The new Warhammer 40k Commander decks are here, and for fans of the tabletop game, there’s an epic crossover to be found. For entrenched Magic players, though, there are also new cards to brew with. But what’s worth picking up? Let’s explore 10 cards worth checking out.
Toxicrene has one interesting design. Four mana for a 2/4 reach Deathtouch is already pretty decent, but then it also has a way to fix your mana on top. What makes this card downright playable, though, is the ability to turn off everyone else’s lands.
Cabal Coffers, Maze of Ith, Dark Depths, Glacial Chasm, Ghost Quarter, Kor Haven, Inventors’ Fair… all of them turn into rainbow lands that can’t do anything else when Toxicrene hits the field. This is secretly a pretty aggressive card you’ll want in the same sort of decks that play Questing Beast.
SPACE MARINE SCOUT
Personally, I’ve really enjoyed playing Scouting Hawk since we got it in Battle for Baldur’s Gate. The issue is it can’t grab non-basic Plains.
Space Marine Scout can, and it also has First Strike and Vigilance, two smashing keywords for a utility creature. This is the kind of white card that makes decks tick, and mono white players will be sure to raise an eyebrow at another white analogue to Wood Elves.
SCEPTRE OF ETERNAL GLORY
I’ve been telling people to play Thran Dynamo more often forever. It can boost you in mana by a substantial amount if you can cast another ramp spell using the Dynamo mana, and it’s better evaluated along the lines of the Expertise cycle, or as a ritual of sorts.
One of the times it isn’t good is in decks that have a lot of colored pips, and for those occasions, Sceptre of Eternal Glory is here to offer you a deal: if you can get three lands with the same name into play, you can have three colored mana instead of three colorless.
In mono colored decks, this is a four mana Gilded Lotus. It’s also legendary, for what it’s worth, so it’s potentially easier to tutor out. Is it better than Nyx Lotus? Maybe not. Do you run both? Probably.
BE’LAKOR, THE DARK MASTER
Demon tribal is an archetype that has struggled to really settle on a solid Commander to lead it. Raphael, Fiendish Savior, Rakdos, the Showstopper… Kaalia of the Vast? They’re all fine, but not a slam dunk pick.
Be’lakor, the Dark Master is arguably way more exciting. While he does cost six mana, you’re getting a hand refill more than likely when he enters play. And while drawing cards equal to demons you control is a great and reliable hand refill, his other ability is perhaps even more exciting.
It’s here that I’ll grant an Honorable Mention to Herald of Slaanesh. The Urza’s Incubator effect is a boon to tribal decks, so much so that we’ve seen various tribal matters equivalents printed over the years, like Starnheim Aspirant. Herald of Slaanesh takes things up a notch, granting other Demons haste. This thing’s pretty darn tasty.
CELESTINE, THE LIVING SAINT
This is the kind of design that excites me. While I’m a little disappointed she’s not an Angel, it’s obvious why when you dig into the 40k lore. Either way, a 3/4 Flying Lifelink for five that can resurrect creatures every time you go to pass the turn is phenomenal.
Alone, Celestine can bring back creatures three mana value or less, which is very on-theme for white reanimation. When you add in other Lifegain effects — which are plentiful in White — she starts to really take off. Playing her alongside existing reanimation effects, pairing them with newer additions like Ascend from Avernus and consistency cards like Deep Gnome Terramancer will provide you with a powerful deck.
The Templin Institute has a great recap on her lore here:
Commander players love a Burnt Offering, a Soldevi Adnate or a Ruthless Technomancer. Going in and out of the graveyard in order to generate mana is a powerful line of play, and it gets easier the more redundant effects you’ve got.
Illuminor Szeras brings this effect with some new flexibility. Not tied to red decks like Burnt Offering, and not tied to black or artifact creatures, this presents new ground for the ability. What’s more, it’s an artifact, meaning it has the potential to slot nicely into Dargo cEDH lines. That’s not to mention the prospect of having access to Illuminor in the Command Zone.
OUT OF THE TOMBS
Speaking of powerful lines of play, Out of the Tombs brings with it infinite combo potential, a way to not lose the game to mill and a powerful, self-mill engine — all for the low cost of three mana. It uses eon counters, which oft-brewed with but never quite strong enough Magosi, the Waterveil uses. Nesting Grounds from Ikoria is the key piece for this combo, allowing you to move eon counters from Out of the Tombs to Magosi. This gets around the natural failsafe on Magosi, allowing you to take infinite turns.
Drach’Nyen is a powerful equipment that might seem a little overcosted at first glance. When you consider that single-target exile removal is very much costed at six or more on creatures and artifacts, it becomes more reasonable to assess the card.
A deck like Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale or Greven, Predator Captain loves this. It gets a blocker or other annoying creature out of the picture and grants a potentially sizeable buff to Commander Damage.
It also excels in Legendary matters decks like Dihada, Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge and even decks like Sisay, Weatherlight Captain. Sisay has scant few options for instant speed exile based creature removal that aren’t Legacy Weapon or higher in mana cost, so Drach’Nyen adds another tool to her toolbox. Jodah likes this too. Cascading into a five or less Legendary will feel great after casting this.
MAGNUS THE RED
When you think of iconic magic cards, you think of Flickerwisp; Death’s Shadow; Young Pyromancer. Magnus the Red is a home for the latter, and a home for all manner of token making all stars like Talrand, Sky Summoner.
He’s also a Commander that flirts with cost reduction, evoking classic Commander Mizzix of the Izmagnus. Is Magnus better than Mizzix? He has the potential to be, in a tangential direction — that’s for sure. I haven’t worked out the optimal build for this one, but it’s sure to be a powerful inclusion for The Locust God.
THE GOLDEN THRONE
Our (unofficial) numero uno on this list is The Golden Throne. I didn’t number the list because at the end of the day, whether you put 40k Commander cards in your decks is entirely down to whether you like the art and the setting, with a little smidgeon of how much you value power over flavor. That said, if there was one card I think will see the most play outside of the 40k decks, it’s The Golden Throne.
Aristocrats decks love sacrificing creatures for mana, and having a way to repeatedly gain mana advantage is very good. Combined with the Necron card, Trazyn the Infinite, and an Intruder Alarm (or a Thornbite Staff in mono Black), that’s infinite mana with ol’ trusty Gravecrawler. It’s also an infinite turn outlet in mono Red.
Outside of combos, it’s also just a genuinely great artifact. It’s Legendary, and therefore more tutorable. It gives you an out to losing the game. It comes in untapped.
The Golden Throne is just golden.
Let me know what Warhammer 40k Commander cards you’re adding to your existing Commander decks on Twitter. Are you building any of the new legendaries?
Kristen is Card Kingdom’s Head Writer, and member of the Commander Advisory Group. Formerly a competitive Pokémon TCG grinder, she has been playing Magic since Shadows Over Innistrad, which in her opinion, was a great set to start with. When she’s not taking names with Equipment and Aggro strategies in Commander, she loves to play any form of Limited.