Top 10 Saltiest Commander Cards

Commander Discussion 
Genoslugcs · January 21, 2023 · 9 min
Top 10 Saltiest Commander Cards

We're probably all guilty of being salty players at times. After all, we spend lots of time, money, and effort building our EDH decks and we want them to play the way we drew them up; And they would have - If it wasn't for that one opponent and his annoying cards. All in all, I consider myself a very good sport. However, the salt factor for some cards is so great that even the most patient players cannot deny it.

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That said, today we will cover the top 10 saltiest commander cards in the game and what makes them so bad. I've written at great lengths about cards that make for fun commander games - They are cards that stimulate action in some way. Anything that gets players attacking, blocking, drawing cards, or generally speaking, playing Magic. On the other hand, most of the cards on this list do just the opposite. Let's jump right in starting with the number 10 card.

Note: Some card effects like mass land destruction spells, would have dominated the list. So, instead of having a list with several versions of the same effect, I combined similar cards into a single spot so that I could have a more diverse list of aggravating cards.

10. Tergrid, God of Fright

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I must admit, I'm guilty of playing Tergrid. That said, I can see how people think it isn't fun to play against. After all, most players find the idea of getting beaten up with their own cards obnoxious. Furthermore, aside from the occasional wheel, hand disruption isn't super common in EDH - So, players get used to their cards being safe in their hands. This is far from true with Tergrid in play.

Cards like Dark Dealimage and Smallpoximage for example can easily put you multiple cards directly from your opponent's hand onto your side of the battlefield. And not only is the Tergrid player getting these cards but the other players are losing them. As a result, this strategy is also highly disruptive to opposing game plans. So, even if you draw a card to answer the big threat that came out of your deck, you'll likely have to discard it before you can use it.

Lastly, there is a lot of coincidental value/damage to be had. For example, a player playing aristocrats would be largely shut out of the game. Furthermore, things like fetch lands or cards like Spore Frogimage or Sakura-Tribe Elderimage that require them to be sacrificed will go straight to the Tergrid player when she's on the battlefield.

9. Lord Xander, the Collector

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Lord Xander is hard to interact with in any way and come out unscathed. He has some pretty devastating enter the battlefield, attack, and dies triggers. This means that once he hits the battlefield, you'll likely be in for some unpleasantness even if you have a removal spell waiting and many players find that bothersome.

Much in line with Tergrid mentioned above, there are very few places where your cards are safe from Lord Xander. His enter the battlefield trigger hits cards in the hand, his attack trigger affects the library directly and his dies trigger will remove half the permanents from one unlucky opponent's battlefield.

Considering that some players are frustrated by Mill in EDH, the fact that his second ability can take players out in a single attack with cards like Fraying Sanityimage really adds to the salt factor here.

8. Dockside Extortionist

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For me personally, Dockside isn't a salt-inducing card. However, I know that this isn't the case for all players. I think the card is viewed as annoying because it can put one opponent so far ahead of all the others for two mana. While I would say that the effect isn't unfair, it can certainly swing a game in the favor of the caster very quickly.

When the effect is paired with something like Phyrexian Reclamationimage or a similar effect that allows it to easily be recurred it can really get obnoxious. If you've had a situation like this happen to you you've learned the "Always have some amount of graveyard hate in your 100" lesson the hard way.

Furthermore, I think the fact that the card is expensive adds to the feeling that the game-warping card isn't something all players have access to. And frankly, considering there really isn't a budget replacement, if you're losing games because of Dockside, I could see being very annoyed by the card.

7. Urza, Lord High Artificer

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Urza, Lord High Artificer is an extremely powerful card that managed to frustrate players in multiple formats. For commander specifically, I think the salt comes from the overall power level and the play style. The card enables a plethora of combos that can generate infinite mana, infinite creatures, infinite life gain, and the Urza player to cast their entire library.

You May Also Like: Top 10 Commander Combos - Orzhov (Black/White)

That said, Urza makes his way to the helm of many cEDH decks. If you are a cEDH player, the card probably doesn't bother you too much. However, if you're not in a super competitive playgroup and you're having to contend with Urza and his combo potential, I feel for you.

6. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

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This card is one that really inhibits other players' ability to play the game - And that's why it's on the list. 10 mana is a lot but the effects are massive. And players will rarely be paying full price for this. Each player will lose their hand at the end of their turn. So, anything you can't cast on the spot, you'll have to discard. As if this wasn't bad enough, the person controlling this beast of a card will be drawing seven cards each turn.

With one player gaining so much while all others lose resources, it's easy to find yourself in a hole that you can't get out of. Overall, if someone can't remove Jin-Gitaxias very quickly, the chances that you'll be in the game for long aren't good. 

5. Thassa's Oracle

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I was a little surprised to find out that many players find this card frustrating. However, I think I know why. It's a win condition for a lot of combo-based decks and strategies. That said, if playing against combo decks that can win very quickly isn't something you find fun I could see this card being a pain to play against.

If you're unfamiliar with how this works, decks will usually use Spoils of the Vaultimage, Ad Nauseamimage, Levelerimage, or similar effects to get rid of their library and then Thassa becomes a two mana "You win the game." Is losing the game on turn two salt-inducing? Yeah, maybe a little bit.

4. Armageddon, Jokulhaups, Obliterate, Devastation

Here we have three very similar cards. Instead of having each of these spells in a different spot on the list, I included them as a group. I'll still go over each one but they all have the same common thing that earned them their spots - Mass land destruction.

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Armageddon is the quintessential land destruction spell. It keeps it simple and for four mana does a clean sweep of all the lands on board. As you'll see here in a moment, four mana is quite cheap to destroy all lands. I think there are a few reasons that it can be considered downright rude to play spells like this.

First, is that having your land blown up really stops a lot of decks in their tracks. I can see why someone wouldn't want to sit around for a few turns in the mid-game without having much at all to do. After all, most decks need at least four or five mana to function super well.

Secondly, I hear people complain that cards like this make games take too long, as you're "resetting the board state." if a player were to simply throw this into a deck with no planning at all, I might agree. However, in general, I tend to disagree with the first and second reasons. Let me elaborate.

Almost every commander deck plays mana rocks and land destruction is a great reason to play an adequate amount of them. Secondly, mana-producing creatures like Llanowar Elvesimage aren't uncommon either. So, having your lands destroyed doesn't have to mean you have access to no mana for the next several turns. Especially if players played around cards like these the way they do Wrath of Godimage.

With my personal opinion out of the way - I understand that most people do not share my feelings. So, let's move on to our next spells.

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This card is appropriately named. Destroying all creatures is fairly common but as mentioned, mass land destruction is generally frowned upon in many play groups. Having both on the same card will, at least most of the time, set all players back to nearly the beginning of the game. However, leaving artifacts and enchantments unscathed is something.

On the other hand, this also means the player casting Devastation will likely have geared their deck toward this and will be left miles ahead of everyone else.

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Most of the things I said made Devastationimage at all bearable are no longer present in this entry. When someone casts Obliterateimage, each player will lose all their creatures, artifacts, and lands. To make matters worst, the spell can't be countered and the creatures can't be regenerated. All I can say is, you better hope you have some enchantments that can help you rebuild.

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Everything that is off-putting about Obliterateimage (aside from the fact that it can't be counted) is present here too. However, it cost six mana to cast instead of eight. If you're in the market for the cheapest possible way to have a very barren board and some very salty opponents, look no further than this.

3. Expropriate

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Remember how I mentioned that commander players don't like having their stuff stolen and played against them? Well, that's the best-case scenario when it comes to Expropriate. You get two choices - One is to have the caster choose and take control of one of your permanents. The second and more vexing option is to have that player take an extra turn.

If you thought getting smacked by your own commander was bad, try sitting there and watching some lucky opponent have the next two or three turns. Yep, that's right. If this sounds like you get to watch someone play MTG while you sit there and not do that, that's because it's exactly what happens.

That said, most players will opt for the money vote and at least hope for a quick demise. If you play this, you'll probably win the game and lose all your friends.

2. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

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Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is an oppressive card. Much like its Preator brethren up at number six, Vorinclex puts each opponent in a massive hole, while its controller enjoys a nice bonus. Granted you can attempt to play around the card freezing you out of your lands for a turn after you use them but it's easier said than done and most of the time your ability to play the game is extremely diminished.

On the other hand, the person who is playing the card will double all their mana. So, while you struggle to simply cast spells, that one opponent will quickly pull away with the game if left unchecked. Considering he's an eligible commander too, you stand to have to find a solution for him multiple times per game too. You'd be hard-pressed to find many players that would consider this "fun."

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1. Stasis, Winter Orb, Static Orb

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Well, surprising absolutely no one, we have Stasis, Winter Orb, and Static Orb coming in at number one. If I hadn't grouped them all together here, they'd have been numbers one, two, and three for sure. Each one stops players from untapping some or all of their permanents each turn and they are downright oppressive.

It's not uncommon to find yourself locked completely locked out of playing the game when staring down any of the three of these cards. Why? Because they are played alongside cards like Spelltithe Enforcerimage, Dovin, Hand of Controlimage, Aura of Silenceimage, and Archon of Emeriaimage that are going to make each would be spell cost even more than it should. When you put these two factors together, you've got a recipe that calls for salt.

Furthermore, considering you're going to have trouble casting your spells, I find that I'm stuck staring at removal spells and other cards that could free me from my prison... And I simply can't cast them. You're so close, yet so far away at the same time. Having to pass your turn without doing anything but drawing a card for the turn, while holding your answer in hand is a special kind of frustrating.

Conclusion

There you have it people, the top 10 saltiest commander cards. Even the chillest amongst us gets frustrated at times when playing MTG. And that's ok, as long as you're still a good sport. Comment down below and let me know what cards you find it annoying to play against and why I have a crazy opinion about land destruction. Until next time, get out there and play some commander.

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