Within most Magic: the Gathering formats, five-color cards are an absolute menace. Often too difficult to cast, the upside is rarely worth destroying your mana base for. In Commander, however, five-color cards are in a league of their own. In fact, five-color cards are some of the most popular and best Commanders in the entire format.
Offering players the freedom to put whatever they want in their decks, five-color cards are exceptionally useful in Commander. Alongside this, thanks to plenty of eternal legal fixing and fast mana, their cost isn’t too problematic. As a result, it’s hardly a surprise that when Wizards creates a new five-color legendary creature, MTG players get excited.
The 12 Best Five-Color Commanders
A brief dishonorable mention for all of the Sliver commanders. We see you, we do not respect you, and you will not be on this list.
You might be a Sliver player, and if you’re happy being a villain, then that’s cool and all, but we aren’t about that.
That said, considering some of the new cards announced in the upcoming Commander Masters set, Sliver players should have something to be excited about.
We can now move into the list of the best five-color commanders, so let’s cover ourselves in paint and roll around for a bit.
Child of Alara
First up, we have Child of Alara, which is one of the creepier commanders around due to it being a gigantic all-destroying baby. This isn’t all that out there for anyone with a toddler, but it remains a little odd to see it leading the charge in a deck.
While Child of Alara is still a powerful commander, this 6/6 for WUBRG (One White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green mana) and its ability to destroy all nonland permanents upon death, isn’t all that exciting. It used to see a fair amount of play due to being one of the very limited number of five-color commanders, but we’ve had a huge influx of new ones in recent years, so it’s simply not as good anymore.
Kenrith, the Returned King
Kenrith, the Returned King, is a five mana White 5/5 with one ability in each color. Red lets you give all Creatures trample and haste until end of turn, Green lets you put a +1/+1 counter on a Creature, White allows you to give a play five life, Blue makes a player draw a card, and Black resurrects a Creature from its owner’s graveyard.
You’ll notice that none of those abilities specifically say that they have to be used on yourself. This makes Kenrith a fair and wise king who gives to all. As a result, he’s a very good choice for a group hug deck, and who doesn’t love a good hug?
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Good old Niv-Mizzet got an upgrade back in War of the Spark and gained three whole colors as a result. Niv-Mizzet Reborn costs WUBRG for a 6/6 flying Dragon Avatar. That’s an incredibly cool title, and while the ability takes a little work, it’s worth it.
When Niv-Mizzet Reborn enters the battlefield, you reveal the top ten cards of your library and then for each color pair, you choose a card that’s exactly those colors from among them. You then get to put those in your hand. As long as you build your deck with this in mind, you should be drawing around five cards a time, and that’s incredibly powerful, especially if you pair it with a way to get mana like our next card…
Ramos, Dragon Engine
Ramos, Dragon Engine is a fun card for Dragon decks, but really shines in any deck with a lot of five-color cards in it. Ramos is a six mana 4/4 with Flying that gets a +1/+1 counter for each color in a spell every time you cast one.
You can then remove five +1/+1 counter from them to gain two of each color. This allows you to cast an incredible amount of spells, and if you’re specifically filling your deck with five-color cards, then you’re going to be able to gain ten mana for every single spell you cast. It’s a little silly for sure, but in the best possible way.
Esika, God of the Tree // The Prismatic Bridge
Esika is fine, but largely irrelevant to this discussion, so we’re just going to focus on the other half of the card, which is The Prismatic Bridge. The Prismatic Bridge is a WUBRG Enchantment, which is cool because you can basically have an Enchantment as your commander.
When it’s in play, you reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a Creature or Planeswalker, then you put that card into play. Free cards are so much better than cards you have to pay for, and being able to land this on turn five (or earlier) is sure to make you a target, but could also make you unstoppable.
Jodah, Archmage Eternal
While casting stuff for free is good, Jodah can make everything cheaper, and he’s a little more reliable than The Prismatic Bridge because you get to choose what you’re casting. Jodah costs one generic mana, one blue, one red, and one white, and has flying and is a 4/3.
However, Jodah lets you cast all of your spells for WUBRG. Having a Chromatic Lantern out solves any issues that this may cause, and while the ability might not seem absurd at first, it does let you cast things like Omniscience for half the mana. So, uh, Jodah good!
Sisay, Weatherlight Captain
Sisay, Weatherlight Captain runs one hell of a ship. Sisay is a three-mana White 2/2 who gets +1/+1 for each color among other Legendary permanents you control. That means you can make her as big as a 7/7 without even having to use counters or anything.
Her ability costs WUBRG, and it lets you put a Legendary permanent from your Library into play as long as it’s mana cost is less than her power. This not only means you can help keep her nice and strong, but also means you can have an answer to nearly anything and bring it out at instant speed.
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Najeela, the Blade-Blossom
We’re out of mana and free stuff for a little bit to focus on raw attack power, and none of the other best five-color commanders does aggression quite as well as Najeela, the Blade-Blossom. For three mana, you get a Red 3/2 that gives you an attacking 1/1 Warrior token whenever a Warrior attacks.
Then, for WURBG, you can untap all attacking Creatures; they all gain Trample, Lifelink, and Haste until the end of turn, and then you get another combat phase this turn. You can only activate the ability in combat, but there’s no limit to how many times you can do it. You will absolutely upset whoever you attack like this, but who cares? They’ll be out of the game soon.
One thing to be careful of playing against Najeela is the alternate win condition she can fuel. There are no limits on the amount of times you can activate Najeela, which means that, should she somehow assemble a team of creatures that can pay for her ability, you will be facing down infinite combat steps. This makes Najeela a very impressive competitive choice in the Commander format.
Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Dragons are the best Creature type in MTG; thank you for coming to our TED talk. Scion of the Ur-Dragon is also the best Dragon commander, because it can be any Dragon in your deck, and you can very easily kill off your opponents in a single attack from this shapeshifting beast of a Creature.
You cast Scion for WURBG, and it’s a flying 4/4 as standard, but you can pay two mana to find a Dragon from your Library, put it in the graveyard, and then have Scion turn into it until the end of the turn. It allows for a lot of fun strategies, all of which have wings, scales, and the ability to breathe fire.
Jodah, the Unifier
While we may have already had one Jodah on this list, it’d be rude not to mention Jodah, the Unifier as well. Released in Dominaria United, this card had shot up the ranks of popularity thanks to synergizing with legendary creatures. Perfect for a legendary creature-focused deck, Jodah, the Unifier is capable of providing some truly insane buffs.
Beyond offering your board a hypothetically mind-boggling +50/+50, this Jodah also features a Cascade variant. Allowing you to find and play even more legendary creatures for free, Jodah, the Unifier can quickly spiral out of control. As a result of this, unsurprisingly, they’re an incredibly popular choice for a Commander.
There is a real argument for Scion of the Ur-Dragon being the best ‘Dragon’ card in Commander, but that argument’s a bit tougher to make in regards to it being the best Dragon Commander in the game. The Ur-Dragon is difficult to resolve, but it makes casting your other Dragons a lot easier. Thanks to the overpowered Eminence mechanic, The Ur-Dragon can reduce the cost of your other Dragons’ casting costs, allowing you to develop larger threats at a competitive pace.
When The Ur-Dragon does finally make an appearance, it not only refills you hand, but allows you to put a permanent card right onto the battlefield! This doesn’t even have to be a Dragon, which has lead to some incredibly brilliant brews of this deck, like a Changeling theme, which opens a lot of unexpected design space. Sure, dropping an Old Gnawbone is always good, but why not drop something like Omniscience?
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Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin
This Commander allows a heavily-requested archetype to finally find a supported home in the Commander format. Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin cares about Shrines at its core, but is otherwise a Commander centered around an Enchantment theme. As such, there are a lot of ways to take this deck, but having Shrines somewhere in your gameplan is needed to get the most out of your Commander.
Do keep in mind that Shrines generally care about the amount of Shrines you own. That makes Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin’s triggered ability a lot more powerful since its creating token Shrine creatures. Where you go past that point is up to you, but this is definitely a snowbally deck that threatens to create more and more value as the game progresses.