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MTG: Ascend from the Depths – Top Five Demon Commanders

4 Minute Read
Mar 14 2024

These are the Commanders your mom warned you about. Be careful making deals if one of these fearsome five hits the table.

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. is an excellent source for Commander info and can give you ideas on how to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

In a world of magic, warriors, and wizards, it makes sense that Demons would want in on the action. These powerful entities prey on the weak or the beaten down to earn souls. In the world of MTG, Demons usually gain power from pain, either through sacrificing your creatures, taking out your opponent’s creatures, or dealing damage. They can do plenty of damage themselves, but their true power comes from their secondary effects.

Be’lakor, the Dark Master

Passed over as the Everchosen by the Chaos powers, Be’lakor is nonetheless one of their deadliest agents. He’s a 6/5 with flying for six, a powerful beater Commander, but he still benefits from having allies.

When he hits the field, he drains some life from you in exchange for cards, each equal to the number of Demons you control. Even better, while he’s on the field, your Demons hit the field like a comet, dealing their power to anything you want when they enter.

Rakdos, the Showstopper

Rakdos is probably the most famous Demon in MTG, and for good reason. The titular leader of the Ravnican cult, he even lends his name to a color combination.

This incarnation of the big guy wants to clear the field of everyone who doesn’t entertain him. Aside from being a 6/6 beater with trample and flying, he can take out every non-hellish creature on a coin flip. While it isn’t a reliable wipe, it’s enough of a threat that your opponent will have to be wary of his arrival.

Rakdos, Lord of Riots

The Commander so nice he’s on the list twice, this incarnation of Rakdos is no less deadly, but a little more welcoming of friends. You have to deal damage to your opponent to get him out, but once you do, the rest of your deck will be practically free.

He reduces the cost of all your creature spells by the life your opponents have lost that turn, meaning that whenever he attacks, all your spells cost at least six less. Unleash an army of Demons, Devils, or whatever else you can cook up.


Raphael, Fiendish Savior

A character from Baldur’s Gate, Raphael is happy to make deals in exchange for fealty and souls. He’s a 4/4 flyer, which isn’t a huge threat, but he gives the rest of your devilish warriors a power buff and lifelink. The rest of your Demon army will be draining the life from your opponents in short order, giving you more to spend on your other effects.

Abaddon the Despoiler

Abaddon is not a Demon himself, but he does make for a good Demon Commander. Again, he cares about life loss, and he gives all the spells that cost LESS than the life lost cascade. If you get off a big hit, you could potentially get a massive drop for free.

What do you think of these Commanders?

Author: Clint Lienau
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