Oathbreaker is the latest format to join the ranks of fan-made game modes officially recognized by Magic: The Gathering. This beloved format originated back in 2017, and focuses on building a deck around a single planeswalker to act as your commander, and a signature spell, which exists in your command zone. Oathbreaker follows a lot of similar rules as Commander, with a notable change being that your deck is only 60 cards (58 in the main deck plus your commander and signature spell), and you start at 20 life. 

Certain planeswalkers are bound to be better than others in this format, which makes sense. For every Jace, the Mind Sculptor there are a dozen terrible planeswalkers. That’s not to say you can’t make fun decks with less popular planeswalkers, but these are the cream of the crop if you’re looking to take down your friends. 

Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler

If you’re looking to make some powerful plays with creatures as soon as they come out, then Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler is the way to go. Sitting at three mana, Tyvar can come down as early as your second turn, so long as you hit a turn one Birds of Paradise or another mana dork.

Pair Tyvar up with a Signature Spell like Awaken The Woods to drop an army of Forest Dryad tokens which can tap for mana the turn they come out, thanks to Tyvar’s built-in Thousand-Year Elixir effect as its static ability.

Professor Onyx

While Professor Onyx might be a little more expensive than most other popular Oathbreakers mana value-wise, her static ability makes her well worth it. 

You can always load your deck up with tons of removal and draw spells to keep the board clear and your hand full, but there is a better approach. With Chain of Smog as your signature spell, you can easily start an infinite chain where you drain all your opponents of their life in a single turn. 

Shorikai, Genesis Engine

Yes, Shorikai, Genesis Engine is not a planeswalker, but thanks to a little-known Oathbreaker rule, you can run it as your commander. Rule 906.14 states that if another rule refers to your commander, it instead refers to your Oathbreaker. 

This has since been confirmed to allow cards like Shorikai to be your Oathbreaker instead of a planeswalker. Enjoy your infinite combos with Shorikai with cards like Intruder Alarm to keep untapping it and making more tokens while your opponents are still trying to cast their planeswalkers.

The Eternal Wanderer

An amazing oathbreaker for a Stax-based white control deck. All of The Eternal Wanderer’s abilities disrupt your opponent’s plans. Even its +1 ability can blink cards like Stonehorn Dignitary to keep skipping a player’s combat step.

The Eternal Wanderer’s static ability makes it incredibly difficult to deal with through combat, forcing your opponents to resort to targeted removal. Those spells are at a premium in Oathbreaker. Even better, the -4 ability gives you an extremely efficient board wipe on your planeswalker, effectively giving you an extra signature spell. 

Ral, Storm Conduit

Combo decks are always popular and with Ral, Storm Conduit as your oathbreaker, you’ll quickly burn out your opponents with only a few spells. All you have to do is have any number of cheap copy spells like Twincast as your signature spell, and then cast something like Expansion / Explosion to copy Twincast. 

Now that you’ve set up an infinite look between Expansion and Twincast, you’ll have all the damage you’ll need to shoot down all your opponents. 

Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Deck building in Oathbreaker can go any number of ways, with all sorts of wild combos to use. But with Nissa, Who Shakes the World at the head of your deck, you’ll find that making the most of your Forests might just be the easiest solution.

The biggest benefit you get from Nissa is her static ability, ramping you up to an unseen ten mana on turn six assuming you play Nissa out to an empty board. With a few pieces of ramp and some huge spells like Finale of Devastation which search up a Craterhoof Behemoth, you’ll have a recipe for victory.

Narset, Parter of Veils

There are few other planeswalkers out there that have caused more headaches than Narset, Parter of Veils. For three mana Narset will come down early and repeatedly, helping you keep your card advantage over your opponents. 

Most Narset shenanigans occurs when pairing it with cards like Windfall to force your opponents to draw zero cards while you refill your hand. Having Windfall in your signature spell slot makes it a wild piece of control magic. 

Ugin, the Ineffable

Like Commander, your Oathbreaker deck has to follow the color restrictions of your walker. When you pick one like Ugin the Ineffable, the entirety of your deck must be colorless cards. 

That said, hitting six colorless mana is real quick in Oathbreaker. This gives you plenty of opportunities to cast your colorless spells even earlier, thanks to Ugin’s mana value reduction ability. 

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

To this day, one of the most consistent ways to end a match is by ending it with Laboratory Maniac or a Thassa’s Oracle. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries is another version of this win-condition method, giving you a consistent and repeatable way to ensure you’ll win the game. 

It’s important to keep Jace, Wielder of Mysteries alive by your next turn. If you do cast him out to a full board know there’s a solid chance you could lose the game if he gets destroyed before your next draw step.

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

One of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed gets an upgrade in Oathbreaker. Thanks to all the planeswalkers running around the format, Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God gains all the abilities of all planeswalkers in play, giving it access to whatever you might need to close the game. 

You could always go the thematic route with Nicol Bolas’s signature spell, giving it The Elderspell to wipe the board of all those pesky planeswalkers. This sets you up for the one-two punch of activating Nicol Bolas’ -8 ability, making everyone who doesn’t control a legendary creature or planeswalker lose the game. 

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

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