Should You Buy? Full Review of Kaldheim Commander Precon Decks

Kaldheim Commander Precon Deck Review

Should You Buy? Full Review of Kaldheim Commander Precon Decks

With Kaldheim’s release just around the corner, and the addition of over 310 new cards to shake up our Standard and Commander metagame, Wizards of the Coast have once again released a pair of Kaldheim Commander decks to tie in the set’s relevance in the format. By creating 2 decks with mechanics tied into those of the main set, and including special cards designed to support these themes without creating a path of destruction through standard, they’ve found a way to keep us Commander players entertained and providing an easier pathway for new players to enter the format!

Here’s a breakdown of my rating system:

Playability – How likely the deck is to hold its own against other non-precon decks in the format

Value – How good is the deck in terms of financial value and inherent value of cards present

Upgradability – How easily the deck be torn apart and upgraded

Beginner Friendliness, (How easy are the mechanics of the deck for a beginner to learn)

Accessibility, (How easy is it to get a hold of the deck at MSRP at your local game store)

For each rating, I will give a score out of 5 stars, which will ultimately culminate in an overall rating out of 25 stars total.

As of now, the MSRP of these new Kaldheim Commander decks is anywhere from S$45 to S$50 for a set of 2 decks, with a single deck retailing from S$25 to S$35.

Phantom Premonition: Foretell/Blink Matters

Main Commander: Ranar the Ever-Watchful

Sub-Commanders: Brago, King Eternal, Vega, the Watcher.

Ranar the Everwatchful is one of the two Kaldheim Commander decks released in conjunction with the set.


For a blink deck in this day and age, NOT having a repeatable blink outlet (such as Roon of the Hidden Realm or Aminatou, the Fateshifter) or a solid blink payoff (like Cloudblazer or Ephara, God of the Polis) makes a preconstructed deck weak and hard to pilot effectively. Thankfully, this new line of Commander decks have learnt greatly from the failures of their predecessors, and provided the deck with hefty reprints and strong cards that support the synergies offered by the main commander, Ranar.

Thankfully, the deck has taken a few hints from previous iterations of blink-style decks to create a game plan that works surprisingly well given the limited value of reprints for the deck and its status as a “Precon”. The deck runs blink-strategy all stars, such as Mistmeadow Witch, Restoration Angel, Flickerwisp, alongside their own army of powerful ETB effects such as Cloudblazer, Meteor Golem and Sun Titan. As such, the deck’s ability to run itself in a casual Commander table certainly isn’t diminished in the light as a precon. 

In addition to its potency, the deck offers various ways to reduce the impact of casting high Converted Mana Cost (CMC) cards on a player’s mana. By providing cards like Surtland Elementalist, Ethereal Valkyrie and a strong ramp package of Replicating Ring, Sol Ring, Arcane Signet and the new card, Stoic Farmer, the ease of casting such high costing cards allows one to better deal with difficult board states later on in the game.

Simultaneously, the newly printed payoffs for Foretell are certainly worth writing home about. Tale of the Ancestors is an amazing equaliser spell, and allows foretell players to empty their hands with little repercussions when dealing with difficult board states. Spectral Deluge can be a one-sided Engulf the Shore at sorcery speed, allowing you to better deal with those large, pesky Gigantosaurus’s your playgroup’s Gishath Player keeps hurling out. Cosmic Intervention gives your board a second life in the event a Wrath of God or Obliterate hits the field, allowing you to bounce back just as fast as before, and couples really well with the new board wipe Doomskar, allowing you to effectively pay 2WWW for a board wipe that rests the battlefield in your favour! 

The best part about this foretell deck is its copious ability to bluff and deceive opponents. They’ll never know if the card you Foretold is an Instant, Creature or Sorcery, and anytime you ever hold priority to activate an ability at instant speed, they’ll be quaking in their boots. It’s a game of Russian roulette, and you’re the one loading the gun.

The only main problem I have with the deck is it’s horrific mana base. Nine tapped lands that offer little to no utility when played simply slow down an already slow deck. Sure, you may be playing a control deck that hopes to drag the game long enough to reach late game when your bombs become effectively unstoppable nukes, but if you’re drawing nothing but tap Lands, then what’s the use of it all? Simply adding a Skycloud Expanse or Prairie Stream would reduce the likelihood of mana issues greatly, and the two cards cost in total less than a dollar. A true shame that such a masterpiece is plagued by an issue so easily solved.


Sadly, this deck suffers from what I like to call SingleSetMechanicitis. Foretell as a mechanic has only ever appeared in Kaldheim, and not in any other set prior. Simultaneously, the only other card that allows you to staple a foretell effect onto another card is Ethereal Valkyrie, who’s effect only occurs when it enters the battlefield and attacks, which though rather impressive, given that you can play cards with higher CMCs for cheaper on later turns should you be stuck on mana, also leaves you open to the possibility that you could just whiff with a land, and have to shamefully Foretell a basic Island the turn after. The deck lacks a black colour identity, so it is unable to run Dream Devourer as another foretell engine to buff cards like Hero of Bretagard or Ranar himself.

However, given the potency of the Blink theme, it is entirely possible to split the deck into a Blink-Matters deck with Brago or Ephara, God of the Polis at the helm, or go for a dual-tactic strategy with Ranar as the main commander. The deck can benefit from possible inclusions such as Yorion, Sky Nomad, Skyclave Apparition and Ephemerate. If you’re looking for more free blink effects, look no further than Thassa, Deep Dwelling, who can blink your creatures at the beginning of your end step each turn. 

“Time Warp” by Pete Venters

As for possible upgrades more befitting to the Foretell theme, Cosmos Charger offers cost reductions and instant speed foretelling, making even sorcery-speed threats a hazard to your opponents. Alrund’s Epiphany joins the ranks of “Time Warp-but with an upside” cards, as the extra turn effect allows for a multitude of ways to close out long, stalling games in a pinch. Another powerful Foretell effect lies in the card Starnheim Unleashed… An Entreat the Angels attached to a Foretell spell which you can easily cast on future turns rather than suffer the miracle cost for + a 4/4 Angel for 2WW as opposed to one for 2WWW is a significant upgrade. 

In terms of a mana base (or rather, lack thereof), the number of tapped Lands exceeds that of any good mana base. With a total of 9 tapped Lands, with only 3 offering meaningful advantage or utility. (Gates of Istfell, Glacial Floodplain (Snow lands) and Myriad Landscape) So the best upgrades for this mana base would be cards like Glacial Fortress, Prairie Stream, Port Town, Nimbus Maze and Mystic Gate. As for utility Lands, cards like Mystic Sanctuary can give your Instants and Sorceries with Foretell a second life to recast and torment your opponents.

Another possible upgrade to the manabase would be to the mana rocks present, using cards like Thought Vessel, Hedron Archive, Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus. Alternatively, cards like Wayfarer’s Bauble, Crystal Shard and Thaumatic Compass can offer ways to speed up ramp, or give your ETBs another hit should you fall flat too early.

Beginner Friendliness:

Though Foretell may appear daunting to new players, due to its difficulty in understanding timing restrictions and forgetting which cards were foretold in exile, it still allows new players to better grasp the concept of bluffing and knowledge restriction, as players can bluff having responses by foretelling cheap creatures and disguising them as counter or removal spells. The deck also gives the player a very effective card advantage engine through Ranar, and offers many other good blink payoffs should players want to play it as a blink/ETB-matters deck. 

And if all else fails, they can fall back on a go-wide theme with Cloudgoat Ranger, Storm Herd, Marshal’s Anthem and Thunderclap Wyvern.

This deck caters to many different play styles, so I feel that it’s a perfect introductory deck for them to venture into the commander format.


In terms of financial value, the deck’s main heavy hitters are Brago, King Eternal, Arcane Artisan, Ghostly Prison and Restoration Angel, but most are under $5 as of the writing of this article.

Though only the preorder prices are being listed as of the writing of this article, (23rd Jan), I expect Cosmic Intervention to be the card to carry the price tag of the whole deck. A 4 mana/2 mana “save your board state” card will certainly see play in casual Commander, and may even see play in other aristocrats-themed decks in other colours too.

“Trostani Discordant” by Chase Stone

As for playability, the deck offers pieces that most other blink decks would dream of having, such as Meteor Golem, Mulldrifter, Cloudblazer and Restoration Angel. Players with Trostani Discordant or Ghired, Conclave Exile decks may also appreciate the Geist-Honored Monk and Cloudgoat Ranger. The deck also offers some useful Azorius coloured staples, such as Ghostly Prison, used in many control decks as a means of deterrent against combat-base decks, as well as Windfall and Cleansing Nova, both cards used in a multitude of decks for their utility.


This is a deck that can be pre-ordered through your local games store, at its MSRP, and would likely persist for quite a while after the set’s release due to it’s decently high print volume and availability. 

Unless one of the cards inside the deck experiences a horrifically high spike due to a sudden inclusion in some “meta-breaking Vintage deck” cough cough Retrofitter Foundry cough cough, I highly doubt we’ll struggle to find copies of this Precon lying around even a year after this set’s release.

Final Rating:

Another contender for the best Precon released by Wizards of the Coast this far, Phantom Premonition offers a look into a control/combo deck for beginners and provides a strong foundation for any future Ephara/Derevi/Brago players to explore and build their collection. A definite pick up for experienced and beginner alike!

Elven Empire: Elf Tribal

Main Commander: Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Sub-Commanders: Numa, Jorag Chieftain x Miara, Thorn of the Glade (partners), Harald, King of Skemfar, Rhys the Exiled

Lathril Blade of the Elves is one of two Kaldheim Commander Precon decks from the set


Many elfball/ Elf Tribal decks already exist on EDHREC, and other Commander websites, so what makes this deck so much more different? 

Riding on the success of its predecessors, this deck relies on Lathril’s ability to recruit and generate a vast board of 1/1 elf tokens upon dealing combat damage to a player, then either using effects like Elvish Archdruid or Imperious Perfect effect to buff them to high heaven, or use cards like Timberwatch Elf and Crown of Skemfar to make one super beefy elf and attack in for lethal.

The deck is well supplemented by tribal pieces like Elvish Promenade, Return upon the Tide and the newly printed Wolverine Riders which all help the deck to spit out a board of elves and threaten opponents with massive amounts of damage. Voice of the Woods also allows you to utilise your meek 1/1s to summon a massive 7/7 late game Creatures just to spit in your opponent’s face. 

But what if your opponent is playing a pillowfort strategy? With Propaganda, Ghostly Prison and Sphere of Safety all on the battlefield? 

Well, you could always shoot them to death with Lathril, or you could hit them big with a Skemfar Shadowsage activation and hit them so hard they don’t see it coming!

Alternatively, use your Reclamation Sage to blow them up! 

“This deck is weak to Wraths and Board Wipes!” I hear you say! And yes, though it may suffer from a lack of recursion and board protection, you can always rely on your trusty Elderfang Ritualist… to return your 1 single elf…

Well either that or hope they were foolish enough to board wipe when you had Moldervine Reclamation or Poison-Tip Archer

As for the mana base, the deck suffers from the tapped land issue, but at least the Lands added in have meaning, with Command Tower, Path of Ancestry and Skemfar Elderhall being the generally better cards to use in the deck, with added support from Myriad Landscape as a ramp card, though you’ll mostly be relying on cards like Elvish Mystic, Farhaven Elf and Marwyn, the Nurturer as a way to generate mana efficiently


If there ever was an “easiest Precon deck” to upgrade, this would be the king. The number of elf tribal pieces available from previous sets is immense, from Priest of Titania to Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury to even simple elf lords like Elvish Clancaller and Elvish Champion. The number of ways to upgrade and optimise this deck is nigh infinite, with most pieces being easily available, even if they may be a bit pricey.

Simultaneously, this deck can benefit greatly from the addition of great green staples, such as Concordant Crossroads, Sylvan Library, Eternal Witness and even the Modern staple Collected Company.

In addition, there are a significantly large number of ways to improve this deck going forward.

Eternal Witness can be a good upgrade to your Lathril Kaldheim Commander Precon deck
“Eternal Witness” by Chris Rahn

Going for a token-based “Go-Wide” strategy?

Pick up a copy of Akroma’s Memorial or Ezuri, Renegade Leader and a Joraga Visionary to hit them for 20 on turn 4!

Going for Elfball/ Elf Combo?

Top the deck up with Heritage Druid, Priest of Titania, Nettle Sentinel and Seedborn Muse!

Going for Elvish Aristocrats? 

Build up your forces with Lathril and sacrifice them to effects like Ashnod’s Altar or Phyrexian Altar for the mana to hit your opponents with a large Return of the Wildspeaker or Walking Ballista

The possibilities are endless!

Beginner Friendliness:

When I was a new player to Magic, I was often stunned by the versatility of creature combat, and how it differs from other major games like Yugioh and Hearthstone. Elves play into the middle ground, offering an easily growing board state, constant pressure on enemy life totals, while also requiring you to be on your toes as you learn not to play into large board wipes or Toxic Deluge effects. 

The deck offers an easy game plan to follow, and doubles up with a strongly built deck with little to no problem colour fixing and casting their cards, with sufficient support by the newly printed cards to allow the deck to sweep even optimised decks at casual tables.


Though this deck has most of its financial value concentrated in one key card, Rhys the Exiled, it also contains other Elf tribal staples, like Elvish Promenade and Elven Ambush. Most of the other cards are holding high price tags as of prerelease due to their very limited supply and decently high demand. I expect most of them to fall in value quite fast once the set is released.

As for staples, this deck offers very little in the way of non-elf tribal cards. Voice of many may see play in a few token decks, while Beast Whisperer is an amazing card draw engine in green-inclusive decks. But aside from the two, most of the other cards won’t see play in other archetypes at all, save for the occasional deck running Moldervine Reclamation as a budget draw engine.


As another Precon deck that can be preordered via your local game store, on release it is very unlikely for this deck to be in scarce supply, unless there are shipping or distribution issues within your country. 

Simultaneously, due to this Precon’s relatively large print run as compared to the 2017 Precon decks, these decks are unlikely to be in short supply even 1 year into the future. (Again, this is assuming no sudden spikes in card prices leading to mass buyouts).

Overall Rating:

I honestly think that this is the highest score I’ve ever given a deck in this series, and for good reason! A well designed deck with strong existing and newly printed support coupled with decent card value and relatively high print runs.

This is the trademark of a good precon deck, and it’s a gold standard that I hope Wizards will attempt to push for in the future.

So, These are my thoughts on the Kaldheim Commander Precon decks! Do let me know at if you have any comments that you’d like me to see, or if you wanna suggest an idea for a Commander deck that I should tackle. 

Drawn in by the game's stunning visuals, Digi joined during the Ixalan block (2017), and has since been burning a hole in his wallet to upgrade his ever-growing roster of Commander decks.

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