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Top Ten Mono-Color Commanders You Aren't Playing


Hello folks!

I hope that your day is going well!

There are a lot of Commander out there that you aren't playing. Why? Has the community collectively been given forget-me-not pills? The goal of today's article is to shine a light on some of these forgotten forces.

Earlier this year I looked at some pretty good Commanders that I think you've been forgetting about.

All of those were multicolored. Recently I've been looking at the least played Commanders according to EDHREC.com and I was a little surprised by some.

But then as I turned to the mono-colored colors? And I saw how few of these you were running? I was shock-ified.

Today we are going to set the record straight.

For today's list, every single mono-color option must have fewer than 50 decks registered. As of right now, they have 230,734 decks registered, so fewer than a 50 is a tiny amount. For the record, I won't be including any newer cards. Obviously, a mono-colored Knight from Throne of Eldrainemay not have passed 50 yet but could. Instead these are all cards that are strong, suggest good builds, and have been around long enough.


Honorable Mention #1 - Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

Tahngarth is pretty unique among Mono-Red leaders. He plays into more of a mid-range, grind-y value-over-time style of play. Swing but keep him back. Tap and fight something. Get advantage over time but in a powerful, board altering way. It's really doesn't feel Mono-Red, and you are unable to unlock a very different Mono-Red build. Enjoy!

10. - Kongming, "Sleeping Dragon"


Want to lead a team? Want to have a Glorious Anthem on a stick for one more mana? Most of these lords only pump up a certain tribe like Soldiers or Zombies. Or only things of a certain color, like all Red Creatures. But Kongming? Hey! If you have it, it's getting pumped! The massive flexibility here is something special. Also, after it's been reprinted, you can get this for a pretty cheap investment in black border. And yet we only have 14 registered? How?

9. Hythonia the Cruel

Hythonia the Cruel

Hythonia is a powerful body at the kitchen table! Where she is strongest is at the head of a classic Mono-Black Control build that uses cards like Cabal Coffers, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, and more to make a lot of mana. You can drop her, and then when you need, monstrous her up. You've swept the board, save for her. Now she can swing and dominate with her newly 7/9 self, killing in just a few Commander hit-smashes. Hythonia is a strong powerhouse in this shell. Why are only five of these registered?

8. Pia and Kiran Nalaar

Pia and Kiran Nalaar

Pia and Kiran are rare among potential Commanders. They have both a token maker and a sacrifice engine for them built into a single leader. They were heavily played when printed in Standard and other places, as you get a strong four power for four mana as well as two of them rocking that sweet, sweet, flying. You can run them out there as a great leader for Mono-Red artifacts as they are cheaper than other options like Bosh, Iron Golem; or they are better and more reliable than folks like Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer.

How do these numbers make sense:

Slobad - 36 decks

Bosh - 84 decks

Pia and Kiran - 16 decks


7. Ertai, Wizard Adept

Ertai, Wizard Adept

Counterspells are innate card disadvantage in a multiplayer game. If you are playing a four player Commander game, then you are being outdrawn 3:1 already. A 1:1 trade at counter isn't going to get you where you want to go. Sure, there are a few ones out there like Dismiss or Mystic Snake that can help to fight against that, but for the most part, they are innate card disadvantage.

And that makes Ertai amazing. He's a cheap 3-drop that can tap on the next turn to counter stuff. He's not sacrificing anything like himself. You don't have to discard a card. His only cost is mana, and it's the same amount of mana you'll have the turn after he drops - four. That's just one more than Cancel for a recursive counter. He also has a cheap price on the Reserve List, has a unique ability that we've never seen before, and takes over a game. Did you forget he existed? How are only 12 decks registered with him?

6. Baru, Fist of Krosa

Baru, Fist of Krosa

Baru is amazing in a Mono-Green shell! Assuming you have a lot of Forests, and you should, he basically has a landfall that pumps the team and gives them trample. That ability to break through defenses is quite strong. Also note that there are a number of "Forests" that aren't a basic land. I've seen him break games quickly and get in fast kills. Two Forests from the hand and ramp are great ways to really put some folks out of reach, and note that he will pump himself. Now to be fair to Baru, he's one of the most played on today's list, checking in at 26 decks.

But here are examples of Green dorks with more decks registered -Thrun, the Last Troll; Anthousa, Setessan Hero; Joreal, Empress of Beasts... well, you get the idea.

Punch your way to Justice!

5. Sun Ce, Young Conquerer

Sun Ce, Young Conquerer

I actually have a Sun Ce Commander deck in MTGO, by the by. Which means I have just as many Sun Ce decks as have been registered over on EDHREC. How is that possible?

Let's unpack this.

Five mana. Enters the battlefield trigger that bounces a dork on arrival. 3/3, and unblockable (essentially). How is this card not played more?

It's amazing in blink shells, loves pants to suit up and take the fight to your foe, has a pertinent ability the entire game, is good for mid-range. What isn't to like here? And how is there just one of this guy registered on EDHREC.com? Come on now! Get your Sun Ce on.

4. Kira, Great Glass-Spinner

Kira, Great Glass-Spinner

Kira is an all-star for leading a Mono-Blue build. No one wants to lose their dorks to removal. I don't want your Swords to Plowshares or Chaos Warps from looking at my precious creatures! Kira is amazing at protecting with her shells. These also protect herself as well, so she is a Commander with a built-in level of protection. She's also just three mana, so she has a fast deployment to the battlefield, or post-removal with that Commander Tax. Despite how amazing she is as a leader, she only has a similar amount of usage to Baru. 26.


Spin some glass and try her out!

3. Empress Galina

Empress Galina

There was a time when EDH was introduced, and Empress Galina didn't feel fair. When our playgroup adopted Commander initially around 12 years ago, no one ran her as a leader. Stealing the vast number of legendary cards out there like creatures and more felt unfair, and she was basically banned in our playgroup as a Commander.

However, things have changed. The format is very, very spike-y now. Planeswalkers are now legendary too, increasing her range. She has a number of tips and tricks she can run. In a format where Commanders are usually enabling a win-condition that can win very early in the game, stealing that Commander so they have to play fair seems... fair. Empress Galina is certainly answerable, she's a 1/3 for five mana, and she needs to have something like Lightning Greaves or such to really work. She's a strong value added for today's metagame.

2. Lieutenant Kirtar

Lieutenant Kirtar

Two. I've built two decks around Kirtar using him to show off the power of White. He was may leader for '"White is the best mono-color for multiplayer" argument where I built a Commander deck around him for you. Kirtar was also my leader for my White Multiplayer Hall of Fame Commander deck I built for Wizards of the Coast.

For your three-mana investment, you get a flyer that can block, swing, grab a sword, and do all of those other creature things. Then you can sacrifice it for two mana (and it doesn't require any tapping to use) and now an attacker is exiled. It doesn't have to have attacked you. With the pertinent ability, cheap cost, and easily repeatability, this is one of the best Mono-White control leaders to this day. Unleash it.

Much like Sun Ce earlier, how is there just one of this guy registered on EDHREC.com?

1. Yuan Shao, the Indecisive

Yuan Shao, the Indecisive

Zero decks registered. Think about that. Zero. How are there four Chandlers but none of these? Are they fans of the Friends series? This guy is very, very strong. Why? How?

This card:

Goblin War Drums

Yuan Shao says your dorks can only be blocked by one. The War Drums says you can only block with two or more. Result? Your entire team cannot be blocked, with the War Drums or other menacing abilities. All of these effects will entire an unblockable nation of goodness. How could you deny the synergy? The flavor? The fun-ness? Indecisive no more!

*(But should be!)

What did you think of my list? Anything you agree or disagree with? Just let me know!

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