Triumph of the Hordes | New Phyrexia
7, Sep, 23

The Best Infect Cards in MTG for Commander

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Now that Wilds of Eldraine has just launched, the time of the Phyrexians is well and truly finished. Unequivocally beaten in March of the Machine, we likely won’t be seeing these iconic villains for a long time yet. That being said, however, during their conquest of the multiverse, they did leave plenty behind.

Within the Magic universe, there are scars across countless planes thanks to the damage the Phyrexians wrought. Meanwhile, we’ve been left with numerous MTG cards depicting the action in the real world. As you might expect, many of these cards feature the iconic Phyrexian mechanics, such as Infect. 

Alongside Phyrexian Mana, the Infect mechanic is what makes the Phyrexians Phyrexians in MTG. As a result, this mechanic is often the focus of Phyrexian Typal Commander decks. Beyond just being thematic, however, the Infect archetype is also seriously strong since it’s capable of killing opponents far faster than normal.

Requiring only ten Poison Counters, even in Commander, Infect, and/or Toxic decks are potentially devastating. As if that wasn’t enticing enough, they’re also surprisingly customizable. Not only are there plenty of cards to choose from, but there are also three distinct strategies to build around. 

To show off each of these, we’ll be covering the different archetypes in our Commander picks below. Following this, we’ll discuss the best MTG cards for strictly applying Poison Counters and dealing Infect damage. Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into this list of the best Infect cards in MTG for Commander!

Best Infect Commanders in MTG

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice | Commander 2016

As we mentioned before, when building an Infect-themed Commander deck, there are three main strategies to choose from. These are Toxic/Infect itself, Proliferate, and buffing creatures/your board. While these three archetypes do have plenty of overlap, it’s easy to build distinct decks supporting each theme. 

To show off these themes, we’ll be highlighting a powerful Commander for each unique strategy. As a result of this, some, or rather one, of the picks may look rather unorthodox. Despite this, however, each of these cards is a great option to build your Infect Typal deck around. 

Honorable Mention | Fynn, the Fangbearer

Fynn, the Fangbearer | Kaldheim

Sitting outside of the usual core Infect strategies, Fynn, the Fangbearer offers a new way to annihilate your opponents: Deathtouch. When they’re in play, Fynn essentially gives all your Deathtouch dealers Toxic 2. As you can imagine, when you’ve got a board built up, this can be an incredibly potent threat. 

Beyond the convenience of the amount of Deathtouch creatures there are, there is one major upside of a Fynn deck. Once again, this is Deathtouch! In case you’ve forgotten, this ability is incredibly powerful in its own right, often being a nightmare to deal with. When you add Poison Damage on top of that, it’s really a force to be reckoned with. 

When building a Fynn deck, unsurprisingly, you’ll want to include all the best Deathtouch creatures, alongside a few Toxic Treats. Unfortunately, most of these creatures are rather small, however, they do still pack a punch. If you’re playing bigger creatures, worry not, as Bow of Nylea and Saryth, the Viper’s Fang can dish out the ability. 

Ultimately, Fynn, the Fangbearer is far from the best choice for a Infect-themed Commander MTG deck. This is primarily thanks to their limiting color identity which seriously limits your options. Potentially, new playtest cards could fix this issue, however, those aren’t a reality just yet. So, for now, Fynn, the Fangbearer is stuck being a weak choice, but one that is nevertheless tons of fun.

Ezuri, Claw of Progress

Ezuri, Claw of Progress | Commander 2015

Just like Deathtouch creatures, a lot of Infect creatures in MTG are rather small. Glistener Elf and Blighted Agent, for instance, are both piddly 1/1s. While this isn’t the case for every creature with Infect, they often require buffs to get going. When they get these, Infect can be a terrifyingly powerful archetype, even Legacy viable.

Since Commander is a singleton format, getting enough buffs to beef up a Glistener Elf isn’t an easy feat. Thankfully, that’s where Ezuri, Claw of Progress comes in to save the day. Scaling with the number of low-power creatures you play, Ezuri, Claw of Progress provides consistent and dangerous buffs. This can quickly turn a Glistener Elf into a major, potentially one-shot capable, threat. 

While this is a deadly possibility, Ezuri decks can struggle to build a board reliably since everything starts so weak. This problem, however, is definitely one that can be fixed with a litany of protection and buffing spells. Should this all go according to plan, you may end up feeling like you’re playing the classic Modern deck! Or at least a heavily warped version of it.

Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice 

Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice | Commander 2016

Arguably the best strategy for an Infect-based Commander deck is to play it around a completely different mechanic: Proliferate. Through this mechanic, you can steadily tick up your opponent’s Poison Counters, with minimal chances for interaction. This makes a Poison Counter-based win a lot more reliable since you don’t have to be consistently dealing damage. 

When it comes to Proliferating, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice is the obvious pick for Commander. Not only are they a major threat who Proliferates every turn, but they’ve also got a wide color identity. Thanks to this, you can play all the best creatures and spells with Proliferate, alongside classic Infect cards. 

To glimpse into this theme, Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus is one of many incredible support options. Similarly, [toolitps]Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider[/tooltips] helps to double your token output, as does Doubling Season. Alongside powerful Proliferate creatures like Tainted Observer you can easily annihilate your opponents in no time. 

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon | Scars of Mirrodin

Simply put, Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is an absolute menace of an Infect card. Sporting a dangerous body, Regeneration, and optional haste, Skithiryx really has it all. Subsequently, there’s no question that they embody the true Infect archetype in Commander. Rather than using any fancy tricks, this deck is all about sheer overwhelming infectious might. 

Considering Infect also deals damage with -1/-1 counters, this can be an incredibly threatening prospect. In reality, however, it may not be the strongest strategy you can employ. Sure, there may be big stompy creatures like Phyrexian Juggernaut, but you still need them to deal damage. As a result, having a few tricks is probably for the better. 

While Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is a major threat once they’re on the board, they do have a major flaw. Once again, this is their color identity, which massively restricts deckbuilding options. Thanks to this, you may be left with a very fun and flavorful 99, however, one that isn’t entirely competitive. 

Best Infect Cards in MTG for Commander

Blightsteel Colossus - The List
Blightsteel Colossus | Double Masters

Now that we’ve covered the best Commanders and sub-themes for an Infect deck, it’s time to look at the rest of the deck. Previously, this process wasn’t too difficult, since there weren’t all too many Infect-based MTG cards. Thanks to the Phyrexian Arc, however, this has all changed. Now, MTG players have a huge number of Poison Counter and Infect damage-dealing cards to choose from. 

Thanks to this, it’s more important than ever before to choose the best Infect cards for your Commander deck. So, if you’re doing just that, have a gander at the list below and take a look at the cards you should be playing!

Honorable Mention | Etali, Primal Conqueror

Etali, Primal Conqueror | March of the Machine

To kick things off, Etali, Primal Conqueror is an incredibly powerful Infect-esque card. Capable of dealing 11 Poison Counters in a single hit, this card has clear one-shot potential. All you need to do is play them, transform them, and swing in for the win. As if that wasn’t good enough, you also get to play your opponent’s cards when casting Etali in the first place! 

While they don’t come cheap, either of these abilities would make Etali an incredibly compelling Infect-pick. Together, Etali, Primal Conqueror should practically be an auto-include. Unfortunately, however, there is one major problem; color identity. 

Since they’re Gruul, Etali, Primal Conqueror is incredibly tricky to play within an Infect-themed Commander deck. This is thanks to very few Commander options providing access to red mana. One of the few Commanders to do it is Omnath, Locus of All, who isn’t really very Infect-y. 

Thanks to this fatal flaw, unfortunately, Etali, Primal Conqueror is stuck just being an honorable mention.

11 | Phyrexian Censor

Phyrexian Censor | March of the Machine

To move into the list proper, we have another somewhat unusual choice. Unable to deal Infect, or even Toxic, this card is instead all about Stax. Stalling your opponent’s creatures and limiting the spells they can cast, Phyrexian Censor is a menace to play against. If most of your deck is Phyrexians, however, they’re great to have on your side! 

Considering Infect decks use a litany of Phyrexian creatures, Phyrexian Censor is an incredibly powerful choice. After all, it allows you to play unimpeded, while your opponents struggle to effectively fight and remove threats. Considering Infect can take some time to get going, unless you’re trying to kill someone as quickly as possible through buff spells, Phyrexian Censor is well worth including in the 99 if you can.

While strong, there is a downside to playing Phyrexian Censor. As, like all Stax effects, however, casting this card may paint a target on your back thanks to disrupting the game. Even if this happens and Phyrexian Censor gets removed, you can still celebrate there being one less piece of removal.

10 | Vishgraz, the Doomhive

Vishgraz, the Doomhive | Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander

Despite being not quite as strong as the competition, Vishgraz, the Doomhive would make a compelling Commander choice. After all, they have Toxic and can even creature Phyreixan Mites with the ability on ETB too. Thanks to this, playing them over and over again seems like a great idea! While this is true, however, they’re better served just being an utterly massive threat.

Scaling with the amount of Poison Counters all opponents have, Vishgraz, the Doomhive can quickly become absolutely massive. This makes them a truly devastating threat on the board, especially for their cost. Sure, they can’t deal oodles of Infect since they’re stuck with Toxic, however, they’re nonetheless incredibly dangerous! 

9 | Blighted Agent

Blighted Agent | New Phyrexia

We may have already mentioned them before, however, Blighted Agent is too good to ignore. This is all thanks to them simply being unblockable. Should everything go according to plan, Blighted Agent can easily sneak in and get the Poison Counter ball rolling. In most games, this will be their main use, since that first counter can often be difficult.

To turn Blighted Agent into a threat, they can easily be scaled, making their Infect that much more dangerous. In most games, however, they likely won’t stick around long enough for this to happen. While not guaranteed to always be in play, the prevalence of Orcish Bowmasters certainly doesn’t help with this. 

Despite dying to the faintest breeze, Blighted Agent is still worth including within the 99 of an Infect deck. After all, you can potentially buff them into a game-winning threat when attacking. At worst, however, dealing any damage gives you a Poison Counter to start Proliferating. 

8 | Venerated Rotpriest

Venerated Rotpriest | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Considering that Infect creatures love to receive buffs, Venerated Rotpriest is an obvious auto-include. Providing immense added value to the spells you cast, Venerated Rotpriest can easily be a poison-generating machine. Not only does this help eliminate opponents faster, but it also saves you from needing to always attack to win.

While Venerated Rotpriest obviously synergizes with the spells you cast, even in the worst case, it’s a guaranteed Poison Counter. Thanks to not caring who casts the spell on your creatures, Venerated Rotpriest will always provide value, even if they get removed. This can help to stick a Poison counter on a tricky opponent before Proliferate can do the rest. 

7 | Tyrranax Rex

Tyrranax Rex | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

If you’re looking for a big stompy Infect creature to get the job done, Tyrranax Rex is almost everything you’re looking for. Big, Uncounterable, and boasting Haste, Ward, and Trample, Tyrranax Rex does it all. The only trouble is that Toxic 4, rather than the true Infect ability from Sacrs of Mirrodin. 

On one hand, this is definitely a major downgrade to a card that could otherwise deal 8 Poison Counters. On the other hand, however, Tyrranax Rex is still a massive and difficult-to-remove threat. Thanks to this undeniable strength, they’re definitely worth using with any Infect deck that can support them. 

6 | Hand of the Praetors

Hand of the Praetors | Scars of Mirrodin

While lords are always nice to have, the +1/+1 Hand of the Praetors provides is perhaps their weakest ability. That being said, however, thanks to the litany of weak creatures, it’s nevertheless reason alone to include them. With this in mind, we can consider the other abilities all upside, and that’s putting it lightly. 

Somewhat similarly to Venerated Rotpriest, Hand of the Praetors is able to apply Poison Counters without attacking. All you need to do is cast a creature with Infect, which, thankfully, Infect decks have in droves. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t count creatures with Toxic, however, it’s nonetheless deadly. 

As if all that wasn’t enough, Hand of the Praetors also has Infect themselves! While this technically does provide some added lethality, it’s probably not a smart idea to risk this value engine.

5| Phyresis Outbreak

Phyresis Outbreak | Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander

Despite what you might think from the list so far, Infect decks do have some seriously powerful spells. One of the best of these is also one of the newest. Released as part of Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander Phyresis Outbreak is an all-around star. 

Capable of being a surprisingly effective board wipe, Phyresis Outbreak makes Poison Counters hurt that much more. Admittedly, opponents will need a lot of Poison Counters to truly wipe their board, however, it’s still incredibly useful. Especially since Phyresis Outbreak gives each opponent a Poison Counter to start with.

On its own, this initial ability makes Phyresis Outbreak worth playing since it’s amazing value in Commander. With three opponents to Poison, each counter is effectively only one mana. After that, the board wipe is effectively free value, and we always love that!

4 | Bloated Contaminator

Bloated Contaminator | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

For only costing three mana, Bloated Contaminator offers absolutely insane value. For starters, they’re 4/4 for three, with trample and Toxic 1. That’s just a whole lot of stats and abilities on a remarkably cheap creature. Beyond this, Bloated Contaminator is also able to Proliferate when dealing combat damage.

As we noted when talking about Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice, this ability offers incredibly potent consistency. While you will have to keep attacking with Bloated Contaminator to activate it, Trample makes dealing damage easier than usual. Additionally, its stats mean it should be safe in the early game. 

3 | Phyrexian Swarmlord

Phyrexian Swarmlord | New Phyrexia

While Infect decks have the potential to kill opponents incredibly quickly, they do have some weaknesses. As we alluded to before, for instance, they can struggle to build a board as they lack Token generation. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem; Phyrexian Swarmlord.

Scaling with the amount of Poison Counters on opponents, Phyrexian Swarmlord can create oodles of Phyrexian Insect Tokens. Each sporting Infect themselves, this army keeps up the pressure and dishing out pain. Should they manage to sneak in for damage, you’ll end up with even more Tokens each turn! 

Unfortunately, while Phyrexian Swarmlord is incredibly strong, they only generate tokens on your upkeep. As a result, they can be removed prior to giving you any value. If they do manage to survive, however, you can easily snowball into a game-ending or board-wipe-inducing situation. 

2 | Blightsteel Colossus

Blightsteel Colossus | Mirrodin Besieged

When making a list of the best Infect creatures in MTG, it would just be rude not to include Blightsteel Colossus. Not only is this card iconic, but it’s also supremely strong and undoubtedly deadly. That is obvious enough from their massive 11/11 stat line. 

Beyond being a massive threat that can one-shot opponents, Blightsteel Colossus is also incredibly difficult to get rid of. This is ultimately their main strength since removal is (or should be) absolutely everywhere in Commander. Thanks to being Indestructible and dodging being put in the graveyard, Blightsteel Colossus can only be removed by exile. While this is definitely doable, it’s nonetheless a major strength.

1 | Triumph of the Hordes

Triumph of the Hordes | New Phyrexia

To finish off our list, aptly, we have the best Infect-based finisher in all of MTG. Simply giving all your creatures +1/+1, Trample, and Infect, Triumph of the Hordes offers truly terrifying power. If your opponents don’t counter this spell, you should win the game 99% of the time. That is so long as you have sensibly built up a board, at least. 

Thanks to this awesome game-ending potential, you’d be foolish not to include Triumph of the Hordes in your deck. Regardless of what strategy you’re going for, if you’re playing green and care about creatures, this card is amazing. There’s no doubt about it, Triumph of the Hordes is the best Infect card in Commander. 

Read More: Wilds of Eldraine Combo Obliterates Your Entire Board!

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