Typal archetypes have been all the rage recently thanks to Wilds of Eldraine offering major Faerie and MTG Rat support. Even outside of this, Wraiths are getting renewed interest thanks to some unofficial leaks, and Wizards (the creature type) are making a tiny resurgence in competitive formats.
Rats have been around as a typal point of interest in the Commander format for quite some time. While the deck didn’t always have the best support, rounding out your remaining slots with an unlimited amount of Rat Colonies has always been an option.
That said, over the past year, a ton of new cards have been trickling in for Rat lovers everywhere. With Wilds of Eldraine offering many new Rats to choose from, some players may be inspired to try Rats in Commander. To help, we’ll list out some of the better options for players looking to dip their toes into Rat typal in Commander.
Notably, we will not be going over generic typal powerhouses like Vanquisher’s Banner here. Here are the best MTG Rat cards in Commander!
Honorable Mention – Rat Colony
Rat Colony commonly ends up being a part of many players’ Rat Commander decks thanks to the ability to run as many of them as you like. This makes sure that you won’t run short on Rat playables. Rat Colony definitely isn’t one of the best Rats to include, but commonly ends up shoring up the numbers.
If you want to create a Shadowborn Apostle style of deck and focus on having as many copies of the same card as possible, Relentless Rats is a better option than Rat Colony because it gets +1/+1 buffs for each copy of it in play. Rat Colony only gets an attack boost.
This honorable mention is meant to recommend Rat Colony over Relentless Rats in other scenarios because it gets buffs from any Rat you control. If you want to use this card as a means to fill out remaining creature slots in a deck that includes different Rat creatures, this is the better choice.
10 – Song of Totentanz
Rat decks care a lot about going wide, and having a scalable spell that delivers on that front is a big deal. Combined with the buff abilities of common Rat inclusions like Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm or Karumonix, the Rat King, the Song of Totentanz can end a game outright.
The biggest disadvantage to this card is its color identity. Wilds of Eldraine has its Rat archetype in Rakdos, but most of the best Rat typal Commanders are mono-black. If this were a card in black, Song of Totentanz would rank much higher on this list. Due to the card forcing a Rat player to pick a suboptimal Commander for its inclusion, it remains on the bottom portion of this list.
9 – Tangled Colony
Tangled Colony has a pretty abysmal floor, but the card’s ceiling is pretty powerful. Should your Tangled Colony be the recipient of a rogue Blasphemous Act, especially from your Rat typal deck with a Rakdos color identity, Tangled Colony will create 13 Rats when it dies. This would make the board wipe feel one-sided, wiping out your opponent’s creatures and replacing yours with a massive army.
At worst, Tangled Colony is a 3/2 for two mana, which isn’t terrible at a casual Commander level. This card will always be a body that furthers your game plan slightly, but can occasionally make a massive impact on the game state. If the floor on Tangled Colony was higher, it would place much higher on this list.
8 – Chittering Witch
Rat decks like to go wide, so having creatures that can create multiple bodies on impact is important. Chittering Witch offers you Rat tokens equal to the number of opponents you have which, in a Commander game, generally means you will be creating three Rat tokens.
While Chittering Witch is not a Rat themselves, they do offer an activated ability that can exchange one of your creatures for removal in a pinch. If there’s a powerful value generating creature that you cannot afford to ignore, Chittering Witch may be able to deal with it.
7 – Wave of Rats
Wave of Rats is an incredibly persistent body that can draw cards after it finally dies properly. Thanks to Trample, Wave of Rats becomes really difficult to chump block. As long as one damage gets through to a player, Wave of Rats just comes back. This also synergizes really well with sacrifice synergies. After you connect with an unblocked Wave of Rats, sacrificing it will allow it to return to the battlefield in short order.
This makes Blitz a bit scarier than it looks as well. If Wave of Rats connects before it gets sacrificed at the endstep, it will come back and draw a card!
6 – Lord Skitter, Sewer King
The value Lord Skitter provides is not particularly explosive, but it is consistent. Creating a Rat at the beginning of your combat is a bit weaker in a four-player format, but Lord Skitter doesn’t appear to be a high-priority removal target most of the time, so it can probably get away with creating some value.
The exile effect that Lord Skitter provides should not be underestimated. Graveyard synergies are everywhere in the Commander format, and having access to a card that can break these synergies up is very valuable. Lord Skitter should be an auto-include in any Rat typal Commander deck thanks to the card forwarding your gameplan while offering a critical means to interact with opposing graveyards. Since Lord Skitter doesn’t forward your strategy as much as other options, however, it remains rather low on this list.
5 – Ink-Eyes, Servant of the Oni
Ink-Eyes doesn’t really do a lot of things that the Rat archetypes cares about, but it is a very sticky threat that reanimates other threats upon impact. Thanks to its Ninjitsu ability, you generally get to connect with Ink-Eyes at least once and reanimate a card from the unfortunate recipient’s grave. Otherwise, thanks to Regenerate, Ink-Eyes can be rather annoying to remove provided you have the extra mana to Regenerate it.
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4 – Ratcatcher
Ratcatcher is incredibly expensive mana value-wise, but offers an ability that’s worth it. As long as you control Ratcatcher on your upkeep, you can search your library for a Rat, reveal it, and put it into your hand.
Tutor abilities are some of the most powerful cards in Commander thanks to the singleton nature of the format. They add a much-needed level of consistency to your Commander decks and, in the case of Ratcatcher, provides a much-needed value piece to the Rat archetype that can find the cards higher on this list.
Ratcatcher does unfortunately have a few major downsides attached to it. Firstly, this card needs to survive a turn cycle to do anything. Searching your library for anything is considered an incredibly powerful ability, so Ratcatcher is likely to become a removal magnet. If your Ratcatcher does not survive the turn cycle, you essentially spent six mana to get a removal spell out of your opponent’s hand, putting both players behind of the rest of the table.
Otherwise, Ratcatcher isn’t a Rat themselves, which means it won’t be a great offensive presence most of the time. This is completely fine since the value it threatens more than compensates for this, but don’t accidentally apply your Rat buffs to this card.
3 – Marrow-Gnawer
Marrow-Gnawer takes your board of Rats and scales it immensely. Your Rats also gain Fear with this potential Commander in play, making it rather difficult to block them as well. Of course, you need a wide board of Rats to make Marrow-Gnawer work, but creating a wide board is what Rats do best.
While Marrow-Gnawer offers an incredible amount of explosive potential, it doesn’t do much to address the board wipe problem that the deck has. That stops this potential Rat Commander from being the best Rat of them all, but Marrow-Gnawer is one of the best cards to include in your Rat Commander decks.
2 – Karumonix, the Rat King
Karumonix offers two powerful abilities that both enhance what Rat Commander decks do best and what Rat Commander decks need the most. Granting all of your Rats Toxic 1 enables a small but wide board to threaten player removal out of nowhere. Otherwise, Karumonix’s ability to refill your hand with Rats on entry can give this deck some staying power after your board gets picked apart.
There are very few Rat cards that offer both explosive potential for doing what the Rat deck wants to do (go wide) and offers some additional Rat-based value to allow to grind deeper into the game. All of the cards near the top of this list do both things, and should be your first includes in an MTG Rat Commander deck.
1 – Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm
Ashcoat released back in December 2022 alongside the Jumpstart 2022 set, and is the biggest reason to play Rat typal in the Commander format. This isn’t the most popular Rat Commander on EDHREC, but it may be the most powerful.
The biggest issue Rat decks struggle with is board wipes. While it’s relatively easy to set up a massive board presence relatively quickly, one board wipe can ruin all of your effort, making it difficult to rebuild. Ashcoat both acts as a win condition for going wide with your Rats and is a value engine, recurring two Rat cards from your graveyard to your hand after milling four cards. Since Ashcoat can both provide recurring value and act as a win condition, it has our vote as the best MTG Rat card in Commander.
The only downside to Ashcoat is its secondary market price. While you can find these for $30, they also sell for over $40, making it a pricy pickup.