MagicCon Minneapolis Previews

MagicCon Minneapolis previews: Doctor Who, Commander Masters and more

Jason KrellCommander, Modern, Products, Standard

As has become tradition for big events these days, Wizards of the Coast used MagicCon Minneapolis to give players their first previews of the upcoming Doctor Who Commander decks, set the tone for the Wilds of Eldraine, show off face cards in the Commander Masters precons and begin tempting us with another look at Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth.

Everything was shown off Friday during the event’s preview panel, which Wizards of the Coast said should be up on their YouTube at a later date. In the meantime, the company shared a Twitter thread with all the pertinent details for those who couldn’t attend the event in person.

Doctor Who Commander decks

While previously teased, Wizards offered the first real bits of info about the set of four decks. First, they will introduce a new mechanic called “Doctor’s Companion,” which allows players to have a second Commander if the other is The Doctor. Given the Doctor has had thirteen (or so) iterations and even more companions, this should create a lot of customization options in a more controlled way — similar to the Secret Lair X Stranger Things’ Friends Forever mechanic.

Otherwise, we now know the basics of each deck, from names, to themes, to color identities. They are as follows:

“Blast from the Past” is a white/blue/green deck that shows off the franchise’s first eight doctors. The beloved Fourth Doctor is on the box art, and long-time companion Sarah Jane Smith will get her own card.

Next up is “Timey-Wimey,” a reference to a phrase popularized by David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor — who is featured on the front alongside companion Rose Tyler. This deck has a white/blue/red color identity and will also feature doctors nine and 11!

After that is “Paradox Power,” which features the Thirteenth Doctor and companion Yasmin Khan on the front. This blue/red/green deck will also include the Twelfth Doctor.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without the Doctor’s extensive collection of iconic villains. “Masters of Evil” features Missy in front of both a Dalek and a Cyberman on the cover. This blue/black/red deck will include incarnation of the Master and other infamous characters — including Davros, creator of the Daleks.

Otherwise, the decks will be filled with unique basic lands featuring the Doctor’s iconic TARDIS in exotic locations across time and space. It’s also worth mentioning that EACH deck will come with fifty new cards, making them very similar in direction to the Warhammer 40k Commander decks from 2022.

It’s also worth mentioning that players will be able to buy Doctor Who Collector Boosters to get a hold of the 200 new cards without having to buy the entire decks. The cards’ proper first look will come on July 28 at MagicCon Barcelona with the debut on Oct. 3. The full launch hits stores on Oct. 13!

Wilds of Eldraine

Meanwhile, in the land of fairy tales still recovering from a Phyrexian invasion, there’s a sleeping sickness lingering in Eldraine that will drive the upcoming set. We got to see a new face of the set, Eriette of the Charmed Apple, as well as Will and Rowan Kenrith. The two royals are taking differing paths in the wake of their parents’ passing, with Will leading his people and Rowan searching for raw power. Also, Ashiok seems to be around (and still a Planeswalker?) to cause nightmarish mischief.

But way more importantly… THE GINGERBREAD WOMAN FROM THE FIRST ELDRAINE CINEMATIC FINALLY GETS A CARD! Justice for food enthusiasts everywhere. Look at this glorious art and get ready to scarf this set down. We should be eating good.

Our first look for Wilds of Eldraine will also happen on July 28, but the first previews begin on Aug. 15. The prerelease window is from Sept. 1-7 with the global launch on Sept. 8.

Commander Masters

Next up we got the face cards of all four Commander Masters precons, which we have been eagerly waiting for after being teased earlier this year.

Zhulodok, Void Gorger will be our first new Eldrazi Commander in some time, giving colorless spells that cost a bunch of mana a heaping helping of cascade. It’s not the most exciting effect in the world, but no one will complain about all the free value that will come with casting big ol’ eldritch creatures over and over.

The white/black/green deck will be helmed by Anikthea, Hand of Erebos, who may or may not be filling in for their patron following the Phyrexian invasion. What we do know is they will care about enchantment creatures so much that they will make your non-aura enchantments INTO them regularly throughout a game.

Given Myrkul, Lord of Bones almost did the opposite in Baldur’s Gate, it’s cute to see Anikthea doing her thing. Maybe they can be friends!

Next is legacy character and pre-mending Planeswalker Commodore Guff, who is set to party with his remaining peers (of which there are an indeterminate amount…). Guff will either add bodies to the board that can either ramp into more walkers or defend the ones you have. Then, his -3 ability will refill your hand and clock your opponent based on the amount of guests in attendance, as it were.

Finally, who better to care for all the dead slivers of the Commander table than the Gravemother. As our first five color Sliver in some time, she will help you recur your most important pieces after opponents try to take them away from you. And she even lets you ignore the “legend rule,” which means our old Sliver Commanders can effectively participate in an encore performance.

What’s scarier than a board full of Slivers? How about three copies of The First Sliver?

Lord of the Rings

Rounding out the news we have a further look at Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth. More importantly, we finally get to learn what the Tempted by the Ring mechanic means after seeing it tacked on to numerous already-previewed cards!

It may seem like quite a lot to keep track of, but the first trigger of this ability forces you to pick a “Ring-bearer” from among creatures you control (as does each successive trigger). From there, your Ring-bearer gains an increasing number of valuable abilities that can help you gain incremental advantages over an opponent.

Your Ring-bearer starts off being hard to block, then it draws you cards, then it destroys creatures that CAN manage to block it after combat and it finally forces each opponent to lose 3 life whenever it does deal combat damage.

Some cards also seem like they come with an additional effect when they’re the Ring-bearer, like Sauron, the Necromancer. He will always get you a copy of a creature in your graveyard until the end of your turn, but you can keep if he’s your Ring-bearer.

Otherwise, mark your calendars for July 7-9, when Wizards of the Coast will be throwing a “Magic Celebration Event” at local game stores across the country. No details on what specifically that involves, but supporting your LGS is always a good thing.

End step

It seems silly to say that’s all given how much info Wizards of the Coast decided to drop, but we are now caught up on all the latest. And based on everything we’ve seen so far, there’s a lot to be excited about. Be sure to let us know which new release you’re looking forward to most on Twitter!