The best Magic: The Gathering commanders in 2023 tend to be the ones that are incredibly strong in their own rights, but also allow access to powerful strategies, or just synergise incredibly well with just about every potential playstyle in the popular MTG format.
We’ve gone through the nigh on infinite number of legendary creatures in Magic: The Gathering, plus the occasional planeswalker, to find what we believe to be the best MTG commanders you can build at the moment.
Best MTG commanders 2023
- Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice
- Jodah, the Unifier
- Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
- Edgar Markov
- Narset, Enlightened Exile
- Muldrotha, the Gravetide
- Thalia and The Gitrog Monster
- Lathril, Blade of the Elves
- Aragorn, the Uniter
- Tivit, Seller of Secrets
Each of these creatures can absolutely run away with a game if left unchecked, and they’re also a blast to play with. After all, Commander as a format is generally viewed as being fun-first, which means that you really need to enjoy the deck you’re playing. That does mean that everyone’s list of the best MTG commanders will likely look completely different, but we’ve tried to reflect a multitude of playstyles here to make sure everyone has a card they can relate to.
While a lot of these creatures are on the newer end of things, some older commanders are just too overclocked to beat consistently. As such, this list is a pretty good show of MTG commanders from through the ages. We’ve even included a recent commander from this year’s Tales of Middle-earth set.
Let’s get stuck in, and then you can get on with building your Commander deck.
1. Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice
Does it all
Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice is a Green, White, Blue and Black four-mana 4/4 with flying, vigilance, deathtouch and lifelink. Honestly, just that would probably make Atraxa one of the best commanders in MTG, but Atraxa also allows you to proliferate at the beginning of your end step. In other words, you can choose any number of players or permanents and put another counter on them of any kind they already have.
This means that you can put another loyalty counter on your planeswalkers, put another +1/+1 counter on your creatures, or a shield counter, or an extra -1/-1 counter on an opponent’s creature, or even an extra poison counter.
It’s a staggeringly potent ability, happens every turn and it’s on an already excellent commander who gives you access to four different colours in the deck to boot.
2. Jodah, the Unifier
Ah Jodah, what a guy. Jodah, the Unifier, is a five-mana White, Blue, Black, Red and Green 5/5 that grants all legendary creatures you control +X/+X, where X is the number of legendary creatures you control. That’s a wonderful ability, and the kind of thing that can end a game very quickly.
However, Jodah also reads: “Whenever you cast a legendary spell from your hand, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a legendary nonland card with lesser mana value. You may cast that card without paying its mana cost. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.” That effectively gives you legendary cascade - in that the normal cascade ability does basically the same thing, but for any spell instead of just legendary ones - and playing cards for free is always the kind of thing that can win a game with ease.
3. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
Treasure for all
While Korvold isn’t specifically a treasure-based MTG commander, his ability compliments those glorious little tokens so well that he often sits atop the kind of treasure that Smaug would be envious of. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King is a five-mana Black, Red and Green 4/4 with flying.
Whenever this card enters the battlefield or attacks, you have to sacrifice another permanent. That would be a downside in some decks, but you also get to put a +1/+1 counter on Korvold and draw a card whenever you sacrifice a permanent. As such, this card is an absolute engine that not only gets stronger, but refills your hand as it does so.
4. Edgar Markov
Edgar Markov is a six-mana Red, White and Black 4/4 with first strike and haste. When he attacks, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on each vampire you control.
On top of that, he also has the keyword “eminence” - which means he has a special ability that works whether the commander is on the battlefield or in the command zone. That ability reads: “Whenever you cast another Vampire spell, if Edgar Markov is in the command zone or on the battlefield, create a 1/1 black Vampire creature token.”
Being able to double the number of vampires you cast is massive, and then being able to give them all more power and toughness by just attacking with Edgar Markov is hard to beat.
5. Narset, Enlightened Exile
The new version of Narset from March of the Machine: Aftermath is a brilliant commander. Narset, Enlightened Exile is a four-mana Blue, Red and White 3/4 that gives all of your creatures prowess. Prowess is an ability that gives a creature +1/+1 until end of turn whenever you cast a noncreature spell. This stacks; so if a creature already has prowess already, it then gets +2/+2 for each noncreature spell instead.
Narset’s card reads: “Whenever Narset, Enlightened Exile attacks, exile target noncreature, nonland card with mana value less than Narset’s power from a graveyard and copy it. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost.”
While this seems as though it’ll only be good for cards under three mana value, it actually does a lot more than that because Narset has prowess herself - meaning her power can go up very quickly. It also means you can double-cast amazing spells with ease, and even bring back enchantments and planeswalkers.
6. Muldrotha, the Gravetide
The graveyard is your hand now
Muldrotha, the Gravetide is a six-mana Black, Green and Blue 6/6. It allows you to play a land and cast a permanent spell of each permanent type from your graveyard once per turn. That means you can bring back a creature, a planeswalker, an artifact and an enchantment as long as you have the mana for them.
It also means that you’ll want to fill this commander deck with permanents, and then basically enjoy never having them truly go away - because even if they get destroyed again, you can just recast them.
Being able to just play every card you want, whether it’s in your hand or the graveyard, makes Muldrotha very annoying to play against, but very satisfying to play with.
7. Thalia and The Gitrog Monster
The combination of two creatures still feels a bit like fan fiction, but here we are in a world where Thalia and The Gitrog Monster isn’t just a single MTG commander, but a very good one. This four-mana White, Black and Green 4/4 with both first strike and death touch - essentially making it nearly unkillable in combat - is the best of both creatures.
This card allows you to play one extra land on each of your turns, makes both creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped, and also allows you to sacrifice a creature or a land when attacking, before you get to draw a card. It’s a ridiculous list of abilities that’ll have your opponent crying.
8. Lathril, Blade of the Elves
Lathril, Blade of the Elves is a four-mana Black and Green 2/3 with menace that allows you to create 1/1 elf warrior tokens equal to the combat damage it deals to other players. If you can make it into a 10/10 and it hits someone, not only will you deal 10 damage to them, you’ll also get ten brand-new 1/1 elf warrior tokens.
Aside from this being useful for defending against attacks or suddenly rebuilding an elf army, it also allows you to use Lathril’s other ability. You can tap Lathril and ten untapped elves you control to make everyone else lose 10 life, and you gain 10 life. If you combine this with something like Seedborn Muse, which allows you to untap your cards more often, you can end a Commander game very suddenly.
9. Aragorn, the Uniter
Here’s our latest and greatest MTG commander from Tales of Middle-earth. It is, of course, Aragorn, the Uniter. There are a lot of cool commanders in Magic: The Gathering’s Lord of the Rings set, but Aragon, the Uniter is our favourite. This four-mana Red, Green, White and Blue 5/5 has a laundry list of abilities.
Said list reads: “Whenever you cast a white spell, create a 1/1 white Human Soldier creature token. Whenever you cast a blue spell, scry 2. Whenever you cast a red spell, Aragorn, the Uniter deals 3 damage to target opponent. Whenever you cast a green spell, target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.”
What’s really cool about this is that if you cast a spell that’s both Green and Red, you’ll get to deal damage and make a creature larger. Play this in a multicolour deck and you’ll be generating so much extra value with each spell you cast that you’ll never play another Commander deck again.
10. Tivit, Seller of Secrets
Are you sure about that?
Tivit, Seller of Secrets isn’t really one of the top commanders when it comes to pure power, but it leans so far into the political side of the meta-game that it’ll likely be some players’ favourite MTG commander by far. This six-mana White, Blue and Black 6/6 with flying and ward three allows you to vote an additional time.
Along with that, it reads: “Whenever Tivit enters the battlefield or deals combat damage to a player, starting with you, each player votes for evidence or bribery. For each evidence vote, investigate. For each bribery vote, create a Treasure token.”
All you need to do then is fill your Commander deck with cards that make people vote, and just sit back as everyone squabbles and you gain more power.