Countless strategies exist for Magic’s popular Commander format. While many players start out with the preconstructed decks or the most popularly-used generals, there are so many other strategies out there, just waiting to be discovered. So today, we are going to be exploring some underrated generals that are all solid options if you’re looking for a new deck to try out.
This list is in no particular order, and while some of the commanders on it may see some substantial play, we feel that they are overshadowed often enough by other generals to be put on this list.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with:
This duo of wizards has been a fringe deck in EDH for quite some time; it’s never fully caught on, but it does see play. In my own experience playing the deck, it can honestly be quite powerful with the right list. Personally, I prefer to run the deck Voltron-control style, very similarly to a Modern or Legacy Delver deck. Tibor and Lumia’s colors of Blue and Red make it perfect for running such a strategy. While other commanders in the Izzet colors such as Mizzix and Melek seem like better choices for a Blue-Red control deck, Tibor and Lumia can really hold their own, applying substantial pressure on your opponents through carefully-calculated tempo swings. Not to mention that if you enjoy Delver type decks, this commander is a blast to play.
Additionally, this same strategy can also be achieved with Wydwen, the Biting Gale.
Linvala is for those who aren’t afraid to be constantly targeted by their opponents. While there are many strategies that a player can run around her, such as White Weenies, Prison Lock Down, and Angel Stompy, Linvala Stax is the list we will be discussing today. The deck is just insanely good; while not being as powerful as some other stax decks such as Derevi, the mono White Linvala plan can really put a damper on your opponents. White’s many, many low mana costed reanimate spells make the deck incredibly resilient. Utilizing cards such as Winter Orb, Magus of the Tabernacle, and Land Tax allows the deck to quickly lock out a game from your opponents, all the while preventing their creatures from activating abilities. Generally, this deck wins through commander damage from Linvala, but it can also win by completely locking everyone out of the game.
While Selvala is definitely a played general, it sometimes seems like she doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves. The decks Selvala can command range for a variety of strategies, from pillowfort to creature toolbox. However, in our experience, the most powerful strategy she can be in is combo. In a multiplayer game, Selvala has the ability to generate infinite mana very easily at insane speeds with (Umbral Mantle and Wirewood Lodge). She can completely overrun your opponents with a surprise Craterhoof Behemoth and win the game completely out of nowhere. Additionally, the deck can easily attack from multiple angles, utilizing powerful mana generators such as Priest of Titana and Elvish Archdruid to switch to an elf tribal strategy. Search spells like Green Sun’s Zenith and Chord of Calling help to smooth out your answers and additionally allow a pilot to run a small toolbox to deal with difficult situations. With Selvala’s incredibly fast and resilient combo potential, plus elf tribal and toolbox aspects, she can definitely hold her own in a game of EDH.
The mono black Chainer deck can be an absolute powerhouse. Under the right pilot, it can completely lock out games from people; the inherent reanimator strategy is just soooo powerful in a multiplayer game. If you play against this deck, don’t expect to see your creatures again after they leave the battlefield (you’ll most likely end up staring them in the face as they swing at you for the win). Every creature in the deck is incredibly resilient, and over time, it becomes almost impossible to remove this deck’s board presence. Chainer is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and is a cool commander to try out if you like reanimator strategies.
While Alesha is played often enough in commander to be a notable contender, she still gets overshadowed by other commanders (such as Kaalia). Most players tend to play Alesha in a lock down weenie deck, which tries to do small things with creatures that have entered the battlefield effects, and then repeat them over and over again. For example, a player can lock an opponent out of land by using Avalanche Riders. However, while that strategy is definitely very good, Alesha can be played in a much more unforgiving way. Keeping the lock-down aspects of the deck (Avalanche Riders, Karmic Guide, Fulminator Mage, Magus of the Moon, and Bone Shredder) and adding tutors, reanimation spells, and cards such as Buried Alive, Alesha can turn into a combo powerhouse. Kiki-jiki, Restoration Angel, Mikaeus, Anafenza, Viscera Seer, Murderous Redcap, Phyrexian Alter, and Felidar Guardian are just a few examples of various combo pieces that synergize quite well with the deck’s strategy. If you like combo control strategies, Alesha is definitely a fun and powerful option to try out.
While Kozilek is by far the most heavily played of the mono-colored commanders, he still gets overshadowed by more appealing “in-color” commanders. However, Kozilek is incredibly powerful. The deck plays very similarly to Modern Tron in some aspects, and can lock out a game incredibly easily. Its big mana generation is almost impossible to keep up with, and the huge, unforgiving Eldrazi creatures in the deck are incredibly difficult to answer efficiently. The strategy is just incredibly stout, and, once it gets rolling, almost impossible to recover from. Not to mention that Kozilek has the ability to counter almost any major spell that you attempt to play.
While there are definitely many more commanders that are underrated or overshadowed, these are just a few that we feel deserve some more recognition for the work they’ve done in players’ decks over the years. If you have any commanders you feel are underappreciated, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!
And, as always, happy gaming!