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MTG: They Do Move in Herds – Top 5 Dinosaur Commanders

4 Minute Read
Feb 1 2024
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The Dinosaurs once ruled the Earth, and with these five Commanders, they can help you rule the gaming table as well.

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. You use a deck of 100 cards led by a legendary creature, aka, 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. EDHRec.com is an excellent source for Commander info and can give you ideas to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

Dinosaurs have been one of the most popular creature types ever since their renaissance in Ixalan, and they certainly deserve the hype. Not only are they usually powerful creatures, but they almost always come with a suite of keywords. The return to Ixalan in 2023 gave them a lot of powerful new options, including the current (as of 2/1/24) top spot over on EDHREC. If you want a powerhouse Commander that has a few tricks, you can’t go wrong with Dinos.

Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

The undisputed king of the Dinosaurs, Gishath has been the top dog of the dino world since he hit the game. Even though he can’t unseat Pantlaza for overall popularity, when it comes to Dinosaur typal decks, you can’t get better than the OG. He can dig out up to seven Dinosaur creatures and cheat them onto the battlefield while still stomping your opponent. Plus, in Naya, there are SO many ways to make him even deadlier.

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Pantlaza, Sun-Favored

The top contender for over two months, Pantlaza is an incredible Commander. Bringing the Discover mechanic into the dino arena, he plays one of the nastiest decks out there. However, he’s just as deadly as a typal Commander. While not quite as potent as Gisath, he can still catapult out extra dinos with rapid speed. Just make sure you have some high-toughness offers.

Atla Palani, Nest Tender

While not a Dinosaur herself, Atla Palani can make a surprising army in a short amount of time. She can produce an unassuming 0/1 Egg, which isn’t much at first. However, if one of them happens to die, you get a free creature. Since your deck is full of giant Dinos, you know you’ll have something nasty to throw out. Plus, with all the self-damage abilities in Dino typal, you’ll be cracking Eggs left and right and throwing out much bigger threats.

Zacama, Primal Calamity

What’s better than one head? Three. That’s especially true for massive primal Dinosaur avatars. Zacama doesn’t do as much for the rest of his army, but he is an incredible single piece. He untaps all your lands when he hits the field, can block flyers, run over blockers, and does a host of other lovely things. In Naya he makes the perfect Voltron Commander, but as a typal leader he falls a little short.

Owen Grady, Raptor Trainer/Blue, Loyal Raptor

A partnership fit for the cinema, Owen Grady and his beloved companion Blue make incredible typal Commanders. Owen can throw out a keyword to Blue, and Blue can give it to all your other dinos. This is the perfect combo for adding some extra flair to your dino deck. Plus, in Temur, it’s a step away from the typical Naya.

What do you think of these Commanders?

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Author: Clint Lienau
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