The best assassin commanders in Magic: The Gathering (MTG)

Assassins were once an underutilized creature type in Magic: The Gathering, really only good at killing your opponent's creatures, but they've slowly become more powerful, especially in games like Karloff Manor. and series like Thunder Junction Outlaws.


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This also makes Assassin Commander decks increasingly competitive, with unique combos and winning effects. No matter what type of deck you want to build, there's an Assassin Commander who can help you stab you in the back and hide the corpses.

8 Kelsin, the Plague

Self-buffs that synergize with assassinsImage of Kelsien, the plague card in Magic: The Gathering, drawn by Chris Rallis

Kelthian the Plague is the perfect assassin commander because being red, white, and black gives you access to a variety of control and kill effects, making it easy to get extra +1/+1 counters. Additionally, being able to deal one damage at an instantaneous rate makes any of your opponent's creatures (if it has a toughness) a potential experience counter.

By giving Kelthian Deathtouch, you can kill any target it deals damage to and gain experience tokens more easily. You can also combine it with Osari, Glory of the Sun; Mintara, the Ruthless Soul; or Kalemni, Disciple of Iros, who kills creatures without clicking to gain extra experience tokens.

7 Ramses, Assassin Lord

Automatically win through creature buffs

Ramses, Assassin Lord

Specializing in multiplayer, Blue and Black Commander Ramses, Assassin Lord utilizes Blue's unstoppable mechanic to automatically win the match, even if there are other players playing. While this won't win you anything at the table, it makes the weakest target the only one you need.

The +1/+1 bonus plus Deathtouch makes Ramses particularly valuable since it only has 4 mana and is a 4/4 creature. This is especially useful for assassin creatures, as they tend to have lower power and toughness and would otherwise be unable to destroy larger creatures without Death Touch.

6 Try it, Deadly Fugitive

Spellstealing with free creatures

MTG: Give it a try, Deadly Fugitive Card

Etrata, the Deadly Fugitive, is an assassin commander that's great for letting you steal your opponent's spells while giving you extra creatures. Since every time an Assassin deals damage and you can hide a card on the battlefield, you can use cards like Maskwood Nexus to allow these “creatures” to hide even more cards.


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This also gives you a hidden answer that can be cast for four mana at any time, which can trick larger creatures if you're lucky. Combined with cards like Training Grounds, Etrata gives you access to a number of additional spells for just two mana each, giving you an advantage even when your commander is no longer on the battlefield.

5 golden thorn sheila

Draw cards and sacrifice targetsMTG: Sheila, Golden Thorn Card

Xira with a touch of green, Golden Spike gives you access to more niche assassin creatures like Double Blade Assassin and Oakland Assassin, which double as additional card draw capabilities and allow XIra to attack without worrying about flying blockers. With an array of kill effects on most Assassin creatures, you can trigger Sheila almost every turn.

Because you're creating cheap 1/1 tokens, you can add more sacrifice effects that most assassin decks don't like, giving you targets for village rituals or goblin bombardments. Additionally, he is one of the few commanders to have dual creature-type synergy with cards like Kraul Exploder or Kraul Stinger.

4 Try it, silencer

Automatically win with combo potential

Image of Etrata, the silencer card in Magic: The Gathering, illustrated by Bastien L. Deharme

Another Assassin Commander with blue and black auto-win conditions, Etrata, the Silencer's ability to add a hit counter and then hide it in your inventory is unique among Commanders. Instead, you can put it into the command zone, replay it, and then add another hit counter without using another card or hoping it reappears in your hand.

You can also add other assassin cards such as Mari, Killing Quill, and Ravenloft Adventurer to add extra hit counters faster. By adding Harbinger's Horn, you can lower your stacking command tax while finding other Assassin creatures faster.

3 queen marchesa

Assassin's token with political power

Image of the Queen of Marchesa card from Magic: The Gathering, illustrated by Kieran Yanner

While popular in Monarch decks, Queen Marchesa is extremely useful as a commander in Assassin decks, creating creature tokens that allow you to build dangerous battlefields. Since your opponent is likely to be the Monarch, it gives other players in multiplayer Commander another target to focus on and guarantees a 1/1 Assassin every turn.


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Combined with cards like Blade, you can give all your Assassin tokens a deadly combination of preemption and deathtouch, giving you a huge advantage in combat. Since you'll have extra 1/1 tokens, Skeleton Pincer can be used as a one-cost ability to draw two cards over and over again.

2 Olivia, the gorgeous desperado

Mana Boosts and Creature BuffsOlivia, the Gorgeous Outlaw 2

Gorgeous outlaw Olivia follows in the footsteps of murderous quill Mari, offering a way for assassins to provide you with treasure tokens. Unlike Mary, Olivia also has white and red added to its colors and can massively buff all other creatures fairly reliably.

Since you only need treasure from any source to enhance your creatures, this gives you a ton of options with combo potential, especially using Mari and cards like Fatal Trouble or Academy Maker to augment all the various effects that rely on treasure value.

1 Mari, the Killer Quill

Draw cards and extra mana

MTG Mari Killing Feather card with artistic background

Although it also buffs Mercenaries and Rogues, as an Assassin, Killing Quill Marie can also receive effect triggers from other Assassin cards, making her an ideal Assassin Commander. Like Ezio, Mari can double as a card draw engine while also dropping two treasures for extra mana, which is rare in black decks.

Since all of your Assassins will have Death's Mark, it will be easy to apply hit counters to your opponent's creatures while trading creatures in combat in your favor. Additionally, any assassins who strike first, such as Nekratar or Nightshade, will become especially powerful.


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