We’ve arrived at the end of the year, and we’ve already looked at what the year has given to MTG. That said, we’ve saved the most detailed look for last: Commander. 2022 had seen more Commander products than ever before and even had core sets consider the game’s most popular format in their creation. In terms of new things to offer, this was a fantastic year to be a Commander player.
That said, many would argue that too much stuff was released over the year. No matter where your opinion falls on the topic, Commander players undeniably have been overwhelmed with new toys. Here is, in our opinion, the top 10 MTG best Commander cards that got their first printing in 2022. To be clear, any card that saw its first printing in 2022 and is Commander legal at the end of the year is fair game for our list. Everything else can stay away.
#11 Defiler of Vigor
This was originally a top 10 list, but making a best Commander cards of the year list without Defiler of Vigor felt wrong. There are other great cards in Commander that didn’t quite make it to this list, like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, but Defiler of Vigor may become a green staple for the years to come. Any deck that’s casting green permanent spells and cares about their creatures will benefit from this card. While the green reduction cost is relevant, the +1/+1 counter buff to your entire board is much more scary. This is incredibly easy to trigger in a dedicated green deck and turns Defiler of Vigor into a card that can turn a board into a win condition if not dealt with properly.
Defiler of Vigor was only introduced to Commander in September of this year, and it’s already featured in 12845 decks across EDHREC. This means that the card has a 5% play rate across all decklists on what is probably Commander’s most significant resource worldwide. Whether you’re playing this in a dedicated +1/+1 counter stompy deck or just throwing it into a green creature deck, Defiler of Vigor will catch your opponent’s attention whenever you cast it.
#10 An Offer You Can’t Refuse
This cheeky counterspell is a fantastic budget inclusion to most Commander lists that can run it. An Offer You Can’t Refuse in a format with a lot of crazy haymakers is generally worth the trade-off of giving your opponents a few Treasure Tokens. Released in Streets of New Capenna, An Offer You Can’t Refuse is highly versatile. It can be used to protect your game pieces, counter dangerous win conditions, and even, in very niche situations, serve as temporary ramp if you choose to counter your own spell. This card is very powerful for a great price, making it our tenth spot for our MTG best Commander cards list for 2022.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse is seeing an absolutely ludicrous amount of play for a card that has not even been released for an entire year. This MTG card is already in 15% of decklists across EDHREC. That’s more than 800,000 different decklists!
#9 Plaza of Heroes
While this may not be the Commander all-star we originally marked it to be, it is still one of the best utility Commander cards to come out this year. Unlike some of the other cards on this list, Plaza of Heroes is a colorless land, meaning it can be used in any Commander deck. This can rarely present awkward situations where it cannot provide the color of mana you might need if you have no Legendary creatures in play, but the last ability of Plaza of Heroes is worth the trade-off.
In addition to being a land that can tap for all your colors more often than not, Plaza of Heroes doubles as a one-time protection spell that, generally, can be used on your Commander. You basically need to hold up four mana for it, so it’s not at the best rate in the world. That said, the utility here is the key. Plaza of Heroes can protect your Commander, but it can also be a land when you need it. This can be the equivalent of an extra spell you can run in the land slot of your Commander deck. If you’re one of the many players who likes to cut lands for fun cards, this might be a more innovative way of doing the same thing.
For a card with such a high potential for utility, Plaza of Heroes may still be underplayed. The card currently sees about the same amount of play as Defiler of Vigor, according to EDHREC, and the card is relatively cheap, only presently costing $6.50. That said, Plaza of Heroes shows signs of dropping in price, so, if you’re interested in picking one up, you may want to consider waiting. Regardless of whether we missed a bit on this card, it is still among the MTG best Commander cards for the year.
#8 Ledger Shredder
It’s pretty undeniable that Ledger Shredder was one of the breakout cards of the year. This two-mana lawyer bird Connives each time a player casts their second spell in a turn. At the same time, this has already proved very powerful in 1V1 constructed formats. To no one’s surprise, it’s also fantastic at powerful Commander tables! Ledger Shredder does fall off a little bit in low-power environments, but it excels in the high-power cEDH format.
Considering how many counterspell wars happen in cEDH, it’s not uncommon for a card like Ledger Shredder to get multiple Connive triggers on every rotation of the table. While the bigger body can become relevant over time, being able to loot through your deck and optimize your hand is incredibly powerful. Many decks at this level also use their graveyards to combo out, so Ledger Shredder could be seen as pure card draw. We already know from effects like Rhystic Study that any ability that cares about multiple players gets much better in a Commander environment.
Ledger Shredder is rather expensive and is generally better at stronger tables, so it makes sense that the card has the lowest play rate, according to EDHREC, of the cards on this list so far. It may see little play, but its tough to argue that Ledger Shredder shouldn’t be on our MTG best Commander cards list for 2022.
#7 Loran of the Third Path
This may not be a ‘best Commander card’ that everyone agrees upon, but there is a good camp of Loran loving MTG players who praise this card to the moon. Loran, in most cases, is an incredibly powerful two-for-one that can remove two commonly played permanent types in the format and sticks around with a small body. This, alone, makes the card worth running in most white Commander decks.
If you’re running a deck with Blink strategies, Loran becomes an absolute nuisance. The artifact and enchantment removal effect is an Enter the Battlefield trigger, meaning that blinking Loran can recur the ability and stop any annoying synergies on your opponent’s board.
While Loran’s body is not impressive, its last ability is strangely relevant in Commander. Notably, this stops most Thassa’s Oracle combos by forcing all players to draw a card right before the ability of Thassa’s Oracle resolves. Otherwise, this can generate an emergency card advantage if needed (since it also gives all your opponents cards). This can become a political piece to garner favor from other players, giving it an invisible level of survivability. All in all, this is a fantastic removal option and interacts with the Commander format in a really cool way. This unique circumstance put Loran at seventh for our MTG best Commander cards for 2022.
Lots of players are seeing the potential in Loran of the Third Path, as it is already seeing more play than the majority of cards on this list. According to EDHREC, about 6% of all Commander decks on the platform are currently playing this card.
Read More: Top 9 Most Controversial MTG Cards of 2022
#6 Archivst of Oghma
The MTG playerbase lost their collective minds when this card was spoiled. Archivist of Oghma did not end up being the Legacy terror that some people thought it would, but the card is still quite good in Commander. Being able to come in at Flash speed, Archivist ensures that it will, at minimum, replace itself for a cheap mana cost. This also tends to be a removal magnet, so, chances are, your Archivist will provide at least a little card advantage.
If left alone, Archivist of Oghma can draw more cards than you might think. This card will trigger on obvious tutor cards like Demonic Tutor, but it can also sneakily trigger on a lot of other things. Fetch Lands, whether they be Flooded Strands or Evolving Wilds, will allow the Archivist to draw you a card. Common removal with drawbacks like Assassin’s Trophy and Path to Exile become cantrips with the Archivist in play. Ultimately, Archivist of Oghma can draw a lot more cards than you think it can, and tutors are insanely powerful and overplayed effects that most Commander players have no problem punishing.
Regarding playability, Archivist of Oghma only sees about 9% of play across all Commander decks on EDHREC. The card is also pretty cheap now compared to its previous prices of around $10, making it a very strong card to pick up, considering it’s among the MTG best Commander cards for 2022.
#5 Streets of New Capenna Triomes
We’ve been waiting a few years for the Triome cycle to complete itself. With the Shard Triomes introduced in Streets of New Capenna, we finally have a Triome for every three-color combination!
For reference, the Triomes released in New Capenna were Raffine’s Tower, Spara’s Headquarters, Ziatora’s Proving Ground, Jetmir’s Garden, and Xander’s Lounge. These represent the Esper, Bant, Jund, Naya, and Grixis Shard colors appropriately.
While having a fetchable source that taps for three colors is already incredibly relevant, Triomes also have the ability to Cycle for three mana. This allows you to try and find some more valuable cards if you end up drawing these later in the game. While the ability is not incredibly strong, it does add utility to your land base, which can only be a good thing.
Read More: How to Assess an MTG Commander Power Level
Ladies and gentlemen, this may be the best board wipe in the entire Commander format. Farewell is a tad bit expensive to some more specific options, but, in exchange, you get a customizable board wipe that can essentially restart the game.
There are many reasons why Farewell is incredibly powerful, and it all starts with its exile effects. Farewell exiles everything you choose to touch, which gets around Indestructible cards, which are more common than you may think.
Otherwise, Farewell gives you a lot of different modes that you can pick and choose between. All in all, Farewell offers the opportunity to exile creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and graveyards. This means Farewell can clear any non-Planeswalker board (which is a big reason why I have a Planeswalker tribal deck to use) and can out a lot of common strategies in the format. The reach that this card offers combined with is customizability makes it the fourth on our MTG best Commander cards list for 2022.
Farewell’s prominence in the format is strongly reflected by its play rate. This currently sees 13% play in all decks across the EDHREC platform, making it one of the most-played cards released in 2022.
#3 Black Market Connections
Black Market Connections is a three-mana enchantment that may be as good as Commander staples like Smothering Tithe. Before it saw a breakout performance on the Command Zone, this card was slept on for a bit. It rapidly rose in price over a few months afterwards and is now considered one of the best things to be doing in the entire Commander format. As such, it takes the third spot on our MTG best Commander cards list for 2022.
Black Market Connections offers card draw, a mana advantage, and a body. The catch is that you must pay life according to your wants. Each of these come in optional modes, so you don’t necessarily need to be doing all three things every turn. Generally, if you’re playing Black Market Connections, however, you want to use multiple modes simultaneously. If you’re only after card draw, for example, Phyrexian Arena offers it for a better rate. Paying three life for an extra card and a Treasure Token every one of your turns, however, undeniably offers a heavier impact. If you constantly do all three abilities, you’ll find yourself paying seven life per turn. This isn’t a lot in the context of Commander, but it can add up fast if you’re not careful.
Black Market Connections currently goes for about $30, but the card still sees about 9% of play across all Commander decks on EDHREC.
#2 Displacer Kitten
If Displacer Kitten came out simultaneously as Paradox Engine, both cards would likely have been banned in Commander. The idea of a Rule Zero has been deeply ingrained in the community nowadays, alleviating the need for many bans in the Commander format. This alone contends it for the second spot on our MTG best Commander cards list for 2022.
Displacer Kitten is a brutal combo piece hidden behind a cute, cuddly kitty. The combos are long and complex, but it basically boils down to using Displacer Kitten’s abilities to blink mana rocks and ETB effects (including creature tutors like Recruiter of the Guard) to map out a win from a bunch of different positions. If you’re interested in reading about Displacer Kitten combos with more detail, we have written about them with some extra detail.
Displacer Kitten is the kind of card that, in many builds, is something outside of many Rule Zero conversations. Considering this, it’s surprising to see that the card still has about a 5% play rate, according to EDHREC.
#1 Boseiju, Who Endures (and Other Kamigawa Channel Lands, but Mostly this One)
These cards are the number one spot on many of our 2022 lists, but they have singlehandedly changed how Magic is being played in almost every format they’re legal in. It’s difficult to argue with that kind of influence, so they, once again, end up as our number one spot.
Boseiju, Who Endures, however, is definitely a step above the other Channel Lands in the Commander format. This is also true for every other format, but the gap is not as large as it is in Commander. Artifacts and enchantments are incredibly powerful in the Commander format, and having a utility land that can blow them up is strictly a plus compared to a Basic Forest. Interestingly, this is another card that Archivist of Oghma can turn into a cantrip. As mentioned in previous lists, because Boseiju, Who Endures blows things up with an ability, it is tough to interact with. Traditional countermagic will not stop this card. All in all, the free versatility that Boseiju offers to all green decks in the format makes it the best among ourMTG best Commander cards for 2022.
Channel Lands Playability
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty’s Channel Lands’ effect on MTG is, once again, reinstated by their play rates on EDHREC. Boseiju has a staggering 19% play rate, even though it has a bit of a paywall at about $26 a card. Otawara, Soaring City is not as impressive in Commander as it is in 1V1 play, so it only comes in at a 15% play rate despite being a $10 card. Takenuma, Abandoned Mire cares about legendary creatures a fair bit, so one may think that the card sees more Commander play than average. Contrarily, it sees play in about 12% of decks on EDHREC, which is still impressive.
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire also comes in as a removal piece, though with a lot more restrictions in place. As such, the card currently has about an 11% play rate, according to EDHREC. Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance is definitely the poorest of the Channel Lands, as it only creates a few tokens for a rather pricely cost of four mana. Appropriately, the card sees the lowest play rate of the five Channel Lands at 7%.
Read More: Top 5 MTG Best Cards 2022