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10 best Magic: The Gathering commanders 2024

Leading the way.

Image credit: Yongjae Choi/Wizards of the Coast

The best MTG commanders in 2024 is a very tight fight. There are just so many legendary creatures in Magic: The Gathering, and there are even some planeswalker that can helm a deck - along with a vehicle, too.

Best MTG commanders 2024

All of this makes finding the best commanders in MTG kind of tricky. We’d always recommend choosing a commander that you like the abilities or flavour of when building your Commander deck, but if you want to know you’re picking a powerhouse for the popular MTG format, you’ll want to pick one of these ten commanders because they’re going to let you come out swinging.

According to Magic: The Gathering’s Gatherer card database, at the time of writing there are more than 2,000 legendary creatures in the game. While some of these are banned, most of these are viable as commanders. That means that if you’ve got a strategy in mind, you’ll likely be able to find at least one that fits into what you want.

Why Commander is the best way to play Magic: The GatheringWatch on YouTube

While many of the best MTG commanders shine in one single kind of deck, though, a few of them can also lead decks that flit between different strategies and styles. Our list of the top commanders in Magic: The Gathering pulls from a few different precons from throughout the years, different sets and runs the gamut of colour identities, so you can find the perfect leader for you.


1. Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice

Still absurd

Atraxa would be one of the best commanders in MTG just by virtue of its keywords - but the power to proliferate during your end step makes it even more potent | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice was launched as part of the Commander 2016 precons. Despite that being eight years ago, Atraxa remains one of, if not the, best legendary creatures in the game. There are a few reasons for this. One of those is that this green, white, blue and black 4/4 has Flying, Vigilance, Deathtouch and Lifelink - but it’s mostly the other ability.

This version of Atraxa allows you proliferate during each of your end steps. Proliferate allows you to choose any number of permanents and/or players and add another counter of any counter they already have. That means you can play Atraxa in poison decks, +1/+1 counter decks, planeswalker decks and basically anything else that uses counters. It’s absurd, and if you can trigger it more than you’re meant to, you’ll run away with the game at a frightening pace.


2. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Sacrifice everything

Korvold is the ideal MTG commander for fans of treasure tokens. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

If you like treasure decks, decks that want things in the graveyard, decks that steal permanents and then sacrifice them, or just the idea of being a dragon noble, then Korvold is the MTG commander for you. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King is a five-mana black, red and green 4/4 with Flying. When it enters or attacks, you have to sacrifice another permanent.

That sounds bad, but whenever you sacrifice a permanent, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on Korvold and then draw a card. This works with all permanent types, and means that if you sacrifice a treasure token, you not only get the mana from the token itself, but Korvold gets stronger - and you draw a card, too.


3. Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

The least surprising surprise

Yuriko can enter the battlefield instantly using its ninjutsu ability. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

One of the worst things about Commander is when your commander gets killed off a lot and ends up costing too much to cast. As such, anything that can get around that issue is pretty powerful. Not only can Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow get around that, but they can do so at instant speed and for only two mana.

This three-mana 1/3 allows you to ninjutsu it onto the field for one blue and one black as long as a creature you attack with is unblocked. Not only that, but when a ninja - which they are - deals combat damage to an opponent, you get to reveal the top card of your library, put it into your hand and then each opponent loses life equal to that card’s mana value. It’s exceptional.


4. The Ur-Dragon

Dragon ambush

With a whopping 10/10 and the power to draw and cast cards when your dragons attack, The Ur-Dragon is worth its mighty nine-mana cost. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

We like Scion of the Ur-Dragon a lot, but if you don’t mind ramping up a bit more, The Ur-Dragon is incredibly mighty as a MTG commander. This nine-mana 10/10 is every colour and has Flying. It also has Eminence, which means that as long as it’s in the command zone or on the battlefield, it’ll make dragon spells you cast cost one less to cast.

On top of that, it reads: “Whenever one or more Dragons you control attack, draw that many cards, then you may put a permanent card from your hand onto the battlefield.” Everyone likes free stuff, and that free stuff is even better if it’s a 15-mana Earthquake Dragon.


5. Edgar Markov

That’s clearly too many vampires

Edgar Markov is the perfect MTG commander for a vampire deck, summoning Vampire tokens and boosting his fellow bloodsuckers' power and toughness. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Edgar Markov is currently worth more than $150 to buy as a single. That’s probably all you need to know. Just in case you need more though, this six-mana red, white and black 4/4 with both First Strike and Haste also has an eminence ability; whenever you cast another vampire, you get to create a 1/1 Vampire token.

If that wasn’t enough, whenever Edgar Markov attacks, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on each vampire you control. Not only does that make your tokens stronger, but it means that Edgar Markov gets stronger too. Simply combine this with ways to make Edgar unblockable, or ways to repeat combat, and you’ve got a game plan.


6. Prosper, Tome-Bound

Treasure and card-draw

Prosper gives you the option to exile the top card of your library to play it on your next turn, generating a treasure token if you do. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Tiefling warlock Prosper, Tome-Bound is a four-mana black and red 1/4 with Deathtouch that does a lot all on its own, but none of that is really combat-based. That’s not an issue though, because Prosper can generate a lot of card-draw and mana.

Prosper allows you to exile the top card of your library at the end of your turn, and you can play that until the end of your next turn. On top of that, whenever you play a card from exile you get to create a treasure token. If you focus your deck on playing things from exile then you’ll get a small mana cashback every time and get to blitz through your deck to find every answer you need.


7. Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Unkillable

Meren of Clan Nel Toth is one of MTG's older commanders, but still one of its best. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Meren of Clan Nel Toth is a Magic: The Gathering commander from way back in 2015. She’s a mighty four-mana black and green 3/4 that plays with the Experience mechanic. Whenever another creature you control dies while Meren is in play, you get an experience counter. Those counters are permanent, and don’t go away if she dies.

She also reads: “At the beginning of your end step, choose target creature card in your graveyard. If that card’s mana value is less than or equal to the number of experience counters you have, return it to the battlefield. Otherwise, put it into your hand.”

Putting a card into your hand is nice, but you can literally win games by just combining Meren with Spore Frog, which you can sacrifice to prevent all combat damage for a turn - and only costs one mana.


8. Animar, Soul of Elements

Cheap creatures just for you

Animar was one of the very first MTG commanders introduced back in 2011. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Here we have not only one of the oldest cards on this list, but also one of the oldest MTG commanders printed by Wizards of the Coast. Animar, Soul of Elements was released in the very first set of Commander products back in 2011. Animar is a three-mana green, blue and red 1/1 that has protection from white and black.

It gets a +1/+1 counter on it whenever you cast a creature spell, and then makes each creature spell you have cost one mana less to cast for each +1/+1 counter on it. You can fill your deck with creatures with potent ‘enter the battlefield’ effects and some good ways to bounce those cards back to your hand, or just have the most obnoxiously expensive creatures you can find and leave it at that.


9. Kenrith, the Returned King

A little bit of everything, all of the time

Providing the ability to build your deck with all five mana colours, Kenrith has an ability in each colour to match. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Are you someone who likes abilities on creatures you can activate at any time, and also someone who likes five-colour decks? Good news, because Kenrith, the Returned King is the MTG commander for you. This five-mana 5/5 has one ability in each colour, making them exceptionally versatile.

For one red, you can give all creatures Trample and Haste (even an opponent’s creatures if you’re feeling frisky). For one and a green you can put a +1/+1 counter on a creature. For two and a white you can have someone gain five life. For three and one blue you can have someone draw a card. Finally, for four and one black you can bring back a creature from the dead under its owner’s control. This even means you can also use Kenrith to manipulate your opponents into taking each other out.


10. Krenko, Mob Boss

Embrace the goblin horde

Krenko's ability to cast Goblin tokens can quickly overwhelm your opponents. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Finally, we’ve got a goblin commander. Well, more like the goblin commander. Krenko, Mob Boss is a four-mana red 3/3 with one simple ability. Simply tap dear old Krenko and you get to add X 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens where X is the number of goblins you control.

Basically, you get to double the number of goblins you control whenever you tap Krenko. You can do this at instant speed too, which means you can do it as someone attacks you to suddenly have a horde to defend with.

You could also consider including Purphoros, God of the Forge in your deck to make it so that whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control you can deal two damage to each opponent. That’s a very quick way to take people out, and will also upset 100% of your friends every time. Give them nice snacks if you’re going to play Krenko.

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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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