t required. It’s can lead an aggressive black-red deck, with a lot of deathtouch creatures or even a deathtouch tribal deck.
Combine Zagras with Bloodmark Mentor or Incite War to give your creatures first strike and deathtouch. That nasty combo often acts like a one-sided boardwipe if you can bait or goad your opponents into attacking or blocking.
#6 Anowon, the Ruin Thief
In the last year or so the Rogue tribe has gotten many more additions, but lacked a good commander. Anowon solves that problem. It’s a Rogue lord, but also enables a mill plan.
It’s in the perfect colors for mill, too, something many similar commanders fall short on. While more casual than competitive, it would head a fun mill-Rogue deck.
#5 Zareth San, the Trickster
Alternatively, you could run Zareth San as your Rogue-tribal commander. While maintaining a mill sub-theme, Zareth San is all about stealing creatures from your opponent’s graveyards.
You can use effects like Artful Dodge to give Zareth San unblockable, or you can bounce it to your hand. The latter also helps protect your commander.
Overall this is a fun away to cheat out cards, but you have to be able to mill your opponents’ best creatures.
#4 Akiri, Fearless Voyager
Good Boros commanders are always welcome, and Akiri, Fearless Voyager certainly fits the bill.
You’ll obviously want to pair this Kor with some good equipment cards, but once you do, the fun’s about to begin. The way her first ability is worded, makes her particularly good in multiplayer. If you have three equipped creatures and three opponents, you can attack each one with one creature, so you’ll draw three cards!
Additionally, the second ability is a really welcome one. Some Boros commanders, like Winota, Joiner of Forces can be very vulnerable to removal. Akiri, on the other hand, has a sort of built-in protection.
All in all, Akiri is certainly one of the best Zendikar Rising commanders.
#3 Phylath, World Sculptor
Imagine having Avenger of Zendikar as a red-green commander. Yep, that’s pretty much what Phylath is.
It’s a fun way to play landfall, especially because it can be plant- instead of elemental-focused. It may be better for casual play, but you’ll surprise people when you take it out instead of Omnath, Locus of Rage.
If you play your cards right, it’ll be easy to overwhelm the board. Play Avenger of Zendikar and Phylath and watch your opponents scoop.
#2 Ashaya, Soul of the Wild
I think Ashaya will be a very underrated mono-green commander.
It turns all your nontoken creatures into mana dorks, allowing you ramp into bigger creatures like hydras. It lets you take advantage of effects that care about lands and Forests, and it will become a much bigger threat than most people think: you have to remember that Ashaya gets +1/+1 for each land and nontoken creature you control (including Ashaya).
#1 Omnath, Locus of Creation
I would be remiss not to list Omnath as the #1 best new commander. Each time we see Omnath as a character, we see a new color.
Omnath, Locus of Mana began as mono green, then got red with Omnath, Locus of Rage, then recently received blue in Omnath, Locus of the Roil. Now, Omnath, Locus of Creation gets white. Again the gameplay of Omnath has changed, but it still revolves around land and mana at its core.
This new iteration of Omnath is unique in that it gives you a different boon for every landfall trigger, up to three per turn. After three, you get no more landfall triggers, but you can manipulate this by blinking Omnath – something that white is good at.
Omnath, Locus of Creation is a very exciting card with a lot of capabilities. It will be very interesting to see the different decks people build with it, and the ways they exploit Omnath’s abilities and drawback.
More Zendikar, More Commander
You can get most of those sweet commanders in Zendikar Rising Boosters. There are multiple different boosters you can get, but if you’re buying them just to open them (and not to draft), we’d recommend:
- Zendikar Rising Set Boosters (check price on Amazon)
- Zendikar Rising Collector Boosters (check price on Amazon)
Furthermore, you can check all information, including decklists – about Zendikar Rising Commander Decks here. Some cards, like for example Anowon, the Ruin Thief are only available there. Finally, don’t forget to read the partner to this article – Top 10 Best Zendikar Rising Cards for Commander, which features cards for the 99.
Anyways, that’s all about best Zendikar Rising commanders. Until next time, enjoy life, and may you have lots of fun with your new deck.