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MTG: Riddle Me This – Top Five Sphinx Commanders

4 Minute Read
Jun 4 2024

Brush off your trivia knowledge before you play these five Commanders; sphinxes aren’t known for their patience.

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

Magic is full of creatures from mythology all over the world. From the English Drakes to the Norse Dark Elves, there is no shortage of folklore favorites. So, of course, it makes sense that the enigmatic Sphinx would make an appearance. As expected, they usually occupy Esper or Dimir color combos and function best when you’re drawing cards and taking extra turns. If you want to play these five Commanders, be ready for a “big brain” game, as the kids say.

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.

Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign

First up is Unesh, a Sphinx that makes it easier to Sphinx. This goat-headed Commander makes it easier to get your Sphinxes on the field, and once they’re there, gives your opponent a difficult choice. They have to divide the top four cards of your library in such a way that you get no benefits. Sure, you lose a few cards from the top of your deck, but if you can play some graveyard shenanigans (or you’re trying to win with an empty deck), there’s really no bad choice.

Yennet, Cryptic Sovereign

Yennet is an intriguing Commander who cares less about WHAT you’re casting and more about its cost. Whenever she attacks, you reveal the top card of your library, casting it for free if it’s odd or drawing it if it’s even. If you build an entire deck of one or the other, you can control your draws, fire off nasty spells, or get whatever you need. You’ll want a lot of effects that let you scry or control the top card of your library for this deck. Thankfully, you have plenty of tutors for that.

Raffine, Scheming Seer

My personal favorite of the Sphinx Commanders, Raffine is the definition of Sphinx deck control. She lets one of your attackers connive, letting you cycle through your deck for exactly what you need. Pro adds for this deck are Library of Leng and Toluz to keep your discards in your hand, Reliquary Tower to eliminate hand size, and maybe a Lab Man to win once you’re out of cards.

Tivit, Seller of Secrets

If there’s one thing Commander players love, it’s game politics. Tivit is one of the top politicians and another “no bad choice” Commander. Stack this deck full of voting effects and make sure you always win with your extra vote from Tivit.

Medomai the Ageless

Medomai gives you an extra turn, but he can’t attack on any of those turns. However, there are tons of ways to get the effect over and over (Identity Thief/Helm of the Host comes to mind), so get ready for a lot of dirty looks.


What do you think of these Commanders?

Author: Clint Lienau
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