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MTG: Holy Commanders, Batman! – Top Five Cleric Commanders

4 Minute Read
Apr 23 2024

These MTG Commanders are the holiest of the holy…usually. I still wouldn’t invite them to your worship place of choice, though.

Welcome Planeswalkers and Praetors to our ongoing series about the best casual experience in Magic: Commander.

Clerics were one of the first typal decks I built back in the day (even before I played Commander), and I’ve always been a fan of them. When I first started with them, they didn’t do much in the way of damage, but they could prevent a lot of damage headed at their controller and could drain their enemies.

These days, Clerics have all sorts of nasty tricks, from the classic drain-gain to deathtouch and even demons! Best of all, they can still make a wall of light to keep your enemies slowed down. If you want a deck full of stax without ACTUALLY playing stax, Clerics might be the way to go.

Orah, Skyclave Hierophant

Orah is in the best colors for Clerics, and he embodies the best parts of his Orzhov roots. A 3/3 with lifelink is already pretty great, but whenever one of your Clerics dies (even by your own hand), you get to bring back a Cleric that costs less. With all the low-cost Clerics in Orzhov, you’ll almost always have a target for this ability. Even if you don’t, though, gaining three life every time Orah attacks isn’t a bad deal.

Tymna, the Weaver/Ravos, Soultender

Usually, when you’re building partner Commanders, you want to deviate from the same colors. However, Tymna and Ravos fit together surprisingly well. By providing evasion, lifelink, buff, recursion, and card draw, this duo of Clerics can set you apart quickly. Again, you’ll be in Orzhov, so you have a lot of utility in your deck building. Ravos is the perfect lead for an Aristocrat deck, and Tymna can help you get the cards you need when you need them.

Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim

This is one of my favorite cards of all time, and they fit well into the Command zone. A 2/2 with deathtouch for two is a great deterrent, but Elas also deters your opponent from killing your creatures. Whenever you play a creature, you gain a life, and whenever that creature dies, each opponent loses a life. Again, you’re in Orzhov, so you can throw away your own creatures to drain your opponents. Plus, if you throw out enough creatures with deathtouch, you’ll be draining your opponent AND killing off their best attackers.

Athreos, God of Passage

Athreos isn’t a Cleric himself, but he’s a God, so it’s close enough. He’s an indestructible 5/4 beatstick for only three mana, but you have to turn him on with at least five other black or white pips first. However, you don’t need him to be a creature to get his best ability. Any time one of your creatures dies, you get it right back unless an opponent is willing to pay three life. Will you get a good creature back, or will your opponent spend their most precious research? Either way, you win.

Taborax, Hope’s Demise

The unholiest holy man, Taborax is an incredible and versatile Commander. He starts as a 2/2 with flying, and gets stronger whenever one of your nontoken creatures dies. Once he gets to five counters, he gains lifelink, increasing his threat even higher. Best of all, if the creature that dies was a Cleric, you get a Phyrexian Arena effect, potentially putting your wincon in your hand even earlier.

What do you think of these Commanders?


What is 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, 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.

Author: Clint Lienau
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