The Top Control Commanders in Competitive EDH

Updated on October 22, 2019
Devon Lemieux profile image

Devon has been playing Magic since 1994. He is an enthusiastic player who mainly enjoys the Legacy, Vintage, and Competitive EDH formats.

I love playing control decks in any format. I love generating incremental value over my opponents and wearing them down and then winning with some kind of haymaker or lock out.

Unfortunately, when I first started playing CEDH, I kept getting told that there's no way to play a competitive control deck in the format. Combo was king, and a single control deck could never keep three other players in check with incremental value. You would stop one opponent from winning, only to have the next opponent combo out the following turn. I was always told to play Stax if I wanted to control the whole table.

Fortunately, the CEDH community has been working hard and coming up with interesting ways to develop control decks that can keep pace with multiple opponents while winning quickly once the dust clears. This article is going to talk about the best control commanders currently in the format. This list will not include Stax commanders. I will cover those in a separate article.

These commanders are listed in no particular order.

1. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

Remember what I mentioned above about not being able to out-value three opponents at once? Well, Rashmi directly addresses that problem head-on. The first counter/kill spell/hate spell you cast every turn replaces itself as long as Rashmi is in play. Her ability is like an upgraded cascade effect, which you can use to really gain maximum advantage.

My only problem with Rashmi is her color identity. Although there are many powerful green and blue cards, I feel like you really miss out on some of the removal and tutor power that black offers.

Many people have been leaning more towards a 4-color Rashmi deck that uses Thrasios and Vial Smasher instead of Rashmi as the commander.

2. Baral, Chief of Compliance

I haven't played with Baral as my commander, but I've played with him enough in other commander decks, as well as in other formats (mainly modern storm) to know the sheer value that Baral brings to the table.

His cost reduction is very nice in any control deck since you need to stretch your mana out over four turns to be able to stop game-winning combos. His looting ability is great for deck velocity. Sometimes, it's just as good to push through your deck as it is to have raw card draw.

3. Breya, Etherium Shaper

Breya has long been a favorite commander of mine. There are a couple of reasons that she is one of the highest played commanders in the format. First of all, she fits many different deck archetypes. She's a win condition by herself as long as you have a mana engine. She can control enemy creatures. Lastly, her color identity allows you access to many different card combinations.

I really like her as a control commander because of her ability to repeatedly kill enemy creatures. This can really create a lot of advantage throughout a game and heavily disrupt commander-centric combos. Once you exhaust your combo opponents, you can then put together an infinite-mana engine and win the game with Breya herself. This means that your win condition takes up fewer slots in your deck, which improves your draw quality throughout the game.

I personally use Divergent Transformations, sacrificing thopter tokens, to get Auriok Salvagers and Trinket Mage. The trinket mage will then find a Lion's Eye Diamond. Putting this bomberman combo together creates infinite colored mana that I can use to win the game with Breya herself.

The weaknesses of Breya are twofold. First of all, casting a 4-color commander, on curve, in a non-green deck is pretty tough. Also, using her as a win-condition requires infinite COLORED mana, which is a lot tougher without mana dorks.

Secondly, Breya is completely shut down by both Null Rod and Cursed Totem and any card with similar text. This means you need to fight through a lot of fairly common hate to get to a win condition. She also is hit by the sheer amount of artifact removal in the format.

4. Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Tasigur was the first control commander I saw in action that actually seemed to work. He's easy to cast, even when you're short on mana. He generates tons of value. With enough mana, he can be a combo-enabling engine. He also encourages politics at the table. You can activate Tasigur's ability and ask an opponent to give you a card that would stop another opponent at the table.

BUG/Sultai is the most powerful color combination in the format, giving you access to all of the best and powerful cards.

5. Thrasios // Vial Smasher

Thrasios is clearly a staple in CEDH as one of the top commanders all-around. He is a card draw engine all on his own and is very cheap to get onto the board. His partner ability really allows a lot of flexibility in playstyle. A control deck using this commander has access to the raw card draw that Thrasios brings while enabling many different combos to close out the game.

What I've seen most recently from this pair is the use of the Divergent Transformations combined with Notion Thief and Whirlpool Warrior to create a lock where your opponents lose their hand and can no longer draw any new cards. This is effectively a game-ender unless someone has an on-board or instant-cast answer to Notion Thief.

Conclusion

So what do you think? Do you have a personal favorite commander for your control game? Did I miss a commander above? Let me know in the comments below.

Questions & Answers

© 2019 Devon Lemieux

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)