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What are the Best Elementals for Commander?

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Hello Everyone! I'm Levi from The Thought Vessel Show, and today we're looking at one of my favorite creature types: elementals! These beings of elemental energy can pack quite a punch in a game of Commander, so today we're going to look at the best of the best. For this list, we will be evaluating these creatures based on their overall impact on the game, not necessarily how well they work in an elemental deck. As always, let's start with some honorable mentions!

Honorable Mentions

Yarok, the Desecrated
Risen Reef

Yarok, the Desecrated - Sultai's very own Panharmonicon, Yarok is a beast to handle. Though most builds tend to fall into a landfall strategy, doubling the "enter the battlefield" effects on all permanents you control opens a lot of potential. A common win condition in this deck involves using something like Palinchron to generate infinite mana and close things out in various ways.

Risen Reef - As far as an elemental tribal deck goes, Risen Reef might be one of the best support cards in the game. Every enter the battlefield effect from an elemental turns into either a draw or ramp, depending on your top card. The reason it makes the honorable mention list is that this effect also includes itself, providing a higher floor.

Number Ten

Omnath, Locus of Creation

An absolute menace in the 60-card format world, Omnath, Locus of Creation is a value machine in Sans-Black. Drawing a card upon entry is a great effect, but gaining life, ramping, and dealing 4 damage to each opponent is solid for a creature that only costs four mana. Additionally, if you're looking to be beautifully degenerate, you could clone Omnath as many times as possible for maximum value.

Number Nine

Vigor

This card single-handedly prompts one of the most intriguing questions a Commander player will have to deal with: "Do I take the damage now, or do I block and make everything worse for me later?" Completely ignoring damage and converting it into +1/+1 counters, this creature has been a headache in Commander pods for years. This is especially true in decks utilizing Red, as a Blasphemous Act giving your creatures +13/+13 and clearing the board usually spells victory.

Number Eight

Solitude

You know what would make Swords to Plowshares better? If it could be cast for free or as a lifelinking body at a later date. The versatility of this card, as well as its evoking counterparts, is very impactful and useful in different stages of the game. I personally run this card in my Brago, King Eternal deck, and it is an absolute game-changer every time I get it out.

Number Seven

Maelstrom Wanderer

In my opinion, Maelstrom Wanderer is the perfect Temur creature. It's big, has haste, and accrues additional value on cast, just like Green, Red, and Blue creatures do. This creature is just as effective in the command zone as in the 99. Haste is an incredibly underrated keyword, and putting it on a 7/5 creature and possibly two other spells with mana value seven or less is an incredibly valuable effect.

Number Six

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild

This is the sneakiest card on this list by far. Since Wizards doesn't seem to have players destroying lands with more recent card designs like Stroke of Midnight, Void Rend, and Abrupt Decay, destroying an Ashaya, Soul of the Wild becomes that much more difficult. It also is the perfect counter to effects like Cyclonic Rift.

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Number Five

Bane of Progress

Arguably the best board wipe Green has to offer, Bane of Progress has been a Commander staple for years, destroying all artifacts and enchantments in one go. Depending on the game, Bane of Progress usually becomes a massive attacker, collecting a +1/+1 counter from each artifact and enchantment destroyed. Bane of Progress is iconic in this format.

Number Four

Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Speaking of iconic, Muldrotha is the only elemental to hold the title of top commander on EDHREC for any period of time, dethroning Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, though she would be reprinted and reclaim that title later. Muldrotha is a graveyard recurring machine. Making the most of cards like Accused Marauder, Seal of Doom, and Mystic Remora, this card gets better and better as the game rolls on to the point where Muldrotha simply takes over. This card is incredibly fun to play.

Number Three

Omnath, Locus of Rage

No elemental list would be complete without Omnath, Locus of Rage, aka The Angry Jellybean. Known as one of the top landfall cards in the format, this creature can build up a board of 5/5 elementals remarkably fast with what I would call "sweeper insurance." For every elemental destroyed, the Omnath player has a lightning bolt that can be sent to any target. It is not uncommon for Omnath to have enough elementals on board that if they are swept, the lightning bolts are enough to take out the whole table. Long live the Angry Jellybean!

Number Two

Avenger of Zendikar

It is very hard to tell the story of the Commander format without mentioning Avenger of Zendikar. Avenger of Zendikar is one of the top played Green cards in all of Commander and used in ten percent of all eligible decks according to EDHREC. This is not a build-up-a-board-quickly effect like Omnath; this is an instant board that grows over time until it becomes powerful enough to wipe out your opponents.

Number One

Animar, Soul of Elements

Out of respect alone, Animar deserves to be number one. A commander from the original Commander preconstructed decks back in 2011, Animar is still seeing use to this day in both casual and competitive Commander tables. The ability to drastically reduce the casting cost of creatures (type doesn't matter) is a huge asset to any deck. Additionally, having protection from two of the best colors for removal in Black and White makes this elemental our number one elemental in all of Commander!

And there you have it: the top ten elementals in the Commander format. Thank you for reading. I hope this list puts you in your element... Until next time!

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