Every year WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) releases their pre-built Commander decks. These five decks serve as a way for customers to get into the format without spending their time or money creating their own costly custom decks.
The 2016 Commander decks came out last week and distributers have had a hard time keeping them on the shelves with all the excitement circling them. Nevertheless, we managed to get our hands on all five so we could give you our review.
I’ll preface this by saying: I am not going to compare these decks against each other. What you want in a deck is subjective and will almost certainly be different from what I want in a deck, so there’s no way to answer a question like, “Which deck is better?”
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what you get if you buy any of these five. Inside every box is a 100 card deck that includes:
• A foil four color Commander.
• An Oversized version (also foiled) of your four colored Commander.
• Three foil two color Commanders with the new partner mechanic.
• Commander staples like sol ring, command tower, and Commander’s sphere.
• Commander exclusive cards printed solely for these decks.
Each deck retails for $35, which is well under their estimated ‘value’ if you were to buy the cards separately. With all Magic the Gathering sealed products comes the question of, “Can these stand up to a competitor’s custom deck?”, and the answer is “Kinda.” For casual play these will hold their own at your local games store or friends house. But the main reason you would buy these is because they provide you with a great framework to make your own custom deck. Normal custom Commander decks tend to be costly affairs so if buying a $35 pre-built gets you 60% of the cards you need, you’re doing yourself a favor in the long run.
With all five of these being sold in lots for as low as $130, the possibilities are endless. The new partner mechanic allows for constant mixing and matching of colors and partnered Commanders to fit exactly what you may want. If that’s not your style there are 17 other legendary creatures (and Daretti the Planeswalker) among the five decks as possible Commanders for you to customize around.
All and all, these are some of the best sealed products released from Wizards and they tend to hold their value as an investment as well. I cannot recommend these enough for those that are looking for an affordable way to get into the format or just to buy cards to supplement their already existing decks.