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Top 10 Red-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 red-green commanders – for more detailed information about any of these decks, check out EDHRec’s page on top red-green commanders!

 

 

10. Wort, the Raidmother

Wort, the Raidmother

Gruul Goblins? What? Surely there aren’t enough green Goblins to warrant adding a second color (there are only four mono-green Goblins, and 16 red-green Goblins). Well, interestingly, Wort isn’t usually very interested in exploiting Goblin synergies – instead, she tends to head up spellslinger decks! Using token generators like Young Pyromancer, Krenko’s Command and Hordeling Outburst, Wort decks ensure they have enough creatures to conspire cards like Big Score and Battle Hymn, building towards massive X-spell finishers like Crackle with Power and Jaya’s Immolating Inferno. As soon as I saw Wort, I thought of Goblins, but nope – this is just an Izzet deck in disguise!

9. Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

I’m a huge fan of Raggadragga. I love how the card offsets one of the weaknesses of building a list filled with mana dorks: they’re terrible draws late in the game. Raggadragga makes them more meaningful threats as the game goes on, and ensures your top-end spells have impact even if they don’t resolve, as your Llanowar Elves gets in there for 10 damage (with trample and pseudo-vigilance, no less!). Plus, let’s not overlook the fact that the name “Raggadragga” is also a lot of fun to say, making the deck an even more attractive choice for the discerning Gruul mage. 

8. Svella, Ice Shaper

Svella, Ice Shaper

Svella decks are really, really cool. Sure, making Icy Manaliths is fine, but Svella decks really revolve around her second ability, the eight-mana one. Svella rewards you for filling your deck with massive, expensive threats like Apex Devastator (Svella casts the card, so the quad-cascade still fires), Nyxbloom Ancient or Terastodon, powering out these huge beaters every turn – or, if you’ve got the mana, multiple times a turn. With cards like Seedborn Muse and Rime Tender, you can get multiple Svella activations a turn – not to mention copying the ability with Battlemage’s Bracers of Rings of Brighthearth

7. Nikya of the Old Ways

Nikya of the Old Ways

Restrictions breed creativity, as Mark Rosewater always says, and most Nikya decks are built without noncreature spells of any kind (except, of course, for the odd Primal Surge, which is often too juicy to resist). Happily, plenty of excellent creatures in green and red offer spell-like effects, from ramp with Sakura-Tribe Elder and Wood Elves, to card draw with Soul of the Harvest and Beast Whisperer, to interaction with Acidic Slime and Flametongue Kavu. The list goes on: give your creatures haste with Anger, recur cards with Eternal Witness, protect your team with Archetype of Endurance. Who needs noncreature spells?

6. Neyith of the Dire Hunt

Neyith of the Dire Hunt

Neyith offers a very powerful ability, when utilized properly: she makes all your fight spells replace themselves – and if a creature has a fight ability, like Ulvenwald Tracker, you can use it judiciously to draw card after card after card. Naturally, therefore, Neyith decks are filled with two things – fight effects, like Setessan Tactics and Pit Fight, and creatures that are ideally suited to fighting. This can be either big creatures such as Apex Altisaur or Kogla, the Titan Ape, or it can be creatures such as Brash Taunter which offer different benefits when fighting. Neyith decks are quintessentially Gruul: big monsters ready to fight, utility creatures and spells to win those fights and a creature-based way to keep drawing cards.

5. Wulfgar of Icewind Dale

Wulfgar of Icewind Dale

Wulfgar is one of those EDH decks that more or less builds itself. You jump on Scryfall, search for all green and/or red creatures with on-attack abilities, and slam the best of them into the 99. Etali, Primal Storm, Grand Warlord Radha, Tectonic Giant – the list of creatures that benefit from Wulfgar’s ability goes on and on. But it’s not just creatures! Beastmaster Ascension picks up twice as many counters, Overwhelming Instinct draws twice as many cards, Argentum Armor blows up twice as many permanents. Personally, all I want to do with Wulfgar is power out double Rampant Growths each combat with Sword of the Animist, but hey, if you’d rather double a Drakuseth’s damage trigger, I get it. 

4. Xenagos, God of Revels

Xenagos, God of Revels

Xenagos is a fine “placeholder” commander for any Gruul deck – his ability is strong, flexible, and rarely ill-suited to what red-green decks are trying to do. However, if you really want to drill down on what Xenagos is trying to achieve, you want to fill your deck with extra combat effects. Aggravated Assault, Moraug, Fury of Akoum, Seize the Day – whatever it is, Xenagos’ ability triggers at the beginning of each combat, so you’re able to grow a creature to staggering proportions with extra combats. Even without a deck being skewed this way, however, Xenagos is one of the most flexible and undemanding Gruul commanders you’ll find anywhere. 

3. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

Cut from the same cloth as Nikya, Ruric Thar decks tend to be high on creatures, low on everything else – the classic Primal Surge strategy. While not as explosive as Nikya in terms of mana generation, Ruric Thar is incredibly punishing for anyone hoping to play any sort of game involving lots of instants and sorceries, or artifacts and enchantments. Six damage per spell is a lot, even in EDH, and spellslinger decks just can’t function while this mighty 6/6 is on the battlefield. Outside of that, however, Ruric Thar and Nikya are largely interchangeable, and all you need to decide is this: would you rather double mana, or six damage per opposing spell?

2. Omnath, Locus of Rage

Omnath, Locus of Rage

Some of the best landfall cards can be found in red-green, from Nesting Dragon to Avenger of Zendikar to the mighty Scute Swarm. Omnath decks play ’em all, in addition to ramp spells like Cultivate, extra land effects like Azusa, Lost but Seeking, and of course the absolute powerhouse that is Ancient Greenwarden. Some decks go a little harder on the Elementals theme, with synergistic cards like Living Twister, Fertilid and Titania, Protector of Argoth, but even Omnath by himself will churn out enough Elementals to feed his second ability. Omnath is a fan favorite in EDH, and a great choice for anyone who loves to put lots of lands into play. 

1. Tovolar, Dire Overlord

Tovolar, Dire Overlord // Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge

But every single other Gruul commander pales in comparison to Tovolar, Dire Overlord, who is, unquestionably, the most popular red-green commander. Such is the power of the Werewolf tribe – there’s not too much to say about these decks, as they’re pretty focused and homogenous. There are plenty of Werewolves, but it’s reasonably clear which are the best ones: Avabruck Caretaker, Duskwatch Recruiter, Geier Reach Bandit, etc. Fill your deck up with them, add support cards like Full Moon’s Rise, Howling Moon and all the usual tribal suspects like Vanquisher’s Banner, and you’ll very quickly have a powerful Tovolar deck!

 

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