Commander Masters is a reprint set devoted entirely to the Commander format, and with it comes a bunch of incredibly powerful cards that haven’t seen a printing in years. Some of these cards have gained notoriety for being so exorbitantly expensive, preventing players from being able to enjoy using these unique cards. 

Some of the cards featured in Commander Masters are so old that the mythic rarity wasn’t even a consideration when they were originally printed, while others have never seen a modern border. While not every card from Commander Masters is a bomb mythic or game-breaking powerhouse, these are some of the best the set has to offer. 


First printed back in Mercadian Masques, Bribery is one of those cards which is only as good as the best card in your opponent’s deck. For five mana you get to go digging in an opponent’s library for any creature card and then put it directly into play under your control.

Even at its worst, Bribery often times takes the best creature from your opponent. You could find something as strong as an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, or possibly something to combo with a card you already have in play. You have to think carefully about which opponent you want to target with. But if it’s late enough in the game you’ll probably have a good idea who is playing the better creatures.

Champion’s Helm

While not the most flashy of equipment you can play in Commander, Champion’s Helm does provide plenty of protection from your opponent’s removal spells. This equipment grants +2/+2 and hexproof to the equipped creature, so long as the creature is legendary.

A great way to get around this small limitation is by playing with cards that let you pick a Ring-bearer with The Ring Tempts You mechanic. Your Ring-bearer becomes legendary and then gains hexproof.

Neheb, the Eternal

This version of Neheb has only been printed in Hour of Devastation and comes with two powerful abilities to drain your opponents out of the game. When Neheb becomes blocked, it’s afflict 3 ability triggers, automatically making your defending opponent lose three life.

Then, on your postcombat main phase, you get to add red mana equal to the amount of life all your opponents have lose this turn, not just the one you attacked. The wild thing with this card is that works even if there’s been multiple postcombat main phases, like from Relentless Assault.  All that damage means you’ll have tons of red mana coming your way, enough to cast larger and larger spells.

Craterhoof Behemoth

One of the easiest ways to close out an extended game is with the massive Craterhoof Behemoth. When you drop this behemoth on the battlefield, it gives all your creatures trample and +X/+X equal to the number of creatures you control.

Craterhoof Behemoth can sometimes feel a little like a played-out song and dance at times, if you’re playing the Beast in your deck, you’re probably winning a lot of games with it. Even so, it’s generally a good idea to have one or two closing creatures or combos in your deck to put to rest a game that has gone on far too long.

Finale of Devastation

Speaking of closers, Finale of Devastation oftentimes feels like Craterhoof #2 in your deck with its relatively similar effect. At it’s core, Finale of Devastation is a tutor spell, letting you dig through your deck or graveyard for a creature card with mana value equal to or less than the amount of mana you put into it.

If you’re able to dump at least ten mana into it, Finale gives all your creatures +X/+X, where X is the amount of mana you’ve paid. Those creatures also gain haste which is wild. For a 1-2 punch, go ahead and grab a Craterhoof Behemoth off of it to put all your opponents to shame.

Loyal Retainers

The first of several prohibitively rare cards, Loyal Retainers has seen only one regular release in the extremely limited Portal Three Kingdoms. It was also printed as an Ahmonket Invocation, but since it was a box topper it wasn’t exactly easy to find.

Loyal Retainers have a powerful reanimation effect attached to them, letting you sacrifice it to bring back any legendary creature from your graveyard to the battlefield. You can only do it on your turn and before attackers are declared, but it shouldn’t be a problem most of the time. 

Fierce Guardianship

Part of a cycle of incredibly powerful free spells from the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth’s Commander precons, Fierce Guardianship provides a conditionally free counterspell against noncreature spells. So long as you control your commander, you can cast it for free to counter a noncreature spell, which is pretty darn good.

The entire cycle of free spells were in dire need of a reprinting since they only came in the Commander Precons. They quickly became a necessity for many Commander decks. Even if you don’t have your Commander in play, it costs a relatively normal three mana to cast and only one blue source, making hard casting it a fine alternative. 

Jeweled Lotus

Frustratingly, anytime a card has the word ‘Lotus’ in the name the odds are pretty good that it’s going to be a powerful card. Jeweled Lotus has certainly lived up to the expectation, becoming a borderline necessity for many high-powered decks.

All you have to do to use Jeweled Lotus is tap and sacrifice it to add three mana that can only be spent on your commander. This ability might appear a little limited at first, but imagine powering out a three or four-colored commander, assuming they don’t have more than two colors in their casting cost. 

Sun Quan, Lord of Wu

Many players might not even recognize Sun Quan, Lord of Wu if you played it at a local Commander event. Heck, I couldn’t even tell you which Portal set it comes from without looking it up since the card is so rare (it’s Portal Three Kingdoms and I was 100% wrong).

Sun Quan gives your creatures horsemanship, which is a little like flying but closer to the shadow ability. If you have a creature with horsemanship, it can only be blocked by another creature with horsemanship. This creates extremely one-sided board states and grants you the ability to swing out against a completely unprotected battlefield. 

Capture of Jingzhou

The Capture of Jingzhou isn’t a particularly unique card, it’s a Time Warp with a different name at its core. However, in a format like Commander where you’re restricted to just one copy of each card in your deck, having a few redundancies makes it amazing.

Much like Time Warp and Capture of Jingzhou’s Portal Second Age cousin, Temporal Manipulation, these cards let you take an extra turn once your current one ends. Multiple copies mean multiple chances of drawing it during a game, as well as more copies incase an opponent tries to exile it or steal it for their own. Since Capture of Jingzhou released back in Portal Three Kingdoms, it quickly became extremely expensive, making this an incredibly valuable reprint in the set.

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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