Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
28, May, 24

Mono-Colored Commander Precons Could be in Jeopardy

Article at a Glance

One of the best things about the Commander format is the practically limitless freedom it allows. Outside of the format’s few banned cards, you can basically put anything you want in a deck. So long as your Commander has the right color identity, at least.

Whether you want to play a mono-colored deck, the full WUBRG, or any combination in between, anything is possible. That being said, while Commander players do have practically limitless freedom, there are still a few firm favorites. Atraxa. Praetors’ Voice, for example, has long been one of the most popular, and powerful, choices around.

While some Commanders are undeniably more popular than others, it’s hard to say there are ever any wrong choices. That is the case, at least, so long as you’re not Wizards of the Coast. Despite creating MTG and every single Commander playable card, Wizards can’t do what they want all the time.

Mono-colored Commander decks, for example, are apparently off the table. Fun as they may be, apparently MTG players simply don’t want these decks!

No More Mono-Colored Decks?!

Nahiri, the Lithomancer

Since 2011, Wizards of the Coast has been making preconstructed Commander decks with increasing frequency. From humble beginnings of once-per-year releases, now Wizards is releasing a quarter of Commander decks with each set! Thanks to this feverish pace, it’s no wonder that Wizards has printed every color combination possible.

Just as there are more popular Commanders, these preconstructed decks each vary wildly in popularity. This is especially true for the Universes Beyond Commander decks, which while hugely successful, aren’t universally beloved. Somewhat surprisingly, these decks aren’t even close to being in contention for the crown of most controversial. Instead, that dubious honor apparently goes to mono-colored decks!

Out of the over 120 preconstructed Commander decks that have been announced and printed, only eight are mono-colored. Five of these mono-colored decks were printed in 2014 and weren’t bad or hated by any means. With new Planeswalker Commanders and iconic characters receiving their first printing, there was actually a lot to love.

Despite being an interesting and unique assortment of decks, Wizards hasn’t ever repeated this precon cycle. At long last, it seems we finally have a reason as to why. According to MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, “Players mostly don’t want to purchase monocolored Commander decks.

According to Rosewater, this statement isn’t just based on vibes, but from past precedent instead. When answering a follow-up question, Rosewater confirmed “This isn’t hypothetical. We’ve made monocolor Commander decks. There’s actual sales data.” Despite costing $75+ a piece now, evidently, MTG’s mono-colored precons didn’t sell too well.

Missing the Mono Colored Mark

Relentless Rats

Sadly, since Wizards has all the sales data, they fundamentally know what sells well and what doesn’t. Since MTG is a business at the end of the day, poorly selling products are rarely if ever, repeated. Unfortunately, this may well mean that Wizards will never print a mono-colored preconstructed Commander deck again.

While the odds of new mono-colored precons getting created are slim, there’s technically still a chance. Since it has been ten years since the first mono-colored decks were released, player opinion and purchasing habits may have changed. If this was the case, however, Rosewater may have teased as such in their recent statement.

For better or worse, it appears that the writing is on the wall for mono-colored preconstructed Commander decks. Since they don’t sell well, this isn’t too surprising, but it is nonetheless disappointing. After all, there are quite a few thoroughly enjoyable mono-colored Commander themes that players already enjoy.

Out of all the mono-colored archetypes in Commander, Mono-Black Rats may be the most popular. Receiving a surprisingly large amount of support, this archetype is built around roughly 30 copies of Relentless Rats. Helmed by Marrow-Gnawer or Karumonix, the Rat King this mono-black deck could make for an excellent precon.

In a similar vein, Wizards could theoretically print precons themed around Persistent Petitioners and Slime Against Humanity. As uniquely beloved Commander themes, these mono-colored decks could receive a lot of love. Unfortunately, there is one problem with turning these themes into precons.

Currently, only four colors have access to “A deck can have any number of cards named” effects. Unfortunately, unless Wizards printed a brand-new white card with this effect, this overarching theme wouldn’t really work. While this is something Wizards could do, we won’t be holding our breath.

Magic’s Multicolor Reality

Felix Five Boots

Alongside supporting some unique and beloved themes, mono-colored Commander decks do have some advantages. As Rosewater themselves note, these decks could be a perfect place to print basic land type matters effects. Sadly, MTG sets rarely mesh with this mechanic nowadays, so finding a place to print it is difficult.

Beyond offering rarely-seen support, mono-colored decks are just plain unique, offering fun experiences for players and challenges for Wizards. That being said, the numbers don’t lie and the numbers say mono-colored decks don’t sell. Well, that appears to be the case for the Commander 2014 decks, at least.

Since 2014, Wizards has printed three more mono-colored preconstructed Commander decks. These decks are Necron Dynasties, Eldrazi Unbound, and Angels: They’re Just Like Us, but Cooler and with Wings. Despite being mono-colored, these decks have all been smash-hit successes, so maybe there is some hope after all… right?

Unfortunately, while not all the past precedent is negative, it still seems very unlikely we’ll get more mono-colored Commander precons. Ultimately, in the majority of cases, multicolored decks are simply better. Offering more options, versatility, and design space, these decks cover more ground while ideally being more well-rounded.

Beyond theoretically playing better as decks, multicolored Commander cards allow players to explore more options and synergies. Since Felix Five-Boots is Sultai, there’s no shortage of synergy and wacky decks you can brew. If you were just mono-green, however, their utility would be severely cut down and diminished.

Ultimately, outside of some added fun or unique eccentricity, multicolored decks can do everything mono-colored decks can and more. Thanks to this, there’s really very little reason for Wizards to ever repeat the cycle from Commander 2014. That being said, there are still a few embers of hope that could be stoked over time.

The Five-Color Future?

Shorikai, Genesis Engine

As some MTG players, such as Zbaschtian noted on Tumblr, Wizards has revisited, reimagined, and improved some past failures before. This was the case for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty which reinvigorated the plane of Kamigawa. Originally seen in 2004’s Champions of Kamigawa, this set flopped so hard that it practically killed the plane outright.

After 18 years and multiple major mechanics, however, Wizards finally revisited the plane and it worked wonders. Hailed as an utterly fantastic set, this reboot has paved the way for future repeats of once-failed planes. With Lorwyn being revisited in 2025, there is hope that mono-colored precons deserve a redo too.

Fueling this fire, Woihtmmd noted how Kamigawa received steady support on Blogatog before Neon Dynasty’s release. With this in mind, it’s possible that chances for more mono-colored decks could improve with enough vocal support. Whether or not this support will actually materialize, however, remains to be seen.

Should mono-colored tentpole set preconstructed decks be out of the question, Wizards does have other options. While it would be quite the undertaking, Wizards could release five new Secret Lair Commander decks, for example. Alternatively, Wizards could just keep doing what they’re doing and let players play what they want.

Even if Wizards never prints another mono-colored precon, they’re bound to keep creating mono-colored legendary creatures and cards. As we’ve seen with Slime Against Humanity these cards can easily be turned into unique mono-colored decks. Thanks to this, Wizards doesn’t really need to print mono-colored precons, even if they would be fun and helpful.

Read More: New MH3 Legend Could Take Over Commander and Competitive Formats!

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