Magic: the Gathering’s latest prerelease is less than a week away! Players are likely excitedly beginning to line up their Prerelease events and getting their first taste of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan in-person!
That said, not everyone may know exactly what they’re looking for. Commander, in particular, has some pretty spicy new additions that astute players should keep an eye on. If you don’t find them in packs, consider picking them up as Singles, or at least making plans to.
If two-player constructed events are more to your taste, we have another list of recommended cards to keep an eye out for. This list will be focused on exclusively the Commander format and, therefore, will include new cards from both The Lost Caverns of Ixalan’s Commander expansion and the main set. We will not be including any reprints on this list.
As a small note, the Jurassic World cards will be excluded from this list. That said, Savage Order definitely deserves a spot on it. Let’s take a look!
Honorable Mention – Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider
Don’t let this card’s rarity fool you! Captain Storm has some incredible potential in the Commander format. Thanks to the power of Treasure tokens, its easier than ever to create a ton of these. Combine this with the hyper efficient pair of Malcolm, Keen-eyed Navigator and a pinger, and you have a ton of mana as well as some gigantic creatures.
Honorable Mention – Kutzil, Malamet Exemplar
Kutzil’s second ability is rather narrow, but for an uncommon, you get access to an ability that is generally only on rather expensive rare cards in Commander. Locking down your opponents’ ability to cast spells during your turn is incredibly powerful, leading to cards like Grand Abolisher seeing play in cEDH. For that reason alone, Kutzil is an absolutely fantastic addition to budget Commander decks everywhere.
Echoing Deeps isn’t anything new, but it’s a powerful tool that already sees play in Commander. Vesuva and Thespian’s Stage are powerful enough in the format thanks to their ability to copy problematic lands like Field of the Dead and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Echoing Deeps grants Commander players another instance of this ability, upping the potential of decks that want abilities like this.
Ripples of Potential
It’s rather ironic that, despite this card appearing in the new Explorers of the Deep preconstructed deck concerning Merfolks and the Explore mechanic, Ripple of Potential is actually a new Superfriends staple. Not only will Ripple of Potential Proliferate all of your Planeswalkers, but they will also Phase Out until your next turn, protecting them from any removal or being attacked. This can also stop board wipes that would remove then, as uncommon as those are.
For just two mana, Ripples of Potential is fantastic for a Superfriends or a ‘counters matter’ deck. Consider trying it out!
Hulking Raptor is a simple, fantastic, creature on-rate. For four mana, you get a 4/4 with Ward 2 that ramps you every precombat main phase. This is a strong inclusion in any creature-based ramp decks. Dinosaur decks, especially ones utilizing bigger Commanders like Gishath, Sun’s Avatar, will be tripping over themselves in glee on the way to their LGS to purchase this card. If you’re in green and trying to do the ‘Timmy’ thing of casting massive haymakers, consider Hulking Raptor as a threat that helps you cast your other threats.
Chimil, the Inner Sun
Chimil is exactly the type of recurring value you want in a game of casual Commander. You get to Discover 5 on each of your endsteps, and your spells cannot be countered.
Of course, decks that will want Chimil should have some powerful things to flip off of Discover. It’s always more valuable to cast a card outright without paying its mana cost than putting in your hand to use later. For that reason, proactive decks will be more interested in this than reactive ones, but having the ability to move removal to your hand for later use off your Discover triggers is unquestionably valuable.
Illustrious Wanderglyph gets a lot better when you digest one specific part of the card’s text: this card doesn’t just make tokens on your upkeep, it makes tokens on every upkeep.
This makes Illustrious Wanderglyph easily complete its own Ascend requirement. If you casted your Wanderglyph with five sources of mana, you will have ten permanents ready to go on your following turn. This means the Wanderglyph technically represents 28 stats for five mana after one rotation of the table, as long as you have the City’s Blessing. The card will only continue to create more value the longer it goes unchecked.
While Illustrious Wanderglyph is obviously best in an ‘artifact creatures matter’ deck, it fits well in any deck that wants to go wide. In terms of function, this is a slightly stronger Tendershoot Dryad because the City’s Blessing buff applies to more creatures. If your deck wants Tendershoot Dryad and can run the Wanderglyph, you may want to consider playing both.
Do note that Illustrious Wanderglyph is part of the Set Booster Commander cards, so this particular card may be a bit difficult to track down.
There are a lot of signs that suggest that Charismatic Conqueror will be quite powerful and adaptable in Commander. For two mana, you get a creature that triggers whenever an opponent casts an artifact. Thanks to fast mana being king in the format, an early Conqueror will be triggering a lot. The Conqueror also triggers whenever creatures enter the battlefield under their control.
Past that point, the Conqueror will either slow down your opponent’s development, or will allow you to start generating an army of Vampire tokens. Either of these is a massive plus for you, but do keep in mind that, if your opponent is planning to ramp to a board wipe, they may just have all their fast mana enter untapped and use it to kill your board.
That said the Conqueror’s ability to trigger on creatures as well can deter your opponents from letting creatures enter play untapped, which gives you an opportunity to get in the red zone.
A funny aside here, two Charismatic Conquerors owned by different players can technically go infinite if the players agree on it. Someone will have to stop the chain at some point, but you and that opponent can generate as many tokens as you want before then.
Either way, if your deck cares about going wide, Charismatic Conqueror seems fantastic.
If Charismatic Conqueror has charmed you with its Charisma, you can find in the Blood Rites Commander deck.
Contest of Claws
I am very excited about Contest of Claws, so I may be rating it a bit higher than where it really is. the idea of killing a creature and Discovering one of your powerful mana rocks (Sol Ring for Discover one, for example) is a deal that I simply cannot ignore.
This card can do even more work depending on what Commander is utilizing it. If your specific Commander cares about damage, like Shelob, Child of Ungoliant, you can use Contest of Claws to trigger additional effects from your Commander. Deathtouch can also create a lot of excess damage, allowing Contest of Claws to Discover for a larger number!
Contest of Claws joins Illustrous Wanderglyph in the Set Booster Commander collection.
Roaming Throne is so impressive in Commander that we wrote an entire article just talking about its applications with the new Lost Caverns of Ixalan preconstructed decks.
This card is seriously good. Roaming Throne doubles any trigger related to a creature type of your choice. While this joins the ETB-doubling crew that already has a lot of other options, Roaming Throne’s real strength lies in being able to double triggers that don’t have a lot of doubling support. Triggers that occur on combat, for example, also get doubled by Roaming Throne.
The power hidden in Roaming Throne’s flexibility can be easily observed when using Clavileno, First of the Blessed, the face Commander of Blood Rites, as an example. Not only will Roaming Throne copy Clavileno’s ability to grant a Vampire creature additional abilities on combat, but it will also double that death trigger, drawing two cards and producing two Demon tokens!
Any Kindred deck is going to want this MTG card.
Read More: MTG 2024 Release Calendar
Francisco, Foul Marauder
Partners, especially ones that can Partner with a wide range of different Commanders, are rather rare. Whenever one releases, it’s only right to shout it out. Despite all of the Pirate support releasing in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, Francisco is the biggest piece of the puzzle.
Able to Partner with Malcolm, Keen Navigator or Breeches, Brazen Plunderer for maximum effect, Francisco can Explore a lot. This trigger isn’t just restricted to Combat damage, so the pinger synergy we already know and love for these partner Commanders also goes crazy with Francisco.
There is likely a way to go infinite with this Partner Commander. Either way, the potential of this particular option is definitely the highest on the list, but Francisco could also end up being rather irrelevant all things considered. It’s difficult to tell.
Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation
Power Creep feels inevitable. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before Doubling Season was replaced by a Tripling Season effect. Fortunately, we’re not quite there yet, but Ojer Taq is the first half of the puzzle.
Ojer Taq is almost a strict upgrade to Anointed Procession. For a few more mana, you can triple your token count instead of just doubling it. Thanks to the singleton nature of Commander, this hardly means that Anointed Procession will become irrelevant overnight. It just means that a lot of players will be making room for Ojer Taq.