In the last few weeks we’ve gotten Commander Masters… but that’s not all! We got a sneak peek at the new  set and the Doctor Who Commander decks.

With the Doctor Who cards being specifically for Commander, I figured I’d begin with them. I want to say before anything that the Tardis treatment, while cool, look like blue cards. They don’t look different enough to demonstrate their colours, which is such a bummer. That said, some of these cards scratch a fun itch in my brain. I have never watched nor cared for Doctor Who, so I’ll be evaluating things based on card abilities only.

There are four Commander precon decks for the Doctor Who release:

  • Blast from the Past – White-Blue-Green deck that seems to care bout Historic cards (not the format).
  • Timey-Wimey – White-Blue-Red deck that makes use of the suspend mechanic and introducing a new mechanic that interacts with time counters.
  • Masters of Evil – Blue-Black-Red deck that is all about the villains of Doctor Who, introducing villainous choices for your opponents like a group slug archetype.
  • Paradox Power – Blue-Red-Green deck all about casting from anywhere but your hand.

All but one of the decks’ face commander is a two-colour Doctor with another legendary creature with “Doctor’s Companion” which means You can have two commanders if the other is the Doctor. Hello, Morophon, the Boundless and Moritte of the Frost, you now have very specific Partner! (Don’t quote me on this.) The other deck is the Villains deck headed by Davros, Dalek Creator.

For this article, we’re just going to look at the face commanders, since a review is coming down the line when we have everything previewed.

The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

The Fourth Doctor is a 4/4 Time Lord Doctor for 2GU with “You may look at the top card of your library any time.” And “Once each turn, you may play a historic land or cast a historic spell from the top of your library. When you do, create a Food token.”

This is kind of like a Mystic Forge limited to once a turn. I love that you can play historic lands as well. Creating a Food token feels like a flavour move, but I am not sure.

Sarah Jane Smith works with The Fourth Doctor well. A 2/1 Human Detective for 1W, she has “Whenever you cast a historic spell, investigate. This ability triggers only once each turn.”

So with both of your commanders out, you get a Clue and a Food for casting artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas once a turn. You’ll want some flash enablers for critical mass, but I’m more curious about how they’ll capitalize on the token creation.

The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler

The Tenth Doctor is a 3/5 Time Lord Doctor for 3UR with “Whenever you attack, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card. Put three time counters on it. If it doesn’t have suspend, it gains suspend.” And “7: Time travel three times. Activate only as a sorcery. (For each suspended card you own and each permanent you control with a time counter on it, you may add or remove a time counter. Then do it two more times.)  

Oh, weird! Pack the extra combat cards and maybe a Reconnaissance if you keep the Companion white and you’ll get to Timey Wimey some huge threats. That’s tight.

Rose Tyler is a 2/2 Human for 1W and is The Tenth Doctor’s Companion. She has “Rose Tyler gets +1/+1 for each time counter on it. Whenever Rose Tyler attacks, put a time counter on it for each suspended card you own and each other permanent you control with a time counter on it.”

Damn, so she’s clearly a brawler. Send her in for attacks while you’ve got the Doctor pumping her when he joins the fray.

The Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan

The Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan are the heads of the Paradox Power Temur deck.

For 1GU, The Thirteenth Doctor is a 2/2 Time Lord Doctor with “Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.” And “At the beginning of your end step, untap each creature you control with a counter on it.”

This is one that I’m not very high on, but I can admit that the +1/+1 counters can get way out of hand with the amount of ways to play cards not from your hand. The untap feels good to have and might be used on dorks, but what about some cards with powerful tap abilities? Looks strong!

Yasmin Khan is a 3/3 Human Detective for 3R and she’s The Thirteenth Doctor’s Companion. She reads real simple: “Tap: Exile the top card of your library. Until your next end step, you may play it.”

Clearly she works great with her Doctor, but as a Prosper, Tome-Bound player, I’ll tell you I know what’s getting replaced for this. I think Yasmin can hold her own and will bring some utility to a flex slot.

Davros, Dalek Creator

Finally, the head of the Masters of Evil deck, Davros, Dalek Creator is a 3/4 Legendary Artifact Creature – Alien Scientist for 1UBR with Menace and “At the beginning of your end step, create a 3/3 black Dalek artifact creature token with menace if an opponent lost 3 or more life this turn. Then each opponent who lost 3 or more life this turn faces a villainous choice – you draw a card or that player discards a card.”

Holy hell. Grixis has lots of ways to have players lose three life on your turn. Look at Rakdos, Lord of Riots or Sygg, River Cutthroat’s pages on EDHREC for some inspiration. No matter the choice, letting you draw a card or discarding a card is a swing on each end step. Love this!

That does it for our first look at Doctor Who Commander! So far, these are really cool cards and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they do with this set!

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