Hiding in the shadows of the battlefield, Rogues operate in secrecy, making their move when your opponents least expect it. They use combat tactics to deal unblockable damage and shifty sorcery spells to turn the tide of battle in their favour. Most prevalent in blue and black, Rogues take ownership of the battlefield through a combination of removal, control spells and a deep bag of tricks.
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If you go by numbers alone, Rogues don’t stack up in terms of power and toughness when compared to a lot of the other popular tribes in Magic: The Gathering. But what they lack in brawn, they make up for in brains. No amount of power is enough to stop these powerful Rogues once they sneak their way onto the battlefield.
Sygg, River Cutthroat proves a point for all Rogues with his card design; you don’t need high stats to be a powerful card. Costing only two mana, Sygg can generate a ridiculous amount of card draw with his ability. Sygg allows you to draw a card at the beginning of every end step if an opponent lost three or more life during the turn.
This a powerful ability in a one versus one game, let alone a game of Commander. Three life is not a lot, so you can bank of drawing very frequently. Even if you’re not playing Rogue tribal, this card can be a staple in any Dimir deck looking for consistent card draw.
9 Zareth San, The Trickster
Is there anything more satisfying than stealing cards from your opponents, then using those cards to defeat them? A large census of Dimir players would say, “No, there is not.” If Zareth San deals combat damage to a player, you get to choose a permanent from that player’s graveyard and put it onto the battlefield under your control.
There are so many ways to make creatures unblockable when playing Dimir, so this effect is easily repeatable. Furthermore, a lot of milling happens in Dimir, which increases the options you have to choose from in your opponents’ graveyards.
8 Agent Of Treachery
Similar to the previous entry, Agent of Treachery lets you gain control of a target permanent when it enters the battlefield. Blink decks can make great use of this ability, allowing you to blink this creature multiple times and steal that many permanents. Seven mana may seem like a lot, but it’s a very small price for being able to steal the most powerful cards on the battlefield.
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Furthermore, Agent of Treachery’s second ability allows you to draw three cards and the beginning of your end step if you control three permanents you don’t own. So do what Rogues do best and steal. Cards like Empress Galina will help you build your army by stealing your opponents’ cards.
7 Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire
A rather unique creature type, this Demon Rogue allows you to use its boast ability to search your deck for any card and put it on top of your library. Tutoring is one of the most powerful abilities in Magic: The Gathering and being able to repeatedly tutor for the right pieces to build your board presence is something not many cards can do. Any deck that runs black could make use of this ability to set themselves up for success in future turns.
Keep in mind that Varragoth needs to attack in order to boast, so you’ll want methods to keep him on the board. With black, you’ll likely have some removal that will be able to deal with any threats during combat or reanimation to bring him back from the graveyard.
6 Robber Of The Rich
Coming in as the only non-blue/black card on this list, Robber of the Rich’s ability is true to its name. Whenever it attacks, if the defending player has more cards in their hand than you do, you get to exile the top card of their library and play it on any turn you attack with a rogue. As it costs only two mana and has haste, you’ll likely be able to trigger this ability multiple times in the early game, stealing important top-deck pieces from your opponents.
Robber of the Rich could slot into most mono-red aggro decks for its low cost and haste alone. But having four copies of this in a Modern deck, focused on unblockable creatures, would be sure to create some fun chaos on the battlefield.
5 True-Name Nemesis
True-Name Nemesis is one of the ultimate cards in one versus one formats like Legacy and Vintage. When it enters the battlefield, you choose a player and then this creature gets protection from that player. That means they can’t block it, can’t target it and can’t deal damage to it with their creatures. Unless they force you to sacrifice it or return it to your hand, it’s not going anywhere.
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Of course, this ability is a significantly weaker in a multiplayer game, but chances are, the players who are not targeted by its ability won’t see it as a threat, so it’s not at a big risk of being removed from the board.
4 Rankle, Master Of Pranks
If you’re looking to bring a little chaos to the battlefield, this is the Rogue to do it with. Rankle has a versatile toolkit that can affect the game in a number of ways. Whenever he deals damage to a player, you can choose to trigger any number of his three effects. If you’re planning to use Rankle as a commander, this means you can outfit your deck towards a discard and sacrifice theme.
In other formats, Rankle can still wreak havoc on your opponents. Playing mono-black, you’ll have some sacrifice fodder your opponents are lacking, forcing them to sacrifice vital pieces of their board and discard them from their hand.
3 Brazen Borrower
With the release of Throne of Eldraine, the powerful adventure mechanic was introduced. For only two mana, Brazen Borrower’s adventure ability allows you to return an opponent’s nonland permanent to their hand. This lets you set the tempo early on in the game, forcing them to recast important pieces of their board.
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As a creature, a 3/1 flyer offers evasion on the offensive side. While only able to block other creatures with flying, having flash means you can sneak this card in as a surprise blocker or cast it during an opponent’s end step, allowing it to attack on your first turn controlling it.
2 Sakashima Of A Thousand Faces
The legend rule states you may only control one copy of a particular legendary card at any time. In Commander, this prevents you from creating copies of your commander, which has the potential to make the game incredibly unbalanced. Sakashima of a Thousand Faces makes it so the legend rule does not apply to you, allowing you to create as many copies of legendary permanents as you want.
Since this card has the partner ability, that means it can enter the battlefield as a copy of your other commander, and you can use spells like Clever Impersonator and Stunt Double to make even more copies of that creature. Partners like Vial Smasher the Fierce and Kodama of the East Tree generate huge value by themselves, so getting multiple copies of them on the battlefield will be a massive threat.
1 Opposition Agent
As previously mentioned, tutoring is one of the most powerful abilities in Magic: The Gathering. Opposition Agent prevents opponents from tutoring, making it so that every time they would search their library, you search it for them instead. You then get to exile the cards you find and cast them at a later turn, using mana of any colour.
It’s a powerful ability by itself, but the fact it has flash means you can interrupt an opponent’s tutor to search for a card you want to use instead. This also works for popular ramp cards like Kodama’s Reach. If you’re in need of some ramp, this card can also be used to steal lands from your opponents’ decks.
NEXT: Magic: The Gathering – The Best Dimir Planeswalkers