MTG's most loved commanders (2023 edition)

These commanders get the most EDH "love."

One of the most appealing aspects for EDH is that any legendary creature (as well as a handful of planeswalkers) in the history of Magic: The Gathering can be the commander for one’s deck.  It wouldn’t be surprising, of course, for some commanders to be more popular than others.  To get more “love,” as it were.

With the help of the database at the awesome EDH deckbuilding website EDHREC, we count down the fourteen most loved commanders (because, you know, Valentine’s Day -- the day of love -- is on February 14) in EDH over the past two years.

#14 Krenko, Mob Boss ($4.50)

What's better than a goblin?  How about lots of goblins!

Ran in nearly 10,500 decks, this card ranks 14th over the past two years on EDHREC.  It's an obvious "go wide" commander that can really get things out of hand (in your favor, of course).

Sure, it can be quite the workhorse offensively with cards like Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Warchief (both of which give your goblins haste), but it can also be amazing with enter-the-battlefield effects, such as those from cards like Impact Tremors and Purphoros, God of the Forge, which deal damage based upon creatures entering the battlefield.  The card also works well with attack trigger cards such as Cavalcade of Calamity and Raid Bombardment, both of which caring about small creatures attacking.

After all, why go "hog wild" when you can go "GOBLIN wild?"

#13 Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm (80¢)

A popular budget EDH option, Miirym, Sentinel Wurm is an extremely wallet-friendly option that costs less than a dollar and is run in nearly 10,649 decks according to EDHREC.

A 6/6 flyer with ward (2), the card is already fairly formidable in terms of commander damage possibilities.  But what players really seem to like about it is its synergy with a very popular tribal type: Dragons.

Sure, common inclusions in Miirym decks are among the usual for dragon-based strategies, such as Dragonspeaker ShamanDragon Tempest, and Dragonlord's Servant, but its ability to copy dragons in play is where its real power lay.

Decks with Miirym at the helm are chock-full of powerful and advantageous dragons such as Lathliss, Dragon QueenSavage VentmawScourge of Valkas, and Atarka, World Render, as well as dragon synergy cards like Crucible of Fire and Dragonborn Champion.

As the second most popular dragon-specific commander on this list, we expect to see it stay in the top 14 for some time to come.

#12 Omnath, Locus of Creation ($9.25)

Proven to be a beast in Modern, Omnath, Locus of Creation has found similar success in EDH.

Ran in nearly 10,680 decks, this card is an obvious "lands matters" commander with a ton of power.  And, even more so than in 60-card formats, it's not too difficult for a player to bring multiple lands into play on the same turn, thus allowing this four-color Omnath's various triggers to fire off with good regularity (which can often turn the tide of the game in your favor rather easily).

If you're looking to run Omnath, Locus of Creation as your commander, keep landfall and landfall-like abilities at the top of your mind, as well as ways to trigger those abilities as often as you can.  Land-fetching cards such as Kodama's ReachCultivate, and Scapeshift are examples of the many great options deckbuilders will find towards this end, as are lands that fetch other lands, like Fabled PassagePrismatic Vista, and the various two-colored fetchlands like Windswept Heath and Misty Rainforest.  The new card, Conduit of Worlds, is also being used with Omnath, Locus of Creation.

There are also myriad creatures with amazing synergy to consider when playing Omnath.  Risen ReefKnight of the Reliquary, and Courser of Kruphix are just three such examples.

#11 Muldrotha, the Gravetide ($2.50)

Found in some 10,692 decks, the Dominaria card Muldrotha, the Gravetide has been a top-tier commander option for some time now.

The Sultai-colored Muldrotha is all about that graveyard.  It's a very powerful commander who depends on its controller committing to a single strategy:  fill the graveyard with permanents while controlling the board.  She’s at her best when her controller out values her opponent and finishes them off by swinging big.

Cards like Nyx Weaver and Splinterfright are good at putting cards into the graveyard while still providing players with an early board state.  The likes of Sidisi’s FaithfulSeal of Removal, and Aether Spellbomb provide nice, low-cost board control, while the likes of Phyrexian ScripturesNevinyrral’s Disk, and Pernicious Deed help with it later on.  Cards like No Rest for the WickedWorm Harvest, and Tidesprout Tyrant often act as the deck’s finisher, as can Muldrotha herself.  The legendary lands from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty -- Boseiju, Who EnduresTakenuma, Abandoned Mire, and Otawara, Soaring City -- also have great synergy with Muldrotha as the commander, as do a few of the new planeswalkers found in Phyrexia: All Will Be OneJace, the Perfected MindVraska, Betrayal's Sting, and Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler.

#10 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King ($10)

The second of three dragon commanders to make this list, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King stands apart from Miirum and The Ur-Dragon in that, unlike the other two, it doesn't care about dragons.

Found heading slightly more than 11,306 decks currently, this three-colored commander is one of the best sacrifice strategy commanders out there right now.  Initially the face of the Throne of Eldraine brawl deck, Savage Hunger, the pre-constructed deck's blurb more-or-less says it all: "Devour your resources to feed and empower Korvold, then unleash his monstrous appetite on your opponents."  Whether you're talking leave-the-battlefield and sacrifice synergy through triggers, or simply knocking a player out via Korvold commander damage, that one sentence pretty much sums things up rather well.

When running this commander, keep an eye out for cards like Mayhem DevilDockside ExtortionistViscera SeerZulaport Cutthroat, and Judith, the Scourge Diva.

The card also takes advantage of a few new cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One, including Vat of RebirthConduit of Worlds, and Drivnod, Carnage Dominus.

#9 Isshin, Two Heavans as One ($3.75)

A new entry to the list this year, Isshin, Two Heavens as One is found as the face of some 11,680 decks, according to EDHREC.

Introduced in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, this card is all about combat triggers.  As such, there's a lot of synergy to be found with it.

That synergy can be found on a variety of cards, including creatures such as Etali, Primal StormCaptain Lannery StormTori D'Avenaunt, Fury Rider, and Aurelia, the Warleader; enchantments like Revenge of RavensMardu AscendencyFervent Charge, and Smothering Tithe; and artifacts such as Two-Handed AxeExplorer's ScopeParhelion II, and Argentum Armor.

In short, Isshin can be an attack trigger cornucopia.  It's just up to you to provide the fruits. 

#8 Prosper, Tome-Bound ($19)

Also new entry to the list this year, Prosper, Tome-Bound is found at the helm of more than 12,250 decks.

This guy is all about playing cards you shouldn't have access to and giving you the means by which to do it (via treasure tokens).

In short, Prosper is quasi-cheating, but legally.

A card that can get out of hand rather easily, there are a number of high-synergy cards that tend to be included in Prosper decks, including Ignite the FutureLight Up the StageChaos WarpDire Fleet Daredevil, and Gonti, Lord of Luxury.

Of course, players and opponents of prosper decks can expect a lot of treasure generators as well, including cards like XornGoldspan Dragon, and Revel in Riches.

Or course, sacrifice synergy also plays a role thanks to the nature of treasure tokens.  Cards like Mayhem DevilNadier's Nightblade, and Disciple of the Vault all have places in a Prosper deck. 

#7 Edgar Markov ($71.50)

While Edgar Markov might not be the big daddy of vampires (that honor goes to Baron Sengir and don’t you dare convince us otherwise), he is the top vampy when it comes to commanders.

Ran in almost 12,500 decks despite its high price tag, Sorin’s grandfather (yes, he is Sorin’s poppop), is a three-color legendary (RWB) that care about vampires and making those vampires bigger.  Unlike other, similar vampires such as the iconic original Sengir Vampire, Edgar doesn’t need to wait until he deals damage to make himself and the rest of his controller’s blood-suckers larger.  Rather, it happens upon the attack trigger, meaning that even those little 1/1s he makes through his Eminence ability can become quite formidable if unchecked.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of vampires that tend to make their way into Edgar Markov decks.  This often includes the likes of tried-and-true options such as Stromkirk CaptainCordial VampireCaptivating VampireLegion LieutenantNighthawk Scavenger, and Bloodline Keeper.  And a number of the new vampire cards from Magic's recent jaunt back to the plane of Innistrad are also making appearances in Edgar decks, such as Welcoming VampireEdgar, Charmed Groom, and Olivia, Crimson Bride. Support cards like Phyrexian ArenaBlack MarketExquisite Blood, and Herald’s Horn are also commonly found in Edgar decks.

#6 Kenrith, the Returned King ($6.75)

One of three five-color commanders on this list (two of which are white cards, if you hadn't noticed), Kenrith, the Returned King is found as the commander of slightly more than 12,690 EDH decks.

Thanks to the King's five abilities (four of which target), there is a lot of combo synergy that can be had here.  Plus, thanks to his extremely low-costed red ability, which provides haste and trample to all creatures, he can provide a nice, hard hitting surprise whether for himself and/or for other creatures on the battlefield.

Largely because of this card's five-color versatility, there isn't one true way to build a Kenrith deck.  That, in part, may be why this card sees so much love as a commander.

Whether it's putting a +1/+1 counter on an opposing creature (only to gain control of it via a Willbreaker), bringing one of your big baddies back from the dead, swinging hard and fast, or simply gaining life (or, with the help of Tainted Remedy, making your opponents lose life), and drawing cards, Kenrith, the Returned King is a strong commander that, with the right combination of cards in play (such as a Phyrexian Altar and Peregrine Drake, for example) can go infinite.

#6 Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver ($8)

One of two Dimir-colored (blue-black) commanders, Wilhelt is a newcomer to this list.

Already found in at the helm of a whopping 12,920 decks according to EDHREC, the card is all about zombies.  As in, it's the one you'd with which you would want to watch Shawn of the Dead on a cold, dark night.

EDH players are already finding good synergy with a couple of cards from the recently-released Phyrexia: All Will Be One in the cards Drivinod, Carnage Dominus and Black Sun's Twilight, though older, more established cards tend to make up the bulk of the list in Wilhelt decks.

That includes high synergy cards such as Diregraf CaptainRooftop StormDiregraf ColossusDeath Baron, and Lord of the Accursed.  Of course, other "zombie matters" cards are also quite strong with Wilhelt such as Champion of the PerishedPlague BelcherNoxious Ghoul, and Cryptbreaker

#4 The Ur-Dragon ($64)

Let’s face it.  Dragons are popular.  Heck (and spoiler alert, if you haven't been paying attention), three of Magic's current top 14 commanders are of the draconic variety.  This dragon, however, isn’t just any dragon.  He’s The Ur-Dragon.  The dragon daddy, if you would.

Ran in some 13,628 or so decks, The Ur-Dragon just screams “Dragon Tribal,” which is probably why the card is the face of the Commander 2017 deck Draconic Domination.  Allowing for all five colors, The Ur-Dragon allows players to run dragon they want in their deck.  He also not only discounts the casting cost of the typically expensive dragon cards by one generic mana, but he also allows players to not only draw cards equal to the number of attacking dragons, but he also lets players plop a permanent (dragon or otherwise) into play FOR FREE.

Dragons often run with The Ur-Dragon include Atarka, World RenderUtvara HellkiteLathliss, Dragon QueenBladewing the RisenScourge of Valkas, and Scion of the Ur-Dragon.  Popular non-dragon (creature) cards feature the likes of Dragon TempestDragon’s HoardDragonspeaker Shaman, and Crucible of Fire, as are just generally good support cards like Rhythm of the WildUrza's Incubator, and Vanquisher's Banner.  And, as should come as little surprise, the new card Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines works quite will with The Ur-Dragon.

Machine mother, meat dragon daddy.

#3 Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow ($7.50)

Ninjas are cool. Don’t let anybody else say otherwise.  Ninja’s are cool and Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow is one of the coolest.

The face of more than 13,880 decks, Yuriko is a popular commander card that doesn't empty the wallet too much in terms of acquisition price.  She can also be a blast to play.

She punishes players for YOU playing a deck full of mana-intensive cards.  What’s more, she can do this from the command zone thanks to her unique Commander ninjitsu ability should you have an unblocked creature.  Thanks to Magic’s nice proliferation of evasive creatures, that isn’t terribly difficult.

Unblockable and otherwise elusive creatures such as Phantom NinjaLooter il-Kor, and Invisible Stalker are popular to include with this commander.  Small-yet-mighty flying creatures like OrnithopterBaleful Strix, and Sage Owl are all also common to run with Yuriko, as are other ninjitsu cards like SkullsnatcherMoonblade Shinobi, and Ninja of Deep Hours.  Deck manipulation cards like BrainstormFaerie SeerLim-Dûl's Vault, and Vampiric Tutor also help to set up that win condition.  Strionic Resonator (for double Yuriko triggers) is also great inclusions.

The new card from Phyrexia: All Will Be OneKaito, Dancing Shadow, also plays well with her.

#2 Lathril, Blade of the Elves ($4.50)

A once-low-budget commander option, Lathril has been on the rise and has moved from #9 to #2 over the course of the past year.

Found heading up nearly 6,100 decks, Lathril, Blade of the Elves is a Golgari-colored card that cares not about the graveyard, but rather about building an elven army.  And, while she can help towards that endevor by making her own elves via combat damage, you can really support her second ability through many of the elf token generators at your disposal.  And, as for her final ability, it can be easy to abuse through a combination of simple combo pieces.

For building that army you'll need, look for cards like Dwynen's EliteElvish WarmasterElvish Promenade, and Elven Ambush.  And, to help you best use and abuse her last ability, mass-untap tech such as Copperhorn ScoutMobilizeVitalize, and Benefactor's Draught can help you get multiple uses in the same turn, and cards like Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and Sanguine Bond also act as follow-up punches -- all of which can lead to one heck of a strong turn (maybe even a game-winning one).

In terms of new cards, Lathril has found a few new things to play with, such as Tyvar, Jubilant BrawlerGlissa Sunslayer, and Nissa, Ascended Animist.

#1 Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice ($60.50)

Despite there being a new Atraxa card about, the most loved EDH commander on this list remains the face of the Commander 2016 deck Breed Lethality, Atraxa, Praetor's Voice.

Found at the helm of an impressive 17,722 decks according to EDHREC, Atraxa is a four-color (GWUB) creature with flying, vigilance, deathtouch, and lifelink.  Oh, and she has a proliferate trigger that fires off at the begging of your end step.  It’s because of this end step trigger that she is ultimately so darn powerful.

Atraxa players can choose to go the superfriends route with cards like Teferi, Master of TimeUgin, the Spirit DragonNarset TranscendentVraska the Unseen, and the newly-printed Tamiyo, Compleated Sage being some of the deck’s largest threats.

Players can also choose to go the+1/+1 route, which is heavily supported though cards like Forgotten AncientCrystalline CrawlerGhave, Guru of SporesWalking BallistaHerald of Secret Streams, and Simic Ascendency.

Thirdly, there’s a popular Stax build that involves the likes of Ensnaring BridgeTangle WireStatic OrbWinter Orb, and Darksteel Reactor.

Of course, these are just the 14 most loved commanders for EDH right now.  She's also received a bunch of new friends to play with courtesy of Phyrexia: All Will Be One, including a wealth of new planeswalkers, such as Vraska, Betrayal's Sting, and tons of proliferate toys, such as Ezuri, Stalker of SpheresPrologue to Phyresis, and Bloated Contaminator.

Have fun with this one, but be careful.  She can be a real b**** to your friends.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.