The Best Commanders For A Fliers Deck In Magic: The Gathering

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When it comes to guarding your creatures in Magic: The Gathering, there’s no better place than high above your opponents. There are hundreds of creatures that fly in Magic, and building around them can give you a strong advantage over your opponents.


Related: Magic: The Gathering – Best Selesnya Commanders

If you want to build a Commander deck based on this popular keyword, choosing the right commander will be crucial. Will you pick a commander that gives your flying creatures a bonus, or will you pick a high power commander that goes well with flying creatures? Whichever path you choose, these commanders are some of the best to choose from.

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10 Isperia, Chief Justice

Card image of Isperia, Supreme Judge in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Scott M Fischer

With Isperia, the Supreme Judge as your commander, you can sit back and relax a bit while your opponents attack each other. This flying sphinx has a special ability that allows you to draw a card whenever you or one of your planeswalkers is attacked by a creature.

Playing a more controlled deck with Isperia in the lead is always a good option, along with a few cards to protect against an opponent who decides to attack you. Cards like Ghostly Prison and Propaganda force your opponents to pay extra mana if they want to attack.

9 Derevi, an empirical tactician

Image of the Derevi, Empyrial Tactician card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Michael Komarck

Often found in multi-combo based decks, Derevi has an important trait that many other flying commanders don’t have, access to green mana. With access to powerful ramp spells like Birds of Paradise and protection with other flying creatures like Shalai, Voice of Plenty, green brings a lot to the deck.

One of the uncommon cards that you could include for extra protection on your creatures is Bower’s Passage Wizard. This card prevents your opponent’s flying creatures from blocking your creatures, leaving only ranged creatures to block your flying army.

8 Alela, cunning provocateur

Alele, Artful Provocateur card image in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Grzegorz Rutkowski

One of the most synergistic commanders in Magic, all Alela, the Artful Provocateur does is advance your board and can quickly take over the game. Allele gives all your other flying creatures +1/+0, giving you a hymn effect directly in your command area.

Related: Magic: The Gathering – Best Artifacts of 2022

Whenever you cast an enchantment or artifact, you create a 1/1 Elf token with flying that rewards you for your mana stone and useful enchantments. Cards like Baleful Strix and Steel Seraph, which are creatures and artifacts that fly, can give you a lot of value with Alela in play.

7 Raffine, the scheming seer

    An image of the card Raffine, the Scheming Seer in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Johannes Voss

One of the most powerful commanders to come out of the Streets of New Capenna, Raffine, the Scheming Seer is an extremely powerful flying creature that can buff your creatures over and over again. Whenever any creature you control attacks, Raffine allows you to consent to X, where X is the number of creatures you attack with.

In the flight-themed set, you will be able to fly and attack with increasingly powerful creatures. Cards like Watcher of the Spheres and Warden of Evos Isle reduce the cost of any flying creatures you would use, including your commander, reducing the impact that commander taxes can take.

6 Sephara, Sky’s Blade

Image of Sephara, a Sky's Blade card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Livia Prima

Impressive flying commander, Sephara, Sky’s Blade is a powerful 7/7 flying angel that protects all your other flying creatures by making them indestructible during play. In a deck filled with a wide variety of flying creatures such as ghosts, angels and birds, you’ll be able to avoid board wipes and keep your creatures alive with any attack.

Sephara also has an alternate casting cost that allows you to put her into play for just one white mana and tapping four creatures with flying. This unfortunately does not bypass the Commander Tax, but it greatly reduces Sephara’s cost.

5 Donal, Herald of Wings

Donal, Herald of Wings card image in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Wayne Reynolds

One of the more interesting commanders to build around is Donal, Herald of Wings. Casting a non-legendary creature that flies grants you a copy of that creature, except that copy is a 1/1 ghost and its other types.

Related: Magic: The Gathering – The Best Cards for a Ghost Deck

There is no additional cost to copying your creatures, but it only happens once per turn. You’ll want to copy creatures that have some passive abilities, such as Windstorm Drake, which gives your other flying creatures +1/+0, or Mulldrifter, which draws you two cards when it enters the battlefield, giving you four cards between your original and a copy.

4 Kangee, guardian of the sky

Image of Kangee, the Sky Warden card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Dan Scott

An incredibly aggressive commander, Kangee, Sky Warden turns all of your attacking creatures into powerhouses while also giving your creatures a boost when he blocks. When Kangee attacks, all attacking flying creatures get +2/+0, while blocking with Kangee gives all your blocking flying creatures +0/+2.

You’ll want to go wide with your creatures and create tons of flying tokens to boost or hold defense. Cards like Entreat the Angels allow you to turn your mana into 4/4 angels, while Emeria Angel turns your land drops into 1/1 birds to fill the board with.

3 Inniaz, Storm Force

Image of Inniaz, The Gale Force card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Livia Prima

This unusual commander allows you to disrupt your opponent’s plans by giving permanents to other players. Inniaz, Gale Force has an activated ability to add +1/+1 to all attacking creatures with flying points until end of turn, giving you the ability to overwhelm your opponent’s creatures if you choose to do a little extra manipulation.

Inniaz’s key ability is that when you attack with three or more flying creatures, each player gains control of a non-land permanent that you choose to be controlled by the player to their right. Keep attacking and switching card ownership, giving away your little 1/1 flying tokens and stealing your opponent’s best cards, allowing you to load all of your best cards into your board at each stage of the fight.

2 Cabbage of vastness

Image of Kaalia of the Vast card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Michael Komarck

Kaalia of the Vast often accidentally falls into a flight-themed deck because of the types of creatures she interacts with. When you attack with Kaalia of the Vast, you can put an angel, demon, or dragon from your hand into play to tap and attack.

Since the vast majority of creatures among these creature types have the ability to fly, you will often defeat your opponents with aerial dominance. A lot of the normal spells that give boosts to flying creatures are in blue, which Kaalia doesn’t have access to, but your creatures are often strong enough not to worry about them.

1 Tramp and Giada

Image of the Tramp and Giada card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Cristi Balanescu

An Errant and Giade team up gives your flight-themed deck a big boost by giving you access to the top card of your deck. With Errant and Giada in play, you can look at the top card of your library at any time and then flash or fly on top of your deck to cast any spell.

Filling your deck with flying and flash cards effectively gives you an extra mystery card to surprise your opponents with. There are a few ways to manipulate the top card of your library, such as Sensei’s Divining Top or any number of lands you can sacrifice to grab another from your deck.

Arguably the best card to include in this style deck is Vedalken Orrery, which allows you to cast any spell as if it had flash, giving you access to any spell on top of your library.

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