Top 10 Best Competitive Commander Decks (cEDH) in Magic: The Gathering top-X-best-competitive-commander-decks-cedh-in-magic-the-gathering

The most popular format of Magic the Gathering is Elder Dragon Highlander, better known as Commander. Created to be a casual format, it quickly spawned a more competitive meta for players who compete to win. With that in mind, these are the best competitive Commander decks in Magic: The Gathering.

If you’re new to Commander, you might be wondering what’s the difference between a casual and competitive deck? The main differences are the power level of certain cards and the way in which a cEDH deck plans to win.

All cEDH decks use cards that are incredibly powerful and seem borderline broken. Most cards in this category are generally banned in most other formats, are notoriously rare, and fetching high prices. The same holds true for the use of original dual lands from the earliest sets.

When it comes to a cEDH deck’s strategy to win, it’s usually based around an infinite combo of sorts. This combo allows the player to either gain infinite mana, draw their entire deck, make everyone else lose immediately, or outright win on the spot.

To accomplish this, decks will include fast mana to help fix their mana base and ramp spells. This is a normal part of MtG, but the cards used for cEDH are relatively overpowered and pricey. Examples of these cards include Ancient Tomb, Mana Crypt, and the set of Moxes.

And in order to get the combo consistently and quickly, cEDH decks will also run tutor cards that let players search their decks for specific cards. Again, this is an acceptable part of playing MtG, but the tutor cards used in cEDH are the best of the best. Examples of these cards include Mystic Tutor and Entomb.

Now let’s take a look at 10 of the most powerful cEDH commanders, their winning strategies, and explore some of the key cards that you should put into your decks.

Urza, Lord High Artificer

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For all the mono-blue players out there, this is an obvious choice. Arguably the most famous character in all of MtG history, having Urza in your command zone is almost game-ending enough. And with this deck, you’ll wield power on that level. The Urza commander allows you to make more blue mana by tapping artifacts and also summons an artifact creature that gets stronger with more artifacts in play. And to top it all off, his artifact tapping ability allows you to bypass stax effects from cards you play like winter orb and static orb.

The main win condition for this deck is the Polymorph and Proteus Staff Combo that allows you to generate infinite mana with Hullbreak Horror. You can also gain infinite mana using Power Artifact plus Grim Monolith combo. As backup, you can also play the Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal combo to untap infinitely. To complete this deck, you’ll want to include the most powerful blue counterspells to protect your combos. And also include blue’s most powerful staples for card draw, and tutors to get your combos pieces. You should also add stax artifacts for more control.

Inalla, Archmage Ritualist

With Inalla, you’ll have access to fast one-card combos thanks to her ability to copy non-token wizards and give them haste. This means you can win on turn one with the best hand. And if not, you’ll always be threatening to win every turn with the right card. Wanderwine Prophets is a perfect example. This card results in a hasty token with the original in exile, attack with the token, and sacrifice it to take an extra turn. The real card returns, and repeat.

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For this deck, you’ll have access to blue’s counterspells and card draw. With black, you can add explosive mana ramp with Cabal Ritual, Dark Ritual, as well as the best tutors in the game. You can also use reanimator cards to keep your wizards coming back for more. There are plenty of powerful wizards to put in this pseudo-tribal deck, some examples being:

  • Thassa’s Oracle
  • Spellseeker
  • Scholar of the Ages
  • Bloodline Necromancer
  • Winter Eladrin

Red splashes powerful staples like:

  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Final Fortune
  • Rite of Flame
  • And any direct damage if you need it.

Oswald Fiddlebender

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There aren’t many powerful mono-white commanders and decks, so Oswald is definitely worth playing if you enjoy white and using artifacts. White has the most stax control effects that make it harder for your opponents to play the game. His power is a powerful and consistent tutor effect that allows you to break rule of law effects. You can quickly piece together stax combos and win with whichever combo is best suited for your particular game.

This deck will be very artifact heavy, so make sure you include cards such:

  • Clock of Omens
  • Codex Shredder
  • Immovable Rod
  • Pithing Needle
  • Damping Sphere
  • Rings of Brighthearth
  • Sphere of Resistance
  • Trinisphere
  • Torpor Orb
  • Uba Mask

You’ll also want to run plenty of fast-mana artifacts including the entire suite of Moxes. You can supplement your artifacts with creatures like:

  • Mother of Runes
  • Drannith Magistrate
  • Esper Sentinel
  • Grand Abolisher
  • Lodestone Golem
  • Metalworker
  • Archon of Emeria
  • Myr Welder

Koll, the Forgemaster

koll the forgemaster mtg
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Koll’s Commander ability gives you the power to combo with cheap equipment and an army of small creatures. And since he’s red and white, you have access to many powerful stax effects from white cards. With Koll, you can take full advantage of popular artifacts like Skullclamp. One of the powerful combos you have at your disposal is infinitely looping Dockside Extortionist with Mortarpod or Skullclamp. 

When building a Koll deck, you’ll want a bunch of cheap red creatures like:

  • Skirk Prospector
  • Goblin Welder
  • Kobolds
  • Goblin Engineer
  • Goblin Recruiter
  • Goblin Cratermaker
  • Rograkh
  • Son of Rohgahh
  • Imperial Recruiter

Also include white weenies like:

  • Auriok Steelshaper
  • Esper Sentinel
  • Relic Seeker
  • Recruiter of the Guard
  • Ranger-Captain of Eos
  • Stoneforge Mystic
  • Drannith Magistrate
  • Grand Abolisher

And of course, plenty of artifact equipment like:

  • Conquerer’s Flail
  • Citizen’s Crowbar
  • Mask of immolation
  • Springleaf Drum
  • Paradise Mantle
  • Umezawa’s Jitte 

Kodama of the East Tree Partnered With Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

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Having a pair of partner commanders gives you an advantage for designing your deck and having two legendary creatures ready to go. With this deck, you’ll want to take advantage of Kodama’s ability to play free permanent spells that can’t be countered. Silas Renn gives you access to the Sultai color suite and can help you reclaim important artifacts of yours that might have been destroyed. And as your early game and cheap commander, he’s easy to keep getting out and synergizing with your spells.

For this deck, add a good amount of blue counterspells, fast green ramp plus mana fixing, and black tutors. Add efficient card draw from any color and you’re golden. From there, you’ll want to capitalize on Bolas’s Citadel and either Sensei’s Divining Top or Necropotence to rack up a high storm count of spells cast off the top of your library and play a big storm spell finisher or an Aetherflux Reservoir to damage all your opponents simultaneously.

You can also trigger Kodama’s ability at instant speed with a fetchland after drawing a bunch of cards with Necropotence and finishing with an Emergence Zone or Crop Rotation to plan whatever combo you want to win the game. You can also use a Thassa’s Oracle combo with Opposition Agent. Other cards you’ll want to have are:

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  • Meloku the Clouded Mirror
  • Notion Thief
  • Eldritch Evolution
  • Neoform
  • Endurance
  • Peer into the Abyss
  • Mnemonic Betrayal
  • Chord of Calling
  • Abrupt Decay

Omnath, Locus of Creation

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Omnath is easily one of the most powerful commanders to build your deck around for cEDH. You get access to red, green, white, and blue. Plus, his abilities let you gain life, extra mana, and deal damage to all opponents simultaneously. There are so many options for you to add to your deck to make it well-rounded for countermagic, mana ramp, direct damage, and of course, killer combos. One of your biggest bomb combo plays is Scapeshift for multiple landfall triggers that can end the game.

For blue, you’ll want:

  • Snapcaster Mage
  • Spell Snare
  • Cyclonic Rift
  • Counterspell
  • Brainstorm
  • Fire/Ice
  • Lose Focus

Green lets you add:

  • Eternal Witness
  • Endurance
  • Primeval Titan
  • Shigeki Jukai Visionary
  • Growth Spiral
  • Sylvan Library
  • Exploration

With white, you’ll want to play:

  • March of Otherworldly Light
  • Eladamri’s Call
  • Supreme Verdict
  • Council’s Judgement
  • Teferi Time Raveler
  • Mana Tithe
  • Fateful Absence
  • Ephemerate

And red will allow you to add: 

  • Lightning Helix
  • Fiery Confluence
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Abrade
  • Prismari Command
  • Punishing Fire

Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

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Yuriko is unique because she allows you to play quick and powerful ninjutsu creatures that can lead to multiple powerful effects. And with black and blue to back them up with card draw, counter-magic, and removal, you’ll never feel underpowered. 

Some of the best ninjas include:

  • Prosperous Thief
  • Ninja of the Deep Hours
  • Skullsnatcher
  • Okiba-Gang Shinobi
  • Moonblade Shinobi
  • Fallen Shinobi
  • Silver-Fur Master
  • Tetsuko Umezawa Fugitive
  • Ingenious Infiltrator
  • Mistblade Shinobi
  • Silent-Blade Oni 

And there are a plethora of blue and black spells to help you handle any situation. Powerful choices include:

  • Discovery/Dispersal
  • Far/Away
  • Spite/Malice
  • Commit/Memory
  • Consign/Oblivion
  • Rags/Riches
  • Connive/Concoct

For blue, once you add counterspells and card draw, consider using:

  • Jace the Mind Sculptor
  • Mystical Dispute
  • Submerge
  • Dig Through Time
  • Treasure Cruise
  • Xenograft

With black, get the tutors and fast mana, then add:

  • Conspiracy
  • Dismember
  • The Cauldron of Eternity
  • Snuff Out
  • Lim-Dul’s Vault

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

korvold-dragon fae cursed mtg
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Korvold, Fae-Cursed King is a Jund commander and Dragon Noble that keeps getting bigger and draws you cards. Of course, you’ll have a tiny drawback of having to sacrifice one of your permanents every time you attack in order to use his ability. But with this deck, you can use that drawback for your benefit. 

Jund colors allow for a variety of different combos. With Squee the Immortal, Food Chain, and Impact Tremors, you can infinitely recast Squee over and over generating infinite mana and pinging your opponents for 1 damage each time until they have no more life yet. 

Another combo involves Dockside Extortionist, Temur Sabretooth, and Impact Tremors. If your opponents have a total of at least four artifacts in play, you can infinitely recast Dockside Extortionist with your treasures while pinging everyone for 1 damage until you win.

But you don’t have to play this deck solely as a combo deck. With the right balance of cards, you can build an all-around powerfully balanced deck to handle any type of deck your opponents might bring to the table. With red, add artifact removal, elemental blasts, and:

  • Gamble
  • Deflecting Swat
  • Shatterskull Smashing
  • Underworld Breach
  • Ragavan Nimble Pilferer
  • Imperial Recruiter
  • Impulsive Pilferer
  • Simian Spirit Guide

With Green, add mana ramp, and:

  • The Great Henge
  • Eternal Witness
  • Tinder Wall
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Worldly Tutor
  • Veil of Summer
  • Autumn’s Veil

With black, you can add tutors, and:

  • Reanimate
  • Unearth
  • Culling the Week
  • Malakir Rebirth
  • Wishclaw Talisman
  • Boggart Birth Rite.
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And there are plenty of great multicolored cards like:

  • Assassin’s Trophy
  • Pernicious Deed
  • Murderous Redcap
  • Abrupt Decay

Niv-Mizzet, Parun

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Niv-Mizzet is a fan favorite for being a blue and red Izzet dragon. This lets you focus your deck build on blue’s best instants that include counter magic, draw spells, and other powerful effects. Red gives you direct damage, spell copying, and a chaotic mix of fast mana and card draw. 

This deck definitely has more than enough easy infinite combos. One instant win combo is Thassa’s Oracle and Leveler which wins you the game the turn you play it. Another straightforward combo is infinite card draw and damage with Niv-Mizzet and Curiosity which can also be backed up by Thassa’s Oracle. You can back this combo up with Ophidian Eye. 

For the rest of your deck, you’ll want all the blue counter-magic and card draw that feels right for you. And some other notable blue spells to consider are:

  • Misdirection
  • Sea Gate Restoration
  • Temporal Manipulation
  • Echo of Eons
  • Time Spiral
  • Capture of Jingzhou
  • Windfall
  • Meloku the Clouded Mirror
  • Mindbreak Trap
  • Subtlety

For red, make sure to include staples like:

  • Jeska’s Will
  • Deflecting Swat
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Red Elemental Blast
  • Simian Spirit Guide
  • Pyretic ritual
  • Faithless Looting
  • Gamble
  • Desperate Ritual
  • Expressive Iteration

And to help your mana, you’ll need to include a slew of fast artifact mana in the form of Moxes, and:

  • Fellwar Stone
  • Izzet Signet
  • Sol Ring
  • Mind Stone. 

Tymna the Weaver Partnered with Thrasios, Triton Hero

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When Tymna the Weaver is partnered with Thrasios, your deck can contain green, blue, white, and black cards. The sky’s the limit with this combination of colors. By now, you’ll already know what the best cards are to include in this deck for each of its four colors. In addition, the fun of playing this deck is that it allows you to have access to two low-cost legendary creatures that you can cast from your command zone. And both of them help with card draw.

With this in mind, you’ll want to build the rest of your deck to take advantage of these abilities by including a good amount of low-cost creatures that can make a big impact. Examples are:

  • Serra Ascendant
  • Dauthi Voidwalker
  • Aboleth Spawn
  • Endurance
  • Deep Gnome Terramancer
  • Opposition Agent
  • Phantasmal Image
  • Ranger-Captain of Eos 

With green and black, use recursion with cards like Sevinne’s Reclamation and Dread Return. Back up your creatures with fast artifact mana and removal spells. You can use cards like:

  • Swords to Plowshares
  • Deadly Rollick
  • Chain of Vapor
  • Assassin’s Trophy
  • Culling Ritual 

Like many other cEDH decks, you can include an infinite mana combo to draw your whole deck in one turn with Thrasios and win via Laboratory Maniac. You can also have a Thassa’s Oracle to combo with. Regardless of which route you go, it’s very easy to build a powerful deck just by including some of the most powerful cards from each color, allowing you to be creative with your deck build.

Ultimately, there are many great options for you to consider when building a cEDH deck. As you study these decks and play games with other players, you’ll start to realize why certain cards have become staples for many colors and which combos are the most popular. These 10 commanders and decks will help you get started and play right away.

That does it for our list of best competitive Commander decks in Magic: The Gathering. Be sure to check out the rest of our MTG coverage, including how Ascend works, Muldrotha card strategies, as well as Divest and Despise card strategies.

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