- Jeskai commanders offer a wide range of powerful synergies and control options due to their blue, red, and white color combination.
- Sevinne, Shu Yun, and Zedruu are legendary Jeskai creatures that make excellent commanders, each with unique abilities and strategies.
- Choosing the right Jeskai commander allows players to access a larger pool of cards and construct a deck with diverse and impactful spells and synergies.
Magic: The Gathering’s popular Commander format allows players to construct decks around key legendary creatures selected as a deck’s commander. Choosing a deck’s commander is an important decision, as it not only influences a deck’s strategy but the cards that can be included in it — Commander decks can only include cards within the chosen commander’s color identity.
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For this reason, commanders with several colors are quite popular, as they allow decks to draw from a larger pool of cards in deck construction. Regarding three-color identities, Jeskai (the combination of Blue, Red, and White) is highly regarded for its powerful synergies with non-creature cards and control options. Let’s examine the legendary Jeskai creatures from Magic’s past and see which ones make for the best commanders.
Updated December 4, 2023, by Ryan Hay: Given Magic’s propensity to add more and more decks and expansions to its ever-growing collection, we’ve added a few more cards that make for the perfect Jeskai commanders.
15 Sevinne, The Chronoclasm
Time Waits For No One
Sevinne, the Chronoclasm is a 2/2 Human Wizard for five mana that can’t be dealt damage and synergizes with the Flashback mechanic. The selling point of Sevinne is that whenever its controller casts their first instant or sorcery from their graveyard each turn, that spell is copied. This can provide an impressive amount of value, especially when casting spells from one’s graveyard that are capable of drawing cards or dealing direct damage to an opponent.
Cards like Snapcaster Mage, Mission Briefing, and Torrential Gearhulk all let you cast spells from your graveyard and can turn all your spells into two-for-one by doubling them up. If you build your deck like your graveyard as a second hand, you’ll have access to all sorts of spells throughout the game.
14 Shu Yun, The Silent Tempest
Strike Hard, Strike Quiet
While Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest is a blue creature, due to the Boros hybrid mana cost within its triggered ability, Shu Yun functions as a Jeskai commander. For the low cost of three mana, Shu Yun is a 3/2 with prowess, meaning its power and toughness increase until the end of the turn whenever its controller plays a noncreature spell.
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This synergizes in impressive fashion with its triggered ability, allowing its controller to pay two mana to provide a creature with double strike until the end of the turn whenever they cast a noncreature spell. When chaining several noncreature spells together, if Shu Yun is given double strike, it is possible for it to grow large enough to take out a player in a single attack via Commander Damage.
13 Zedruu The Greathearted
More Like The GOAThearted
A commander synonymous with the Group Hug archetype, Zedruu the Greathearted is a creature capable of gifting one’s own permanents to their opponents. With a strange three-mana ability, Zedruu gives a permanent you control to another player of your choice. It can seem counterintuitive to give away your hard-cast spells, but there are plenty of bad cards you can give away too. You can give opponents cards that hinder your opponents, like Nine Lives, Steel Golem, and Aggressive Mining, to put a wrench in their plans. The payoff for all this work is that at the beginning of your turn, you draw cards and gain life equal to the number of permanents you own but other players control.
12 Vadrok, Apex Of Thunder
Any Creature Can Be Your Commander
Vadrok, Apex of Thunder is a commander capable of utilizing the Mutate mechanic to cast spells from its owner’s graveyard for free. A 3/3 with flying and first strike for three mana, Vadrok notably has access to a mutate cost of four mana. While mutate and keywords are nice, the main appeal of Vadrok is its ability.
It states that whenever it mutates, its controller may cast a noncreature spell with a mana value of three or less from their graveyard without paying its mana cost. Being able to cast spells from your graveyard gives you opportunities to recast powerful removal spells like Swords to Plowshares over and over again to keep your opponents off the board.
11 Gavi, Nest Warden
Draw It All
While cycling is a useful ability within any Commander deck, Gavi, Nest Warden is a Jeskai commander that puts this mechanic front and center. A 2/5 for five mana, Gavi allows the first card its controller would cycle each turn to be cycled for free. As Commander is a multiplayer format, this ability can be utilized on each player’s turn, providing significant value and allowing you to easily dig through your deck for key cards and answers.
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Gavi even rewards its controller for drawing several cards on their turn (or on other players’ turns), creating an adorable 2/2 dinosaur cat token whenever they draw their second card during a turn.
10 Pramikon, Sky Rampart
A legendary 1/5 Wall with flying and defender, Primikon, Sky Rampart is a unique commander that can prevent its controller from taking significant amounts of damage. This is because upon entering the battlefield, Pramikon’s controller chooses left or right, allowing players to only attack the nearest opponent in the chosen direction.
Pramikon effectively prevents two of your three opponents from attacking you in a commander game while forcing their other opponents to direct their offense elsewhere. You can fill your deck with other pillowfort effects like Ghostly Prison, Propaganda, and Sphere of Safety to make sure you’re never attacked again.
8 Commodore Guff
Bust Out The Cake, It’s A Planeswalker Party
Coming from the planeswalker centric preconstructed deck in Commander Masters, Commodore Guff is a special planeswalker, one that can be your commander, and empowers all your other Planeswalkers in play while he’s at it. He comes with a static ability to put a loyalty counter on another planeswalker you control at the end of your turn. While not hugely impactful, it can help save a targeted planeswalker from being removed, or even get to you that much faster to popping their powerful abilities on your next turn.
If you’re struggling to find the mana to cast your Planeswalkers while keeping up protective spells and creatures, Guff has you covered there too, creating 1/1 Wizard tokens that can tap to add red mana, with the stipulation that that mana is only to be used on planeswalker spells. Guff also helps to refill your hand when you start running low, drawing you cards for each planeswalker you control, and then damaging your opponents equal to the same amount.
7 Elsha Of The Infinite
Give Yourself A Second Hand
A 3/3 with prowess for five mana, Elsha of the Infinite lets you look at the top card of your library at any time. Most notably, Elsha allows you to cast noncreature spells from atop your library and provides these spells with flash. This means that not only can you access additional cards, but you can reactively play the majority of the spells in your deck during an opponent’s turn.
You’ll want some way to manipulate the top card of your library with cards like Sensei’s Diving Top or with repeatable ways to shuffle your library to keep cycling through new cards. Cards like Brainstorm can even take cards from your hand and put them on top of your library, letting you swap out spells at instant speed.
6 Kasla, The Broken Halo
Gather Around, We’re Casting Spells
As a commander that provides tons of value for casting convoke cards, Kasla, the Broken Halo rewards you with extra cards every time you cast a spell with the convoke ability. You don’t even have to pay the convoke cost of a card; it just has to have the convoke keyword on it to activate Kasla’s ability.
When you do cast a spell with convoke, you get to scry two, picking whatever card you want the most to leave on top or even tuck both of them to the bottom of your deck if you don’t like either of them. Then, you get to draw the card you leave on top. Since Kasla also has convoke, you can cast it much earlier in the game by tapping your early-game creatures.
5 Éowyn, Shieldmaiden
Slayer Of The Witch-King
In a set filled with powerful legendary creatures, Eowyn, Shieldmaiden stands out as one of the more powerful ones. Perfect to helm a Human-based deck, Eowyn generates a ton of tokens on your turn, helping to establish an overwhelming presence on the battlefield while also refilling your hand.
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The fun begins when you start taking extra turns and combat steps, things that both red and blue are particularly good at doing. Combine Eowyn with the enchantment Breath of Fury, and so long as you have an opponent that can’t block, you can generate near-infinite combat steps, or at the very least help build your own army up in no time.
4 Narset, Enlightened Exile
Desparked, Not Depowered
A uniquely powerful commander, Narset, Enlightened Exile encourages you to both jam lots of spells in your deck while having plenty of creatures out to give them all a boon. Narset has a very impactful ability that gives all creatures you control prowess, giving them a temporary +1/+1 boost every time you cast a noncreature spell.
Narset helps fuel this by letting you exile a noncreature, nonland card with mana value less than Narset’s power, giving you a copy of it that you can cast for free. This ability effectively gives one card from your graveyard flashback for the turn, while also triggering all your prowess effects for a powerful combo.
3 Narset, Enlightened Master
Presparked, Even More Power
Narset, Enlightened Master is a popular commander known for its ability to allow its controller to cast spells without paying their mana costs. Since Narset has hexproof, it makes her extremely difficult to deal with once she is on the battlefield. Don’t be surprised if your opponents will do everything in their power to stop Narset from hitting the table.
Once in play, you’ll want to be able to attack with Narset right away, so giving it haste is your number one goal. When Narset attacks, you get to exile the top four cards of your library, casting any noncreature spells exiled this way for free. Combine Narset with spells that let you take extra turns and combat steps, and you’ll quickly take over the game.
2 Hinata, Dawn-Crowned
Control Players Unite
An absolute powerhouse when built correctly, Hinata, Dawn-Crowned has the potential to give you extremely cheap but powerful plays while taxing your opponents at the same time. Hinata’s first ability reduces the cost of spells you control by one generic mana for each target for the spell. Alternatively, Hinata taxes your opponents for one extra mana for each of their spells targets.
Hinata, Dawn-Crowned turns spells like Comet Storm into one-sided board wipes, since Hinata reduces the cost of the multikicker by one, you can target any number of creatures you want. Similarly, you can use spells like Distorting Wake to bounce all nonland permanents back to their owner’s hand for just three blue mana.
1 Kykar, Wind’s Fury
Spirit Combo Machine
Kykar, Wind’s Fury is a stellar Jeskai commander option that synergizes with all noncreature spells, simultaneously offering offense and mana ramp. A 3/3 flying Bird Wizard for four mana, Kykar creates a 1/1 Spirit token with flying whenever its controller casts a noncreature spell. While this is incredibly powerful in its own right, Kykar allows spirits to be sacrificed in order to produce one red mana.
This means that not only does casting a noncreature spell produce an evasive attacker, but these creatures can be cashed in at any time to produce mana.
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