Top 5 Voltron Commanders for EDH

Magic: the Gathering

Commander

Top 5 Voltron Commanders for EDH

01/22/23 Comment regular icon0 comments

What is Voltron? And what are the best commanders for that? After analyzing the archetype, we bring here decks and their top 5 commanders!

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By César

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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About the Voltron Archetype

Commander is a world of almost infinite possibilities for our loved Magic: The Gathering universe. To truly value the name of the format with its commanders, we bring here the archetype which consists of being as aggressive as possible: Voltron.

Where Does the Name Voltron Come from?

The name Voltron came from the 1984 Super Sentai cartoon, in which heroes come together in a giant robot to defeat giant monsters. But what does that have to do with Magic?

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This cartoon showcased the transformation of 5 giant robots in one, making it super powerful and in this way winning against its enemies. With that, we can understand that this archetype is based on using your commander with many cards which will make them strong, and make them lose with one of the rules in this format: the 21 commander combat damage.

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1984 Voltron Image. All rights are reserved to Worlds Events Productions.

Which are the Most Seen Cards in Voltron?

This archetype's most characteristic cards tend to be artifacts that grant a significant increase in power or resistance, or that have some sort of evasion effect, such as Flying, Trample, or even effects that prevent the creature from being blocked. Besides artifacts, instants, spells or enchantments which carry this same effect and are very welcome in deckbuilding.

But aside from cards that potentialize your general, it is also very important that you can defend yourself at the same proportion you attack. After all, due to the archetype depending on these 21 combat damage, for the opponents it is easy to deal with that: removing the main piece, the commander. As a result, it is important to have answers that protect your main win condition.

Choosing your Commander

The choice of commander to the deck is also very important because the commander itself can present one or more evasion abilities, or even have great power, being able to hit those 21 combat damage in less time. It is important to highlight that, in this archetype, one tip is: as soon as you start hitting the first opponent, keep at it until you slay them.

It isn't required, but considering how Commander is played (in that case, 4 players in one table), sharing the damage output among your opponents might not be such an interesting thing throughout the game.

Example: opponent 1 has taken 13 damage from your commander, opponent 2 has taken 7 damage and opponent 3 has taken 4 damage. Added up, these damage would be enough to remove an opponent from the table. But as said previously, it is a tip for this archetype only.

It is important to highlight also that, ever since it was built for this line, many decks can be Voltron. The 5 chosen ones that will be presented are commanders who have or have had a certain spotlight in this archetype. Afterward, some commanders can also appear as honorable mentions, but remember: in case they were built as such, almost any commander can shine as Voltron!

Now that we know how the archetype works, its origin and the types of cards that are functional in a deck of this type, let's see the 5 Voltron commanders who stand out on the table.

Top 5 Voltron Commanders

5 - Balan, Wandering Knight

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Starting our rating, in the fifth place, we have Balan, Wandering Knight! This creature already counts with First Strike, which evolves to Double Strike as long as 2 or more equipment are attached to it. Its most important point is its triggered ability, which by 2 mana makes all equipment you control be attached to Balan.

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This is already a great help, if we consider that paying mana to attach equipment to your commander slows the game down considerably.

However, Balan can overwrite these costs, and as the ability doesn't have any type of restriction, this can be done at any time. As a result, it is interesting to share equipment among creatures while the commander doesn't come in, so then you equip everything all at once and hit all at once with your general.

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The deck listed above has great equipment such as Colossus Hammer, Hammer of Nazahn and even Grafted Exoskeleton, which allows you to slay your opponents faster. Other highlights are the support cards, such as Sigarda's Aid and Puresteel Paladin, which avoid the cost of equipping.

And as also mentioned, the defense cards present here are Aura of Silence, God-Pharaoh's Statue and even Angel's Grace to hold off a last breath.

For its cost and its one color type, fifth place goes to Balan, Wandering Knight.

4 - Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest

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In fourth place, we have the one punch monk, Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest. This commander has a different line from the one previously shown: here we have less equipment, and we work with low-cost instants and spells that give evasion to the commander or enhance them, this way triggering their Prowess ability, and also opening up their second ability, in which it can grant Double Strike to some creature, which, in this case, it is himself.

We count with many evasion cards here, such as Defy Gravity, Slip Through Space, Shadow Rift and Distortion Strike, while we also have potent cards such as Titan's Strength, Infuriate, Unleash Fury and even Jeska, Thrice Reborn.

As it is a deck with very cheap cost spells, it is implied it is very fast, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its defensive resources. Here we highlight Mother of Runes, Stave Off, Blacksmith's Skill, Gods Willing, among other cards to protect your general.

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We can also count with various cards that draw cards, after all, by using your resources, your number of cards in hand will lower. So, here what we have to help us in this matter is: Archmage Emeritus, Mystic Remora, Rhystic Study and, as much as it isn't a card that offers up direct card draw, we can mention Feather, the Redeemed, which returns used cards to hand as the used spell resolves.

A fast deck that goes straight to the point in its objective, our monk Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest occupies the fourth place in this podium.

3 - Rafiq of the Many

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In third place, here we have one of the format's pioneers: Rafiq of the Many. Being one of the first Voltron commanders, Rafiq didn't age badly as some of his friends who came alongside him at the time. The decklist we selected counts with a line that uses more creatures which offer support until the general indeed comes into play, as the mana generators Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch and Avacyn's Pilgrim.

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Besides them, we also have highlighted creatures that make the Exalted ability shine, at the same time they recursively defend you well, such as Stoic Angel and Silent Arbiter. And speaking of exalted, we must mention Sublime Archangel and Sovereigns of Lost Alara, which enhance this ability immensely. Thanks to Sovereigns of Lost Alara, we have in this deck a great variety of aura type enchantments.

Among them, Rancor, Aqueous Form and Spirit Mantle have the lowest cost with a certain highlight here. Apart from them, we also have enchantments that cost more, but they don't disappoint, such as Spectra Ward, Mantle of the Ancients and the iconic Eldrazi Conscription.

Artifacts are not left out either: we have a few cards that we've seen before, such as Colossus Hammer and Hammer of Nazahn. However, other than them, we also have very interesting additions such as Shadowspear, Blackblade Reforged and Sword of Feast and Famine also isn't left behind, as it is extremely recursive.

This deck tends to be a bit slower when compared to Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, but that means nothing when we're considering its power: Rafiq of the Many's deck acquires resources throughout time and usually closes the match when the commander hits. This is our third place in the podium.

2 - Light Paws, Emperor's Voice

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As second place, we have the illustrious fox Light Paws, Emperor's Voice. Its place here in this podium is thanks to its low mana cost, and its triggered 2-for-1 ability: when an aura type enchantment enters the battlefield, if you've cast it, you look for another of the same or lower cost with a different name and attaches it to the commander. And how it is characteristic of this format to have only one card of each except basic lands, this ability shines in Voltron.

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As the deck we selected is focused on aura enchantments, we have here important discounters such as Transcendent Envoy, Hero of Iroas and Starfield Mystic. Besides those, we also count with creatures which, besides interacting with enchantments, offer card draw, such as Mesa Enchantress, Kor Spiritdancer and Sram, Senior Edificer.

And finally, we have the creatures which are highlights due to their effects, which are Umbra Mystic, Archon of Sun's Grace and Defiler of Faith.

The deck can be called a toolbox, as it has many situational resources that are chosen according to the situation you face, as, for instance, Shield of Duty and Reason and Mask of Law and Grace. But in case you want to be specific, we also have at our disposal Flickering Ward. Besides these defensive auras, we can also count with Shielded by Faith, Flickerform, Gift of Immortality and even the equipment Robe of Stars.

And who said that just because it has this bit and couple more defensive measures, we don't have offensive measures? After all, the deck is Voltron! So for our fox to scare our opponents, Ethereal Armor. All that Glitters, Spirit Mantle, Armored Ascension and Battle Mastery are great options.

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Thanks to all of that and more, Light Paws, Emperor's Voice occupies the second place in our ranking.

1 - Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh & Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist

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In our first place, we have not one, but two commanders sharing the podium: Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh and Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist. Faster than a Light Paws, Emperor's Voice at turn 2, is a commander at turn 1 costing 0. Of all decks presented, one of the most aggressive is certainly this one.

One of its commanders costing 0 allows that, outside the other's ability, which attaches all their equipment in one single creature, and it will possibly be our Kobold Warrior with First Strike, Menace and Trample.

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The first place is more than deserved by this duo. This Voltron's line is equipment type artifacts, thanks to the Kor Scout's ability. We have here as highlight many creatures which interact with equipment, such as Bruenor Battlehammer, Koll, the Forgemaster, Kor Blademaster, Reyav, Master Smith and Stone Haven Outfitter.

We also have creatures who offer great support, such as Champion of the Flame, Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar, Relic Seeker, the already mentioned Sram, Senior Edificer, Kemba, Kha Regent and Valduk, Keeper of the Flame.

As one of the commanders already has evasion enough, here we can focus on artifacts that strengthen it, such as the Voltron famous Colossus Hammer, Golem-Skin Gauntlets, Blackblade Reforged, Inquisitor's Flail, Fireshrieker, Two-Handed Axe and even artifacts which are less used in this format, such as Bonesplitter, Greataxe and Ogre's Cleaver.

Not only do we have these offensive resources, this deck also offers many types of defensive measures: Plate Armor, Cloudsteel Kirin, Dawn Charm, Unbreakable Formation, Boros Charm and a Sunforger to look for the aforementioned instants.

And enchantments, though few, are well-picked here: Spirit Mantle, Arterial Alchemy, Duelist's Heritage, Flaming Fist, Unquestioned Authority and On Serra's Wings. All of them have great functionality and work well, specially if played at the right time to guarantee victory.

Whoever faced this deck as well-built as this knows the terror it causes. Playing a commander turn 1, for instance, alongside a Sol Ring in the famous "divine hand" and any other artifact with it, will already cause a lot of headache to your opponents. This duo occupies the first place with mastery, violence and a vast arsenal.

Honorable Mentions

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Grunn, the Lonely King is very fun as a commander.

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Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar and Jeska, Thrice Reborn are presented here also as an alternative to Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist in his duo with Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh.

Wilson, Refined Grizzly is another creature that does a lot for its low cost, protecting itself very well with its Ward 2 and also making sure it will be played, as it can't be annulled.

And finally, we have Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, a commander famous for its Infect ability ending games quickly for some opponents.

What does Phyrexia have for the future of Commander?

Final Thoughts

Here we have presented the origin, concept and great commanders for the Voltron Archetype! I hope this top 5 has been enlightening and that it gives you ideas for new decks, even with new commanders, after all, in this format, the sky is the limit!

What did you think of this top 5? Do you think someone else deserves first place? How would your Top 5 be? Something to add? Comment down below!

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César

Jogador de cascata nas horas vagas, entusiasta de deckbuilding e fã número 1 do Nicol Bolas.

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