Coram, the Undertaker | Modern Horizons 3 Commander | Art by Kai Carpenter
31, May, 24

New MH3 Commander Deck Leaves The Community Divided!

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The concentric circles of those who are Magic players and those who are content are doomed never to touch. With every new product that rolls around, be it a major Standard expansion or a sideshow, devoted fans are primed and ready to offer criticism. Like clockwork, this has come around again for Modern Horizons 3, where the Graveyard Overdrive Commander deck is catching a lot of heat from MTG regulars.

In fact, a Reddit thread dedicated to the deck’s shortcomings has gathered some serious steam over the past day. Started by Sir_Randsborg, The thread now has a whopping 270 comments. Clearly, they’re not alone in their thoughts. These kinds of discussions are often blown out of proportion, especially around the time of a product’s release. For this reason, we’re going to take a closer look at Graveyard Overdrive, and see if it warrants all the (graveyard) hate it’s been receiving.

Read More: Modern Horizons 3 Commander Card Enables Scary Dark Depths Combo!

A Value Vacuum

There are two main prongs to the fork of Sir_Randsborg’s critical reasoning. Firstly, as is often the case, they’re criticizing the deck for a lack of financial value. It’s difficult to make solid value estimations so early on, especially with how high pre-sale prices are on the new cards. That said, Graveyard Overdrive is definitely one of the weaker MH3 Commander decks in this regard, coming in at around $218 in value according to MTG Goldfish.

For reference, Tricky Terrain has an estimated value of $277, and Creative Energy dwarfs them both at $335. Interestingly, Eldrazi Incursion is sitting at $210 at the time of writing, yet there are far fewer complaints about that. Perhaps expectations were higher, given the popularity of graveyard strategies in Commander. In any case, this lack of value is largely down to the suite of reprints chosen for the deck.

Outside of a few key cards, Archon of Cruelty, The Reaver Cleaver, and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, specifically, there isn’t much to write home about here. The bulk of the deck’s value is currently tied up in the high early prices of the new cards, which are guaranteed to drop sharply in the coming weeks.

The mana base here, in particular, is rough. As Sir_Randsborg notes, there are no lands over $1.50 in value included. This is a huge missed opportunity, given how crucial good lands are in every Magic format. Later in the thread, Nonsensical-Niceties pointed out that many of these cheap lands have Cycling, which fits with the graveyard theme of the deck. That, however, did little to assuage the critics.

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Theme Or Meme?

The second prong concerns the deck’s theming or rather the lack thereof. Based on the primary face commander, Disa the Restless, Graveyard Overdrive would appear to be some kind of Lhurgoyf typal deck. That being said, only six Lhurgoyf creatures appear in the deck, alongside Altar of the Goyf and Tarmogoyf Nest.

This does not a typal deck make. There are just far too few Lhurgoyfs to really leverage Disa’s reanimation ability properly. Hilariously, as JubX pointed out in the thread, the OG Tarmogoyf doesn’t even make an appearance in the deck. Granted, it was probably omitted due to being underwhelming in Commander. Given that the deck seemingly exists to reference it, though, it’s disappointing.

All four MH3 Commander decks were designed to reference classic Modern archetypes. Tricky Terrain is a nod to land decks like Valakut and Prime Time, Eldrazi Incursion is a nod to the infamous Eldrazi Winter, and Graveyard Overdrive is a nod to classic Jund. In that respect, you can see what they were going for.

There are cards like Bloodbraid Challenger and Eternal Witness that really capture the grindy spirit of the deck in its prime. Unfortunately, these don’t mesh especially well with the Lhurgoyf side of things. This leaves the deck as a whole feeling unfocused.

Read More: What Are The Best Commons In Modern Horizons 3?

Final Verdict

Graveyard-Overdrive-MTG-Final-Verdict

The thread continues for quite some time, but those are the two key points. A lack of value, and a lack of cohesion. Is Graveyard Overdrive really a failure on both of those fronts? Well, it’s complicated.

Value-wise, it’s hard to say where the chips will land when all is said and done. The deck has a serious lack of eternal format staples, but it does boast a lot of relevant cards for Commander. Most of the new cards feel wildly overpriced at present, but Final Act and Siege-Gang Lieutenant have the potential to hold their value. Looking at everything together, it is likely that Graveyard Overdrive will end up being the weakest of the new decks financially. Especially if Eldrazi take off again and boost Eldrazi Incursion.

Theming-wise, things are more interesting. While some may find the mish-mash approach frustrating, others enjoy the way in which it hearkens back to old-school Jund. Further down the thread, Aesthetic-Dialectic even provides a passionate defense, noting the strong theming at play here. Honestly, for a deck that set out to celebrate Jund as a whole, it feels solid. The fact that Tarmogoyf returns as a humble token is hilarious, to boot.

So with all of that said and done, is Graveyard Overdrive a disappointing MTG Commander precon? Yes and no. If you’re looking for a deck that’s going to give you a good return on investment, then no. If you’re looking for a fun, grindy deck to get some games in with, then yes. For those who long to Jund ’em out once more, your time has come.

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