Magic the Gathering has done a lot of crossovers in recent years. Warhammer 40k, Transformers, and Lord of the Rings characters got depicted on Magic cards. Now, the popular British science fiction series from BBC is coming to MTG with four Doctor Who Commander decks. In this article, we’ll tell you everything we know about them so far.
There will be four different Commander Masters Commander decks. Each of them contains:
- 2 rainbow foil cards (main and secondary commander)
- 98 non-foil cards (with the previous two cards, this makes a 100-card ready-to-play deck)
- 1 Collector Sample Pack with two cards (with alternate frame or in rainbow foil)
- 1 foil-etched Display commander (a thicker card, not for tournament play)
- 10 Planechase cards
- 1 six-sided planar die
- 10 double-sided tokens
- 1 life tracker
- 1 cardboard deck box
- a strategy insert and a reference card
Out of the hundred cards in the deck, a whooping 50 will be brand-new cards, including the Tardis card you see above. This is quite a lot compared to other Commander precons. (For example, LotR Commander precons had 20 cards each, while Commander Masters featured 10 per deck.)
The rest of the cards will be reprints, but even they will be Doctor Who themed. The four decks are all already available for preorder on Amazon, and here’s their quick overview:
|Blast From the Past|
|Masters of Evil|
Let’s take a closer look at each deck. Not everything is known yet. What we know for sure, are the deck’s colors and names, as well as some early spoilers, which can be seen in this article. While that’s not a lot to go about, there’s also the Good Morning Magic video, made by Gavin Verhey (MTG designer and a big Doctor Who fan). In it, he shares a bunch of additional info about the decks.
Based on all of this, we already have a lot to talk about which each deck.
Blast From the Past
- Theme: Historic spells
- Colors: white, blue, green
- Main commanders: The Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith
- Doctors included: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eight
Wizards decided to split the decks based on different eras of the show. So, the first deck, Blast From the Past, focuses on the classic era of the show (1963-1996), with the first eight Doctors. So, on the cards in this deck you’ll find companions, items, and stories connected to them.
There’s a lot of time travel in the show, so using history as a theme for this precon is quite flavorful. Magic already had a perfect term to use – historic. (With that we don’t mean the Arena-only format.) Historic is a term that refers to artifacts, Sagas, and everything with the legendary subtype. So, in this deck you can expect lots of cards with those types.
The main commanders for this deck are The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith. Wait, there are two main commanders? Is the partner mechanic, making a return? It kinda is, in a form of…
This mechanic allows the Doctors’ decks to have two main commanders. As we’ve said, it’s a different take on the partner mechanic. The mechanic appears on all companions, and reads: “You can have two commanders, if the other commander is a Doctor.”
All the doctors are two-colored, and the companions are mono-colored. When you use both as your commanders, you get the commander identity of three colors. For example, in the Blast From the Past deck, The Fourth Doctor is blue-green, and companion Sarah Jane Smith is white. When you combine them, you get the Bant (white-blue-green) color combination.
Each deck has multiple companions and doctors, and you can mix and match them in any way you like. You could take a Doctor from this deck, and a companion from another, and potentially get some nice interactions, or different color combinations.
The Fourth Doctor
Sarah Jane Smith
Blast from the Past Decklist
- Theme: Time counters, suspend
- Colors: white, blue, red
- Main Commanders: The Tenth Doctor, Rose Tyler
The second deck, aptly named Timey-Wimey after the iconic line from the show, focuses on the relaunched show (2005-2013). In this time period, the Doctors Nine, Ten, and Eleven have appeared. The main commanders are The Tenth Doctor, which is blue-red, and mono white Rose Tyler.
Based on The Tenth Doctor, the deck will focus on suspend mechanic. This is a mechanic that typically allows you to pay some mana and exile a card from your hand with some time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, you remove a time counter from it. When the last one is removed, you get to cast the card for free.
Essentially, this mechanic allows you to pay lass mana that you’d otherwise pay, buy you get a card a few turns later. This provides some fun play patters, and it’s going to be fun to see how this deck takes advantage of it.
The Tenth Doctor
For five mana you get a 3/5. That’s quite a lot for a card without an enter-the-battlefield effect. However, if you can attack on the turn you play The Tenth Doctor, you can actually get some value out of it.
You get to exile a nonland card from your hand, with three time counters. In three turns, you’ll be able to cast it for free. If you build your deck correctly, and by using some Brainstorm-like shenanigans, you can get a very expensive card into play for free. Effects that let you “cheat” on a card’s mana cost are always going to be powerful.
Its second ability is, very flavorfully, called time-travel. When you time travel, you can remove (or add, if that for some weird reason better) a time counter from all of your suspended cards. You have to pay 7 mana in order to time travel three times. In a deck full of suspend cards, this is certainly a powerful effect.
All in all, The Tenth Doctor looks like it will be able to carry some weight, if you build your deck around it properly.
- Theme: Casting spells, but not from hand
- Colors: blue, red, green
- Main Commanders: The Thirteenth Doctor, Yasmin Khan
The third deck focuses on the newest era of the show (2014-2023). The deck is led by a blue-green The Thirteenth Doctor and red Yasmin Khan.
The interesting thing here is that although the deck specifically states that it contains Doctors Twelve and Thirteen, Gavin has confirmed that they didn’t forget about the new Doctor, so that’s something to look forward to.
The Thirteenth Doctor
Paradox Power Decklist
Masters of Evil
- Theme: Giving opponents bad choices, artifacts
- Colors: blue, black, red
- Main Commander: Davros, Dalek Creator
So, now we’ve run out of Doctors, but there’s still one precon left. This one focuses on the “bad guys” team, with Doctor’s greatest and most notorious villains.
The main commander of this deck is a single creature, but you can bet it’s a powerful one. The Masters of Evil precon is commanded by no other than Davros, the creator of Dalek. Will he challenge Nicol Bolas for the title of the most powerful Grixis villain? We shall see soon.
Davros, Dalek Creator
Masters of Evil Decklist
Before we wrap things up, here are some other interesting things about the Doctor Who Commander decks.
Sagas are a great card type to depict various stories – both mechanically, and with art. For example, here a saga called The Parting of Ways, which refers to the final episode of the Ninth Doctor.
In all four deck, there will be 19 sagas total. Each doctor has a saga with an iconic moment from their run. Of course, that would only bring us to 15 sagas, so what are the other four? Well, the villains also had their moments, and these four will focus on that.
With all the time travel shenanigans, the Planechase cards make a lot of sense. Each deck comes with 10 of them, and with a Planar die, so you can play the Planchase variant of Commander if you want to.
Tardis Basic Lands
The basic lands will also be on theme. There will be two different sets of the five basic lands. We already know how the first cycle will look like. Take a look at this Plains, for example:
You can see Tardis depicted on the land. It will appear on five lands, and each land will feature a place where they actually traveled to in the show. With these, fans of the show will be able to pimp any of their decks.
There were also four tokens previewed, and the fans of the show will probably enjoy them greatly:
Finally, there are also the Collector boosters. While we do get these with every set, this is the first time that we get one without a regular set, but just as an addition to Commander precons.
These boosters will contain cards that appear in the four decks. However, all the cards will either be in foil or have an alternate art treatment. So, if you want to bling your deck, you might want to get some of these.
Here are just a couple examples of what kind of cards you can expect:
As you can see both cards have different art as compared to their regular counterparts that you saw above. The frame is also different, as is the font, which really pops out and makes the card feel special.
You can find more detailed information about Doctor Who Collector booster contents here.
Doctor Who Commander Decks – FAQ
In this section, you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions about the Doctor Who Commander decks. As always, if you won’t find the answer to your question, leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you.
There will be four different decks.
Yes, each deck comes with a 2-card Sample Collector booster pack.
There are two cards that also appear in the Doctor Who decks. However, they’ll have the rainbow foil treatment, or will have an alternate art / frame. One of the cards will be rare or mythic, and the other cards will be a common or uncommon. You might get a TARDIS Showcase card.
There are four 3-color decks (Blast From the Past: Bant/WUG, Timey-Wimey: Jeskai/WUR, Paradox Power: Temur/URG, Masters of Evil: Grixis/UBR).
While it’s too to say for sure, they’ll likely be close in power level. Typically, when Wizards release a bunch of decks together, they try to make them fun to play against one another. Most of the time they succeed, but even when they don’t completely, the randomness from a 100-card singleton deck, and a multiplayer setting helps with that.
While the Planechase cards do increase the flavor of the decks, if that variant isn’t your thing, you can safely remove the Planechase cards and play as you would with any regular Commander deck.
The release date for Doctor Who products is October 13th, 2023.
Anyway, that’s all about the Doctor Who Commander decks. Which one are you the most excited about? Let us, and our readers know, in the comments below.
If these aren’t exactly your cup of tea, or if you just want to check some other options, you can find all Commander precons here. There are quite a lot of them (around 100), so there will certainly be something perfect for you.
Until next time, have fun, and whatever you do, don’t blink.