The "Big Five" in EDH.

Hello everyone, I've been a little lazy doing whole cycles of commanders and decided to do something a little different. Today, we'll be reviewing the five Legendary Creatures with the highest rating on Gatherer, I'll mention the others that were >4.5/5, but not reviewing them entirely. These creatures are the epitomy of flavour, vorthos and power, so here they are:

Vorthos and Power indeed. Those of you who enjoy the storylines will see that all five of these creatures played an important role in each of their respective blocks, and for some, far beyond that. So, let's see what they have to offer us:

1. Akroma, Angel of Wrath. (Community Rating: 4.603/5.00)

Meet Akroma. The Godmother of Fatties. Although she lacks the "build around me" aspect that I strive for in Commanders, she remains nontheless a beatstick on a stick. I wouldn't play her specifically, because monowhite has way nicer options for a fast aggro deck (Odric, Master Tactician or Pianna, Nomad Captain call to mind). However, I understand her high rating, as she was the Scion of every superpowered fatty, and she is the  ultimate emblem of this, she has even went on to create a lineage (Akroma, Angel of Fury, Akroma's Memorial, Sphinx of the Steel Wind). Akroma is a name known by many MTG players, and a name that should be known. She is a threat to answer to in any format, and although wizards have made better creatures throughout the years, Akroma still lives on as "a classic" fatty that still sends shivers down spines. Old players and new will look upon this angel and see the destructive capabilities it holds. No rest, no mercy, no matter what.

2. Sliver Queen. (Community Rating: 4.618/5.00)

Another Vorthosian classic. Although not the most rated legend of the Wizards community, Sliver Queen remains nontheless THE most expensive of the five here, and for good reason: Not only is this Sliver a massive 7/7 for five mana (albeit color intensive), but she is also the most brutal token producing engine ever to exist. Two measly colorless mana to create a token. That's something that you can combo on with almost anything. Ashnod's Altar creates a perfect loop to which you can add a Blood Artist or a Doubling Season, whilst Mana Echoes grants you infinite mana and tokens instantly, Cathar's Crusade or In the Web of War call to mind. These are just examples of what the Sliver Queen can acheive. And did I mention it was a Sliver? You can twist the Sliver Queen into a tribal EDH, but she shines truly in a combo loop. Harmonic Sliver and Necrotic Sliver are good quality Slivers played even in non-sliver EDHs (with the queen, they become truly brutal.) Not to mention the flavor this creature oozes. Slivers are a brutal, predator race, and this creature is their Queen, she controls them, she IS them. No wonder she's so powerful (and expensive, but that's because she's on the restricted list). I, for one, feel lucky to own one in my own Sliver EDH (I could literally remove her and make an EDH just for her, because she's that good).

3 Karn, Silver Golem. (Community Rating: 4.619/5.00)

Karn is also a very important character in MTG history, along the ranks of Bolas, Urza, Yawgmoth (and Jace?). This planeswalking, time-travelling, world creating golem has a lot to answer for, and answer that he does. Being a 4/4-0/8 for five mana isn't the important part here, it's animating artifacts that is. For one mana, you get a 9/9 Darksteel Forge, or a 6/6 Ward of Bones. You may be restricted to playing no colored lands at all, but you'll find that there are a lot of mana rocks (Sol RIng, Thran Dynamo, Darksteel Relic and useful lands (Urza's Tower and co, Crystal Vein, Temple of the False God, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, etc.) that can help you ramp up to some very powerful artifacts and (dare i say?) Eldrazi. Karn is a very interesting and odd legend to build around, but he can be very powerful and very fun at the same time, which is good.

4.Oona, Queen of the Fae. (Community Rating: 4.24/5.00)

Oona is the antagonist of the Lorwyn//Shadowmoor blocks. Using her extremely powerful magics, she cast a spell that transformed the world every 100 years to a quaint world where the sun never sets to a nightmare land where the sun never rises. Her flavor alone tells us how powerful she is, and her actual card very much makes up for it. I have said many times before that U/B lacks some powerful commanders, and actually, Oona is probably the strongest of them all aswell as the "bane of monocolor EDH". (My other favorites are Lazav, Dimir Mastermind and Sygg, River Cutthroat). Oona is a hybrid card, meaning you can fit her as a monoblue, monoblack or UB commander, and in all three contexts she is insanely powerful. Blue gives you access to some very nice clones, and tutoring (my favorite being Trinket Mage into Skullclamp), whilst Black gives you more tutoring, wrath effects (Decree of Pain), and a LOT of sacrifice outlets (Attrition). And the combination of the two gives you some of the best shenanigans you can wish for (Dire Undercurrents, Reap Intellect). You'll want to run a lot of mana-sacrifice outlets for Oona, because you'll want to immediately sacrifice your tokens to exile even more cards. Phyrexian Altar and Ashnod's Altar do the trick just fine here. And then Oona herself is still a flying 5/5, which gives her a great amount of bulk, which she needs, because she'll be attracting a lot of attention.

5. Memnarch.(Community Rating: 4.630/5.00)

We had Karn as one of our most popular generals, but it seems his creation is even more so. Memnarch is also a great figure in MTG history. Once the Mirari, an artifact of great power that created a great war involving Phage the Untouchable, Kamhal, more Slivers, and Akroma, he was recreated as the warden of Mirrodin by Karn whilst he travelled the planes. He later went mad and tried to acquire his own spark to find his master. You can almost sense Memnarch's desire to control everything to reach his ultimate goal. And what a goal. Given infinite mana (hardly an impossible feat in an artifact-heavy monoblue EDH), Memnarch can steal everything forever (and make them artifacts to boot, yay Metalcraft). Fabricate, Tezzeret the Seeker, Arcum Dagsson and others will tutor you all the cogs and wheels you need to steal your opponent's bombs/combo engines, and your monoblue package of counterspells will protect you along the way. I, personally, am not one for counterspells in multiplayer EDH (and to that extent, monoblue in general), but that's everyone's choice. Memnarch remains a powerful commander, with a lot of political power, and he is THE Legend that the Wizards community loves the most.

_______Honorable Mentions_______

Now, these five weren't the only commanders with a rating above 4.5 in the gatherer, but they didn't make the top 5 (except for one that should have, but that I already reviewed. Here's a small summary of what these guys are capable of:

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is a card that would have come between Karn and Oona, but I've already reviewed her. Check out the "Praetors in EDH" for a detailed analysis on her.

Gaddock Teeg is a groovy little hatebear that encourages a weenie-based EDH, but his hate-ness will cause displeasure on the board.

Kira, Great Glass Spinner works in the same department. Forcing your opponent to waste not one, but two spells to remove a creature you control can be very annoying. Not to mention you're playing monoblue, which indirectly leads to loads of counterspells.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a hatebear as well, but not as annoying as the other two. Slap a few cheap equimpent on her and a weenie strategy and she can be put to good use.

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary and Kokusho, the Evening Star are both also on the list, but are banned as commanders by the rules. However, they are still extremely powerful, and worth playing in their colors if you have them.


That settles this blog! As usual, I'd ask for a top five on your commanders, and explain why.

1) Sliver Queen: Tokens, tokens, and tokens. Not to mention the five colors, great body and the fact that its a Sliver!

2) Oona, Queen of the Fae: More Tokens! She also has a great body, is also a queen, can exile some dangerous threats and makes tokens in the process! What's not to like?

3) Karn, Silver Golem: Shenanigans with artifacts PLUS the oppurtinity of a no-color EDH? My johnny senses are tingling...

4) Memnarch: Artifacts rule too! I'd try not to run counterspells, but I would eventually put a few in.

5) Akroma, Angel of Wrath: A Classic, a Beautiful creation of Wizards. Sadly not very useful as a commander in EDH...
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