One disclaimer before we begin: if you don't see your favorite new commander on this list, relax. Wizards of the Coast stuffed over a hundred legendaries into Commander Legends, and they're nearly all winners. Just because it's not here doesn't mean it's bad.
Without further ado, let's start with Obeka, Brute Chronologist.
Obeka, Brute Chronologist has a unique political effect over the game: simply by tapping her, no additional cost, the player whose turn it is may end the turn.
By itself, the effect is arguably not very special. Provided your opponent is in a pinch, you may allow them to escape a jam in exchange for a favor. Of course, this only works if your table is into politics and abides by a sense of honor.
If not, why not abuse this ability yourself? Isochron Scepter plus Final Fortune provides a unique scenario for this Grixis deck: provided Obeka is on the battlefield, you can imprint Final Fortune onto Isochron Scepter and gain an additional turn. Final Fortune has a delayed trigger that will be placed on the stack at the end of that additional turn, but with Obeka we can "exile" that effect off the stack and proceed to take infinite turns. Politics and infinite turns? Sounds good to me.
"Mana Burn," ever heard of it? Because I hadn't when I started playing.
If you've been playing the game for a while you'll know what Yurlok of Scorch Thrash is all about immediately. When you tap Yurlok, you give your opponents and yourself black, red, and green mana. Should this mana not be spent on anything, so long as Yurlok is on the battlefield as the phase switches, everyone will take damage from that unspent mana.
This is an advantage you may or may not want to give your opponents, but what if you happened to go full "Scorch Thrash" and provided them with infinite mana before switching phases? There are a few ways to accomplish this, but the method I prefer is with Seeker of Skybreak and Illusionist's Bracers.
Beyond offering solid ramp with Yurlok of Scorch Thrash, Seeker of Skybreak paired with Illusionist's Bracers gives you the ability to tap Yurlok for an infinite sum of mana by targeting Yurlok and herself with the triggered ability of Bracers. Just make sure to use that unspent mana on your end before switching phases to your opponents' demise.
So, beyond the amazing representation on the Unhinged masterpiece "Ach! Hans, Run!", we finally have the man, the myth, the legend himself in glorious display within Commander Legends. Hans Eriksson offers a lot of value in Gruul and an excellent way to cheat out creatures. Whenever you attack with Eriksson, you reveal the top card of your library: if it's a creature you place it tapped and attacking the defending player or planeswalker they control, otherwise you put the card in your hand (not today, Hullbreacher!).
Prime creatures for this list include: Gigantomancer, Silverclad Ferocidons, or Giant Adephage. If you're going to drop anything that could potentially kill Hans, make certain it's a valuable creature—not that Gruul has a shortage of those.
The deck is going to want to make certain Hans Eriksson has indestructible or protection, and effects like Sensei's Divining Top and Scroll Rack to manipulate what's on top of your deck during those attacks. However you proceed, make certain you're ready for the Lhurgoyf this time.
Boros and card draw! How new, how rare, how absolutely necessary. At its core we have a three-mana 2/2 which doesn't quite pass the vanilla test, even with trample. However, on attack Wyleth, Soul of Steel allows you to draw a card for each Equipment and Aura attached to it (how you like them apples, Akiri, Fearless Voyager!). The design team at WotC is obviously trying to point you, and Boros, in one direction: Voltron!
Basically, the Voltron package has you endow one creature with all the permanents you possibly can to buff and beat down your opponents with. They weren't very subtle with their push toward this particular strategy. However, you're heavily rewarded for playing the most underplayed strategy in Commander! It's not easy beating down three opponents at once, but if the incentive is card draw, I think I'm game.
Personally, I'm leaning towards Gift of Immortality and Swiftfoot Boots, as just casting Wyleth, Soul of Steel will put a huge target on his head. No Lightning Greaves, because we want to Enchant and Equip the heck outta him.
Sunforger will be another "must" for this list. Supplement Wyleth, Soul of Steel with protection and additional forms of draw (Sword of Fire and Ice or Mask of Memory) and head to beat street.
Sakashima of a Thousand Faces returns with a rather unique set of abilities: one that lets Sakashima enter as any creature you control, and a second that lets you ignore the "legend rule" (you can't control two legendaries with the same exact name). Sold.
Here's my "How to Sakashima" guide.
Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh and Hellkite Courser are your only creatures. One's your partner, the other in the 99. Litter your deck with permanents that sacrifice a creature for something devastating, e.g. Blasting Station, Goblin Bombardment, or Altar of Dementia. Run every form of fast mana, ritual or ramp available in Izzet. Play every countermeasure and redirect spell you can jam. For good measure, play a couple of stax pieces to disrupt the flow of the game.
Now, for the most important pieces. Play Polymorph, Transmogrify, Reality Scramble, Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, Reweave and Divergent Transformations. Target Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh with any of these "Polymorph" spells to search your library for Hellkite Courser and place it on the battlefield. Have Hellkite Courser bring Sakashima of a Thousand Faces into play (have Sakashima enter as a copy of Hellkite Courser) and provided you have a sac outlet on the battlefield, you can sacrifice Sakashima once its "Hellkite Courser" enters-the-battlefield trigger is placed on the stack. Rinse and repeat.
That's at least how I would play Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, but you can build this Legendary any number of ways. Definitely an exciting new addition to the game.
You like swinging at players? You want to take a shortcut to beat street? Dargo, the Shipwrecker is that shortcut, and on top of that he's also brimming with combo potential.
Not only is Dargo, the Shipwrecker a proper Commander with 7 power, you can also utilize his cost reduction effect to create infinite triggers or simply Sakashima of a Thousand Faces folks out. Dargo costs two generic mana less for every artifact and creature that you've sacrificed this turn and also allows you to sacrifice them to reduce his cost when you're casting him. At six generic and one red, you'll need to put in a little effort to get him out initially, but with his plundering pal in piracy Dockside Extortionist, this shouldn't be an issue.
Provided you can produce at least three Treasures with Dockside, you just need to pay his red to cast Dargo, the Shipwrecker (with three mana of any color to boot waiting for you).
At this point, provided you have a sacrifice outlet, you can manipulate Dargo, the Shipwrecker in multiple ways.
Genesis Chamber plus Phyrexian Altar equals infinite colored mana, very good with Thrasios, Triton Hero as a partner. Add Goblin Bombardment to the previous equation and you can use Dargo, the Shipwrecker to damage out the board.
Dargo, the Shipwrecker enables plenty of combos, but at the end of the day a 7/5 beater with trample that's easy to place on the battlefield as early as turn one or two is simply good.
Beyond being an excellent piece of ramp in the command zone, as we've just discovered, Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator is a combo enabler.
Do you need to be in Pirate tribal for Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator to be good? No. Do you want to at least run a handful of Pirates in the list? Yes. Maybe you pair him with Dargo, the Shipwrecker, but you'll definitely want red. Dockside Extortionist is a must, maybe Dire Fleet Daredevil for a bit of value, and while we're at it, why not Glint-Horn Buccaneer?
With Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator out, go and attack with Glinty. Once you've established the Buccaneer as an attacker, before blocks are declared, pay 1R, discard a card and draw one. Alright, we've just "rummaged," cool… wait. Glinty'll do 1 damage to each opponent, causing Malcolm to trigger and produce three Treasures. 1, 2, 3… rummage again. Keep rummaging through that little deck of yours until the board is wiped out. Every time you do this, you'll be left with one Treasure remaining to continue the process. Make certain the person you initially attacked had the most life to ensure that at the end of this combat you've also concluded the match.
As they say, "third time's the charm." Well, while I'm sure she's plenty charming, Jeska, Thrice Reborn can be downright menacing with the right list.
At face value, a three-mana planeswalker that enters with 1 loyalty counter—provided you cast her first—is pretty pathetic. However, if you stick it out in mono-red with Dargo, the Shipwrecker, with her 0 ability you have a "One Punch" Dargo on your hands.
Despite how appealing that may seem, a better approach may be to utilize her -X instead. Any infinite mana package allows you to abuse her -X to damage out the board, scaling every time with her loyalty tokens. This can mean:
Literally any way to produce infinite red mana will do, and you have an outlet waiting in the command zone to wipe out the board. Yeah, Jeska, Thrice Reborn not bad.
Dimir always means access to Thassa's Oracle and Demonic Consultation, should winning the game be your thing. However, unlike how this tired combo normally plays out, Araumi provides one of the most interesting ways to get to this condition. By tapping the Dead Tide you can grant a creature in your graveyard encore, which brings back a copy of each of your opponents. Two creatures immediately come to mind: Spellseeker and Mirror-Mad Phantasm.
Let's take a gander at that first creature. If if you encore Spellseeker, you produce three copies to tutor for Entomb, Reanimate, and Demonic Consultation. So long as you have three black remaining, you win the game simply by Entombing Thassa's Oracle, Reanimating her and casting Demonic Consultation.
Mirror-Mad is a bit more interesting. Encore the Phantasm, and activate the ability of one of them. This will cause the Mirror-Mad to leave the battlefield and enter your library, leaving the game as a state based action. Your library will get dumped into your graveyard after this ability resolves. Now utilize the Dread Return you so smartly placed into this list sacrificing Mirror-Mad Phantasm, Mirror-Mad Phantasm and Araumi of the Dead Tide to bring back Thassa's Oracle. Hey! Look at that… you just won the game!
I can hear you already. "This list is DUMB! Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is the best!?" Why, yes. The young heir of Rohgahh happens to be the best, deck-enabling legendary released this set.
Remember those mista-… recent printings of Commander spells? Deflecting Swat, Fierce Guardianship, Deadly Rollick and the other two? Enabled. How about Jeska's Will? For zero-mana you get Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh and get to do both effects—that is, ritual for a variable amount of red mana and exile the top three cards of your library to cast this turn. Just by having a 0/1 Kobold Warrior out. The forever-unbanned-Ad Nauseam is now that much easier to cast, because you can rip Culling the Weak and tap a Lotus Petal, Mox Amber—oh yeah, Mox Amber is enabled—Mana Crypt, really any form of fast mana to simply cast the most broken card currently available in EDH.
Personally? I love it.
* * *
Commander Legends not only introduced a string of outstanding legendaries, but also came with a series of valuable prints and reprints: Vampiric Tutor, Mana Drain, and Jeweled Lotus? The year of Commander indeed. Honestly, this list from ranking 4 down could go either way, but Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh, Araumi of the Dead Tide, and Jeska, Thrice Reborn are easily the most interesting of the lot and ripe for brewing.
So what are you waiting for? Happy brewing, babies.