Changing Commanders

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on July 21, 2021, 3:20 p.m. by DrukenReaps

So I had this pillow fort group slug deck led by Queen Marchesa for a long time. She had a few good synergies with the deck like Solitary Confinement and Chandra's Ignition but the deck really didn't do well if peeps killed off a few good enchants. It is now led by Ghen, Arcanum Weaver . I made some changes to better take advantage of him but to me it is pretty much the same deck.

I've only done this one other time where I decided to change my colorless deck from Karn, Silver Golem to Kozilek, the Great Distortion . In that case the change was made because I find Karn too oppressive by easily wiping out lands. Though I'd say that deck is significantly different from the original.

What decks of yours were led by one commander and then after some play time you changed to a different one? Do you do this a lot? Do you think of it as the same deck now or did it change too much?

RNR_Gaming says... #2

I played Maelstrom Wanderer for a long time just RNG value town. I switched to animar, it didnt work as well with the same layout then I super modified it to the point where it wasnt even the same deck but was way more consistent and back breaking; won a handful of fnm tournments with it but I've toned it down so my other decks could have the better interaction/mana rocks.

July 21, 2021 4:01 p.m.

I tried making an impulse-draw deck with Hazoret at the helm (who needs cards in hand with cards in exile?), but once I discovered Syr Carah I knew I had to switch.

The deck evolved to become much more powerful, stormy, and less interactive, purely because that's how Syr Carah plays.

July 21, 2021 4:02 p.m.

My watermark decks all have a number of legendary creatures so I can swap them around for fun. It usually changes the play style a little, but not usually dramatically. I recommend it!

July 21, 2021 4:14 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #5

I have never swapped the same deck to another commander. With the way I build my commander decks they would not just function differently, they would cease to function. All of the cards would of course still be castable and I guess they would "function" on some level, but it just wouldn't scratch my Timmy itch in the same way.

July 21, 2021 4:52 p.m.

1empyrean says... #6

I think I could swap in most 5 color commander options in place of Tazri, Beacon of Unity and be...ok. That said, I wouldn't do it. Its a party deck to the core.

July 21, 2021 5:23 p.m.

RambIe says... #7

new cards come, old cards get updated. The commander is no exception
complete opposite note, my wife has 6 decks that she swaps out with Oloro, Ageless Ascetic as the commander and all with the same card sleeves. so that no one knows what strategy she is going to use

July 21, 2021 6:39 p.m.

Profet93 says... #8


I used to have an Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed deck but changed the commander to Sidisi, Undead Vizier . For one more mana, I get a better body that automatically tutors rather than paying an extra 2 (at best) for Demonic tutor. Xiahou dun was swapped into the 99 and eventually taken out due to the slightly new direction. Overall I'm very happy with it. People always groan and think it's cEDH Sidisi but fail to realize that a tutor in the command zome can prompt different strategies should you be creative enough :)

July 21, 2021 10:20 p.m.

Metroid_Hybrid says... #9

There is a section in my Yargle deck where I describe how the deck went through an identity crisis at one point and (temporarily) switched up Commanders for a minute.

Sorry for the copy & paste, but here it is..

Upon seeing the original Yargle, Glutton of Urborg spoiler, I knew that the Meme-experience that is Yargle was going to become my next Commander deck. And so the epic Voltron-Meme deck was born, and it was good...

However over the course of playing and refining, off & on for over a year or so, I had eventually painted myself into corner. This led to me (temporary) turning this into a Korlash, Heir to Blackblade deck. But Korlash just never hit as hard as Yargle, and in the end just wasn't as strong overall...

Then the Happy Yargle Day Secret Lair came out. This inspired me to reconvert this back into a Yargle deck, in order to have a proper home for my copy of Fatal Push .

The primary difference from the original build is that I largely retained the heavy emphasis on "hard" Ramp > Mana Rocks, and the general Swamp -based subtheme from the Korlash build.

July 21, 2021 10:48 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #10

I do this all the time. My Mina and Denn, Wildborn landfall was turned into Rhonas the Indomitable big mana, into Omnath, Locus of Mana big mana storm. My The Locust God wheels&draw deck, at least the red part, got absorbed into Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion . My boros equipment commander used to be Archangel Avacyn  Flip, then went jeskai for a bit with Akiri, Line-Slinger / Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist , and then back to boros, with Akiri+ Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist . Athreos, God of Passage split up in Heliod, God of the Sun and Rankle, Master of Pranks . 5c Golos, Tireless Pilgrim enchantress went Klothys, God of Destiny enchantress, while the mana base is currently making its way to Najeela, the Blade-Blossom .

My decks are always in motion, and when I acquire new legendaries, I do like to fiddle around to see if my decks can get more interesting. Of course, it very much depends on the rest of the deck if I'd still consider it the same deck. Klothys enchantress is completely different from Golos enchantress, but the big mana green decks have always played similarly, making 100 mana and pumping a mana dork with Rhonas for lethal is fun, but if you can make 100 mana, your deck is just more suited to be mono G Omnath. Rhonas is still in the 99. When I made boros equipment, we hadn't started the surge of great boros equipment legends yet that we are enjoying now, naturally I found better choices over time for that.

July 22, 2021 12:07 a.m.

My first edh deck was Kamahl, Fist of Krosa because I read the odyssey series novels and loved his character. I was new to the format and didn’t know yet how to properly form a deck. Fast forward about a year to the M15 spoiler season when Yisan, the Wanderer Bard got spoiled. I fell for Yisan immediately, and transitioned my Kamahl deck into a Yisan deck. Very few of the cards are the same at this point in time. I was quite happy with my Yisan deck because I made it on my own (I don’t think edhrec was a thing yet) and quickly gained the ire of my former play group

July 22, 2021 8:45 a.m.

My first ever commander deck was an homage to an intro deck with zombies I had - one of my first ever purchases in magic. I tried to recreate that magic with Varina, Lich Queen but it didn't feel right, so I changed the deck to be led by Grimgrin, Corpse-Born with Gisa and Geralf as alternative commanders and I've never looked back.

At the moment I am wondering if I should change my angel deck away from being led by Kenrith, the Returned King since the few times I've gotten to play it, the deck was a little oppresive for my brothers. But I don't quite know yet if it is the commander, the intense ramp or just the angels that are too hard to deal with. So I sometimes change the commander, but my decks are normally built around a commander I love as a card so I am often hesitant to changing them rather than the deck.

July 22, 2021 10:11 a.m.

golgarigirl says... #13

My enchantment deck was a 5-color deck, houseruled to be led by Genju of the Realm , then Chromanticore . Then, as of our second visit to Theros, I felt I had enough gas to cut the red and black and run Tuvasa the Sunlit .

My temur token clone deck used to be Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer , added green with Tana, the Bloodsower + Thrasios, Triton Hero , changed to Riku of Two Reflections after I got tired of Thrasios' shenanigans, switched to Tana, the Bloodsower + Sakashima of a Thousand Faces after getting annoyed with Riku, did a stint as Esix, Fractal Bloom , and then I realized I live for the stupid stuff red adds to the deck that I went back to Tana + Sakashima.

July 23, 2021 7:07 p.m.

D2Vincent says... #14

For the longest time, I had Thraximundar as the commander of The Phyrexian Undead until I eventually decided to switch him with Marchesa, the Black Rose who was already in the 99. Now I can actually play and even recur ol' Thrax since he isn't constrained to the Command Zone, and the rest of the deck runs much better with Marchesa than it ever did with Thraximundar.

Originally, the deck was strictly about proliferating whatever I happened to have on the board, then I went almost the complete opposite going SUPER Heavy into Zombie-Tribal, then I decided that wasn't what I wanted to do since it didn't synergize well with my Proliferate shenanigans. About that time was when I made my commander change, and since then it's become more focused on Fling effects attached to my creatures, like Dreadhorde Butcher , Stalking Vengeance , etc.

July 25, 2021 4:22 p.m.

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