The best Grixis commanders in MTG can do a lot of different things, but it all feels kind of cruel and manipulative. It’s natural that that’s the case, of course, because nothing is more Grixis than Nicol Bolas, and that guy’s kind of a douche.
Whether you like him or loathe him though, nobody can deny the allure of Grixis, which is why we’ve made a list of the best Grixis commanders in MTG. Don’t hold back; go ahead and get stuck in.
The best Grixis commanders in MTG
Sedris, the Traitor King is today’s shoutout, and while we’re certain they wouldn’t appreciate it, they shouldn’t theoretically be able to hurt us.
For six mana, Sedris is a 5/5 that gives all of your Creatures unearth of three mana. That means you can pay three mana to have them come back from the graveyard for a turn, give them haste, and then exile them at the end of the turn. They’re great for getting a little extra work out of your Creatures, but it’s just a bit cruel, you know?
10 – Obeka, Brute Chronologist
Obeka, Brute Chronologist is fascinating. They’re a four mana 3/4 with no special abilities in a fight whatsoever, but they do have an incredibly unusual ability.
You see, you can tap Obeka to allow the player whose turn it is to end it if they want to. It doesn’t force the turn to end; it just allows the option. It’s a bit like a really strange group hug card, and it’s one of the most entertaining commanders to build around.
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9 – Mairsil, the Pretender
While we’re on the subject of interesting commanders, let’s introduce Mairsil, the Pretender. Mairsil here is a four mana 4/4 that allows you to exile an Artifact or Creature card from your hand or graveyard when they enter the battlefield, and then put a cage counter on it.
Mairsil then gains all activated abilities of all cards you own that are exiled with cage counters on them, and you can activate each of them once per turn. It’s a lot of fun to see which abilities work best together, and you can build some very obnoxious synergies using them.
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8 – Thraximundar
Thraximundar is a seven mana 6/6 with haste that makes whoever you attack sacrifice a Creature. Alongside that, whenever any player sacrifices a Creature, you can put a +1/+1 counter on Thraximundar.
The size, speed, and power of this lad, makes them incredibly intimidating to try and oppose. This is especially true if you lean into the whole sacrifice thing on both your end and your opponent’s, because then he’ll be an absolute behemoth.
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8 – Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager is a four mana 4/4 with flying that makes each opponent discard a card when they enter the battlefield, and you can pay seven mana to exile them and return them to the battlefield as the mighty Nicol Bolas, the Arisen.
The Arisen version is a Planeswalker that enters with seven loyalty. you can gain two to draw two cards, lose three to deal ten damage to a Creature or Planeswalker, lose four to put a Creature or Planeswalker from any graveyard onto the battlefield under your control, or you can lose twelve loyalty to exile all but the bottom card of one player’s library. It’s all pretty silly really, but in a very grotesque way.
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6 – Inalla, Archmage Ritualist
We’ve hit the tribal part of the best Grixis commanders in MTG, and we’re kicking off with Inalla, Archmage Ritualist. Inalla is a five mana 4/5 that allows you to tap five untapped Wizards you control to have a player lose seven life.
They also have eminence, “Whenever another nontoken Wizard enters the battlefield under your control, if Inalla, Archmage Ritualist is in the command zone or on the battlefield, you may pay one mana. If you do, create a token that’s a copy of that Wizard. The token gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.” This is an incredibly cool abiity, but the issue often comes from the fact that the best Wizards are legendary, so you’ve got to put a bit of work in to get the most out of Inalla.
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5 – Admiral Becket Brass
Our second, and final, tribal pick is Admiral Becket Brass. The good Admiral is a four mana 3/3 that gives all of your other Pirates +1/+1. So, you know, very much a tribal boss here.
They also read, “At the beginning of your end step, gain control of target nonland permanent controlled by a player who was dealt combat damage by three or more Pirates this turn.” This is a very Grixis ability, and with the recent increase in both Pirate cards and also Treasure-producing cards, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.
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4 – Marchesa, the Black Rose
Marchesa is an interesting character because they’ve been in a couple of fairly different color combinations. This iteration is Marchesa, the Black Rose, and costs four mana for a 3/3 with dethrone, and they give you other Creatures dethrone too. That means that if they attack the person with the most life, or tied for the most, they get a +1/+1 counter on them.
That’s not all though, Marchesa also makes it so that if a Creature you control dies with a +1/+1 counter on it, it comes back to the battlefield under your control at the beginning of the next end step. You can combine this with the likes of Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, to basically make your Creatures immortal.
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3 – Nekusar, the Mindrazer
There’s a lot of Wizards in Grixis, and Nekusar, the Mindrazer is a Zombie one. They’re a five mana 2/4 that lets everyone draw an additional card during their draw step. That’s a decidedly un-Grixis thing to do.
Thankfully, they also deal one damage to your opponents every time they draw a card. Nekusar is a very entertaining deck to build, because you can basically lean into being a group hug deck, then fill the rest of your slots with wheels, and then slowly ping everyone into non-existence.
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2 – Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge
Our penultimate choice today is Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge. Jeleva is a four mana 1/3 with flying and a lot fo text. “When Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge enters the battlefield, each player exiles the top X cards of their library, where X is the amount of mana spent to cast Jeleva.” So, you get more cards each time you cast them, and that’s awesome.
Also, whenever Jeleva attacks, you can cast an Instant or a Sorcery card exiled with them without paying the mana cost. That allows you to constantly choose something incredible to cast for free, and you’re not even limited to your own deck.
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1 – Kess, Dissident Mage
Finally, we have Kess, Dissident Mage. Kess is yet another four mana Wizard, this time they’re a flying 3/4 though. They basically allow you to use all of your Instant and Sorcery spells twice with no hassle.
You see, you can cast an Instant or a Sorcery card from your graveyard during each of your turns, and then that spell gets exiled if it would go to your graveyard. It’s an incredibly powerful ability because it’s so simple. and it’s so easy to use. No other cards are required to make Kess brilliant, and that’s a very potent thing indeed.
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