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Jul 16 2015 12:00pm
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CJB: Top 50 Commander Dependent Combos

Greetings readers, thanks for stopping by!

Today's article draws heavily from some articles I've written in the past. I'm talking about my Combo Compendiums, Vol I and Vol II. Of course trying to catalog all sorts of combos is a never-ending quest, and I haven't done one in a while. This one, really isn't part of that series--though it is inexorably linked to it. As you might have gathered ("Magic the gathered?... Hello? Is this thing on?") I love me some Commander. It's my favorite format, for many, many reasons. I feel it's the perfect format for a Johnny to thrive in, and for a casual player to engage in. Cards that would sit and collect dust for eons or perhaps even be thrown away or turned into magnets or something on Etsy, in the real world anyway, are veritable gold or fattie bombs in the world of Commander. Right before typing up this intro paragraph, I just won a game with Magmasaur and Stuffy Doll using my Grenzo deck. The possibilities of Commander rival those of any other formats, especially since the games can be so gosh darn fun, and/or creative.

The more people who play Commander, the more attention WOTC throws at it and the happier I become in the process, which leads to more articles for the internet to digest and either love or spit at. Froth, if you will. 

So this article showcases 50 different Commanders, and 50 different two-card combos which are awesome, and directly involve said commander. But wait, there's more! As the teaser said, this is a wealth of knowledge (There Boosh goes, being a Thundersong Trumpeter tooting his own proverbial Horn of Plenty), so each combo discussed has bits of info that may lead to a different combo or a deck idea. This is a pretty good jumping off point if you are looking for a new deck, or a new combo you hadn't thought of, or starting your journey into the wondrous world of Commander, 

Please enjoy Commander Johnny-Boosh's Top 50 Commander (two-card) Combos!

*disclaimer: I am only human, and obviously have my own tastes. If I left off your favorite Commander combo, share it with everyone reading in the comments below. Before we get into this, I don't own Daretti and think he is Spikey, cheesy, and not my cuppa'tea. So this list is subjective, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

#50 ThraximundarplussignRooftop Storm A sweet homage to Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster, this seemingly innocent inclusion in a horror-trope-theme-set that features zombies in blue and black is actually pretty epic in Commander, if your Commander happens to be a Zombie. This combo creates a loophole where you can just keep recasting your Commander, even from the command zone, for zero. You'll see it show up in my Grim-grin deck, which only features a handful of zombies-- because if Grimmy gets hosed often, I can keep casting him for zero. Thraximundar is the best to use this with, as even the first initial casting of it, barring any other mana ramp, can be done for six mana instead of seven. If you plan on rocking a legendary Zombie Commander, plan on blue lightning too.
#49 Grenzo, Dungeon WardenplussignCrystal Ball I just wrote an article about Grenzo, so this news may be old hat-- but seriously, I love my Grenzo deck. My article covers all sorts of tricks you can do to put stuff on the bottom of your library to sneak out with Grenzo, but none of the cards in that deck enable the combo more than Crystal Ball. Being able to manipulate your deck to get creature cards on the bottom of your library is essential to the combo potential of Grenzo, and as such, this combo can't be beat. If you haven't read the article, give it a go after this if Grenzo interests you.
#48 Ghoulcaller GisaplussignPhyrexian Dreadnought This is a very unexpected combo with Gisa as your Commander, and nets you twelve 2/2 Zombies for the low-low price of two mana. I like to run Thousand-Year Elixir and Magewright's Stone alongside Gisa, so her ability can be used twice. If you are running a straight graveyard recursion deck, there's a good chance you could cast Footsteps of the Goryo, or Corpse Dance or Wake the Dead or something and do this little trick more than once. Of course, Gisa works great with Gravecrawler too, to a lesser extent, because for two mana you can sacrifice it, grab two 2/2 Zombies, and then replay it.
#47 Heartless HidetsuguplussignBasilisk Collar I've written about this before and mentioned it on the Freed from the Real podcast I believe-- but this combo is totally fun, especially in a multiplayer setting. You could always sub in Loxodon Warhammer or any other way of giving Hidetsugu some lifelink. My advice is to get some Hexproof and Haste on him with Swiftfoot Boots, but to not rely solely on this combo. A lot of other creatures can use the Collar, and not just for lifelink. I'll sneak a hidden combo in here by saying Kumano, Master Yamabushi epically loves Deathtouch, so the collar works wonders on him and he fits nicely in a monored (Kamigawa-lovin') Commander deck.
#46 Medomai the AgelessplussignSilverblade Paladin Of course, you're going to want to give Medomai some sort of evasion so he absolutely can't be blocked. We all know this, honestly. But giving him double strike is the icing on the cake. Since he can't attack during extra turns, you should get the best bang for your buck by hitting your opponent twice and scoring two extra turns. Here's a fun Protip: If you have out Sakashima the Impostor and target Medomai, the text still says Medomai the Ageless can't attack during extra turns. Of course, it also mentions Medomai implicitly about dealing damage for the turns, but that doesn't mean you can't attack with both Sakshima and Medomai on the same non-extra turn, and if they both hit they both trigger Medomai's latent effect. Both have to attack, so it's conditional but also possible. Now add in True Conviction...
#45 Melek, Izzet ParagonplussignGalvanoth

What's better than getting two spells for the price of one? Getting them for free. I recommend also putting in Charmbreaker Devils to get back your double stuffed spells, and some Jace, the Mind Sculptor action to put spells you've drawn back on the top of your library for more double stuff fun.

Further, you could go a different route, which may-or-may-not mean not using the Galvanoth. A fun interaction I've always loved is Proteus Staff with a creaturless deck. If you employ only creature tokens ((Talrand's Summons), Goblin Scouts, etc et al.), when you activate the staff on one of them, you can actually restack your deck however you want. Adding in Goblin Charbelcher makes for a fun win-con in a Commander deck like that. While the preferred method of abusing a Charbelcher is a landless deck, you can't really pull that off in Commander. But here, you can stack 20 cards on top of a mountain, activate, and grin sinisterly.

#44 Nekusar, the MindrazerplussignSigil of Sleep

Ahhhh Nekusar. He is why I am pro : anti-tuck ruling. His deck needs him at the helm, he can't be tucked. Look at how epically horrid this combo can be. If you want to be even meaner, try adding Grafted Exoskeleton or Phyresis to Nekusar as well... not to mention Spiteful Visions or Forced Fruition.

Prepare to lose a lot of friends, but you own maniacal laughter might be worth it-- your call.

#43 King Macar, the Gold-CursedplussignWitches' Eye

Hey Boosh, do you want to reference your Grenzo article again? Why yes Other Boosh, I do.

I mentioned this in my Grenzo article, and it was my favorite Theros-block-combo. If you want a straight up black removal-based Commander deck, give this a go. Adding in more ways to tap King Midas here, like, say, Paradise Mantle or Viridian Longbow, is one way to go-- as is adding in some more Inspired creatures. You can even go with Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mantle to make it so you can tap and untap him in one turn. While you are it, add in Magus of the Coffers for infino-mana with either of those untappy equipment. To get even crazier, add in Heartstone. Reducing the Umbra by one, and thus it goes: Tap Paradise Mantle equipped Macar for one mana, untap him for two mana, exile an opponent's creature and get a gold token and hey, there's that mana you used back, making this a 0 cost, infino-effect.

#42 Purphoros, God of the ForgeplussignNorin the Wary

Scaredypants allows Purphy to do his two damage thang every turn essentially. In a Commander deck, having a repeated trigger for damage that only costs you the one time investment of playing your Commander and one red mana is too epic.

You can load your Purphy deck with all sorts of more-bang-for-your-buck token makers, like Krenko's Command or Emrakul's Hatcher. The only card interaction I love as much as Norin with Purphoros, is Firecat Blitz. I've won numerous games where I cast it and flashed it back the same turn for lethal.

#41 Tajic, Blade of the LegionplussignAngelic Overseer

Tajic has always been a Ravnica version of Iron Man to me. In some indestructible armor, but still-killable, that is totally badass by himself but is even more awesome with some added help.

Since he's a human, and he needs two other attackers, it'd be great if at least one of them is also indestructible. Hey, look at that, since Tajic is an indestructible human, he makes the Overseer indestructible and Hexproofy to boot. Like some sort of female Thor fighting alongside Iron Man.

Here's a fun protip for the Overseer, in general. Equip it with Runed Stalactite. It becomes a Human and no longer needs anybody but itself to be epic.

#40 Darien, King of KjeldorplussignTarnished Citadel There are painlands, and then there are painlands. In a Darien deck, it's the only time you actually want your mana damaging you to produce more Soldiers. In Commander, this is harder to do because he's monowhite, so you can't put in a (Cave of Koilos) or a (Mana Barbs) to make his ability really work, but you can put in a Tarnished Citadel. Just tap and you get three soldiers! On top of that, if you're a good Darien player, you probably have as many soul sisters variants you can muster (Did someone say Healer of the Pride?) in the deck, so tapping this land, next to, say, a Soul's Attendant, means 3 soldiers for free.
#39 Jhoira of the GhituplussignThran Turbine

Look, we all know you are going to load up your Jhoira deck with Eldrazi, or huge spells like Knowledge Exploitation, Clone Legion, and Searing Wind. It's inevitable. But here's a trick I don't see many people using.

Thran Turbine is perfect for you to get a free activation outta Jhoira during your upkeep. It's simple, and straight forward, and only costs a mana to cast it. Come to think of it, not to beat a dead horse, but GRENZOOOOOOO...

*ahem* moving on.

#38 Brago, King EternalplussignUnquestioned Authority So Brago is great because it's an Azorius colored Flicker/Blink Commander, and we should all know by now how much I love blinking. The trick to getting him to work is by making sure he can plow through opposing creatures using some evasion tactics. Flying is a nice bit o' evasion, but often isn't enough. I love Unquestioned Authority, and, heck, while we're at it, Pentarch Ward as a go-to for evasion. When Brago hits, you can blink him and either aura, as part of your prepared mass blinking, netting you a card in addition to whatever else heinousness you have set up. Slap the Aura back into play onto a now untapped Brago so you can also use him as a blocker. You could add in Skybind for some even more ridiculous chicanery.
#37 Ertai, the CorruptedplussignBrilliant Halo This little combo is wondrous... well, for you, not your opponent. This combo essentially costs three mana, and turns Corrupted Ertai into a slightly-cheaper-activation-version of his former-blonde-self. This combo works really well alongside Rootwater Matriarch too. If she's out, put out the halo an opponent's creature. Steal that creature with Matriarch, and use corrupto-Ertai's counter ability by sacrificing the stolen creature. The Halo still comes back to your hand, and you do it all over again. Of course, Enchanted Evening makes even your lands sacrificeable to Ertai's activation costs.
#36 Skullbriar, the Walking GraveplussignVarolz, the Scar-Striped I've spoken about this before, and I'm a big proponent. Skullbriar is your Commander. Skullbriar gets some counters on it, somehow. I don't care if you use Increasing Savagery or cycle a Decree of Savagery. When Skullbriar inevitably dies, let it go to the graveyard. In the graveyard, it still retains its counters. Perhaps it's 5/5 for hypothetical's sake. Now, cast Varolz and Scavenge the Skullbriar for only two mana, putting five counters on Varolz. Now Skullbriar is to be exiled, but since it's your Commander, you put it in your hand instead, and recast it for 2BG, and it STILL retains its counters.
#35 Varolz, the Scar-StripedplussignDeath's Shadow Speaking of Varolz. He is still one of my favorite, very-narrow, very-conditional Commanders. His deck, since this list, has changed very little except to have a Karn and Ugin in it. Read the article for a refresher, but many creatures are easily scavengeable for a lot of counters, for a low, low CMC. Death's Shadow and Phyrexian Dreadnought are the best bang for your buck, as both die to themselves in Commander and can be scavenged for only one mana. It's also fun stuff to use Buried Alive and Entomb in your Varolz deck to get big threats like Hunted Horror in your graveyard to Scavenge later.
#34 Mikaeus, the UnhallowedplussignTriskelion This is absolutely the most heinous combo on this whole list. Just look at that. Despicable. This is an infino-combo. A definite game-ender. It's Squirrel Nest/Earthcraft and Stuffy Doll/Guilty Conscience. It really is ingenious, though-- I gotta give it props. I never figured this one out on my own, and instead encountered it on MTGO. Some other creatures to slap in your Undead Mikaeus deck are (Vebuild) for silliness, Dusk Urchins for fun utility, and Black Sun's Zenith to get rid o' dem pesky undying counters, so Mikaeus can do his thang one more time. Serrated Biskelion anyone? Anyway, this is terrible. Once you assemble the pieces, a concession usually follows-- but hey, you still won.
#33 Experiment KrajplussignSimic Ragworm Simple. Straight-forward. Both of these critters even crawled outta nearby Simic vats in city-plane of Ravnica, and were a block combo. Placing a counter on Ragworm ensures the Kraj can tap and untap as much as is needed. Of course, you could always use the ragworm in a three card combo with Paradise Mantle and Mana Reflection, gaining infinite mana in the process. After you give your Kraj untappingness from the Ragworm, put a +1/+1 counter on (Vorel the Hull Clade) so you can tap and untap the Kraj for that ability. Putting out Gyre Sage is also incredibly epic. Kraj + Umbral Mantle + Gyre Sage is also infino-mana.
#32 Jenara, Asura of WarplussignHardened Scales There are plenty of great cards to combo with Jenara, but nothing has the nuance like this sweet little combo. Every time you pay 1W, you get two counters on her. Training Grounds makes it even more fun. Just for fun and giggles, add in an Ooze Flux. If you also slap in Cathars' Crusade, whenever you get two counters, you can pay two to put out an ooze which puts counters on everything.
#31 Teferi, Temporal ArchmageplussignThe Chain Veil Ok, so technically, this is me cheating a multi-card combo into a two-card combo slot. If you play Teferi as your Commander, you should be well versed in including a whole bunch of artifacts that tap for mana, like Thran Dynamo, Sol Ring, Gilded Lotus and Mana Vault. Playing (Chain Veil) allows you to activate it, untap it as part of Teferi's activation, and activate it again. On top of that, if you have out mana artifacts and a Voltaic Key, you can produce a whole crapton of mana, Teferi Activations, card draw, and so forth. Allowing you to draw through your deck, and cobbling together enough mana to drop a whole lotta threats.
#30 Thromok the InsatiableplussignFling This may seem like a no-brainer, but honestly, it's ridiculous fun. I like to load my Thromok deck with cards that produce other creature tokens when they die, like Mitotic Slime, Goblin Marshal, Symbiotic Wurm, Hooded Hydra, Penumbra Spider, etc... and if I can't Thromok I like to (Descent of Dragons), Mogg Infestation and/or Hellion Crucible. Fling, though, really does its best when you can launch a 64/64 at someone's dome after devouring 8 creatures. Soul's Fire also works, and that new red spell from Origins, Chandra's Ignition.
#29 Obzedat, Ghost CouncilplussignRout Obzedat self-blinks, and when doing so it leaves play the end of your turn and returns, hasty, at the beginning of your next turn. Even thought it would cost you seven mana, a perfect situation would be to Rout on your opponent's turn, at Instant-speed, then during your turn you get back a 5/5 with haste, who also happens to be a (Sorrin's Thirst) as well. Oblivion Stone and Perilous Vault can also be used on an opponent's turn.
#28 Selvala, Explorer ReturnedplussignWell of Lost Dreams This works out great because Selvala gains you an equal amount of life and mana, so you can use that mana to draw that many cards with the Well of Lost Dreams. Even if you are playing a 1 v. 1 game, That's a max potential of three cards and two life, all for the price of 'tap,' and having out these two cards. On the opposite end of the color pie, if you use Oloro, Ageless Ascetic as your Commander, the well is also awesome in tandem with it, only this time it actually costs the two mana to activate the Well. That's why the good Wizards of the Coast invented Ancient Tomb, Temple of the False God, Sol Ring and Mana Crypt.
#27 Silumgar, the Drifting DeathplussignConspiracy Now that all of the dragoncentric Khans block has been released, there are a significant portion of blue and black dragons, and making a blue and black tribal deck is an option to you for Silumgar to work, but I would rather put in tutors, Conspiracy, Xenograft, and maybe Unnatural Selection. Then you can load up your deck with things like Army of the Damned, (Talrand's Summoning), Chasm Skulker, and Bitterblossom and just pop out a whole bunch of minidragons, that, when they attack en masse, will wipe out the opposing creatures. Protip: Add Sakashima the Impostor, targeting Silumgar, into the fray.
#26 Empress GalinaplussignLeyline of Singularity Hexproof, counters, deck-sifting spells and maybe you come across this little combo. Since she's a Merfolk, you could always rock monoblue Merfolk tribal and add this in as a possibility, even if you never draw it-- that's my preferred play method. I also have the Quicksilver Fountain/Lord of Atlantis combo in it as well. Also, look at how cute those otters are! How could you look so haughty and stoic while holding them?
#25 avacyn, angel of hopeplussignworldslayer On July 7th, 2015 I finally assembled this combo in a game where an opponent let me actually see the full fruition of my Machiavellian tasks. Late in the game, I had out my Avacyn and ten mana. I dropped the Worldslayer and equipped it, and attacked, wiping my opponent's entire board while leaving mine to taunt him in the wake of destruction. Protip: The 'slayer and Darksteel Plate combo to take out everything, even your stuff but poised to leave you with a creature on the board that can board wipe every turn.
#24 Zedruu the GreatheartedplussignSteel Golem

Zedruu is underrated, and the article I wrote about her is underviewed. Nevertheless, she deserves a spot on this Commander Combo Dossier. There's lots of fun things you can pass on to your opponent, like Bronze Bombshell or Delusions of Mediocrity... but nothing beats a Steel Golem handoff. Your opponent automatically has to deal with getting rid of it before they can cast any creature spells, buying you valuable time to keep up your shenanigans.

I think the problem is, is that Zedruu is very narrow. There are cards that work great with it, but most builds wind up the same, and the builds rely heavily on passing things off, but have no way of working if that stratagem isn't present. Whelp, I still love Zedruu, I'll always be a fan.

#23 Basandra, Battle SeraphplussignStuffy Doll You knew I'd have to sneak in a Stuffy Doll combo. I love Stuffy's primary ability and abusing it with things like Shivan Meteor, but, I love using him in combat even more. Basandra can make a creature attack and you can just use Stuffy to block it, causing damage to an opponent's dome. Don't forget to put Nemesis Mask into your deck, because a lured Stuffy is a wonderful thing. Basandra has the right color combos to pop in some of Stuffy's buddies, like Boros Reckoner and Mogg Maniac, and also Tajic, if you're looking for more indestructible blockers.
#22 ProgenitusplussignConcerted Effort What's more heinous than good ol' Proggy? How about making all of your creatures have pro-everything? Since Concerted doesn't target, this combo trick (if you even need it when Proggy is out on your field), makes your army darn near unstoppable. This is especially effective in multiplayer, where you can't just plow through one opponent with the Hydravatar and call it a day. I don't know how you run your five-color builds, but I load mine with tutors and basically, Bitterblossom goes in every deck it could possibly go in, so have a bunch of flying faeries with pro-everything is pretty boss.
#21 Sedris, the Traitor KingplussignTeferi's Veil Sedris is here to prove that there are viable ways to abuse Unearth. Well, ok, most of those options involve Time Stop, Sundial of the Infinite, or Phasing. Phasing used to have rulings that still made "leaves play" triggers occur but left out "enters"-based ones. That was rendered obsolete due to Judgment's Wormfang critters. So while the Veil or Vodalian Illusionist may not be able to keep Gideon or Sarkhan a creature, it will work with Unearth: The difference is that "until end of turn" still applies to phased out creatures but "exile at end of turn" won't. Here is a quote and link from WotC: "Effects with limited duration (like Giant Growth) stop affecting it, but effects with unlimited duration (like Prismatic Lace) don't."
#20 Teysa, Envoy of GhostsplussignGrave Betrayal

This combo is to illustrate that Commander decks can think big, and do big things. In Vintage, sometimes the game is over in a blink. In Modern, all of my lands are mountains, I'm sure. But in Commander, I can rally a two-card combo where each card costs CMC7. How awesome is that? I have pulled this off a few times. Teysa is your Commander, and you use some obscure card like (Bull Whip) to force a creature to attack after you put out the Betrayal. If you have out both of these cards, you are sitting in a very good position. Anyone who attacks with a creature that can't regenerate or happens to not be indestructible.

Also, she's pro-creatures, so mayhaps include Concerted Effort in this deck as well? The answer is Yes, yes you should.

#19 Hua Tuo, Honored PhysicianplussignLurking Predators

Hua Tuo will be featured in a Commander Johnny-Boosh article in the future, of that, I have no doubt. (Garuk's Packleader) and Call of the Wild also work perfectly here, as well as Bloodline Shaman and Zoologist. Hibernation's End, and stuff like Yisan, the Wanderer Bard or Green Sun's Zenith also combo off of Hua, to an extent. To combo with these, use Mirri's Guile or Sensei's Divining Top/Crystal Ball and stuff like that, as well as Reclaim, and Worldly Tutor.

Anecdote: This Commander deck is something I am also trying to build in Paper. Although usually MTGO has better access to cards from odd sets like Portal3K to put in my decks, it doesn't have False Mourning available; but it's only 6 bucks IRL, so here is the only time Paper has beaten MTGO.

#18 Grimgrin, Corpse-BornplussignGravecrawler

Don't forget about the #50 combo, which works with this deck as well! These two are a Zombie match made in-- heaven? That colloquialism is ill-fitting. Moving on. Sacrifice the crawler to untap Grimmy and guess what!!? Grimmy is a Zombie and so the crawler can be cast again from your 'yard.

If you do use Rooftop Storm, it's fun to note that Grimgrin can be cast for zero from your command zone, and the crawler can be cast from your graveyard for zero too. Pretty win-win.

#17 Alesha, Who Smiles at DeathplussignMaster of Cruelties

These go together so much, that I've combined their exposition into one block. Essentially both Alesha and Kaalia are very, very similar though different. So, I guess like all humans, both in game and out. *ahem* anyway. They are both Mardu, and both of their abilities, while still different, are dependent on them attacking, which means they need to survive said attack phases in order to continue with their chicanery.

Now, let's start with Master of Cruelties. Both Alesha and Kaalia can cheat him into play, bringing him in tapped and attacking, and overwriting his latent effect of "Attacks only once." You can, in fact, attack with him again. Alesha usually has a component of graveyard recursion and sacrifice outlets, so I am certain you can tap attack, attack for reals, sacrifice it somehow, tap attack and so forth. Kaalia is less combo-y about it, but you can definitely sneak him in and attack another time.

About the 'surviving combat' situation: Iroas is half a Goblin War Drums (now with added Menacing!) and a Dolmen Gate. Both added evasion and preventing combat damage when attacking are perfect for both Commanders here. On top of that, add a Dolmen Gate for frak's sake. Iroas also helps keep the Master around too.

While we are at it, in case you are curious, you can return Kaalia with Alesha, but Kaalia's trigger doesn't go off unless you declare her as an attacker, which can't happen if she enters the battlefield tapped and attacking. It reanimates her though.

Incidentally, you can always try to make either of these Commanders unblockable, which means you might consider Dauthi Embrace or Shizo, Death's Storehouse or Trailblazer's Boots or Whispersilk Cloak... any number of things.

#16 Kaalia of the VastplussignIroas_God_of_Victory.jpg
#15 Trostani, Selesnya's VoiceplussignWall_of_Junk.jpg

Usually, I am a huge proponent of Trostani and the first Ajani's ultimate working amazingly together, and I admit, I still uber-ultra-super-mega-love that combo, but I happen to love this interaction even more.

Two mana for seven life is pretty boss. Having this out allows you to block a threat and be able to score seven life for two mana also. You can add in Pangosaur too, which self-bounces every time someone drops a land, netting you six life for four mana-- not the best deal, but still pretty fun. There's also always the option of just putting in something like Blood Clock and Indomitable Ancients.

#14 Selenia, Dark AngelplussignDeathbringer Liege

Ok, now we are really entering into the territory of my favorite combos ever. Woooo! I'm pumped.

Two life, five mana, kill anything. Not to mention a 5/5 flying for five mana with death-evasion is freaking sweet anyway. Selenia can also use some of the tricks Obzedat does, with mass destruction but has the added bonus of being able to evade sorcery-branded removals. So attack, return her, Wrath, then play her. A good board position.

Selenia also works really well with Court Street Denizen; Angelic Chorus or Healer of the Pride to mitigate paying the two life; and don't forget Seraph Sanctuary.

#13 Doran, the Siege TowerplussignRhox Faithmender

There are so many cards I love to pair with Doran:

Zany ones like: Meandering Towershell; Straight-forward ones like Indomitable Ancients or Yoked Ox; Legends like Trostani or Selvala become 5/5 for four mana or 4/4 for three mana, respectively, while also retaining extreme usefulness.

But my favorite, is the Faithmender. a 5/5 lifelink for four mana that actually gains you ten when it does damage. It's simple, elegant, beautiful, and makes me smile.

#12 Horde of NotionsplussignAshes of the Fallen

You cannot tell me you haven't seen Horde as a Commander of a five-color control deck. Its vanilla keyword abilities for five mana make it perfect after Wrathing-- but the Ashes make it even more perfect, because now you can recast all your stuff for five mana from your graveyard.

Two other protips for you: 1. Ashes works great with Lord of the Undead, and Soulshift. 2. Horde works great with Nameless Inversion.

#11 Maelstrom WandererplussignSoothsaying

In a Wanderer deck, you want to maximize your potential for Cascades by stacking your deck. You also want to stack your deck, because you don't want to Cascade into a Preordain, but a Bribery or a Keranos, God of Storms.

I love Soothsaying here because you can dig deep on the end of the turn preceding yours in order to Cascade into useful things. If all else fails, you can shuffle your library. My point is Soothsaying is underrated.

#10 Karametra, God of HarvestsplussignWhitemane Lion

Covered this in my Land Week theme article, but it's still epic, and I share it now in hopes you one day employ it. Karametra's out, and the Lion can bounce itself. It is a repeatable Rampant Growth, that, when paired with some tricky Landfall stuff, can completely overpower your side of the board.

Seriously, read the article, and enjoy the fun deck I put together. I can't wait for that landfall-not-labeled-landfall new enchantment in Origins.

#09 Zirilan of the ClawplussignTel-Jilad Stylus

You could substitute in Rishadan Pawnshop or Cold Storage or Sundial of the Infinite instead of the stylus. Conjurer's Closet, or Safe Haven or Tawnos's Coffin. When you are cheating things into play with Zirilan, you want to make sure you can keep that Dragon from being exiled.

Another viable option is a sacrifice outlet, and graveyard recursion. Red doesn't have much, but there is some, and there are artifacts and lands that can help.

#08 Feldon of the Third PathplussignPia and Kiran Nalaar

I'm including this in for speculation's sake, but I already know I'm going to love this combination. As I said in one of the FFTR podcasts, Pia and Kiran turn into an artifact token, thus, before they fizzle out due to the clause in Feldon's ability, can be sacrificed to themself for two damage, and they leave behind two thopters.

My Feldon article is located here, and it is loaded to the gills with juicy combos that work alongside Feldon. Heck, if we reversed roles, and made Pia and Kiran your Commander, Feldon would go great in their deck! Any artifact creature you made with the token could still be sacrificed to them before it expires without being really useful.

#07 Erebos, God of the DeadplussignLaquatus's Champion

This is just such an awesome frakkin' combo. The Champion has always held a special place in my heart, even before I knew it looked like the Mandalorian-hatin', Sith-aligned, bounty huntin' Durge.

He is amazing when you don't have to worry about his drawback.

For any deck employing black and the Champion, he works wonders with False Cure, and the upcoming Origins' Tainted Remedy. If you had out the Remedy and some form of flickering, that, would be sweet. Also, since it says player and not opponent, you can target yourself with a Torpor Orb out, and then blink him for your own shenanigans.

#06 Sidisi, Brood TyrantplussignStitcher Geralf

I love Dredge and Delve with Sidisi. I love Fact or Fiction and cards of its ilk, which put cards into your graveyard from your library, giving you zombies and card advantage... but my favorite interaction is with Geralf. In a Sidisi deck you should be a Buddhist, and embrace the concept of Impermanence. Cards in your yard will be exiled, cards in your library will be milled. Stitcher + Sidisi = Black and Blue Zombies, also known as BRUSIER ZOMBIES.

It's even more awesome when Geralf manages to exile a Torrent Elemental or Misthollow Griffin.

#05 Roon of the Hidden RealmplussignGilded Drake

How f-bombingly mean is this combo right here?

Brago can't pull this off unless he also has out a Flickerwisp or something, since Brago is creatures you control. Roon holds no impediment to flickerblinking out your Drake to steal more creatures.

Don't forget your standard Turn to Mist-spells also work on the Drake, or Man-o'-War.


#04 Oloro, Ageless AsceticplussignParadox Haze

Lots of great things pair with Oloro: Exquisite Blood, Drogskol Reaver, Phyrexian Arena, and a whole host of things that will someday be the subject of a booshy article.

Paradox Haze, besides being a card I love in 60-card decks, is a simplistic and fun combo. Instead of 2 life every turn, you gain 4. Adding one simple card to that, Angelic Accord, and it becomes ultra-mega-awesome.

Of course, to have more Paradox Hazes, add in Copy Enchantment and Clever Impersonator. Add in all three of the viable Hondens for even more fun.

#03 Marchesa, the Black Roseplussign

Another beautiful interaction: Paying the 3 life helps enable Dethrone, and makes Marchesa come back to life via her own ability. Just Stellar.

Unspeakable Symbol = Something, something Prince joke.

#02 Edric, Spymaster of TrestplussignSakashima the Impostor

I've resisted talking about Sakashima until now, but legit-- Sakashima is my favorite card to combo with most any Commander that does really cool stuff. Silumgar, Sidisi, Brago, Augustin, Marchesa, an opposing Avacyn, NEKUSAR!-- getting around the 'copying a legend' rule is just epic.

My favorite though, is to copy Edric, when Edric is my Commander. Double Card draw Elves! Instead of Bident of Thassa, it's Bidric of Elf Rogue!

I played a game where the first creature I cast was Tandem Lookout, the second Edric, third Sakashima! Throw in a Lorescale Coatl and a Chasm Skulker in there'd be just fine.

#01 Ghave, Guru of SporesplussignCathars' Crusade My favorite Commander combo, for sure. Why? Because it involves Saprolings, my first and truest Magic the Gathering love. Ghave is everything I love in Magic, as he is sacrificey, counter-laiden, and Saproling producing in Abzan colors. With the Crusade out every time you remove a counter to make a saproling, everything gets a counter. For an exponential, infinite army, you can add in Earthcraft to tap the newly entered Saproling to untap the land you used to get the one mana to create it, put counters on everything including Ghave, and then rinse and repeat until you grievously use up your game clock.

Though I tried to limit my list to 50, there are a few more I want to discuss very very briefly.

Thanks for joining me on this ride. Did anything inspire you to make a new deck?
Did I miss anything you would've included? Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh



As per usual entertaining and by Paul Leicht at Thu, 07/16/2015 - 18:54
Paul Leicht's picture

As per usual entertaining and informative. :D Nice read, nice formating.

Errors by Reaper9889 at Fri, 07/17/2015 - 10:09
Reaper9889's picture

I am not sure if it works on MTGO, but the combo of rooftop storm + zombie commander should not work. The additional cost should still get added, if you follow the rules. That is, the commander is free the first time, cost 2 the second and 4 the third and so on.

I do know that the Brago + Unquestioned Authority combo on the other hand does not work as stated.
First of all, Brago cannot target himself if he got Unquestioned Authority. One of the things protection stops is targeting. If we considered Pentarch Ward (assuming blue or white was not choosen) or better yet Traveler's Cloak instead we would run into the problem that if we flickered both Brago and the aura, the aura could not go back on Brago. The problem is that you put everything into play at once and you need to put auras on something which is in play just before the aura enters play (that is, the aura is never not attached to anything and therefore you need to put it on something just before it enters play). Hence, you cannot flicker Brago AND the aura.

If you want a combo with Brago pick Strionic Resonator. That plus 2 artifact mana gives you infinite flickers. Artifact mana works great with Brago anyway.

Regarding Skullbriar and Varolz it should say that you could put it back into command zone not hand.

Adam_the_Mentat's picture

Not being douchey, honestly thanking you. I will say though:

I should have mentioned that the Rooftop storm adds two each time, but pay two mana for your second casting of a 7 mana commander is still epic. In fact, it has to get hosed 4 times for it to cost only one mana more than its original CMC, which is epic.

Brago has pro creatures yes, but you can still flicker the aura, just not brago. Maybe I misspoke about that, but the actual AURA doesnt have procreatures, so you can flicker it and reattach it to brago for the next time it attacks, as you say.

As for skullbriar, these articles are long, and get written and re-written, and I proof them tons of times, but as the author, am apt to miss something here or there. please allow a simple mistake like saying hand instead of command zone, as it was unintentional!

... Brago and Strionic by AJ_Impy at Sun, 07/19/2015 - 13:19
AJ_Impy's picture

... Brago and Strionic Resonator. I think I'm in love. Thank you!

I've been enjoying Vish Kal and Illusionist's Bracers recently. Any commander with a powerful activated ability being copied for free is good times.