Commander doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s a fun, casual format that should be accessible to anyone who wants to get into Magic: The Gathering. Today, I’ll be providing you with the 10 best budget commanders for each guild.
There were two main things I kept in mind while choosing these commanders.
- First, they had to be under $5. Any commander over that amount is too expensive to be called a budget commander. Most cards on this list are around the $1 range.
- Secondly, I wanted to make sure each commander reflected the themes of their guild. For example, a Golgari commander should have a graveyard theme.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the best budget commander cards for each guild in Magic: The Gathering!
10 best budget Commanders in Magic: The Gathering
Azorius – Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
Price (as of this writing): $0.65
Lavinia is the best affordable stax commander you can get right now. She’s under a dollar and offers a lot of deck flexibility. Her low CMC allows her to be played several times over the course of a game
Several Magic: The Gathering decks in Commander try to ramp and cast big spells. Lavinia helps slow down the game and punishes decks that try to execute those strategies.
When opponents cast free cards, it’s never fun. Electrodominance is a great example of a card that casts spells for free. Lavinia is incredible at stopping cards that have effects like this.
Dimir – Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
Lazav, Dimir Mastermind can adapt to any scenario. In a Commander game, creatures are going to be dying all the time. With three opponents, you’ll have several creatures to choose from to have Lazav transform into.
This card also ensures favorable match-ups against creature heavy decks, and is Hexproof which is an extremely strong keyword.
Rakdos – Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
Grenzo scales very well into the late game. Since he has X in his mana cost, you can constantly dump your extra mana into him. This makes Grenzo a threat during all stages of the game.
This goblin can set up explosive turns with its 2-mana ability. Even if you have an empty hand and board, Grenzo has you covered.
FInally, Grenzo is great for chaotic games. Some Commander decks feel repetitive because of their linear strategy. Due to the random nature of Grenzo, you’ll never have a boring game.
Gruul – Nikya of the Old Ways
The mana ramp of this card is insane. Sure, you can’t cast any noncreature spells, but the upside is well worth it. Plus, in Magic: The Gathering Commander it’s harder to destroy lands than it is to destroy artifact ramp.
Although Nikya restricts you from casting noncreature spells, you can still use the excess mana for creature abilities. Captivating Crew is a great example. And if you just love casting creatures, Nikya of the Old Ways is the commander for you.
Selesyna – Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
Price (as of this writing): $1.00
Selesyna is all about going wide and gaining life. Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice is the best commander to support both themes.
Trostani is also a late-game powerhouse. She’s able to quickly overwhelm your opponent’s with tokens.
Another strength of this Magic: The Gathering card: you’re going to be gaining a crazy amount of life with Trostani.
Orzhov – Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
Ayli is scary. She can enter the battlefield as early as turn 2, and creates extremely consistent value over the course of the game.
She also provides graveyard decks easy access to a sacrifice outlet. If you like graveyard strategies, Ayli is definitely the way to go.
Finally, Deathtouch protects you from threats during all stages of the game.
Izzet – Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Niv-Mizzet, Parun was made with Commander in mind. This commander forces your opponents to think twice before casting a spell, or else they’ll give you free card advantage. Also, this card can’t be countered. This guarantees that Niv-Mizzet will always enter the battlefield.
The flexibility to deal 1 damage to anything is awesome. It gets rid of annoying tokens, but can also act as a finisher if you need to squeeze through that last little bit of damage.
Golgari – Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Price (as of this writing): $1.58
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord does everything you want a Golgari commander to do. He has graveyard synergies, provides a sacrifice outlet, and can bring himself back from the graveyard. And you don’t have to pay Commander tax anymore. Since Jarad can easily bring himself back from the graveyard, you never want him back in the command zone.
As a final treat, he’s able to deal damage to all opponents simultaneously. What more could you ask for?
Boros – Feather, the Redeemed
Price (as of this writing): $1.35
Feather, the Redeemed provides an exceptional amount of card advantage, which is extremely hard to find in Boros. You get to cast a lot of spells with this commander. This means there will be a good amount of decision-making with Feather.
Finally, Feather works extremely well with the Heroic mechanic in Magic: The Gathering.
Simic – Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Price (as of this writing): $1.22
Personally, I don’t like following a rigid strategy. I like having options and having the ability to adapt to different scenarios. If you can relate, then I promise you’ll love Rashmi, Eternities Crafter. Over the course of a Commander game, she’s going to net you a bunch of card draw, and can even cast cards for free!
Rashmi can build built several ways. Ramp is a popular strategy when Rashmi is the commander. However, Rashmi offers more themes than just Ramp. She can also be used as a control commander.
That about wraps it up for my thoughts on the 10 best budget commanders for each guild in Magic: The Gathering. It’s was difficult trying to choose which commanders I wanted on the list, so make sure to let me know if there was a budget commander you wanted to see!
Anyways, stay tuned to SQUAD for more Magic: The Gathering Arena guides!