Today we have a slight departure from usual, diving in to review ALL of the new cards from the second of the Dr. Who preconstructed Commander decks. In the next week or so we will be giving our thoughts on all four of decks being added to our favorite format, mainly weighing in on the cards for their Magic gameplay aspect.
The Masters of Evil deck is a bit of a departure from the rest of the Doctor Who decks in that it eschews having a Doctor and instead focuses on the series’ villains, giving us Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and all other manner of adversaries from the show’s past. The deck still has Time Lords, mind – you’re just working with the various incarnations of The Master instead here. Similar to the Blast From the Past deck, this deck has to cover a longer period in the show’s history, and so has a wider variety of themes and ideas to work from, but at the expense of more depth into those stories. This also means it incorporates a lot of mechanics form older Magic and its formats.
The featured Mechanic here is Villainous Choice – cards which give an opponent two options to choose from, usually with one benefitting you directly and the other harming them by the same proportion.
Davros, Dalek Creator
TheChirurgeon: The creator of the Daleks was designed to be a real son of a bitch with strong fascist beliefs. His mobility scooter there is probably the prototype for the tech that would become the Daleks later on. It’s appropriate then that this guy builds you an army of Daleks.
Loxi: If I played this card I would absolutely say every turn “YOU FACE A VILLAINOUS CHOICE.” That aside, this card is pretty cool. It leads to a group slug/burn-y playstyle that has great colors and constantly adds card advantage- let’s face it, 90% of players will feel that discarding a card feels worse than giving you one, regardless of how untrue that may be. Honestly a pretty solid commander, but requires a bit of finagling to get support for the Daleks outside of this precon.
Marcy: I think it’s really important to mention that, if you are not overly familiar with Magic sentence structure, this card will make you a Dalek and THEN also have the other trigger occur, so the token doesn’t need to survive or even exist for the Villainous Choice part to kick in; an opponent just has to have lost 3 life and you get 2 separate things: a 3/3 token, and card advantage in some way, which can be up to 3 cards drawn or discarded (or a mix). Not bad, even if he’s mostly his color spread rather than a powerful game winning commander.
FromTheShire: Absolutely LOVE the villainous choice mechanic, and Davros forces a great choice for you. Either you get to empty the hand of people you’re able to damage, making it less likely for them to be able to stop you from continuing to do so, or you get to draw cards, fueling yourself up with more Daleks.
BPhillipYork: Really solid Grixis commander, plays well into a number of Grixis archetypes. The villainous choice trigger is an interesting one, it works nicely but you have to get your opponents to lose 3 life so they’re faced with the choice, and then you’ll start getting Daleks to generate more choices. It’s important to note that you can stack your triggers as you like, so if you had Warlock Class you could put the villainous choice on the stack first, then the Warlock Class trigger, so the Warlock Class would resolve first, thus triggering additional life loss. Cryptolith Fragment is another solid way to generate life loss all over the place. So really a solid commander especially if you build to buff him up.
Loxi: Kinda neat, but isn’t really worth a slot. Fantastic art though.
Marcy: If you’re using the deck as is, then this isn’t bad for a slightly odd evasive creature. Exert isn’t a mechanic you see a lot of lately, but that also means this creature is only attacking every other turn. Which is fine–3 power gets the trigger for Davros–and you get to scry. If you are editing the deck, though, this is probably my first cut.
BPhillipYork: This seems pretty lackluster, swinging through with 3 damage and scrying 1 is not worth investing 2 mana unless you need robots for some reason, which is not a type with a lot of support so far (transformers mostly).
TheChirurgeon: This feels like a cool (read: Less Powerful) way to turn a go-wide strategy into killing someone, making it impossible for them to block your army of artifact goobers without losing 3 life per attacker.
Loxi: This card really shines if you’re spamming a buttload of artifact tokens. Maybe something like a Myr deck might enjoy this one. 2 mana is a pretty low entry fee for what can make a pretty big dent on opponents that don’t respect a big board.
Marcy: It’s easy to overlook that this card’s ability ties in with a lot of the other cards in this deck that spit out tons of artifact creatures. The problem, though, is that this is a 2/2 for 2 mana that dies to almost any removal except Go for the Throat.
BPhillipYork: This is really solid for getting those villainous choice triggers, there’s a fair amount of triggers at “lose 3 life” which the Cyberman Patrol will support pretty well.
Loxi: I feel that the downfall of this is the robot typing, which might not really make it find a home anywhere outside of here, and here it probably won’t do enough heavy lifting to make it worth it. Even if it is evasive, it still dies to a flea.
Marcy: I agree with Loxi, there aren’t a lot of ‘robots’, and also, this creature has Skulk, meaning the first three creatures in this review all have different keyword abilities and none of them are synergistic, which is kind of odd.
BPhillipYork: It’s a decent enough artifact creature if you need that, or need a robot, but skulk doesn’t work that well with a massive +X/+0.
FromTheShire: In fairness it doesn’t get the +X/+0 until after it’s not blocked, so the skulk is actually solid, though unfortunately it only has 1 toughness so you still have to watch out for tokens. It’s guaranteed to deal at least the critical 3 damage if it gets through since it will count itself so I kind of like it.
The Master, Formed Anew
TheChirurgeon: The first of several versions of the Master we’ll see in this deck that act as the villain deck’s Time Lords. The Master is a cool villain, serving primarily as the evil version of the Doctor since their introduction in the 70s. Since then the Master has been a constant thorn in the Doctor’s side, with the occasional flash of compassion that leads to changes of heart and accidental team-ups. Also one time he was elected UK Prime Minister, marking the second time in the show that the Brits voted an evil alien from outer space into office, and within the same year or so of Earth’s timeline. Still warmer and more human than the actual Prime Ministers before or since.
Loxi: This is a really cool designed-to-be-commander card. It’s cheap, so you can keep recasting it even when it dies. Its cast trigger exiles a creature which does not come back with a counter on it, so that means ANY time you get his ETB trigger you can have him take his pick from any of your cards exiled. This lets you assemble a neat little toolbox of reusable creatures. I don’t really know if this will be worth the effort, but I think it can probably find a cool niche as a flexible control commander since you can easily use him as a powerful control tool early and swap to a combo piece later if you need to keep it “protected” in exile.
Marcy: I kind of agree with Loxi on this; since he gets to select ANY of the creatures exiled with these counters on them, that still means you’re only getting one at a time. Perhaps in tandem with blink effects that would trigger powerful ETB effects, but the cheap cost is not to be overlooked; there are a lot of great cheap ETB triggers too.
BPhillipYork: This seems built to use with a temporary control magic type effect, but those are largely red. I’m not sure, but I can’t think of any way to do something really useful. Like, exiling your own creatures (at sorcery speed) that you want to have to replace them with your The Master, Formed Anew is I dunno, 1:2ing your self? If he had flash you could do it in response to creature control and that would be neat but I just can’t think through any ways to make this “ability” really useful.
Loxi: Spoiler: this has really good synergy with a card ahead. It’s only mediocre outside of that, but I’ll mention it again below.
Marcy: Yep. Good with another card in this deck, not great otherwise. I will say that this deck has some really nice effects that benefit from playing at table with more than 2 players, which I do appreciate.
FromTheShire: Making sizeable menacing tokens to trigger villainous choices is really solid. At 3/3, a lot of decks are going to have to lose multiple utility creatures per turn to block your tokens, which feels terrible for them. Token decks can double chump but it’s never bad to suppress their numbers a bit for free, and I think you’ll be surprised how often this gets through that critical 3 damage on at least 1 person, and frequently multiples.
BPhillipYork: Yeah this is a Dalek. Really a quite good one, myriad on a 3/3 menace creature for 3 mana is quite good, best comparable is Battle Angels of Tyr which is almost broken at how it’s costed.
TheChirurgeon: One of the Cybermen’s whole deals is converting people into Cybermen, and this is a cool way to do that. It scales late game, it mills for X, and any card that buffs your artifact creatures is bound to have some play.
Loxi: Mill X effects are always welcome, and this has a really nice bonus to it. I’d actually run this in a lot of mill decks personally, I think Phenax, God of Deception gets a ton of mileage out of it. I probably wouldn’t jam it in generic artifacts unless you have mill synergy, but if you view it as an “anthem with upside” it isn’t bad in that scenario.
Marcy: If you can manage to make the Cyberman Patrol card survive, or hit the table after this card, I think you win the game if you make it big enough.
BPhillipYork: So this is a funny way to play, it’s a bit frustrating that the trigger isn’t mana spent to cast this spell or some such to benefit off commander tax, in theory you could loop this with things like Carnival of Souls and Ashnod’s Altar, mill everyone to death. Other than that it’s a solid include for a big mana deck that just wants to pump out a ton of 2/2 artifact creatures.
TheChirurgeon: Holy shit Shadow is back. This doesn’t make a ton of sense lore-wise for the Vashta Nerada – they’re more like swarms of tiny lifeforms that live in shadows than beings that move through a shadow realm, but the flavor connection here is solid enough that it all just works. The Vashta Nerada make their appearance in the excellent episode Forest of the Dead, which serves double duty as the introduction to River Song.
Loxi: Super cool to have the ever-growing unstoppable threat. Obviously, it’s real slow so it’s going to be relegated to a real battlecruiser strategy, but this sort of slow-rolling-boulder black Voltron tactic is unique and fun for sure. Give this thing hexproof and it’s a real pain to get rid of.
Marcy: They really ran into the archives to get keywords for this deck and I love it. This card actually has a good chance of running wild if your opponent can’t exile it, because I will guarantee no one is running Shadow in their deck.
FromTheShire: Love seeing shadow return, I have a ton of fond memories of it from the Weatherlight era. Great way to consistently and unblockably get at least your 3 damage in, and gets much more threatening if you have a sac outlet so you can reliably trigger it on other people’s turns.
BPhillipYork: Potentially can gain +4/+4 permanently each turn (not each of your turns) which is pretty good, but on its own will still take 17 turns to deal lethal damage to 3 opponents, and that’s assuming a creature dies every turn and nobody decides to exile Vashta Nerada. Still it’s a solid shadow beater, and you can generally depend on it connecting and generating combat damage triggers which is pretty worthwhile.
TheChirurgeon: This is a great implementation of Weeping Angels, a group of villains which immediately became some of the coolest in the series via the bottle episode “Blink” and then went on to be a bit overused. The core conceit of the Angels is that they become immobile, invincible statues when you’re looking at them but when you’re not they sneak up on you and steal you away in time, feeding on the unused potential left behind in the timeline. Everything about this is great in terms of execution.
Loxi: Flavorfully, this is a lovely design. Practically, this is probably one of the first cut’s I’d make. I don’t think this ever is really worth it since most opponents will just play around it when it’s already on board, and tucking a creature once seems a bit meh. Maybe if your meta has a lot of graveyard shenanigans it might be a house.
Second opinion: if you play a deck that bounces your own stuff to your hand this might be pretty sweet actually, but I don’t really see that in these colors.
Marcy: I do like that it shoves things into decks rather than kills them, but this would also just end up dying very likely from it. Still, flashing it in to get rid of some huge problem you can’t remove isn’t a bad trick.
FromTheShire: There will definitely be times when they have a creature to play, but there will be a lot of times where they don’t, or they have something more important they need to cast, and this is an outstanding blocker then, especially since it has vigilance. It should never die unless taking on another creature with first strike since as soon as it deals the damage their creature gets shuffled away and it doesn’t take return damage.
BPhillipYork: The SCP was better art. It’s a solid 2/2 threatening blocker with flash, first strike and vigilance which is potentially pretty solid semi-interaction.
TheChirurgeon: Zygons are another long-tenured race in the Doctor Who series, having first showed up in the mid-70s with some of the dumbest costumes you’ll ever see in a sci-fi show. Their big deal is being shapeshifters so this all fits nicely.
Loxi: I love this card for a slow control deck. Turning off a key creature and getting to snag it for yourself and even switch to something new later if needed? Solid to me. It’s a bit costly, but I think any cheaper and this would have been a pain especially in a precon vs. precon game.
Marcy: I like that you can keep tapping the same thing down if you really need to, but there’s also some great ways to think of this constantly swapping to give you better abilities, and also just get rid of something that’s causing you problems for at least 2 turns.
BPhillipYork: That’s a neat use of a stun counter, I really like that mechanic, I’m not sure it’s a great card, but I think it’s a really well though out and balanced used of mechanics. Really solid way to steal a commander’s abilities or something like that, or to use on your own creature to generate doubling triggers or something of that nature.
Ashad, the Lone Cyberman
Loxi: Alright, this card is genuinely awesome. This plays similarly to something like Kresh, the Bloodbraided but for artifacts, and only counts your own goobers being sacrificed. Casualty is such a cool mechanic, so I’m hyped to see it return in a flavorful and fun way. You also notably don’t need to sacrifice artifact creatures, so artifacts that generate good non-artifact creatures could be really neat.
Marcy: I actually like this card as the commander overall just a little bit more. He’s got a lot of great synergies with the various artifact spells and token creation that this deck has, and I could see an argument for him being the main commander here, rather than just a valuable card, and I could also see how you could build a deck around him quite easily.
BPhillipYork: Duplicating artifacts is nice, though not massively impactful probably, but it will let you ramp up pretty aggressively and there are quite a few artifacts with decent ETB abilities that you can then turn around and sacrifice to generate even more ETBs, which is a fun way to play an artifact centric Grixis deck.
Cult of Skaro
Loxi: This is hilarious and if you play this you have my respect. Let Dice Christ guide you to victory.
Marcy: This card is so funny because it would be miserable if you could just choose things, but as a 1 in 4 chance of these outcomes, it’s really just ‘pretty good’, but the kind of random fun that I actually like Commander for.
FromTheShire: Big love for me, I love random effects and all 4 are good, so let’s roll those dice!
BPhillipYork: Solid enough creature to build around, if you want to build a deck around Grixis attack artifacts this will generate some fun random-ish triggers.
TheChirurgeon: The big deal with the Silence is that anyone not looking at them immediately forgets all about them, making their whole existence something of a secret.
Loxi: This is pretty cool, it’s still going to get pummeled by instant speed removal though.
Marcy: This seems like the kind of card that you need to get rid of immediately or regret what it is going to do to the board state. Goad, if you didn’t know, is that you force a creature to attack a DIFFERENT player than yourself.
BPhillipYork: This seems like a flavorful card. The way it phases out is pretty nicely protective, and will grow over time, which is pretty useful.
Loxi: YOU FACE A VILLAINOUS CHOI…. ahem, excuse me. I don’t really like this card much, because forcing people to wheel isn’t always bad even if they go down a card, and in some scenarios they might only take minimal damage from the trigger. If you’re trying to force discards it’s decent there, but then people will usually just eat the damage.
Marcy: I feel like most players would just choose to wheel, because I know I would. If I have a deck of 100 cards, it is unlikely I’m holding the exact set of cards I need to win the game with when this hits the board.
BPhillipYork: This is fine but it seems like it should be maybe every time you attack. Card discarding like this is a bit dangerous because you can cause your opponents to draw into better cards, but if you have additional on draw or discard triggers then it’s definitely worthwhile, and of course you could cycle this or reanimate and sacrifice it repeatedly.
The Beast, Deathless Prince
TheChirurgeon: This guy shows up in The Satan Pit, another very solid episode of the series (part of a two-parter with The Impossible Planet). It’s a pretty cool episode showcasing how the beast here was trapped in a way that separates its mind from its body. Hence gaining control of a creature (possessing it) and having six stun counters to represent the body taking time to wake up and escape its prison.
Loxi: Finally, the Act of Treason commander! This one is absolutely a slam-dunk win. While I think the whole “you have to wait for him” mechanic is a little goofy since he’s only a 6/6 vanilla, drawing cards makes your Act of Treasons potentially cycle (or better in the case of the ones that steal a bunch of dudes!), which is an absurdly cool effect. I expect this to be one of the more popular commanders from the sets. It also has a relevant typing, so you could reasonably do some fun demon stuff with him.
Marcy: I think in a deck based around doing this sort of thing, it could be a fun card. In this particular deck, I’d probably remove this for literally a Lightning Bolt or something else immediately.
BPhillipYork: This is one of the benefits from Control Magic effects, though it’s not listed as such, but for 4 mana this is pretty decent. Your ideal play pattern is cast, grab a decent commander, beat someone’s face with it, then sacrifice it. You could flicker it repeatedly but then you keep resetting the stun counters, but so what.
The Flood of Mars
Loxi: This is funny, but I think it might be a little too slow to gain traction. It being an ever-spreading issue the longer it stays on board is fantastic and fun though.
Marcy: If this wasn’t 4 mana, I think it would be really dangerous. As it is, though, you do get to immediately give you opponent an Island, meaning that it protects itself if you do that first. Making copies of itself on following turns is cool if you’re looking to get a lot of sneaky Islandwalk damage in, but isn’t great if you consider copying an opponent’s creature very likely gives them a 3/3 unblockable creature with the same ability.
BPhillipYork: This is a neat card, turning creatures into more floods and then turning all your opponents lands into islands and island walking into them is really a pretty funny game plan.
The Master, Gallifrey’s End
Loxi: You having to exile them is pretty harsh since this means you’re pretty much shot from going reanimator. 4 life can add up quick though, and it inherently picking the player in the lead is a fun effect. I like this one quite a bit actually, I’ll be curious to see what people brew up for it.
Marcy: I think there are some ways to really play into this card with annoying, cheap creatures, or big ones that force life loss. Cheap frustrating creatures you can sacrifice easily would be very interesting to play around with, at least, because this is not once per turn, but ANY time a creature dies.
BPhillipYork: This plays really nicely with Ashad, the Lone Cyberman as well as using things like Sneak Attack to cheat out big temporary fatties, then having you get additional benefits from their death.
The Master, Mesmerist
Loxi: I really like what the idea is here but I think it’s just too slow, even for a political deck. I like that he gets stronger as the game goes, but he’ll never stick around long enough to make an impact.
Marcy: This is an oddly aggressive political card that I think just gets you beaten out of the game by the other players for being annoying.
BPhillipYork: It’s fine for a goad trigger type deck, if skulk was more common this could potentially do a lot of work, and your upside is to run every skulker you can, and then this is basically potentially a Reconnaissance Mission in the command zone, which is pretty solid.
The Master, Multiplied
Loxi: Wow, this one is a bomb. His own myriad means you’ll even get extra copies of him, flavorfully enough. Encore also probably does some crazy stuff here. Truthfully, this seems like one of those commanders that people will build and then stop playing quickly because you’ll probably have to keep track of a bucketload of junk while playing, but his design is pretty fantastic and fun for sure.
Marcy: The triggered ability you control text is interesting. I suppose it is to be played in some sort of deck that makes players sacrifice things, but then stops you from doing so? I think this has some possibilities to be fun, but also I don’t quite know if it’s that impressive.
BPhillipYork: At 6 mana the potential upside here is probably not really “good” but you can do some dumb things with making what are supposed to be temporary token copies that should die, and you’re potentially doing it a lot. The problem is, in red in particular, the best ways to make these sorts of tokens can really easily go infinite. Also this “legend rule doesn’t apply” is getting so common.
Loxi: This is a really fun goad commander, and while it competes with others it has a unique ability of actually having some cool synergy with both artifacts and enchantments- you’ll get quite a few tokens of both. Personally, I’d lean into artifacts since you’ll get a seriously crazy amount of Clues if you’re doing some more goading on top of her trigger.
Marcy: This is a much better goad card than the rest in the deck so far, and feels like it is oddly less of a hate target than The Master, Mesmerist.
BPhillipYork: This is a really good goad trigger, and I’m sort of excited to see more goad + benefits from goad. Firkraag, Cunning Instigator is pretty solid, and a few creatures like that will make for interesting games.
Loxi: This art slaps so hard. I know this will be usually more bad than good to have on your side of the board, but I don’t really like giving people cards much. It seems like a lot for 4 mana, even if the damage does add up quick. People will probably sac him or just make deals to kill him off. Pass from me, but it might be my favorite art from the set.
Marcy: So this card seems to exist mostly to give Doctors the ability to splash Black. The art is great, but the ability feels kind of like players will get rid of him as fast as possible. If you were able to use him as the Commander with a Doctor, perhaps there are ways to make his recursion really annoying.
BPhillipYork: Well this is a solid way to get any color identity, and the draw is a nice trigger, if you’re burning through your hand you can get down to where you are only paying 2-3 life per turn to draw, and it’s nice you can choose when you want to pull it out.
Loxi: ZAAAAP. Cool in Daleks or a weird blink deck, otherwise I’d roll with something else.
BPhillipYork: When you compare this to say, Ravenous Chupacabra, it stands up pretty well. Much more menacing (haha) but also really quite evasive as a 3/3 for 5 that destroys a creature, causes 3 life loss, and sticks around to swing.
Marcy: I think this is pretty whatever. Very expensive for what it does, unless I suppose ‘what it does’ is win the game, but it is more likely you could do that cheaper than 5 mana.
Rassilon, the War President
Loxi: Conspire is another cool mechanic to see come back. I think this leans hard into a spellslinger-y playstyle, which I think is a nice design space for Dimir colors to play around in. Wanting to have a decent board seems fitting too.
Marcy: I really love that this deck seems to be using so many different mechanics that like, no one seems to make use of anymore. I also kind of like the effect here, since a lot of Dimir spells can be really scary if they’re copied.
BPhillipYork: The actually good thing you can do with this is just take turns, keep putting extra turn spells on the top of your library and then taking 2 turns, manipulate again, etc. It’s kind of boring but, it’ll win you games. The from exile cast is really pretty powerful, since impulse draw, Conspiracy Theorist, adventures, and many more spells are causing you to exile then cast (or play) and getting more triggers when you do that is a fun archetype, one which I’ve been hunting for a solid Grixis commander for for a while (there isn’t really one yet). But combine this with Prosper, Tome-Bound and you’ve got a rollercoaster type deck.
BPhillipYork: Goading 3 creatures is pretty decent, and funsies, and will probably let your beaters through. A 5/5 trample haste for 5 is a bit pricey but for a certain kind of deck it’s solid.
Loxi: I’d rather run other goad cards, but this seems fine. I love how goofy these dudes look.
Marcy: I think my only problem here is that the precon seems to start splitting weirdly into an artifact token deck OR a goad deck and not both. I think the artifact/token side of the deck is better.
Loxi: OH MAN THAT’S EXTRA VILLAINOUS. Voting twice is pretty awesome, so if you’re going all out politics this is a rad commander. I don’t think that’s a great way to play since it tends to be very…well, not proactive towards actually advancing a game based on the nature of most voting cards, but it could be a really silly and fun deck to break out every now and then.
BPhillipYork: Yeah the doubler is pretty decent, double villainous choices is probably the most fun, but also just a lot of good votes in blue (of course), punish people for not voting with you, Expropriate (one of the most hated cards in magic).
Marcy: I hate politics cards. That said, I love the trigger here for Villainous Choice triggering twice, because most of the choices are actually quite ‘annoying’, and choosing ‘the better’ option two times is still going to be really bad for your opponents.
Loxi: Processing effects are pretty cool, but they only really get played with Eldrazi, and not actually being an Eldrazi there stinks. Maybe you can jam this in a Horror deck and do some work there, although I think it’s still pretty underwhelming overall.
Marcy: Yeah, I agree with Loxi here. Not sure what exactly this card does, anywhere. It doesn’t really even seem to fit into this deck, unless you got it to damage you somehow.
BPhillipYork: Is this guy an Eldrazi cuz this is the Eldrazi ability so. Anyway 5 for a 4/4 Flying, haste. Also that thing has like, venus fly trap mouth hands, which seems like it would be really frustrating. Like how can you pick something up, or scratch yourself or something.
Loxi: Myriad is a gas mechanic and being able to give other creatures it is solid.
Marcy: Myriad is indeed a really interesting mechanic because it fits only in Commander, and frankly, it’s one of the more interesting Commander only mechanics that isn’t political.
BPhillipYork: Erm this is potentially really dangerous, there’s certain things if you copy them 4 times, I’m imagining attacking with 5 (original, Auton Soldier and 3 myriad tokens) Neheb, the Eternal you’d be generating a lot of red mana. Minimum like afflict 3 * 5 * 5 so that’s 75 mana. Which really should be enough to win the game.
BPhillipYork: This is really kind of a fun commander, obviously kind of an ETB/sac thing and then your opponents are eating lots of damage to the face, a lot of these Grixis commanders that care about artifacts will work pretty well with a lot of the Necrons, which frankly feels pretty baffling.
Loxi: The chaos ensues part of this is a make or break thing to me personally, so this requires you to have the planar deck at the ready. If so, it’s sweet to recur your own artifact creatures and get to pop off with them. She’s a bit pricey and requires a bit of setup, but the payoffs are pretty fun.
Marcy: With how many spells in this deck create artifacts or are artifact creatures, I think there’s some way you could easily build this card into a powerful leader based around forcing people to see how long they can withstand being pinged for damage.
Loxi: A bit expensive, but myriad can get really strong quickly.
Marcy: 7 is expensive, but 7 colorless with other cards to help you ramp in Commander might make it easier to get this to the table than it seems.
The Dalek Emperor
Loxi: Dalek daddy himself, ready to rumble. Making people make CHOICES that are both pretty solid value is a nice touch. You’re going to want to go for some changelings, but this looks really fun overall.
Marcy: I think this is the funniest card in the deck because I don’t think this deck has enough Daleks to actually make this work unless you’re making a ton of tokens somehow.
BPhillipYork: So this has a lot of potential, but there’s not so many sources of Daleks, which you sort of need to get this guy out, then you’ll make more Daleks. Sort of a win-more card. Though potentially, if you’re lame, if you’re, you know, if you play that sort of way, then changelings are of course Daleks now too.
FromTheShire: Another one I really like, in Commander and especially in black you can make big mana fairly easily, and then this becomes a devestating one sided board wipe that also empties your opponents’ hands and builds you a board to close out the game.
Loxi: I think this gets to be a bit more expensive than it’s worth, but overall a decent late game mana sink.
Marcy: If you have the mana to sink into this, the problem is that I don’t know if this could win you a game or not except as a form of mass non-targeted removal.
BPhillipYork: 5 mana to force 2 sacrifices is a lot, it’s okay if you don’t have any creatures, but that’s a weird off-brand use. Generating Daleks is fine for extermination purposes.
BPhillipYork: This is actually kind of brutal because it gets rid of a commander potentially nearly permanently. Like, yeah, you’d have to let it swing through for 2 damage, but who cares?
Loxi: If you’re in mono-blue this is a sweet removal piece. Other colors can do things better, but you take what you can get in mono-color decks.
Marcy: Pretty good Blue removal. Turn that Sheoldred, upside down!
Loxi: This is arguably one of the best board wipes in red we’ve seen in a while and I think might become a new staple card for burn or mono-red decks.
Marcy: This card is bonkers. You can just end a game with this card easily, as long as you have the most life–or just take everyone with you.
BPhillipYork: Wow another Earthquake but cares about artifacts. Well that’s solid enough, generally.
FromTheShire: It’s a little bit situational but it can range from being effectively a solid removal spell to an absolute game saving house shutting down an infinite combo. PLus you can always cycle it in a pinch. Very nice.
BPhillipYork: So this fairly nasty, can really shut down a blink deck, also adventure decks or suspend or many other forms.
Loxi: This effect is powerful but this might be a bit too niche of a toolbox spell. Cycling keeps it relevant though, but I’d still probably ditch it.
Marcy: I like the cycling on this more than almost anything else it does, but I do really like that it puts things back into libraries, an effect you don’t see often.
Loxi: Super sweet with the Daleks or if you’re playing the forbidden MTG Goldfish’s Tomer-every-type changeling deck. Replicate is a really powerful effect, don’t sleep on this one.
Marcy: Now this is what I call Dalek racing. I love a good Replicate, and I thought of the same thing: Daleks and Changelings might make this scary, if only that it doesn’t go at instant speed saving it from being busted.
BPhillipYork: Well this is pretty classic and lets you say the line, great for a Dalek deck.
Ensnared by the Mara
Loxi: YOU FACE JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE… pardon me, wrong card game. I think the fun value of this is pretty high, but as far as real usage it’s tricky since you have basically no control over the outcomes. If you’re feeling spicy, chuck this and let chaos ensue.
Marcy: Holy shit was that a Jaraxxus joke? Loxi, you’re great. Anyway, this is a pretty good card in the sense that it triggers Villainous Choice without it being tied to a creature, and this is probably the scariest Villainous Choice in the deck. Something like Chandra that might allow you to double this is even scarier.
BPhillipYork: So this will do some damage, typically, depending on where your opponents fall on the games theory spectrum, the best move is typically to eat the damage unless you have a low life or something.
This Is How It Ends
FromTheShire: Not quite exile but still really solid for dealing with problematic creatures. Not everyone can play Swords to Plowshares and you can’t hold all removal to that standard. You were likely paying 3-4 mana anyway for removal that could deal with indestructible in black anyway. so tacking on a second one or a Lava Axe is pretty nice.
Loxi: YOU FACE a very mediocre removal spell. Tucking a creature is fine, but four mana is a lot, and most people will just pitch another random creature to it or eat the damage if they have something they really need, in which case you should have probably either targeted that or used a board wipe. Instant speed does salvage this though, so it’s not too bad. Getting around indestructible is always nice to have.
Marcy: Boy tucking just hits different sometimes in lingo. Anyway, I don’t think this is that spectacular, in the sense that it is expensive.
BPhillipYork: Pretty solid creature removal, though a bit expensive, but 5 life loss is probably not enough to get the 2 for 1 that would make this really valuable.
Great Intelligence’s Plan
Loxi: YOU F… I can’t continue this bit. It’s big and splashy, but I’d rather just run a better draw spell most of the time. This card is pretty wild in a 1v1 commander situation though.
Marcy: Six mana to draw 3 cards and then cast something for free isn’t bad, but I also kind of think 6 mana is a lot for a sorcery.
BPhillipYork: Funny card, super dangerous since you could dump an Enter the Infinite for free and gg, but 6 mana is super a lot.
Hunted by The Family
Loxi: Wait I totally can continue this bit. YOU FACE A VILLAINOUS… Grandma with a blicky? I like the card but it’s on the more expensive side. Functioning as a removal and copy/token generator is pretty cool flexibility though.
Marcy: Seven mana removal-ish that might just not matter if the player doesn’t care all that much about you having a copy of the creatures you target, or at least, A creature. And there are a lot of ways to fizzle the spell.
BPhillipYork: For 7 mana this doesn’t seem like it does enough, the odds you have 4 creatures you really want copies of at that moment, and if the creatures are really dangerous they can choose to eat the loss rather than give it to you.
Loxi: I’m not as sold on this as I am the Sonic Screwdriver, but even surveilling can be a nice way to filter out some extra mana before your turn if you’re playing a deck that functions at instant speed.
Marcy: I think Sonic Screwdriver is better, but I do like Surveil quite a lot actually. I don’t care much about the Goad thing.
BPhillipYork: I mean it’s a toolboxy mid-range artifact, if you can play tricks with those abilities, by all means. The fact it’s kind of floor is a 3 mana rock is pretty good.
Midnight Crusader Shuttle
BPhillipYork: Neat card, like the way it works, combos well with some other cards, 4 for a 3/4 crew 2 is pretty solid, you’re probably mostly going to get creatures sacrificed to it but that’s solid enough.
Loxi: YOU FACE A V…ery ok vehicle? This isn’t awful or anything actually, it just is very opponent dependent how much value you can really get from it. I’d jam it in vehicles for sure though, although it’s stats are on the lower side for a 4 drop vehicle.
Marcy: I think the weakness of this card is sacrifices ‘a’ creature. There are probably a lot of times when you can sacrifice something that’s not that important to get around this, and the card isn’t that powerful that removing it is difficult.
Loxi: I think this card is pretty hilarious actually, it might see some play in vehicles. It’s a touch expensive, but yoinking cards is always funny, and even that aside an 8/8 flying vehicle that makes 4/4 of stats a turn is a sweet beater. Plus it just looks like a goofy kitchen utensil.
Marcy: This is such a funny card for how much it costs and while it is really strong as a flying 8/8, I’m not convinced I need this card.
BPhillipYork: An actual solid beater, an 8/8 flyer that generates 2/2s isn’t anything to sneeze at, glad to see more potentially playable vehicles. Crew 4 is doable for that, and the grabbing cards off the top is a nice bonus.
Day of the Moon
Loxi: This is a bit too niche of a use case for commander.
Marcy: Unless your deck is literally just about Goading, this is pretty useless.
BPhillipYork: For commander this just doesn’t seem like it will do quite enough.
The Sound of Drums
Loxi: Wow… this is a really really good goad card? If you’re all-in on goad, say something like Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer this can be a great way to just wail on other players that you won’t be able to get goaded otherwise. Recurring it is just frosting.
Marcy: I really like this, even if you aren’t playing into the Goad mechanic that much, because it makes the creature an absolute target for other people to try and get rid of.
BPhillipYork: That’s a nasty, replayable goad. Fun times.
The Toymaker’s Trap
Loxi: This card is hilarious and you should play it.
Marcy: The amount of fist fights that this card could create is so funny if you play with people who don’t do it honestly.
BPhillipYork: This seems annoyingly complex for how good it is. The ceiling is draw 4 over 4 turns and cause 13 life loss, over 4 turns. For 3 mana there’s better things to be doing.
Loxi: Another lovely flavorful card that I feel like is a wee bit too slow. Tucking two creatures isn’t bad by any means, but this one feels relegated to sagas decks or other decks that can recur it.
Marcy: 2 turns of soft removal and then 2 turns of funky 2/2 creation isn’t bad, but lacking the other effect the angel had means they’re just kinda hard to remove tokens.
BPhillipYork: Parts 1 and 2 of this saga are pretty solid, but 3 and 4 are not so good. I’m sure this is relevant to the episode where they rip off the Secure Contain Protect foundation, so that’s neat.
Death in Heaven
BPhillipYork: This is potentially pretty funny way to generate a huge cyber army, so if you want lots of creatures, lots of mill and annoying exile, and have effects that care about attacking with lots of artifact creatures it’s a solid card.
Loxi: Not really a fan of this one, a bit too clunky and expensive for graveyard hate or token generation.
Marcy: The problem with this card is that while you could get a lot of tokens, you could also get literally nothing.
Genesis of the Daleks
Loxi: This is pretty awesome as a way to instantly send you foes on an express trip to God if you have a big board of Daleks but goodness you better win off that trigger. Aside from that, making a ton of tokens and then popping an asymmetrical board wipe is cool. My only issue is that there won’t be enough Daleks to really run a full Dalek deck, so unless you’re really committed with changelings and the like you’ve got to be careful for the backlash.
Marcy: Ok so this one is really good. I like this saga and I think it’s a great way to make a Dalek focused deck work, if you can get it out, but generating that many bodies progressively is really strong… unless the backlash just loses you the game.
BPhillipYork: So that’s a fairly cool saga, ticking timebomb style, I think it’s kind of amusing this saga will kill Davros, Dalek Creator.
Gallifrey Council Chamber
Marcy: This is the same card as the other deck, and still pretty good, but only in a deck using the cards from this set.
BPhillipYork: Well, okay, I don’t know enough about the lore to know why this taps for alien spells. But it’s potentially a rainbow land so go for it if you need it (you probably don’t).
FromTheShire: I’m always a big fan of these creeping inevitability planes, part of the fun of Planechase Commander is that it tends to accelerate the game and force constant action which is a blast, and this will have people desperately trying to get off of the plane before long.
Bowie Base One
FromTheShire: Another one that forces attacks which is good, and the chaos ensues effect can lead to hilarious swings at the end of the game to determine the victor unexpectedly.
City of the Daleks
FromTheShire: Sensing a theme? It seems like this deck in particular comes with a number of planes to help keep the game moving and prevent board stalls, which makes sense since it is triggering off of combat damage to do many of its tricks.
Dalek Intensive Care
FromTheShire: Very on brand that this is not a may ability, you WILL be getting Daleks if possible. Nice little bit of potential removal as well.
Hotel of Fears
FromTheShire: Love me a little Bob action! (Dark Confidant for the kids). Your life total is a resource, especially in Commander.
Mondassian Colony Ship
FromTheShire: Another great plane for this deck to walk to since you are trying to pump out a bunch of Daleks. Really supercharges all of those 3/3’s.
The Doctor’s Tomb
FromTheShire: Kind of spicy with a board wipe in hand, especially against token decks. Can really mess with graveyard decks as well which is cool – another big part of the fun of Planechase is hitting the planes that either hose or turbocharge one person, and seeing how the table reacts to it. The chaos ensues is funny as well.
The Matrix of Time
FromTheShire: A great chaos effect, basically Knowledge Pool the plane. These are really great for letting people’s decks have interactions that they normally wouldn’t be able to, plus the life loss puts people on a clock as well.
FromTheShire: This plane is great to have in your deck as another way that the game can rapidly shift in the later turns, turning the stalled board state into one where creatures can suddenly gain flying and become lethal threats.
Unleash the Flux
FromTheShire: Likely not a massively influential one but cool regardless, and if you get unlucky with the flips people can run into some real unfavorable choices, especially against a Voltron deck or after a board wipe where this starts clearing out people’s valuable enchantments and artifacts.
Next Time: Paradox Power
That wraps up our look at the first preconstructed deck. Join us next time as we review the Temur Paradox Power deck, picking out our favorite cards, and talking about the future build-arounds. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.