Some commanders put a target on your back the moment you play them. Generals such as Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and Muldrotha, the Gravetide have evolved into looming threats that fill players with a mixture of anger and fear… but not all legendary creatures have such a fearsome reputation. In fact, there are commanders out there that inspire excitement and curiosity once they make their debut on the battlefield.

#5: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

Nothing to see here, just an uncommon monocolor five-mana 2/2. No way this Spirit is dangerous... right?

There's a couple ways that you can go about brewing around Shirei. The first way is to slap in a bunch of 1-power value creatures such as Yarok's Fenlurker, Sling-Gang Lieutenant, and Serrated Scorpion. These paired with your commander and effects like Zulaport Cutthroat and Blood Artist help create the perfect storm. When paired with sac outlets such as Viscera Seer or Ashnod's Altar, you are able to consistently exploit both enters and dies effects. The beautiful thing about Shirei is that these creatures return to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. Then, if you're feeling cheeky, you can do it all over again on your opponent's turn.

The second strategy involves running as many copies of Shadowborn Apostle as your heart desires. These creatures can replace your other 1-power tribal pieces and still deliver the same effect, with a wackier path taken. Either way, [Shirei] is a pretty good caretaker.

#4: Norin the Wary

This is one of the weirdest commanders I've ever brewed around. You can take this guy in any direction you want (as long as it takes him home).

Norin the Wary is a sideline kinda guy. As soon as anyone plays a spell, the old geezer gets spooked and is removed from the game only to return at the end of the turn. This definitely seems like a lackluster ability, but that is far from the case.

Norin the Wary is a great commander to help lead your mono-red enchantment tribal, enters-the-battlefield deck. Have you ever wanted to watch your opponents lose the game bit by bit? Norin watches as your opponents help you deal heaps of damage to them without so much as an attack. Cards like Warstorm Surge, Impact Tremors, and even Terror of the Peaks can slowly whittle down each and every bit of your opponents' life totals.

In the meantime, you have tons of options to figure out how you want the rest of the deck to come together. Whether it's through aggressive attacks with creatures, or some gnarly spell slinging, Norin the Wary doesn't judge. He just hides and waits for the dust to settle.

#3. Ishkanah, Grafwidow

At first glance, Ishkanah, Grafwidow seems to be a one-trick pony. She enters the battlefield, and depending on if you have delirium, you get three Spider tokens. Her secondary ability also seems just a tad too expensive. Seven mana to have target opponent lose 1 life for each Spider you control? This is definitely a late-game play and will put your opponents at ease… which is exactly how you want them to feel.

Magic has its fair share of Spiders (way more than you'd think) and tossing in pieces like Realmwalker and Universal Automaton can help fill out their ranks. If you wanna go even crazier, add a Maskwood Nexus so all your creatures are Spiders… even if they really aren't.

Tokens are also a great direction to take this deck. Pieces like Arachnogenesis and Spider Spawning are great additions to Ishkanah, Grafwidow, helping you generate dozens upon dozens of little spiderlings. To make this threat even greater, pop in a Parallel Lives or a Doubling Season to really spike your opponent's arachnophobia. Then when the timing is right, activate Ishkanah's seven-mana ability to hit your opponent for lethal damage without even laying a fang on them.

Ishkanah quickly goes from a vague unsettling presence to a terrifying monster, all without instilling hatred in your opponents.

#2: Captain Vargus Wrath

Ahoy, there! Captain Vargus Wrath is coming aboard with a fun new way to tackle Izzet in commander without asking your friends "Izzet okay that I run a bunch of counterspells"?

Admiral Beckett Brass is far and away the best-known general for Pirate tribal. With Captain Vargus Wrath, a few of the meaner and nastier Pirates fall out of consideration. Pieces like Pitiless Plunderer and Hostage Taker are no longer viable, giving your opponents a moment to breathe a collective sigh of relief. Suddenly you're a yo-ho-ho kind of Pirate and not a pillage-and-plunder buccaneer.

However, the yo-ho-ho kind of Pirates are still Pirates. Pieces like Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator and Breeches, Brazen Plunderer look innocent enough at first glance. After all, they, like your commander, are uncommon. Despite this supposed shortcoming, you're suddenly casting spells from your opponent's libraries and using Treasure to pay for them.

In fact, Treasure is a great sub-theme to utilize when building Pirate tribal. Cards like Impulsive Pilferer and Dockside Extortionist can help you generate enough booty to finance your next voyage.

Even if Captain Vargus Wrath goes to Davy Jones' locker, they will inevitably come back due to their low mana value. In fact, you want Vargus to walk the plank, because when they return to the battlefield, they pump up your other Pirates based on how many times they were cast from the command zone. Talk about sharin' the booty! The more you swing your brazen buccaneers, the more you can bolster them for some terrifying combat phases.

#1: Kelsien, the Plague

One shot. One kill. 360 no scope. This sweet Mardu commander is the sickest sniper ever to grace the Multiverse.

Kelsien, the Plague is one of those creatures that looks unfair at first glance, however, after a quick read over, you'll quickly find that he has been carved out to avoid some of the pitfalls Mardu typically has. You can't use his ability on your own creatures, nor can you tap him to deal damage to an opponent or a Planesawlker. Kelsien is every inch a fair and balanced piece.

Now let's make him unfair!

Kelsien, the Plague gets buffed based on the number of experience counters you have, and in order to gain these counters you need to kill a creature your opponent controls with Kelsien's ability. As long as you mark a creature with that 1-damage tap, it doesn't matter how that creature dies.

One way of accomplishing this is to cut out the middleman and find a way to give your commander deathtouch. Cards like Rune of Mortality, Aspect of Gorgon, and Basilisk Collar all grant Kelsien, the Plague the deathtouch he craves. Not only does this help increase your experience counters, but it also turns Kelsein into the raddest removal you've ever seen.

Kelsien, the Plague will no doubt become your strongest Voltron deck. Running cards like Sigarda's Aid, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and Alesha, Who Smiles at Death are all ways to increase your power in slightly different directions. Kelsien goes from poking your opponents' creatures to beating your opponents' faces in the matter of a few turns. Kelsien is truly one of those commanders that you are delighted to see at the table, regardless of if you win or lose.