BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

MTG: Top Five EDH – Gruul (GR) Commanders

4 Minute Read
Aug 20 2023

MATH IS FOR BLOCKERS! SMASH CIVILIZATION, PROMOTE ANARCHY! Ahem…I mean…let’s talk Rakdos (Red/Black) Commanders.

Welcome Planeswalkers and Praetors to our ongoing series about the best casual experience in Magic: Commander. For the uninitiated, Commander is a semi-casual format for Magic: the Gathering, where you use a deck of 100 cards led by a legendary creature, your Commander.

Aside from basic lands, you are only allowed one copy of each card in the deck. Moreover, you can only include cards in your Commander’s “color identity” or artifacts. Each color and color combo has a unique playstyle and a wealth of mighty generals to lead your deck to victory. is a great source for Commander info and can give you ideas to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

Sometimes in Magic, you don’t want to do all those fancy spell tricks; After all, who wants to cast an intricate but powerful spell when you can just SMASH PUNY WIZARD INTO PASTE! Gruul, the combination of Red and Green mana, is the color of stomping faces and leaving no traces. While some of the Commanders on the list can get a little combo-happy, for the most part, you want to be stomping your enemy with a size 500 boot.

Tovolar, Dire Overlord/Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge

In the Innistrad block, a day and night cycle was introduced, empowering certain cards and giving them new abilities depending on which was active. Of course, in the horror-themed world of Innistrad, that meant werewolves showed up. Tovolar is the king of the war puppers, ensuring they stay fuzzy. Plus, in true Gruul fashion, he can empower the teeth of one of his fellow lycans (or himself). He also gives you card advantage, which is never a bad thing.

Omnath, Locus of Rage

Lands are the most common cards in Magic; you can’t play the game without them (or a lot of Moxes but…that’s a different story). Having an effect trigger whenever a land shows up on your side is pretty nasty, especially in Green, where you can skirt the usual “one land per turn” rule. Omnath combines your lands with a nasty 5/5 creature drop, letting you start the smash train early. Even better, should your opponent try to off any of your Elemental friends, they’ll take damage for their trouble. Omnath fits the overwhelming strategy of Gruul perfectly and adds a little spice for flavor.

Chishiro, the Shattered Blade

A little bit more of the long-game player, Chishiro wants to make sure your murderous army goes to battle well-armed. Whenever you play said armament, you get a 2/2 Spirit, and every turn, your armed creatures get even bigger. The best part is you don’t have to KEEP the weapons on them; once they have a counter, they’re modified for good. That means you can trade your prized swords and armor around while still buffing your growing army of ghosts.


Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Known amongst players as “mana dorks”, creatures with mana abilities usually aren’t heavy hitters. Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves, and Devoted Druid are all valuable creatures, but you probably wouldn’t trust them in a fight. Raggadragga wants to change that by turning your tiny creatures into beat sticks and still giving you the benefit of their skills. Plus, once you cast a big spell like Craterhoof Behemoth or Finale of Devastation, one of your creatures becomes an absolute monster. Now if only you had the mana to cast it…oh wait, you do.

Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald

Another of the more tricksy Gruul Commanders, Faldorn nonetheless gets the smash going early. She wants you to be playing things from exile, which means madness, suspend, and foretell are all her friends. That lets you delay your spells until the perfect moment or surprise your opponent with sideways plays. Even better, any time something of yours happens from exile, you get a Wolf token. After enough time, you’ll have a whole pack of angry puppies ready to turn your opponent into dog food.

Author: Clint Lienau
  • MTG: Top Five EDH - Dimir (UB) Commanders