All 32 Modern Horizons 3 Commanders, Ranked

Ranking Magic’s next wave of busted legends.

Modern Horizons 3 is here, and with it, it’s bringing a grand total of 32 new legendary creatures that you can run in your command zone. Here, I’ll be sifting through every single one of them (including those from the Commander set) and ranking them from the worst to the best.

I have a few elements that I consider when ranking my Commanders. First, of course, is power — if it’s strong, it gets a bump. Next is fun, if it has a casual appeal, it’ll rise the ranks. Then, I consider ingenuity and uniqueness, giving cards that support something new a notable lift. Finally, I believe in how well a potential Commander supports an existing archetype and whether it can compete with Commanders already on that strategy. 

With all of this in mind, let’s get to ranking!

#32 Skoa, Embermage

Skoa, Embermage

Modern Horizons 3, Common

Skoa, Embermage - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

We have to have a bottom to every list, and the lone Common legendary is that. Skoa does some cool things in Modern Horizons 3 Limited environment, but for Commander itself? Overpaying for a legendary Flametongue Kavu isn’t where you should be, and his grandeur ability isn’t worth trying to jump through hoops for (unlike, say, Korlash, Heir to Blackblade). 

#31 Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student

Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student 

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

It takes something particularly potent to make Planeswalkers viable in Commander, and I don’t particularly feel that Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student is getting there. She comes down on turn one and can start easily generating you value, but if you just want to slowly draw cards from your command zone there is a nearly endless pile of other cards I can point you towards (and still more if you want artifact or Clue synergies). Let me point your inquisitiveness in almost any other direction.

#30 Sorin of House Markov

Sorin of House Markov 

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Sorin of House Markov - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Similarly, Sorin of House Markov is more than a bit slow. I like having an Extort source in the command zone, but if you want to be draining life totals, then there are an endless array of other options that will do the job better. Once flipped, he’s unlikely to stick, and it’ll be hard to bleed much value out of either side of him. No, you can build a better house with a far finer foundation than the one represented by this member of the Markov family.

#29 Grist, Voracious Larva

Grist, Voracious Larva 

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Grist, Voracious Larva - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Now we’re starting to edge into more playable options, though I’m still less than impressed. Grist, Voracious Larva is still an extremely efficient deathtouch threat and is one of the easiest of this cycle of walker creatures to flip. Once flipped, this walker presents more useful options, making potential deathtouch blockers or nuking problematic permanents, all with a cool ultimate if you can get there. All that said, still not hugely powerful and not really worth the command slot.

#28 Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury

Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

I like a Lightning Helix more than most, so getting a slightly overpriced one from the command zone is already good. After piling your graveyard high with Faithless Looting effects and more, you can then consistently escape Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury and outright dodge the Commander tax, which feels good. Unfortunately, what you get after jumping through those hoops doesn’t scale well into multiplayer, Lightning Helix does not carry its weight in the 40-life format and doesn’t impact Commander damage. The rule of cool here is real, but that’s about it.

#27 Ral, Monsoon Mage

Ral, Monsoon Mage 

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Ral, Monsoon Mage - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Spellslinger cards are sweet, and getting a cost-reduction effect out of the command zone is perfectly solid. Ral, Monsoon Mage is really only held back by the cards he competes with, not particularly standing tall against the likes of Mizzix of the Izmagnus. Still, at two mana, he comes in and starts discounting your spell-slinging swiftly, and while he might punch you in the face a couple of times before flipping into Ral, Leyline Prodigy isn’t hard to start generating value.

#26 Genku, Future Shaper

Genku, Future Shaper

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Genku, Future Shaper - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Adding flicker or sacrifice synergies to Azorius strategies is always interesting, and Genku, Future Shaper lets you create an exciting array of tokens along the way. He also offers a perfectly viable mana sink, growing the entire squad. Or should I say family? He climbs neatly up the ranks in part due to how wholesome he is as the husband of Tamiyo and making tokens that represent their adopted family. If you want to add some feels to your Commander experience, Genku gets the job done. 

#25 Ajani, Nacatl Pariah

Ajani, Nacatl Pariah 

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Ajani, Nacatl Pariah - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

One of the most efficient ways to play Cat Kindred in Commander, Ajani, Nacatl Pariah gets points for at least being a slightly new way to play an extremely popular creature type. Unfortunately, he has to compete with the likes of Rin and Seri, Inseparable and Arahbo, Roar of the World, and as efficient as he might be it’s really hard to recommend him over his competition. Still, if you want shirtless Cat-Dude Kindred, this is the best Commander since Marisi, Breaker of the Coil. 

#24  Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd

Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

I love a good dog, and Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd is precisely that. Dropping early and engineering lots of flicker bonus effects, Phelia can start churning out value from entering the battlefield effects while steadily growing bigger. Even better, if we were ranking just on cuteness, Phelia would immediately top the list. While I would still rather run plenty of other options for a Flicker deck, Phelia will let you do it while having a certified cutie in the command zone.

#23 Jyoti, Moag Ancient

Jyoti, Moag Ancient

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Jyoti, Moag Ancient - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

I don’t particularly like “Man Land” strategies, as putting your mana sources at risk in combat rarely feels particularly great. Jyoti, Moag Ancient at least generates its own little army without actually risking your mana base, but it will still be at its best when you can animate some lands to throw at your opponents. Buffing Jyoti can result in some satisfyingly large seismic swings, and the strategy can readily snowball, but I can’t say I’m sold on this real estate deal. 

#22 Ashling, Flame Dancer

Ashling, Flame Dancer

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Ashling, Flame Dancer - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

The newest iteration of Ashling, Ashling, Flame Dancer, compares favorably against her old variations. While her steadily stacking Magecraft trigger is itself fairly exciting, it’s her top line of text that is really worth building around. Omnath, Locus of Mana can do some silly things, and Red is arguably a much scarier color to bank mana with. Ramping up to a massive Fireball is among the least frightening things you can get up to, and that’s already spooky enough.

#21 Shilgengar, Sire of Famine

Shilgengar, Sire of Famine

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Shilgengar, Sire of Famine - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

As tempted as I am to shill for this Commander, as I dearly love a good demon, I can’t bump Shilgengar, Sire of Famine too much higher up the list. A 6/6 flyer for five is right where I want to be, and there is a lot of power to be had just in having a free sacrifice outlet sitting in the command zone. He generates a lot of Blood tokens, giving both artifact synergies and the ability to filter through your deck and rounds you out with a mass-reanimation finisher sitting in your command zone. The added anti-angel flavor is juicy, giving some fun Angel Kindred options to top things off.

#20 Omo, Queen of Vesuva

Omo, Queen of Vesuva

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Omo, Queen of Vesuva - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

“Everything” counters are super cool, and using Omo, Queen of Vesuva to juice essentially any Kindred strategy is a lot of fun. I’m not quite as sold on the land strategies that she engineers (which may tell you how I feel about the Tricky Terrain she comes packaged in) but the ability to do both is exceptional. Omo is extremely open-ended, bumping her higher up the list than she might otherwise deserve, and she might be my new favorite Changeling Kindred Commander.

#19 Disa the Restless

Disa the Restless

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Disa the Restless - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Lhurgoyf Kindred is exciting. Getting to play some potentially very large threats for “free” while you feed your graveyard is a heck of an experience, and Tarmogoyf tokens can quickly overwhelm the board as long as you can consistently get into the red zone with your team. Keep in mind that it tracks each player damaged separately, so you can potentially get three Tarmogoyf tokens a turn in a standard four-player game. Disa the Restless combined kit is solid, with the only real problem being the fact that there are not quite enough Lhurgoyfs to properly build around — at least, not yet.

#18 Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor

Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Some folks complain about how much Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice tends to play on autopilot. Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor gives you a comparatively more “fun” and varied payoff for playing auras and does so attached to a naturally lifelinking body. Pearl-Ear will take a bit longer to spin up by design but will feel very good when firing and has the bonus of making your non-aura enchantments easier to cast. I strongly recommend this for anyone interested in an aura deck. 

#17 Kozilek, the Broken Reality

Kozilek, the Broken Reality

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Kozilek, the Broken Reality - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Fittingly, Kozilek, the Broken Reality is a weird one. He lets you set yourself up with interesting manifestations while potentially giving the political “upside” of letting someone else get some manifest value — drawing you extra cards in the process. His buff empowers your assorted colorless threats, making him a solid option to head a peculiar colorless aggro deck. His power is much more subtle than basically every other Eldrazi Commander, which is potentially an upside since the hate for other colorless Commanders is likely to be notable. 

#16 Eladamri, Korvecdal

Eladamri, Korvecdal

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Eladamri, Korvecdal - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

While some folks are looking at Eladamri, Korvecdal as the next exciting Elf Commander, he doesn’t particularly compete well with the likes of Ezuri, Renegade Leader or [Lathril, Blade of the Elves]]. However, his ability to cheat out potentially impressive threats is something entirely worth keeping in mind, and he provides virtual card advantage as long as you have creatures to cast off the top. There are plenty of options for a Mono-Green Stompy, but Eladamri, Korvecdal will get the job done and does so far more efficiently than most of his competition.

#15 Kudo, King Among Bears

Kudo, King Among Bears

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Kudo, King Among Bears - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Kudo, King Among Bears is likely not all that powerful, though there is definitely a lot of fun in transforming everything into Grizzly Bears. If you want to build a Bear Kindred deck or a 2/2’s matter deck, you can do better with his mate Ayula, Queen Among Bears or my favorite Duskana, the Rage Mother, or my other favorite Wilson, Refined Grizzly (who may or may not secretly be a Cultist of the Absolute). Still, Kudo is an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite away from some brutal play, and that’s just the beginning of his shenanigans.

#14 Six


Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Six - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

My kingdom for this effect on a Commander with more than one color. That’s literally the only thing holding Six back from being much higher on the list, but as it is I cannot reasonably recommend Six over something like Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, or the new (to be featured further down this list) Coram, the Undertaker. That said, Six is the new king of grave value for Mono-Green, and you shouldn’t doubt the potential power here.

#13 Herigast, Erupting Nullkite

Herigast, Erupting Nullkite

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Herigast, Erupting Nullkite - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Cheating out cards is undeniably one of the best things you can be doing in Commander, and Herigast, Erupting Nullkite crashes in as a great option for cheat-y Mono-Red builds. It can potentially cheat itself out for next to nothing, then if your hand isn’t as full as you want it to be you can trade it out for three new cards. Once it sticks, you then get the option to sacrifice all kinds of fodder to power out some wicked plays. I’m personally looking forward to the day that I have a Terror of the Peaks and then chain a bunch of Emerge threats. Might be a bit of a Magical Christmas Land™ scenario, but let me dream!

#12 Imskir Iron-Eater

Imskir Iron-Eater

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Imskir Iron-Eater - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Have you ever dreamed of a powercrept Bosh, Iron Golem? Well, here you go. Potentially dropping from your command zone for as little as two mana, drawing you a healthy fistful of cards, and then threatening to dome any problematic targets with sacrificial artifacts — this demon does everything! He has mild anti-synergy with himself (sacrificing artifacts taking away his affinity numbers), but outside of that occasional feels bad, you’ll be more than happy to chew through some iron yourself to forge your way to a win.

#11 Emrakul, the World Anew

Emrakul, the World Anew

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Emrakul, the World Anew - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

You may notice a trend that the majority of Eldrazi Commanders are not going to be earning you any brownie points with the rest of the table. Emrakul, the World Anew is no exception, as she represents potentially ruining one player’s day while setting you up for a world-shattering win. Now, that said, her sacrificial downside is very real, and she isn’t quite as hard to answer as some of her kin, so you may be able to better get away with stealing some games with Emrakul!

#10 Cayth, Famed Mechanist

Cayth, Famed Mechanist

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Cayth, Famed Mechanist - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Pure, simple, effective. Cayth, Famed Mechanist is a painlessly cool and exceptionally solid design without any frills. We don’t see that enough anymore. She’s an engine all on her own, letting you pick tokens or counters and getting to bump either count up depending on your board state. She doesn’t ask for anything but a pittance of mana to get value every turn, and all the while you’re getting buffs or servitors with your other plays. A very fun card and worthy of starting in our top ten. 

#9 Rosheen, Roaring Prophet

Rosheen, Roaring Prophet

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Rosheen, Roaring Prophet - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

What I would consider something close to a “sleeper” on the list, a Metalworker for X spells may be narrow, but when shot down that narrow tube you’ll discover it’s much closer to a rifle barrel. While I imagine my girl Magus Lucea Kane is the better X spell Commander overall, if you’re allergic to Universes Beyond (or vehemently hate Tyranids, I suppose we can’t all have good taste) or would rather have one big X spell instead of copying a slightly smaller one, Rosheen is going to roar onto the scene to great effect.

#8 Satya, Aetherflux Genius

Satya, Aetherflux Genius

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Satya, Aetherflux Genius - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t think Energy is good. Wizards keep going back to this well, but ye olde Aetherflux Reservoir is decidedly empty. However, Satya, Aetherflux Genius doesn’t need to devote himself just to energetic shenanigans, as his aggressive cloning can put in an impressive amount of work, and you’ll incidentally be able to keep some copies around if you happen to have enough Energy laying around. 

#7 Coram, the Undertaker

Coram, the Undertaker

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Coram, the Undertaker - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

It’s always nice when a personal favorite manages to make its way high on the list, and my bias for graveyard strategies aside, Coram, the Undertaker is wickedly cool. Being able to loot graves for value is awesome and would be playable more or less on its own, but Coram combines the ability to play from the yard with the ability to become a game-ending Commander damage threat with the help of cards like Lord of Extinction. You don’t often see a value engine and a win condition rolled together so cleanly, and it’ll do some grave work. 

#6 Arna Kennerud, Skycaptain

Arna Kennerüd, Skycaptain

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Arna Kennerüd, Skycaptain - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Arna Kennerud, Skycaptain is a straightforward powerhouse. Any kind of doubling effect is something you should keep an eye on, and while Arna is missing Green for the likes of Doubling Season, there is still a staggering selection of permanents and counters that they’ll have no problem juicing. Creating token copies of attached permanents is likely to engineer some wild shenanigans, so I expect to see Arna flying over plenty of tables for the foreseeable future. 

#5 Azlask, the Swelling Scourge

Azlask, the Swelling Scourge

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Azlask, the Swelling Scourge - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Azlask, the Swelling Scourge squirms its way into the top five, representing an interesting twist on the likes of Ezuri, Renegade Leader or General Tazri, providing a solid Overrun effect from the command zone. Adding a potentially terrifying number of Annihilator triggers to that swing is quite spooky, though you’ll find that it may not actually be all that fun in actual practice. Annihilator is not particularly loved politically, so don’t be surprised if the table doesn’t put up with Azlask for more than a game or two.

#4 The Necrobloom

The Necrobloom

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

The Necrobloom - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

I cannot stress how good Dredge is. Getting a Commander that is an exceptional dredge engine attached to a Field of the Dead will do some mean things. Compared to some of the other cards coming up on the list, there is at least a little bit of subtlety to the power here, the design is more elegant than just “play me and win,” but it will still very often be able to do just that. The Necrobloom is the best new engine card to come out of the set and one I’m likely to build around.

#3 Ulamog, the Defiler

Ulamog, the Defiler

Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Ulamog, the Defiler - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Pure Timmy appeal and friendship-destroying power rarely come together quite so perfectly. Ulamog, the Defiler would be at the top of the list if we were just talking about the ability to make someone have an unfortunate time. Make no mistake, this might be the most feels bad Commander to see print in a while— he takes away people’s toys by exiling their library, stops them from interacting with him by forcing sacrifices, and completely annihilates boards if no one finds a way to answer him. That won’t matter if the rest of the (now likely very salty) table is dead, so if you’re not too stressed about defiling your friendships, Ulamog will crush it.

#2 Ulalek, Fused Atrocity

Ulalek, Fused Atrocity

Commander: Modern Horizons 3, Mythic

Ulalek, Fused Atrocity - Commander: Modern Horizons 3 - magic

Getting to double up on extremely powerful Eldrazi triggers and getting additional copies of the similarly potent Eldrazi themselves is a winning combination. While less powerful than getting multiple Artisan of Kozileks, you can double up on the many devoid Eldrazi. Ulalek’s “five colors” identity lets you jam as many “colorful” Eldrazi as you like into your deck while also giving you access to essentially every support spell in the game. It’s straightforward, powerful, and supports the previously ignored devoid archetype, easily ranking it among the best of the set. 

#1 Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Modern Horizons 3, Rare

Nadu, Winged Wisdom - Modern Horizons 3 - magic

This card is completely ridiculous. It can become almost inconsequentially easy to pile on a stunning number of triggers, drawing cards and ramping to such a degree that it’s almost laughable. 

You’ll be laughing, but the rest of the table won’t be.

I’m genuinely tired of Simic “Goodstuff” in Commander (wow, it draws cards and ramps, how original), and this is the best of that good stuff to see print in a bit. Nadu, Winged Wisdom, is the best new Commander from Modern Horizons 3, and it isn’t even remotely close. Pure power carries it alone — if you can stomach how distressingly boring the play pattern is, this card will wing you easily to victory.