The color identities of Magic: The Gathering are incredibly distinct, each being home to their own mechanics and having access to different types of spells and effects. In the Commander format, your choice of commander dictates the colors you will have access to in your deck, meaning that a commander with more colors in their color identity provides you with more cards to choose from in deck construction.
For this reason, three-color decks are quite popular within the format. One popular color combo, Bant, is the identity of blue, green, and white and has access to great mana ramp, card draw, and potent aggressive options. So today, we’re going to see the strongest commander options that Bant has to offer.
Updated on May 19, 2023 by Ryan Hay: The release of several sets has come and gone since the last update and with it comes a new Bant commander to brew decks around. Bringing a unique take on Human-themed decks comes Katilda and Lier, the March of the Machine legendary team-up card representing Innistrad. For players who enjoy spellslinger decks and the ability to cycle through the graveyard to give your spells a second life, there are tons of potential for this powerful, new commander to help you win your matches.
19 Amareth, The Lustrous
Printed in Commander Legends, Amareth, the Lustrous is an underrated Bant commander that can offer a wide variety of potential deck builds access to consistent card advantage. It’s a 6/6 Dragon with flying for six mana, and whenever a permanent enters the battlefield under your control while Amareth is in play, you can look at the top card of your library. If that card shares a type with the permanent, you may reveal that card and put it into your hand.
This means that if you build a deck around a given permanent type, such as enchantments, creatures, or even Planeswalkers, Amareth can draw you a significant number of cards over the course of a game. As this effect is triggered based on the top card of your library, it pairs quite well with permanents that allow you to reliably scry each turn, ensuring the ability always nets you a card.
18 Rigo, Streetwise Mentor
Efficient and somewhat simple, Rigo, Streetwise Mentor is a solid commander option for those looking to utilize smaller evasive creatures to deal with their opponents. A 2/2 for three mana, Rigo enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it, providing itself with a layer of protection that can help it stick around the board without immediately succumbing to the opponent’s removal.
The primary appeal of Rigo is its second ability, which states that, whenever you attack a player or planeswalker with one or more creatures with a power of one or less, you may draw a card. When paired with evasive small-sized creatures that can consistently keep attacking one’s opponents each turn, a three-mana creature that can reliably provide additional card draw on each of your turns is nothing to shake a stick at.
17 Kros, Defense Contractor
Kros, Defense Contractor is a unique Bant commander that can be used to direct opponents’ ire at each other. At the beginning of your upkeep, you put a shield counter on target creature an opponent controls. While providing an opponent’s creatures with protection may seem counterintuitive, whenever you put counters of any kind on a creature you don’t control, that creature is tapped, goaded, and gains trample until your next turn.
By tapping that creature, it lowers an opponent’s defenses, and by goading it, ensures that the creature will be used to damage other opponents rather than you. This allows it to serve as a very distinct counter-based commander, in which a deck is incentivized to put counters on other players’ creatures rather than those of one’s own.
16 Gorion, Wise Mentor
Appearing in Commander Legends, Battle for Baldur’s Gate, Gorion, Wise Mentor is an efficient three-mana commander that is unfortunately restricted by its very nature. A 3/4 with vigilance, Gorion has a powerful ability that allows you to copy any Adventure spells that you cast. While a three-mana commander that allows you to copies of spells may be inherently powerful, a built-in drawback of Gorion is the slim number of Adventures within the Bant color identity.
This is because Adventures are a rather new card subtype that have only been featured in Throne of Eldraine and Battle for Baldur’s Gate, meaning you have very few options to pick from when selecting Adventure spells for a Gorion deck. Luckily, as new sets are released, when Adventures inevitably make a return, this commander will naturally grow in strength.
As one of the premier Group Hug commanders of the format, many players view Phelddagrif as a joke commander. While there is, in fact, some truth to this, there is something to be said about the political negotiating power that Phelddagrif brings to the table in a multiplayer-based format.
A 4/4 for four mana, Phelddagrif has three activated abilities that provide you with a minor benefit while assisting another player. For one white mana, Phelddagrif can give another player two life, for a blue mana it can draw another player a card, and for a green mana, it can create a 1/1 Hippo token under another player’s control. Not only can these effects be used to bribe players when negotiating, but these gifts can be taken back through the use of spells like Reverse the Sands and Reins of Power.
14 Perrie, The Pulverizer
The commander of the Bedecked Brokers preconstructed Commander deck, Perrie, the Pulverizer is a counter-based commander that cares about the diversity of one’s counters rather than the quantity. When Perrie enters the battlefield, it puts a shield counter on target creature.
While this flexible protection is nice, the meat and potatoes of this commander is that, whenever Perrie attacks, target creatures gets +X/+X and trample until the end of the turn, with X being equal to the number of different types of counters on permanents its owner controls. This means that, the more ability counters, charge counters, loyalty counters, and any obscure and niche counters from the early days of Magic that you utilize, the greater Perrie’s benefit may be.
13 Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary
Featured as one of the many box-toppers of Dominaria United, Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary is a unique take on a Bant Commander that synergizes with legendary creatures. For the low cost of three mana, this 3/3 states that, whenever it or another legendary creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay one green mana. If you do, you create a 2/2 Cat Warrior token with Forestwalk.
This means that, as long as you have access to additional mana, each Legendary creature you cast brings an additional body with it in the form of a token. This allows Jedit Ojanen decks to uniquely synergize with tokens and legendary creatures simultaneously. When paired with the likes of a Cryptolith Rite, these tokens can offer long-term mana ramp, while a Doubling Season can significantly increase the number of tokens this commander can produce.
12 Rafiq Of The Many
While Rafiq of the Many was once one of the most popular commanders in the format, as power levels have shifted over the format’s lifespan, some have grown to view Rafiq less favorably. However, it is still a quite solid option for a Bant Voltron commander. A 3/3 with Exalted for four mana, in addition to its access to Exalted, Rafiq further incentivizes that you only attack with one creature at a time by providing a lone attacking creature with double strike.
This means that, simply by itself, Rafiq can swing in for eight damage for only four mana, growing even larger when paired with equipment and other creatures with exalted, making the goal of defeating players with Commander Damage quite attainable.
11 Galea, Kindler of Hope
Galea, Kindler of Hope is another Voltron commander option much like Rafiq. For four mana, this vigilant 4/4 allows you to look at the top card of your library at any time.
This is notable, as Galea allows you to play equipment and aura spells from the top of your library, even immediately attaching equipment played this way directly to a creature. This is quite powerful, as not only does Galea provide additional card access, but it can subvert high equip costs, potentially ignoring them entirely.
10 Estrid, The Masked
A four-mana Planeswalker that can be one’s commander, Estrid, the Masked is a perfect option for those looking to play an Aura-based Bant deck. Versatile regarding aura synergies, Estrid can untap any enchanted permanent with its +2 ability, potentially providing mana ramp when targeting the likes of an enchanted land or mana-producing creature.
When short on Auras, Estrid’s -1 can create a Mask aura enchantment that can provide any permanent with totem armor, while its ultimate -7 ability mills seven, then putting all enchantments from your graveyard into play, potentially cheating high-impact cards into play.
9 Roon Of The Hidden Realm
Flicker decks are those that aim to gain repeated value from “enter the battlefield” triggers from creatures. An iconic Bant flicker commander, Roon of the Hidden Realm is a 4/4 Rhino Soldier with vigilance and trample for five mana.
Once in play, not only can Roon make great use of its keywords, but, for two mana, it can be tapped to exile a creature, returning it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. This ability can not only flicker your own creatures, but it can also be used to interfere with an opponent’s plans by targeting key creatures such as blockers or those stacked with auras and equipment cards.
8 Falco Spara, Pactweaver
The leader of the Brokers faction of Streets of New Capenna, Falco Spara, Pactweaver, is a commander that allows you to convert counters on their creatures into card advantage. A 3/3 Bird Demon with flying and trample for four mana, Falco Spara enters the battlefield with a shield counter. Though shield counters offer solid protection, this creature provides all manner of counters with alternative utility.
The most important element of Falco Spara is that, in addition to allowing you to look at the top card of your library at any time, you may cast spells from atop your library as long as you remove a counter from a creature, as well as paying that spell’s normal cost. This can provide access to a significant number of additional cards and allows you to still potentially cast spells even if your hand has run dry.
7 Shanna, Purifying Blade
While lifegain is a strategy that may tend to write off as underpowered, Shanna, Purifying Blade is a great commander that is capable of converting your life gaining effects into card advantage.
For the cost of three mana, this 3/3 Human Warrior with lifelink states that at the end of your turn, you may pay X mana to draw X cards, with the only restriction being that X can’t be greater than the amount of life you’d gained that turn. As green is adept at proving mana ramp and white provides a litany of ways to gain life, Shanna decks will have no shortage of mana or life gain, meaning they can reliably draw massive sums of cards over the course of a game.
6 Angus Mackenzie
As a sought-after card on the Reserved List that only saw a single printing in Legends, Angus Mackenzie is currently one of the most expensive potential commanders in the entire format.
For an additional three mana, Angus Mackenzie can be tapped, preventing all combat damage that would be dealt that turn. While fog is a spell that only costs one mana, and this ability costs three to activate, its repeatable nature makes it a nightmare for decks that aim to win through the use of combat damage.
5 Tuvasa The Sunlit
Though somewhat simple, Tuvasa the Sunlit is an incredibly strong option for an enchantment-based Commander deck. A 1/1 for three mana, Tuvasa gets +1/+1 for each enchantment under your control, allowing it to grow quite large in the right deck.
Additionally, whenever you play your first enchantment of a turn, you can draw a card, meaning Tuvasa is a consistent source of additional card draw each turn. Jam a few other similar effects like Ethereal Armor and All That Glitters to give Tuvasa even more power, and then a Spirit Mantle to give it protection from all creatures, and start swinging away.
4 Arcades, The Strategist
Arcades, the Strategist is a stellar option for those looking to weaponize the most defensive creature type in all of Magic: Walls. While Walls are traditionally low-power, high-toughness creatures that can’t attack due to toting the defender keyword, Arcades not only states that creatures under your control with defender can not only attack, but you can also assign combat damage via their toughness.
While this is already quite solid and comparable to the Abzan commander, Doran, the Seige Tower, This flying elder dragon allows you to draw a card whenever a creature with defender enters the battlefield under your control.
3 Katilda And Lier
If you want a unique take on a Human-themed deck, then Katilda and Lier is a great place to start. Each Human spell you cast gives an instant or sorcery spell in your graveyard flashback, with the flashback cost being equal to the card’s mana cost. This ability effectively turns all your Human creatures into their own Snapcaster Mage.
It’s important to keep in mind that this ability will trigger when you cast a Human spell, so even if your creature spell is countered, you still get to give something flashback. There are a few great ways to get this engine going, with creatures like Voidmage Husher and Aether Adept giving you repeatable bounce effects to keep giving flashback triggers.
2 Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Known for its ability to enable combos and shut down opponents via Stax strategies, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, is quite a potent commander. For three mana, Derevi is a 2/3 with flying that can tap or untap target permanent whenever it enters the battlefield or whenever a creature under your control deals combat damage to a player.
This ability is both flexible and powerful, able to untap lands for mana ramp, untap combo pieces, or tap down an opponent’s key cards. Even if Derevi were to be removed, it is capable of subverting Commander Tax, toting an ability that only requires a payment of four mana for the bird to be put from the Command Zone into play.
1 Chulane, Teller Of Tales
Chulane, Teller of Tales is by and large one of the strongest commanders that the entire Commander format has to offer. While mana ramp and card draw are often considered two of the most essential effects in Commander, Chulane offers both.
Whenever you cast a creature, you can draw a card and put an additional land from your hand into play. As if this weren’t already strong enough, if you’re running low on gas, Chulane can be tapped for three mana, returning a creature to your hand, allowing its abilities to be triggered again once the returned creature is re-cast.
Next: Magic: The Gathering – The Best Jeskai Commanders