Commander 2020: Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths

Commander decks are coming earlier than expected this year. But that’s not all, they won’t be the only Commander product we’ll get this year. So today we’ll take a look at all available information about Commander 2020 (or Ikoria Commander).

We’ve also got some exciting teasers from Gavin Verhey and we’ll also discuss these. But first, let’s check which decks we’re getting this year.

Commander 2020 Deck Names and Colors

There are five decks in Commander 2020:

  • Ruthless Regiment
  • Arcane Maelstrom
  • Symbiotic Swarm
  • Timeless Wisdom
  • Enhanced Evolution

All of them are thematically tied to Ikoria: Liar of Behemoths. Together, they contain 71 brand new cards.

We currently don’t know which colors they will contain, but we can make some guesses. Enchanted Evolution is most likely a green-blue one, Symbiotic Swarm might be black-green.

This suggest a cycle of enemy colors, which would then make Arcane Maelstrom blue-red and Ruthless Regiment white-red. That leaves Timeless Wisdom as black-white, which is the only one that doesn’t make perfect sense.

Commander 2020 Spoilers Teaser From Gavin

Gavin Verhey, Senior MTG Designer has posted two videos on his Instagram, talking about exciting Commander 2020 teasers. All teasers refer to the new cards in the Commander decks. Let’s check them out.

Some Strange Creatures…

It looks like Ikoria is full of strange creatures. Here are five unusual creature types we’ll get:

  • Goat Hydra
  • Cat Nightmare
  • Badger Dinosaur
  • Whale Wolf
  • Dinosaur Cat (tokens)

Besides all that, we’ll also get Magic’s fourth Trilobite. With first three being Electryte, Scuttling Sliver and Shore Keeper. So get excited or something?

… and Interesting Text

Although no actual cards were previewed by Gavin, we got some snippets of card text. So there are new cards in Commander 2020 that include the following:

  • “You and Planeswalkers you control gain protection from that player.”
  • “You may pay zero rather than…”
  • “Whenever you cast a spell with X in its mana cost…”
  • “… spend this mana only to activate abilities.” (written on a creature)
White Ramp in Commander 2020 Spoilers Plains

There’s also a certain card that might help white in Commander! It’s a mono white card that let’s you repeatedly ramp Plains from your library onto the battlefield. Hopefully it turns out great – white definitely needs it.

Mechanics and Counters


Is there an old mechanic you like? Well, maybe you’ll get it in this year’s Commander deck, since we’re getting 8 non-evergreen returning mechanics. What could these be? If you have any ideas – let us know in the comments bellow.


Out of 71 new cards in Ikoria Commander, there are 41 cards, which mention counter(s) in their rules text or in reminder text. That’s a whooping 57.7% of new cards!

Gavin also gave an fun example of a specific counter we’ll get. There’s a Hound that makes Fetch counters! Get it? Because you play fetch with a dog… Okay we’ll stop.

Experience counters are confirmed to return. There’ll be exactly one legendary card that uses them. This is in addition to the eight returning mechanics mentioned before.

But Wait, There’s More!

One particularly interesting teaser we got is about a new cycle of cards. It’s a re-imagining of an old popular multiplayer cycle. Which cycle could this be? Maybe a cycle of Primordials (the one with Sylvan Primordial).

Another “Maro”

Do you know the story about Maro? It’s a Magic card that got named after the MTG head designer Mark Rosewater.

MTG Maro

Gavin told us that there’s a card named after him this time! The initials of the card name will spell GAVIN. At this place we’d like to thank Gavin for all the work he puts in Magic (a lot of it goes specifically to Commander). Congratulations on getting your own card, well deserved!

That’s all about the teasers. You can find both Gavin’s videos here – Part One an Part Two.

Commander 2020 Release Date

As we previously mentioned, all decks have share themes with the main Standard set Ikoria: Liar of Behemoths. They also share same release date – April, 24th 2020.

Some stores will also have decks available at their Prerelease events. These are happening on April 17-19, 2020. If you’re interested in this event, check for stores near you in Wizard’s Store Locator. You can find their contact info there, so you can ask whether they’ll have the Commander decks available or not.

Where to Buy Commander 2020 Decks?

Besides you’re local game stores, you can also get them on Amazon. You can already preorder all five of them, for a reasonable price. This way you’ll get them as fast as possible.

Commander Legends Baron Sengir

More Commander Products in 2020!

That’s far from the only product Commander players will be getting in 2020. Today we’ll only touch on the upcoming products, but you can expect a special article for each one of them – once we get more information.

Zendikar Rising Commander Decks

Zendikar Rising will bring us two Commander decks. Each of them will contain 3 brand new cards, the rest will be reprints.

Zendikar Rising

These two decks will be a bit different from your regular Commander decks. They will be more beginner friendly. However, you can still expect some great reprints in them.

Commander Collection: Green

This is a brand new product. It contains eight specific cards – reprints of green Commander staples. Each of them has a new art, depicting a legendary character casting a spell. As you can see, one of those characters is Yisan, the Wanderer Bard.

This product releases in autumn 2020. Other colors will probably get their own Commander Collections in the future.

Commander Legends

Are you a fan of both Draft and Commander? Then this is a product for you. It’s a draftable Commander set!

Here’s what we know about Commander Legends so far:

  • 20-card boosters
  • 70+ new legendary creatures
  • cards from all planes

Two more Commander decks will be released alongside it, similar to the ones in Zendikar Rising – beginner friendly and containing 3 new cards each.

More News

If you don’t want to miss any more Magic the Gathering news, give us a follow on Facebook or Instagram. We’ll keep you updated with Magic spoilers, new products and some other fun stuff.

If you’re looking for more information about upcoming Magic products, you can read about Jumpstart Booster or about Cube Sealed on Arena. Of course, there are also Ikoria Spoilers available.

Anyways, that’s all about Commander 2020. Until next time, may you play a ton of fun Commander games.

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