Full Ratings And Unbiased Review Of The 2018 Commander Precon Decks

Full Ratings And Unbiased Review Of The 2018 Commander Precon Decks

As we draw even closer to the official preview season of Commander Legends, I figured this is the best window to review previous iterations of the Commander Precons and compare them to what’s being offered this time around. This time the focus is on the full set of 2018 Commander Precon decks.

Once again, I will be using my previous ranking system from my 2017 review as a means of rating the various Commander Precons.

How are Decks Rated?

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. I will be taking into account the online availability of the decks and then extrapolating them to the whole market. Hence, it may be easier (or harder) for you to obtain these decks in your region.

For each category, I will give a score out of 5 stars, and there’ll be an overall rating to sum it up.

Addendum: This particular year of Commander precons marked the first price mark-up as opposed to the previous sets, from $35 to $45. I have hence taken this factor into account for the value rating of each of the decks moving forward.

With that out of the way, let’s begin!

Subjective Reality: “Top-of-Library” Matters

Main Commander: Aminatou, the Fateshifter

Sub-Commanders: Varina, Lich Queen, Yenett, Cryptic Sovereign.

Aminatou, the Fateshifter - MTG Planeswalker from the 2018 Commander Precon Decks
Aminatou, the Fateshifter by Seb McKinnon

Deck Overview: A deck that pushes the boundaries of Esper’s (Blue, White and Black) reach in Commander, Subjective Reality plays around with the idea of changing or altering what cards are on top of your Library, before using synergistic cards to either cheat them into play or put them back to trigger certain game-winning effects.


Being able to “stack” the top card of your Library to manipulate what cards you draw certainly gives you an advantage. Unfortunately, it’s not so much of a Sylvan Library effect where you can pick from among the top 3 cards of your Library and choose 1 to draw for the turn, but rather, a mix of Scry, Mill and “put this card on top of your Library” effects that power the deck’s engine. 

The main Commander, Aminatou, the Fateshifter,  deserves praise for its interesting and (at the time) revolutionary +1 ability that even stumped some of the more advanced deck brewers when it came to theory-crafting.

Nevertheless, the deck itself comes with a multitude of ways to manipulate the top card of your Library to give you the best response to any situation you may face. Missing a Land drop? Draw 3 cards and switch around the top 2 using a Brainstorm! Facing down a big threat with little mana to answer it? Just use Aminatou’s +1 to put a Banishing Stroke on top and cast it for its miracle cost! Useless cards plaguing the top of your library? Just Ponder them away!

Constructing your Sealed deck in a Prerelease is mentally tough.

The rest of the deck is full of Miracle Instants and Sorcery cards (Miracle – If you this card is the first card you’ve drawn this turn, you may reveal it and cast it for its miracle cost) that reward you for stacking the top few cards of your Library.

The sub-commander Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign (and by extension, Yuriko) all reward you for making the top card of your Library a large, odd CMC card. Blasting your opponents for 7 damage has never been so fun! 

On the other hand, the other sub-Commander, Varina, Lich Queen, doesn’t have much synergy with the deck, as the lack of zombies and her negative synergy with the deck (exiling useful cards from your graveyard and forcing you to discard away potential bombs) make her place in the deck quite weird. Ultimately, the deck functions quite well, but trying not to Mulligan into the plentiful 4-to-7 Mana Creatures and non-Creature spells can be a pain at times.


If “Top-of-Library” matters aren’t your thing, have no fear! Aminatou functions perfectly when helming a blink style deck, focused around exiling then returning creatures you control to the battlefield to trigger their enter the battlefield effects multiple times. Her -1 ability is key to an infinite combo with Oath of Teferi, so Planeswalker tribal decks have a home for her too.

Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign strays not too far from top deck tribal, but also provides Sphinx Tribal players with a Commander where they can play sphinxes to their heart’s content. The deck itself also comes with a bunch of sphinxes for deck building. Thankfully, the high mana cost of sphinx tribal makes using Yennett’s ability much more beneficial.

Varina, Lich Queen by Igor Kieryluk

Varina, Lich Queen Plays into a Zombie-Tribal Mill stratagem coupled with potential life-gain synergies. Thankfully, it receives support from many other Zombie tribal cards in both Orzhov and Dimir colours. Sadly, it doesn’t have many great takeaways from the original Precon deck, making it quite troublesome to upgrade the deck going down this route.

Beginner Friendliness

For new players, understanding this deck takes quite a bit of finesse and getting used to, given that stacking the top cards requires a player to know which cards in the deck are the most worthwhile to leave on top.

Simultaneously, the higher average CMC of the deck and its surprising lack of good non-Artifact mana ramp often leads to many dead cards in one’s starting hand, and an often punishing weakness to removal. At least the main Commander gives you an option to dig for better or more situationally appropriate cards in that given scenario, but once it’s gone, there’s not much the deck can do to stabilise itself.

The Mana base is laughable. 21 Tapped Lands out of a possible 40 make this deck super useless early game, and often stifles the Mana open for players late game, leading to off-tempo plays and many dead turns early game when you simply don’t have the Mana that you need to cast your spells.


Financially speaking, this deck…

There’s not much here. The most expensive card is Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow at $5.35 and the Commander Aminatou at $5.50. Most of the other Rares are sold at bulk prices, and the Mana base sees only 1 card above $1 (as of 23/10/20).

Aminatou from the 2018 Commander Precon Deck "Subjective Reality"

In terms of intrinsic value, this deck offers many unique oddities to add to one’s Commander collection. This Precon is the first to feature the unique mechanic “Commander Ninjutsu” as well as heralding the return of the first card that cares about tribal spells (Aminatou’s Augury).

The deck also provides a few reprints of value, such as Terminus, Devastation Tide and Utter End, which ultimately make for a very useful removal package in any Esper deck.


Thankfully, the Commander 2018 decks were printed with a much larger print run than that of the 2017 decks. 

Unfortunately, the people playing stocks chose this deck as the one to gobble up. Before her reprint in mystery booster, Yuriko’s price tag was over $15! As such, since a single card made up half the cost of the Precon, Aminatou’s deck was snatched up from store shelves in a hurry, whilst other stores were forced to sell the Subjective Reality Precon deck at a marked up price of $70 to reflect this change. 

As of the writing of this article, there is an eBay listing selling this deck for USD 46, but most major retailers like CardKingdom and Amazon have the deck marketed at around $70 to $90.

Overall Rating

An interesting push by Wizards of the Coast to design a Commander deck in colours notorious for disruption and pillowfort (preventing the opponent from attacking you) strategies that were built to encourage a more relaxed yet strategic gameplay experience, Subjective Reality made its mark on Commander History as a Precon with some of the most unique cards never thought possible by game designers.

Though plagued by scalpers and a significantly higher price tag, the deck itself was a breath of fresh air and offered an Esper deck that forced pilots to rely on both their situational awareness as well as their foresight into future turns to meticulously craft their strategies for the turns ahead.

“I cast Ruin Crab, play a land. Mill you for 3.” 

“Well, Shiiiii….”

Adaptive Enchantment”: Enchantments Matter

Main Commander: Estrid, the Masked

Sub-Commanders: Kestia, the Cultivator, Tuvasa, the Sunlit.

Estrid, the Masked by Johannes Voss

Deck Overview: Focuses heavily on playing Enchantments, both as Auras to buff one’s Creatures as well as those that stay on the Battlefield and provide synergistic effects to create an unstoppable, enchanted army of death and destruction!

Oh yeah, and a 12/12 Kraken that’s also a land. Did I mention that this set was weird?


The whole idea of this deck was to spit out creatures that offered synergistic effects when played in tandem with other Enchantment spells, then follow up with Mana-reducers to make the bigger Enchantments cost less. Finally, swing in with a 2/2 that became a 4/8 with Flying, Vigilance, Lifelink, Indestructible, Totem Armour, bands with legends that summons an 8/8 when it dies.

This deck works 100% of the time in theory, but only 60% of the time in reality. Trying to search for your Enchantments becomes quite difficult when your Creatures become hotspots for removal straight off the bat.

Placing 2 or 3 Enchantments on the same Creature will certainly attract attention from other players and without much of a way to return your Enchantments from your Graveyard to your hand once they’re out there, save for a well-timed Bruna, Light of Alabaster or Silent Sentinel, it can become quite hard to bounce back to a favourable board state after multiple board wipes and removal spells.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster by Winona Nelson.

Thankfully, the main Commander Estrid, the Masked has a -1 ability that can save your Creatures from certain death by giving them Totem Armor, which allows them to live through spells that would normally kill them at the cost of the Enchantment itself.

Simultaneously, her +1 ability gives a second life to your enchanted Permanents, allowing you to use your attackers as blockers and stockpile additional Mana from your enchanted Lands. 

The deck offers a few ways to refill one’s hand through simply playing Enchantments, with both Enchantress’s Presence and Eidolon of Blossoms offering a repeatable card draw engine when you cast your Enchantment spells.

Other cards like Sigil of the Empty Throne and Heavenly Blademaster reward you with 4/4 Flying angels and stackable anthem effects when your other Enchantments enter the Battlefield respectively.

Another major flaw is the decks Land base. Suffering from the same “tapped land tribal” as its peers, the total number of tapped lands is not as egregious as Aminatou, but it’s still 3 to 4 more than what I’d recommend for any 3-colour deck. The addition of Krosan Verge is an interesting choice as mana fixing, but it alone does not make up for the lack of a solid mana base.


Thankfully, the deck offers one of the best enchantress Commanders to have ever been printed, Tuvasa, the Sunlit.

As a pseudo-heroic style effect where she grows larger for each Enchantment you control, coupled with a free card for the first Enchantment spell you cast each turn, she offers a much more potent early game with a devastatingly powerful late-game beatdown strategy. Coupled with the release of Theros Beyond Death (2020), where many more Constellation cards were printed, she’s truly received a hero’s welcome from WOTC in the past 2 years.

Estrid, the Masked, on the other hand, lacks the versatility of Tuvasa’s second ability, but can self-synergise between her +2 and -1 abilities, as she can use her mask to target your Lands, allowing you to generate more mana with her subsequent +2 ability.

Sadly, she has no immediate way to protect herself once she enters the Battlefield, and is susceptible to removal on an empty board. At the same time, Bounce or Flicker effects coupled with Reclamation Sage style effects can easily reduce a well-established board to ashes.

Reclamation Sage by Clint Cearley.

As for ease of upgradability, the same cards that Tuvasa could use, Estrid finds a home for too. However, Estrid is more capable of utilising cards that care about multiple Enchantments on the Battlefield, such as Ethereal Armor and Kor Spiritdancer as well as AOE damage/destruction spells such as Rout and Winds of Rath since the mask provides Totem Armour to the enchanted Permanents.

Kestia, the Cultivator lands herself in between a rock and a hard place. Bestow was never a strong mechanic, to begin with, and as a 4-Mana Commander, she offers a card draw effect that only triggers once a turn and only on attacks.

As such, she offers a very mediocre effect at best and is a 4/4 body that does little otherwise. Even her Bestow cost of 6 Mana is stifling, forcing you to already have a Creature on the field (that hopefully, should be able to attack) and leaving you wide open to counter spells and removal. Ideally, you’d be playing her in a bogles-type shell. But if you’re playing bogles, you should change to the Modern format. 

The only major drawback here is that all 3 Commanders encourage some sort of enchantment strategy, with very little space to branch out and explore other possible themes for decks. (But bogle-tribal sounds like a cool idea for a deck…)

Beginner Friendliness

This is the most, if not one of the most beginner-friendly decks produced by WOTC. A straightforward game plan that rewards you with Creatures that can grow at exponential rates, decent removal and protection against threats and anywhere from 2 to 4 card draw engines to fill one’s hand makes this deck a true menace even in a new player’s hands. 

Nuff’ said.


Though not the most expensive (as of the writing of this article) Precon deck from the 2018 series, the deck offers some valuable cards in the form of Enchantress’s Presence, Estrid’s Invocation and Bear Umbra.

The meat of this deck lies in the plentiful number of enchantment-matters cards in the deck as well as some interesting hidden gems like Hydra Omnivore and Myth Unbound.

The deck gives new players access to many of the staples needed for any Enchantment tribal deck, such as Herald of the Pantheon and Eidolon of Blossoms, which can allow them to easily tear the deck apart for pieces to build their deck from scratch or use as a foundation for other Enchantment Commanders like Zur, the Enchanter or Bruna, Light of Alabaster.


Riding on the higher demand for Commander cards and decks, this Precon has had the blessing of a larger print run, but ultimately, the Bear Umbra was just too enticing for most players to bear. (pun intended).

Finding this deck will be a challenge, with the most recent eBay listing as of 24/10/20 heralding a price of $52.85 with shipping, whilst other card stores are selling her for around $70 to $85 fresh out of the box. 

Overall Rating

A well-designed Precon that hits all the right notes for new players and experienced players alike. Many solid reprints and great new cards that can fit in a plethora of Enchantment-matters decks.

“Nature’s Vengeance”: Lands Matter

Main Commander: Lord Windgrace

Sub-Commanders: Thantis, the Warweaver, Gyrus, Waker of Corpses.

Deck Overview: This deck is the equivalent of getting a participation award. You don’t do much, but still, get paid. You’re gonna do a lot of nothing early game, leaving you open to Aggro decks, but you turn into a menace late game, using your stockpile of mana to cast large, game-winning spells to seal the win.


To call this deck unfocused would be an understatement, yet calling it unplayable would be an over-exaggeration.

The deck calls itself a “Lands Matter” deck, yet it fails to define where it wants these Lands to go. Certain payoffs such as Zendikar Incarnate and Avenger of Zendikar want many lands on the battlefield to fuel a large board of Plant tokens and casting big spells, while other cards such as Lord Windgrace himself and Turntimber Sower want lands in the graveyard to activate their abilities.

Amid all this chaos, the deck ALSO runs a sub-theme of chaos and combat matters cards like Emissary of Grudges and Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

And then…there’s just…. Gyrus, Waker of Corpses?

On the plus side, the landfall synergies are quite potent, with Avenger of Zendikar and Rampaging Baloths creating large threats that demand to be answered almost immediately.

The additional ramp cards help you to cast your bigger Creatures and spells earlier than most opponents, with a few X-costing spells to help sink your Mana into. But at the same time, the faster you ramp out and play these cards, the bigger target you paint on your back.  


For a deck that relies so heavily on the lands, it draws and plays, 18 of the 43(!) Lands come into play tapped, which locks you out of your resources on the turn you draw them. Even if you get them out of the graveyard using Lord Windgrace’s -3 ability, having them enter tapped doesn’t help you rebuild your board in the slightest, save for triggering Landfall effects once or twice more. 

The deck tries to compensate for its lack of focus by providing Jund with one of the most well-designed, Land-matters Commanders the format has seen in the past 10 years. But just one year later:

Korvold, Fae Cursed King was an amazing Brawl Precon Deck released in 2019.


Thankfully, this deck offers many branching pathways for deck upgrades, depending on which Commander you wish to focus on. In the case of Lord Windgrace himself, most players build him as a Landfall-Dredge pair. It takes inspiration from both Omnath, Locus of Rage and The Gitrog Monster builds to form a powerful combo-style deck that can easily spiral out of control.

With the release of Core Set 2021 and Zendikar Rising, the cost of key reprints like Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Lotus Cobra has plummeted significantly and offer budget players a chance at grabbing these Landfall staples before their prices inevitably rise to their original levels.

The printing of new support cards like Phylath, World Shaper and Scute Swar offer an added level of potency to any Windgrace player’s brew. Unfortunately, most of the good upgrades for a Lord Windgrace deck have spiked to beyond many new player’s reach. No point paying $25 for a Crucible of Worlds or $19 for Scapeshift. Even simpler cards like Zuran Orb and Horn of Greed can easily set a player back by $10 just for two measly upgrades that don’t exactly close out the game by themselves.

Thantis, the Warweaver, on the other hand, desires a more combat-focused play style that goads their opponents into fighting each other rather than focusing on you, leaving them open to your inevitable assault on their face. This Commander relies on the help of older sets such as Conspiracy that focused on multiplayer environments, such as Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs and Fumiko Lowblood.

More recent sets such as Throne of Eldraine provide additional support in the form of Revenge of Ravens which punishes your opponents for even glancing in your general direction with their Creatures. She also makes for a super fun spider tribal Commander, if you’re into creepy crawlies! 

Gyrus, Waker of Corpses by Slawomir Maniak

Gyrus, Waker of Corpses is… very subpar. A 3/3 by itself, it rarely ever gets the opportunity to reanimate cards from your graveyard and does so at quite a poor rate. The drawback of having to exile these cards from your Graveyard makes choices quite hard to make.

Is exiling that Eternal Witness in your Graveyard that worth it when other Commanders like [[Chainer, Nightmare Adept]] and [[Meren of Clan Nel Toth]] can do a better job without sending their creatures to the shadow realm?

But if you’re adamant about building him as a commander, cards like Demon’s Disciple and Plaguecrafter can offer easy pseudo target removal spells as they force your opponent to Sacrifice their Creatures whilst allowing you to retain your own.

Other potential synergies arise with cards like Gravebreaker Lamia and Stitcher’s Supplier, which can help stack your Graveyard with Creatures that you can reanimate with Gyrus. Hydra tribal isn’t exactly out of the question, but [[Zaxara]] does a much better job of creating and working with the high CMCs and +1/+1 counter synergies they require.

Beginner Friendliness

Most players understand the concept of playing Lands for the turn to increase how much Mana they have available. But this deck focuses more on “when” they play these Lands and not “how many” there are on the Battlefield.

Often, new players may confuse themselves over when to play their Creatures to optimise the number of Landfall triggers they can get as well as tripping over the deck’s reliance on its Graveyard by accidentally dumping too many cards into their Graveyard without the correct payoffs on the Battlefield or in their hand, and god forbid the case where they ignore their Graveyard completely and focus too hard on getting landfall triggers and casting their Commander’s ultimate ability.

The deck is incredibly unfriendly to early mulligans, often filling hands with tapped Lands and even fewer ramp spells for new players to prepare themselves for the turns ahead. Having big Mana payoffs but lacking the Mana to cast them leads to dead hands and dead players.

Thankfully the main Commander of the deck offers a repeatable card draw effect each turn. Assuming you can cast him with sufficient protection, that is.


Thankfully, this deck champions the others when it comes to financial value. The presence of Nesting Dragon, which spiked in popularity due to the printing of Atla Palani in Commander 2019, already demands a solid $13 price tag, with other cards such as Avenger of Zendikar and Whiptongue Hydra helping to boost the deck’s price to even greater heights.  Other cards of notable value include the “slow Fetch Lands” in the Land base: Rocky Tar Pit and Mountain Valley

Rampaging Baloths by Steve Prescott

In terms of intrinsic value, Lands-matter players can certainly appreciate the addition of Rampaging Baloths and the aforementioned Avenger of Zendikar along with other all-stars such as Sakura-Tribe Elder, Seer’s Sundial and the core Green ramp package of Cultivate, Explosive Vegetation and Harrow. For a 3-colour deck, the cards within really scream “Green Ramp”, so deconstructing the deck for pieces to build the foundation of any deck containing green will be a piece of cake. 

Shame the same can’t be said for the other cards in the deck, with lots of filler cards that don’t see an extraordinary amount of play outside of the Precon. Windgrace’s Judgement and Decimate make for amazing removal pieces, but Lavalanche or Flameblast Dragon are really not that exciting.


A Commander Precon that still plagues the store rooms of many local game stores, Nature’s Vengeance can easily be found at a small price above what it originally retailed for. Expect to pay around $55 for this deck in sealed condition, though most other large scale retailers charge around $80 for this deck since it’s been out of print for quite some time. 

Overall Rating

Perhaps I’ve been too harsh on this deck for its shortcomings, but ultimately this was a deck printed in a set of Precons with much better value and playability out of the box than this poor sod.

It also doesn’t help that he was eventually thrown into a corner by Wizards, not even a year and a half later, by a Dragon (Korvold, the Fae-Cursed) from a Brawl deck at half price and has many more valuable reprints and thematically relevant cards to his name. 

Perhaps true fans of Lands matter strategies would enjoy the flexibility his -3 ability brings, but I can’t help but compare and contrast him to those that came before and after him. (Perhaps it’s my Asian parent genes screaming out.)

“Exquisite Invention”: Artifacts Matter

Main Commander: Saheeli, the Gifted

Sub-Commanders: Tawnos, Urza’s Apprentice, Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer.

Saheeli, the Gifted by Ryan Pancoast

Deck Overview: Ever wanted to do some cheaty shenanigans and cast an 8 Mana Artifact for free? Want to wow your opponents with 10 [/c]Servo[/c] tokens before turning them all into 6/6 Dragons with Flying and reduce your opponent’s face to rubble? 

Exquisite Invention is a combo deck in Izzet colours leveraging on the power of Artifacts to generate the mana and tokens needed, copying spells to create tokens of bigger Creatures, and lastly to multiply them with Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer’s ability.


A deck that not only keeps its head held high but plays around with politics and aims to stay low in the early game, developing a small board of Mana rocks and Mana reducers.

Even the main commander doesn’t attract a significant level of attention when she’s cast, as her ultimate ability is useless without sufficient Artifacts on the field for her to copy.

Yet this deck is known for playing the best underdog games in the history of Precon Magic, with sufficient draw outlets like Endless Atlas and accompanied by the ability to generate horrific volumes of mana late game through Blinkmoth Urn and Mirrorworks. This deck poses a significant threat late game, and it’s all up to its pilot as to when they’d like to push the big red button.

The deck uses the early game to set up Mana rocks or Mana reducers to make their larger Artifacts cost cheaper, using other cards such as Chief of the Foundry to boost the potency of the small 1/1 servos that your Commander creates.

When there’s too much pressure on the Battlefield, the deck possesses ways to reset the board through board clears such as Magamaquake and Blasphemous Act, or dealing with difficult threats using bounce spells like Into the Roil and Aether Gale.

Should the token strategy using Brudiclad fail, the deck also has ways of creating a few large creatures through the use of Mimic Vat and Saheeli’s Artistry to fly over your opponents for the win.

Another major plus is that this deck does not suffer from the ungodly 15 to 18 tapped Land problem of the other 3 decks, with only 4 tapped Lands out of a possible 38, making for a smooth playing experience turn after turn.  


Now is the best time to cash in for this Precon. With the release of Double Masters (aka Artifact Masters), the cost of many important and valuable Artifacts for upgrading the deck has plummeted significantly, such as Kuldotha Forgemaster and Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, alongside behemoths like Blightsteel Colossus and Wurmcoil Engine. Other new sets such as Throne of Eldraine and Kaladesh have graced us with cards like Shimmer Dragon and Chief of the Foundry boost the potency of any Saheeli Build.

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer by Daarken

Over on Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer’s table, you have a few copy spells such as Quasiduplicate and Mechanized Production from recent sets as well another iteration of Saheeli as Saheeli, Sublime Artificer to produce the tokens you need to fuel Brudiclad’s second ability.

Thankfully Brudiclad has the upper edge when it comes to closing out the game since there are a few premium token generators in the form of Desolation Twin and Utvara Hellkite which can summon an army that your opponents have no means of taking out before damage has even resolved. 

Sadly, Tawnos, Urza’s Apprentice sees little play as a Commander himself, often relegated to the main deck as a means of doubling important Artifact triggers such as the token generating ability of Thopter Assembly or Burnished Hart’s sacrifice ability. But even then, his ability to copy triggers shouldn’t be looked down upon, since he’s also garnered the support of fellow commander Kurkesh, Onake Ancient.

Beginner Friendliness

This deck works on the premise that the pilot understands the engine and the playstyle of the deck. But understanding some, often convoluted yet foreign combos that involve very specific interactions between the cards can be quite challenging for new players.

The deck revolves around knowing your deck to the tee, playing cat-and-mouse early game to force your opponent to waste their removal spells on your aggressively growing board of tokens to plan out for your late game.

Newer players may overcommit to an early game board and hence get destroyed to the point of no return late game, or fall for the trap of not developing any board early game and watching as their 8 beloved 6/12 idols get swept away by a simple Winds of Rath.

Another main flaw is that the Commanders of the deck are built as a team, working together as opposed to leading the charge by themselves. The effects of Saheeli alone barely make up for her lack of protection, since 1/1 tokens aren’t the most effective at defending against 4/4s with Trample.

Her ability to reduce costs makes her an amazing ramp spell, but she draws much attention to herself in doing so. Brudiclad is amazing at turning a weak board into an army of death, but play him on an empty board and expect him to be gone before your next end step.

The complexity of this deck is high, yet its payout is even higher.


I guess you could say that this deck is an all-star, all things considered. With Retrofitter Foundry finding itself a home in Legacy, it’s price tag of over $18 is certainly something to admire. Other core pieces like Unwinding Clock and Blasphemous Act also help to push up the price of this deck.

Gameplay-wise, Izzet Artifact decks revel in the delight that Endless Atlas brings as a means of a cheap draw spell in an Artifact-heavy deck. 

Other cards like Blinkmoth Urn and Unwinding Clock are key pieces of many Artifact combos in Commander, used to generate egregious amounts of colourless Mana during both you and your opponents turns. 

Jhoira of the Ghitu by Magali Villeneuve - one of the possible upgrades for the Exquisite Invention 2018 Commander Precon deck.
Jhoira of the Ghitu by Magali Villeneuve

Jhoira of the Ghitu and Jalira, Master Polymorphist decks can enjoy the company of cards like Inkwell Leviathan and Steel Hellkite, with other token decks looking to utilise Myr Battlesphere and Varchild for their triggers.

And to round it all off, Treasure Nabber pioneers Red’s ability to steal and use opponents’ Artifacts, allowing you to ramp faster than other decks.


Surprisingly, even though this deck has seen a considerable boost in popularity in the past few months, Exquisite Invention remains one of the special 2018 decks to have a space on LGS store shelves till this date. But don’t expect it to come cheap! Most retailers sell this beauty for anywhere in the range of $55 to $75 dollars for a sealed deck.

Overall Rating

One of the highest rated decks in this lineup, it was spared from the shackles of a poorly done 3-colour Mana base and the trap of too many Tapped Lands in the deck. A well designed yet budget combo deck for any aspiring Izzet player, Exquisite Invention offers a budget-friendly sneak peek into how combo decks play out in games of Commander.

End Step

Ultimately the greatest downfall of the Commander 2018 decks was the increase in price not being matched by an equivalent increase in the value of reprints available.

Wizards slowly began to notice the creeping demand Commander had on both their player base and in the secondary market, leading to frequent buyouts of valuable cards with homes in these commander decks.

2018 saw Commander driving the prices of then-Bulk Rares, such as Cyclonic Rift, a card from Return to Ravnica that was originally a $0.50 bulk Rare that turned into a $30 hit in the span of 2 years! The critical feedback from both the players and content creators such as Tolarian Community College and rise in Commander’s popularity lead to an overhaul of the decks in 2019.

But were these changes for the better or worse? We’ll see as we head on over to Commander 2019! 

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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