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10 best mono-red Commander cards in Magic: The Gathering

Crimson peaks.

Image credit: Wizards of the Coast/Eric Deschamps

The best mono-red Commander cards in Magic: The Gathering are a veritable smorgasbord of angry creatures and unusual spells. There are so many incredible Red cards in MTG as a whole, and Commander gets access to the vast majority of them. While other MTG mana colours like to take a more considered approach to the game, Red is all about ending things quickly and efficiently.

However, even within that, there are countless different strategies or commanders you could use to show off your colours. We’ve picked out the best mono-red MTG Commander cards from amongst the thousands available to save you the hassle if you’re wondering what you can add to your Commander deck.

Best mono-red Commander cards MTG

Red has some of the best cards in Magic: The Gathering, no matter what format you’re playing in. However, in Commander, it’s especially good at either rushing your opponents, punishing them for playing more complex decks or just comboing off and suddenly winning the game in a single turn. We’ve tried to make sure this list encompasses the many faces of Red, so let’s dive in.


1. Deflecting Swat

Reverse Uno

Deflecting Swat is a great mono-red card at three mana. For free? It's exceptional. Image: Wizards of the Coast

First up is Deflecting Swat, a three-mana instant that is actually completely free if you control a commander. That’s right: you don’t even have to spend mana to cast this as long as you control a commander, and it doesn’t even have to be your own.

This spell simply allows you to choose new targets for a spell or ability, which means you can redirect a lethal spell, a nasty planeswalker ability or even something just mildly inconvenient. It’s an incredibly powerful spell even at three mana - but for free it’s the kind of thing that Dire Straits would sing about.


2. Storm-Kiln Artist

Is it art?

Storm-Kiln Artist isn't an obvious mono-red creature highlight, but its ability to create treasure tokens can make it powerful in the right Commander deck. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Storm-Kiln Artist is a four-mana 2/2 with uncommon rarity. It’s not the kind of thing you might expect in a list of the best mono-red Commander cards, but hear us out.

For starters, this creature gets +1/+0 for every artifact you control, making it a very power-heavy card in some decks.

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However, its real strength is the fact that whenever you cast or copy an instant or a sorcery spell, you get to create a Treasure token, which you can sacrifice for any colour of mana you want, whenever you want. Basically, if you play a deck filled with one-mana spells, they will always pay for themselves - and that’s absurd.


3. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Unlimited power

A powerful mono-red MTG card in any format, Kiki-Jiki can be paired with creatures that untap it in order to bring out a lot of creatures, very quickly. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Here we have the creature responsible for most creature combos in Red. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is a five-mana 2/2 with haste, and an intense tap ability. You can tap it to create a token of a nonlegendary creature, give it haste and then sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.

The main thing this is used for is to combo it with a creature that untaps something as it enters, thereby untapping Kiki-Jikki and allowing you to loop the process until you have one million creatures. However, even just copying something like a Solemn Simulacrum for an extra bit of card draw and land ramp is more than worthwhile.


4. Chaos Warp

Surprise!

Chaos Warp is a common sight among the best mono-red Commander cards - and for good reason. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Chaos Warp is probably the most popular mono-red MTG card in Commander. This three-mana instant can get rid of any permanent you want, and reads: “The owner of target permanent shuffles it into their library, then reveals the top card of their library. If it’s a permanent card, they put it onto the battlefield.”

You can even use this on your own stuff if you have faith that the top card of your library is something powerful. That level of flexibility is altogether too powerful, and Chaos Warp should be in every mono-red deck you make.


5. Purphoros, God of the Forge

Death by a thousand burns

Purphoros needs five devotion to Red to become a creature - but in a mono-red Commander deck, that's unlikely to be a problem! Image: Wizards of the Coast

If you’d rather kill your opponent with 100 triggers than just one big one, then Purphoros, God of the Forge is the mono-red card for you. This four-mana enchantment creature is a 6/5 with indestructible, and doesn’t actually become a creature unless you have at least five devotion to Red. Basically, if you control permanent cards with at least five Red mana symbols this thing can attack and defend.

You can pay three mana to give all of your creatures +1/+0 until the end of the turn, but the main ability is that Purphoros will deal two damage to each opponent every time a creature enters on your side of the battlefield. Remember how Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker can make infinite creatures? Well, here’s another win condition.


6. Blood Moon

Seeing Red

Blood Moon is the perfect pick for a mono-red Commander deck, rewarding Red players while punishing decks in any other colour. Image: Wizards of the Coast

There’s a lot of dignity in playing a single colour in Commander. Sure, you have more cards to choose from if you go with more colours, but you also complicate your mana base. Blood Moon wants to punish those decks for you.

This three-mana enchantment turns all nonbasic lands into Mountains. This means that they can then only tap for Red mana - and if your opponent doesn’t even have Red in their deck, it could well win you the game on the spot.


7. Faithless Looting

Praise be

Faithless Looting helps overcome Red's weak ability to draw cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast

One of the weaknesses of Red is card advantage. There are ways to draw cards, but they often have a downside. Faithless Looting appears to be one of those cards on the face of things, but it nearly always works out.

This one-mana sorcery allows you to draw two cards and then discard two cards. You can then pay three mana and exile it from your graveyard to do it again. While discarding cards might not sound good, there are decks where you’ll want to be doing that anyway, and it never hurts to chuck away the extra land you’re drawing or a creature that’s no longer good enough.


8. Sunbird’s Invocation

Free stuff!

Is 7 your lucky number? This mono-red card lets you cast costly spells for free if the numbers work out. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Sunbird’s Invocation is a six-mana enchantment that reads: “Whenever you cast a spell from your hand, reveal the top X cards of your library, where X is that spell’s mana value. You may cast a spell with mana value X or less from among cards revealed this way without paying its mana cost. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.”

That’s a lot of text, but basically: if you play a card that costs seven mana, you get to look at the top seven cards of your deck, and then cast a spell from among those cards that costs seven mana or less for free. How could you not love that effect?

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9. Electrodominance

Targeted removal+

Remove your opponent's creatures and play your own - Electrodominance lives up to its name. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Speaking of free stuff, Electrodominance is an instant spell that costs X and two Red mana. It can deal X damage to any target you choose, which is incredibly useful as both a removal spell and something to finish off a player who has too many creatures to defend with.

It also allows you to then cast a card from your hand with a mana value of X or less for free, which means you get even more value. You can easily remove a big threat someone else controls and play your own one, all in one turn.


10. Blasphemous Act

To live is a sin

Immense power at a variable price: Blasphemous Act is a mono-red Commander card that can quickly wipe the battlefield of creatures. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Finally, we have one of the greatest mass removal spells in Magic: The Gathering: Blasphemous Act. Aside from having an intensely metal name, this spell can clear a board in a flashy way. This sorcery spell deals 13 damage to each creature on the battlefield, but it does cost nine mana.

Naturally though, it’s not that straightforward. Blasphemous Act actually costs one generic mana less for each creature on the battlefield, and it can actually cost as little as one mana. Being able to wipe the board for a single mana is an incredible thing, so it’s easy to see why you should have a few copies of this card in your collection.

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Jason Coles avatar

Jason Coles

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Jason spends a lot of time shuffling, sleeving up cards and playing decks that are bad. It's for this reason that he loves card games, even if they don't always love him. His poison of choice is Magic: The Gathering, but he'll play anything really, as it doesn't pay to be picky.

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