First introduced in 2018’s Dominaria, Sagas are nothing new in MTG at this point. We’ve seen over a hundred of them to date, and even Commanders dedicated to them. Thanks to this, the design space for this card type may seem rather limited within the vast world of MTG. While technically somewhat true, newly revealed MTG cards from the Doctor Who Commander decks prove Sagas still have a lot to give.
During the Debut Stream for the Doctor Who Commander decks, Wizards revealed a smorgasbord of new and interesting sagas to delight MTG players. As we’ve seen before, each of these is based on a classic Doctor Who episode, playing into the franchise’s flavor. Reliving the best bits of each adventure, these cards are a treat for Doctor Who fans. I should know, I’m one of them!
Beyond just being a flavorful treat for players, many of the new Saga cards are also rather powerful and definitely playable. So, let’s not dillydally any longer and dive right into all the newly revealed Doctor Who-themed MTG Sagas!
The Curse of Fenric
Aired in 1989, The Curse of Fenric is a classic Doctor Who episode full of subterfuge and twists aplenty. As with all the “Episode” Sagas, this has been somewhat faithfully represented in the new MTG card. Replacing creatures with mutants, and featuring the titular Fenric, the connections to the classic episode are plain to see.
As an MTG card, The Curse of Fenric is more than just flavor, they’re also a fairly effective source of removal. Potentially taking out your opponent’s biggest threats, you can instead leave them with 3/3 Mutants. Unfortunately, these mutants do have Deathtouch, however, by cleverly using the second ability, it trickles down into even more removal!
In total, The Curse of Fenric can remove four creatures for the low ish price of four mana. While this is well into board wipe territory, it’s still not to be scoffed at by any means. After all, targeted removal can oftentimes be superior considering it doesn’t blow up your own board too.
An Unearthly Child
If there is one type of cards that everyone loves, and or loves to hate, in MTG, it’s tutors. Offering increased consistency to any deck, these cards fill your hand with exactly what you need. In a way, An Unearthly Child offers this ability not just once, but three times for only three mana!
From this short description alone, you may think that An Unearthly Child is one of the best tutors in all of MTG at that mana cost. For better or worse, however, there is a catch to that ability. Rather than letting you find any card in your deck, you’ll only get a Doctor, Doctors Companion, or Vehicle. As if this wasn’t enough of a downside, you don’t even get to pick what card you find.
Rather than being a true tutor that lets you dig through your deck, An Unearthly Child just reveals cards from the top of your library. Unfortunately for tutor enthusiasts, this takes all the control and choice out of the equation. Despite this, however, An Unearthly Child can still be incredibly useful, especially if you’ve limited the number of Doctors, Doctor’s Companions, and vehicles in your deck.
The Day of the Doctor
As if we didn’t have enough weird half-tutors already, The Day of the Doctor is another rather bizarre Doctor-finding card. Designed to find and exile Doctors for later play within the preconstructed decks, this episode card certainly has plenty of flavor. After all, during the episode, fans got to see the terrible trio of Doctors 10, 11, and War.
Continuing this flavorful theme, The Day of the Doctor ends with a spectacular board wipe that keeps three Doctors around. Ideally, this could allow you to buff them heavily and swing in for the win, however, it does come at a cost. Dealing 13 damage to you for the board wipe, The Day of the Doctor could do more harm than good.
The Night of the Doctor
Speaking of board wipes that end in “of the Doctor” we also have The Night of the Doctor. Priced at a rather hefty six mana, this board wipe is hardly the cheapest in MTG. That being said, however, it does have a trick up its sleeves to keep things interesting.
In the second chapter of this Saga, you’re able to resurrect any Legendary card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Giving it a First Strike, Vigilance, or Lifelink token for good measure, this action is unsurprisingly very flavorful. After all, if there’s one thing that Doctor Who is good at, it’s regenerating and coming back from the dead.
Given this flavor, it obviously makes sense to use The Night of the Doctor to resurrect a Doctor. Outside of the Commander decks, however, there may be better applications for this card. Just image resurrecting Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant for instance, or any other massive creature. Should they have Haste, these cards could turn a board wipe into a possible win.
Trial of a Time Lord
As the majority of MTG players will surely know, Commander is a format already filled with political squabbles. If you want to lean into those even further, now we have Trial of a Time Lord. Offering three turns of removal, this card can be ruthlessly efficient at three mana, however, there is a catch. If you want those creatures to stay removed, you’ve got to win the final vote.
Thankfully, with cards such as Illusion of Choice, it is possible to make this a little more guaranteed. Without these, however, you’re going to have to rely on convincing your opponents and choosing targets wisely. Should you fail, things may get even more spicy, as you suddenly may find a target painted on your back.
The War Games
Have you ever wanted to create untold chaos on your Commander table but hate the idea of political squabbles? The War Games might be the card for you! Creating up to nine goaded Warrior tokens, this card gives your opponents no choice but to attack each other. Considering the tokens get stronger and stronger, this is only going to get more annoying!
In theory, having all these goaded tokens on the battlefield is sure to sow chaos and frustration at your table. In reality, however, it’s a lot easier to just trade and block these tokens with one another, since everyone gets them. Even if this doesn’t happen, you might not want to have the tokens stick around anyway. This is thanks to them only being goaded while The War Games is on the battlefield.
Once the saga is complete, all the recently created 3/3 warriors will be free to attack you for a change. Considering you’ve just spent three turns pissing everyone off, there’s a pretty good chance of this happening. Thankfully, you can save yourself from this by sacrificing a non-token creature during the Saga’s final chapter. If you don’t want to feel the wrath of nine angry tokens, that seems like a very good idea.
Caves of Androzani
Themed around the spectrox toxin from the Caves of Androzani episode, this card is aptly rather debilitating. Potentially keeping two creatures tapped for four turns, Caves of Androzani is capable of stalling your opponent’s major threats. Alongside this, you also get a full Doctor tutor after four turns and four mana!
While Caves of Androzani’s ability to shut down threats is definitely welcome, its real strength is versatility. Rather than just increasing Stun Counters on two creatures, Caves of Androzani can almost Proliferate. Hitting everything but Sagas, Caves of Androzani can buff your board quite considerably during its second and third chapters.
While this increased versatility does dramatically improve its playability, admittedly, Caves of Androzani is quite slow. That being said, however, it is still very flavorful, so it should be a treat for Doctor Who fans to use during their Commander games. Outside of the preconstructed decks, however, this card may have somewhat limited use.
Arguably one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever released, Heaven Sent deserves one hell of an MTG card. Unfortunately, MTG players don’t quite get Black Lotus 2: Electric Boogaloo, but Heaven Sent still isn’t to be scoffed out. Offering a steady stream of Clue tokens and potential mass draw, Heaven Sent is definitely an interesting card.
Despite looping with its third chapter, Heaven Sent does require some upkeep to properly excel. For starters, Clue Tokens each cost two to crack, and playing Heaven Sent again requires an additional two mana. Thankfully, these costs are hardly the end of the world in Commander, but they’re still not nothing.
Alongside offering plenty of artifact tokens and potential draw, Heaven Sent also pings each opponent during its third chapter. If this kills someone, you get to draw seven cards, which is an insane, if rare, upside. To make this more consistent, having Lich’s Tomb in play would offer a consistent draw engine. Ultimately, however, don’t expect this incredible ability to be happening all the time.
If eight brand-new Doctor Who Sagas aren’t enough to sate your MTG spoiler-loving appetite, you’re in luck! During the recent Debut Stream for the set, Wizards revealed all manner of new and exciting cards. So, if you’re still hungry for more, take a gander at the new Doctor cards, and the accompanying Doctor’s Companions.
Should those new spoilers not be enough for you, worry not, as it’s officially spoiler season! Across the next four days, we’ll see all that the Doctor Who Commander decks have to offer, so we won’t be left waiting for long! We’ll be doing our best to cover all the best bits and most exciting cards, so if you’re interested, watch this space!