Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
2, Apr, 24

MTG Best Commander Decks - April 2024

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When it comes to the myriad formats of Magic: the Gathering, on paper, Commander is by far the most popular. Offering one of the largest card pools available, Commander is a playground for unrivaled creativity in MTG. Thanks to this, it is arguably the most fun format to build and brew decks for. 

Whether you want to build around a specific typal theme or a beloved pet card, Commander allows you to do it. Should either of those options not take your fancy, however, you can also play to win. When aiming to build the best deck possible, Commander has countless awesome combos and cards to exploit. 

When taking this competitive desire to win to the extreme, Commander decks will reach the status of cEDH. Within this sub-format, only the best of the best days survive, yet MTG players have a surprisingly good time playing it. So much so, in fact, that for some players it’s actually a nicer environment than typical Commander games! 

As much as cEDH does have its benefits, unfortunately, this format is also tremendously expensive. Subsequently, for most MTG players, it’s best to stick to the more casual games that you’ll find at your local FNM. Here, games can still be plenty competitive, even if they’re not playing $3000 lands each turn. 

If you want the best chance at winning at one of these tables, you’ll need to bring a competent, still causal, deck. Thankfully, if you’re looking to do this, we’ve got a handy cheat sheet for you to follow! Throughout this article, we’ll be highlighting some of the best casual Commander decks in MTG that you can build right now.

Deck of the Month | The Wise Mothman

The Wise Mothman

Unsurprisingly, topping the charts as the month’s most popular Commander is a card from the Fallout set. Not only is this the latest MTG product to be released, but as a Universes Beyond crossover, it’s no wonder that people are excited. Out of the myriad Commander options from the set, The Wise Mothman narrowly pipped Mr. House, President, and CEO to the post.

Found as the face Commander in the Mutant Menace deck, The Wise Mothman comes with a ready-made shell around them. While this is great for facilitating a lot of play, in our guide we discussed how the precon isn’t all too good. Like many preconstructed decks, the ideal win condition is often unclear and obfuscated, leading to a lackluster play experience.

Thankfully, while you may be better using The Master, Transcendent in the precon, The Wise Mothman is still powerful. Thanks to this, they’re seeing a good amount of play within more focused mill decks. Thanks to their Rad Tokens and +1/+1 counter generation, The Wise Mothman gets the job done while building a massive board.

Since The Wise Mothman is, at its core, a mill-focused Commander, there are a lot of auto-includes within their deck. For example, you won’t want to do without both  Thassa’s Oracle and Archive Trap. Alongside this, Dauthi Voidwalker works wonders, allowing you to steal your opponent’s cards.

All in all, regardless of whether you use the precon, upgrade it, or build anew, The Wise Mothman has a lot of potential. Through mill, Proliferate, and counter-duplication, they can quickly spiral out of control. It seems that The Wise Mothman also has some cEDH potential, however, they’re hardly topping every tournament.

Read More: The Best MTG Tutor Cards for EDH

Honorable Mention | Preconstructed Decks

Company Commander
Company Commander | Warhammer 40,000 Forces of the Imperium Commander Deck

While we’ll be talking about decks you can build yourself throughout most of this article, we couldn’t resist mentioning preconstructed decks. As the name implies, these decks have already been made for you by the diligent team at Wizards. All you need to do is crack into the packaging, shuffle, and play!

For better or worse, preconstructed Commander decks in MTG are, typically, not the best decks around. So much so, that at many tables, you may find yourself struggling if you only bring along a fresh precon. While this is far from ideal, thankfully, there is an easy solution: upgrading your deck. 

Through buying singles, even sub-par precons can be turned into viable and enjoyable decks! The question remains, however, which preconstructed deck should you spend your hard-earned money on and use? Ultimately, that is up to you, as there are so many different preconstructed decks to choose from.

That said, there is some outstanding preconstructed Commander decks that, while unable to compete with competitive Commander decks, can still pack a punch at most tables. If you’re looking for one of the most powerful precons around, check out the Hosts of Mordor deck.

Best Commander Pre-Con | Hosts of Mordor

The Hosts of Mordor has impressed us immensely with its gameplay. This Commander deck is perfectly equipped to compete with a semi-casual table and give your opponents quite the scare.

Commander games, especially ones on the casual side of things, tend to continue for a long time, and Hosts of Mordor is primed to crush the long game. It takes a bit of time to get this strategy going but armed with a ton of board wipes, reanimation spells, and a deadly Commander, you will spiral out of control very quickly once you have enough mana to consistently cast your gigantic spells.

This deck does not do well against faster strategies. Quick infinite combos will get under Hosts of Mordor with little resistance. Outside of that circumstance, however, Hosts of Mordor is quite powerful in a lot of casual Commander decks. This is a great deck to pick up out-of-box and compete with opposing decks that are a bit stronger than the average pre-con.

9 | Sauron, the Dark Lord

Sauron, the Dark Lord

Following the release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, one new Commander card has reigned supreme. As you can see above, rather fittingly, this card is Sauron, the Dark Lord. Synergizing with the new Ring Temps You mechanic, this powerhouse of a new card absolutely excels in Commander.

As for the card, and accompanying deck, as mentioned, Sauron, the Dark Lord is fantastic alongside the Ring Temps you and Amass mechanics. Thanks to this, Dreadhorde Invasion is an obvious auto-include in the deck. Alongside this, it’s a good idea to play even more Sauron. Specifically, Sauron, Lord of the Rings is a great choice thanks to their powerful Amass Orcs ability. 

Unfortunately, unlike many other typal-focused decks, there are literally no normal Army cards in MTG. Instead, the only cards that carry that subtype are the creature tokens created via Amass. Thankfully, Changelings can skirt around this problem, giving you a few more ways to activate Sauron, the Dark Lord’s main ability. 

Outside of specifically building around, Sauron, the Dark Lord, this deck is a great opportunity for all things Lord of the Rings. Subsequently, many lists built around this Commander also contain cards such as Nazgûl and rather appropriately Lord of the Nazgûl. Of course, alongside these, it’d be downright foolish not to include The One Ring as well.

Ultimately, while decks themed around Sauron, the Dark Lord are not the strongest in all MTG, they are very flavorful. Subsequently, they can be a real joy to play, so long as you can find the right playgroup for them. Thanks to this highly flavorful fun, it’s no wonder that Sauron, the Dark Lord is the go-to commander right now.

8 | Edgar Markov

Edgar Markov

Hailing from Commander 2017, Edgar Markov is one of very few Commanders with the Emminance ability. As you can see on the card above, this provides benefits even if Edgar Markov is in the Command Zone. Just like all the Commanders with Emminance, this makes them incredibly popular.

Beyond just being good, Edgar Markov is a Typal tour de force. Obviously synergizing with Vampires, Edgar Markov allows you to build your board no matter where they are. No matter which Vampire-focused strategy you’re going for, this is an incredibly positive bonus that is effectively free!

As for those strategies, Vampire Commander decks can go down one of a few routes. The most popular of these relies simply on +1/+1 lords, life gain, and value. By building and buffing a board incredibly quickly, Vampires can keep up the pressure on all your opponents at once.

Often parallel to this board buffing strategy, many Vampire Typal decks also rely, rather aptly, on Aristocrats. Focusing on the death and sacrifice of creatures, this deck pings opponents of damage with engines like Blood Artist. Bolstered by the new Vein Ripper, these decks can be incredibly punishing, especially in Commander.

Unfortunately, as a catch, while Edgar Markov is incredibly powerful, they are rather expensive. Having never been properly reprinted since their release, playable copies will set you back at least $120! While this is obviously less than ideal, technically there is an oversized variant that can be picked up for just $12. Since this card is oversized, you’ll need to do some Rule Zero finagling to play it, however, it’s nonetheless an option.

7 | Kenrith, the Returned King

Kenrith, the Returned King

Whether you’re planning on building a themed or competitive deck, Kenrith, the Returned King is an excellent option. Providing a full WUBRG color identity, Kenrith does a little bit of everything, making them a great generic choice. While this may sound like a bad thing, their utility is practically unmatched, making them an excellent Commander option.

Regardless of what gameplay you’re going for, Kenrith has something to help. Between gaining life, giving Trample and Haste, drawing cards, and reanimating creatures, Kenrith really does it all. Thanks to this, they’re a great place to start if you’re looking to brew a deck and don’t already have a Commander in mind.

With so many opportunities, it’s difficult to declare one exact list as the best. That being said, however, one of Kenrith’s best homes is in a control archetype. Utilizing their in-built card draw and reanimation, with strategy employs oodles of counters and stax effects to delay opponents. Once in control, wincons such as Thassa’s Oracle become available, however, there is no shortage of options.

Read More: The Best Wilds of Eldraine Commander Cards

6 | Isshin, Two Heavens as One

After seeing a massive explosion in popularity, Isshin is now the most popular Mardu Commander in the format. Isshin isn’t a particularly competitive Commander, but it can do some powerful things in many other situations.

Isshin cares about abilities that trigger on combat. As such, your deck will want to run a lot of creatures that would have their value doubled by Isshin. Cards like Roaming Throne is a recent addition in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan that could be of interest to Isshin players, especially if there’s a typal theme to the deck, like Samurai.

Generally, however, the Throne isn’t capable of optimizing Isshin itself, so you need to make sure there are enough payoffs so the Throne is worth running. Cards will already synergize with Isshin, it’s more about picking and choosing if your typal theme is big enough for the throne since it won’t affect your Commander directly. It will instead make your payoffs even larger.

The featured list is a rather fun one from MTG Decks user Syntience that focuses on combining some of Commander’s most powerful cards in Mardu with dice-rolling. This deck will definitely win you some games while also keeping opponents entertained with its whimsical nature.

Read More: Top 11 Best MTG Artifact Cards

5 | Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Elves are a popular choice in Commander, and after seeing Lathril, Blade of the Elves, you will see why. When Lathril deals combat damage to a player, you create 1/1 Elf tokens equal to Lathril’s power. After ten Elves are on the battlefield, you can tap them to take ten life away from all opponents.

Players don’t want Lathril to deal damage since Lathril dealing 21 cumulative combat damage will end in their defeat. Not only does the Commander damage add up, but Lathril also creates tokens equal to the damage dealt.

Summoning ten other Elves and draining players of life is the way to go. With cards like Elvish Warmaster, you can quickly flood the battlefield with Elf tokens and start draining life. Elvish Archdruid and Leaf-Crowned Visionary turn weak 1/1 Elves into decent fighters. Rather than use cheap removal like Lightning Bolt, it forces your opponents to wipe the board.

You can also turn your Elves into powerful armies with cards like Ezuri, Renegade Leader. Backed with naturally powerful Elves like Glissa Sunslayer and Abomination of Llanowar, players are forced to either exile or neutralize them. These cards aren’t cheap mana-wise, but cards like Llanowar Elves and Wirewood Channeler can help you cast them sooner. Combining some cards like Elvish Archdruid and Staff of Domination can even grant you infinite mana.

Protecting your Elves with equipment and enchantments keeps them alive and lets you focus on draining life from enemies. Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots can keep your more powerful Elves safe from harm. You can also use Coat of Arms or Beastmaster’s Ascension to boost your Elves’ power even further and overwhelm your opponent’s defenses.

With several methods to hurt your opponents, you will have them scrambling to react as you adjust your strategy to the circumstances.

Read More: Top 14 MTG Best Pioneer Decks!

4 | Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Looking to overwhelm your opponents with an undead legion of Zombies? You’ve come to the right place! Willhelt, the Rotcleaver is a four-mana Commander from the Undead Unleashed preconstructed Commander deck from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. As long as you have Zombies to sacrifice, Wilhelt offers a legion of Decayed Zombie Tokens and endless card draw.

The strongest Zombies, in a synergistic sense, threaten to completely overwhelm your opponents. Rooftop Storm is a spooky enchantment that will allow you to cast all of your Zombies for free. Just make sure you do what you need to do quickly. After all, opponents will not leave you alone with an enchantment this powerful. Should you combine this with Acererak, the Archlich and you get an infinite combo that is a real pain to play out online.

Outside of magical Christmas land, there are a lot of other Zombie synergies that can make this strategy purr. Gravecrawler’s ability to recast itself works wonders with Wilhelt’s sacrifice ability. The card can also get paired up with Phyrexian Altar to create infinite ETB and sacrifice effects. This will create infinite Decayed tokens with Wilhelt.

3 | Tymna the Weaver (paired with Thrasios, Triton Hero)

Tymna the Weaver | Thrasios, Triton Hero

If you are curious about the Partner mechanic that lets you use two Commanders, Tymna the Weaver is a great Commander to use. Partnered Commanders have several options, but Tymna the Weaver and Thrasios, Triton Hero, is a common pairing. You get the benefits of blue, green, white, and black mana while having two Commanders that complement each other.

Thrasios is excellent for ramping up your mana with his Scry ability. The main difference is it allows you to reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, you play it tapped, otherwise, you draw a card if it’s anything else. It’s a good way of controlling the cards that go into your hand while quickly bringing lands into play.

Cards like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Atraxa, Grand Unifier, and Razaketh, the Foulblooded, can quickly come out with the enhanced mana ramp. Since the Scry ability isn’t limited to basic lands, you can play cards such as Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth or Breeding Pool with this ability. Creatures such as Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch can pitch in if you need more mana.

Tymna helps you build card advantage after dealing damage to players. You can pay life to draw cards based on the players you damaged after your post-combat main phase. In larger games, this can quickly replenish your hand and provide more options after a drawn-out engagement.

Cards such as Serra Ascendant[tooltips] or [tooltips]Sheoldred, the Apocalypse will help you gain life to offset Tymna’s life drain. Other cards, such as Toxic Deluge, can help clear the board while benefiting from the extra life you gained. Protecting your creatures, artifacts, and enchantments will be important; using cards such as Counterspell or Heroic Intervention will ensure most threats won’t hurt you.

There are several ways to win with Tymna and Thrasios. Large creatures with powerful effects can end the battle like the aforementioned Atraxa, Grand Unifier. You can also exile difficult creatures away with cards like Swords to Plowshares, then strengthen your creatures with counters and break through.

Read More: MTG Best Budget Decks For Major Formats

2 | The Ur-Dragon

The Ur-Dragon

For Dragon players looking for a powerful Commander, you can’t go wrong with The Ur-Dragon. It gives you access to every color, and it makes every Dragon cheaper to play by one mana. While the cost to bring The Ur-Dragon from the Commander zone to the battlefield is great, it’s often worthwhile. After all, not only do you get amazing card draw, but you can also cheat out additional dragons!

Combining this effect with cards such as Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm can quickly fill the battlefield with powerful threats that amplify The Ur-Dragon’s existing power. Lathliss, Dragon Queen, and Utvara Hellkite will supplement your board with Dragon tokens, providing more attackers that your opponents must deal with.

Dragons aren’t cheap to play, and you must have some form of mana ramp. Scaled Nurturer and Faeburrow Elder can get onto the board early and start generating mana. Cultivate and Growth Spiral can get you the lands you need. Dragonspeaker Shaman doesn’t help with mana ramp per se, but it can reduce mana costs to get your Dragons out sooner.

This mana ramp can also help with combinations such as Old Gnawbone and Hellkite Charger, getting them out when opponents can’t do much against them. You can then generate multiple combat phases, which can overwhelm individual opponents.

Having several methods to revive your Dragons is important since players will use your removal to destroy them. Bladewing the Risen can revive a single Dragon while providing a body on the battlefield, while Patriarch’s Bidding can bring back all your Dragons from the graveyard. If you are in a challenging position (or encountering a mirror match), Crux of Fate can give you some time or give you the win.

Read More: The MTG Best Format Choices Unordered

1 | Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice

Any Commander deck that uses counters will benefit from Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice. Atraxa has a good set of abilities such as Flying, Vigilance, Deathtouch, and Lifelink. The real draw is Atraxa’s Proliferate ability, which happens at a player’s end step. This allows Atraxa to choose any number of permanents with counters and add on an existing counter.

Atraxa doesn’t need to attack or do anything other than exist for Proliferate to kick in. Prologue to Phyresis puts a Poison Counter on your opponents without requiring combat, starting the threat quickly. If spells don’t work, cards such as Bloated Contaminator can break past early defenses to put a poison counter on players.

Cards such as Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus, and Inexorable Tide let you Proliferate multiple times, with Tekuthal having the option of getting an Indestructible counter to avoid most removal. Evolution Sage triggers Proliferate with every land that comes into play, while Ezuri, Stalker of Spheres helps you build card advantage while you proliferate.

Planeswalkers such as Teferi, Temporal Archmage, benefit from Atraxa and Proliferate as well. Combined with artifacts like The Chain Veil and mana-producing permanents, you could generate more mana and more Planeswalker loyalty ability uses. Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is another combination that can take advantage of Proliferated poison counters on players to win.

If other players have cards that inconvenience you, Swords to Plowshares can eliminate them while keeping you alive. Other cards, such as Astral Cornucopia and, Shalai, Voice of Plenty have other types of counters (charge and +1/+1, respectively) that benefit from Proliferation and give you an advantage. As long as you have ways to Proliferate, other players must focus on you or lose the game.

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