One of the best things, at least in our opinion, about the Commander format is that you can find a variety of different groups to engage with who all play the game at a different power level. If you simply want to open a preconstructed Commander deck out of its box and jam with some friends, there’s a place for that! Otherwise, there are myriad opportunities to try out your wacky homebrew, highlighting a bizarre theme like ‘creatures looking left.’
Of course, for players who want a higher power level to their games, Commander can speed up real quick. Its not too difficult to assemble a death combo in the format, and executing said combo as early as turn one is more realistic than you think.
If you truly want to play with the most powerful strategies that Commander has to offer, or simply want to teach your friend who keeps stomping your table a lesson, here are some some of the best Commander combos to consider!
As a quick note, some astute EDH players may be confused as to why Ad Nauseum is not specifically mentioned on this list. Generally, Ad Nauseum is not a death combo within itself, but is instead a way to draw a concerning amount of cards for five mana in Commander. If this card resolves at a high-power table, the game is generally over, but Ad Nauseum itself is not the card literally ending the game. It’s just drawing a massive arsenal of other cards that will end the game more often than not.
Hermit Druid is a one-card death combo! At least, when built around properly. If you want to build Hermit Druid properly, you cannot use any basic lands in your deck, which can definitely make the expense of building the deck raise.
All you need to do past this point is activate your Hermit Druid. Of course, your Druid cannot have summoning sickness since you need to tap it to activate it. Many players know just how powerful Hermit Druid can be, so relying on untapping with the card in play is unreliable. If you plan on doing this, make sure you have some counterspells to protect your creature. Otherwise, using cards like Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler can speed up your combo, making it instantaneous.
Once you can activate Hermit Druid, doing so will mill your entire library, as long as you built it correctly. Past this point, Dread Return is the most common win condition to utilize with Hermit Druid. Use other effects like Nacromoeba or Bloodghast to ensure that you have three bodies on board so you can Flashback Dread Return without paying its mana cost.
Dread Return reanimates Thassa’s Oracle, which wins the game with an empty library. Congrats! You just won the game with two-mana creature! This combo may need some deckbuilding care, but winning the game with one two mana creature makes this a contender for the best MTG Commander combos!
Underworld Breach and Lion’s Eye Diamond
Underworld Breach is a two mana enchantment that can go infinite with a hefty amount of different cards. Yawgmoth’s Will-related effects are quickly identified by many to be problematic, and Escape 3 isn’t a huge hurdle to cross in comparison to the amount of power this enchantment offers. Unlike Yawgmoth’s Will, Underworld Breach even lets you reuse the cards you cast!
Of all the cards this can go infinite with in Commander, Lion’s Eye Diamond is one of the most powerful. This Black Lotus wannabe has a rather pricy activation cost – causing you to discard your entire hand. That said, Underworld Breach wants to use your grave anyway, so this downside is mitigated a bunch.
Underworld Breach and Lion’s Eye Diamond allow you to ramp up to Breach as early as turn one, and re-cast the Diamond for more mana. Unfortunately, this combo does need a third piece to win the game.
The most popular one that fits this bill is Brain Freeze. This card has Storm, which means that you can easily mill everyone at the table’s library once you build up enough momentum. To begin, you need to mill your own library in order to crank up fuel for Underworld Breach’s Escape cost. You can then cycle through casting Lion’s Eye Diamond and Brain Freeze, building up mana and Storm, to mill everyone out. All of your opponents should die on their draw step.
Do note that, if Brain Freeze is amongst the cards you discard when using Lion’s Eye Diamond to cast Underworld Breach, you can win the game that turn (you do, however, need to start with those cards, an untapped blue land, and three other cards)! Also, because of how utilizing mana resources works, you can use sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond while putting Underworld Breach on the stack at the same time. Your hand will be discarded at instant speed before the Breach resolves.
The biggest pain for most players trying to utilize this combo is perhaps the secondary market price of Lion’s Eye Diamond. Thanks to this card being on the Reserved List, and seeing immense amounts of play in older formats, Lion’s Eye Diamond is seriously expensive. Be prepared to let go of $350-500 to get one of these. That said, if you really want power, this is one way to go about it.
Read More: The 10 Best Vampires In Commander
Thassa’s Oracle and Demonic Consultation
This two-card combo is likely the most infamous in all of Commander. For just three mana and two cards, Thassa’s Oracle and Demonic Consultation win the game on the spot.
To perform this combo, you first need to resolve Thassa’s Oracle. Be prepared to hold priority once its ETB effect triggers.
In response to the trigger, cast your Demonic Consultation. Note that, with this card, you specifically do not want to name a card in your library. This will cause your entire library to be exiled.
Past this point, simply resolve Thassa’s Oracle and win the game!
Of course, since this combo is incredibly common at high power Commander tables because its so easy to assemble, many players will come prepared to interrupt it, or otherwise turn it against you.
Do note that trying to pull off this combo when someone has a universal draw effect on the table can be disastrous. Since Demonic Consultation leaves your library empty, if someone forces you to draw a card in response to Thassa’s Oracle’s trigger, you will lose the game instead of win it. Of course, using a different win condition like Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries could prevent this, so why not use them?
This is because utilizing those win conditions, while also costing more mana, open up the possibility for opponents to use removal spells to stop your combo. You also need to draw cards otherwise to enable the combo, which means that an opponent removing Laboratory Maniac or Jace has the same result – you draw from an empty deck and lose. This is a lot easier to break up than Thassa’s Oracle, who is trying to win the game with a triggered ability instead. The body of the creature does not matter.
The most common way your combo will be broken up is that players will try to counter the Demonic Consultation. Your Thassa’s Oracle is rendered pretty ineffective by this, but at least you won’t lose the game for your combo going awry. Lim-Dul’s Vault can also be used in a similar way to Demonic Consultation, but it costs more mana and will ultimately cause you to lose some life.
The combination of this combo being easy to assemble with tutors, cheap to cast, and having relatively low levels of risk, makes Thassa’s Oracle and Demonic Consultation one of the deadliest combos in all of Commander.
This is far from Everything
These are some of the most common MTG combos that you’ll run into at a high-power table, and some of the best Commander combos available, but it’s far from all of the powerful combos available in Commander. Godo, Bandit Warlord and Helm of the Host, Razaketh, Foul-Blooded alongside reanimation tactics, and multiple other powerful combos await players willing to use them.
Of course, if you do want to utilize these crazy powerful Commander combos, make sure you find an appropriate table for them.