Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format has blossomed into one of the most widely played and beloved formats of the game’s history. Commander distinctly has players set aside a legendary creature to serve as the commander of a given deck, allowing for decks to be build around a single potent card.
These commanders are incredibly diverse and allow for decks to be built in countless ways, allowing players to deck build creatively. However, there are numerous sought after commanders that demand a hefty price tag. So today, we’re going to examine the most budget-friendly commander options around, that don’t sacrifice quality for their price, while still being valued under one dollar!
10 Hapatra, Vizier Of Poisons
While strategies that revolve around +1/+1 counters are incredibly popular in Commander, -1/-1 counters are a bit more niche. Of the -1/-1 counter commanders available, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons is the most prominent options, and is one of the most frequently played Golgari commanders in the game.
For the low cost of two mana, Hapatra puts a -1/-1 counter on target creature whenever it deals combat damage to a player, also creating a 1/1 snake token with deathtouch whenever one or more -1/-1 counters are put on a creature. This allows a Hapatra player to accrue a great deal of value by simply including numerous effects that put -1/-1 counters on creatures.
9 Anje Falkenrath
Appearing in Commander 2019, Anje Falkenrath is the premier commander option for decks that seek to utilize the madness mechanic. A Rakdos 1/3 for three mana, Anje has haste and can be tapped to discard a card and draw a card. Not only does this allow Anje to immediately enable cards with madness by serving as a consistent discard outlet, this card untaps itself whenever its controller discard a card with madness. This means that Anje can be used to repeatedly cycle through one’s deck and dig for key cards!
8 Mayael The Anima
Commander is a format characterized by its massive scale. With larger decks and higher life totals, games of commander are often more likely to feature massive splashy creatures than any other format.
Mayael the Anima is a commander that is dedicated to helping its controller put massive creatures directly into play. For six mana, this Naya commander can be tapped, allowing its controller to look at the top five cards of their library, then putting a creature with power five or greater directly into play. While this activation cost of six mana may appear steep, when it is used to cheat mammoth threats such as It That Betrays into play, it is well worth the mana
7 Jhoira Of The Ghitu
Jhoira of the Ghitu is an Izzet commander with some similarities to the previous entry of our list. However, while Mayael allows its controller to cheat creatures into play for six mana, Jhoira is capable of doing so for only two mana. While this much lower mana cost may be less of a toll on one’s mana, Jhoira instead manipulates time as a resource. When Jhoira’s ability is activated, any nonland card can be exiled from its controller’s hand with four time counters on it, gaining suspend. This means that a player can essentially pay a reduced cost for all of their spells if they’re willing to wait four turns for them to finally resolve.
6 Feldon Of The Third Path
Artifact decks are among the most popular deck types in the Commander format. While Artifact decks come in numerous shapes and sizes that are often dictated by their color identity, Feldon of the Third Path is a stellar option for players looking to build a mono red artifact deck.
A red 2/3 for three mana, Feldon possesses an activated ability that allows its controller to create a copy of a creature in their graveyard. The copy of that creature is an artifact in addition to its other types and gains haste, though it must be sacrificed at the end of that turn. Feldon decks are able to be built in a variety of ways, utilizing the use of one’s graveyard, artifacts, and potent creatures to recur.
5 Sydri, Galvanic Genius
Sydri, Galvanic Genius is one of the most popular Esper commanders in the format, and is one of the premier artifact-based commanders a player can utilize. A 2/2 for three, Sydri has two activated abilities that are capable of synergizing with each other in great fashion. For a black and a white, Sydri can provide target artifact creature with both deathtouch and lifelink. When working in conjunction with Sydri’s other activated ability that can turn a non-creature artifact into an artifact creature, Sidri decks can turn already useful artifacts into offensive threats!
4 Sygg, River Cutthroat
Previously worth over ten dollars, Sygg, River Cutthroat’s recently reprinting has allowed the card to be much more accessible. This incarnation of Sygg is among the most useful Dimir commanders on the market, demanding a low mana investment of only two mana. While Sygg may not appear to be much of a threat at first glance, his ability to draw a card for its controller at the end of each turn an opponent lost three or more life allows it to draw many additional cards over the course of a game with little effort required.
3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
It’s no secret that green is among the most useful colors in Commander, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade is an affordable example of why. Games of Commander are often decided b the player capable of producing the most mana, something that Rishkar excels at.
Rishkar allows any creature under its owner’s control with a counter on it to be tapped to produce a green mana. Additionally, upon entering the battlefield, this three-mana elf puts a +1/+1 counter on each of up to two target creatures, effectively creating more mana sources. When paired with other creatures that produce +1/+1 counters, Rishkar is a commander that should not be taken lightly.
2 Archelos, Lagoon Mystic
A new Sultai commander option from Commander Legends, Archelos, Lagoon mystic is quite powerful whilst being rather straightforward. As long as Archelos is tapped, other permanents enter the battlefield tapped, and as long as it’s untapped, other permanents enter the battlefield untapped. This commander allows players to get a great deal of value out of lands such as bounce lands that enter the battlefield tapped, while slowing down an opponent’s strategy, forcing all of their permanents to enter play tapped!
1 Feather, The Redeemed
Despite being the strongest commander option for the Boros color identity, Feather, the Redeemed remains an incredibly affordable option that can be obtained for under a dollar. While Boros decks normally struggle to accrue card advantage, Feather states that when its controller casts an instant or sorcery spell that targets a creature they control, that card is exiled and then returned to their hand at the end of that turn. This allows a Feather player to get repeated value out of spells that are normally one-off effects. Furthermore, if a player casts a spell such as Expedite, which targets a creature and draws a card, they are able to unlock an excellent card draw engine!
Next: Top 10 Strongest Legendary Goblins In Magic: The Gathering
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Staff Writer, Paul DiSalvo is a writer, comic creator, animation lover, and game design enthusiast currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts. He has studied creative writing at The New Hampshire Institute of Art and Otis College of Art and Design, and currently writes for CBR, ScreenRant, GameRant, and TheGamer. In addition to writing, he directs and produces the podcast, “How Ya Dyin’?”
He enjoys collecting comics, records, and wins in Samurai Shodown.
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