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99 Cards Every EDH player should know about

Commander / EDH Aggro Casual Combo Competitive Five Color Midrange


Welcome to part one of my upcoming three part series on commander; today we will be focusing on some cool EDH cards . To elaborate ill be focusing on cards that are common in many EDH decks, not necessarily commanders themselves (though a few will be mentioned) but support cards that many people have not heard about. Keep in mind while reading that this is not a complete list of EDH staple merely a small sample of a vast collection of cards..

As you go through the list you will start to notice certain patterns among these cards; one many of these "staples" will have prices varying between 5-25 dollars, second, many of these cards have recurring keywords like "untap a permanent, or produce additional mana, or sacrifice, these are all common place in EDH. Third, many of these cards will have wide board presence either affecting your entire board, an opponents whole boards, or the whole board in general. Finally, many of these cards will be ones that don't appear in other formats, the opposite is also true many cards that are common place in other formats do not appear often in EDH because they simply are not as good (E.G. Lightning Bolt is incredible in most formats but in EDH its laughable at best).

On a final note for format clarity i will be using the American EDH banned list for reference so cards like Cataclysm will appear but Griselbrand will not. on a further not i may mention only one piece of a combo and then place the additional combo piece in the description of the card, for example Exquisite Blood + Sanguine Bond only exquisite blood will be mention in the description this is to maximize cards in the list.

Note this is not a list of the 99 best EDH cards nor is it a list of cards you should buy this is simply a list of cards you will see or should know about.






Academy Rector- An incredibly powerful card when paired up with sacrifice effects (sac outlets) or board wipes to kill off rector and fetch a card likeOmniscience or Debtors' Knell.

Armageddon- This card is quite hated in EDH for the simple reason there is not a lot a player can do to come back from this in the late game. The reason why it so good is that the person who plays it always knows its coming and has the ability to prepare for it. (E.G. when i played Nahiri, the Lithomancer commander I would not play lands after my 5th land drop so I would be prepared for the Armageddon or Cataclysm to show up).

Asceticism-A green staple card that is common throughout all EDH play. it makes every creature on your board a Thrun, the Last Troll. it protects a players big creatures from everything except mass exile and Wrath of God. Having a "hexproof" board state plus regeneration is quite a problem to face for many opponents as it limits the interaction they can have with a players board.

Ashnod's Altar- Ashnod's alter is a combo piece with many cards. This card serves not only as a free sac outlet but it nets mana for each sacrifice so it goes well with many token decks. In addition to its utility it can go infinite with thopter assembly + ashnod's alter + sword of the meek for infinite life, infinite mana, and infinite creatures.

Assemble the Legion - Assemble did not see much play while it was in standard however in R/W/x commander decks it is considered to be a single card win con. The reason for this is the fact the card exerts increasing pressure with each turn passed. The card works similar to how an unchecked Goblin Rablemaster will work if unchecked;

turn 3 play Goblin Rablemaster make a goblin deal 1

turn 4: make a goblin (2) deal 6 (7 total)

turn 5: make a goblin (3) deal 8 (15 total)

turn 6: make a goblin (4) deal 10 (25 total)

four turns after hitting play rabblemaster will kill if unchecked. Assemble the Legion works in a similar manner.

X is the turn of play

turn x: play and pass.

turn x + 1: make 1 token pass

turn x + 2: make 2 tokens deal 1

turn x + 3: make 3 tokens swing 3 (4)

turn x + 4: make 4 tokens swing 6 (9 total)

turn x + 5: make 5 tokens swing 10 (19 total)

turn x + 6: make 6 tokens swing 15 (36 total)

Even though the damage is initially slower the amount of damage is equivlent over time to rablemaster's (7 turns after play rablemaster will deal 61 legion will deal 51 if unimpeded). however rablemaster is a 2/2 and has to make contact to deal his full damage where as Assemble the Legion is an increasing multitude of individual tokens generated by an enchantment (which is a bit more sturdy in terms of durability).

Basalt Monolith- Along with Grim Monolith these two cards can produce infinite mana with Power Artifact. Basalt Monolith can additionally go infinite with Rings of Brighthearth making it a vital part of EDH combo decks.

Cataclysm - This card is arguably the most powerful board wipe in magic the gathering.The reason is because it can reset once massive board states to a numerically even state but can be heavily weighted in one persons favor, for example someone has a Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and some one who has 100 tokens after cataclysm the Ulamog is the obvious winner.

Its worth noting that for previously stated reasons this card is banned in the foreign duel commander format (for those who are not familiar with the duel commander system it is the same as commander in America however it is a sanction competitive format unlike in America with a different banned list). The committee in charge of the banned list did away with the card in 2014 for the reason stated above. There are no other cards that can cause as much destruction for 4 mana the only card compatible to Cataclysm is Balance which is banned in most formats for the same reasons.

Chaos Warp- Chaos warp is one of the best spot removal spell in commander. The reason chaos warp is so good is because of it ability to target anything on the board including lands and remove them from the field without destroying them. This is major due to the fact it gets around indestructible effects like avacyn angle of hope, or grave yard recursion like Eternal Witness as well as removing commanders from the game.

Child of Alara- This card is usually played in either 5 color control or combo decks as an insurance commander. I wanted to include child on this list to clear up some things about his ability; strictly speaking when his ability goes off. Child ability goes off at death but not if he is returned to the command zone, that is to say if child dies and he is sent to the command zone his ability does not go off it will only go off if he goes to the grave yard and stays there. The reason this is so is due to the nature of the command zone; the command zone acts as a replacement effect for any action that would send the commander to the graveyard or the exile zone.

Deadeye Navigator- Navigator is one of the most powerful card in commander as it creates recurring ETBT (enter the battlefield trigger) with one or more cards. Any creature with an ETBT can be paired with this card to create a powerful combo. Cards like Pestermite can be used to create infinite mana or card draw, cards like archemonacer can be use to take infinite turns or an Eternal Witness for limitless recursion, or if paired Venser, Shaper Savant all spells can be "countered" for U and 1.

Defense of the Heart- . The ability to net any two creatures as early as turn 4 can define an entire game for a player or even end it in many cases. This card can grab multpile finishing combos like kikijiki the mirror breaker, or dead eye navigator and pestermite or just net really strong creature cards early game for aggro.

Doubling Season- This card is quintessential to decks that are designed around tokens, counters, or planeswalkers as it literally doubles all efforts put into these abilities (a fun fact about marath will of the wilds if you target marath with his "remove a counter add a counter" ability while doubling season is out it will put two counters on marath for 1 E.G. marath is a 3/3 remove a counter add 2 marath becomes a 4/4). Notes about this card: it doubles the amount of loyalty counter placed on a planes walker when it enters the battlefield only this affect does no double + abilities (I.E. a +2 does not become a +4).

Elsh Norn grand cenobite- Elsh norn is a very powerful play in any format as the card can turn massive board states into nothing just by hitting play. A note on Elsh norns ability; if multpile Elsh norn are in play on one person side of the field then the cards effects will stack before the legend rules sacrifice effect ( E.G. 2 Elsh norn would cause +/- 4/4.

Exquisite Blood- This card is part of a combo in mono black decks that use Sanguine Bond to do infinite damage. It is also good in any black deck as it essentially says all creatures player controls have lifelink.

Greater Good-This card acts as an instant speed sac outlet as well as netting the player cards and fills graveyard for decks that like to use reanimater or delving strategies.

Homura, Human Ascendant- A lesser known card from kamigawa block

Krenko, Mob Boss-Krenko is an aggressive commnader that tries to make an army of tokens in a very short amount of time. The deck utilize board enhancing effects such as Coat of Arms, Akroma's Memorial, Eldrazi Monument, etc to enhance the effectiveness of the individual token and to create powerful board presence and protection.

Kan silvery golem-to mosthe people there is only one KARN and that's the Karn Liberated, in EDH og Karn can be far more devistating. Mycosynth Lattice hits the field and suddenly only one person has any land.

Mana Vault- Mana rocks are very powerful in EDH as they can accelerate a game quickly for little to no investment. Cards like Mana Vault, Sol Ring, and Mana Crypt are all common place in EDH.

Mycosynth Lattice- An odd but powerful card; once lattice hits play the entire game is in jeopardy of coming to a complete halt. Cards like neveral disk, or hurkley's recall become mass board wipes. Also cards like Karn, Silver Golem that have direct interactions with artifacts gain immense power. Finally the card Stony Silence will lockout most opponents from the game; this is because Stony Silence does not exclude mana abilities so lands (which are now artifacts) cannot produce mana as that is an activated ability (the literal reading of any land card is tap add x mana to your mana pool).

Polymorph- Polymorph combo decks work by destroy a token creature (or the commander) and then bringing out the only creature in the deck (usually a blightsseel collosus or an Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre) and then using that creature to win the game.

Omniscience- legacy players may be familiar with this card from omni tell, if not become familiar with it, this card is in every mono blue deck.

Progenitor Mimic-This card is similar to dead eye navigator in that is incredible with any creature with a ETBT and creates a great deal of power on the board.

Reliquary Tower- This card prevents card loss in games from over drawing or from effects like jin-gitaxis core auger. For most cases this card should find a spot in every EDH deck.

Sliver Legion- This is the main tribal card in slivers as it is basically a Coat of Arms on a stick. The main difference is that this card is searchable through Sliver Overlord

Spell Crumple- the commander counter spell Is almost identical to Hinder with the exception of spell crumple's built in recursion. Like Hinder this card serves as a way to remove commanders from the game by placing them at the bottom of their owners library and also serves as a combo piece with Tunnel Vision.

Staff of Domination- This card can be baffling to first time players; why is it good? As a rule of thumb in magic if it can untap it's self there is a way to make it go infinite. Metalworker makes it really easy to go infinite. Even if one cant combo out it nets life gain and recurring card advantage EOT (end of turn).

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir- When this card is played the controlling player has gain a major advantage over their opponents as the controlling player has just limited the amount of interaction an opponent can have with the player. Teferi is a big barrier in EDH as he doesn't allow an opponent any interaction with the controlling player outside of there own turn on their main phase, when an opponent cannot respond to the players movements then a very dangerous situation is created.

Winter Orb- a lockout card that stops bigger decks from taking hold on the game. along with Static Orb are used in lockout decks to limit the amount of play an opponent can make while either being insignificant to the controlling player or not a problem.

Thankyou for reading this if you have any questions or comments please leave them below for others to see. Remember when commenting this isn't a list of the top 99 commander cards it's simply a list of 99 important commander cards that players should be aware of.



Updates Add

The new update on commander allows a replacement effect for tuck effects that would place a commander into the library or into the hand; it could then be placed in the command zone instead. This makes some major changes to the format as cards like Hinder and Spell Crumple are much less useful now. In this light I will he updating this list in a week to reflect this change.


Top Ranked
  • Achieved #7 position overall 6 years ago
Date added 6 years
Last updated 6 years

This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

26 - 0 Mythic Rares

60 - 0 Rares

11 - 0 Uncommons

1 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.80
Tokens 1/1 Soldier, 8/8 Beast, 1/1 Goblin, 5/5 Dragon, 2/2 Zombie, */* Generic, 0/1 Plant
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