Doctor Who spoilers are underway, and there are a ton of unique mechanics and build-around associated with these Commander decks. There’s a Commander deck focused on Time Counters introducing Time Travel, one centered around the Doctor Who Villains (featuring the new mechanic Villainous Choice), and another built around casting lots of Historic spells. Today, we are going to be showcasing some of the Doctor’s Companions, many of which benefit from lots of Historic spells being cast.
The Doctor’s Companion mechanic functions quite similarly to the Partner mechanic in games of Commander. The idea is that, rather than using only one legendary Creature as your Commander, you get to use two instead, so long as one of them is a Doctor and the other is a Doctor’s Companion. Having access to multiple Commanders during the course of a game is certainly powerful, especially if they work well together. Luckily, many of these Doctor’s Companions work well with a handful of the 13 Doctors, providing some versatility in how you want to build your Commander decks.
Heavy Historic Theme
According to the Blast from the Past Commander deck product box, it appears as though the first eight of the 13 Doctors are all featured in this particular Precon. As such, it would make sense that a decent number of the Doctor’s Companions would appear in this Precon as well. Notably, the main Commanders for this Precon are The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, both of which give you benefits for casting Historic spells. Historic spells include Artifacts, Sagas, and legendaries. All of the Doctors and Doctor’s Companions are legendary, and many of them give boosts for casting Historic spells as well. Jamie McCrimmon, for example, is a two-power Trampler that grows every time you cast a historic spell.
Tegan Jovanka is another legend that works well with other legends. Whenever you attack, you can give an attacking historic Creature +1/+1 and Indestructible until the end of the turn. This can include itself, but Tegan importantly triggers whenever you attack with any Creature. This can help make it easy to attack with a more powerful legendary Creature and not worry about it potentially dying in combat.
Given that the Fourth Doctor, the main Commander for the Blast from the Past Precon, makes a plethora of Food tokens, it would also make sense that there would be some effective ways to convert those Food tokens into something extra beneficial. Ace, Fearless Rebel is an excellent example of that. Whenever Ace attacks, you can sacrifice an Artifact, such as a Food token. When you do, you get a +1/+1 counter on Ace, and Ace fights a Creature the defending player controlled. While Sarah Jane Smith is the primary Doctor’s Companion Commander for the deck, you can absolutely mix and match Doctors and their Companions to make a deck that fits your style. Considering Food token decks are super popular due to Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, having more ways to utilize Food tokens is always welcome.
Some of the Doctor’s Companions have specific build-around potential, making them unique Commander choices. While Peri Brown does work nicely in a deck with lots of Historic spells, it also works nicely with a ton of small Creatures. You can build a deck, for instance, that features a lot of token production as well as same massive legendary payoffs, such as Eldrazi to cast on the cheap.
Peri Brown also works quite well as the Doctor’s Companion for a deck built around The Fifth Doctor. On each of your end steps, The Fifth Doctor buffs your team of Creatures that didn’t attack or enter the battlefield that turn. Instead of attacking with your large board of Creatures, you can use them alongside Peri to help Convoke out large haymakers, then get the benefit from The Fifth Doctor at the end of your turn.
Jo Grant is another Doctor’s Companion with a unique theme. This card is all about Cycling, giving your other historic cards cycling while growing every time you cycle a card. Add in some other Cycling payoffs such as Flourishing Fox or Zenith Flare in a Boros-based Commander deck and you’re in business.
The Doctor Who Commander decks are also bringing back Planeswalking into the mix. Planeswalking is an ability specific to the Planechase format where a deck of plane cards with interesting abilities is utilized during the game. Typically, players can roll a planar die, and depending on what they roll, they could move to another plane, introducing a new effect to the game. Susan Foreman is a card that allows a player to essentially look at two cards from the planar deck and choose one to Planeswalk to. If you are looking for a fun way to add some spice to your Commander game, consider playing this cool variant.
Beyond the Doctor’s Companions that work well with historic cards and the Planechase format, there are a couple more Doctor’s Companions to go over. First up, we have Clara Oswald. Clara Oswald has a similar ability to Prismatic Piper, allowing you to choose a color before a Commander game and it becomes the chosen color. This can allow you to choose another color outside of your Doctor’s colors to utilize in your Commander deck. Clara Oswald also lets triggered abilities from your Doctors trigger an additional time, which works quite well with numerous Doctor options. Keep watch for this card and The Sixth Doctor in particular, as you can start copying your first Historic Spell each turn multiple times.
Finally, we have Amy Pond. Amy Pond has a couple interesting abilities, the first of which lets you search for a card named Rory Williams when Amy Pond enters the battlefield and put in into your hand. Additionally, whenever Amy deals combat damage to a player, you can remove that many time counters from a Suspended card you own. This ability suggests that this particular Doctor’s Companion fits nicely in the Timey-Wimey Commander deck centered around time counters.
Each Doctor’s Companion brings something fun to the table. It’s cool to see so many Commander options among the new Doctor Who cards, letting players run wild with deckbuilding ideas. Commander players rejoice!