Sell Me on Your Favorite Commander(s)
Posted on March 1, 2017, 8:34 p.m. by hwagner
I'm incredibly indecisive when it comes to choosing a Commander or a Strategy. I've built several commander deck so far including Leovold, Emmissary of Trest, Breya, Etherium Shaper, Thassa, God of the Sea, and I'm currently playing Vial Smasher the Fierce and Thrasios, Triton Hero.
Although It's too soon to say how I feel about Vial Smasher and Thrasios, None of my previous commanders woooed me and quickly became boring. I want to have a backup plan/secondary deck in case Vial Smasher/Thrasios doesn't work out.
So your job is to tell me who your favorite commander is, why he/she/it is your favorite, and what are your favorite strategies/archtypes to build around and why.
Think of it as a sales pitch. Your the dealer and I'm the buyer lol
I will tell ya what: My favorite commander is the first commander I build a deck around, which is Riku of Two Reflections. Why? He is a toolbox of nice things. Got a good spell you want copied? There's an app for that. Want to copy a good creature? There's an app for that. Plays in good colors? Yeah, he goes there. Play him with Time Warp et al. and you are looking at a tough deck to interact with. Now, honestly, I have played more powerful commanders, more streamlined commanders, but honestly he is the first one I remember, and the one I remember fondly.
Another one is Trostani, Selesnya's Voice, a deck I still run and upgrade quite a bit. I love the terror of playing a ton of tokens creatures and watching people's faces as the board state just gets worse and worse. The life gain is just even more gravy for the meat pie that is the token feast. I combine her with Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, and Garruk, Primal Hunter in the 99 with Rhys the Redeemed and the deck is just...yeah. People hate when I laugh evilly. Or when my life total quadruples in one shot from Trostani, a Panharmonicon and Serra Avatar hitting the board. Going from 40 to 160 is amazing.
March 1, 2017 9:16 p.m.
My absolute favorite commander is Maelstrom Wanderer. The sheer value of hard-ramping into a T4 Maelstrom Wanderer, and cascading into Part the Waterveil and Sarkhan Unbroken gives me such joy every time it happens. Green and Red's ramp with Blue's card draw and library manipulation is a hard combination to beat.
March 1, 2017 10:52 p.m.
DS is a beast because opponents ra rely remember he can steal planeswalkers, so being able to steal a commander right before it ultimates so that you get the ultimate is so much fun! Plus, having a flying deathtouch commander with 5 toughness is a great blocker. His deck, Stop Hitting Yourself! (Silumgar Primer), works geat with him to always play a different game each time. You can't get bored with this deck because it can't play the same way everytime.
As for Medomai the Ageless, I love extra turns, control, and infinite combos, and that's what he boils down to. It's nice to get an extra turn each round for free, especially when you can play a draw-go type control deck that can also play on the nonextra turn to be proactive and reactive simultaneously. Where it gets really good are the infinite turn combos though. Even on extra turns, if you play Humility/Darksteel Mutation on MtA, you can swing and cast Capsize with buyback targeting Humility/Darksteel Mutation before combat damage is dealt and then recast it to reset the field. Bam. Infinite turns.
March 1, 2017 10:59 p.m.
Would you like your Time Warps to be Time Stretches at no extra cost? Would you like to double your card draw for free? Want Blazes that are big enough to burn people out in one shot? Do you like playing with cards like Brainstorm, Sensei's Divining Top, and Scroll Rack in general? How do you feel about being able to play cards from the top of your library? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, Melek, Izzet Paragon may be the deck for you!
March 1, 2017 11:07 p.m.
Do you like Combo? Midrange? Control? Group Hug? Aggro?
March 1, 2017 11:08 p.m.
Thanks for commenting everyone! There are some convincing arguments here!
UpperDeckerTaco, I don't really have a preferred archetype. I've been all over the place in my magic career. I will tell you about my favorite decks I've played though so maybe you can point me in the right direction then. My favorite standard deck I've played was Jeskai Tempo, my favorite modern deck is a toss up between U/B Faeries and Jeskai Ascendancy combo. I love comboing off with Jeskai Ascendancy just not sure how to start with it in commander.
March 1, 2017 11:22 p.m.
Well, if you like Jeskai Ascendancy Combo decks, Commander should be easy to build a deck around it. First off, for ease and card pool, I would suggest going with 4 color for Jeskai Ascendancy. I would recommend "Partners" for your Generals. Kydele would be a good first choice due to her ability to tap to add mana and Ascendancy to untap her all while adding more mana due to the looting. As for the second Partner, I would probably say Akiri would be a second good choice. Then you could run Artifact ramp and Green ramp and such. And would give you access to Sterling Grove and other great enchantments Green has to offer. Build your deck around tutoring out Ascendancy and ramp. Then go off with your Kydele to get just an abundance of mana and a ton of +1/+1's on your creatures.
March 1, 2017 11:28 p.m.
UpperDeckerTaco Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated. What would you do as deck support while waiting to combo off? Just play wraths? or creatures? or enchantment prison?
March 2, 2017 12:30 a.m.
Karador, Ghost Chieftain is super fun. I play a combo list with numerous abzan control elements and it wrecked our local commander league and the tournament I played it. The best thing is that the deck and the commander seems resistant to everything. Need iona - > sac karador for birthing pod. Play karador next turn again for cheap because you have enough creatures in your yard. Another cool commander is Mizzix of the Izmagnus because the deck is as fast as karador in terms of winning but you need to solve sort or a puzzle. Nonetheless finishing a couple of times in turn 4 will drastically reduce your chances of mizzix staying on the battlefield more than one turn...
March 2, 2017 12:32 a.m.
Enchantment prison along with Wraths would work. You could make it an enchantress Ascendancy combo deck. Draw all the cards, be the stax combo guy
March 2, 2017 1:09 a.m.
Do you like smashing someones face in quickly? Cheating things in, and blowing up lands? Then Kaalia of the Vast may be for you.
March 2, 2017 2:22 a.m.
Nekusar, the Mindrazer - do you hate long commander games? Cut them down with Nekusar. I don't even use infinite combos and yet games with him are rarely more than 30 minutes long.
March 2, 2017 2:55 a.m.
Marchesa, the Black Rose - Like hurting your friend's feelings, you are a monster.
March 2, 2017 5:53 a.m.
Sorry I'm going off topic, but holy shieet Marchesa, the Black Rose looks extremely nasty. Haven't even ever heard of an ability called Dethrone :o
March 2, 2017 6:09 a.m.
Athreos, God of Passage is my favorite commander. In multiplayer games, it's fun sacrificing something like, say a Vampire Hexmage to kill a Superfriends player's planeswalker, then turn to one of his opponents and ask if they would like to pay to keep me from having it back. That example is specific, however things like Fleshbag Marauder and Solemn Simulacrum look even better when they might as well read "target opponent loses 3 life" in addition to the rest of their text. When working with Orzhov colors there is nothing your deck needs to be weak to. B/W has the best exile, mass removal, and reanimation effects. Some other highlights that make Athreos fun are getting to also run: Living Death, Wake the Dead, Cataclysmic Gearhulk, and Magister of Worth. As if all this troll-y fun wasn't enough, remember you are getting the entire table involved, your opponents will have choices to make, making the experience more immersive. Will they pay the 3 life or not, which creature will they sacrifice to one of your Grave Pact effects, can they stop this seemingly endless chain of value. For my example, I present this: Athreos on the River Styx
March 2, 2017 8:45 a.m.
Ok i think I have you. Not sure if you prefer cEDH or casual but my all round favorite commander is Ayesha Tanaka. Multiple reasons for this. First, UW is a strong control strategy. Secondly, her activated ability taxes artifacts' activated abilities. Super strong in commander as it is a stifle for artifacts against non-white producing decks.
Lastly, the greatest part about her. The long feared mechanic. banding.
March 2, 2017 9:34 a.m.
I love generals that offer a variety of decks to build. Queen Marchesa is the current favorite, helming a Stax deck that was once a "Courtroom" style deck. I'may still looking for a good Courtroom general. (Maybe Tasigur?)
March 2, 2017 10:08 a.m.
courtroom general? why not atraxa? not really a stax general but her keywords can create a courtroom with odric as the warden.
March 2, 2017 10:22 a.m.
chaosumbreon87, Courtroom is more about offering choices than locking down a game. In my experience with it, a few stax effects are fine in it, but players are more likely to kill the group hug guy than the Courtroom guy. The decks tend to be fun to pilot & fun to play against.
My List of Courtroom Effects may shed more light toward this obscure archetype.
March 2, 2017 10:31 a.m.
aah okay. I was thinking politics instead of tempting offers. In that case, prossh benefits most from tempting creatures and kills pretty fast. I guess group slug commanders like Norin and Mogis work too for tempting offers.
March 2, 2017 10:37 a.m.
MagicalHacker, basically, yes. Any ideas for a general?
chaosumbreon87, I have enough decks that slug it out, I think. I mainly want interesting games at a more casual/friendly/"over a beer" level
March 2, 2017 10:43 a.m.
Then how about phelddagriff with wincons. Pheldda has multiple ways of winning that no one uses. That might be fun for some people (dingus staff to kill opponents with hippos)
March 2, 2017 10:45 a.m.
I haven't seen anyone mention him yet, so I'll throw in my favorite: Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Credit to MrAwesomeSocks for showing me how much potential the deck had. I won't go into any detail about how he functions because he does a much better job in his deck description:
Commander / EDH
SCORE: 456 | 666 COMMENTS | 79409 VIEWS | IN 209 FOLDERS
March 2, 2017 11:04 a.m.
I might as well toss my hat into the ring.
My current favorite commander Nath of the Gilt-Leaf. This is because he is a very skill intensive commander when played competitively. He is played as a heavy stax commander which intends to strip your opponents of all resources, including hands, and meaningful colors of mana from lands.
Here is my 100% list with a primer and budget version attached at the bottom:
Commander / EDH
SCORE: 66 | 27 COMMENTS | 7546 VIEWS | IN 27 FOLDERS
If you have any questions about the deck please ask! I would be glad to help.
March 2, 2017 12:16 p.m.
As far as Jeskai Ascendancy combos go, I really love Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper and the Ascendancy. An overall commander for this deck that fits nicely is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, plus you get all the benefits of "group hug" and ramp. I built my K&T list around landfall/awaken/Moonfolk triggers and it's crazy fun to pilot and extremely explosive. If you're leaning toward that kind of deck, I would highly recommend it.
March 2, 2017 7:42 p.m.
Selvala is my favorite commander. Click Here if you want to check it out. It's a token deck. But everyone knows it's my best deck but loves playing against it cause they like cards. And parlay is fun and interactive.
March 2, 2017 10:38 p.m.
Ghave, Guru of Spores is probably my second or third favorite Commander. I love that the guy goes infinite with basically everything, and when you have a variety of players with powerful decks (IE, they run removal and generally win around turns 4-6), it can be hilarious to see them try and figure out exactly when to stop your ridiculous combo chains since so many overlapping pieces can easily result in a win.
My Ghave deck is probably my most casual combo deck but I run at least 43 ways to go infinite, typically involving different cards, which usually results in every game being different. I managed infinite tokens off of Strangleroot Geist, Cryptolith Rite, and Ghave himself last night (no one bothered killing Cryptolith Rite because it was, and I quote, "Bad Earthcraft he can't infinite with"), and when I cast Ghave, someone tried exiling him on the spot. I had a couple mana open, still, so I flooded the board with tokens and Chord of Calling'd into Zulaport Cutthroat, winning right there.
There's really nothing better than seeing the looks on people's faces after your Commander's been exiled multiple times, and then they see you dump your library into the graveyard using Reveillark, Saffi Eriksdotter, and Greater Good, bringing back in Triskelion and Karmic Guide, and then Guide brings back Mikaeus, the Unhallowed after being disrupted the whole game. Winning with combos out of nowhere is probably my favorite thing about Commander, and the way I've built Ghave (poorly, most likely) reflects that for me, at least.
March 3, 2017 2:27 a.m.
I forgot to mention Selvala, Explorer Returned as elfball deck. It can often win between turn 4 to 7 (t3 is also possible) and is super fun