Things have gotten all wibbly, wobbly, and, frankly, more than a little bit timey-wimey over at Wizards of the Coast. Not since the temporal crisis and the Mending has Magic: The Gathering gotten this mixed up with matters of time. Could this have to do with all of the Universes Beyond shenanigans that Wizards is up to lately? Fortunately, there’s some good news! The Doctor has stepped in, with all possible incarnations of the character (up to the Thirteenth Doctor), to fix things! Magic‘s Doctor Who Commander decks are now in their official preview season. Let’s go on a trip that’s bigger inside this article than the meta description suggests! Allon-sy!
Dramatis Personae of Magic: The Gathering‘s “Doctor Who Decks”Blast From The Past” Commander Deck
This article is intended to be a comprehensive image gallery consisting of cards previewed during the kickoff for the Doctor Who Commander decks. As such, we won’t go into too much detail, except where absolutely necessary. That said, we will be gushing over the references we know best and work things out from there.
The first cards we’ll showcase are the Doctors that first featured on the original BBC series. That is to say, Doctor Who from its initial airing in 1963 through its (temporary) end in 1989. These Doctors feature in the “Blast From The Past” Commander deck, which boasts a “Historic” theme. For those uninitiated in Magic: The Gathering, historic cards are any Legendary cards, artifacts, or Sagas. This explains why this deck will have so many Doctors compared to the other three decks in the series.
There are a few nuances in this deck series to point out. For starters, you will notice that all of these Doctors have the creature typing of “Time Lord Doctor”. Time Lord is one creature type. Due to the style guide put forth by the BBC, which Wizards of the Coast wishes to honor, they will not hyphenate it (like the Assembly-Worker creature type, for example). And that’s alright!
Other Magic: The Gathering Cards From “Blast From The Past”
Next, we have the Doctor’s various companions, also from this era of the renowned BBC series. These different Companions all also show up in “Blast From The Past”. Companions will act as psuedo-Partner commanders, as long as they’re paired with The Doctor. It doesn’t matter which one they’re paired with, as long as The Doctor specifically only has “Legendary Creature – Time Lord Doctor” on its type line (no more, no less).
Finally, we have come to learn that Magic‘s Doctor Who Commander decks will feature various important episodic moments in the form of Saga enchantments. These Sagas, as mentioned previously, are also historic, meaning they will feature prominently in the “Blast From The Past” deck. However, they are also somewhat prominent in each of the other Commander decks as well.
We have been told that each of the Doctor’s incarnations will have a Saga associated with that Doctor, themed after an iconic episode from that Doctor’s run during the series. How exciting!
“Timey-Wimey” Doctors, Companions, And Sagas
Similar to “Blast From The Past”, “Timey-Wimey” will feature various Doctors from the Doctor Who series, namely those from the reboot up through the Eleventh Doctor’s run. In contrast, this deck focuses heavily on the use of time counters and the manipulation of those counters. In this way, cards with the suspend and vanishing mechanics will feature in this Commander deck.
Now, for a personal anecdote: While I began, like so many others, watching the Doctor Who series with the Tenth Doctor, played by the incomparable David Tennant, I was only watching episodes in isolation at the time. When I started watching the series in an invested capacity, it was Christopher Eccleston and the Ninth Doctor who first pulled me in. I am therefore enthralled by the idea of making a deck led by The Ninth Doctor. Who knows? You may even see a deck tech for The Ninth Doctor from me on here sooner than later.
Other Magic: The Gathering Cards From “Timey-Wimey”
Of course, these Doctors also have their Companions as well:
It is important, at this juncture, to give a special disclaimer about these Doctor Who decks. Each of these preconstructed decks has a specific Doctor and Companion pairing that makes the deck function in the first place. For example, if you wanted to play “Blast From The Past” out of the box, you are prompted to use The Fourth Doctor and a white-aligned Companion, while “Timey Wimey” recommends you use The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler. The options are thereby a bit more limited than expected, but mixing decks to that end is expected.
Next, the Sagas for “Timey-Wimey”, as well as another card from the deck:
The Commander Cards Of “Paradox Power”
Thirdly, we have the “Paradox Power” deck from this release. “Paradox Power” explores the storylines of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors, and as such follows very much the same formula as the previous two decks. Notably, the deck explores a mechanic called Paradox, which is a triggered ability based on casting spells from anywhere but your hand. The Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan are the intended commanders to lead this deck out of the box. Here are the two incarnations of The Doctor that feature in this deck:
Next, we will explore the “Paradox Power” deck’s Companions:
Personally, it is my opinion as a Magic player that Clara Oswald is going to be the reason that many players will gravitate towards “Paradox Power” and either of the other two Doctor-centric decks in this release at the same time. My plan, to bury the lede for a moment, is to pair her with The Ninth Doctor for a critical mass of upkeep triggers. For what it’s worth, we will see how that goes in due time!
Moving along, here are the Sagas showcased in “Paradox Power”:
The Rogues Gallery of The “Masters Of Evil” Magic: The Gathering Deck
The fourth and final deck among the Doctor Who Commander decks is “Masters Of Evil”, a deck that showcases the many villains from across the franchise’s vast history. This deck also follows a similar formula to the previous three decks, but lacks a Doctor’s Companion since there is no Doctor to be found.
Notably, this deck is a self-proclaimed “group-slug” style deck, with the core mechanic of the deck being “villainous choice”, which has your opponents pick their poison as you inch closer and closer to victory. Of course, Daleks and Cybermen aren’t the only villains in Doctor Who, and quite a few also feature in this deck:
To summarize, the Doctor Who Commander decks for Magic: The Gathering will be a hit. As it stands, we are excited to play with them both out of the box and in new constructed Commander decks. Furthermore, the decks each contain ten cards compatible with the Planechase supplemental format for the game. Being avid Planechase fans ourselves, this makes us super pumped for this release!
In all honesty, there are plenty of cards we haven’t gotten a chance to show you in the interest of brevity. However, there are also as many as 50 new cards in each deck proper, so that just makes sense. Are you as hyped for these new Commander decks as we are? We sure hope so!
Finally, If you wish to preorder a deck from this release, you may do so here.