I enjoy mono-colored Commander decks. There is a purity to playing into what the color pie offers each deck. Decks are also relatively easy to build as you can ignore the vast majority of your collection when pulling out cards for your deck. I went through each color and pulled out my favorite mono-colored legendary creature.
White – Mageta the Lion
Mageta is not the best card in the world, but he is my favorite mono-white general. It’s the art and flavor text that draw me in. I’ve tried in the past to build him as a slow control deck with Crucible of Worlds and some artifact based draw spells, but it didn’t really work out. The deck both wasn’t that fun to play against or to pilot. The good news is that cards don’t have to be good to keep you interested in them. Mageta currently happily lives in my Karador, Ghost Chieftain deck as a repeatable and graveyard filling wrath effect.
Blue – Lorthos, the Tidemaker
Was there any real question here? Lorthos commands my favorite Commander deck. The octopus proves to be a mana sink and a game ending threat all in wrapped up in body of one big grumpy octopus. Lorthos also doesn’t draw that much hate in games, until people have played the deck. As far as mono-blue it’s not all that threatening when you read the card. It’s not until a Whelming Wave or a Dismiss into Dream resolve that the octopus’s ability gets a whole lot more threatening. My only issue with Lorthos, and it is unfortunately a big one, is that the deck can lead to very uninteractive games. Of all my decks, Lorthos requires me to most frequently ask after a game is over “was this fun to play against?”
Black – Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
Mono-black has a lot of very good commander choices, and I have played many of them. Despite this, Korlash is my favorite. When I first really got into commander I felt that multi-color decks needed all kinds of fancy expensive lands that I didn’t have. Korlash was my answer. The zombie pairs well with cards like Loxodon Warhammer, yes I know a hammer is a bit of a flavor fail, to shamble into the red zone. Korlash can also lead most black decks as a midrange threat that scales as the game continues. My copy of the card currently resides on the sidelines of Commander decks. It may be time to change that.
Red – Neheb, the Eternal
The recent zombie minotaur is my clear favorite as a mono-red commander. That’s saying quite a bit in field with Feldon and Godo, but Neheb holds the throne. Burn has traditionally been pretty lackluster in Commander, but this one card changes all that. He is a mana engine that turns Lighting Bolt into a better Dark Ritual. My version of Neheb lights the table on fire and hopes that he’s the last one standing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Neheb does have a potential flaw in that it ends games quickly. If you want to play long epic games of Commander, my Neheb deck isn’t for you. That said the deck and commander has generated a lot of love with players wherever I play the deck.
Green – Nissa, Vastwood Seer
Green, despite being my favorite color when I started playing Magic, is still missing a mono-green legend that really pulls me in (maybe Ghalta will change all that). That being said, my current favorite is the flip Nissa from Origins. She ramps mana and hopefully draws a few cards as the game goes on. What else do you want in a green deck? Nissa currently leads a wurm tribal deck. She may get ousted for the giant t-rex, but only time will tell.
Bonus – Colorless – Kozilek, the Great Distortion
Roberto Moser encouraged me to build Kozilek around the beginning of the year and it’s been a smashing success. Kozilek may be the least threatening of the eldrazi titans, except maybe the newest Emrakul, and I love that. Not drawing the hate that the other eldrazi bring allows the deck to breathe. Kozi draws cards, occasionally counters spells, and tries to close games with two hits. That sounds like a sweet commander to me.
Those are my favorite commanders for each mono-colored option. I don’t think any of them are the most powerful, but they are my choices. What are your favorite mono-colored generals? What are you doing with them?
Until next time, happy brewing
– Cowboy Kyle
P.S. I’ll be at PAX Unplugged next week so if you want to play some Commander, come find me.