6, Jun, 24

Best MTG Energy Payoffs for Commander

Article at a Glance

One of the more interesting aspects of Modern Horizons 3 is the focus on some specific underutilized mechanics in MTG. For example, Eldrazi decks are receiving a huge amount of support in MH3. Energy is also a neat theme that is being bolstered significantly.

On top of there being a plethora of Energy payoffs in the main set, there are some new cards from the Commander Precons that should become EDH staples. Decks centered around Energy counters got some much-needed improvements when MTG Fallout was released, and now there are even more new toys to build around.

With all these recently printed goodies to work with, we thought it would be fun to cover the Energy cards that give you the most bang for your buck. Energy decks rely on synergy, and these cards provide immense upside if you’re able to build up a large reserve of counters. So, without further ado, here are the best MTG Energy payoffs for Commander.

#5 Dr. Madison Li

Kicking things off, we have Dr. Madison Li. Dr. Madison Li does require some dedicated Artifact support to truly maximize, but the card definitely pays you back for your efforts. This Creatures is cheap, helps you build up Energy counters over the course of the game, then acts a strong Energy sink in the late game.

If you go the Artifact route, there are plenty of shenanigans to be had with Dr. Madison Li at the helm. Getting to bring back enormous Artifacts like Darksteel Forge without investing any mana is really sweet. Alongside ways to put Artifacts into your graveyard, such as Goblin Engineer, cheating huge haymakers into play is easy.

The reality is, there are slim pickings for legends to lead an Energy deck. Luckily, Dr. Madison Li is a strong option that ensures your Energy counters will never go to waste. We decided to give Dr. Madison Li a spot on the list for this reason. Still, there are other decent legends like the new Satya, Aetherflux Genius to build around, and we wouldn’t fault you if you’d prefer another Commander to lead your squad.

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#4 Demon of Dark Schemes

Demon of Dark Schemes

Demon of Dark Schemes is next, and despite its hefty mana cost, offers a lot of value. The card absolutely dunks on decks with lots of small tokens and mana dorks, earning you a bunch of Energy in the process. Even if there aren’t many small Creatures to kill, though, getting to return haymakers to play from any graveyard at will is incredible.

Once again, Demon of Dark Schemes is a great place to sink your Energy in the late game. It’s not hard to get some burly threats into your graveyard to Reanimate with discard outlets or Entomb, and in a multiplayer game, you’re bound to have some decent targets as the game goes on.

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#3 Aethersquall Ancient

Aethersquall Ancient

Aethersquall Ancient is an incredibly annoying card for your opponents to play against. If you’re behind on board, Aethersquall Ancient can completely catch you up. Obviously, only being able to activate at Sorcery speed means you can’t wait until an opponent’s end step to bounce every other Creature, which is a large downside. Still, if your opponents can’t kill Aethersquall Ancient in short order, they’re going to have a problem.

Once you bounce all other Creatures in play, Aethersquall Ancient sticks around and can start accumulating more Energy. If your opponents aren’t careful, you can return every Creature to hand on the following turn, and so on. Of course, if you’re ahead on board, you can just use the large Leviathan to grow your Energy count each turn cycle. You have all the power, which makes this card rather frustrating to face down.

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#2 Sphinx of the Revelation

Sphinx of the Revelation

Coming in at number two, we have a truly unbelievable card advantage engine for Energy decks. Sphinx of the Revelation does everything you want. As an evasive threat with Lifelink, getting a hit in is trivial. When you do, you’ll get four Energy counters on the spot (or more if you’ve buffed Sphinx in any way). If you have any other method of gaining life, Sphinx can rack up Energy real fast.

Where the real power lies, though, is with Sphinx’s activated ability. Assuming Sphinx survives through the turn, you have the potential to draw A TON of cards. See, one of the weaknesses of Sphinx’s Revelation is that it requires a lot of mana investment to pull you ahead. In the Creature’s case, the activation always requires a measly three mana. So long as you have Energy counters stored up, Sphinx can singlehandedly go balistic.

The one weakness here is that Sphinx doesn’t have Haste, so it’s vulnerable to getting removed before you activate it. As a result, cards like Lightning Greeves pair nicely with Sphinx, letting you draw a bunch of cards before any board wipe can get cast. Sphinx also works really well with cards that grant it Vigilance. Then, you can attack, gain life and Energy counters, and activate its ability all on the same turn. All you need is one big activation and you’re golden, so it’s definitely worth putting the work in.

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#1 Aetherworks Marvel

Aetherworks Marvel

Finally, we have Aetherworks Marvel. Seeing this card come in at number one should not be too surprising. Aetherworks Marvel spent a while wreaking havoc in Standard before eventually receiving the banhammer. Having the ability to cheat absurd permanents like Emrakul, the Promised End or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger into play by just investing Energy counters is simply incredible.

Unlike most cards that let you put enormous threats into play for cheap, Aetherworks Marvel actually lets you utilize any cast triggers from your Eldrazi and beyond. Even in a Singleton format like Commander, chances are you’ll find an impactful play in the top six cards.

Additionally, it’s easy to build up enough Energy to spin Aetherworks Marvel again and again. Your opponents better remove the potent Artifact right away, or they’re in a world of trouble. We may have a bunch of fancy new Energy cards being released, but Aetherworks Marvel remains the best MTG Energy payoff.

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