Of all the new mechanics appearing in the new MTG Doctor Who Universes Beyond crossover coming this October, Doctor’s Companion is definitely making the most waves. Ever since the Partner mechanic was introduced back in Commander 2016, anything related to it has elated a big reaction from the MTG community. Partner completely changed the landscape of competitive Commander, offering top tier decks the opportunity to run two different cards in the Command Zone, giving even further options for players to explore. With this in mind, let’s take a look at Doctor’s Companion.
What is MTG Doctor’s Companion?
Doctor’s Companion is a new Partner mechanic that allows for the flavorful partnering of the Doctor and their Companion in a game of Commander. This allows Magic to emulate one of the strongest constants from the Doctor Who franchise in a powerful way.
That said, one of the biggest themes with the Doctor Who crossover is the ability to allow players to create their own episode. How could you do that without the ability to cross Doctors with different Companions?
This is the feature that really makes Doctor’s Companion feel a lot like Partner. You don’t need to use Sarah Jane Smith with The Fourth Doctor, but can instead use them with any Doctor.
Generally, the Doctor’s Companion mechanic will only appear on the Companion characters, who have all been monocolored Legendary Creatures at the time of writing. Do keep in mind that a lot of the contents of the Doctor Who Universes Beyond crossover has not yet been spoiled.
The flip side of this is that most Doctor-Partner pairs are up to plans that are a lot narrower than that value that the dominate Partner Commanders offer. Unlike Thrasios, Triton Hero which can pretty much commit to their plan regardless of who they are partnered with, Sarah Jane Smith is a much better Companion to The Fourth Doctor than other Doctors.
Trying to do Time Travel stuff with The Tenth Doctor while granting Clue Tokens off of Historic Spells makes for a rather convoluted strategy. The Tenth Doctor is probably better his intended Companion with Rose Tyler who grows for each Suspended card and other permanent you control with Time Counters on it.
What Counts as a Doctor?
Doctor’s Companion reads “You can have two Commanders if the other is the Doctor.” Sadly, more context may be needed to understand what counts as a Doctor that this mechanic can Partner with. Does any Time Lord creature count as a Doctor? Does any Legendary Creature that has the word ‘Doctor’ in its name count?
To be perfectly clear, the card in question needs to both be a Time Lord and be a ‘Doctor.’ You will not be able to Partner these Doctor’s Companions up with anything else.
Read More: MTG Doctor Who What is Villainous Choice?
Best Doctor’s Companion?
While there’s definitely no confirmation on what the best Doctor’s Companion is going to be, there are some more generic Doctor’s Companion designs that should be able to partner decently with a range of Doctors revealed in an unintentional leak. The source for this leak is pretty reliable, but do keep in mind that there’s a chance the card above is not real.
Donna Noble, featuring the somewhat complicated Soulbond mechanic, is a Companion that punishes players for dealing damage to your Soulbonded pair. Of course, you can also take advantage of this, damaging your own characters to damage your opponents with cards like Blasphemous Act.
A lot of the other Doctor’s Companions that have been spoiled or leaked at this point ask for more specific synergies to create value. Yasmin Khan does have an ability that can generate value alongside multiple Doctors, but is still much better alongside cards that care about Paradox like The Thirteenth Doctor.
That said, Partner mechanics are incredibly powerful, so chances are players will experiment with the new Doctors to see what works best. Will it be one of the intended combinations, or something unexpected? We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, for anyone attending MTG Con Las Vegas, you may be able to try the Doctor Who TARDIS card early.
Fast forward to the beginning of Doctor Who Spoiler season, and we got a ton of new Doctor’s Companions to see! You can find them here.
Of all the Companions, the Food one is incredibly interesting. Food decks are pretty popular at the time of writing thanks to Wilds of Eldraine and Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth utilizing them as core mechanics in their respective sets.
It’s not too hard to create a stash of Food, especially in Commander where you have a lot of time to do so. Finding ways to utilize Food can be a bit of a challenge, as gaining three life just isn’t moving the needle too much.
Ace, Fearless Rebel can turn your Food tokens, or any artifact for that matter, into removal. When Ace attacks, turn your Food into removal by sacrificing it, growing Ace, and fighting an opposing creature.
It may not be the best Companion, but Clara is going to be popular alongside a few select Doctor cards. The Sixth Doctor, in particular, looks pretty scary with Clara, threatening to create two copies of your first Historic spell when in play, this partner pair can get out of hand pretty quick. You can find all of the new Doctor cards revealed here.
New Secret Lair Doctor’s Companion
Set to release on December 11, we recently got a sneak peek at some new cards from an upcoming Doctor Who Secret Lair. As a new Doctor card, the Fourteenth Doctor, was revealed, it’s only fitting that their associated Doctor’s Companion card would be revealed as well. This card is none other than Rose Noble, and it is quite strong.
Providing you with the ability to draw a card whenever you play a Doctor or Doctor’s Companion can be very powerful if built around. Given that The Fourteenth Doctor is a great Kindred-style payoff for decks that go all-in on the Doctor theme, Rose Noble works extremely well in conjunction. Not to mention, having Ward 2 means you are quite likely to get to draw at least some cards before your opponents can remove Rose Noble, which is a nice insurance policy.
Notably, not all of the cards from the new Secret Lair have been revealed yet. Only three of five cards have been showcased as of now, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for new exciting spoilers.