Top 18 Strongest Azorius Commanders In Magic: The Gathering
Top 18 Strongest Azorius Commanders In Magic: The Gathering
Synonymous with strategies such as control, the blue and white color pairing of Azorius has long been a staple of nearly every format of Magic: The Gathering. Whether they’re countering spells, drawing cards, or taxing the rest of a Commander table, few color combinations can match Azorius commanders in the realm of control potential.
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So in the spirit of Azorius, we’re going to talk about the best of the best when it comes to blue and white in Commander. So without further deliberation, we present the best Azorius Commanders in Magic: The Gathering!
Updated January 2, 2023, by Paul DiSalvo: With access to some of the strongest card draw and removal options that Magic has to offer, Azorius decks are quite powerful in a wide variety of formats — Commander included. In addition to being a great choice for those looking to construct a control deck, there are many powerful Azorius artifact options, such as those that were recently printed in 2022’s The Brothers’ War.
An efficient and underrated Azorius commander, Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart is a 1/3 Human Wizard for two mana that allows you to tap creatures to draw a card, but only when you cast a sorcery or instant. This means that if you have access to an ample number of creatures, you can reliably draw a significant number of additional cards within a game, all without requiring additional mana to be spent.
For this reason, Raff synergizes quite well with instants and sorceries that generate tokens, as they can more reliably guarantee you’ll be able to draw these additional cards. While this card draw is the most notable element of Raff, if you’re able to assemble a sizable board state, Raff can even provide an anthem effect, boosting your creatures by +1/+1 for five mana.
21 Azor, The Lawbringer
As Azorius is composed of both blue and white, one could expect that the pairing would excel in the areas of card draw and life gain. This sentiment is exemplified by Azor, the Lawbringer. A 6/6 flying Sphinx for the cost of six mana, upon entering the battlefield, Azor shuts down opponents’ abilities to cast instants and sorceries until Azor’s controller’s next turn.
More important, however, is Azor’s second ability. Upon attacking, Azor allows its controller to pay three mana plus an additional X. Azor’s controller then draws X cards and gains X life, effectively serving as a repeatable “Sphinx’s Revelation.”
20 Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper
Though land manipulation is often associated with green, Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper is an interesting alternative for those seeking to play “lands matter” decks within Azorius colors. Upon Noyan Dar’s controller casting an instant or sorcery, Noyan Dar can turn one of its controller’s lands into a 0/0 Elemental, putting three +1/+1 counters on it.
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This ability can help to create creatures out of seemingly nothing, spreading these counters around to numerous lands, or even opting to repeatedly target the same land numerous times with this ability to create a giant Elemental menace. Noyan Dar’s ability synergizes very well with cards like “Terra Eternal” which makes all lands indestructible.
19 Bruna, Light Of Alabaster
An excellent option for an aura-based “Voltron” commander, Bruna, Light of Alabaster is an Angel who specializes in circumventing the costs of auras. The ability to reduce and cheat the costs of spells is paramount in Commander, and few commanders can do so with aura spells quite like Bruna.
Upon attacking, Bruna’s controller is able to put any number of auras onto Bruna from her owner’s hand and graveyard. In one attack, Bruna can be suited up with numerous high-costed enchantments with no additional investment of mana. When paired with self-milling abilities that put numerous auras directly into her owner’s graveyard, Bruna can have access to many more enchantments than what would be available otherwise.
18 Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage
In a multiplayer format like Commander, the ability to react and respond to opponents as they play key cards is crucial. Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage is a commander who widens the horizons regarding how its controller can respond to opponents.
While responses are typically relegated to instants and cards with flash, Raff Capashen provides all historic spells cast by his controller with flash. This means that all artifacts and legendary spells may be cast at any time, allowing his commander the ability to wait until opponents have depleted their resources before acting.
17 Taigam, Ojutai Master
A solid choice for an Azorius control commander, Taigam Ojutai Master is a 3/4 Human Monk for four mana who prevents instants, sorceries, and dragons cast by his controller from being countered. Taigam is an especially strong option for those who wish to cast the majority of their spells without contention in control-heavy playgroups and metas.
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Additionally, upon attacking each turn, Taigam provides each instant and sorcery cast by its controller with rebound, copying it and providing double the value to each of these spells. When paired with impactful sorceries such as those that draw heavy amounts of cards and take extra turns for their controller, Taigam can really shine.
16 Inniaz, The Gale Force
Printed in Jumpstart, Inniaz, the Gale Force is an Azorius commander perfect for those looking to build a deck around the use of creatures with flying. A 4/4 Djinn with flying for five mana, Inniaz’s activated ability for three mana can provide each flying creature under its owner’s control with +1/+1 until the end of the turn.
Uniquely, Inniaz actually incentivizes the use of smaller and less impactful fliers such as tokens, as when its controller attacks with three or more creatures with flying, they can cause players to exchange control of nonland permanents they control, potentially stealing an opponent’s strongest cards.
15 Yorion, Sky Nomad
A new option for an Azorius blink commander, Yorion, Sky Nomad is a 4/5 flying Bird Serpent for five mana, that upon entering the battlefield, allows its controller to exile any number of nonland permanents they control, returning them to play at the beginning of the next end step.
Functioning as a single-use mass blink effect, by blinking Yorion itself with other spells or effects, a player can reliably blink their entire board state, potentially making repeated use of potent “enter the battlefield” abilities.
14 Ranar The Ever-Watchful
Printed as the commander of the Phantom Premonition preconstructed deck, Ranar the Ever-Watchful is an Azorius commander that can make great use of the Foretell mechanic as well as exile-based effects. A 2/3 Spirit Warrior with flying and vigilance for four mana, Ranar allows the first card its controller foretells each turn to be foretold for free.
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As the Foretell mechanic allows a player to exile a card for two mana, allowing it to be cast later in a game for a reduced rate, Ranar reduces the rate of such spells even further. Additionally, Ranar rewards its controller for Foretelling cards and using White’s exile-based removal, creating a 1/1 Spirit token with flying whenever its controller exiles a card from their hand or from the battlefield.
13 The Council Of Four
Printed in Commander Legends, Battle for Baldur’s Gate, The Council of Four is a commander that provides benefits proportional to your opponent’s actions. A highly defensive 0/8 for five mana, The Council of Four allows you to leech off your opponent’s card draw, as whenever another player draws their second card of a turn, you are able to draw as well.
Similarly, whenever an opponent plays their second spell of a turn, The Council of Four creates a 2/2 Knight token. This means opponents are put in a tricky situation in which they much choose between playing optimally but providing you various benefits, or playing suboptimally but depriving you of value.
12 Kwain, Itinerant Meddler
One of the most efficient Azorius commanders in the format, Kwain, Itinerant Meddler is a 1/3 Rabbit Wizard printed in Commander Legends. The appeal of Kwain comes in the form of its activated ability, allowing Kwain to be tapped to allow each player to draw a card, gaining one life if they do.
While Kwain can benefit a player’s opponents, a two-mana commander that can draw a card for its controller each turn is quite useful in its own right. Additionally, players can build their decks around the beneficial nature of this ability, allowing Kwain to serve as an effective commander option for an Azorius Group Hug deck.
11 Sygg, River Guide
One of the strongest options for a Merfolk-tribal commander, Sygg, River Guide serves as both a powerful offensive and defensive measure against potential threats. A straightforward yet capable commander for only two mana, Sygg is a Merfolk who at any time can provide another target Merfolk of any color at the cost of two mana.
This activated ability is not only capable of protecting important Merfolk from targeted removal, but it can also be used to make creatures pseudo-unblockable, as protection prevents creatures of the corresponding color from blocking.
10 Ephara, God Of The Polis
While many of the Gods of Theros sport flashy and potent abilities that immediately draw the ire of opponents, Ephara, God of the Polis is a much more subdued and subtle commander. For the reasonable cost of four mana, Ephara comes alongside indestructibility and the devotion clause found on all of Theros’s Dods, making it very difficult to remove from play.
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However, Ephara’s more impactful ability allows its controller to draw a card at the beginning of each turn, as long as a creature entered the battlefield under the control of its owner on the turn prior. A very reliable source of extra card draw such as Ephara can subtly help to turn the tides in the favor of its controller. Additionally, by playing creatures with flash on opponents’ turns, Ephara can draw yet even more cards for its controller.
9 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
A very powerful and effective action to be performed in Commander is for players to reduce spells and cheat out cards for little to no mana. In any game of Commander, it’s often expected to see huge threats produced by players for free due to the abilities of their respective commanders and other cards.
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For only two mana, Lavinia, Azorius Renegade is a commander that restricts cost reduction and manipulation of opponents. Lavinia prevents opponents from playing non-creature spells with converted mana costs greater than the number of lands that player controls, essentially shutting off high-value mana manipulation entirely. As if this weren’t enough if a card cast by an opponent would be cast without paying any mana, Lavinia immediately counters that spell outright.
8 Millicent, Restless Revenant
Millicent, Restless Revenant is by and large the best tribal commander within the Azorius color identity, serving as an incredible option for a Spirit-Tribal commander. A 4/4 with flying for seven mana, while this steep mana cost may be off-putting at first glance, Millicent’s mana cost is reduced by one for each Spirit under its owner’s control, meaning it can be played for as low as two mana.
Once in play, Millicent can create 1/1 Spirit tokens with flying at a rapid pace, creating such a token whenever a nontoken Spirit under its owner’s control dies or deals combat damage to a player. As Millicent can create a massive volume of Spirit tokens, even if it’s removed from play, it can be reliably re-cast due to its aforementioned cost reduction ability.
7 Urza, Prince of Kroog
For those looking to make several copies of powerful artifacts, Urza, Prince of Kroog may be the commander for you. A 2/3 for four mana, While Urza may provide each of your artifact creatures with +2/+2, Urza isn’t necessarily the best ideal commander for an artifact creature tribal deck and is much stronger when paired with artifacts that tote particularly impressive abilities.
This is because, for the cost of six mana, Urza is capable of creating a token copy of any artifact you control — except it’s a 1/1 artifact Solider token. This means that if you’re capable of generating a sizable amount of mana or reducing the cost of this ability through the likes of Training Grounds, you can potentially control impressive board states that have access to several copies of the strongest artifacts Magic has to offer.
6 Stenn, Paranoid Partisan
Though perhaps the most simple entry on this list, Stenn, Paranoid Partisan is a powerful and highly adaptable commander that can provide significant value to nearly any strategy. For the low cost of two mana, when this Human Wizard enters the battlefield, you choose a card type other than creature or land, reducing the mana cost of all spells you cast of the chosen type by one mana.
This means that Stenn can serve as an efficient yet valuable asset to strategies such as Superfriends, Spell-Slinger, or Artifacts, reducing the costs of your key spells. Though this is already impressive, Stenn is capable of flickering itself for the cost of three mana, allowing you to re-select your card type and adapt your cost ruction on the fly.
5 Brago, King Eternal
One of the most popular options for an Azorius commander is Brago, King Eternal. Upon dealing combat damage to a player, Brago allows his controller to flicker any amount of nonland permanents they control, exiling them, then immediately returning them to the battlefield.
This allows Brago decks to reap incredible amounts of value from “enter the battlefield” abilities of their permanents, as these usually one-time abilities can be repeated on numerous occasions over the course of a game. There are numerous cards, such as Cloud of Faeries and Peregrine Drake, that untap multiple lands upon entering the battlefield, meaning that these cards can be used repeatedly as a form of mana ramp.
Like The Council of Four, Elminster is a powerful commander option printed within Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate, serving as a Planeswalker that can be used as your commander. Based around scrying and casting high-value instants and sorceries, Elminster’s static ability reduced the mana cost of the next instant or sorcery you would cast by the number of cards you looked at the last time you scried. This works out quite well, as Elminster’s +2 allows you top draw a card and scry two, reliably accessing this cost reduction.
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Once you’ve scried, Elminster is adept at allowing you to make the most out of the cards you’ve placed atop your library. This is because Elminster’s -3 ability allows you to exile the top card of your library, creating a number of 1/1 flying Faerie Dragon tokens equal to the exiled card’s mana value. This means that through scrying, you can ensure the top card of your library has a sizable mana cost in order to receive the most optimal number of Faerie Dragons. Few Planeswalkers possess as cohesive a suite of abilities as Elminster, making it an excellent commander option.
3 Urza, Lord Protector
Urza, Lord Protector is an impressive artifact-based commander that can notably meld into a highly impactful Planeswalker when paired with the artifact, The Mightstone and Weakstone. When not melded, this three-mana creature offers comparable value to Stenn, reducing the cost of instants, sorceries, and artifacts you cast by one mana. Though this is already quite solid, if you pay seven mana while you control The Mightstone and Weakstone, you gain access to one of the most powerful Planeswalkers in Magic’s history.
With five activated abilities, Urza can activate its abilities twice per turn rather than just once. This offers a flexible array of benefits, such as additional cost reduction, token generation, card draw, and removal, allowing it to function as one of the most multifarious commanders in all of Magic. As Azorius decks have access to a wide range of artifact tutoring effects that can allow you to ensure you access The Mightstone and Weakstone, it’s safe to say that Urza is an amazing Azorius option for an artifact-based Commander.