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The Best Infect Commanders In MTG

Infect is one of the biggest alternate win conditions for a game of Magic: The Gathering. A player will automatically lose the game should they ever obtain ten poison counters on them. Infect decks have many different ways to achieve this and can snowball into quick victories.

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Infect cards are most commonly in black and pop up a decent bit in green as well, with the occasional support in blue. Infect commanders generally revolve around proliferate or poison counters directly, or combat to allow for creatures with infect to attack the opponent directly, oftentimes finding ways around potential blockers.

Updated on November 29, 2023, by Johnny Garcia: There are many sets being released on a yearly basis, and since Commander allows for every card in all sets to be legal (barring illegal and banned cards), the card pool is the biggest of almost every other format. The infect strategy, while not having direct support since Phyrexia: All Will Be One, has still been improved thanks to additional cards that care about counters.

Infect counters can easily be spread and multiplied, allowing for their power to rise to levels they had never seen before. Infect commander decks can win games very quickly, and are one of the most popular alternate win conditions.

20 Glissa, Herald Of Predation

Incubate And Infect

Glissa, Herald of Predation MTG Card

  • Suggested Cards: Elvish Vatkeeper, Grafted Butcher, Bloated Contaminator

Glissa, Herald Of Predation, is one of the best commanders for Phyrexians. Since the best cards with infect are Phyrexian, and Golgari (black/green) has some of the best colors for infect, Glissa makes for a fantastic choice.

While Glissa interacts with Incubator tokens, the important effect on Glissa is the one that gives Phyerxians double strike. Since cards with infect care about the amount of damage you do, being able to swing twice with them lets you give a ton of poison counters to your opponent with just one attack.

19 Ria Ivor, Bane Of Bladehold

Battle Cry For Phyrexians

Image of the Ria Ivor card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Jenn Ravenna Tran

  • Suggested Cards: Regal Bunnicorn, Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim, Mondrak, Glory Dominus

Mite tokens are very easy to flood the battlefield with, and Ria Ivor, Bane Of Bladehold, is one of the ways to accomplish this. While the Mite tokens can’t block, this hardly matters when you have a ton of them.

Orzhov (black/white) has plenty of effects that can make cards create more tokens to accomplish the goal of having a battlefield of Mites easier. Ria Ivor itself gives a nice stat boost when it attacks that can be used to create even more Mites. You can mix in cards like White Sun’s Twilight and Skrelv’s Hive to create even more toxic Mites so you can keep giving poison counters to your opponents.

18 Vishgraz, The Doomhive

Preconstructed Terror

MTG: Vishgraz, the Doomhive card

  • Suggested Cards: Phyresis Outbreak, Skrelv’s Hive, Phyrexian Swarmlord

While Vishgraz is a slow-burn commander, it is great for infect decks. Its stats grow as the number of poison counters spread across your opponents do. It has toxic itself to give even more counters to whoever it attacks.

Vishgraz is especially good in a Voltron-style deck where you are putting multiple auras and equipment onto it to deal maximum amounts of damage. It comes in with support as well with the tokens it creates to immediately help establish a field presence to start spreading infect counters to all of your opponents.

17 Brimaz, Blight Of Oreskos

Double Up Phyrexians

Image of the Brimaz Blight of Oreskos card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Uriah Yoth
Brimaz Blight of Oreskos by Uriah Yoth

  • Suggested Cards: Massacre Wurm, Progenitor Exarch, Norn’s Inquisitor

Although Brimaz, Blight Of Oreskos doesn’t directly support any infect creatures, where Brimaz does play into the infect strategy is the ability to proliferate if a Phyerxian died. In Orzhov colors, this is very easy to accomplish, and you can kill your own Phyrexians for value.

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Since poison counters are counters, they can be proliferated to get them closer to that magic ten count. Brimaz’s effect triggers during every end step, not just your own, so if you have some form of sacrifice outlet, you can ensure it always triggers.

16 Ixhel, Scion Of Atraxa

Share The Perfection

Image of the Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Campbell White

  • Suggested Cards: Infectious Inquiry, Phyrexian Swarmlord, Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon

The face of the infect pre-constructed deck, Ixhel, Scion Of Atraxa is a fantastic infect commander and was designed with the mechanic in mind. It gives a unique spin that wants to spread at least three poison counters to each of your opponents rather than focusing on just one.

Ixehl’s infect strategy is secondary to a more mid-range play that is playing your opponents’ spells. Of course, since it has toxic two, each of its attacks will get you that much closer to hitting the corrupted threshold, as well as closing out games by putting on the last few poison counters needed.

15 Kaseto, Orochi Archmage

Unblockable Infect

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage card and art background

  • Suggested Cards: Blight Mamba, Viral Drake, Evolution Sage

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage is a commander that makes dealing infect damage incredibly easy. For just one green and blue mana, you can make any creature unblockable. As you only need to deal ten damage to defeat an opponent, this allows you to easily get in without your opponents being able to put any creatures in front of it.

Since Simic (green/blue) colors have plenty of ways to pump the stats of your creatures, this makes reaching ten damage in just one turn trivial, thanks to all the auras and instants it has.

14 Yawgmoth, Thran Physician

Proliferate To Victory

yawgmoth, thran physician

  • Suggested Cards: Ichor Rats, Blightbelly Rat, Hand Of The Praetors

A mono-black commander, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is a great one for infect strategies. Yawgmoth can easily proliferate for just two black mana, allowing you to stack up poison counters on the opponents that already have them. Since infect puts -1/-1 counters on creatures it deals damage to, this allows Yawgmoth to act as removal so long as you have a sacrifice outlet.

It has a low casting cost, and since many infect creatures are cheap to cast, it’s likely you were able to get a few infect counters on your opponents, allowing for Yawgmoth to begin using its proliferate ability to add on more to them.

13 Satoru Umezawa

Cheat Out Letahl Damage

Image of the Satoru Umezawa card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Anna Pavleeva

  • Suggested Cards: Blightsteel Colossus, Blighted Agent, Thrummingbird

Satoru Umezawa is a unique infect commander as it can cheat out creatures with ease, thanks to giving all creatures in your hand ninjitsu. This allows an unblockable creature to be traded off for one that is much more threatening.

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The best target for this is Blightsteel Colossus, which does enough infect damage to take any opponent out of the game. There are other solid options, such as Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, that allow you to get around normally high casting costs while hitting the opponent for a ton of infect damage as well.

12 Mr. Orfeo, The Boulder

Double Infect Damage

Mr. Orfeo, the boulder card and art background

  • Suggested Cards: Plague Stinger, Glistener Elf, Rot Wolf

Mr. Orfeo, the Boulder is a simple Jund (black/red/green) commander that is perfect for infect decks. Since you want to deal as much damage as possible, the effect of doubling an attacking creature’s power is fantastic. There are plenty of ways to give creatures double strike in Jund colors as well, allowing for even more infect damage to hit.

There are many ways to pump up stats in these colors, allowing for massive bursts of infect damage. Jund is one of the best color combinations for infect due to just how many great infect cards there are available, along with pump spells.

11 Hapatra, Vizier Of Poisons

Poison Creatures

Hapatra, Vizier Of Poisons card and art background

  • Suggested Cards: Nest Of Scarabs, Obelisk Spider, Blowfly Infestation

Hapatra, Vizier Of Poisons is a unique form of infect commander in that it’s more focused on spreading poison to creatures, as opposed to the opponents themselves. Infect will put a -1/-1 counter on a creature instead of dealing regular damage to it, and doing so will give you 1/1 token creatures that have deathtouch.

Even without infect creatures, Hapatra itself can spread -1/-1 counters whenever it deals damage. It lets you build up a board state while dismantling your opponents’ in return. When mixed with a card like Fynn, the Fangbearer, this turns these tokens into cards that can give poison counters to your opponents for victory.

10 Toxrill, The Corrosive

Escalating Poison

Toxrill-the-Corrosive-1

  • Suggested Cards: Flatline, Mass Diminish, Polymorphist’s Jest

Though not a traditional infect commander, Toxrill, The Corrosive helps to support creatures with infect. Since creatures with infect deal damage in the form of -1/-1 counters, this makes Toxrill’s effect even faster since it will add more counters to give them even lower stats, destroying them sooner.

This makes for a great draw engine, as they will draw you a card whenever the creature with counters dies. It has a Dimir (blue/black) color identity, allowing you to play all the best infect and proliferate cards since they tend to be in those colors.

9 Ezuri, Claw Of Progress

Experience Perfection

Ezuri, Claw of Progress

  • Suggested Cards: Blighted Agent, Viral Drake, Tainted Observer

Ezuri, Claw Of Progress is a good infect commander as it can give massive boosts to your creatures with infect. Whenever a creature with power two or less (which most creatures with infect are) enters the battlefield, it gets an experience counter.

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When your combat starts, you get to put +1/+1 counters on another creature equal to the experience counters on Ezuri, Claw Of Progress. Since you’ll be amassing a lot of experience counters quickly, you’ll be building up infect threats just as quickly, allowing for quick wins through infect damage.

8 Volrath, The Shapestealer

Seven Infect With One Attack

Volrath, the shapestealer card and art background

  • Suggested Cards: Blighted Agent, Evolution Sage, Containment Grafter

Volrath, the Shapestealer is a fantastic Sultai (blue/black/green) commander and one that can easily do seven damage of infect. By paying one mana, Volrath can become a copy of another creature with a counter on it while keeping that ability and its base 7/5 stat line.

This allows Volrath, The Shapestealer to copy a creature with infect while maintaining its impressive attack stat. If Volrath itself has counters on it, you can easily deal all ten infect damage necessary to take an opponent out of the game. At the start of combat, you can put a -1/-1 counter on any creature, and it can be used on one of yours in a pinch.

7 Brokkos, Apex Of Forever

Mutate Into Big Infect Damage

mtg brokkos apex of forever full card and art background

  • Suggested Cards: Plague Stinger, Blighted Agent, Flensermite

Brokkos, Apex Of Forever is great to suddenly make a creature with infect a giant threat. Since most creatures with infect are non-humans, this allows you to easily mutate Brokkos onto them. This, in turn, will let them keep infect, while also boosting their stats to a 6/6 with trample.

It’s in Sultai colors, giving it access to all of the best infect cards from all the main infect colors. When a creature with infect is mutated into Brokkos, it makes even trying to block them pointless, as they will often be able to still deal poison damage.

6 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

Ramp Up Infect Output

Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider card and blur

  • Suggested Cards: Glistener Elf, Tyrranax Rex, Spinebiter

A mono-green commander, Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider can half the time it takes to fully infect an opponent to make them lose the game. Its passive effects cause you to place double the number of counters you would put on a player, including infect counters.

Even though running Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider as a commander locks you into green cards, there is another support within that color to still make for a very threatening infect Commander deck. If you manage to give Vorinclex infect itself, that’s enough to take an opponent out of the game in one swing, thanks to its status of having trample.

5 Saskia The Unyielding

Spread The Infected Love

Image of the Saskia The Unyielding card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Greg Opalinski

  • Suggested Cards: Hand Of The Praetors, Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon, Whispering Specter

Saskia The Unyielding helps you to cut down the opponents you have to deal with directly. When it enters the battlefield, you choose a player, and whenever a creature deals combat damage to a player, it also damages the chosen player.

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When mixed with infect, this will cause both players to get infect counters. If a player has little to no creatures, you can attack them while choosing another player with a lot, so you can start infecting them without ever having to go through combat against them.

4 Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon

Hastey Infect

Skithiryx the Blight Dragon card art

  • Suggested Cards: Reaper Of Sheoldred, Phyrexian Crusader, Lashwrithe

A mono-black infect commander, Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon is a perfect choice for a voltron-style infect build. It’s a 4/4 with flying and infect, and can protect itself by paying two black mana to regenerate itself to help get around removal.

It can give itself haste as well by simply playing a black mana. Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon, when mixed with auras and equipment, can easily and quickly take care of the table, with the right cards making it unblockable. Black has a lot of cards that can play into the infect strategy, allowing for a consistent infect deck that can win games swiftly.

3 Fynn, The Fangbearer

Infect With Deathtouch

Image of the Fynn the Fangbearer card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Lie Setiawan

  • Suggested Cards: Moss Viper, Hornet Queen, Ichorspit Basilisk

Fynn, the Fangbearer, is an interesting infect commander on its own, one that doesn’t actually require you to play cards with infect at all. Instead, when a creature with deathtouch deals combat damage to a player, they will get two poison counters put on them when Fynn is on the battlefield.

There is no shortage of mono-green cards that have deathtouch, and since Fynn, the Fangbearer is only two mana to cast, you can win games quickly with one-drop creatures with infect. Since any combat damage from deathtouch gives two poison counters, it doesn’t matter the size of the creature, allowing you to play a low mana curve for a lot of value.

2 Kamiz, Obscura Oculus

Unblockable Infect

Image of the Kamiz, Obscura Oculus card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Chris Rallis

  • Suggested Cuts: Skrelv, Defector Mite, Tainted Strike, Ichor Rats

Kamiz, Osbcura Oculus is an Esper (white/blue/black) commander that gives a massive boost to infect decks. Whenever you attack, a creature attacking becomes unblockable and connives, and a creature with less power than that one will get double strike.

When mixed with cards with infect, Kamiz gives you access to an unblockable creature with infect and gives another one double strike. This can very quickly get out of hand, especially since the conniving will give you +1/+1 counters on creatures with infect. Kamiz, Obscura Oculus will continuously boost your infect creatures, making them all massive threats.

1 Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice

Sit Back And Proliferate

 Image of the Atraxa Praetors Voice card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Victor Adame Minguez

  • Suggested Cards: Bloated Contaminator, Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus, Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting

One of the most popular commanders in the entire format, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice is one of the best infect commanders. It has a simple effect. At your end step, it will proliferate. It’s a Not-Red (green/blue/white/black) commander, allowing you access to nearly every card an infect deck would want.

Atraxa itself comes with a plethora of keywords on itself, meaning if you give it infect, you will be even more of a threat. Once you get the first poison counter on an opponent, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice will continuously grow them without ever having to attack that opponent for the rest of the game.

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