While the Commander technique of Magic: The Gathering is rife with decks that fall into a wide variety of archetypes, graveyard-focused decks are an extremely popular option that can be found within several colors. While graveyard-focused decks are usually used or destroyed, this zone is capable of functioning as a second hand.
These decks are often known for their resiliency and ease of accessing powerful cards through the use of reanimation effects. Here are a few suggestions for graveyard commanders. Here are some of the best techniques that the Commander format has to offer.
8 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Although primarily known for its dominant run and subsequent banning in Modern, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is an impressive creature that can serve as a powerful Golgari (green/black) graveyard commander. While this may sound rather straightforward and underwhelming, Hogaak''s strength is in the manner in which you cast it.
Though it technically costs seven mana to play, mana isn''t allowed to be used to play Hogaak. Hogaak has access to both convoke and delve, thus your creatures and cards in your graveyard can be used to cast this remarkable creature without the need for mana in the first place.
Fortunately, creatures such as Satyr Wayfinder and Stitcher''s Supplier are capable of milling yourself, and they may serve as board members to assist Convoke. As Hogaak can even be cast from the graveyard, where you can reliably pay commander taxes.
Hogaak excels when combined with self-milling effects, allowing it to reliably cast to keep putting pressure on your opponents.
7 Old Stickfingers
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, a Golgari (black/green) graveyard commander option is displayed. Old Stickfingers is a card that gives value similar to the mana used to cast it.
When Old Stickfingers is cast, its controller takes cards from the top of their library until they''ve used X creatures. This effect also causes Old Stickfingers to grow into a quite significant danger.
It''s advised not to cast this commander until well into a game, as to ensure that it provides you with valuable value. Interestingly, for those looking to mill as many cards as possible, including a below-average number of creatures in your deck. This means that for only a moderate mana investment, you may have access to a massive graveyard, enabling mechanics such as flashback, dredge, and delve.
6 The Mimeoplasm
The Mimeoplasm, a classic commander system that allows you to make use of not just your own graveyard, but your opponents''. A Sultai (black/blue/green) Ooze for five mana, The Mimeoplasm, a traditional commander option, is a versatile tool for you to make use of non-smoothing opponents.
The Mimeoplasm is able to exile any two creatures from any graveyard, then becomes a copy of one of these exiled creatures, and gains +1/+1 counters equal to the power of the other exiled creature. This allows the Mimeoplasm to not only become a copy of the finest creature currently in any player''s graveyard, but also an improved version of it.
The Mimeoplasm, which is combined with self-milling effects and massive creatures, may be used to give early access to these devastating creatures while giving it an boost of power. For those interested in controlling a Blightsteel Collossus with several +1/+1 counters as early as turn five, the Mimeoplasm might be your commander.
5 Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Karador, the head of the Commander configuration, was first printed back in Commander 2011, and the card for the Ghost Chieftain is also used in Commander versions. Although Karador may seem costly at eight mana, this Abzan (black/green/white) commander is liable for one mana less to cast for every creature in your graveyard, meaning it will most often be cast for its minimum cost of three mana.
Karador allows you to use one creature card from your graveyard once in play. This can make it extremely difficult for opponents to deal with your creatures for good, as Karador simply allows them to be re-cast with ease. Alternatively, Karador may, however, help you to get the most out of the most deadly death triggers in the game at any time, accumulating substantial value.
4 Nethroi, Apex Of Death
Nethroi, a traditional graveyard commander, offers an incredible graveyard-based benefit, generating panic whenever it happens, while instilling the use of a traditional graveyard staple and a mutant mechanic.
If Nethroi mutates, you may return any number of creature cards with a total power of 10 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. A 5/5 Cat Nightmare Beast with deathtouch and lifelink for five mena.
This can allow you to repeatedly fill your graveyard with a single trigger of this ability, but subsequent triggers can quickly lead to a victory by amassing incredible value.
3 Olivia, Crimson Bride
Crimson Vow, Olivia, and Crimson Bride are all in command of a Rakdos (black/red) commandership that can lead an aggressive and combat-focused graveyard deck. Olivia is a 3/4 with flying and haste for six mana with an excellent attack-based triggered ability. When Olivia attacks, you can return a creature from your graveyard, which is targeted and aggressive.
While many comparable effects such as Gyrus, Waker of Corpses only allow a recurred creature to be utilized for one turn, the creatures that Olivia returns from the graveyard are able to stay consistent for as long as you control a legendary vampire.
Olivia can be used to cheat Eldrazi titans or a Blightsteel Colossus from your graveyard and immediately attacking an opponent if combined with self-mill or discarding effects.
2 Muldrotha, The Gravetide
Muldrotha, the Gravetide, which is first printed in Dominaria and has an incredible amount of time to store it. Although this price may be steep, Muldrotha provides incredible access to your graveyard.
During each turn, you may play a land and cast a permanent spell of each permanent type from your graveyard. This may, in a deck with a wide spectrum of permanent types, be able to access up to five cards in your graveyard each turn. If this deck is combined with enough self-milling effects, a Muldrotha player may end up casting more spells from their graveyard than they have cast from their hand once this creature is in play.
1 Meren Of Clan Nel Toth
Meren of Clan Nel Toth has been one of the premier players in quest to build a graveyard-focused Commander deck. For four mana, this Golgari (black/green) Human Shaman provides its controller with an experience counter whenever a creature dies. This means that if Meren is destroyed and re-cast, it will be just as powerful as it was when it had last been in play.
Meren is an excellent graveyard commander because it is capable to return creatures from the graveyard to play with ease at the beginning of your end step.
Meren''s card can be returned to your hand, thus making it more accessible. However, if the card''s mana value is less than or equal to the amount of experience counters you have, it is put directly into play! Meren is in incredible partnership with sacrifice outlets and Aristocrats that can provide experience counters as well as self-milling effects that can provide a Meren player with additional options of which cards they''d like to return to play.