Magic: The Gathering's Commander format is filled with a diverse range of deck archetypes and strategies for players to employ when constructing their decks. One of the most popular directions to take a deck is the tribal route. A tribal deck is one that is based heavily around a specific creature type, incorporating several key cards that synergize with a given type, providing you with pay-offs for primarily using creatures of that type.
Of the creature types from Magic's history, few have seen as many cards as humans. As of now, there are nearly 3,000 human cards which are legal in the Commander format with more printed in nearly every set. So today, we're going to examine the best options that you should consider when building a Human tribal Commander deck.
Updated on May 16th, 2022 by Paul DiSalvo:As several new Magic sets are regularly released each year, introducing a swath of new cards to the Commander format, sizable numbers of newly available commanders are introduced to the format. As Humans are one of the most frequently appearing creature types in all of Magic, it should be no surprise that as new cards are released, more and more potential Human tribal commanders are made available.
13 Jerren, Corrupted Bishop
Printed in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Jerren, Corrupted Bishop is an underrated and unique Mono-Black option for those looking to build a Human tribal deck. A 2/3 Human Cleric for the low cost of three mana, when Jerren enters the battlefield or whenever a nontoken Human under its owner's control dies, Jarren's controller loses one life and creates a 1/1 Human token. Straight away, this sets Jerren apart from the traditionally aggressive Human tribal options available, as Jerren decks function as a hybrid of Human tribal and Aristocrats. The loss of life Jerren causes isn't exactly optimal, but you can easily offset this downside — for two mana, Jerren can provide a target Human with lifelink until the end of the turn.
While it's important to note that Jerren is a double-faced card that can be transformed if its controller's life total is exactly thirteen, this transformation is quite difficult to trigger. In addition to not being convenient, the card's alternate side, Ormendahl, the Corrupter, lacks synergies with Humans. Despite this, Jaren is a solid and unique option for those looking for an alternative Aristocrats spin on Human tribal for those looking to combine powerful sacrifice outlets with impressive Humans.
12 General Kudro of Drannith
For those interested in combining the black Human options available in a Jerren deck with more traditional white Humans, the Orzhov commander, General Kudro of Drannith, may be a solid choice. A 3/3 Human Solider for three mana, General Kudro provides each other Human under its owner's control with +1/+1. Additionally, while graveyard-based strategies are quite popular within the Commander format, General Kudro can help remove key cards from an opponent's graveyard, as whenever it or another Human enters the battlefield under its owner's control, its owner may exile a card from an opponent's graveyard.
While graveyard hate and an anthem effect is an already solid use of three mana, General Kudro's activated ability provides it with an additional layer of value. At the cost of two mana and two sacrificed Humans, its controller can destroy a target creature with a power of two or greater, with a chance of removing an opponent's potentially game-winning creature from play. As this ability requires Humans to be sacrificed, General Kudro decks can make great use of Aristocrats staples, such as Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos.
11 Sigarda, Champion of Light
The most recently printed iteration of Innistrad's Selesnya Angel, Sigarda, Champion of Light is a commander that can both buff one's Humans whilst providing card advantage and card selection. A 4/4 with flying and trample for four mana, Sigarda provides all Humans under its owner's control with +1/+1.
While this is a solid benefit, Sigarda also has a coven ability that allows you to look at the top five cards of your library, reveal a Human, and put it into your hand – as long as you control at least three creatures with different powers. This allows a player to ensure that they consistently have access to additional creatures to play.
10 Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
Printed in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar is a low-mana mono-white Human tribal option that excels at creating a sizable board state filled with Humans. For three mana, while this Human's toughness is statically four, its power is equal to the number of creatures under its owner's control.
This is quite excellent, as whenever it's controller attacks, they create a tapped and attacking 1/1 Human token for each opponent. As Commander is a multiplayer format, this means that Adeline is capable of creating three tokens per turn.
9 Sigarda, Heron's Grace
The first of several Selesnya Human tribal commanders on this list, Sigard, Heron's Grace is a creature that offers great protection for Humans under its owner's control. Though not a Human itself, Sigarda is a 4/5 Angel with flying for four mana that offers its control and Humans they control with hexproof.
While Sigarda itself lacks hexproof, this offers great coverage that prevents key cards from being removed as long as Sigarda is still around. For the cost of two mana, Sigarda is even capable of creating a 1/1 Human token by exiling a card from its controller's graveyard.
8 Torens, Fist Of The Angels
Torens, Fist of the Angels appeared in Innistrad: Crimson Vow. A Selesnya 2/2 Human Cleric for three mana, Torens has access to the Training ability. This means that over the course of a game, Torens can grow in power with very little effort.
Most notably, whenever its controller casts a creature spell, they create a 1/1 Human token with training. This means that whenever its controller casts a Human, they receive two Humans instead, functioning quite well with tribal-based cards that are more effective with large quantities of creatures.
7 Jirina Kudro
A Maru Human tribal commander that was printed in Commander 2020, Jirina Kudro is a simple-yet-effective option for an aggressive Human deck that offers access to three colors.
A 3/3 for four mana, when Jirina enters the battlefield, its controller creates a 1/1 Human token for each time Jirina had been cast throughout the game. This means that each subsequent cast will net more and more Humans. While 1/1 tokens are far from worth writing home about, Jirina provides all other Humans with +2/+0, meaning even these small tokens can efficiently deal noteworthy damage.
6 Saskia The Unyielding
Saskia the Unyielding is an excellent option for a Human tribal commander for those who wish to have access to both Maru Human-tribal cards and Selesyna Human tribal cards, being every color save for blue. For four mana, Saskia is a 3/4 Human Warrior with vigilance and haste that has its controller chose a player when it enters the battlefield.
Whenever a creature under its owner's control would deal damage to a player, it also deals that much damage to the chosen player. Not only does this mean that a Saskia player's Humans can deal damage to a defensive player by simply attacking another opponent, but if the chosen player is attacked, they effectively sustain twice as much damage. While Saskia lacks any specific Human tribal synergies, its color access and aggressive nature make it a solid choice for the tribe.
5 Katilda, Dawnhart Prime
An incredibly underrated Selesnya commander, Katilda, Dawnhart Prime is an efficient Human tribal commander that is capable of generating impressive quantities of mana. A 1/1 Human Warlock with protection from Werewolves for the low cost of two mana, Katilda allows all Humans under its owner's control to be tapped to produce one mana of any color.
This means that when paired with Human token generators and low-mana Humans, Katilda can provide a substantial mana ramp. This creature even provides an outlet for all this mana, allowing six mana to be spent to put a +1/+1 counter on each Human its owner controls.
4 Trynn, Champion of Freedom And Silvar, Devourer of the Free
A Mono-White and Rakdos pair of legendary creatures with Partner, Trynn, Champion of Freedom and Silvar, Devourer of the Free can be used as a Mardu Human tribal commander with Aristocrats synergies. While Trynn is a 3/3 Human for four mana that creates a 1/1 Human token at the end of each turn in which its controller attacked, Silvar functions as a sacrifice outlet for these tokens.
A 4/2 Cat Nightmare with menace for five mana, Silvar can be used to sacrifice Humans to gain +1/+1 counters and indestructible until the end of turn, allowing it to grow larger throughout a game and making it quite difficult to remove. Due to serving as a reliable sacrifice outlet and means of creating Human tokens, this pair can make for an interesting hybrid Human tribal Aristocrats commander.
3 Winota, Joiner of Forces
A Boros commander option for four mana, Winota, Joiner of Forces uniquely incentivizes a player to build a deck that contains a high number of Human and non-Human creatures alike.
This is because whenever a non-Human creature under its owner's control attacks, that player can look at the top six cards of their library and put a tapped, attacking Human directly onto the battlefield. It even provides them with indestructible until the end of the turn. This allows a player to cheat several Humans into play while ignoring mana costs, offering card advantage in an aggressive manner.
2 Rick, Steadfast Leader
Perhaps the most polarizing entry on this list, Rick, Steadfast Leader is a mono-white Human tribal commander that was printed as a part of Secret Lair x The Walking Dead. A 3/4 Human Soldier for four mana, upon entering the battlefield, Rick's controller chooses two abilities from among first strike, vigilance, and lifelink, providing all Humans under their control with the chosen abilities.
While flexible access to useful keywords is already quite potent, as long as Rick's owner controls four or more Humans, all Humans under their control get +2/+2. This provides a substantial boost to that player's damage output.
1 Kyler, Sigardian Emissary
For those looking to deal substantial damage with their Humans, Kyler, Sigardian Emissary may be the commander for you. A 2/2 Human Cleric for five mana, whenever another Human enters the battlefield under its owner's control, a +1/+1 counter is put on Kyler. While this ability would be solid by itself, it is made significantly more impactful by the fact that other Humans under its owner's control get +1/+1 for each counter on Kyler.
This means that when paired with sizable quantities of Human tokens, other efficient Humans, or even proliferating effects, Kyler can cause even the smallest of Human tokens to become sizable threats.