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The Best White Commanders You Aren’t Playing in MTG

Katilda, Dawnheart Martyr

As the commander format continues to grow, the amount of variance seen in decks has steadily been reduced. With more and more people brewing, the definitive “best” commanders have become apparent and many players refuse to step outside of the safe bubble of popular opinion. Mind you, I’m not throwing shade. What’s good is good, there is no question, but the more people play what’s popular the more cards that you should be considering are pushed to the fringes.

I go out of my way to try and build with underpowered creatures or theme decks, and in the process I love stopping to consider commanders that have been beaten out by social opinion or even pure powercreep. Here, I’ll take some time to highlight some of the more exciting or unique mono white commanders that you should consider trying in the command zone- you may be surprised at the power that’s hiding in the lower tiers of EDHrec.

Katilda, Dawnheart Martyr

Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn

Katilda is my favorite mono-white option that has dropped in recent sets. Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice has stolen all the spotlight for enchantment-based decks in mono white (again, for good reason, the power is clearly there) but Katilda has a number of advantages that go a step beyond power level. First is flexibility, as Katilda can helm a spirit deck, an enchantress deck, or even a lifegain deck that employs either permanent type. Mixing these themes thematically to power up Katilda feels good, and she has the added bonus of being able to be played from the Graveyard as a powerful aura when her commander tax starts to get too high. Hating out the occasional Edgar Markov deck is also just icing on the massive life linking cake. 

Djeru, With Eyes Open

Djeru, With Eyes Open

White is home to some of the best planeswalkers in the format, including my favorite Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. White walkers often come with armies attached, removal, and other solid effects, and Djeru lets you find any of a large toolkit of walkers while also serving to protect them. Djeru suffers from being mono white, as the many “superfriends” decks built around walkers benefit from having access to as many colors as possible (and ideally a Doubling Season to hit ultimates immediately), but having a tutor in the command zone has value enough to make Djeru, With Eyes Open a card you should strongly consider. Arguably more notable, Djeru doesn’t have the stigma that many other notorious superfriends commanders have. Atraxa may get you hate the minute you sit down, but Djeru can fly under the radar.

Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist x Akroma, Vision of Ixidor

Ardenn, Intrepid ArchaeologistAkroma, Vision of Ixidor

Equipment decks, such as those lead by Kemba, Kha Regent, and Keyword soup decks lead by Odric, Lunarch Marshall are exciting, but when it comes to fun themes like those I often have to ask “why not both?” Arden, Intrepid Archaeologist is an exceptional commander for any kind of equipment deck, and the newest version of Akroma, while having a very high mana value, offers a powerful payoff for running piles of keywords on your creatures. What’s more interesting, however, is the crossover between the two. Running equipment like the thematic Sword of Vengeance that add keywords to your creatures lets you double up on their effectiveness, buffing any creature into a truly terrifying beater. Don’t let Akorma’s mana cost scare you, with the right mana generating artifacts you’ll find it’s surprisingly easy to get her off the ground and buffing your crew.

Lena, Selfless Champion

Lena, Selfless Champion

Mono white has no small amount of token commanders to pick from. The majority of these, such as the popular Darien, King of Kjeldor, have gotten precisely the amount of love they deserve, but Lena has fallen off the map compared to the many more popular options. Lena is unique in that she comes in, drops an army based on the number of non-token creatures you control, and then serves to protect your board after. A few buffs or equipment lets her get big enough to defend your entire squad, and it isn’t hard for her to represent a massive amount of power and toughness on the board with the right build. She is often immediately dismissed because she says “non-token,” but running other army-in-a-can creatures like Geist-Honored Monk helps add to your non-token numbers while still letting you go wide with the tokens themselves.

Mageta the Lion

Mageta the Lion

For a very long time, white struggled to maintain any kind of card advantage. This means that the idea of discard as a cost was entirely inconceivable, leaving Mageta the Lion and other spellshaper effects behind. However, the times have changed, and Mageta the Lion is poised to play as an impressive control piece in any deck that can keep the cards flowing, and mono white can absolutely keep up! A mono white control deck might sound like a wild idea, but Mageta represents the lion’s share of reasons to give it a try. Running an endless supply of Wrath of God in your command zone is an extremely satisfying experience, and while it may not earn you any love from the table that may not matter as long as you’re able to police the board effectively. Pile on some indestructible or non-creature win conditions and you’ve got quite the brew.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence

Linvala, Keeper of Silence

Linvala, Keeper of Silence may well be the most underutilized commander option in mono white. The ability to shut down an extensive number of opposing threats is exceptional, and having that kind of power attached to an efficiently costed flyer makes Linvala a commander that’s deserving of much more attention than she gets. The primary reason for her lack of popularity is almost certainly the social contract and the perception of how “mean” her effect is, but the hate she could potentially get is comparable to the obvious threat that other popular commanders offer. If you want to help control the flow of a game, running out some of the best threats that white has to offer while neutering a lot of their parallels in other color combinations, Linvala is one of the best available options that too often ends up in the 99 when she should be starting in the command zone. 

The Brightest White

Mono white decks were considered the weakest in the format for too long, but these hidden gems can help show that this just isn’t the case anymore. While the traditionally popular commanders in white show a similar amount of potential, there is something to be said to bringing something undervalued to the table. You’re infinitely more likely to be harder to assess as a threat if you’re commander is more of an unknown, and in the case of the cards above you’re absolutely not sacrificing any power to gain this advantage. Buck popular trends and try running something new in your command zone today and you’ll feel the difference.

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