Sunforger Continues to Age Like a Fine Wine

Sunforger Continues to Age Like a Fine Wine in Commander

Kristen GregoryCommander

Sunforger has started to feel like quite a mana intensive operation in Commander. Three mana to cast; three to equip; RW to activate. That’s a lot of mana. However, for a start, I don’t think that’s what you want to be doing with Sunforger anyways. Who has time and mana for that?


Sunforger is essentially a reward for playing an equipment deck, and I’d argue that it’s also a reward for playing a Commander that enables free equips – because I wouldn’t run it anywhere else (except perhaps in Kellan, but we’ll get to that). 

While Puresteel Paladin, Fighter Class et al are great ways to facilitate this card, without a surefire way to reduce or eliminate equip costs in the Command Zone – like Ardenn as a Partner, or Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale – I wouldn’t want to be going all in on something so mana intensive. You gotta break it to make it good, right?

Anyways, since Outlaws of Thunder Junction, it’s clear that Sunforger is a card worth another look if you haven’t tried it. Here are some great options for it released in just the last year. 


During OTJ previews, I was elated to discover that Spree worked with Sunforger. You can cast the card from your library for free, and then elect to pay any number of Spree costs. The mana value of these cards in the library will always be under that magical ceiling of four mana. 

Great Train Heist is a Sunforger extra combat spell, which can win games on the spot. It’s also, if you draw it sooner, a ritual, netting you some treasure to take a big turn. I also don’t have to tell you how good Final Showdown is, do I? Getting to boardwipe at instant speed is good, but getting to tutor that boardwipe? Wow. That’s so good

It wasn’t just those headliners that Sunforger got to enjoy. Return the Favor is another arrow in the quiver of Deflecting Swats and Bolt Bends, and ends up working great as a flexible piece of interaction at any stage of the game. Hell, if it’s in your hand when you activate Sunforger, you can copy the Sunforger ability to go again, which is pretty wild. 

One card I definitely want to run with Sunforger is Sword of Wealth and Power. It’s really strong protection for your Voltron creature, it makes you mana, and crucially? It can let you copy spells. You’ll have the chance to copy a Sunforger spell after connecting with this, but it’ll also help you to get more value out of the fact your instant count in the deck will be higher than average. It also means I’m likely to run Steelshaper’s Gift and Open the Armory as a higher pick than other tutors, perhaps. 


Fallout brought us the exciting Inventory Management, which as well as being a way to instant speed re-tool your attackers to take better advantage of blocks, is a way to also re-equip Sunforger when people least expect it. 

Fallout had a bunch of other cards for equipment strategies, and Codsworth, Handy Helper is the other standout. Getting Sunforger equipped for free once a turn is clutch, especially if your free-equip permanents eat the dust. Crucially, he also keeps your Commander around longer too. 

One of the best things about Sunforger is the flexibility. When I run Sunforger, I tend to opt for flexibility in my Sunforger Suite, too. Something I’ve dubbed the “six shooter” approach is to opt for all of the most versatile removal: Generous Gift, Anguished Unmaking, and new cards like Make Your Move. Being able to answer anything is what makes Sunforger so powerful. 

Speaking of which, Murders at Karlov Manor Commander brought us Unexplained Absence, a cheeky way to remove multiple threats for just four mana. It’s a perfect spell to consider for a Sunforger Suite, because two mana, tutored, for this effect? That’s a good deal. 

The Murders at Karlov Manor Commander decks also gave us Take the Bait, which is a nice pickup for Aikido-style control builds.


Sunforger has always been good, but it’s enjoyed something of a renaissance these past few years. Tales of Middle-earth brought with it some bonus cards from Scene Boxes, and one of the best has been Olorin’s Searing Light. It gets rid of multiple things you don’t want to see stay in play, and in a Sunforger deck, triggering the Spell Mastery bonus should be fairly easy to do. The bonus can end games, especially against decks playing haymakers or +1/+1 counters.

Just like Spree, Kicker also works with Sunforger. You activate Sunforger for Galadriel’s Dismissal, and then choose whether to kick it or not. I’ve really enjoyed this spell as a flexible piece of interaction. Sometimes it protects your board from a wrath, and others? Well, it removes blockers.

Everybody Lives from Doctor Who combines a board protection spell with… Angel’s Grace? It’s more interesting than you’d think. While Angel’s Grace sees play with Sunforger and Mistveil Plains to enable extra turn spells like Chance for Glory and Final Fortune, Everybody Lives! Isn’t quite the same level of useful. Still, in the Aikido-style builds, it certainly can be. 


Kellan, the Fae-Blooded entered the scene with Wilds of Eldraine, and he just might be the best Sunforger Commander. Getting a tutor for Sunforger in the CZ enables Sunforger like nothing else, and stacking the deck with Sunforger combos and hard control, along with buffing equipment, could be a way to make a really strong deck. Hell, I bet this makes a fantastic tokens build too. 

WOE also brought Stroke of Midnight, effectively a second copy of Generous Gift that doesn’t hit lands. It’s perfect for a Sunforger Suite.

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth proper also gave us Forge Anew. Not only does it give you the crucial free equip that makes Sunforger go from medium to great, it also gets Sunforger back from the bin when someone blows it up. And that’s really neat.

Finally, in the last set we’re looking at for this year, All Will Be One Commander brought one of the best new protection spells for white since Teferi’s Protection: Clever Concealment. Phasing is the hot new tech to get around Toxic Deluge and Cyclonic Rift, and I’m a huge fan. Especially because this can put a cloak over your best equipment and enchantments, too. 


As more new cards are printed, certain strategies and archetypes will naturally benefit. It’s always interesting to go back and look at the more “niche” strategies and effects to see how they benefit from new card design.

Sunforger remains a lot of fun, and just in the past 12 months it has received over a dozen new staple-tier cards to build around it. 

If you want to read more, check out our Boros Sunforger Toolbox guide. And remember: as long as the spell is red or white, and mana value four or below, it can be cast with Sunforger. So, if you want to run Backlash, or Despark, or Fire Covenant? Go right ahead. 

Modern Horizons 3 looks to have even more for Sunforger enthusiasts. A reprint of Orim’s Chant is excellent, and new cards like Legion Leadership and Thraben Charm will work excellently in Sunforger decks. 

Legion Leadership | Thraben Charm