EDH/Commander is my favorite format. It allows such a wide range of deck-building options, and you can really express yourself through your decks. This appeals to me greatly, especially when I see theme decks, and especially flavorful decks. I tend to make either really powerful decks, or really casual decks.
I’d like to share my favorite commanders with all of you, within 4 different posts. This time, I will cover my favorite mono-color commanders. Mono-color commanders offer the purest color pie experience in EDH. The decks are oftentimes single-minded, having access to only one color. You really get to see the weaknesses and strengths of each color, even with access to nearly all of the cards in magic’s history.
Mono-Blue : Memnarch
Memnarch is probably my favorite creature in MtG. He is the World Warden, the Wicked Wizard, the Obsessive Overlord. Memnarch takes your permanents…all of them.
With infinite mana, Memnarch serves as the best theft-based mana sink in the game. He keeps your opponents’ permanents….permanently. He turns card advantage on it’s head, by allowing you to gain an advantage while disadvantaging your opponents. Normally, filling your deck with mana producers seems underwhelming, but Memnarch turns any excess mana into additional permanents on your battlefield. He is oppressive, yes, which is why I only play him when I’m playing against other powerful combo decks. And with a head that big, how couldn’t he out-think his opponents?
Strength : Card Advantage
Weakness : Aggro Decks
Mono-Red : Kamahl, Pit Fighter
Kamahl is the champion of the Pit. He is a vicious gladiator, coating his massive blade with the blood of his opponents. Pretty manly, eh? Alas, he lacks stamina; he is a one-minute man. But man, does’ he know how to smash during that minute!
Kamahl is the king of pingers. He is a lightning bolt on a stick, who deals 3 damage to any target the moment he comes out of the command zone. But more importantly, he comes out swinging, possibly doing 6 commander damage to an unfortunate opponent. He is aggressive, and also shoots lightning bolts. To me, Kamahl is a red purist, epitomizing the classical aspects of the color. You can build him as tribal pingers, or you can voltron him up, or you could just run burn spells and hasty creatures. His versatility is his strength, just as it was in the Pit.
Strength : Damage
Weakness : Big Booty Blockers
Mono-White : Crovax, Ascendant Hero
The Time Spiral Block gave us so many amazing remixes of the color pie, game mechanics, and even previous characters. Crovax is known as being a merciless vampire, corrupted by Phyrexia and turned against his previous allies. His story is complex and nuanced, creating a multi-faceted character with a living, breathing history. In typical What-If fashion, Planar Chaos gave us a parallel universe-version of Crovax, who’d been cleansed of his corruption, and who became an incredible force for good.
I love Crovax, and always wished he’d gotten a happier ending during the Weatherlight Saga. This card gave him that happier ending. Because he fights against the evil that had corrupted him, and as such, I build him with a Black-Hate theme. Because he fights the darkness, I have him joined by a team of creatures that have Protection from Black, and various tools to lock down their black minions and the swamps they come from. Crovax is an anthem that can be saved from nearly everything for 2 life, who sometimes nerfs your opponents’ creatures. He is the hero we deserve, but not the one we need when we’re not going against a black deck. 😀
Strength: Going against Mono-Black decks
Weakness : Going against another Mono-White deck
Mono-Black : Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Poor Mikaeus. Once a religious leader, he was turned into a zombie by that evil wench, Liliana. Just as she corrupted my favorite Planeswalker, Liliana defiled the pious Mikaeus, and used him as a puppet for her own ends. A tragic end to a holy man who tried his hardest to preserve a dying faith.
This Zombie is actually a combo machine. He goes infinite with so many cards that it borders on ridiculous. And with access to Black, you can easily tutor for all of your combo pieces. Bring pack your creatures endlessly, while draining or pinging your opponents to death death in the process. It’s easy as 1. 2. 3 combo pieces! I solemnly swear as a Johnny player that Mikaeus is a combo player’s wet dream. Humorously enough, I almost always forget that he destroys humans that deal damage to you!
Strength: Winning Outright
Weakness: Getting Hated Off the Table
Mono-Green : Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Look who decided to become a member of the Green Party! Kamahl had a revelation within the deepest parts of the Forest of Krosa, and spent a great deal of time meditating on all of his past crimes as a Mono-Red brute. Being taught by the forest and it’s protectors, Kamahl became a druid, and found an inner peace through continued meditation. His future was not a peaceful one, however, seeing how he was forced to kill his own sister, who’d essentially been turned into an avatar of death by the evil Cabal.
Kamahl’s Green incarnation is even more versatile than his red one. Not only does he turn lands into prime targets for removal, but he also pumps your entire team. Overrunning your opponents with infinitely big creatures is always good for a laugh, and a win! Just as he epitomized the classic features of Red in his previous card, the Kamahl represents what makes Green great; the ability to punch your opponents really hard. I mean, look at those bulging muscles!
Strength: Big Brawny Creatures
Weakness: Board Wipes
*Colorless – Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
To finish things off, let’s cover the mysterious and inherently weak Colorless….color? Not having access to colored mana drastically reduces your options for things like early interaction, but it doesn’t matter when you fill your deck with artifact ramp and slam down the always cranky, never lackluster Ulamog.
Eldrazi Titans are notorious for their cast triggers, which normally ensure that you aren’t wasting large amounts of mana to cast a spell that might just end up getting countered. Spending 10 mana to exile two permanents is pretty amazing by itself, but imagine getting a 10/10 indestructible creature out of that has a disgusting attack trigger! And by the way, you always have access to it! EDH is one helluva format, eh?
Strength: Exiling Stuff
Weakness: Slow to Interact
Tune in next time for my favorite 2-color commanders!