MTG Dimir Commanders Guide – 10 Best Blue/Black Commanders (April 2022)

MTG Dimir Commanders Guide - 10 Best Blue/Black Commanders (April 2022)

There are a lot of cards in Magic: The Gathering, which can make getting into the wildly popular Commander format pretty intimidating. With so many color combinations, it can be difficult to know what deck to start building or who’s the best choice to lead your army. Dimir is the color combination of Blue/Black and often focuses on deceit, manipulation, specific creature tribes, and controlling the battlefield. At the time of writing this, there are over 70 potential Dimir Commanders spanning multiple archetypes and combinations. So to help you out, I have put together a list of the ten best Commanders in these colors along with why you should consider running them.

As a long-time player of Commander, I am not only drawing from my own knowledge and experience but also the data from the fine folks at the amazing EDHREC website. When picking my top 10 choices, I focused on Commanders who are extremely powerful on their own and can drive their respective decks to victory. This doesn’t mean other Commanders in this color combination are bad — if there’s a deck or legendary creature you just want to build around, you should do it! However, these are a solid starting point for those looking to get into this format or are unsure of what deck they want to make.

(Author’s Note: This list is in no particular order.)

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Let’s start this list with the ultimate zombie-tribal Commander. Wilhelt is a terrifying powerhouse, capable of quickly spiraling out of control thanks to his ability to not only make zombie creature tokens but also provide you with a card draw in your end step. He’s an engine, capable of feeding his draw ability with the tokens he generates.

While Wilhelt won’t win you the game outright, he is a powerful card that can constantly keep your undead army fed and hand stacked full of cards to play. Given that running out of cards is a common issue in a lot of tribal decks, Wilhelt’s entire design circumvents this problem by allowing players to constantly dump hordes of zombies onto the field. Plus, he has some seriously nasty synergies with cards like Cleaver Skaab and Undead Augur.

Umbris, Fear Manifested

I love Umbris. This unique horror/nightmare Commander is all about putting your opponent’s cards into exile. Sending cards into the graveyard is one thing, but being able to systematically and methodically exile your opponent’s deck can be difficult to come back from. Plus, you get to use all the cool horrors and nightmares throughout Magic’s history, which is something we really couldn’t do effectively in this format.

Cards like Yarok’s Fenlurker and Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar are exceptionally good with Umbris, allowing you to swiftly start exiling cards from the top of a foe’s library. Umbris also gets bigger for each card, turning this originally wimpy 1/1 into a monster capable of instantly killing your opponent with Commander damage. If you’re looking for a unique tribal Commander who will make your opponent’s life difficult, consider picking up Umbris.

Satoru, Umezawa

I firmly believe Satoru, Umezawa is a better ninjutsu-themed Commander than Yuriko. Look, Yuriko is incredible and can be explosive in a finely-tuned deck, but she’s also slightly boring. A lot of her deck revolves around revealing high mana-costed spells to decimate your opponent’s life, which is fine if a bit dull. Satoru, on the other hand, gives every creature in your hand ninjutsu.

Do you want to cheat out a Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, or giant Eldrazi for four mana? Done. Are you tired of being limited to the small pool of ninja-themed cards and want to punish your opponents with some of the scariest creatures in the format? Done and done. Satoru is a shockingly potent Commander, capable of turning your cheap unblockable creatures into huge monsters that can literally warp the entire game around them. It’s extremely strong and can make your opening turns scary for your foes. After all, who knows if you’re just going to drop a Blightsteel Colossus on turn four?

The Scarab God

While Wilhelt is currently the new zombie-tribal Commander on the block, The Scarab God remains one of the absolute best. This card certainly earns the creature type “God,” as it boasts several scary abilities. The first gives you a bit of deck manipulation and life drain, allowing you to slowly weaken opponents while setting yourself up for some great turns. Yet, it’s the second ability that makes The Scarab God strong, as he can make a token of any creature in any graveyard for four mana.

Yes, you read that right. The Scarab God can bring back not only your creatures but also any opponents you might fancy. There’s so much potential in this ability alone, as it ensures you aren’t only reliant on what’s in your deck to win. The Scarab God also has the benefit of going to your hand at the beginning of the next end step when it dies (instead of the command zone), which circumvents the “Commander Tax” cost.

Anowon, The Ruin Thief

Finally, rogue tribal players have a leader worth their time and effort. Anowon is such a great card as it acts as both a lord and an engine for your board. First off, it pumps up all your rogues by +1/+1, which is always nice given many of them are squishy. Where Anowon turns up the heat is in his second ability. Not only will your army of assassins make your opponent’s mill cards, but he also lets you refill your hand so long as they mill a creature. It’s a simple but deceptively strong ability that can be easily overlooked by your opponents. This allows a smart Anowon player to fly under the radar until their army of rogues descends upon their foe.

Gyruda, Doom of Depths

Okay, this is more of a personal choice than it being the objective “best” or most popular. Gyruda, Doom of Depths is a Commander who can turn an entire game around in a few turns. Even though the restriction of even costed cards might seem like an issue, it’s not that bad. With its ability, Gyruda can drop all sorts of powerful creatures onto the field like Sire of Stagnation, Massacre Wurm, Consecrated Sphinx, and Archon of Cruelty. You can also take a card from your opponent’s graveyard instead of depending on the off-chance you don’t hit anything!

This card goes from good to great when you start utilizing clones and bounce effects to repeatedly trigger Gyruda. There is a very good chance you can trigger Gyruda multiple times a turn, which is a scary prospect for any Commander playgroup. Sure, it’s not as oppressive as some other decks on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or not worth trying!

Phenax, God of Deception

If you want to mill your opponent’s deck, Phenax, God of Deception is the premier choice. This god turns every creature on your board into a milling machine, letting you just strip dozens of cards from their deck. Since Phenax cares about toughness, this lets you run all sorts of fun creatures like Tree of Perdition, Unhallowed Phalanx, and Nighthowler.

He also has a few remarkably strong combos — most notably, his interaction with Eater of the Dead lets you potentially kill someone in a single turn. Given there are so many good mill-themed cards in this game, Phenax decks are often extremely efficient and fast. Capable of ripping apart your opponent’s library in just a few turns, he can ruin a player’s entire strategy unless they have a way of getting cards from their graveyard back into their deck.

Runo Stromkirk

Creatures of the deep is a popular subtheme in Commander, and there have been a few different legendary creatures trying to make this archetype work. None are as good as Runo Stromkirk, who can massacre your opponents if you get to attack. Starting out as an unassuming 1/5 Vampire Cleric, Runo requires you to look at the top card of your library to transform. Given there are a ton of ways to manipulate the top of your deck, this is a pretty simple task to achieve. It’s once Runo flips that things get terrifying.

Behold Krothuss, Lord of the Deep and all his majesty! Whenever this creature attacks, you can create a copy of another attacking creature. However, if it’s an Octopus, Leviathan, Serpent, or Kraken, you get to make two. Given these are often some of the biggest and scariest monsters in the color blue, being able to make two more can easily outright kill an opponent. What’s even wilder is that these tokens don’t go away at the end of the turn, meaning you can just keep copying the tokens until your underwater army is utterly unstoppable. Plus, if Krothuss dies, this is a relatively cheap Commander to cast and put back onto the battlefield.

Lazav, the Multifarious

I feel like Lazav, the Multifarious is slept on. Yes, he’s a bit weird and requires a very specific playstyle, but he can easily knock out an opponent with a single attack. This is because he can become a copy of any creature in your graveyard by paying its mana cost. Where things get spicy is that since Lazav becomes the creature, he can circumvent any enter-the-battlefield (ETB) effects. This means that any card with a negative ETB can be ignored in favor of just getting the card’s power, toughness, and static abilities.

For example, you can make him a Phage the Untouchable, which normally outright kills you if she’s cast from anywhere but your hand. Since he ignores this trigger, you can make him a creature that literally kills your opponent if he deals damage to them. Lazav is also extremely cheap to cost, meaning you can get him out early and potentially kill your foes before they set up their board. There aren’t a ton of good voltron Commanders in this format, but Lazav is easily one of the most dangerous.

Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

Speaking of dangerous, let’s finally talk about the most popular and powerful Dimir Commander in the format. Yuriko is an utterly horrifying deck to play against due to her sheer explosive power to take out multiple foes at once. Since she can be ninjutsu from the command zone, you will rarely pay the Commander Tax for her. This alone makes her strong, but the real fun comes when you start revealing the top card of your library.

I’ve previously mentioned how there are a ton of methods for manipulating the top of your library, and Yuriko takes full advantage of them. Attacking with a simple Ninja only to reveal a card that costs 10 mana means you then damage all your foes for that amount. This lets her quickly slaughter everyone at the table if she’s left unchecked for a few turns, making her one of the most fearsome legendary creatures in the entire format. There’s a reason she is so popular among players.