Ascend to Elden Lord with This Elden Ring Commander Deck

A large part of the fun of Commander lies in the ability to express yourself – from building around your pet cards to establishing entire themes, you can let your favorite flag fly with every card you add to your deck. For me, I love combining my hobbies and building theme decks built around my favorite forms of fandom. With over 200 hours into the game at the time of writing, Elden Ring is one of my favorite games of all time and more than deserves the full theme deck treatment.



Header - A Tarnished Commander

Choosing the commander for the deck was surprisingly hard, as replicating how it feels to play as the protagonist of Elden Ring, the Tarnished, is subjective. No two players are running the exact same build! However, every Tarnished gets stronger over time and does so based on defeating their enemies. Of the cards that grow with aggression, my favorite is the classic Grixis legend Thraximundar, who also has the benefit of being depicted as a mounted assassin slinging sword and sorcery – sounds like the Tarnished to me!



Header - Boss Encounters

The game literally has more bosses than a commander deck has available slots, but I’ve selected a number of flavorful cards that represent some of the more memorable encounters in the game. See if you can identify who is who before checking out the flavor spoiler below.

Fleshbag MarauderPlaguecrafterIll-Tempered Loner // Howlpack AvengerToralf, God of Fury // Toralf's HammerMogis, God of SlaughterArchfiend of DepravityGrimgrin, Corpse-BornTamiyo, the Moon SageKeranos, God of StormsCrosis, the PurgerInferno TitanHarvester of Souls (Timeshifted)Thieving AmalgamGarza Zol, Plague QueenArtisan of Kozilek


  • Fleshbag Marauder and Plague Crafter – The Godskin Noble and Godskin Apostle, even better known for their combined fight as the Godskin Duo.
  • Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger- A stellar rep for the aggressive Beast Clergyman who becomes Maliketh, complete with a life-draining combat effect.
  • Toralf, God of Fury – A furious champion to represent Godfrey and his original persona, Hourax Loux.
  • Mogis, God of Slaughter – An angry horned God befitting Starscourge Radahn.
  • Archfiend of Depravity – A bloody demon that perfectly represents Mohg, Lord of Blood.
  • Grimgrin, Corpse-Born – A warrior made of grafted body parts, standing in for Godrick the Grafted.
  • Tamiyo, the Moon Sage – One of many moon-themed options to show Rennalla, Queen of the Full Moon. I prefer the planeswalker as it shows her preference for not fighting directly.
  • Keranos, God of Storms – There are a lot of lightning-wielding bosses in the game, but he encapsulates the thunder-throwing Radagon.
  • Crosis, the Purger – There are many draconic bosses in the game and Crosis can stand in for any of them. He looks most like my favorite of them, Lichdragon Fortissax.
  • Inferno Titan – Nothing better for the flame throwing Fire Giant than this Titan.
  • Harvester of Souls – This judge of souls stands solidly for Morgott, the Omen King, whose initial form, Margit, is the first wall that players have to judge themselves against.
  • Thieving Amalgam – A blasphemous combination of serpent and beast that mechanically shows off Rkyard, Lord of Blaphemy’s apparent love for consuming souls.
  • Garza Zol, Plague Queen – Malenia, the hardest boss in the game if not all Fromsoft games, wields the game’s worst plague, the scarlet rot.
  • Artisan of Kozilek – Representing the many otherworldly bosses, such as Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, you have to have at least one Eldrazi to round things out.




Header - Gearing Up

One of the largest parts of playing Elden Ring is selecting your loadout. I’ve picked out at least one piece of Equipment that represents some of my favorite weapon types in the game, alongside a full set of armor for your Tarnished to wear.

Unscythe, Killer of KingsBlackblade ReforgedWand of OrcusEmbercleaveLoxodon WarhammerBlazing SunsteelShadowspearMask of AvacynWhispersilk CloakDarksteel PlateLightning Greaves


Header - Common Foes

Literal armies of men, beasts, the dead and even titanic giants stand between the player character and their victory. I picked a few clear representatives of some of the recursive threats that you come across in you journey across the Lands Between.

Bloodsoaked ChampionReassembling SkeletonDreadhorde InvasionMurderous Rider // Swift EndMidnight ReaperRavenous ChupacabraFrost Titan


Header - NPCs

The list of NPCs present in the game is truly impressive, but I have picked out a few of my favorites to assist the Tarnished.

Juri, Master of the RevueDemon's DisciplePhantom SteedGray Merchant of Asphodel (Timeshifted)Tergrid, God of Fright // Tergrid's LanternHammer of NazahnRhystic Study
  • Juri, Master of the Review – The flamboyantly dressed Juri strikes me as similar to the master of ceremonies at the Radahn festival, Witch-Hunter Jerren (bonus points for similar names).
  • Demon’s Disciple – The number of NPCs devoted to assorted monstrous causes is impressive, so the Demon’s Disciple handily reps the Dung Eater, White-Mask Varre and more!
  • Phantom Steed – Torrent, your mount, deserves a suitably spectral card.
  • Gray Merchant of Asphodel – Representing the many mad merchants that you’ll encounter throughout the game.
  • Tergrid, God of Fright – Ranni the Witch is a frighteningly powerful force who has some impressive influence on the game’s story.
  • Hammer of Nazahn – The game’s primary smith, Hewg, deserves a slot.
  • Rhystic Study – Elden Ring is full of teachers and scholars that all fit here perfectly, including Gideon Ofnir, Goldmask, and the Sorceress Sellen.




Header - Sorcery and Incantation

If your Tarnished is the learned type, they can take ample advantage of a wide range of intelligence-based sorceries and faith-based incantations. From replicating the feeling of a big buff with a new fist of cards to powerful removal spells, some flexible and flavorful spells can fit into the Tarnished’s spellbook.

Torment of HailfireProfane CommandExsanguinateComet StormSoul ManipulationWindfallExpansion // ExplosionCut // Ribbons


Header - Talismans and Tools

Including a ramp package is key for most commander decks, and our chosen Tarnished is a whopping seven mana, so it’s very important here. Thankfully, the passive powerups in the game, Talismans, are perfectly flavorful reps for our ramp. In addition, Sol Ring is an ideal stand-in for the ring used to summon the game’s mount, Victory Chimes represent our summoning bell and Everflowing Chalice is a solid stand-in for the Flask of Wondrous Physick. 

Sol RingEverflowing ChaliceRakdos SignetDimir SignetIzzet SignetArcane SignetCommander's SphereVictory Chimes


Header - Story Beats

It felt important to include some of the story beats in the game, including the dictation that established the Greater Will in Elden Ring, the death of some key Godly figures and the attempting shattering and reparation of the titular ring itself. As for the last three? Let’s not spoil things, but if you know, you know.

Dictate of ErebosHero's DownfallSoul ShatterNegateBlasphemous ActRune of MortalityValki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor



Header - The Lands Between

Finally, we have the lands that represent the many locales of Elden Ring. From Command Tower clearly representing the many Divine Towers, to the many Temples that look like they would fit comfortably in Crumbling Farum Azul, you can clearly see The Lands Between in your mana base. Best of all, some of the modal, dual-faced spells show off some more of the trials the Tarnished will face as well as including a great rep for the Mimic Tear.

Hagra Mauling // Hagra BroodpitGlasspool Mimic // Glasspool ShoreShatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer PassCommand TowerPath of AncestryCrumbling NecropolisExotic OrchardFabled PassageEvolving WildsTerramorphic ExpanseGrixis PanoramaBlood CryptWatery GraveDragonskull SummitSulfur FallsTemple of MaladyTemple of DeceitTemple of EpiphanyHaunted RidgeStormcarved CoastShipwreck MarshSwamp (462)Island (458)Mountain (466)


Header - Playing the Deck

The deck is extremely straightforward, though keep in mind that the deck is built with flavor first – it’s not that it can’t win (quite the opposite in fact!) but it sacrifices a decent amount of power to bring the Elden Ring flavor to life. Your early turns are spent playing out ramp and Equipment, potentially alongside some of the smaller beaters and fodder creatures. Your midgame has either successfully ramped out more expensive threats or uses the deck’s surprisingly robust removal suite to beat back aggression from the opposition. Your late game has a lot of threats capped off by Thraximundar himself, who can both help control the board with his attack trigger and knock out players in just a few swings with Commander damage.

So how does the deck win?

  • Plan A: Commander beatdown. Your biggest threat is a consistently swinging beatstick that strips away pieces of your opponent’s board, getting larger the entire time while suiting up, Voltron style, with various pieces of Equipment. Thraximundar being so expensive is the biggest downside, so you may end up moving on to the next step.
  • Plan B: Big spells. The deck should be getting in for decent bits of damage with its early creatures and its commander, often needing just a bit more damage to go over the top, and the big X spells in the deck do just that. Torment of Hailfire, Exsanguinate and Cut // Ribbons all hit the entire table with other damage-dealing options for fewer targets.
  • Plan C: Combat damage. While your commander is the best way to get damage on the opponent, every other creature from the biggest boss to the lowest warrior can still hold Equipment. The deck’s numerous large, often-evasive threats can all get in there to win the game, especially as many of them also take advantage of the deck’s assorted sacrifice synergies.


Header - Flexible Builds

The best part of the game, both Elden Ring and Magic: The Gathering, lies in its flexibility. Just like your Tarnished can be customized to the gameplay you want, there are plenty of other flavorful options to include in this deck and even further optimize it. Maybe your mage build prefers an Isochron Scepter and likes to win its boss fights with a sudden Dramatic Reversal for infinite mana (representing a well-loved, cheesy build in Elden Ring). Maybe you ignore spells entirely for more ramp or Equipment, or even choose a different legendary altogether to take your version in a completely new direction. The only true limit on your theme deck is your imagination.


Elden Ring Theme Deck by Drew Knapp

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