Tag: commander-deck

Mike Carrozza - November 6, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck review – Masters of Evil Non-Legends

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander Masters of Evil precon deck available out now! Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to
Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot.
This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and new cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it.

Here are my top five nonlegends from the Masters of Evil followed by the rest in the deck with alittle review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle my brain.


1. Auton Soldier
A six mana creature clone that removes legendary subtype is still find on rate – Spark Double and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces do that for four mana, which is much better, but that ability still feels worth six mana. Giving that creature myriad is just insane. Gray Merchant of Asphodel anyone?
If you’ve got a commander you love in the command zone and they’ve got a great ETB or leaves the battlefield trigger, I bet you’d love to see this card anytime you play that deck. Make sure you keep this safe but then go crazy.


2. Hunted by The Family
For seven mana, you give four creatures’ controllers a real “if I can’t have one, no one can” ultimatum with my favourite villainous choice card. A seven mana sorcery that doesn’t win the game outright isn’t exactly where you want a card like this to land, but putting the choice on
your opponents to essentially possibly hand you the game makes the table dynamics very interesting.


3. Death in Heaven
Graveyard hate, as much as it pains me to say this, is very good to put in your decks. If one of your opponents has a stack of creatures in their ‘yard, you can look forward to the final chapter giving you all those guys as flipped over Cyberman creatures. Pick up your Ixidor, Reality Sculptor’s, Deadeye Navigator’s, Thassa, Deep-Dwelling’s, and Conjurer’s Closet’s to be able to flip them and get that sweet, sweet value.


4. The Flood of Mars

Islandwalk on a creature that can turn lands into Islands on attack is one of the wildest things I’ve seen. Especially when you can then turn other creatures into more copies of this weird Alien Zombie Horror. If your opponent has difficult creatures, you can make them a copy of The Flood of Mars instead. But then you have to worry about your lands or your other creatures getting sniped, so be aware of that. However, if you’ve got a bunch of 1/1 or 2/2 tokens, giving them a buff and that attack trigger makes them way better on each of your combats.


5. Ensnared by the Mara

Your opponents won’t know what card they’ll be giving you before they make the villainous
choice so there’s a good chance you’ll get to cast a few spells from exile. This is a Prosper,
Tome-Bound all-star in the making. If your opponents are scared of what you’ll rip from their
deck, then they’ll have to take possibly a hefty amount of damage. They can also exile four
lands they really needed. Either way, this is a brutal card to have played against you. I really like


Here are the rest

Clockwork Droid – If you really need to get in for unblockable three damage, you have the option here. It’s fine.


Cyberman Patrol – This is excellent for any artifact creature decks, of course, but afflict three is pretty nuts. Swing in with a 1/1 and it’s either your opponents let that creature live or they lose three life. I like it, but this definitely needs a deck that’s already overwhelming to go with it.


Cybermat – A lot of artifact creatures in this deck really want to be with artifact creature decks.


Cybermen Squadron – Yes, this gives token artifact creatures myriad, too. Myr Battlesphere is a damn tank. Vehicles might be a solid spot to pop in with this.


Dalek Drone – Reminds me of Noxious Gearhulk for a more aggressive deck to put the pressure on. Time for a blink deck, a reanimation deck, or Araumi of the Dead Tide Encore deck to pop this sucker in.


Dalek Squadron – Myriad and menace? This will make games go by like nothing.


Renegade Silent – A growing threat that goads every turn seems fun, but at four mana, it’s not
super impressive. So far a lot of these cards are very clearly meant to enable Davros, Dalek Creator.


Sontaran General – This card is excellent for aggressive decks. Swing with three creatures and make sure a creature per opponent not only can’t block but they get goaded! That’s fantastic.


Sycorax Commander – Not thrilled about giving your opponents a new hand so this will only go in dedicated discard decks or wheel decks.

Time Reaper – This feels hyper-situational. Part of me wants this to be a Spectre but otherwise, this is tech against the Prosper decks.


Vashta Nerada – Shadow is basically unblockable. So an unblockable, indestructible creature that probably grows bigger and bigger every turn? Let’s start the countdown for your opponents.


Weeping Angel – First strike and vigilance means you hope you can block nicely, but it’s not a creature if they cast one that turn. But at least you get to ambush an opponent with flash! Shuffling their creature into their deck is incredible.


Zygon Infiltrator – A clone that is better than it looks at first blush. If you’ve got creatures with stackable static abilities. Nyxbloom Ancient? Have another. If your opponent has one, you get one too!


Delete – An Earthquake variant that saves artifact creatures. Some people are heavy into this, but I don’t see it.


Doomsday Confluence – I love modal spells and I love when they let you pick the same mode as many times as you need. An X spell that’s double X means every two mana gives you another effect. So three mana means one mode, five mana means two, seven means three.


Exterminate! – This card really slaps. You have to be in a Dalek deck to really take full advantage and copy this over and over. Tacking on the three life loss for the creatures’ controller keeps the clock ticking.


Great Intelligence’s Plan – If you can copy this spell enough, you’ll end up emptying your opponents’ hands or you’ll free cast a few things after drawing a full grip. Even getting this once seems pretty great. I really like this card. Six mana is a little steep but I can dig this in the
right deck.


Cyber Conversion – Instant speed to turn down a creature to basically make it useless is pretty solid for two mana. This is picking up traction in cEDH, which is notable, but it’s not my taste, really.


Don’t Blink – Time to hose the Prosper, Tome-Bound and Brago, King Eternal decks. Also,
cycling is great on this for when none of those decks are at the table.


This Is How It Ends – Shuffling a creature into a deck instead of just bouncing or killing it is so annoying because you just know it’s in the deck and you juuuust had it. If you get hit with this during an important attack, I’m sure you’d be so upset. The thing is, this probably won’t be
seeing a lot of play especially when Deadly Rollick is the choice of decks out there. This makes me hope we see more villainous choices and The Valeyard will have a real deck to prop up with.


Cybership – This thing hits like a damn tank and takes their top two cards and makes them crew ready for crack back if you can give it vigilance. This is honestly such a strong card I came close to include it in my top five, but don’t have more to say than this rules!


Laser Screwdriver – Another three mana rock with upside and I have to say that goading a creature is really cool be able to repeat when you need it. And when you don’t, you’ve got options like tapping for any colour.

Midnight Crusader Shuttle – This villainous choice is one of my favourites in the whole deck. This works particularly well with The Beast, Deathless Prince.

Blink – Nobody is going to read this card the right way the first time. This is going to be a star in Aminatou, the Fate Shifter decks looking for a new way to remove annoying creatures.

Day of the Moon – I’m not sold on this one. Goading is great, goading for multiple turns is great. But because you name a creature card, you can’t name tokens like Zombie or something. Maybe you have two opponents with a creature they share and now they have to send them at each other.

Genesis of the Daleks – You get six 3/3 tokens with menace out of this and then either deal 18 damage to one opponent or board wipe everything but your Daleks.

The Sound of Drums – This aura rips so hard. Being able to bounce it back to your hand after
an attack and get to use it again. It’s mana intensive, but it gets my gears going. I like it!

The Toymaker’s Trap – You will never get five cards out of this. Honestly, what an annoying card to be in this product. It is not good and I’m upset it exists.

That does it for Masters of Evil! Stay tuned for Paradox Power soon!


Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - November 2, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck review – Masters of Evil Legends

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander precon deck available October 13th. Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to
Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot. This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and New Cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it. Here are my top five legends from the Masters of Evil followed by the rest of the legends in the deck with a little review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle my

1. Davros, Dalek Creator
I like when the face commander of these decks is interesting enough to land in the top five. I have to admit that when I first saw this I wasn’t sure it would be great. Having seen some of the precons in action, this one over performed in my opinion. This is a bit of a slow burn commander but does so much. Every time you deal three damage to an opponent, you at the very least create a 3/3 menace creature to get in the next turn for the villainous choice to hit all of your opponents. It kind of spreads that way. The card draw is pretty sweet but that discard is also pretty great. Of course, if you make your opponents discard all their cards, the villainous choice becomes pretty easy, but let’s get there with Davros and Pain Magnification.

2. The Beast, Deathless Prince
This card is very cool. Four mana, but enters with a grip of stun counters so it’s not busted. It’s also just a solid Threaten effect that adds a little extra evasion. The juice in this card is the last ability “whenever a creature deals combat damage to its owner, untap The Beast and draw a card.” This really drives home what you want to do with this deck which is Act of Treason your opponents’ creatures, hit them with their own guys, and draw into the rest of your Threaten effects. It feels pretty straightforward and like it will only affect opponents who’ve got creature worth taking! They can’t be mad, they brought the creatures to the table!

3. The Master, Formed Anew
There’s something about this card and I don’t know what it is, but I love it. I keep coming back to this legend, trying to figure it out. It feels like a more constricted Mairsil, the Pretender – you get one less colour, you can’t copy artifacts, and the creatures you exile with a counter have to be in play. Not to mention you need to cast The Master, Formed Anew to get the exile. How do we make this work? Bounce and Blink effects!

Sanctum of Eternity and the like will make sure you keep bringing back The Master, but blinking him with something like Thassa, Deep-Dwelling will allow you to cycle through the creatures you’ve “taken over”. Need that Ravenous Chupacabra again? Blink the commander,
buddy! I don’t know how to make this work, but I am determined to make it happen.

4. The Rani

The last Grixis commander to focus on enchantments in anyway was Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor aka the Curse commander. The Rani offers a bit more of a combat focused twist to turn your opponents’ creatures into minions to do your bidding. Then, when the game is
getting down to one on one, you can pile the Auras onto a creature of your own to pump it. I love Constellation and cards like Wicked Visitor that care about enchantments hitting the graveyard. Pop Firkraag, Cunning Instigator into the 99 and enjoy running the table!

5. The Master, Multiplied
This is the breakout star of this deck by a mile. To explain how this textbox works, when The Master, Multiplied attacks, you’ll get copies for each other opponent not already being attacked. Because they’re tokens, they don’t get sacrificed to the legend rule and the delayed
trigger on Myriad won’t exile your tokens. Now you’ve got three copies of The Master as long as you have three opponents. Next combat, each of the three The Masters, Multipled has Myriad, so each one is making two more copies.
And that’s just on its own. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Jaxis, the Troublemaker, and Rionya, Fire Dancer no longer exile or sacrifice the copies they make at end of turn. There’s a lot of brewing to be done with The Master, Multipled. I’m excited and I’m a little scared!


Here are the rest

Ashad, the Lone Cyberman – Ashad oddly seems like a Voltron aristocrat which I don’t know that we’ve really fully seen. Giving nonlegendary artifact spells Casualty 2 once a turn means that Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation will be all-stars in a deck that might wouldn’t
mind getting two instant speed Spine of Ish Sahs.

Cult of Skaro – This feels like all upside. Grixis extra combats seems like the best way to build this commander. Swing in, get something great, keep the party going. Could be a fun Assault Suit commander to just really group slug.

Missy – Missy is already shoring up some infinite combos with Goblin Bombardment and Ruthless Ripper/Horde Ambusher/Dragon’s Eye Savants. The Ripper with Missy and any sackoutlet will end the game. Don’t forget to pack Conjurer’s Closet and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling.
That end step villainous choice is incredible. Either draw three cards or deal hopefully a ton of damage to everyone.

Rassilon, the War President – This is another Dimir commander from the deck that has me inspired to build it. Pack a Paradox Haze and build yourself a second hand. Make sure to add a ton of life gain then add a Bitterblossom so you can conspire your other noncreature spells
from exile. Hell, make a copy of that too. Oh, god, I’m building this deck aren’t I…

The Cyber-Controller – This is a great mill commander! Ixidor, Reality Sculptor can help you flip over the cards that you get that might be worth the time, but ultimately, this isn’t going to be super popular. Cybermen cannot be flipped face up without outside help. Conjurer’s Closet, Deadeye Navigator, and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling are the other ones that come to mind.

The Dalek Emperor – Niche creature type, villainous choice, affinity for something that doesn’t have a ton of support. I don’t really like it much.

The Master, Gallifrey’s End – This is a tough one to evaluate because the it requires non-token artifacts dying and being exiled and an opponent decides to give you a token copy of it or… lose 4 life? Four life piles up but you need the artifact creatures to die and you must exile them. Maybe with Biotransference? The worst Master by a mile.

The Master, Mesmerist – There are 14 creatures in Dimir with natural Skulk. The Master, Mesmerist can give creatures Skulk but you’ll likely be activating this to target opponents’ creatures. Myriad, clones, token copies – all good ways to expand the Skulk gang to keep your grip full.

The Valeyard – A voting commander in Grixis? Fine? Villainous choice isn’t well supported enough for this to helm the deck, to be honest.

Vislor Turlough – The only black Doctor’s companion (aside from Clara Oswald, who is technically colourless). I don’t know if this guy is worth it unless you keep your opponent’s hand stacked. Or if you keep him for extra value and have a hand that keeps going away. Either way, I really really want to like this card, but I don’t think I can get there.\

Here are reprints that are worth your time:
Solemn Simulacrum (new art is great), Blasphemous Act, Snuff Out, Lightning Greaves, Arcane Signet, Sol Ring, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Indulgence, Thought Vessel, Propaganda, Wound Reflection, Dragonskull Summit, Drowned Catacomb, Fiery Islet,
Haunted Ridge, Reliquary Tower, River of Tears, Shipwreck Marsh, and Stormcarved Coast.


Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - October 23, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck review – Timey-Wimey Non-Legends

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander precon decks available October 13th. Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to
Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot.

This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and new cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it.

Also, given that Doctor’s Companion and all the new Doctor cards means that they have this parasitic partner mechanic and can lead to so many combinations. There are 26 Doctor’s Companions and 15 eligible Doctors to combine meaning there are 390 possible commander
pairings for this set.

Here are my top five nonlegendary from the Timey-Wimey Doctor Who Commander followed by the rest of the legends in the deck with a little review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle my brain.


1. The Parting of the Ways
If you need to be convinced of this card’s strength, I recommend checking out the Decked Out Early Doctor Who Access episode on YouTube. VeggieWagon plays this and hits five nonland cards off the top of his deck and ends up pulling off casting them the next turn! This is magical Christmasland and all, but we can witness it happening. The likelihood of hitting multiple worthwhile nonland cards is pretty high. Time Travel, then time travel again is like ramping two per nonland card you’ve suspended. Then by the time the final chapter hits, your opponents will likely each have an artifact to destroy. This Saga would be amazing to copy or flicker. Also, for the Prosper, Tome-Bound decks that want to slow roll into big turns, this is a good one to consider.


2. Nanogene Conversion
I have no real plan for this but there’s just so much to like about this card – at least to me, specifically. I have an Esper clones deck that this can slot right into. The art is unsettling and creepy, it’s perfect! Turning all creatures into Ayara, First of Locthwain and then playing a black
creature can claw you back into the game or outright end it. I don’t know what the coolest or most efficient card to target would be, but Nanogene Conversion is a card I’ll keep thinking about from now on whenever a new cool creature is released or I’m just click-clacking along on Scryfall.com. Nanogene Conversion is one of those cards that makes me feel smart when it
clicks. It’s a piece of a puzzle and you’re not sure what you’re putting together.


3. Flesh Duplicate
I clearly love a clone. How about Phantasmal Image with Vanishing 3? Sometimes all you need is three turns with a creature to wrap things up. The rate on this is just too good to pass up. You can blink it or proliferate its counters, you can bring it back with a Sun Titan or other three mana value reanimation effects. It’s flexible and great on rate. What’s not to like?


4. The Pandorica
The Pandorica might seem expensive since the first time you remove something, you’ll have sunken five mana into it, but with so many decks dependent on their commander, this feels like the right way to really cut someone below the knees. Maybe you’re not up against that kind of
deck, there’s always a Smothering Tithe or Rhystic Study out there ready to be set aside. You can also save something of yours before a board wipe, but remember, it can only be activated at sorcery speed and you can’t really save something in response to another thing on the stack.


5. Everybody Lives!
This is objectively the card that people are talking about the most for cEDH or higher powered Commander. You prevent a win or a loss, you prevent board wipes or removal. For two mana. Two mana! This might not be Teferi’s Protection, but Everybody Lives! is mentioned in the same tier right now. This belongs in any deck that can run it, but really will most likely be best applied to the cEDH tables. It is, most likely, the strongest card in the whole set. Here are the rest of them!


Here are the rest of them!

Adipose Offspring – These adorable looking little aliens are 2/2s in a can. With the Emerge alt casting cost and a creature with a big enough butt, you can get effect reminiscent of Ghoulcaller Gisa. It’s cute, it’s fun, it belongs in Doran, the Siege Tower and Arcades, the
Strategist decks.


Atraxi Warden – As will be with a lot of these cards, this is a suspend card for a commander precon based on suspend and using the Time Travel ability to speed things up.So naturally, the “uncommon” cards made to this end are going to be extremely well balanced. This should
have been able to exile any creature, tapped or untapped.


Dinosaurs on a Spaceship – With Caverns of Ixalan coming next month, keep an eye on these Dinosaurs. Dinos on a Ship is a solid body with a solid anthem and if you get it off a suspension, you should have 19 power/toughness on board and 12 of that is in the air.


Judoon Enforcers – Getting this down from Suspend means you want to be able to have this exiled by turn three-to-five latest. When your opponents have armies, they’ll only be able to send one creature your way and it better be able to get by an 8/8 or they’ll lose it.


Sibylline Soothsayer – This is pretty solid for a three drop! You flip until you hit mana value three or greater and you get a bit of a deal on casting whatever you hit. Three time counters is all that stands between you and a – fingers crossed – bomb. This isn’t a bad target for copying,
blinking, reanimating, etc. Prosper, Tome-Bound and Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald decks get little boost from this and a few other cards in this deck.


Star Whale – Another in the Judoon Enforcers and Atraxi Warden camp where they are clearly designed for the precon environment but will only really matter for certain decks.


Time Beetle – A great way to fudge the number of time counters on suspended cards and permanents that use them. Skulk means as long as nobody has a one power creature, Time Travel will go your way.


All of History, All at Once – The text box on the extended border version of this is so satisfying and clean. “Time Travel. Storm” is elegant and efficient. Bringing this to a storm count of three likely means that you’re going to get all you suspended cards hitting at the same time.


Coward // Killer – Excellent against creature typal decks and fine in time counter decks. Bit of a dud to me.


Ecstatic Beauty – This seems amazing in a suspend deck, but Prosper, Tome-Bound decks know this is likely going to be an early turn play every time. Let this come off suspend when you control Prosper and you’ll get a bonus Treasure while going through the three cards you
just drew on impulse.


Everything Comes to Dust – This is pretty great in decks based on a creature type or happens to have a lot of creatures of the same type. Of course, it’s tough to play this and convoke using Human creatures because so many of Magic’s creatures are Humans. That said, destroying all
artifact and enchantments is still worth a slot.


The Wedding of River Song – This is pretty sweet if  you want to make a friend at the table. You and an opponent draw two cards and suspend something. You get a Time Travel, but they don’t. This card is probably meant just for the precon, but this is a very nice card. The art is beautiful. The card feels like it can turn the tide for two players.


Wibbly-wobbly, Timey-wimey – This is the “Cantrip with set mechanic” of the deck. Time Travel and draw a card. Excellent. No notes. Except “wobbly-wobbly timey-wimey” makes me want to dibbity-dobbitty, die in a ditchity.


Gallifrey Falls // No More – An important detail from the release notes of the set for this card: “If you cast both halves of this spell fused, the targeted creatures will be dealt 4 damage first and then be phased out, even if they had less than 4 toughness. Any abilities that trigger based on those creatures being dealt damage will trigger.” This is perfect for my Brash Taunters deck. Deal four damage to every creature and save yours from death and exile. No More can be cast on its own like a tiny Teferi’s Protection.


Run For Your Life – This is kind of a pseudo-unblockable for two creatures and being able to escape it means you can get in at opponents pretty easily. This is very likely a top-down, flavour-first design that plays great in the precon, but there are other ways to get what you
want from this out of other cards.


Psychic Paper – I have no idea how, but this card, much like Spy Kit, is a card hoping to be broken someday. I have no idea what purpose can be served by choosing a new creature card name for a creature, but at least it grants creature type bonuses to a creature that doesn’t have the ones you want. The Scarab God can now be a Zombie with Psychic Paper and it can’y be blocked! Time to hit like a truck.


RMS Titanic – Double Strike won’t let you double dip on the Treasures here so be sue to use damage doublers to get bang for your buck, but really, seven Treasures for smacking an option is pretty much what I’ve been hoping for. It’s like The Reaver Cleaver for this one Vehicle and
you need to sacrifice it. It’s time for Dictate of the Twin Gods and Fiery Emancipation to pay off even more.


Rotating Fireplace – This card is excellent in proliferate decks like Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice and in this Time Travel deck. Having Time Travel on the four mana ability can be huge in the late game but mainly will be for this precon deck.


The Moment – This is a great little artifact that can save your creatures from whatever hits them. Then when you need it, it’s like a Ratchet Bomb or Filigree Sylex. Nice piece of protection. What kind of creatures do you need to save for this to be worth it?


Crack in Time – Getting three creatures out of the way for a few turns is pretty useful. If you can keep adding time counters, your opponents won’t want to commit creatures to the board since you keep taking them away.


Four Knocks – I can’t believe I get to say this, but White has a better card draw nowadays. Tocasia’s Welcome and Welcoming Vampire are solid ways to trigger a draw per turn without it needing to be on your turn or worrying about them going away. This is a flavour included for some decks.


Regenerations Restored – This is a super projected extra turn spell that essentially will let you scry 1 and gain a life a few turns before an opponent nugs this with removal. If you can protect it and maybe speed up the countdown, you’ll have another turn in no time. Try it in enchantress decks where you can copy enchantments and protect them well. Imagine having a few of these go off at the same time!


The Day of the Doctor – A Saga that “draws” you three legends and can be a board wipe in a Doctor-centric deck is pretty sweet, but unless you’ve got a secret commander thing going, there are other card draw spells. I don’t see this one being super relevant outside of Doctor


The Eleventh Hour – I like the final chapter most because it can copy another legendary creature and not have to be sacrificed due to the legend rule since they don’t share a name. I think it’s tough to properly evaluate a Saga when all you like is the last chapter.


The Girl in the Fireplace – For a Saga with a defensive first chapter, it sure wants you to be attacking in chapters two and three. The third one can be devastating in a time counter deck.


Ominous Cemetery – It’s colourless removal on a land. That’s worth a look-see just based on that. Six mana is a little high, but coming from a graveyard player, the shuffle into the deck is a nice touch. I’d be upset but can’t be too upset, it’s not like you exiled it!


Sonic Screwdriver, TARDIS, Trenzalore Clocktower – I reviewed these in my Blast From the Past article.
Alright, next time, we’ll have another Doctor who deck for you to sink your teeth into!


Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - October 21, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck review – Timey-Wimey Legends

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander precon decks available October 13th. Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to
Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot.

This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and new cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it. Also, given that Doctor’s Companion and all the new Doctor cards means that they have this parasitic partner mechanic and can lead to so many combinations. There are 26 Doctor’s Companions and 15 eligible Doctors to combine meaning there are 390 possible commander pairings for this set. Here are my top five legends from the Timey-Wimey followed by the rest of the legends in the deck with a little review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle my brain.


1. The War Doctor
This just has to be one of my fave aggro commanders we’ve gotten in a while. Slap the Lightning Greaves on The War Doctor and play a Swords to Plowshares on a blocker, ping a mana dork, and get another counter. Lots of Proliferate shenanigans since Phyrexia: All Will Be One to get time counters like that, but there are so many ways to pop cards into exile…such as impulse draw! Professional Face-Breaker turns your Treasures into card draw and extra
counters. Alms allows you to pay one mana to exile cards from your graveyard and trigger The War Doctor. Crumbling Sanctuary is a bonkers card that I really hope makes the cut in this deck. Even blinking triggers this Doctor.

All in all, this guy is really, really strong and I think we’re going to see a few of these decks
floating around.


2. The Eleventh Doctor
This is such a cool card to build around. The evasion won’t always be necessary but baking it
into an activated ability means that you’ll spend two mana to suspend a bigger card. Double
Strike and suspend two cards from your hand. “But Mike, cards are suspended with counters
equal to its cost so it’s like you’re paying…with time.”
Yeah but there are cards in this set that have “time travel” which allows you to remove counters
from suspended cards. There’s also stuff like Clockspinning that does the same.
Let’s not forget that when you give a creature with power 3 or less unblockable if you pump it
afterward, it still won’t be able to be blocked! You can also use it on your opponents’
creatures when you need to make a deal.
Also, note that if you suspend something without a mana cost, it’ll have no time counters
which means that it can’t trigger the part that says “When the last time counter is removed from
this card, you may cast this card without paying its mana cost.” You need time counters on the
card. When it comes to companions, I think Amy Pond might be the best Companion in
another colour since she can reduce the time counters on damage.

3. Donna Noble
Donna is a card I’ve loved since I’ve seen her.
I have a Sevinne, the Chronoclasm deck built around effects like Stuffy Doll and Brash Taunter
– effects that turn damage dealt to things I control into damage to my opponents.
Donna gives me a way to turn two creatures into Brash Taunters.
Is Donna Noble a great card? No, there are cards like Ill-Tempered Loner whose backside gives
all your permanents this ability. Donna Noble is however a version of this that can live in the
command zone and with a Doctor. For my purposes an Azorius Doctor would do but we’ll see
if that switch happens. Either way, I like this kind of effect where maybe your opponents are
weary of blocking an attacker with their beefy blocker. Or maybe you just play a Star of
Extinction and kill an opponent…or two.

4. The Ninth Doctor
This is an interesting card that comes way down the line from Paradox Haze and closer to
Sphinx of the Second Sun.
A way to grant multiple upkeeps is definitely a cool idea. Doubling this effect would be even
cooler, right Clara Oswald? I immediately think of upkeep triggers like the Court cycle from
Commander Legends and Wilds of Eldraine (ie. Court of Ambition and Court of Ardenvale).
There’s also a ton of cool stuff like Twilight Prophet or Keen Duelist. What about Skrelv’s Hive
or Bitterblossom?
I really like the idea of building this as a Grixis commander with Clara Oswald, but because
Clara lets you choose a colour, you can make this Grixis, Jeskai, Temur, or just straight up
Izzet. Having a reliable way to get additional upkeeps sitting in your command zone means that
the floodgates are opening for brewing season. Trust me, we’re going to see some cool stuff
and hopefully, this card will see a renaissance time and time again. I think it’s so cool! Just be
sure to protect him so he untaps during your untap step.

5. Sally Sparrow
Sally Sparrow is a solid creature granting you instant speed casting for your creature spells.
That alone is pretty great for something hanging out in your command zone. Add to her the fact
that if you exile a creature you control – whether by flickering or blinking or just dying – you will
get a Clue token out of the deal. It might not seem like much, but Clue tokens get you back
into a game or end up being quite helpful in other ways in the right deck. This isn’t a very
powerful card, but it can be a role player or a seemingly innocuous commander.
Here are the rest of them!

Rose Tyler – Rose is efficiently costed but definitely needs you to lean in hard with the time
counters. She’s great with a few of the Doctors but is probably best suited with her OG pairing
of The Tenth Doctor. Speaking of which…

The Tenth Doctor – This one is pretty impressive! You don’t need to attack with David Tennant
to get the attack trigger and when you suspend something it’s always three time counters as
opposed to The Eleventh Doctor’s ability making it equal to mana value. The activated ability
speeds things along extremely well to the point where some turns, spending the seven mana
post-combat might be the best move.

Amy Pond – I like Amy Pond for this deck and for her Partner Rory Williams, but ultimately, this
is a suspend only card. Jhoira of the Ghitu type of card that speeds things along. Definitely
good with The Tenth Doctor and The Eleventh Doctor.

Rory Williams – This feels like a flavour design which is a cool puzzle, don’t get me wrong, but
a two mana 3/3 with First Strike and Lifelink is only really impressive if you get it down for the
two mana when you pay for it. I bet this is going to be good when it hits, but when you cast it
not from exile, you’re paying WU for a Clue token and hoping you make it three turns or Amy Pond puts the smackdown on somebody.

Astrid Peth – This is a really cheap beater that cranks out the Food tokens. Worth a shot in
Othelm/Wernog or decks that love Academy Manufactor. Explore is also a wonderful mechanic
because it’s drawing lands or card selection. I like Astrid plenty!

Idris, Soul of the TARDIS – There’s something busted in this one I feel it. Either that or you’re
just playing huge artifacts and swinging hard. Triplicate Titan, Wurmcoil Engine, Cityscape Leveler, Su-Chi Cave Guard, Reaver Titan, or, my fave, Portal to Phyrexia.

Jenny, Generated Anomaly – Explore is a great keyword and to explore twice when this gets
through for combat damage means you won’t be hurting for lands or you’ll have a big double
striker. Not my thing, but solid!

Kate Stewart – This one feels like I need to do a lot more research on to get the most out of her,
but the way she reads is that she wants time counters on permanents you control meaning
suspend won’t do anything for her. It’s time counters on the battlefield. Great for when The War Doctor’s got a stack, but if you’ve just got a few Vanishing cards and no way to proliferate, the
eight mana investment to pump your team may not feel worth it. We’ll see! Not my speed.

Martha Jones – Three mana 3/2 ETB create a Clue which you can cash in to make something
unblockable is sick. It doesn’t have to be your creatures, it doesn’t limit to a single Clue being
cracked, it doesn’t require you to sacrifice the Clue a specific way. If you sacrifice a Clue,
Martha and another target creature can’t be blocked. Excellent card.

The Face of Boe – This card is interesting in the way that I feel like it’ll only get better as time
goes on. WotC won’t stop making Suspend cards so every time that comes up, the Jeskai
Suspend cards become something to take a peek at.

Wilfred Mott – In a deck with a low enough curve, you’ll find yourself getting selective value off
of this more than you know. Plus, this is an excellent reason to nudge toward Jeskai with The Ninth Doctor (even though Wilfred isn’t a Doctor’s Companion).

That does it for the legends of the set, but because this deck has more non legendary cards, I’ll
do reprints of note here!

Here are reprints that are worth your time:
Farewell, Fractured Identity, Inspiring Refrain, Clockspinning, Lightning Greaves – Foil, Arcane Signet – Surge Foil, Sol Ring, Wedding Ring, Thought Vessel, As Foretold, Grasp of Fate, Deserted Beach, Fiery Islet, Glacial Fortress, Stormcarved Coast, Sundown Pass, and Sunbaked Canyon.

Keep an eye out for the next part of this deck review – the nonlegendary new cards!!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - October 19, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck review – Blast from the Past Non-Legen...

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander precon decks available October 13th. Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot.

This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and new cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it.

Here are my top five nonlegends from the Blast from the Past followed by the rest of the in the deck with a little review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle my
brain. Here is my article on Blast from the Past Legends.


Here we go!

1. Displaced Dinosaurs
Let’s begin with the only nonlegendary creature in the Blast from the Past precon deck. Displaced Dinosaurs is one of the funkiest and most fun creatures I’ve seen in a while. If it were legendary, this would be super popular in command zones everywhere.

This is a finisher, this is a combo piece, this is a silly, silly card.

I have a Mike, the Dungeon Master/Will the Wise (aka Othelm and Wernog) deck that makes a ton of tokens and plays a ton of legends. This is going to be a finisher in that deck. This also does wild stuff like turning your Sagas into creatures and when they get sacrificed, they trigger your Zulaport Cutthroat or Vicious Shadows. This turns your late game into an army in a can. Did you draw a Mind Stone on turn eight and you’ve got enough mana? How about dropping it anyway and while you’re at it, make it a freaking 7/7! This is hilarious and goofy but also just really strong. This is the Magic that I love. Tickle my brain, over here!


2. Five Hundred Year Diary
This is a four-mana mana rock that enters the battlefield tapped. That means it over-performed in development and needed some gating. Clues are very easy to come by in Commander and
getting a mini pseudo kind of Tolarian Academy activation on anything is bound to be worth it. Lonis, Cryptozoologist decks are itching for this to release already.

There are many ways to untap artifacts and this card is going to benefit from any of those effects. We might even have an effect like that in my top five! Who knows? (Me.)


3. The Night of the Doctor
This is a creature wrath effect on a permanent entering the battlefield with reanimation that can probably pull you ahead. The idea of this being on an enchantment, a permanent type that can
be copied fairly easily in the right decks or even flickered tells me that Aminatou decks are going to try to find a way to loop this. Given that the sacrifice happens when the second ability
resolves and there are still counters, there’s gonna be some shenanigans to attempt, but the cleanest of all would be enchantment recursion. Heliod, the Radiant Dawn or Neva, Stalked by
Nightmares can buy back your The Night of the Doctor to play again down the line. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos swinging at an opponent to resurrect The Night of the Doctor after slamming a
Heroic Intervention feels like it could be such a brutality. Give your board indestructible and you can keep looping the effects with Calix, Guided by Fate. There are ways to take advantage of
this card. It’ll be grindy, but interesting.


4. Reverse the Polarity
A modal spell is always worth a second look. At its base level, it’s a Cancel. Sometimes, the power and toughness switch can absolutely devastate a Wall/Defender deck. But to have a defensive spell against cascade/storm and an offensive spell in the final mode makes this a fantastic card. It’s important to note that this isn’t just about your creatures being unblockable. Sometimes, an
opponent will swing at another opponent of yours and you can swoop in and help take out that opponent. Or as a game-ender, you can wreck face on your own. Either way, there’s a lot of
versatility on this card!


5. Sonic Screwdriver

Speaking of versatility, here’s a three-mana rock I think might make the cut in a few decks teetering on the two vs three-mana value mana rock debate. Being a Manalith is the minimum a three-mana rock can be, but all of these abilities are quite strong. Untapping another artifact can mean using your Five Hundred Year Diary for double. If you use Liquimetal Coating or Torque, you can get into some shenanigans there. Two mana and tap, effectively making it three mana, to scry 1 is really steep, but three mana and tap to make a creature unblockable is a great spot to be with your mana rock. Get in for value or for the kill. Use it on an opponent’s creature, even. All in all, I think there’s much to like here.


Here are the rest!

Crisis of Conscience – Unless I’m in the heaviest of token decks, I don’t know that I’d play this. It destroys even your non-token enchantments and artifacts. Otherwise, you’re just hating on a
token deck? I don’t know. People seem to like this, but I’m really not sold.

The Five Doctors – Six mana, you tutor or Raise Dead up to five Doctors. For 11 mana, you get to put five creatures into play whose mana value is very likely way higher than that. Plus it can
be a reanimation spell in green, you don’t see that much. I don’t care for tutors, but I see how this is cute in this deck.

Traverse Eternity – This card is pretty sweet in the right spot. Historic batching means that you’ve got a wider need for this to catch something. If you’ve got an expensive commander,
this is an easy inclusion. If you’re running Sagas, consider it! If you’re in an artifact deck, you can run this as a more flexible One with the Machine.

Twice Upon a Time // Unlikely Meeting – A Doctor tutor and extra turn spell in one that requires you to have two Doctors. Niche, but fine.

Time Lord Regeneration – A sweet Polymorph effect for Doctor specific decks or Changeling decks. It’s fine, but especially cool to see in blue because it’s using similar space as black’s
Malakir Rebirth type effects.

Ace’s Baseball Bat – This is great for an Equipment deck centred around a legendary creature (like a Voltron deck), but really, it’s fine. It’s solid rate for a card, but it’s just fine.

Bessie, the Doctor’s Roadster – The is really cute! Two mana surprise unblockability on a 3/4 and the crew cost is really low. It’s solid!

TARDIS – A 2/4 flying Vehicle for two that gives your next spell cascade on attack is ridiculously good rate. Easy to crew, all the Doctors can (flavour win). If you’re playing Planechase, you get
to planeswalke too! Really solid, can go into any deck, I can’t be mad at it.

An Unearthly Child – A Saga for Doctors, Doctor’s Companions, and/or Vehicles. It doesn’t tutor, but if your building around a card with these attributes, it can basically tutor, I guess? I’m
not high on this outside of the precon.

Banish to Another Universe – A Banishing Light that can potentially and likely cost one or two mana. Solid upgrade.

City of Death – I love this card for my Abzan deck that runs Preston, the Vanisher and Ratadrabik of Urborg. Excellent with The Sixth Doctor for sure, definitely interesting in a bunch of places, but be careful Esix, Fractal Bloom players. This will create a token for you once a turn for six turns. You won’t be able to do the big token thing after this goes off at the beginning of your turn.

Gallifrey Stands – This is great for decks that are running all the Doctors and love a theme. If you can keep looping a Doctor from your graveyard to hand and play it for free, maybe it’s worth it, but from my perspective, this is just perfectly at home in this precon.

The Caves of Androzani – This will lock down some creatures for like four or five turns and will also grant your planeswalkers a little boost. Any other counter synergies are gravy, but chapters 1-3 are solid. Four is a Doctor tutor which may not be relevant but hey, all the more reason to run in Aminatou.

The Curse of Fenric – Such a weird Saga! You can Beast Within a creature per player but they get Deathtouch, then you can strip something of all abilities and make it a vanilla 6/6 before forcing the 6/6 to fight a death touching Mutant. It’s such a fun ride but where to put it besides Saga decks?

The Sea Devils – Another very strange Saga! Create two 2/2 islandwalkers and at the third chapter, any Salamander that hits an opponent bites a creature of theirs. Not great but the more Salamanders or Changelings get printed, this can be silly.

The War Games – This spreads the love and damage around nicely and really lets you hose the Warrior deck at the table. It’s cute, not great. A precon card, that’s for sure.

Trial of a Time Lord – Nine times out of ten this just reads “exile target Commander” on the first, second, and third chapter. I love the flavour of this card very much and think it’s great to have
in a voting deck for theme. Solid card, strange art.

Gallifrey Council Chamber – Changelings and Doctor decks only basically right? Legendary potentially five-colour land.

Trenzalore Clocktower – Another only in a deck with a Doctor basically. Or Time Lord so some of the Companions are eligible. Changelings as well. This is just Midnight Clock on a land, it’s
slower because it’s not each upkeep, but it’s on a land so…I don’t know. Not high on it except in Doctor decks.


But wait, there’s more!

I won’t be covering the planechase cards, but here are notable reprints! Aside from Heroic Intervention and Three Visits, it’s mainly staples and rocks. There isn’t crazy value in the reprints, but that’s not what we’re here for. Here they are!

Three Visits, Heroic Intervention, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Arcane Signet, MindStone, Sol Ring, Talisman of Progress, Talisman of Unity, Thought Vessel, Celestial Colonnade,
Deserted Beach, Dreamroot Cascade, Glacial Fortress, Horizon Canopy, Overgrown Farmland, Waterlogged Grove.

That does it for Blast from the Past. Stay tuned for the other decks in the Doctor Who Commander line!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Mike Carrozza - October 18, 2023

Doctor Who Commander Deck Review – Blast from the Past Legends

Hello and welcome to my Commander review of the Doctor Who Commander precon decks available October 13th starting with Blast from the Past. Despite being completely disinterested in the Doctor Who franchise, I am WAY into these decks. There are so many really cool cards and, of particular relevance to Commander, so so so many legends for that commander slot.

This series will be divided into two parts per Commander precon deck: Legends and new cards. I will nod at important reprints, but that’s about it. Here is my article on new cards.

Also, given that Doctor’s Companion and all the new Doctor cards means that they have this parasitic partner mechanic and can lead to so many combinations. There are 26 Doctor’s Companions and 15 eligible Doctors to combine meaning there are 390 possible commander pairings for this set.

Here are my top five legends from the Blast from the Past followed by the rest of the legends in the deck with a little review. Remember, the top five are just the ones I really like and that tickle
my brain. Also, this deck only has one non-legendary creature, so it’s a long one.

1. Peri Brown

Right out the gate, Peri Brown delivers on something I love and hope to see more of – giving your spells convoke. There was Invasion of Segovia whose backside allows all your spells to be convoked, but Peri Brown can be in the command zone with a Doctor! Giving one of your historic spells convoke a turn can be a big boost to any deck with tokens or even just lots of
cool creatures with static abilities that hang back. I know I’ll be trying her out in my Wernog and Othelm deck. In the command zone, The Thirteenth Doctor seems like a great candidate considering the untap ability and being in blue so a Leyline of Anticipation might make it in the 99. If you don’t mind colour redundancy, The Fifth Doctor could be sweet considering he untaps your creatures at your end step.

2. Romana II

With all the ways to create tokens in the game, Romana II is going to be a great use of a mana per turn cycle. Investigate? Pay one, do it twice. Academy Manufactor in play? Great, now you
have six artifact tokens. Are you in blue? Romana II loves to see Irenicus’s Vile Duplication and Quasiduplicate. How can Romana be in blue? Pop her in the command zone with The Sixth Doctor who doubles a historic spell of yours per turn, allowing you to use Romana II to make another copy. Meteor Golem getting copied? Why not pay another mana to destroy another thing! She’s going to be pretty cool and I think you’ll notice that you can copy more than you think. Like…your opponents’ tokens, too!

3. Sergeant John Benton

I can’t explain it but I am absolutely drawn to this card. I don’t normally play aggro commanders, I don’t normally like to play Selesnya on its own. I just love this design! Three mana 2/4 with trample and haste that draws you cards equal to damage dealt to an opponent while also giving them that many cards – that’s a lot going on. Let’s get Psychosis Crawler and Smothering Tithe in the mix. Wedding Ring lets you give your opponents extra cards if your goal is some sort of strange turbo-mill plan. But by then, you’ll have hit for a ton of commander damage. Stax pieces and pillow forts for the Sarge feels like the most efficient way to build him, but in the end, I think playing him as a group hugging way to get a few extra cards is pretty sweet.

4. K-9 Mark I

It’s just so damn efficient. A single mana for a 1/1 artifact creature does make it fragile, but if you’ve got legends to protect, you’ll have a blanket ward 1 for them until you cash in the unblockable ability. K-9 can target any legendary creature. Make a deal across the table to take out a big threat of a player. Use it to get your Voltron commander through. Sure, Sergeant John Benton can’t run
this in the 99, but K-9 can partner up with The War Doctor or The Third Doctor to really get in for some damage. The Seventh Doctor being safe on attack will get you to have a mini game more often especially if he can’t be blocked.

5. The Fifth Doctor

I really like this Doctor mostly because I have no real idea what to do with it yet. Buffing creatures that hang back is an interesting ticking clock, but untapping them is where my brain
gets tickled. Time to run a bunch of tapping effects! Yasmin Khan could be an interesting combo, Susan Foreman and Nardole, Resourceful Cyborg keep you with a mana up, Romana II
lets you copy tokens, Adric, Mathematical Genius allows you to copy abilities, but I think if you really want to get trigger silly, pick Clara Oswald. Not only is Clara a way to get black into your
deck for an Esper tap abilities deck, she’ll copy The Fifth Doctor’s end step trigger and you can respond in between and double dip on taps!


Let’s talk about the rest of them now!

Ace, Fearless Rebel – Ace is great to get rid of some pesky blockers or utility creatures. You have to have artifacts to sacrifice, but there’s a ton of ways to do that. At four mana, I’m a little
meh on Ace.

Adric, Mathematical Genius – Adric is more my speed. A sacrifice ability to Stifle that can sit in the command zone is pretty sweet, but three mana and a tap to copy and of your abilities is
absolutely incredible. I nearly picked this in my top five, but figured I’d leave some spice in the honorable mentions section.

Alistair, the Brigadier – Alistair is flexible in that you can build it as any historic focus, but the payoff is just fine. A 1/1 token is great if you’re chaining off eggs like Mox Amber and the like.
Eventually, you want to swing with your commander and pay eight mana – an amount that Commander Legends Baldur’s Gate taught us is “limited game ender” mana on an ability – to
alpha strike. I feel like Alistair is mildly reminiscent of Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor in that he can be an artifact commander in Bant.

Barbara Wright – The moment I saw Read Ahead on Sagas, I knew this ability was coming. Tom Bombadil decks and Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin decks will love her in the 99. In the Command
Zone, I reckon Barbara can be well suited to partner with The Eighth Doctor, the Sixth Doctor, or The Fourth Doctor.

Duggan, Private Detective – Duggan is an Aeon Chronicler type of creature that cranks out Clue tokens and can cash in a single big bite. Stuffy Doll might be the best target for this big punch
or even Body of Knowledge to triple your hand. Not my speed, but it’s pretty cool.

Ian Chesterton – Replicating Sagas is pretty cool and this will go in the saga decks you already know and love. Also The Eighth Doctor, the Sixth Doctor, or The Fourth Doctor if you want Ian
in the command zone.

Jamie McCrimmon – Voltron partner commander, pop this in with The Eighth Doctor for full Bant and double dip on expensive historic spells.

Jo Grant – This almost cracked my top five for legendary reanimator decks. Let’s go! Gavi, Nest Warden can make this huge. I think Jo Grant is really cool and interesting, but 2W is pretty
steep to cycle cards. Smothering Tithe IS a thing after all.

Leela, Sevateem Warrior – Gets bigger the greedier your opponents get. It’s Orcish Bowmasters Orc Army trigger on a 3/3, sort of.

Nyssa of Traken – Trading off artifacts to get rid of blockers and draw cards is pretty awesome. This is a great card, but I think she pairs better with companions than with Doctors!

Sarah Jane Smith – Two mana means this comes down quickly and that investigate trigger can add up incredibly fast when you run this in the right deck. This is just a clean, clean design.

Susan Foreman – Never, ever underestimate a mana dork in the command zone. Even if her first ability is about Planechase and some folks don’t care to play that format, Susan is just a
bonus, reliable mana dork in the command zone.

Tegan Jovanka – Lots of Voltron pieces in this deck! Giving a historic creature a light buff and indestructible usually means it’s getting through!

The Eighth Doctor – I love this card. I think it’s an excellent design and fits in a ton of my decks. Aminatou superfriends decks are going to make use of this very easily. Aminatou can blink the
permanent you cast from your graveyard so that it enters without the final “exile it instead” clause.

The First Doctor – Azorius cascade isn’t quite what I see many building but Esper, Bant, or Jeskai cascade might already be working for somebody out there. Plus the TARDIS enables the
strategy and this Doctor fetches it up for you.

The Fourth Doctor – Having seen a game with this in the command zone, this is way more powerful than I gave it credit for. If you’ve got flash speed, you can Future Sight historic spells and keep making Food. Having the top deck information is amazing and it’s easy to forget that this four mana card with lots of value is a 4/4!

The Second Doctor – I really enjoy this kind of design for Azorius. Thematically, it’s almost Orzhov because it feels like bribery, but making deals with your opponents to save yourself some damage or keep your planeswalkers around is pretty great. Not to mention, no matter what, you get to draw a card. This reminds me of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien in a way and I really liked that one, especially in draft. Probably not a bad idea to pair this Doctor with Leela, Sevateem Warrior or Vislor Turlough

The Seventh Doctor – You know I love a good minigame. Having an opponent guess something out of your hand is very fun. Even if you choose a land, you get a Clue. Either way, when you have too many artifacts, your opponent is gong to guess that the card’s mana value is less than the amount of artifacts you control. That’s when you hit them with the free Eldrazi!

The Sixth Doctor – This is just Simic good stuff with historic copying. Am I going to play it wherever I can? Yes, it’s awesome and when it fits, it’ll be incredible. But is it just…Simic? Sure! This will be great for people who love it and hell for those who don’t. Be sure to pair this with Clara Oswald so you can copy your copy of Kodama of the East Tree or whatever bomb you cast.

The Third Doctor – This is a beatdown commander if I’ve ever seen one. Play all the ways to generate many noncreature tokens and slam, slam, slam.

Vrestin, Menoptra Leader – Speaking of slam, slam, slam, Vrestin, Menoptra Leader is an Insect creature commander who can make a lot or just a few, but keeps getting bigger and coming for you. Not my speed, but maybe it’s worth having a deck like this where the goal is just slam, slam, slam. Make Insects, get bigger, hurt more.

See! That was a lot of legends from Blast from the Past. There’s a good reason I split this into two parts. Check out the rest of the cards in the deck in the next article.


Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

Bruce Gray - April 27, 2021

The Epic Experiment: Strixhaven’s Ghost

Welcome back to the Epic Experiment!

Strixhaven has just come out on MTG Arena and I have gone head first into the set in order to try and figure out what is what with the latest set. Initially, my response to previews was lukewarm. However, having now played a number of events on Arena there are some interesting cards that have not seen much in the way of some love that may be of interest.

As someone who is typically a Green player (I love me some sweet sweet Sultai), I have been very preoccupied with Red and White as of late. I think this stems from the typical assertion that this combination is not very good in Commander and other Casual multiplayer formats and I seek to prove otherwise.  However, there has recently been a brand new Red and White Commander that has really caught my attention that has been largely ignored.  Today I’m going to point you towards a very intriguing Dwarf Cleric by the name of Hofri Ghostforge!

An Unlikely Hero

Hofri was largely ignored during the preview season in part because of the deluge of cards, but also because people became completely absorbed with the Mystical Archive cards. Consequently, Hofri was largely missed or dismissed by most of the Magic community.  However, I decided to try my hand at a Sealed league and found myself with Hofri in my pool. I had underestimated the card and was just jamming it because it was Limited and you should jam all your on colour rares and mythics. I really hadn’t given it any thought.

However, all of a sudden I started to notice the effect it had on the game. With Hofri and a Dream Strix in play, I had a powerful tool to go and find impactful lessons in my sideboard. Hofri’s card says that when a non-token creature dies, you exile the creature, then you get a copy back, but it is now also a spirit, and it even gets a little +1/+1 boost. So, when Dream Strix dies, I get to go and find a Lesson and I get my Dream Strix back again.  This interaction was immensely impactful in my game, and so I thought to myself… is there something more to explore with this card here?

Building the ETB

I turned to Brawl and immediately put together a Brawl deck to see how I could exploit Hofri. My first question was to address how does Red/White keep up with some of the other colours who are better able to ramp?  My solution was simple.  Solemn Simulacrum, Pilgrim of the Ages, and Farfinder are exactly the sort of cards I wanted. All three go and search up a land and put it into my hand, meaning I can be assured to hit my land drops and advance my board. You can now get double value out of them thanks to Hofri when they die. The discovery of Pilgrim in the Strixhaven set felt like a big win since it was overlooked and brand spanking new. Not to mention it is an integral part of White’s plan to be able to keep pace with the other ramping strategies.

Next, I was looking for some other really interesting Enter the Battlefield (ETB) triggers to exploit with Hofri.  Solemn Simulacrum was once again at the fore of that discussion, but Basri’s Lieutenant, Skyclave Apparition, and Charming Prince all fit the bill nicely.  The Lieutenant was key in order to power up some of our smaller creatures, while Apparition was very potent removal, and Prince is just good value.

Now, while Hofri likes to exploit all these ETB triggers once the creatures die, I didn’t want to simply rely on my opponents killing my creatures.  If I was waiting for my opponents to get the job done the effectiveness of the deck was going to be seriously hampered. So, I went looking for ways to sacrifice my own creatures for value. Normally in EDH we get things like Ashnod’s Altar, Skullclamp, Woe Strider, and Viscera Seer as easy ways to sacrifice creatures. However, in Standard, we aren’t so lucky. What I did find were things like Weaponize the Monsters and Relic Vial to get the job done. I particularly like Weaponize the Monsters as a form of removal to blast smallish creatures out of the way, or to give you that final reach to torch an opponent who has been able to stem the bleeding. I had forgotten about Weaponize, but I will revisit it for Commander as I suspect it has some further utility.

The Second In Command

Now, the piece de resistance was yet another Legendary creature from Strixhaven – Quintorius, Field Historian.  Quintorius is the perfect teammate for Hofri because whenever a creature is exiled from the graveyard, you are able to net a spirit. When a creature dies, moving to the graveyard Hofri’s ability activates. The creature is exiled from the graveyard, activating Quintorius’s ability. We now make a 3/2 spirit token. Finally, Hofri’s ability finishes up and we get the token spirit copy of the original creature that just died. To get a 3/2 and your token off the death of one of your creatures is tremendous value and can really help pull you ahead in the game.

To make matters better Quintorius and Hofri both provide bonuses to your spirit tokens meaning that you get hasty, trample 5/3’s instead of regular old 3/2’s… but I digress.

Some Helping Hands

Lastly, there are some other really high synergy cards that fit nicely into the strategy that can’t be overlooked. Zephyr Boots is the most underrated piece of equipment I have seen in ages. The fact that it is a 1 mana equipment, equips for a mere 2, and provides evasion and card selection if you deal combat damage is a whole lot of goodness packed into a very affordable Mana Value. Luminous Broodmoth provides a redundant effect should Hofri get removed from the battlefield , but can also be a formidable presence in the air.

 Illustrious Historian is another rather anonymous card from Strixhaven that packs some punch. It comes down early and can get aggressive (or be a speed bump), but then when it dies can hop right back out of the yard thanks to Hofri. Then, after the token dies and the original Illustrious Historian is returned to the graveyard you can pay 5, exile it, and make a 3/2 spirit token… all the while playing nicely with Quintorius.

Outlaws Merriment provides a steady stream of fodder to use as sacrifice material for Relic Vial and Weaponize the Monsters. One neat little benefit is that Merriment makes a Cleric token in one third of the time. You can sacrifice them to the Vial for added benefit.

Lastly, but certainly not least, with all the sacrificing of creatures to make good use of Weaponize the Monsters, Blood Aspirant runs the real risk of running away and becoming a must answer threat.  All in all, you start to see a collection of underplayed cards that synergize in an interesting way. You can check out the full Brawl list I was running here.

Concluding Thoughts

The long and the short of it is that with Hofri, we have a mythic that almost completely fell by the wayside. As we approach the in paper release of Strixhaven, Hofri is available for between $2 and $3 on TCGplayer, meaning he is very budget friendly. Also, based on some early results, Hofri could provide an interesting, flexible, and fun shift for those of us who are tired of playing the same Red and White equipment decks.

Thank you everyone. If you want to hear more about my thoughts on Strixhaven, or any other Commander related topic, check out The Epic Experiment on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Amazon, and anywhere else you find your podcasts.

Get all your board game news here at The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com

Get all your Strixhaven needs at Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com