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The Top 10 Broken Cards for Commander (EDH Tips & Strategy) February 15, 2012

Posted by James in : all, strategy, tips, constructed , trackback

Commander (Elder Dragon Highlander) gives us a unique opportunity to find cards that are broken because (a) the game is multiplayer, (b) players start the game at 40 life, or (c) players each get a “general.” The list of cards here are broken precisely because of these elements. (Even so, I am not saying that they should be banned, or are necessarily better than the cards from the Commander Power 9.) The point is merely that these are cards that should probably be in your deck whenever possible.

Tenth Place: Nezumi Graverobber

nezumi graverobber

Nezumi Graverobber is vulnerable to removal, but it can wreck havoc in any multiplayer game. With multiple player’s it’s not only likely that you will find a graveyard that’s easy to exile, but you’re also likely to find plenty of things to bring back to life.

Ninth Place: Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant

rune-tail, kitsune ascendant

Rune-Tail is great because of the 40-life rule. It is likely to flip right away. The ability is one that is often dismissed, but it is great in creature heavy decks and is a great combo with cards that produce a lot of tokens.

Eighth Place: Lurking Predators

lurking predators

I’ve had great luck with Lurking Predators 1-on-1, but it’s really broken in multiplayer games. Of course, you do need to build around this card. You’ll want a lot of large creatures in your deck, and some Eldrazi should be in there somewhere.

Seventh Place: Hallowed Burial

hallowed burial

Hallowed Burial is great because of the “general rule.” Generals that die or are exiled can be put into the “command zone” and can be cast again from that zone. Hallowed Burial stops that from happening.

Sixth Place: Consecrated Sphinx

consecrated sphinx

Consecrated Sphinx is great, but it’s even better in multiplayer. If no one kills it, then you’ll draw more than enough cards to do whatever you want.

Fifth Place: Condemn


Like Hallowed Burial, Condemn is good at stopping generals. It is the best removal against generals in the set. (Spin into Myth is also worth playing and has a similar ability, but it costs five times as much mana.)

Fourth Place: Hinder


Hinder is also good because of the “general rule” as well as cards with flashback or other graveyard abilities. It costs more than Condemn, but it can stop just about any spell, so it’s much more versatile.

Third place: Luminarch Ascension

luminarch ascension

Luminarch’s Ascension is great in multiplayer. Many players refuse to play it because it encourages players to gang up against you. Even so, it encourages them to do that precisely because it’s such a good card.

Second place: Mystic Remora

mystic remora

Mystic Remora is great in multiplayer games because there’s a good chance you’ll draw several extra cards from it. Players will almost never want to spend the extra mana.

First Place: Serra Ascendant

serra ascendant

Serra Ascendant is the best example of a broken card from Commander’s 40-life-rule. It’s likely to be a 6/6 creature with flying and lifelink for one mana. Need I say more?

Honorable mention: Mind’s Eye. Just about every Commander deck should have a Mind’s Eye in it, and I’ve already talked about how good it is. (It’s another card that’s great in multiplayer.)

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1. akapes - March 6, 2012

Condemn cannot be used as Planeswalker removal, because it says “target attacking CREATURE”.

2. James - March 6, 2012

Akapes, thanks for the correction. I just meant removal vs generals.

3. Kyle - May 28, 2012

Mystic remora is no better in multiplayer because it only targets one opponent.

4. James - June 14, 2012

Mystic Remora no longer targets: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=159831

5. Kyle - July 13, 2012

Wow. I missed that change. They didn’t seem to change the functionality of the rack or black vice. I wonder why they did for the similarly worded mystic remora.

6. James - July 13, 2012

I have no idea. There are a lot of random changes to Magic cards. For example, Castle now helps untapped attacking creatures. Of course, it was printed to do exactly that at one point.

7. PandaMaster - September 9, 2012

Remora still sucks. It’s cumulative upkeep that means every turn it’s alive u have to pay 1 more or it goes to the grave yard 1-2-3-4 unless you play it very late game it will cripple your mana and If you are in late game others will pay the 4 to stop it.

8. James - September 9, 2012

Yes, it has cumulative upkeep, but it’s worth paying for in multiplayer. It is likely that other players will play things and let you draw cards.

9. goat head - October 29, 2012

I agree with condemn although I think maybe terminus or banishing stroke would be better here because of the fact that alot of people have generals that never attack mainly because the activated abilities are better or whatever the reason

10. goat head - October 29, 2012

Of course I play with all of them in my norn deck

11. James - October 30, 2012

I wrote this before Terminus or Banishing Stroke were made. I have never used Banishing Stroke, but it is probably a good card.

Terminus is a lot like Hallowed Burial.

12. Rich - November 9, 2012

Condemn can target a planeswalker…. if that planeswalker is gideon ;p

13. GroundChuck - November 12, 2012

What about Mimic Vat? If you choose the opponents general when they cast it, the general dies because they are both legendary.

14. James - November 13, 2012

I like Mimic Vat, but it doesn’t do anything when a player casts a general. If a general dies, it goes to the command zone and will not be exiled by Mimic Vat either.

15. Jeff - September 23, 2013

Just wanted to point out that if a card sends your commander into your library somehow it cannot be saved by choosing to put it into the command zone. If a card says put on bottom of or shuffle into library, the commander rule does not allow it to be put into command zone. I learned this when a judge told me i could not have a different color sleeve on my commander precicely for this reason.

16. Wes - October 18, 2013

You most certainly can have a different sleeve on your commander. Everyone, including yourself, is suppose to know exactly where your commander is at all times. It’s commanderness is always known and nothing can change that.

17. James - October 23, 2013

I don’t think you are supposed to use a different sleeve when the card is in your library. That can give you information that would not be available otherwise. Any player who cuts your deck would also likely want to cut your commander to the bottom.