When I think of “what would be worth trading an apex for a hatchet, etc, in commander form” the standard is surprisingly low. I think legendary cards would need some buffs to make them worth switching out for even the weakest addition to a commander.
Significantly higher HP or Rainbow versions of common commanders (Rally 1 Heal 1, Heal All 1, Rally 1 Siege 1) seem to be the least insane increases, or adding specialized abilities that could change the game a bit (I.E. Heal 1 Repair 2, Rally 1 Counter 1, Weaken 1 Armored 1)
I’m bored today.