Arcades Vs. Doran: Which is the Better Commander?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on July 4, 2018, 2:31 p.m. by KingMathoro

Hello there fellow Commander enthusiasts! I tried to find a forum for this but couldn't find one. I do apologize if this has been talked about already at length but I have a question. For a while now I have been looking into building a Doran, the Siege Tower deck and was pretty happy with him until the day came that Arcades, the Strategist was spoiled. Now I have mixed feelings about which one to go for.

So who is better in your opinion? And Why?

My base analysis is that Doran has more versatility in play-styles which I do like to mess with and Arcades plays more straightforward. Although I do love the card avantage that he provides and the fact that I can make a Wall of Denial that powerful excites me as well. But I really want to hear what you, the lovely people of TappedOut think. So let us discuss!

Steelspike says... #2

Bant is the most powerful color combination in commander. Don't @ me.

Dismiss into Dream + Roon of the Hidden Realm or Mistmeadow Witch (or, I guess anything that targeted any creature with any effect) is flat out unfair. Especially Azorius Guildmage + Training Grounds ;)

July 4, 2018 2:45 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #3

It will generally depend on how you build but I would say Arcades is the stronger of the two. He draws cards and you don't need to run things like Assault Formation to make any defender you might include able to attack.

You will lose some awesome stuff like Tree of Perdition and the best removal in the format comes in orzhov. Doran can also really mess with some opponents. But Arcades is a self contained toolbox for defender decks.

July 4, 2018 3:15 p.m.

KingMathoro says... #4


I have never built a Bant deck but have built Azorius and Selesnya so I am familiar with what it brings to the table haha. To me Blue does bring the best Walls in Magic to the table though which is pretty neat.


I can certainly agree with what you are saying. And I am going for a defender/wall style deck which does entice me more to go with Arcades but I do love running ample removal spells in my decks and you are absolutely right about what Orzhov brings to the table. Also Doran himself can go for Commander damage if you want to throw support for that in.

Where would you lean in the versatility category? For me it would seem to be Doran as the more versatile of the two but I could very well be wrong.

July 4, 2018 3:30 p.m.

enpc says... #5

They actually do different things as commanders. But in the context of "which one is better as a wall commander?", probably Arcades. The fact that he/she/it has the "can attack as theough it didn't have defender" clause on the card means that you don't have to find stuff like Assault Formation so your walls can attack.

On on the topic of which colour combination is the best in commander, it actually would go to BUG, not Bant. There is enough good removal in the colours, but having access to cards like Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Necropotence, Ad Nauseam, Imperial Seal, etc is better than the removal package that white brings. That's why even in WUGB decks, the division of colours leans much more heavily to black than to white.

July 4, 2018 8:08 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #6

Depends if you like this list or this list more, I'd say. But if you like both the same amount, then I'd say Arcades simply because it draws cards.

July 4, 2018 9:22 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #7

Benefits if Doran

  • Lots and lots of spot removal and good board wipes
  • all creatures assign to toughness

Benefits of Arcades

  • Access to control
  • Still running green and white so spot removal exists
  • Has evasion
  • Gives card advantage

Cons of Doran

  • Not much aside from toughness. Big creatures are targets. You will be a target

Cons of Arcades

  • Defender restriction

Arcades gives you card advantage and access to blue control, and has evasion. That's more than Doran.

Arcades is better

July 4, 2018 11:46 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #8

Arcades is better because Blue has better walls than Black - sure, Wall of Souls is great but Wall of Ice, Wall of Denial, Wall of Kelp etc.. provide much more value!

And even sweeter he has the built in card draw plus Rolling Stones ability.

Arcades wins hands down!

July 5, 2018 2:07 a.m.

Rzepkanut says... #9

Arcades has "draw a card" written on it somewhere, so problem solved. It's the winner.

July 5, 2018 9:38 a.m.

StumpyIB says... #10

I think you can go either way, but I would say Doran is better in a Treefolk tribal deck. I love my own Doran Treefolk deck and its synergy, but I am really looking forward to Arcades and new strategy.

July 5, 2018 1:12 p.m.

Phaetion says... #11

I'll probably be that guy and say run both under an Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker + Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper pairing.

Forced to choose? I can't say, because I'm not keen on relying on my generals so much. I imagine it'd depend on the player's playstyle.

July 6, 2018 8:25 a.m.

Heliogabale says... #12

Both are commanders that you will have to depend on if you build around them. Once you accept that premise, I think Arcades offers more for your mana. The card advantage means you don't have to devote as many spots to tutor the pieces you need. Running some flicker effects make it a continuous draw engine, and allowing defenders to attack also means less combo pieces to include, thus more room for creatures and boosts.

Every color combination has its benefits, Bant is definitely not the worst selection to support this type of deck.

Here is my list, I am interested to know what everyone else is putting together! We Don't Need No Education

July 23, 2018 12:56 p.m.

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