Magic: the Gathering


Pauper EDH: Best Crimson Vow Commanders + Deck Tech

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Check out our analysis of the best Commanders for Pauper EDH in Innistrad Crimson Vow, followed by a promising commander's deck tech!

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Today we'll talk about the best Crimson Vow commanders for Pauper EDH, as well as bringing a deck tech bonus with Wandering Mind as commander!

With yet another set released in less than two months, this time Innistrad: Crimsow Vow, we have 55 more uncommon creatures that can be used as a commander in our favorite format.

Of these 55 creatures, we've selected a few that can bring decks with good potential to your playgroup tables, either through Spelltable, in the store near your house, or any other way you can find to play, plus a list built with a creature that has a new ability to the format, opening up the possibility of a new deck/tier Commander in PDH.



Let's start our analysis with monocolored creatures. Even if they are more limited in some points of the game, they can have a more faithful and solid strategy, as there will be no concern with the mana color correction, focusing on the slots that would be destined to filters to increase and speed up the action of the game plan, be it aggro, control or even combo.

Archghoul of Thraben

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This black creature has a very fair cost for what it does, despite a weak body. If you decide on a deck with it, you have many possible options: it plays with the top, which can be an advantage, it plays with the graveyard, as it manipulates the topdeck, as well as being tribal of a very synergistic creature type, Zombies.

There are a lot of these zombies that plays well in the deck, such as Gray Merchant of Asphodel. There are some cards that are very specific for returning zombies from the graveyard, in addition to Unearth which has a dual role in the deck.

But not only on zombies will the deck survive, it has other creatures that can help defend itself and even attack, and Tortured Existence helps a lot to exchange the creatures between your graveyard and hand. Its winconditions can be Carrion Feeder, where you sacrifice multiple creatures to make it grow exponentially, and using Songs of the Damned with all those creatures in the graveyard, generating plenty of black mana, which can be paid to Pestilence or Crypt Rats. But you should be cautious before using them, as they also affect you and your creatures as well.

Gempalm Polluter is another source of direct damage and can be a very profitable wincondition.

Bloodsworn Squire

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This 3/3 creature is black, which means we can count on many removals, like Cast Down and some card draws that cause us to lose life, like Sign in Blood. The deck can make use of other things as well, like Crypt Rats for sweeper effects.

We also have some options for cards with Madness, as the commander can discard cards, which is great as it makes him indestructible.

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The assembled deck will benefit from many creatures because when the commander transforms (which is not difficult to happen), he has power and toughness according to the creatures in the graveyard, taking advantage of this interaction with dead and discarded creatures.

Another card that is a must in the deck, and that can be one of the winconditions, is Haunting Misery.

Magma Pummeler

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It's possible to build a strong Mono-Red deck around it, that will need some artifact ramps, like Expedition Map, Bonder's Ornament and Commander's Sphere to generate a lot of mana, or some red rituals, in order for it to enter the battlefield large enough to be a wincondition on its own, hitting two or three times to get 16 damage.

Some card draw like Tormenting Voice, Faithless Looting, and the new card Reckless Impulse can also be very useful.


And don't forget that it's a Mono-Red deck, so burn spells are also essential, such as Lava Spike, Lightning Bolt and many others that the format has.


On the two-color decks, we can find a little more consistency and different options to deal with opponents, as interactions between colors can make decks more powerful and with better options, even if they are a little slower and at risk of having a weaker manabase.

Ancient Lumberknot

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Golgari is a wonderful color combination for PDH, as it has access to draws, removals, ramps, and has strong recursion, playing with the graveyard, preventing damage, among other strategies that can be used together.

The difference with this creature is not only the fact that it has great toughness, but it also makes its creatures deal damage with toughness if it is greater than their power, enabling a Toughness-themed deck, which protects itself very well from red removals.

Mechanics like Dredge and Delve can be very useful in this strategy.

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Skull Skaab

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Dimir is possibly, along with Simic, the best color combination for PDH: blue, has the best cantrips the format could have, along with Counterspells, while black has removals and creatures recursion.

With this commander, creating tokens with it can be advantageous, in addition to interacting with the graveyard, using spells that reanimate creatures, such as Exhume and Unearth, and also use other ways to interact with creatures that can be sacrificed to the commander, such as Tortured Existence.

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Wandering Mind's Deck Tech

Wandering Mind

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This creature made a huge impact among players as soon as it was first previewed.

Due to its triggered ability relative to its cost, looking at the top six cards is access to a lot of information, and it allows you to dig for combos; some of them already known in the format, such as infinite triggers combinations.

With that idea in mind, I built a deck and prepared this deck tech, exploring the essential parts that make the deck work.

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For the lands we have a good variety, and even being a two-color deck, you can have a more utilitarian base. It's a mix of snow lands and artifact lands because for this color combination, blue and red, we can use Trinket Mage to search for some of these artifact lands. We also run Skred and Arcum's Astrolabe, which means we need Snow-Covered lands.

Cantrips and Card Draw

Cantrips give speed to any deck, as it filters your draws, thus keeping your hand always full and with answers, in addition to increasing the chances of finding the combo pieces.

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Speaking of cantrips, the one that stands out, especially from the middle of the game onwards, is Treasure Cruise, as it draws three cards for only one mana. Of course, the player must always be aware of the opponents' interactions, as graveyard hates can greatly hinder this card's potential.


Drawing cards are also essential, as they guarantee the card advantage, such as Mulldrifter, which also fits into the deck's ETBs category.


Counterspells are almost a must in a deck with blue, as it protects your fundamental pieces, as well as dealing with threats that opponents may be putting on the board, either to hinder your opponents or even develop your game. Use them wisely and only when necessary.

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Our deck needs cards that ramp and generate mana beyond the lands, to increase the odds of playing more spells per turn when it's necessary to control the game.

As mana sources we have Izzet Signet and Arcane Signet, in addition to an artifact that also grants card advantage, Bonder's Ornament, which is fundamental in this format.


Lightning Bolt and Fire//Ice are great for removing small to medium creatures, plus Skred, which works great with snow lands. Sweepers are also present, such as Electrickery and Fiery Cannonade, which can slow down decks that becomes too aggressive.


In addition to these cards, the deck also has tutors, such as Muddle the Mixture, Merchant Scroll, among others, who search for the ETBs pieces or cards that directly influence the ETBs, such as Ghostly Flicker, which can create infinite loops, such as infinite mana with Peregrine Drake or Cloud of Faeries, or infinite mill with Sage's Row Denizen, or ensure that the monarch always remains with you.

In addition to the infinite ETB strategy, which is already well known in the format, another wincondition is with cards that benefit from instants and sorceries, such as Thermo-Alchemist, Kiln Fiend, Nivix Cyclops.


This deck isn't the strongest PDH list ever built, but it's a lot of fun, and it serves to give you a basis for the possibilities that this creature offers to those who choose it as Commander.

Changes are certainly more than welcome. However, it turned out to be a much faster list than expected in my tests against various deck types and strategies.

Thank you for reading, and see you next time!

Any suggestions, I'm available in the comments!