Name of Set: Commander 2018
Number of Cards: Four 100-card decks
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Languages Available: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish
2018 has been an interesting year for the Commander format. Wizards of the Coast introduced a rotating Commander-esque format as well as two Commander products in Commander Anthology II and now, the Commander 2018 set. On top of that, Battlebond gave Commander players tons of new toys to play with, so it's definitely been a crazy year for Commander players. They already have tons of new toys to grapple with, so this Commander-focused set has to bring a lot to the table to be worth it. Whether it does or does not in terms of the full 100-card decks is definitely questionable, but the commanders this time around are truly sweet and one of the best we've had when it comes to new commanders. The decision to move away from five color-themed decks has worked well for Wizards these last two years, and it pays dividends here as well with four mechanic-focused decks. You've got Jund Lands, Izzet Artifacts, Esper Top-of-Deck matters, and Bant Enchantments. Three of these have been requested for years and the Esper deck is a unique take on the something-matter themes, making the deck itself the something that matters. Additionally, this expansion marks the return of Magic's Commander Planeswalkers, but multicolored this time! Each Commander 2018 deck has a manufacturer standard retail price (MSRP) of 39,99 €. Now let's get into what makes these decks tick!
Our three-color entries in Commander 2018 offer the most variety in their commanders and archetypes. The Jund deck is helmed by Lord Windgrace, a much beloved character in the multiverse. It's a perfect addition in Commander 2018, as it can pull from all of Magic history for its characters. He is a five mana planeswalker that comes with five loyalty and has two land-related abilities and one cat-related ability. His +2 and -3 allow players to either discard a land to draw two cards or return two lands from the graveyard, providing a nice synergy between his primary abilities. He can plus to discard lands and then ramp after doing so with his minus ability. Additionally, he has great synergy with the popular land combo of Dark Depths and Thespian Stage, offering a constant "make a 20/20" option while he's on the board. Lastly, his ultimate allows him to destroy six non-land permanents and make six 2/2 cats.
The Esper deck is led by Aminatou, the Fateshifter, a three mana planeswalker that comes with three loyalty. Her +1 is a mini-brainstorm, allowing you to draw a card then put one back to set up your miracles/other top-of-deck cards. Her -1 allows you to flicker another permanent, which can be quite powerful for anyone who has played with that mechanic before. Her ultimate is very interesting, forcing players to exchange all their non-land permanents, making for a nice heaping of chaos.
Izzet revisits Kaladesh with Saheeli, the Gifted as it's leader. She offers one simple +1 and one absolutely nuts +1. She can either put a 1/1 flying thopter into play or she can give the player's next spell Affinity for Artifacts. For those who weren't around when Mirrodin was new, Affinity for Artifacts is one of the most powerful mechanics in the history of Magic, completely dominating the format it appeared in! So, it's pretty much powerful on any spell of your choosing. Saheeli's ultimate creates a copy of each artifact you control, which is quite powerful, but less cool than Affinity for Artifacts on everything.
Bant Enchantments is helmed by Estrid, the Masked, whose +2 untaps each enchanted permanent you control. This offers potential synergy with The Chain Veil if you manage to enchant it and enough mana to activate it over and over again. Her -1 creates a rather complicated Aura enchantment token that has totem armor, effectively protecting any permanent you control from destruction. Her -7 returns all enchantments from the grave, right after milling the top seven cards of your library – a powerful ultimate indeed if Bruna, Light of Alabaster is any indication.
Commander 2018 set has some of the most interesting commanders in years and there are loads more to discuss about each of them. Check out the four 100-card decks and pick your favorite new commanders from the best MTG Commander expansion in years!