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The Best Commander Replacements For Golos


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Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, one of the most popular commanders in the format, just got banned, so now it's time to talk about replacements. I'm going to cover the most popular archetypes that Golos led and show you my top replacements for the former 5C commander. Let's get started!

Big Mana

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Golos was one of the top choices for Big Mana strategies, basically loading up decks with huge, splashy haymakers such as the asymmetrical board wipe Ruinous Ultimatum, the stompy swiss army knife Zacama, Primal Calamity, or stealing stuff and taking extra turns with Expropriate. The rest of the deck is filled with ways to cast these giant haymakers, usually being huge mana spells themselves like Omniscience, Emergent Ultimatum, and Aminatou's Augury. Golos helped cast all these giant spells with both his ETB ramp and his activated ability which let you cast one or more of them off the top of your library for just seven mana. 

Fortunately for Big Mana decks, there are plenty of replacements to Golos that keeps the deck functionally the same. The most obvious of the bunch has to be Jodah, Archmage Eternal. While Jodah doesn't immediately ramp you nor provides card advantage with his activated ability like Golos does, he can cast any of your super expensive bombs in your hand for just five mana, which will often be a massive discount. Also his ability is much more reliable than Golos's if you aren't manipulating the top cards of your library, since Golos could whiff and just hit a pocket of lands, whereas you know exactly what you're casting with Jodah.

If you're looking for a Big Mana Jodah deck, here's my Budget Commander Primer on it.

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But there are other sweet 5C Big Mana options as well: if your Big Mana deck runs tons of multicolor spells, then Ramos, Dragon Engine can be a great way to power them out: just drop down Ramos, start casting spells, and the dragon will start giving you a whopping 10 extra mana to work with per activation. 

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If your Big Mana deck was all about cheating out huge creatures or planeswalkers off the top of your library with Golos's activated ability, then Esika, God of the Tree is a perfect replacement. Her front side can ramp out cards in her hand, while her back side, The Prismatic Bridge, reliably cheats out cards off the top of your library, never whiffing and not costing any mana to activate either. In fact, if your Big Mana deck was already about cheating haymaker creatures like Sheoldred, Whispering One then I'd argue Bridge is even better than Golos, being both harder to remove and more mana-efficient at what it does.

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There's tons more fantastic Big Mana commanders out there if you're willing to drop down a few colors as well. Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty is a ridiculous house in Big Mana decks, using that sweet sweet Green to ramp out your haymakers then cascade them. Same goes for Maelstrom Wanderer. Jhoira of the Ghitu is a super efficient way to "ramp" big spells even if you gotta wait a few turns for it. Oh! If your going Spellslinger Big Mana, what about Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge? Or heck even Narset, Enlightened Master, but just pinky promise you won't jam every single Time Stretch you can find in there (or do, I won't judge).

Lands

By far the most popular archetype that Golos players went for was 5C Lands, decks that focused on getting lands into play and abusing the permanent type as much as possible. This makes a lot of sense since Golos was the only 5C commander that could directly fetch lands for you, grabbing the best land for the occasion like The World Tree for fixing, Dark Depths to unleash a huge monstrosity, and of course, Field of the Dead to pump out an unending stream of zombies while doing regular land things. Meanwhile you have access to all the Lands Matter cards in the format like Tatyova, Benthic Druid to draw cards and gain life, Azusa, Lost but Seeking to dump more lands into play, and Ramunap Excavator to play lands from the graveyard, getting extra value out of your fetchlands and other sacrificial lands.

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Now there's a few subcategories of Lands decks, so which replacement commander works best depends on what type of Lands deck you want to focus on:

Maze's EndA majority of these decks Lands deck were also Maze's End decks whose goal was to assemble 10 guildgates then win the game. Maze's End decks often utilized Scapeshift and Reshape the Earth to find Maze's End and all the missing guildgates, plus Amulet of Vigor to let you immediately activate the maze and win the game.

In a Guildgate deck, Golos was utilized primarily for his ETB to find Maze's End or whatever missing guildgate you needed though these decks. Interestingly most of these decks would never even use his activated ability so as to not risk accidentally exiling crucial guildgates in the process.

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Of all the archetypes to replace Golos in, Maze's End is definitely the hardest, since no other 5C commander can tutor up these specific lands. However, Maze's End decks have existed long before Golos ever printed, and they will continue to exist without him. I actually owned a Maze's End deck for a few years before Golos and my commander of choice was Child of Alara. While Child doesn't find your guildgates, it can serve as a repeatable way to wipe the board of all nonland permanents, buying you lots of time to assemble your finisher. Combine Child of Alara with a sacrifice outlet like High Market and you can wipe out everyone's board, slowing down your opponents while leaving your guildgates untouched.

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Landfall. The other popular archetype for 5C Lands was Landfall decks, decks that wanted to ramp out as many lands as possible and cards that trigger off lands entering the battlefield, drawing cards off Tatyova, Benthic Druid, making armies of plants with Avenger of Zendikar, and taking a bunch of extra combat steps with Moraug, Fury of Akoum. For these decks, my advice would be dropping Black and going 4C instead with Omnath, Locus of Creation. The vast majority of Golos Landfall decks I found while researching hardly ran any Black cards at all, usually the only noteworthy one being Beledros Witherbloom. By giving up Black I'd argue you're getting an even more powerful Landfall commander in your command zone while still running pretty much all the Landfall cards that Golos was running before.

If you're interested in 4C Omnath Landfall, check out my Abridged Gameplay on it.

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Superfriends

Another popular archetype that Golos led was 5C Superfriends. These decks are built around planeswalkers, letting you mix and match all of them in the same deck with even more freedom than other more popular Superfriend leaders like Atraxa, Praetors' Voice provides. Cards like Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, Geyadrone Dihada, and Tamiyo, Field Researcher all could hang out in the same deck. The rest of the deck is built around taking advantage of planeswalkers with cards like Doubling Season, Oath of Teferi, and The Chain Veil to get the most out of their loyalty abilities.

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In these decks, Golos served as both mana-fixing ramp to help get out your most expensive walkers and a way to cheat them out with his activated ability, plus he was a blocker when needed.

Luckily for us, we do have some options that are just as good if not better than Golos for 5C Superfriends. Esika, God of the Tree's backside, The Prismatic Bridge, is practically made to lead Superfriends: as long as you have few if any creatures in your deck, The Bridge will be cheating out planeswalkers each upkeep, and being enchantment means it's extra difficult for your opponents to stop your value train.

I also highly recommend Sisay, Weatherlight Captain as a planeswalker commander: planeswalkers are all legendary permanents, so Sisay can start tutoring them on to the battlefield with ease, working her way up to the most expensive ones.

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5C Goodstuff

For people who just ran Golos so they had a commander that they can jam all their favorite cards into regardless of color restrictions, fear not, because swapping to a new commander is easy!

Golos is a great way to enable Goodstuff because, again, he was a great way to both ramp, mana-fix, and cheat out spells. But there's a few other 5C Commanders can step up to take the generic mantle as well. One of the most fitting has to be Kenrith, the Returned King, who does a little bit of everything you could need at a reasonable price. He can also be used politically, using his abilities to work out deals with opponents, like giving your opponents' creatures haste if they promise to attack a mutual enemy. 

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Another new and excellent choice for 5C Goodstuff is Garth One-Eye! This is a swiss army knife of a commander, able to provide anything you need from ramp, to recursion, removal, card draw, or a dragon! 

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There's A Replacement For Everything

The Golos ban sucks big time for anyone who had a Golos deck. Hopefully this article has proved useful to some of you. I could keep going with less and less popular archetype: looking for God Tribal? Esika, God of the Tree is super flavorful and effective. 5C Mutate? Sliver Hivelord gives your mutate pile indestructible, while Ramos, Dragon Engine can make it huge and evasive. And on and on.

But my point is that 5C decks have existed long before Golos and they will continue to do so after he's gone. If you have any specific Golos deck and looking for a replacement that I haven't covered yet, shoot me a comment down below and I'll try my best to suggest something.

I'll be back soon with precon upgrades so until next time friends, thanks for reading!



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