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Starter Commander Decks: Complete Guide

In this article, we’ll take a look at all five Starter Commander decks, and their decklists. We’ll talk about what these decks are, and why they were made. For each deck, we’ll do a quick overview, so you’ll have an easier time deciding which one you should get. At the end, you’ll find a FAQ section, in which we’ll answer any other question that you might have about this product.

What are the Starter Commander Decks?

Starter Commander decks are a brand-new product for beginners, who want to start playing Magic’s most popular format – Commander. These decks contain only reprints and fewer expensive cards than regular Commander precons. Therefore, they can be cheaper, which is great for players who’re just testing the format. There’s no big price commitment.

There are five decks, each one has two colors:

 Deck nameColors
First Flight Starter Commander Decks IconFirst Flight
  • White
  • Blue
  • Grave Danger Starter Commander Decks IconGrave Danger
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Chaos Incarnate Starter Commander Decks IconChaos Incarnate
  • Black
  • Red
  • Draconic Destruction Starter Commander Decks IconDraconic Destruction
  • Red
  • Green
  • Token Triumph Starter Commander Decks IconToken Triumph
  • Green
  • White
  • Although the decks are cheaper, and have fewer valuable cards than the more expensive versions, that doesn’t mean that they don’t contain good cards. You’ll find many powerful cards such as Blasphemous Act, Army of the Damned, True Conviction, and many more. Naturally, Sol Ring and Arcane Signet are also included in each Starter Commander deck.

    Starter Commander decks will be released on December 2, 2022, but you can already preorder them on Amazon.

    All Five Starter Commander Decks

    Why Were Starter Commander Decks Created?

    Most of the Commander decks nowadays are tied to a specific set, which can make them quite complex, and therefore, not so beginner-friendly. Starter Commander aren’t bound to any specific set or plane, and can thus have more simple themes and cards.

    Commander is the most popular Magic format, and it can be somewhat hard to get into, especially for players new to Magic. That’s why it’s great that a product like this exists.

    With that said, let’s take a look at the decks.

    First Flight

    First Flight Commander Starter Decks 2022 Guide

    Creatures With Flying

    Isperia Supreme Judge Commander Starter Decks Decklists

    The main theme of this deck is creatures with flying. That is a bit unexpected, judging just by Isperia, Supreme Judge, who doesn’t do much for that theme, except by having flying itself.

    However, 25 out of 26 creatures in the deck have flying, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough flyers. The question is – what are the payoffs?

    As it turns out, there are plenty of them. You have multiple anthem effects, such as Thunderclap Wyvern and Favorable Winds. You also have an asymmetrical effect in Gravitational Shift, which can reward you, and punish your opponents.

    There are other benefits for having lots of flyers in the deck.  Windreader Sphinx will draw you cards, and Warden of Evos Isle will make your flyers cheaper. All of this suggests, that perhaps Isperia isn’t the best commander for this deck. Thankfully, you have a second option.

    Secondary Commander: Kangee, Sky Warden

    Kangee, Sky Warden

    Each deck also has another legendary creature, which you can swap the main commander with. With this deck, it’s probably a good idea to do so. Kangee will act as another buff effect for your flyers. On offence, you’ll get a power boost, and on defense a toughness boost.

    Given that your deck has a ton of flyers, Kangee is probably better suited to be a Commander for First Flight.

    Control

    Time Wipe Starter Commander Decks Guide 2022

    Nevertheless, Isperia is still a perfectly fine option, as a 6-powered flyer who discourages your opponents from attacking you. It also plays well with the deck’s secondary theme, which is control.

    Since you’re playing Blue you’ll have access to various counterspells. You’ll be the player at the table to decide which spells happen and which don’t, with cards like Absorb and Counterspell. You’ll rarely run out of cards, since you have access to lots of cards draw, with Sphinx’s Revelation and Cloudblazer.

    White also gives you access to some control tools, such as powerful removal spells, like Swords to Plowshares. Furthermore, if things get out of hand, you’ll be able to have a big reset button with Cleansing Nova and Time Wipe.

    There are also a couple of cards that can force opponents to attack (Angler Turtle and Bident of Thassa). Hopefully, Isperia will discourage them from attacking you, and they’ll attack one another. Otherwise, at least you get to draw a card. (Unless, they remove Isperia.)

    Who Should Get First Flight Commander Starter Deck?

    So, First Flight is a great deck for players who don’t like being attacked. You also don’t want to endanger your creatures, but you’d prefer if they could get over the opposing defenses. You also want to be in control of the game – it should play out in a way that you imagine, and without too much randomness.

    If you find yourself in this description, then you should definitely get the First Flight precon, as you’ll very likely enjoy it.

    First Flight Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Isperia, Supreme Judge

    Planeswalker (1)
    Gideon Jura

    Creatures (26)
    Angler Turtle
    Archon of Redemption
    Aven Gagglemaster
    Cartographer’s Hawk
    Cloudblazer
    Diluvian Primordial
    Emeria Angel
    Empyrean Eagle
    Faerie Formation
    Hanged Executioner
    Inspired Sphinx
    Jubilant Skybonder
    Kangee, Sky Warden
    Kangee’s Lieutenant
    Pilgrim’s Eye
    Remorseful Cleric
    Sephara, Sky’s Blade
    Sharding Sphinx
    Skycat Sovereign
    Skyscanner
    Sphinx of Enlightenment
    Steel-Plume Marshal
    Thunderclap Wyvern
    Tide Skimmer
    Warden of Evos Isle
    Windreader Sphinx

    Sorceries (5)
    Cleansing Nova
    Migratory Route
    Storm Herd
    Time Wipe
    Winged Words

    Instants (11)
    Absorb
    Aetherize
    Condemn
    Counterspell
    Crush Contraband
    Disenchant
    Generous Gift
    Negate
    Rally of Wings
    Sphinx’s Revelation
    Swords to Plowshares

    Enchantments (8)
    Banishing Light
    Ever-Watching Threshold
    Favorable Winds
    Gravitational Shift
    Soul Snare
    Staggering Insight
    True Conviction
    Vow of Duty
    Lands (39)
    Coastal Tower
    Command Tower
    Meandering River
    Moorland Haunt
    Port Town
    Prairie Stream
    Sejiri Refuge
    Temple of Enlightenment
    Tranquil Cove
    15 Island
    15 Plains

    Artifacts (9)
    Arcane Signet
    Azorius Signet
    Bident of Thassa
    Commander’s Sphere
    Hedron Archive
    Sky Diamond
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Progress
    Thought Vessel

    Grave Danger

    Grave Danger Commander Starter Decks 2022 Guide

    Zombie Tribal

    Gisa and Geralf Commander Starter Decks Decklists

    This is simply a great deck for Zombie fans, it’s full of Zombies and support for them. Even though you don’t have a Zombie at the helm (with Gisa and Geralf being your commander), this is certainly a Zombie themed deck.

    Only four creatures in the deck aren’t Zombies. The other 26 creatures are Zombies, and will take advantage of various payoffs your deck has to offer. You have a bunch of strong Zombie tribal cards, for example Liliana’s Mastery, Cemetery Reaper, and Gravespawn Sovereign. These are just a few of them, and you’ll certainly find even more hidden synergies when you actually play with this precon.

    Gisa and Geralf also enable various graveyard shenanigans. When they enter, you mill four cards, which is very nice for a deck that uses the graveyard as a resource. The second ability even gives you a way to use the graveyard, which is great!

    Secondary Commander: Vela the Night-Clad

    Vela the Night-Clad Starter Commander Decks

    Your secondary commander option doesn’t have a payoff specifically for Zombies. Nevertheless, your Zombies will still benefit from the intimidate keyword, which will make them harder to block.

    While Vela is certainly the worse of the two possible commanders, it can still be interesting to use it, once you get used to playing with Gisa and Geralf. Furthermore, if you do decide to upgrade your deck in a different direction, Vela certainly offers you a nice deckbuilding challenge, although it doesn’t play neither in Zombie tribal theme nor the self-mill one.

    Self-Mill

    These deck also has a small self mill theme. Self-mill means putting cards from your own deck into the graveyard, with the intention of getting some value out of it. There isn’t a ton of self-mill included in the deck, but you do have your commander, as well as some other cards like Mire Triton, and Enter the God-Eternals.

    Enter the God Eternals Starter Commander Decks Which is Best

    The payoffs for this strategy are, naturally, Gisa and Geralf, which allow you to play Zombies from your graveyards, as well as cards like Deep Analysis and Army of the Damned.

    Who Should Get Grave Danger Commander Starter Deck?

    You enjoy games where the game play matches the flavor of the game. So, if a game that you’re playing also tells a compelling story, you enjoy it more. You like to use your in-game resources multiple times. You prefer your games that offer you various decisions, while not being too complex.

    If that description matches your play style, then you should get the Grave Danger starter deck, especially if you like Zombies.

    Grave Danger Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Gisa and Geralf

    Planeswalker (1)
    Liliana, Untouched by Death

    Creatures (29)
    Cemetery Reaper
    Champion of the Perished
    Diregraf Captain
    Eternal Skylord
    Fleshbag Marauder
    Geralf’s Mindcrusher
    Gleaming Overseer
    Gravespawn Sovereign
    Gray Merchant of Asphodel
    Havengul Lich
    Josu Vess, Lich Knight
    Laboratory Drudge
    Lazotep Reaver
    Liliana’s Devotee
    Liliana’s Standard Bearer
    Lord of the Accursed
    Lotleth Giant
    Loyal Subordinate
    Midnight Reaper
    Mire Triton
    Overseer of the Damned
    Scourge of Nel Toth
    Spark Reaper
    Unbreathing Horde
    Undead Augur
    Vela the Night-Clad
    Vengeful Dead
    Vizier of the Scorpion
    Withered Wretch

    Sorceries (12)
    Army of the Damned
    Crippling Fear
    Deep Analysis
    Distant Melody
    Enter the God-Eternals
    Feed the Swarm
    Necromantic Selection
    Necrotic Hex
    Pilfered Plans
    Syphon Flesh
    Victimize
    Zombie Apocalypse

    Instants (5)
    Cruel Revival
    Lazotep Plating
    Murder
    Sinister Sabotage
    Undermine

    Enchantments (4)
    Liliana’s Mastery
    Open the Graves
    Curse of Disturbance
    Vampiric Rites
    Lands (39)
    Choked Estuary
    Command Tower
    Dismal Backwater
    Jwar Isle Refuge
    Salt Marsh
    Submerged Boneyard
    Sunken Hollow
    Temple of Deceit
    13 Island
    18 Swamp

    Artifacts (9)
    Arcane Signet
    Commander’s Sphere
    Dimir Signet
    Grimoire of the Dead
    Heraldic Banner
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Dominance
    Unstable Obelisk
    Wayfarer’s Bauble

    Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Commander Starter Decks 2022

    Opponents Losing Life

    Kardur, Doomscourge Commander Starter Precons

    This deck’s theme isn’t that obvious. One thing that ties this deck together is that a vast majority of its cards damage opponents directly. This deck is probably at its best at a multiplayer game, and there are two big reasons for it.

    First, Kardur’s ability makes opponents attack other players than you. If you’re the only other player, that can be a bit counterproductive, although certainly not useless.

    The other thing is that a lot of cards (Kardor included) deal damage to each opponent. So, the more opponents you have, the more damage these cards will do. Most of the cards don’t deal a massive amount of damage, but they have other uses. (For example, Theater of Horrors gives you card advantage.)

    However, the damage can quickly add up, especially once you have something like Dictate of the Twin Gods in play.

    Secondary Commander: Kaervek the Merciless

    Kaervek the Merciless Secondary Commander Starter Decks 2022

    Kaervek the Merciless is your other commander option. It’s very expensive at seven mana, but it sure does deliver a powerful ability, which works nicely with the dealing damage theme. Whenever your opponent cast a spell, you’ll be able to deal some damage.

    That’s not just a one time thing! This will go on for as long as you have Kaervek the Merciless in play.

    Chaos

    The secondary theme is, as the name suggests, simply chaos. Some cards in the deck, like Sunbird’s Invocation can have effects that vary greatly in power level, depending on your luck.

    Geode Rager Starter Commander Decks

    Your commander Kardur, Doomscourge isn’t the only card that messes up with combat. There’s Geode Rager, which can also force your opponent to make a not so optimal attack.

    There isn’t a specific payoff for the deck being chaotic, except for it being fun to play, and a bit annoying to your opponents.

    Who Should Get Chaos Incarnate Commander Starter Deck?

    If you like to be a bit of an annoyance to your opponents, you’re going to enjoy this deck. When you play, you like to have interesting things to happen, and you especially like cool random events. You don’t mind keeping track of various things happening during the game. You don’t get angry if the odds aren’t in your favor, as long as you’re doing something awesome.

    If this description matches you, then you should definitely get the Chaos Incarnate deck.

    Chaos Incarnate Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Kardur, Doomscourge

    Planeswalker (1)
    Ob Nixilis Reignited

    Creatures (22)
    Archfiend of Depravity
    Bloodgift Demon
    Brash Taunter
    Burnished Hart
    Combustible Gearhulk
    Geode Rager
    Guttersnipe
    Indulgent Tormentor
    Kaervek the Merciless
    Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
    Magmatic Force
    Rakshasa Debaser
    Sangromancer
    Scythe Specter
    Sepulchral Primordial
    Solemn Simulacrum
    Stormfist Crusader
    Tectonic Giant
    Thermo-Alchemist
    Titan Hunter
    Vampire Nighthawk
    Wildfire Devils

    Sorceries (14)
    Ambition’s Cost
    Blasphemous Act
    Deadly Tempest
    Dredge the Mire
    Explosion of Riches
    Feed the Swarm
    Fiery Confluence
    Hate Mirage
    Mana Geyser
    Profane Command
    Read the Bones
    Reign of the Pit
    Sign in Blood
    Syphon Mind

    Instants (8)
    Abrade
    Breath of Malfegor
    Chaos Warp
    Rakdos Charm
    Soul Shatter
    Terminate
    Unlicensed Disintegration
    Wild Ricochet

    Enchantments (4)
    Dictate of the Twin Gods
    Spiteful Visions
    Sunbird’s Invocation
    Theater of Horrors
    Lands (40)
    Akoum Refuge
    Bloodfell Caves
    Cinder Barrens
    Command Tower
    Foreboding Ruins
    Molten Slagheap
    Myriad Landscape
    Smoldering Marsh
    Stensia Bloodhall
    Temple of Malice
    Urborg Volcano
    14 Mountain
    15 Swamp

    Artifacts (10)
    Arcane Signet
    Commander’s Sphere
    Coveted Jewel
    Lightning Greaves
    Nihil Spellbomb
    Rakdos Signet
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Indulgence
    Wayfarer’s Bauble
    Worn Powerstone

    Draconic Destruction

    Draconic Domination Commander Starter Decks 2022 Guide

    Dragons

    Atarka, World Render Commander Starter Decks Decklists

    Do you like big, massive creatures, such as Dragons? Then this deck will be perfect for you. The big stompy is certainly a play style that this precon is going for. Atarka is the most expensive of the five commanders, but for a good reason – it’s arguably the most powerful of the bunch. If you have a Dragon in play, you can get value out of Atarka’s ability immediately by getting a powerful attack in.

    Besides, Atarka there are 20 Dragons in the deck, and most of them are very powerful on their own, and also combined with other Dragons. For example, Scourge of Valkas can be responsible for a lot of damage, and Thunderbreak Regent makes your opponents think twice before killing one of your Dragons.

    Even the creatures that aren’t Dragons themselves, works toward that theme. Both Dragonkin Berserker and Dragonmaster Outcast are cheap creatures, which can eventually start making Dragon tokens.

    Other creatures can help you cast Dragons earlier. These are cards like Dragon Mage, Dragonlord’s Servant, and Drumhunter.

    No Secondary Commander

    Verix Bladewing Starter Commander Decks 2022

    Oddly enough, Draconic Destruction is the only deck which doesn’t have an eligible secondary commander. There are two other legendary creatures in the deck, both neither Drakuseth, Maw of Flames nor Verix Bladewing have Green in on the cards. This means that they can’t be your commanders unless you swap all Green cards in the deck with Red ones.

    Who Should Get Draconic Destruction Commander Starter Deck?

    You don’t care about making tricky plays, you just want to cast big and powerful spells. You enjoy the game in which you can present the biggest, scariest threat, and force your opponents to deal with it.

    If you are like that, and you like Dragons, then you should get Draconic Destruction starter Commander deck, as you’ll surely enjoy it a lot.

    Draconic Destruction Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Atarka, World Render

    Planeswalker (1)
    Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

    Creatures (28)
    Akoum Hellkite
    Demanding Dragon
    Draconic Disciple
    Dragon Mage
    Dragonkin Berserker
    Dragonlord’s Servant
    Dragonmaster Outcast
    Dragonspeaker Shaman
    Drakuseth, Maw of Flames
    Dream Pillager
    Drumhunter
    Flameblast Dragon
    Foe-Razer Regent
    Furnace Whelp
    Harbinger of the Hunt
    Hoard-Smelter Dragon
    Loaming Shaman
    Mordant Dragon
    Rapacious Dragon
    Runehorn Hellkite
    Sakura-Tribe Elder
    Savage Ventmaw
    Scourge of Valkas
    Steel Hellkite
    Thunderbreak Regent
    Thundermaw Hellkite
    Tyrant’s Familiar
    Verix Bladewing

    Sorceries (9)
    Chain Reaction
    Clan Defiance
    Cultivate
    Harmonize
    Hunter’s Prowess
    Primal Might
    Shamanic Revelation
    Sweltering Suns
    Vandalblast

    Instants (8)
    Beast Within
    Blossoming Defense
    Hunter’s Insight
    Magmaquake
    Provoke the Trolls
    Return to Nature
    Spit Flame
    Unleash Fury

    Enchantments (6)
    Crucible of Fire
    Dragon Tempest
    Elemental Bond
    Fires of Yavimaya
    Frontier Siege
    Garruk’s Uprising
    Lands (40)
    Cinder Glade
    Command Tower
    Game Trail
    Haven of the Spirit Dragon
    Kazandu Refuge
    Path of Ancestry
    Rugged Highlands
    Shivan Oasis
    Temple of Abandon
    Timber Gorge
    12 Forest
    18 Mountain

    Artifacts (7)
    Arcane Signet
    Atarka Monument
    Commander’s Sphere
    Dragon’s Hoard
    Sol Ring
    Swiftfoot Boots
    Talisman of Impulse

    Token Triumph

    Token Triumph Commander Starter Decks

    Tokens

    Emmara, Soul of the Accord Commander Starter Precons

    This deck’s main goal is to play a bunch of smaller creatures and overwhelm their opponents with their massive army. As the name Token Triumph suggests, the deck uses tokens to do so. Tokens are creatures that other cards make, for example Emmara, Soul of the Accord makes 1/1 Soliders with lifelink.

    Emmara is the cheapest among all five commanders, with only two mana. That means you’ll have plenty of options to tap her by attacking players without available defenders, which will generate tokens. There are other ways to tap creatures, for example cards with convoke, like Nissa’s Expedition.

    Furthermore, there are a bunch of other cards that make tokens in the deck, such as White Sun’s Zenith, March of the Multitudes, and Selesnya Guildmage. Besides, there are a couple of cards that make tokens, and can be your commanders. Let’s check them out.

    Secondary Commanders: Maja, Bretagard Protector & Trostani, Discordant

    Maja, Bretagard Protector Starter Commander Decks 2022 Which One to Buy

    This deck has not just one, but two additional commanders, and they are both pretty similar to one another, and they support the same token theme that Emmara does.

    Trostani, Discordant buffs your team, and so does Maja, Bretagard Protector. They also both make tokens. Trostani does so when it comes into play, and you get lifelink on the tokens, which can be relevant, especially, since you have ways to buff tokens. Maja gives you vanilla tokens, but you could potentially get more of them, since you get them whenever a land enters the battlefield.

    Right out of the box, Trostani is probably a better option. However, if you plan to change the deck, and build with landfall in mind, Maja can certainly do some work.

    Token Payoffs

    So, you managed to get a bunch of creatures out. Now what? Even though you might have a lot of them, they can be outclassed by your opponents’ creatures. That’s where the token payoffs come in.

    Some payoffs offer you various utility. Voice of Many can draw you cards, and so does Collective Unconscious. Cards with convoke, like Scatter the Seeds get much easier to cast. Champion of Lambholt gets bigger and bigger.

    Collective Blessing Starter Commander Decks 2022

    However, the payoffs that actually help you finish the game, are cards that give your creatures a buff. These are cards like Thundefoot Baloth, Dictate of Heliod and Collective Blessing. With their help, you’ll quickly win the game, provided that you acquired enough creatures.

    Who Should Get Token Triumph Commander Starter Deck?

    Players who like having a big army of creatures, should most likely get Token Triumph Commander Starter deck. Usually, you’ll have the most in-game pieces in play, so if that’s something you like to do in other games, you’ll enjoy it here as well.

    Token Triumph Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Emmara, Soul of the Accord

    Planeswalker (1)
    Ajani, Caller of the Pride

    Creatures (26)
    Avacyn’s Pilgrim
    Champion of Lambholt
    Citanul Hierophants
    Dauntless Escort
    Eternal Witness
    Farhaven Elf
    Great Oak Guardian
    Hornet Nest
    Hornet Queen
    Jade Mage
    Jaspera Sentinel
    Leafkin Druid
    Loyal Guardian
    Maja, Bretagard Protector
    Mentor of the Meek
    Nullmage Shepherd
    Reclamation Sage
    Rishkar, Peema Renegade
    Scavenging Ooze
    Selesnya Evangel
    Selesnya Guildmage
    Sporemound
    Thunderfoot Baloth
    Trostani Discordant
    Verdant Force
    Voice of Many

    Sorceries (8)
    Camaraderie
    Citywide Bust
    Collective Unconscious
    Harmonize
    Harvest Season
    Hour of Reckoning
    Nissa’s Expedition
    Overrun

    Instants (8)
    Aura Mutation
    Devouring Light
    March of the Multitudes
    Path to Exile
    Rootborn Defenses
    Scatter the Seeds
    Sylvan Reclamation
    White Sun’s Zenith

    Enchantments (11)
    Collective Blessing
    Commander’s Insignia
    Conclave Tribunal
    Curse of Bounty
    Dawn of Hope
    Dictate of Heliod
    Felidar Retreat
    Karametra’s Favor
    Overwhelming Instinct
    Presence of Gond
    Valor in Akros
    Lands (39)
    Blossoming Sands
    Canopy Vista
    Command Tower
    Elfhame Palace
    Fortified Village
    Graypelt Refuge
    Holdout Settlement
    Temple of Plenty
    Tranquil Expanse
    Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
    14 Plains
    15 Forest

    Artifacts (6)
    Arcane Signet
    Commander’s Sphere
    Idol of Oblivion
    Slate of Ancestry
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Unity

    Starter Commander Decks – FAQ

    Here are some of the commonly asked questions about these decks. If you have a question that we didn’t answer, let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you.

    What are the Starter Commander decks?

    These are 100-card Commander decks best suited for new players, who are just starting with Commander, or MTG in general.

    What’s the release date for Starter Commander decks?

    It’s December 2nd, 2022.

    Are Starter Commander decks balanced against each other?

    Yes, they’re balanced closely enough. Wizards usually try to design these decks in a way that they are fun to play against one another, and for the most part they succeed. Also, because these are meant for multiplayer play, it’s often hard for one player to get a massive advantage over the others, as then the other players can team up together.

    Are there any new cards in Starter Commander decks?

    No, all cards in Starter Commander decks are reprints.

    Are Starter Commander decks a good product for a new player?

    Yes, they are great. You’ll get a deck for a cheaper price, and you’ll get to play Commander right away. There are also a lot of universally good Commander cards in this product, so even when you start to improve your deck, you’ll be able to get some value out of this one.

    Conclusion

    That’s all about the Starter Commander decks. Hopefully, now you know which one is the best one to buy for yourself, or for your friends.

    If you’d like to get a more complex deck instead, you can check for the other Commander precons here. However, if you’d like to learn more about Commander, here are some articles that you might like:

    Until next time, enjoy Magic, and have a lot of fun with your new Commander deck.

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