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Top 10 Black-Green Commanders – Riley Ranks

With around 1,500 potential commanders, there is no shortage of cards you can use to lead your EDH decks. Some, however, have risen to the top as the format has developed, and secured their positions as format favorites. Each color pair has its own distinct identity, and there are commanders that embody that identity, or parts of it, in ways that have made them immensely popular generals. Today, we’re looking at the top black-green commanders – for more detailed information about any of these decks, check out EDHRec’s page on top black-green commanders!

 

 

10. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord

I’m always a sucker for an old Return to Ravnica legend. Made in a time before EDH was the overwhelmingly popular format it is today, some old legends still ended up with a suite of powerful abilities that are well-suited to multiplayer, and Jarad is one of them. Fill a Jarad deck with other cards that grow big when graveyards are filled with creatures – Nighthowler, Lord of Extinction, Mortivore – and then add a couple of ways to fill up your graveyard – Grisly Salvage, Satyr Wayfinder, Nyx Weaver – and then the fun can begin. You play out your massive Mortivore-type creatures, and if they can’t get through a choked battlefield, just feed ’em to Jarad’s activated ability. Simple. 

9. Carth the Lion

Carth the Lion

Planeswalker decks are tough to pull together in EDH at the best of times. Planeswalkers are just much, much harder to defend when they have to survive three combat steps, not just one, and it’s only with cards like Atraxa that you can reliably hope to keep them alive. Or, as it turns out, Carth the Lion – despite being restricted to two colors, there are still some extremely powerful planeswalkers you can leverage. Garruk, Cursed Huntsman, Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Vraska, Relic Seeker – and all these superfriends gain extra loyalty whenever you activate them, thanks to Carth. Chuck in some extra ways to add loyalty counters, like Evolution Sage or Vorinclex, and your ‘walkers will be unstoppable. 

8. Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

Skullbriar wants counters, and he wants lots of ’em. +1/+1 counters, sure, but so many other types as well – and thanks to sets like Ikoria, we can now give Skullbriar hexproof, lifelink and trample counters to boot. Not bad! Skullbriar takes these counters everywhere he goes, so loading him up with +1/+1 counters (increased by cards like Corpsejack Menace and Winding Constrictor) is a great way to build a huge threat. But then you can add Unexpected Fangs into the mix for lifelink, or Titanoth Rex for trample, or – best of all – Slippery Bogbonder, and all of a sudden you’ve got an absolutely unbeatable monster of a commander, ready to lay waste to your foes. 

7. Grist, the Hunger Tide

Grist, the Hunger Tide

Grist is such a weird card. A creature everywhere but the battlefield, it can indeed be a commander, and is more or less the best choice for anyone wanting to play Insect tribal, due to a) its synergistic tribal abilities and b) the lack of other good options. And the payoffs for playing Insect tribal? Not too bad at all, let me tell you: Hornet Queen, Scute Swarm, Giant Adephage, the list goes on. Insect decks love to make tokens and they can also put those token to good use with a sacrifice subtheme, growing monsters like Nantuko Husk or drawing cards with Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, all while grinding down opposing life totals with Syr Konrad, the Grim.

6. The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster

If you feel that, when playing games of Commander, that your turns aren’t long enough and should occupy a much larger proportion of the game time, let me introduce you to The Gitrog Monster. These decks are all about recurring and replaying lands, of course, but with the added advantage of your turns taking ages and ages every time as you fiddly-fart around with discarding and sacrificing lands, drawing cards, playing more lands, drawing more cards, etc. etc. etc., until you reach your end step. What’s that? You have 10 cards in hand? Time to discard some lands! Which means you draw more cards, in the cleanup step, which means there’s another cleanup step, where you discard more lands, then draw more cards, then… yeah, you get it. If you always felt like you wanted your end steps to last 15 minutes each, The Gitrog Monster is for you. 

5. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons

Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons

Over the years, there have been enough -1/-1 counter cards printed to form a more-than-critical mass of options to power up a Hapatra deck. Old classics like Contagion Clasp, Grim Affliction and Skinrender come out of the woodwork to chuck around some -1/-1 counters, and then cards like Obelisk Spider and Nest of Scarabs join Hapatra in rewarding you for putting those counters on opposing creatures. But perhaps best of all is Necroskitter, which steals opposing creatures when you manage to sneak some counters on them and have them die. It’s a narrow and very strange strategy, but it’ll get the job done against creature decks, let me tell you.

4. Slimefoot, the Stowaway

Slimefoot, the Stowaway (Timeshifted)

It’s unusual for tribal decks to be led by a creature not of their tribe, but if you want to play Saprolings, you can’t do better than Slimefoot. He’s backed up by a huge cast of fungal characters that can all make additional Saprolings – Sporoloth Ancient, Mycoloth, Sporemound – and, as if the case with any self-respecting black-green token deck, there are plenty of ways to sacrifice creatures for fun and profit. Skullclamp is the best of the bunch, of course, but you can feed Saprolings to Psychotrope Thallid to draw cards, Deathspore Thallid to kill creatures or Utopia Mycon for extra mana. On top of that, there are some absolutely beastly lords for Saprolings: not just Thelonite Hermit, but also the mighty Tendershoot Dryad.

3. Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Meren of Clan Nel Toth

With green-black’s natural affinity for sacrificing its own creatures, it’s not difficult to get a ton of experience counters with Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and from there you essentially get a free reanimation every turn. When you start recurring cards like Junji, the Midnight Sky or Grave Titan, things get very nasty, very quickly. Meren of Clan Nel Toth is able to cycle and recycle creatures from your graveyard over and over again, and while you can go big with cards like Sheoldred, Whispering One, it’s also possible to play a much more interactive, value-oriented game with Ravenous Chupacabra, Spore Frog and Solemn Simulacrum, so as to grind your opponents out. 

2. Chatterfang, Squirrel General

Chatterfang, Squirrel General

Squirrels have always been enormously popular with many Magic players, and these days there are finally enough of them that you can build a respectably powerful squirrel deck in EDH. Chatterfang’s ability is best exploited with cards that make lots of tokens themselves: things like Pitiless Plunderer or Tireless Provisioner, or you can go really big with Avenger of Zendikar. As for actual Squirrel tokens, there’s Squirrel Nest, Deep Forest Hermit, Chatterstorm, the list goes on – all buffed by the mighty Squirrel Sovereign and, if your playgroup is on board with silver-bordered cards, Earl of Squirrel as well. 

1. Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Elves are amongst the most popular tribes in Magic, right up there with Zombies, Vampires and of course Dragons. Lathril is comfortably the most popular Elves commander, and so is also the most popular green-black commander as a result – and for good reason. Not only is she able to churn out a ton of tokens (Elves aren’t lacking lords, so Lathril rarely stays a 2/3 for long), but she can also be a quick finisher as you tap and untap the team to dome the table for 10 apiece. Build out a board, get in for damage when you can, then finish the table off with Seedborn Muse to activate Lathril a few times. Or, alternatively, just hit ’em with the classic green finisher, the friend of Elves everywhere, Craterhoof Behemoth.

 

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