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List of EDH Staples and Power Cards

Commander / EDH*


Creature (143)

Instant (69)

Land (139)

Enchantment (76)


Sorcery (99)

Artifact (88)

Planeswalker (16)


This is not a deck, but a list of staple and power cards in EDH. I chose to use the deck list rather than a normal card list because this form can be deckcycled and searched more easily.

How to Use This Resource

Because there are so many cards that deserve a spot on this list, it can be difficult to read through everything. If you're looking for a specific color or type of card, be sure to use the ordering options (check the drop-down menu above the decklist) to rearrange the information.


If a card has not been included that you think deserves consideration, please state why you think that card should be on the list.

Please consult the List of Budget EDH Staples and Power Cards if you are trying to base your decisions on monetary cost.

All resources in this series:



Cleaning up the discussion.

Also, this list is pretty long. There are probably a few cards that don't belong here. Feel free to suggest cards to remove.

Comments View Archive

Epochalyptik says... #1

Reset the discussion!

Feel free to suggest cards to add or remove.

As always, check to make sure the card you're suggesting is not already in the list.

August 8, 2014 9:59 p.m.

erabel says... #2

More of a staple than a power card, but Nether Traitor is the second-best piece of reusable sac fodder (after Bloodghast , which is already on the list). It's definitely something I'd put in any sacrifice-heavy list (also probably Reassembling Skeleton , but that's more of a budget option).

August 9, 2014 12:37 a.m.

erabel says... #3

Also, is Emerald Medallion the only decent enough Medallion to be considered a staple, or is it just supposed to be representative of the full cycle?

August 9, 2014 12:39 a.m.

erabel says... #4

I'm being one of those people who is awful and doesn't think of every possible suggestion before posting. :/ Sorry, Epoch.

Boom/Bust ? It's flexible land destruction that's spot-on for any aggro or stax deck not in White (for Armageddon).

August 9, 2014 12:42 a.m.

miracleHat says... #5

Harmonic Sliver is an Aura Shards that is weaker. That being said, it can be recurred easily.

some new cards that i think are up for consideration:
Chief Engineer
Garruk, Apex Predator . I will admit, he is 7 mana. That being said, 3 of his abilities affect (or is it effect?) the game a lot. Destroying a planeswalker ready to pop. Destroying a creature straight out. His emblem is scary, especially in something like elfball. The beasts are not that impressive, but you can always sacrifice them, or chump block bigger creatures.
Hushwing Gryff
In Garruk's Wake
Perilous Vault

That is all that I believe should be added. there could be the argument made for Soul of Theros , but i just think that it is just a beater. It's other cost is quite steep.

August 9, 2014 1:48 a.m.

The_Raven says... #6

I was wondering. What about a Lightning Bolt ? Is it bad in EDH because creatures are so big? :D

August 9, 2014 6:01 a.m.

rathalos3000 says... #7

Soul of New Phyrexia should be in the list.

August 9, 2014 9:39 a.m.

Grimgrinner says... #8

Soul of New Phyrexia is kinda meh. It's not really a bad card but i don't think it belongs on this list. Realistically you need 11 to protect it for the turn it's cast, and it's still vulnerable on opponents turns if you do that. It can save you from some boardwipes, sure, but it is incredibly fragile without a huge mana investment.

Lightning Bolt is bad in edh because the creatures are huge, and spot removal is generally bad in a mostly multiplayer format. Now add in the fact that it's barely functional spot removal in this format, and the fact that players start with 40 life. It just ends up not worth using over more flexible cards.

August 9, 2014 6:40 p.m.

miracleHat says... #9

I feel as though Naya Charm should be cut. It's abilities aren't good enough to warrant it's title as a power/staple. I don't think that Telepathy is that great either. That being said, i have never seen it in an edh game so i don't know.

August 9, 2014 6:47 p.m.

Talrand, Sky Summoner is a great guy. Just building a mono-blue edh right now and using this list as a quick guide. Noticed you didn't have him. Great list though, thanks!

August 9, 2014 9:07 p.m.

Talrand, Sky Summoner is underwhelming. It's an alright general, but it's not good as a standalone card.

August 9, 2014 9:30 p.m.

I think Gemstone Mine is a staple land. It is a great mana fixer and it can be bounced with other land and proliferated on as well, so you don't have to remove it.

August 11, 2014 4:33 a.m.

Also I would add Derevi, Empyrial Tactician . It's one of the 2 cards most recently banned in French as a Commander b/c of its ability to lock down one opponent so well, and when it combo's w/ things like Hokori, Dust Drinker or Stasis and Prophet of Kruphix he's pretty well unstoppable. Also why Time Spiral and not Timetwister ? Just some thoughts.

August 11, 2014 4:46 a.m.

Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed and Chainer, Dementia Master should be on this list. Both are great in both Mono Black and B/x decks.

August 12, 2014 10:18 a.m.

TheCommonFig says... #15

I've looked through all of the cards except lands and here are my suggestions for cards to consider removing from the list:

Karn, Silver Golem : It's definitely not a staple, and I'm not convinced it's a power card. Outside of a dedicated artifact animation deck (itself a rare thing), I can't see much use for Karn. It can animate your own artifacts to attack with, but Gilded Lotus is probably the largest one that sees frequent play and that's only 5cmc (i.e., 5 P/T with Karn). It can also be used by black decks looking for a way to kill artifacts, but I'm not sure that qualifies it as a power card in its own right.

Jund Charm : The instant speed graveyard removal is good and the 2 damage to every creature is okay, but the two +1/+1 counters isn't really worth discussing. My issue with Jund Charm is that Rakdos Charm is probably better almost every time. I see Jund Charm's second ability being useful versus low P/T token swarm decks (many of which can go infinite), which are punished as much or more by Rakdos Charm. Rakdos Charm also removes graveyards at instant speed, destroys artifacts (a way more relevant ability than two +1/+1 counters), and slots into more decks.

I'm not saying these cards are terrible and should absolutely be cut, but I think they're some of the weakest on the list and need further justification.

August 12, 2014 6:59 p.m.

@FiveMagicsMaster: I don't include generals in this list, and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician isn't played as part of the 99.

August 12, 2014 7:03 p.m.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Your list helps a lot when putting together a new EDH deck and remembering all the staples. I hope you keep adding!

August 13, 2014 9:21 p.m.

MiniDragon says... #18

Is there a reason why Elspeth, Sun's Champion is not on the list? Considering EDH her boardwipe is nice and theres a chance to reuse it. If not as a staple then possibly as a Budget card.

August 13, 2014 10:57 p.m.

@MiniDragon: Elspeth, Sun's Champion is definitely not a budget card. The budget list cutoff is $10. I'm willing to include it, but I want to hear more about how it performs first.

August 13, 2014 11 p.m.

MiniDragon says... #20

@Epochalyptik My bad didn't realize she cost that much. Sadly I do not own one however, I do like Retribution of the Meek and like running Skullclamp . Her ult does seem a bit underpowered considering Elspeth, Knight-Errant . Hopefully some one else has play tested her. Retribution of the Meek is a card I would recommend to include. Allows me to get rid of the creatures that give me trouble which are usually the big drops while being able to keep Utility creatures and works well with tokens.

August 13, 2014 11:18 p.m.

TheCommonFig says... #21

I think Rupture Spire and Transguild Promenade should be removed from this list and added to the budget staples list (if they're not there already). Although they tap for any color, entering the battlefield tapped AND costing 1 mana to keep is pretty bad. I can't see them being useful outside of a budget 5-color deck.

August 18, 2014 8:49 p.m.

Lloyd156_BLUE says... #22

Surely Arcanis the Omnipotent deserves a spot on this list. You can return him to your hand if a board wipe occurs or someone tries to kill him off AND just for tapping him you can draw 3 cards. With certain cards you can draw 3-6-9 cards a turn by untapping him. Imagine him with Prophet of Kruphix . You're drawing 3 cards a turn and have all the mana needed to protect him. Awesome card!

August 21, 2014 5:17 a.m.

Kravian says... #23

Curious about the lack of Soul of the Harvest , especially considering you do include Harvester of Souls . Is it just because green has other etb creature draw effects?

August 29, 2014 11:28 p.m.

Sloth_Force says... #24

I'm not sure how you feel about combos, but Deadeye Navigator and Great Whale could be potential staples if you're considering combos. Aside from that I think that Memnarch is a good card and should be added because in decks running blue it is very useful. Some of my friends consider Venser's Journal a staple purely for the no max hand size (like Reliquary Tower ). I consider Novablast Wurm a power card since you basically can wipe the board clean and get 7 damage out. Some people I know consider Xenagos, The Reveler a staple because it does supply some good mana ramp for decks with those colors.

September 7, 2014 12:46 p.m.

Lloyd156_BLUE says... #25

I completely agree with Venser's Journal being in this list. It's a ridiculously powerful card.

September 8, 2014 5:50 a.m.

PaladinRyan says... #26

Venser's Journal is a good one as it Xenagos, The Reveler who I consider to have a usefulness on par with Garruk Wildspeaker albeit more color specific. Sloth_Force Palinchron is a better combo tool than Great Whale and is already included so I don't think the whale warrants its own spot.

September 8, 2014 12:26 p.m.

Emzed says... #27

Exotic Orchard is a very powerful mana fixer in multiplayer rounds, I think it deserves a spot on the list, doesn't it?

September 9, 2014 4:51 p.m.

EDHLOVE says... #28

September 12, 2014 5:04 p.m.

Jaymozila says... #29

You may remove Rofelos and add Relic of Progenitus

September 16, 2014 6:35 p.m.

P1NG4S says... #30

October 9, 2014 12:46 p.m.

BX223Hunter says... #31

Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed is a good reanimator target and can pull back any black card.

October 27, 2014 10:36 p.m.

bakunet says... #32

Now that Khans is out I personally think that Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise definitely have places on this list. Those two are just bonkers in edh when you have so much access to graveyard fuel.

November 9, 2014 6:52 p.m.

justawhiteguy says... #33

Please take Abeyance into consideration. Potent security for combos, and utility / tempo everywhere else.

November 10, 2014 2:56 a.m.

I think Utter End could find a place in here, it gets around indestructible and is Vindicate at instant speed for one more mana.

November 10, 2014 3:25 p.m.

wereotter says... #35

November 27, 2014 3:36 p.m.

kameenook says... #37

ThisIsBullshit Can people seriously stop comparing Utter End to Vindicate yes Utter End is good, but many people do not realize that it is NOT Vindicate for one more mana. Vindicate CAN destroy lands. Utter End CANNOT destroy lands.

December 5, 2014 8:23 p.m.

erabel says... #38

kameenook: Utter End is a card in WB that can remove almost any problem permanent, save for ones that have hexproof or shroud and lands, and can do so at instant speed. Vindicate is a card in WB that can remove almost any problem permanent, save those that have hexproof, shroud or indestructible, but it can only do it at sorcery speed. Granted, Vindicate's sphere of influence is much larger because of the extra card type it can hit, but do you have a better comparison for Utter End than "instant speed Vindicate"?

Also, PS, I second adding Utter End to the list.

December 9, 2014 12:04 a.m.

kameenook says... #39

Not really, just adding a few more words to the sentence such as "Instant speed Vindicate for one more colorless that can't hit lands. It's really just my minor OCD. Theoretically you could compare it to permanent O-Ring, at instant speed. I do totally agree with Utter End joining the list though.

December 9, 2014 9:49 a.m.

SnakeEyes55 says... #40

Although I do not see it played a lot, I really enjoy the value that Mercurial Chemister provides. It can draw two cards or remove a threatening or value creature by discarding a card that you will be able to replace + 1 next turn.

December 12, 2014 1:30 p.m.

BrianBeardGuy says... #41

I would say Guile deserves a spot on this list.

December 22, 2014 5:31 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #42

December 25, 2014 1:58 p.m.

Grimgrinner says... #43

@SnakeEyes55, I would not confuse a niche utility card with a format staple or power card. Is it good in certain decks? Yeah sure, if you've got that kind of build, and bank value off the removal, but Its certainly not format defining.

I would agree that if Vindicate is worthy of this list, then Utter End also should be. Instant speed lets it be so much more flexible.

I also second Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, and the freshly spoiled Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. The boardwipe alone is something that mono-g and mono-u are crying for. the ult is also easy to achieve (not that you should count on it, but still)

December 25, 2014 2:30 p.m.

BigLupu says... #44

The lack of Demonic Consultation is quite disturbing.

December 29, 2014 4:31 a.m.

kameenook says... #45

I'm not sure if exiling a number of cards in your deck, for one combo card is worth it. What happens if you get your Helm of Obedience, but exile your Leyline of the Void?

December 29, 2014 7:58 a.m.

ProgenitorX says... #46

What about Mana Confluence?

January 14, 2015 2:07 p.m.

Jaymozila says... #47

I think you can make a big updating this list with the cards of the last collections. I believe that can join your list :Utter End,Reclamation Sage,Clever Impersonator,Mana Confluence,Purphoros, God of the Forge,Perilous Vault,Relic of Progenitus

You must remove Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary ,was ban in last update.

January 15, 2015 7:20 p.m.

Rinne says... #48

Crypt Incursion has been more and more present in the meta in which I play. Instant-speed exile shuts down any reanimation swing, and the big life boost is often gravy.

January 16, 2015 10:52 a.m.

kameenook says... #49

Jaymozila what last update are you speaking of?

January 16, 2015 10:58 a.m.

Jaymozila says... #50

kameenook, the last anounce of the ban list. Rofellos was banned as part of 99 too.

January 16, 2015 2:44 p.m.

Kameronmcl says... #51

lol you know what i find funny? The simple fact that it says 652 deck size and says this deck is commander/EDH legal

February 4, 2015 11:55 a.m.

I have already seen Temur Sabertooth added to a lot of green lists and I don't see a reason to not run it if you have the chance. It protects itself and other creatures you control AND allows you multiple uses of enters the battlefield abilities.

Its probably too early to say if its a staple but Its already made its way into a lot of deck in my area.

I think Hero's Blade will probably become a staple in most decks trying to win with Commander damage.

February 5, 2015 4:03 p.m.

Rinne says... #54

Oops, forgot to add Savage Ventmaw to that list.

March 18, 2015 7:52 a.m.

idgit says... #55

Enter the Infinite might be a good choice, also Azami, Lady of Scrolls around here any time one of these drops, bad things are coming, though I can see enter missing because it almost requires an omniscience

March 21, 2015 1:53 a.m.

LiveForChaos says... #56

I think that Den Protector might be useful as a lackluster 2nd Eternal Witness.

March 26, 2015 6:31 p.m.

Colgate says... #57

"Talisman of"-cycle.

March 27, 2015 8:10 a.m.

Sleazebag says... #58

Hinder, Spell Crumple, Spin into Myth and Oblation no longer belong on this list with the recent rule change.

Telepathy never did, what's it doing here?

Condemn and Hallowed Burial are now far worse than they used to be, but are still somewhat useful.

April 2, 2015 5:43 p.m.

kameenook says... #59

Sleazebag I agree that the most primary use of them is to tuck commanders, tucking other powerful cards can still warrant their power as a staple. Can't exile something? Tuck it.

April 2, 2015 6:17 p.m.

kameenook says... #60

Supplant Form please.

Also Memory Plunder.

Spelltwine is in the same boat.

April 2, 2015 6:19 p.m.

Steaditup says... #61

I agree with Supplant Form. A friend uses it in a Melek, Izzet Paragon EDH list and it's brutal every time it comes up.

With the changes to tuck rules, Oblation, Chaos Warp, Condemn, Hallowed Burial and Terminus could be considered for removal. They're all still really good, but they don't do what they originally did (semi-permanently deal with commanders).

April 2, 2015 8:43 p.m.

Sleazebag says... #62

kameenook: There's literally two cards in the game that don't care about getting exiled and none of those are something you'd bother using removal on.

Most tucks are now worthless. Exceptions are Terminus, Chaos Warp, Condemn and Hallowed Burial.Terminus due to miracle casting cost. Chaos warp is still a red staple as it does not have any other way to deal with enchantments and has a very hard time dealing with indestructible.Condemn works as your third 1 CMC removal spell next to Path of Exile and Swords to Plowshares, don't run it unless you already run those two and want a third. Generally not worth running anymore.Hallowed Burial is a 5 CMC boardwipe that doesn't fill graveyards, which is still good. Obviously you would prefer to exile all creatures, but the cheapest mass exile is 6 CMC, so this still has a place at 5.

Chaos warp and Terminus are the only ones I would still call "must have" staples-

April 2, 2015 9:05 p.m.

Rinne says... #63

I wouldn't take Bant Charm off the list due to it being a tuck effect - its other two modes are still relevant, and tuck is still good at dealing with troublesome non-commanders.

April 2, 2015 11:19 p.m.

Colgate says... #64

Oblation still belongs to list.

April 3, 2015 3:31 a.m.

Colgate says... #65

I think, because of rule change Humility, the New Tuck should be added to list.

April 3, 2015 3:34 a.m.

ElvenLord says... #66

Shouldn't all ten of the Temples from the Theros block be on here?

April 12, 2015 4:02 a.m.

squiggleart says... #68

Really? Vensers Journal is good? How so? It is a 5 costed library of leng (with less power) combined with a slightly better ivory tower, neither of which I think are playable outside of very specific decks. You also have spellbook at 0 for the same ability. If the reason you think it is good is because of the no max handsize, reliquary tower, library of leng, and spellbook blow it out of the water.

Sun's champion is not particularly good. Sure, in certain builds she is VERY good, but I wouldn't call her a staple.

Deadeye navigator is pretty awesome in just about any deck with ETB or combo pieces. He probably should get on the list, or at least honoary mention.

I also don't see shattering pulse, or spree on the list. And those are pretty awesome. Pulse is in everyone of my decks with red, every single one.

May 13, 2015 12:17 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #69

May 13, 2015 5:17 p.m.

Steaditup says... #70

I like Venser's Journal in just about any deck with draw power. It's amazing in my Zegana EDH and I'm considering adding one to my Sydri deck. The spellbook effect is alright but it's that in conjunction with the free repeated life gain that makes it really good. Staple? Probably not.

May 14, 2015 12:29 a.m.

squiggleart says... #71

I am not saying that there is no deck that could ever use venser's journal, I am simply saying that it is not a staple.

I'm not sure I understand how venser's journal and necropotence are better than reliquery tower, library of leng, or spellbook? Every black deck I have has necro in it, and every deck I have (well almost every) has reliquery tower. Some of my decks have library, none have spell book.

I get the repeated life gain is 'useful', the question is it worth 5 mana? I have friends with Zegana, and she is a beast, but I don't think any of them play the journal, they just occasionally discard. One had a reasonable amount of recursion, and flashback cards to benefit from the discard.

I am also not sure if you are drawing that many cards, why ivory tower, which could help early game get a lead, isn't better?

Most of my decks use the graveyard as a resource, so maybe that is why I don't like 5 mana costed library of lengs.

There is so much search for lands, and so much land recursion, that reliquery tower is generally all I really need for that ability.

But the question in this forum is not whether a card is 'good' or 'awesome in this deck', or 'really underpowered and over costed', it is whether or not it is a STAPLE, and in my book an artifact/land that is a staple in a format, means pretty much every deck should be looking at it and considering whether they should play it. And Journal is clearly NOT at that level. Playable? absolutly. Staple? not likely.

Not to mention both spell book and library are trinket mageable.

May 14, 2015 1:38 a.m.