Humans are by far the most populous tribe in the game. Throughout the years more than 3000 Human cards have been printed, with more coming along in every set. Humans exist on every plane, with the exception of Lorwyn, and there are Human cards out there that support all kinds of different strategies.
Due to the large number of Humans in the game, making a definitive list of the 10 best Humans in MTG is a tricky task. We’re sure your top 10 would look very different, but here are our 10 best Humans for Commander…
Honorable Mention: Rick, Steadfast Leader
This card is getting an honorable mention because, whilst very powerful, it’s also very contentious. Rick, Steadfast Leader was printed in Secret Lair: The Walking Dead, the very first Universes Beyond product to be released. The card drew criticism because it is very powerful and mechanically unique, but was only on sale for a limited time and depicts a character who is very much not a part of the MTG Multiverse.
This card currently has no in-universe Magic: the Gathering equivalent, although it has been announced that one will eventually be printed.
For four mana, Rick, Steadfast Leader is a 3/4 Human Soldier. He gives all Humans you control two abilities from among first strike, vigilance and lifelink. Then, so long as you control four or more Humans, every Human you control gets +2/+2. This card is certainly powerful, but it’s understandable why players may be uncomfortable putting it in their decks, hence its inclusion here as an honorable mention.
10: Kyler, Sigardian Emissary
Most of this list will be focussed on Human cards which are good in a vacuum, rather than just tribal support cards. Kyler, Sigardian Emissary is such a notable and powerful Human tribal Commander, that he deserves a mention all the same. As a five mana 2/2, Kyler certainly doesn’t initially appear very impressive. It’s Kyler’s powerful abilities which make him shine. Whenever another Human enters the battlefield, Kyler gets a +1/+1 counter. In addition, other Humans you control get +1/+1 for each counter on Kyler. If you put enough low cost Humans into your deck Kyler, and thus all of your Humans, can get very strong, very quickly.
If you are going for Human tribal, make sure to include Kyler’s fellow Humans from Innistrad: Champion of the Parish and Thalia’s Lieutenant.
9: Agent of Treachery
Agent of Treachery has a very high mana cost, but it is absolutely worth it. For seven mana, Agent of Treachery is a 2/3 which steals a permanent from one of your opponents when it enters play. Unlike similar cards like Mind Flayer and Confiscate the card remains stolen even when Agent of Treachery leaves play. This means that Agent of Treachery synergises perfectly with flicker effects. Blink Agent of Treachery into and out of play using an Essence Flux and you will be able to steal a second card as a reward. Agent of Trachery rewards you if you take a lot of cards from other players. You can draw three card during your end step if you control three permanents that once belonged to your opponents.
8: Luminarch Aspirant
Whilst Agent of Treachery is a powerful control card, Luminarch Aspirant is pure aggro. For two mana, Luminarch Aspirant is a 1/1 Human Cleric which gives a creature you control a +1/+1 counter at the beginning of combat on each of your turns. This card was the cornerstone of White aggro strategies while it was in Standard and it’s easy to see why. Playing with three other players in Commander means you will have to wait a bit longer for each of your combat steps to roll around, but Luminarch Aspirant will reward your patience with plenty of +1/+1 counters.
7: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben certainly doesn’t go into every deck, but if you’ve found the right place for her, she can really shine. A 2 mana 2/1 with first strike, Thalia makes all non-creature spells cost one additional mana to cast. Thalia jams the breaks on any player attempting to combo off using storm cards. She also makes spellslinger and enchantment or artifact based strategies significantly slower to pull off.
Just so long as your deck has a high enough density of creatures, you’ll barely feel the impact of Thalia, while she frustrates all of your opponents and delays their plans.
6: Tireless Tracker
If you’re in Green, you will be playing a lot of lands and Tireless Tracker rewards you for following Green’s game plan. A 2/3 Human Scout for three mana, Tireless Tracker generates a a clue token whenever you play a land. Clues are artifact tokens that can be sacrificed for two mana in order to to draw a card. Tireless Tracker also gains a +1/+1 counter whenever you sacrifice a clue.
Using ramp effects like Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach, you will be able to generate multiple clues in a turn. Your clues can be sacrificed to their own effect, or to enable a card like Deadly Dispute, either way your Tireless Tracker will be gaining some counters.
5: Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness is a staple in decks containing Green. For 3 mana, Eternal Witness lets you return any card from your graveyard to your hand, and also provides a 2/1 body. This is a lot of value for a single, fairly low cost, card to provide.
It is good to combine Eternal Witness with cards which dump lots of cards from your deck into the graveyard quickly. Hermit Druid and Satyr Wayfinder fill your graveyard with cards for Eternal Witness to fetch. Just like Agent of Treachery, this card becomes significantly more powerful in conjunction with flicker effects. Flickering Eternal Witness allows it to get back more and more from your graveyard.
4: Noble Hierarch
Probably one of the best mana dorks in the game. Although Noble Hierarch doesn’t give you access to all five colors, or have flying, like Birds of Paradise it does have exalted. Exalted means that whenever a creature you control attacks alone they get +1/+1. This makes Noble Hierarch a great inclusion in Voltron decks, which are focussed on buffing and protecting one very large and powerful attacker.
You can tap Noble Hierarch down to produce Green, White or Blue mana to help you play your big threats, or cast spells to enhance and defend them. You can then use the Hierarch’s exalted trigger to grant your big threat a bit of a boost in combat.
If you’re building a Rafiq of the Many deck, then Noble Hierarch is a great inclusion.
3: Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster Mage is one of the most iconic cards in the game for a good reason. A 2/1 Human Wizard for two mana, Snapcaster Mage can be played at instant speed and gives an instant or sorcery in your graveyard flashback. Flashback means the card can be played again and then it goes into exile. Since Commander is a singleton format, this means Snapcaster Mage gives all of your best spells a second charge. Snapcaster Mage also enables you to sneak out unexpected counterspells, or flash a blocker onto an empty board and then buff it with a combat trick to destroy an attacker.
This card’s price once put it beyond the reach of many players. Thankfully, Snapcaster Mage was put on The List and appeared in many Set Boosters during 2022. This caused the card to become increasingly affordable, it began the year as a $40 card and ended it in the $15-$20 range.
2: Serra Ascendant
This was once one of Commander’s most fearsome cards. Whilst it’s no longer as dominant as it once was, Serra Ascendant is still a force to be reckoned with. A one mana 1/1 with lifelink, Serra Ascendant gains +5/+5 and flying if you have 30 or more life. Given that in Commander you start with 40 life, Serra Ascendant is a fantastic turn one play, even though it will turn you into an immediate target.
The only thing holding this card back from the number one spot is that it’s a very bad card to topdeck in the late game, or in a dire situation. A 1/1 lifelinker is not what you want to see when you’re being beaten down and trying to turn things around. Still, Serra Ascendant is so powerful in its best case scenario that it has earned its number two spot.
1: Esper Sentinel
Esper Sentinel is part of a new push to give White better card draw options. A take on the old card Rhystic Study. Esper Sentinel is a 1/1 Human Soldier for one that allows you to draw a card whenever your opponent casts their first non-creature spell in a turn. This can be prevented by your opponent paying mana equal to the sentinel’s power.
Given that your opponents will be casting non-creature spells on almost all of their turns, Esper Sentinel has the potential to draw you a huge amount of cards. Buff up Esper Sentinel so that your opponents are no longer willing to pay the fee and you will certainly profit. Although Esper Sentinel is a great card, be careful. It’s an artifact, as well as a creature, meaning it’s vulnerable to a wide range of removal spells.
Read more: MTG Best Tribal Commanders