The 10 Best Bird Typal Commanders In MTG

The 10 Best Bird Typal Commanders In MTG

Mysterious, otherworldly, and possessing a power that humans have always admired, birds are also a thing that you can make a Commander deck around in Magic: The Gathering. They’re not exactly as strong as dragons or as powerful as the Eldrazi, but Magic sure has a lot of birds, and there’s definitely a strength in numbers.

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The path to victory for birds isn’t to simply play more birds–like the flying keyword itself, you’ll need strategy and cunning to get the most out of these winged critters. You’ll also need the right commander to make these birds soar. Read on for the top ten commanders for a bird typal deck.

10 Gwaihir, the Windlord

We start off with one of the newest legendary birds to arrive in Magic. Gwaihir, the Windlord isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but this noble bird offers a very useful bonus to the army of birds your commander deck will hopefully produce. Vigilance is a very strong keyword to provide your side of the board in Commander, and a 4/4 flying body ain’t nothing.

The only trick will be ensuring that you draw two or more cards on a single turn in order to play Gwaihir at a discount. Luckily, with blue in the mix, drawing a bunch of cards is easy (Brainstorm comes to mind). Blue and white are also the staple colors of birds, with cards like Empyrean Eagle, Watcher of the Spheres, and Soulcatcher’s Aerie available.

9 Kangee, Sky Warden

MTG Kangee Sky Warden

Gwaihir a little too expensive for you? Don’t want to muck about with drawing cards to make it cheaper? Then Kangee, Sky Warden offers a slightly smaller flying body with vigilance alongside some fantastic buffs for your bird army. Every flying critter on the attack gets +2/+0, and every blocking flyer gets +0/+2.

Timing is everything with Kangee. You’ll want to play this bird wizard when the time is right to attack, thus providing your army with a big power boost. Giving your flying army vigilance would be handy, so consider putting Gwaihir in your main deck if Kangee is your commander.

8 Radagast, Wizard of the Wilds

MTG Radagast, Wizard of Wilds

Radagast loves two things: beasts and birds. Both will get ward 1 whenever Radagast is around, but we’ll focus on the bird-boosting features of Radagast, Wizard of Wilds.

Radagast offers a somewhat different flavor of bird-themed commander. Without white, you’re losing a bunch of buffs that are bird or flying-specific, but with green you can replace them with other buffs that don’t really care about creature type. You’ll definitely need to focus on ramp to ensure you’re casting spells with mana value five or great to get the most 2/2 bird tokens you can.

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7 Akim, The Soaring Wind

MTG - Akim, the Soaring Wind

There are lots of ways to make a lot of bird tokens; Migratory Route, Emeria Angel, and Battle Screech all come to mind. But Akim doesn’t really care what sort of tokens you make. Just so long as you’re making tokens, Akim will keep making 1/1 white birds. And then it’ll give all your tokens double strike. It’s a win-win with this bird dinosaur!

With Akim, your focus will be on making bird tokens and then buffing those tokens to the point where you’ll have an unstoppable double-striking army. Access to red also provides you with some interesting options for direct damage.

6 Tawnos, the Toymaker

MTG Tawnos the Toymaker

Yes, Tawnos is technically making artifacts, but those copies he makes are still birds in addition to being artifacts, so you’re still on-theme for a bird deck. Whatever buffs you want for birds will buff your army of mechanical flying tokens.

Tawnos changes the bird strategy yet again to have a more artifact-centered flavor. With plenty of artifacts in play, you can try for an affinity strategy like Broodstar, or you can more directly harvest your toys with something like Combine Chrysalis. Or you can just keep your toys and buff then with something like Vanquisher’s Banner.

5 Esior, Wardwing Familiar

MTG Esior, Wardwing Familiar

Thanks to its partner keyword, Esior is a potential commander who fits in with a lot of different strategies. Regardless of who you partner with Esior, it gives your commanders a bit of protection by making all spells targeting your commanders cost three mana more.

Ah, but who to partner with Esior? The obvious choice is Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker, but we’ll talk more about Ishai later. Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa makes a great pairing as he makes your bird army tricky to block. Siani, Eye of the Storm is another good choice, although this limits you to just blue birds. Radiant, Serra Archangel isn’t bad, or Ravos, Soultender for some graveyard recursion. There are a lot of options with Esior.

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4 Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker

MtG - Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker

Ishai makes a great partner for Esior, but you could consider any of the other partners that would make Esior happy. Honestly, you can pair anyone you want with Ishai, as this bird monk works just fine on its own.

In a multiplayer format like Commander, people are going to cast a lot of spells, and they’re all going to make Ishai bigger. Eventually, you’ll have a giant flying bird capable of taking out opponents with one scratch of its giant talons. You could also take advantage of those +1/+1 counters in more subtle ways, depending on who Ishai decides to partner with.

3 Kangee, Aerie Keeper

MTG Kangee, Aerie Keeper

Kangee’s back, and for his second appearance on this list, he’s providing a huge boost to your army of birds. When he comes into play, pay two generic and then X, with X becoming the number feather counters that Kangee comes into play. For each feather counter Kangee has, all birds (including Kangee) get +1/+1.

This Kangee can potentially turn your squadron of 1/1 birds into a flying army of destruction. The key here is to have enough mana to cast Kangee at a premium. Decks with Kangee, Aerie Keeper will need to focus on their ramp, with plenty of mana rocks and other methods of getting land into play and producing mana.

2 Falco Spara, Pactweaver

MTG Falco Spara, Pactweaver

Falco is a bird, is tough to deal with thanks to that shield counter, and also lets you look at the top cards of your library and cast spells from there if you also remove a counter from a creature you control. None of this particularly helps birds as a type, but with all the other benefits Falco offers, who cares?

Falco also provides another very useful thing for bird decks: access to blue, white, and green mana. With all of Bant’s colors on the table, you have access to all the best birds and all the best spells that help birds, and those spells will also help Falco. And if you’re really clever, you can throw in a sub-theme of tokens to also give Falco something to eat, so you can cast spells from the top of your library.

1 Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

MTG - Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Derevi has been perhaps the best bird in Magic for over a decade. Being able to tap and untap whatever permanent you want for a very low threshold is extremely powerful, but what’s even better is the fact that Derevi will never cost more than four converted mana to cast thanks to his ability.

With an army of birds at his side, Derevi can completely lock down games of Commander or alternatively turn your birds into potential mana sources by untapping your lands. With green, blue, and white spells at your disposal, Derevi offers incredible versatility and extreme power all in one birdly package. If you want to make a deck all about birds, definitely consider Derevi first.

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