MtG: 14 Best Zendikar Rising Cards for Commander

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Wizards of the Coast have introduced both new mechanics and commanders in the latest Zendikar Rising set for Magic: The Gathering. Commander format will surely benefit the most from the returning Landfall mechanic, and the new commanders could create entirely unique archetypes. 

On top of that, there are some non-Landfall cards that will surely see play in commander format. However, most of the legendary creatures in Zendikar Rising will likely serve more as supporters rather than leaders.

This list highlights 14 of the best new MtG cards from Zendikar Rising for commander format that will see the most play. 

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Lithoform Engine

Lithoform Engine is an amazing artifact that combines three previously-printed (and very useful) abilities into one card. Suffice to say, it's a perfect card for commander format.

The best commander for Lithoform Engine is Yarok, the Desecrated, which doubles up all of Lithoform Engine's triggered abilities.

If you also run Mirror Gallery in your deck, you can create copies of Lithoform Engine using its third ability. 

Feed the Swarm

Mono Black players never had the chance to destroy enchantments in the past. Thankfully, Wizards of the Coast printed Feed the Swarm, which allows all black commander players to stand a chance against Rest In Peace, Ground Seal, and Leyline of the Void enchantments.

The only other card that could be used prior to this was Pharika's Libation. But it did not have a targeted removal ability, and simply asked an opponent to sacrifice one of their enchantments, which is totally useless if they control more than one enchantment.

Now that problem for Mono Black players has finally been solved.

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Omnath, Locus of Creation

This is the fourth iteration of the Omnath commander in Magic: The Gathering. They've all been good and worthy of inclusion, and Omnath, Locus of Creation is no exception.

The Landfall ability for Omnath, Locus of Creation is pretty spectacular, but it does stop after the fourth land drops. When that happens, though, you can bounce Omnath back to your hand, replay it, and use the ability once again. This version will also let you draw a new card every time you replay it.

Scute Swarm

Scute Swarm is similar to Scute Mob, and it can be a very dangerous card in any list focused on lands. It creates a copy token if you control six or more lands. 

If your opponent can't remove it before the sixth land drop, then you're essentially assured victory. 

 

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Ashaya, Soul of the Wild

This new elemental commander has a high power level, but what really matters here is that not only will lands trigger the Landfall ability, but they will also trigger your non-token creatures entering the battlefield.

Ashaya can be combined with the Storage Matrix artifact, which allows you to untap one type of permanent card on the battlefield. Since all your creatures will be lands, you can choose to untap lands and still attack, while your opponent will be in a much more difficult position.

Nahiri's Lithoforming

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King commander players will want to run Nahiri's Lithoforming in their lists due to Nahiri's sacrifice ability, which doubles the number of all the drawn cards and helps Korvold grow in size significantly.

Some say Scapeshift is better because it's cheaper, but Nahiri's Lithoforming has a card draw advantage. That's a big deal, especially in a commander format that runs many different cards.

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Malakir Rebirth

Malakir Rebirth is another useful black spell that immediately brings back one of your creatures from the dead.

What really makes this card special is that it's an instant spell and not an aura, which gives you a massive advantage over your opponent's choice on where to use their removal spells.

This will be a vital card for all decks focused on ETB and LTB effects. On top of that, Malakir Rebirth is a modal double-faced card that has swamp land printed on its back.

Felidar Retreat

Commander players that use Karametra, God of Harvests may consider Felidar Retreat as a new pillar in their lists. Alongside Karametra, Felidar has the potential to make your board grow fast, both vertically and horizontally, using its two Landfall abilities.

It is also advisable to run Field of the Dead and Cathars' Crusade alongside these both cards.

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Skyclave Relic

Artifact-based mana ramp plays a large role in many commander decks. Skyclave Relic may not be the best of the existing mana producing artifacts, but it is indestructible, which makes it increasingly useful.

It can be compared to Darksteel Ingot, but Skyclave Relic is better because it can create copies of itself. 

Valakut Awakening

Mono Red players will definitely want a copy of Valakut Awakening in their decks because it can relieve mana flood. 

Also, it is a great tool for Rakdos lists that run Grenzo, Dungeon Warden commander. You can use Valakut Awakening to manipulate the bottom cards of your library, and then use Grenzo's ability to put those cards onto the table.

Lastly, you can simply combine Valakut Awakening with The Locust God commander and produce a whole army of insect tokens.

Zareth San, the Trickster

Zareth San is a fantastic addition for lists running Anowon, the Ruin Thief commander, which synergizes well with rogue creatures.

Together, they can mill an opponent and then steal their creatures from the graveyard, putting them under your control. Zareth could also be a commander on its own, but his ninjutsu-like ability is better reserved for your hand.

Akiri, Fearless Voyager

Akiri works well in any Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale commander deck that focuses on equipped creatures. Colossus Hammer and Embercleave weapons will be put to a good use with Akiri, Fearless Voyager, making any equipped creature indestructible.

If that creature is a knight, then Syr Gwyn can re-equip that equipment for free, and you can attack again.

Taborax, Hope's Demise

Taborax and Athreos, God of Passage commander can be combined together to gain power by sacrificing creatures. You can then use Faith's Reward, Immortal Servitude, and Rally the Ancestors spells to bring back all the dead creatures from your graveyard and repeat the process.

Of course, you need another piece for this combo to work: Shadowborn Apostle. It will serve as a sacrifice, and you can have as many copies of it as you want, neglecting the commander format rule.

Orah, Skyclave Hierophant

Orah, Skyclave Hierophant is another card that could be added to the Athreos mix, but it can also serve well as a commander in its own right.

It can be used alongside Taborax, as well as other new cards from Zendikar Rising, such as Angel of Destiny and Cleric of Life's Bond. All these creatures are synergistic.

Orah can also benefit from Edgewalker, which can reduce its mana cost to just two colorless, and of the rest of the cleric creatures that have similar mana bases.

Those are the best cards for commander in Zendikar Rising. For more Magic: The Gathering content, card lists, and guides, head over to our MtG hub page here.

Published Sep. 15th 2020

Correspondent

Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin. Sergey doesn't own consoles because a PC is all he needs.

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