Iconic Commander

With the launch of a new Masters set, I find myself once again on the hunt for some new Commander staples more than anything else. While the set has some great reprints for Vintage, Legacy and Modern players, my playgroup tends to steer more towards multiplayer Commander fun and the Masters sets are always a neat place to find new toys. Having left the Magic community for over a decade prior to my return during the Theros block, these sets offer me an opportunity to explore some cards that were printed before I got back into the game — and in some cases pick up cards I had either long since sold off or had never been fortunate enough to have prior to my departure.

So with that said, here are the cards from Iconic Masters I’m most eager to see in a pack that would likely very quickly find a home in one of my Commander decks. Many of these are permanents with effects that will basically warp a Commander game — drawing a lot of attention to you as your opponents scramble to remove the effect from the board:


Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Making your permanents indestructible is a huge boon in commander — protecting you from wrath effects. If you can resolve an Avacyn, Angel of Hope your opponents are going to have a rough time. While probably too costly to use as a Commander specifically, you should be able to drop her late game to secure your board.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

The bane and boon of token decks. An Elesh Norn in a token deck can give your army a significant boost while also crippling your foes and possibly eliminating some smaller threats and hindering your opponent’s token-based strategies. Another costly card but also one your opponents will want to remove quickly.

Austere Command

Speaking of wrath Effects, Austere Command gives you a flexible wrath effect that will help you deal with the biggest problems you are facing at any particular moment while hopefully protecting your most valuable permanents. It’s probably a must-play in any commander deck running white.

Serra Ascendant

This guy is a miserable turn one play for your oppoents to face. A 6/6 flyer with lifelink on turn one is a nightmare to deal with and yet still playable late-game for any deck focused on life gain. During your first turn, your opponents won’t likely have any counterspells available to handle him either.


Mana Drain

It goes without saying that two casting cost counterspells without any downside are amazing. This one has an UPSIDE. Mana Drain is possibly one of the most potent counterspells in the game and the mana ramp you can gain will certainly give you an edge. You will want to put this in any blue deck.

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

This card is a pain. His very high casting cost makes him very difficult to play but if you can resolve him you will be able to fill your hand with options while reducing your opponents to tears.

Consecrated Sphinx

This card will generally keep your hand full at all times and, as with most of the other permanents on this list, warp your game and draw all attention to you. Consecrated Sphinx gives you massive card advantage in a multiplayer game and should draw instant attention from the table if he resolves.

Cryptic Command

Like Austere Command, Cryptic Command gives you a ton of flexibility to help you deal with the biggest threat of the moment. The three blue mana in it’s casting cost is a pain but it is worth the flexibility.



While some players may question Necropotence’s value, paying life for cards can bring you a lot of value in Commander and with a few good tutors, you should be able to fetch cards to gain you life to pay for that advantage. The effect is excellent in the right deck.

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Black loves graveyard recursion and this is no exception. Sheoldred does not only that but also forces your opponents to sacrifice a creature.

Kokusho, the Evening Star

If you are playing with any kind of graveyard recursion, or even if you are not, Kokusho is your friend. You want Kokusho to die at some point — eating away at a good portion of your opponents life and adding to yours. Do what you can to trigger this effect as often as possible.


Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

This guy is bonkers. Plenty of combo opportunities with him as well.

Magus of the Moon

Non-basic lands are a staple in Commander. If you are playing mono-red, this guy could make for a miserable game for your opponents.

Urabrask the Hidden

Not as impressive as the other Praetors but giving your creatures haste is nothing to sneeze at and forcing your opponent’s creatures to enter the battlefield tapped is a source of frustration for them.


Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Mana Ramp for you and a huge middle finger to the rest of the table. Your opponents will want this guy dead fast.

Genesis Hydra and Genesis Wave

A good dumping spot for all for all of the mana that you got with Vorinclex. Genesis Wave has a bit of a benefit of nabbing you multiple cards while Genesis Hydra will at worst give you a big creature.

Rampaging Baloths

This card is a surprising threat, growing your board quickly.


Supreme Verdict

An uncounterable board wipe for four mana is fantastic.


Thran Dynamo

A great Mana Rock for Commander, especially if you can untap.

Oblivion Stone

Oblivion Stone is a great way to wipe the board while still protecting your most valuable asset.


Iconic Masters is full of great cards for all non-standard formats but the above are some cards you may want to seek out if you’re a Commander player! Have fun cracking packs!




Greg Grondin
Gregory Grondin is a full time Systems Analyst working for Mariner Innovations. He also works as a weight loss consultant for Weight Watchers and is part owner of Heroes' Beacon. You can follow his web comic series at http://www.spacepawdyssey.com

Greg is a fan of gaming and comics in general and an avid collector of Transformers figures.