Understimated Commanders

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on April 14, 2019, 7:06 a.m. by ShutUpMokuba

Hello everyone,

Being the underdog in a commander game is an advantage because the opponents focus more on other players giving you the time to build up your strategy. Who are your favourite commanders that everyone understimated the first time you've used them?

Mine was Sygg, River Cutthroat .. Being a fan of the Professor i wanted to give him a try, as he suggested, and the result was great. Everyone laughed at my commander, no one cared about me untill they realized they had basically lost..

TypicalTimmy says... #2

I have a Rosheen Meanderer deck on here that I have been using IRL. I haven't bought the deck yet; Rather I bring my laptop to my friend's houses and if they are cool with me playtesting it, I do. And of course I am nice and hide the hand and turn the laptop so they can see my board presence while it is not my turn, giving them a fair advantage against me for allowing me to use this.

They love the deck and it is currently in the stages of being tweaked and refined. But yes, nobody expects that extra to mean anything, until you burn them all to the ground or amass an army of tokens out of nowhere >:3


Commander / EDH TypicalTimmy


April 14, 2019 7:10 a.m.

iAzire says... #3

My Daxos the Returned deck that is much more competitive than people assume. It's well tuned, can win fast, and nobody ever expects it. It also has multiple win lines so if people have played against the deck before, I can usually mix it up and win another way.

Epic of Daxos

Commander / EDH* iAzire


April 14, 2019 7:19 a.m.

DrukenReaps says... #4

I had a Karn, Silver Golem deck that was underestimated for a short time. Even 10-ish years ago there were dirty combos to play in it, lol. I did Darksteel Forge + Nevinyrral's Disk + Mycosynth Lattice several games in a row and since then I rarely get a game where I go unmolested for long. Doesn't matter what I play now but I deserve it, lol.

April 14, 2019 7:35 a.m.

Mj3913 says... #5

Isperia used to be an underdog when it first started. Now she's known as an annoying cousin you dont want to visit. :P Offers enough disruption to shut down/off combos, and enough tools for any deck. Listed as a tier 4 commander, I think she should be higher.

Isperia's Flying Circus of Tools

Commander / EDH Mj3913


April 14, 2019 8:27 a.m.

kanokarob says... #6

A major part of why And I'll Pay a Red | Only 5 Red Spells! *PRIMER* does so well is because Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient is so underestimated. He comes out of nowhere and steals games, its fantastic.

April 14, 2019 8:36 a.m.

Metroid_Hybrid says... #7

Yargle, Glutton of Urborg has been the humble salt-miner that I’ve been running for a few months now.. People tend to laugh at a Commander with literally no abilities... at first, that is...

They don’t laugh at Yargle anymore..

Nasty Nate, your new cell mate..

Commander / EDH Metroid_Hybrid


April 14, 2019 9:15 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #8

Well, I am a fan of Selvala, Explorer Returned . A group-hug effect tacked onto a name more recognizable in its mono-green form, however, I found that Selvala, Explorer Returned gives roughly 3-4 mana on tap. That is an amazing advantage.

Take abuse of this, with effects like Smothering Tithe , Well of Lost Dreams , or Paradox Engine , use more untap-effects like Instill Energy , Quirion Ranger , Scryb Ranger , Wirewood Symbiote , Vitalize , Nature's Chosen (A favorite), Emerald Charm , and numerous other green untap effects that cost less than the tap on Selvala herself, and you can storm off through your deck, just trying to find Paradox Engine , Well of Lost Dreams , or another payoff, and you will draw your deck.

Run any number of wincons, a favorite of mine being Altar of the Brood , Cloudstone Curio , Instill Energy , and Nature's Chosen , or whatever you want, and you get to mill out each opponent.

How do you do this when you have to draw your opponents ~20-30 cards when going off? Silence or Autumn's Veil , Grand Abolisher , City of Solitude . Whatever you want!

This list is just an unbudgeted variant: Selvala Hugstorm (Semi-Competitive Combo)

April 14, 2019 10:08 a.m.

griffstick says... #9

I agree with SynergyBuild that
Selvala, Explorer Returned is underestimated

April 14, 2019 11:42 a.m.

Toshiro Umezawa can be built to be devastating, especially in a creature-heavy meta. My primer for him is here.

April 14, 2019 11:48 a.m.

griffstick says... #11

April 14, 2019 11:52 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #12

April 14, 2019 11:54 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #13

on tap if you flip all 8 nonlands... you get 16 life, 16 green mana, 7 treasure tokens if they don't pay mana, you may pay up to the 16 mana you just got to draw 32 cards, and you already drew 2 cards on the tap...

That's just from tapping a 3 drop...

April 14, 2019 11:57 a.m.

I mean... tapping a 3-drop with two four-drops, a five-drop, and a six-drop in play as well.

April 14, 2019 12:30 p.m.

dbpunk says... #15

Honestly no one expects my Surrak Dragonclaw deck to be any good until I drop like a single combo. And even then the combos in that deck are weak compared to cedh combos.

April 14, 2019 1:38 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #16

I actually have two decks with two surprising commanders that my opponents have learned to be very wary of. First is an Odric, Lunarch Marshal deck that basically gives my guys every keyword at an alarming rate- which sounds much less powerful than it actually is.

White Power(s)

Commander / EDH ZendikariWol


Second is my baby. My favorite deck- the deck I have tried to put together for SO LONG, and now my dream has come to fruition. Saskia the Unyielding. ... No, I’m not joking. And what’s the archetype? POLITICS!! In short, the goal is to make it as unpleasant as possible for opponents to attack and then -what else- make them attack! They underestimate her at first but soon they see. They all see.

You Move to Combat aaand, There Goes the Board

Commander / EDH ZendikariWol


April 14, 2019 4:11 p.m.

pizzagod13 says... #17

Personally I like Phelddagrif . You won’t be laughing when I drop a New Frontiers !

Seriously thought, in my playgroup my happy hippo deck almost always places second. Which is pretty neat.

April 15, 2019 10:08 a.m.

chirz2792 says... #18

Nobody ever pays attention to my Ephara, God of the Polis deck until it's too late for them to stop me.

April 15, 2019 2:59 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #19

pizzagod13 I play Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis and they never see the one copy of Rubblehulk coming!

April 15, 2019 3:06 p.m.

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