Doctor Who Early Look

Doctor Who: Early Look

Chris CornejoCommander

2023 is Magic’s 30th anniversary and… wait, do you hear that? It’s a kind of whooshy, shimmery sound.  

Weird. Anyway, coming up later this year in Magic, we…was this blue box always here? What is going on? 

Doctor Who?

2023 is also the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, the venerable British sci-fi show. To celebrate these dual milestones, the worlds of Doctor Who are joining Magic as the latest Universes Beyond set!  

Much like Warhammer 40K previously, Doctor Who will be the thematic focus of four themed Commander decks, coming out exactly one month from today on Oct. 13! 

Important Dates

But time is a strange thing, and while Oct. 13 may be a fixed point in time, that’s not the only thing to know. Here’s a quick look at some important dates for the multiplayer-focused mini-set: 

  • Card Kingdom’s Presale Starts: Sept. 13 
  • The TARDIS Photo Event (with Promo) at MagicCon: Las Vegas: Sept. 22–24 
  • Debut: Oct. 3 
  • Previews: Oct. 3–6 
  • Command Zone Podcast’s Extra Turns Gameplay: Oct. 11 
  • Global Launch: Oct. 13 
  • Launch Party Events: Oct. 13–15  

The Set

As stated before, the set is made up of four different Commander Decks. Let’s look at each of them and learn some things about the set. 

First up, we have Blast From the Past: 

This blue/white/green deck is focused on the early years of the Doctor (spanning from the show’s inception up to the end of the original series in 1989) and is led by the most popular iteration of the main character up to that point: the Fourth Doctor.  

The Fourth Doctor
The Fourth Doctor

The deck also features a mainstay of Doctor Who — the Doctor’s companions. 

Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith

These stalwart allies of our protagonist feature a new mechanic specific to these decks, the aptly named Doctor’s companion. Like a limited version of the Partner mechanic, if your commander has Doctor’s companion, you may have an additional Commander if that other commander is the Doctor.  

This isn’t the only deck in the set that features both Doctors and Doctor’s companions, so there will be plenty of options for mixing and matching. 

Time Lord Regeneration
Time Lord Regeneration

The set as a whole also features the return of Historic, first seen in the original Dominaria set. Historic focuses on artifacts, Sagas and Legendary creatures, all things this set features in spades. Sagas are used to recall some of the most famous episodes and storylines from the show. 

Next up, the Timey Wimey deck is a blue/red/white deck focused on all the time-travel shenanigans that the Doctor gets up to, specifically the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors (the ones who propelled the reboot of the show in the 2000s), with Ten leading the way. 

The deck features the Time Travel mechanic 

The Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor

Time Travel deals with Time counters, something that’s technically been around in Magic since the beginning of the game with Fading (and later Vanishing), but it’s most associated with the Suspend mechanic, which also makes a return here.  

When you time travel, you may add or remove a time counter on any permanent or suspended card that has at least one time counter already on it. 

Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler

The deck features the same lore-heavy approach to flavor as the rest of the set, chock-full of references and characters from one of the most successful revivals of a long-dormant character ever. 

Paradox Power focuses on the two latest incarnations of the Doctor, Twelve and Thirteen, with Thirteen and her companion Yasmin Khan leading the green/blue/red deck. 

Featuring the Paradox mechanic, which puts a +1/+1 counter on a creature whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand. 

Given that focus on casting from places other than your hand, you can bet there’s going to be a lot of tricky mechanics (like Flashback, Foretell, Rebound and more) that could be making an appearance here. 

Each of these three Doctor-led decks also feature a card that will naturally lead us to another feature of the set: 


The Tardis, the iconic vehicle that the doctor uses to travel through time and space, gives you a couple of nifty bonuses if you control a Time Lord when you attack with it. The Cascading is nice, but of real note here is the part where you can Planeswalk.  

That’s right! These decks feature Planechase cards, with planes representing places from across all the Doctor’s adventures. 

Bad Wolf Bay
Bad Wolf Bay
The Doctor's Tomb
The Doctor’s Tomb

There is one more deck to talk about before we move on, because while the Doctor can get into plenty of trouble on their own, they also spend a lot of time causing trouble for those of a more nefarious bent. 

The Masters of Evil deck is a blue/black/red deck that highlights some of the Doctor’s most dire foes and villains who plagued the universe across numerous eras. 

The deck is led by the creator of the Daleks, one of the most iconic, murderous aliens ever created in fiction. 

Davros, Dalek Creator

The best of the Doctor’s villains often put our hero in a moral quandary, represented here by the villainous choice mechanic, where your opponents can choose between an option that benefits you or hurts them. 

No heroic figure is complete without an opposing force, and the Doctor has had plenty of antagonists to choose from over the years. 

Booster Fun

Those Commander decks look like a blast, but they aren’t the only way to get your hands on these new Doctor Who themed cards (except the Planechase Planes cards, which are only available in the Commander decks). The set will also be available in Collector Boosters. 

Traditional Foils, Foil-etched cards, Surge foils and extended art treatments of cards are available here, alongside a special Showcase version of the cards featuring a Tardis-themed card frame. 

River Song
River Song

Additionally, serialized versions of different variations of the Doctor can be found in Collector Boosters: 

The End of Time 

The set’s release on Oct. 13 is just a month away, with official previews starting ten days earlier on Oct. 3. In the meantime, you can preorder all the sealed product you need from Card Kingdom, and we’ll have singles available once they’ve been officially previewed.