In case you’ve missed all the hubbub about it, this week has been all about Commander Masters spoilers. With a new preconstructed deck spoiled each day, MTG players have been delighted and dismayed by the cards on offer. Now that we’ve come to the end of the week, however, suddenly this momentous spoiler season has become old news.
In a very brisk change of place, Wizards has revealed the first round of MTG spoilers for the Doctor Who Commander decks. Scheduled to be released on the 13th of October, 2023, so far only eight new cards have been revealed. This all happened yesterday during San Diego Comic-Con where Wizards couldn’t resist delighting players with this upcoming Universes Beyond product.
Now that we know when and where these spoilers were revealed, let’s dive into all the stunning newly revealed cards!
The Tenth Doctor
To kick off this teaser for the Doctor Who MTG decks, we’ll be looking at The Tenth Doctor. This is thanks to them providing a glimpse into the mechanics of the set, namely, Suspend and Time Counters. Through these mechanics, it appears players will be casting a lot of free spells throughout the upcoming Commander decks.
For The Tenth Doctor, this apt time-based mechanic occurs every time you attack. Effectively giving players a free Suspend 3 card with each attack, this ability can be seriously potent if somewhat slow. After all, if you can control the top of your deck, exiling cards off the top of your library won’t be such so random.
Considering, in theory, this could allow you to cards like Omniscience for free, this is obviously an incredibly powerful ability. Unfortunately, however, it is rather slow, as the exiled nonland card gets three Time Counters. Thankfully, The Tenth Doctor can also deal with that through their other ability.
Through the new Time Travel ability, The Tenth Doctor can speed up Suspend cards with great effect. As you can see on the card, when you Time Travel, you can add or remove a Time Counter from each permanent you control. Admittedly, on The Tenth Doctor, the ability to Time Travel three times doesn’t come cheap, however, it’s nevertheless seriously powerful and worthwhile for expensive cards.
As an unusual note with The Tenth Doctor, on this card, we can see the first ever two-word Creature type. Despite not being connected by a hyphen, neither Time nor Lord is individually a new creature type. Instead, only “Time Lord” is the new type and Typal archetype.
Somewhat bizarrely, despite being arguably the most iconic part of Doctor Who, the TARDIS is only an uncommon MTG card. Sure, they’re predominantly available in Commander decks, so this doesn’t really matter, however, it’s nonetheless odd. Unusual rarity aside, TARDIS appears to be a rather potent MTG card as it gives a spell you cast Cascade.
Potentially activatable once each turn, this ability can be incredibly powerful, especially if you’re casting high-cost bombs. Unfortunately, however, this ability also isn’t the easiest to activate. Requiring TARDIS to attack every turn, puts this 2/4 in the line of fire, which isn’t exactly safe in Commander games. Alongside this, you’ll also have to invest resources to crew TARDIS, while also controlling a Time Lord.
Thanks to these caveats, using TARDIS to Cascade one high-cost spell into another may be easier said than done. In the early game, however, this card should still provide some useful momentum, provided that there’s a cheap Time Lord. For flavor, we would at least hope that every version of the Doctor will have 2 or more power.
Out of all the cards that were revealed at San Diego Comic-Con, this is absolutely the most powerful one. This is thanks to its replicate ability, which allows you to copy the spell for a minimal cost. Presumably appearing heavily throughout the Masters of Evil Commander deck, this mechanic should be a Dalek Typal all-star.
In the case of Exterminate! copying this moderately costed removal spell can effectively turn it into a board wipe. Admittedly, you will need a lot of tappable Daleks to pull this off, however, it’s nonetheless powerful. After all, if you manage to kill fourteen creatures with this, you can potentially one-shot an opponent!
Outside of this niche one-shot opportunity, Exterminate! should obviously offer a decent amount of value, provided you have enough Daleks at your disposal. Beyond just being good in Dalek decks, this mechanic will also synergize heavily with Changeling cards. Subsequently, there’s a good chance that it sees play outside of its original preconstructed deck.
As an important final note with Exterminate! this card is a Sorcery, so you’ll need to be careful about tapping your entire board on your turn. Should you have a Leyline of Anticipation, or similar spell, in play, however, this card becomes significantly more threatening.
Parting of the Ways
Last but not least for the main spoilers, we have a Saga, presumably from the Timey-Wimey preconstructed deck. Similarly to The Tenth Doctor this card revolves around Suspend and Time Counters. This time, however, Parting of the Ways is potentially much slower and arguably worse as a result.
As a major positive over The Tenth Doctor, Parting of the Ways exiles the top five cards of your library. Thanks to this, you could theoretically suspend five powerful cards for the low-ish cost of six mana. Unfortunately, however, unlike The Tenth Doctor, these cards don’t have a small Suspend cost. Technically, they are free, however, they get Time Counters equal to their mana value.
Due to this downside, should you hit a powerhouse card like Blightsteel Colossus you may waiting for an awful long time. Thankfully, Parting of the Ways does speed up this process you letting you Time Travel twice in its second step. Unfortunately, however, should you Suspend something like Blightsteel Colossus, this will barely dent the stack of Time Counters.
Thankfully, The Parting of the Ways does have a final ability to redeem itself. Again, however, this ability isn’t exactly the most powerful in all of MTG. Allowing players to destroy an Artifact from every player, this effect should be rather useful, especially in Commander. As far as Artifact removal goes, however, it’s far from the most timely solution to a problem.
New Planechase Cards
Alongside the quartet of traditional MTG cards, during the Comic-Con panel, Wizards also revealed four brand new Planechase cards. Debuting three Plane cards and one Phenomenon, players who enjoy this sub-format appear to be in for a good time. For better or worse, however, the abilities on these new Planechase cards aren’t entirely game-changing.
Looking at The Doctor’s Tomb, for instance, this graveyard denial by exile isn’t anything too new. The same is true of Bad Wolf Bay which simply allows you to Flicker a creature. Thankfully, both these cards do have more interesting Chaos Ensues abilities, however, these are ultimately random and difficult to rely upon.
Ultimately, while new Planechase cards such as TARDIS Bay do offer a more interesting Cascade ability, these cards ultimately aren’t for everyone. Within the Doctor Who Commander MTG decks, they’re sure to heighten the fun and the flavor, however, outside of that, these cards don’t or rather can’t see much play. That being said, however, we’re still eager to see what more these Commander decks have up their sleeves.
Last but not least, to close out this spoiler round-up, it’s worth noting Wizards debuted some new Doctor Who-themed MTG Tokens. Most of these such as the new Alien Insect Token and Dalek Token aren’t too out of the ordinary. At the end of the day, they’re similar to any ol’ unique token from a Commander or Premier set.
Thankfully, while these tokens are rather drab, there is one that’s far more exciting. Pictured above, MTG is getting a brand new Fook Token and it looks amazing. That’s my opinion, at least, which sadly isn’t shared by other MTG players online. Reddit user u/Regirex, for instance, bemoaned this new artwork, commenting “NAAAAAH THEY ADDING BRITISH CUISINE TO MTG THAT’S TOO FAR.”
Despite the somewhat divisive artwork, there nevertheless appears to be plenty to enjoy in this upcoming MTG set. As we mentioned before, currently the Doctor Who MTG decks are planned to release on the 13th of October, 2023. Should you wish to, the decks are also available for preorder on Amazon right now.