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MTG: Absolutely Stunning – Top Monk Commanders

4 Minute Read
Jun 25 2024

The path to enlightenment may be peace, but it’s occasionally also a cardboard fist to the face for your EDH opponents.

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

Whether you’re playing D&D or watching a Martial Arts film, Monks are the masters of combat. They prioritize enlightenment and self-improvement over weapons and can usually project their aura to perform incredible feats.

In MTG, that usually manifests with the prowess trigger, allowing your creatures to grow with each noncreature spell you cast. Monks don’t need an army: the more they study, the stronger they are. With that in mind, you can guess that most Monks fall into the Jeskai colors. Prepare to unleash your peace with these five incredible Commanders.

The Archimandrite

An interesting Commander, The Archimandrite is all about hand size. The bigger your hand, the more life you gain. The more life you gain, the stronger your Monks get. Pack your deck with some card draw and a few of the juicier Monks (like the other four on this list, perhaps), and watch the fireworks.

Narset, Enlightened Exile

While she isn’t the Narset that haunted EDH players’ dreams for a long time (you’ll see her later), this might be the nastiest version of Narset to date. Not only does she hand out prowess to ALL creatures, but you can steal cards from any graveyard. Not only does the theft benefit your board state, but it buffs your creatures, too, since it will trigger their prowess. There’s really no wrong way to play this Commander.

Elsha of the Infinite

Another prowess piece, but one that likes reading the future, Elsha is an incredible “big brain” Commander. Since you can cast the top card of your library at any time, so long as it isn’t a creature, you can cheat out some incredible things. It’s like an extended card advantage.

Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest

I absolutely love Shu Yun, and he’s well worth the admiration. Like many of the other Monks on this list, he has prowess, but he takes it a step further. Any time you cast a noncreature spell, you can pay two Boros mana to give a creature double strike. Combine that with whatever spell you just played to buff the creature, and you’ll have a living cruise missile in no time.

Narset, Enlightened Master

There was a time when this card made you the immediate archenemy at the table. These days there’s just too much that can do what she does faster. However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t still a monster, and well worth taking at the head of an army of Monks.

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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