The MTG Doctor Who Commander decks are now available, and each one comes with its own unique charm. From a deck revolving around Time Counters to a deck revolving around voting and Villainous Choice, there’s a lot of appeal here for players with all sorts of different playstyles. One deck in particular, the Blast from the Past deck, focuses on providing payoffs for casting lots of Historic spells. Historic spells encompass Legendary cards, Artifacts, and Sagas. This gives players tons of options in the way of cards to run alongside some payoffs for utilizing Historic spells, such as Peri Brown.
Of course, many players enjoy upgrading Commander Precons and finding ways to make them their own. With that in mind, we thought it would be cool to focus on the best Historic cards in Commander as well as the best payoffs for centering your deck around Historic cards. The Blast from the Past Commander deck certainly has some gems, but there’s a ton of powerful cards that fit the bill throughout Magic’s history. Let’s take a look at the MTG best Historic mechanic cards and payoffs.
Best Historic Cards
#3 Urza’s Saga
Urza’s Saga is an elite Historic card that sees play in a multitude of formats. In constructed formats like Modern and Legacy, the Constructs generated from Urza’s Saga are sometimes enough to win games on their own. In Commander, this is less likely to be the case. However, if you have a decent number of Artifacts in your deck, getting to make multiple big bodies simply with one of your Lands is quite strong.
Where Urza’s Saga really shines, though, is with its ability to tutor for an Artifact in chapter III. In Commander, there are plenty of powerful Artifacts to search for. Getting mana rocks like Sol Ring or Mana Crypt can help put you ahead on mana and lead to explosive turns. Searching for utility Artifacts like Sensei’s Divining Top can also be strong if you have enough mana to work with. Urza’s Saga doesn’t ask for too much work from you to make strong, especially given that cards like Sol Ring are Commander staples, but in decks with tons of cheap Artifacts, it’s an elite addition.
#2 Jeweled Lotus
Jeweled Lotus is a simple card, but one that is extremely strong in Commander. Much like Black Lotus, Jeweled Lotus provides a one-time mana boost for explosive turns. The difference, though, is that Jeweled Lotus can only be used to cast your Commander. While this is certainly a bit of a downside, many decks revolve heavily enough around their Commanders that playing Jeweled Lotus is still very much worth it.
Jeweled Lotus also helps a lot in situations where your Commander may have been removed multiple times, letting you recast your Commander even through a hefty Commander tax. It’s hard to go wrong with a zero-mana ramp piece in your deck. There’s a reason the card is roughly $70 in its cheapest form according to TCGplayer market price.
Read More: Top 10 Most Expensive Doctor Who MTG Cards
#1 Sol Ring/Mana Crypt
Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are both unbelievably powerful cards to have access to in Commander. The fact that they generate more mana the turn they come out than they cost to cast in the first place is already fantastic. Unlike cards like Mana Vault or Jeweled Lotus, though, you can keep using these cards for mana on subsequent turns without investing any additional resources.
Sol Ring has no drawback whatsoever, and while Mana Crypt can cause you to lose life each upkeep that you lose a coin flip, the advantage gained from the card is well worth it. Additionally, getting to start at 40 life instead of 20 helps mitigate the downside of Mana Crypt. These aren’t just the best Historic cards in Commander. They’re also simply two of the best Commander cards available in the entire game, making them the clear frontrunners on this list.
Best Historic Payoffs
#2 Alistair, the Brigadier
Alistair may be a new card from the MTG Doctor Who Commander decks, but it is quite strong. This is because of how abundant powerful Historic spells are in Commander. Getting to create 1/1 tokens every time you cast a Historic spell can result in you assembling an army in short order. Pairing Alistair with some zero-mana Artifacts like Mana Crypt can help guarantee that you get value out of your Commander immediately, before it gets removed. There are even ways to generate infinite tokens! We described one of those methods involving Cloudstone Curio here. Throw in cards like Cryptolith Rite that pay you off for creating lots of tokens, and you’re in business.
While 1/1 tokens by themselves don’t necessarily do a whole lot, Alistair makes sure to pay you off for generating a bunch of tokens. In games that go long and the board stalls out, you can attack with Alistair, pay eight mana, and get a potentially huge buff to your whole team. The fact that Alistair functions as both a Historic payoff and a solid win condition makes the card even better than it might appear at first glance, earning it a spot on this list.
#1 Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Jhoira is somewhat similar to Alistair in that it is another four-mana legend that provides a benefit every time you cast any Historic spell. The difference is that, instead of creating 1/1 tokens, you get to draw a card each time. The power of drawing a bunch of extra cards by chaining cheap Historic spells together cannot be overstated, hence why Jhoira seems like a clear top-end Historic payoff.
Once again, casting zero-mana Artifacts to get a bonus before Jhoira is removed is powerful. However, if you get to untap with Jhoira, things can get out of hand very quickly. Unlike Alistair, Jhoira can help make sure your hand is always chock full of Historic spells by continuously drawing you cards. This makes Jhoira generally more threatening to your opponents. There’s a reason the card is a decently strong cEDH Commander as well, and why Jhoira sits at the top of this list.
Read More: What is Doctor Who MTG Time Travel?