Full Review: How Good are the Midnight Hunt Commander Precon Decks?

full review of midnight hunt commander decks

Full Review: How Good are the Midnight Hunt Commander Precon Decks?

Wizards of the Coast is ramping up production of new Commander decks, and even players are having trouble keeping up! Prior to Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, there have been 11 preconstructed decks in 2021, possibly more than any other year ever!

And it’s not over yet. This time we have 2 precon decks featuring Legendary Creatures with new mechanics (Coven and Decayed) from the main set, and a supporting cast of Commander staples and stellar reprints.

As always these decks are rated based on the following categories:

Playability: How likely the deck is to hold its own against other 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 can this deck be upgraded and optimised?

Beginner Friendliness: How easily can a beginner pick up and learn the mechanics of the deck?

Accessibility: How easy it is to get a hold of the deck at MSRP at your local game store/online retailer?

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

Addendum: For the accessibility rating, I will be considering the online availability of the decks. It may be easier (or harder) for you to obtain these decks in your region due to supply complications.

“Coven Counters” Deck Review

Main Commander: Leinore, Autumn Sovereign

Sub-Commanders: Kyler, Sigardian Emissary

See Full Deck List!

Deck Overview: 

Strength in numbers, numbering strengths. +1/+1 counters and anthem effects give your human army an advantage when storming onto the battlefield, combining go-tall strategies with strong board presence and threats that demand to be removed lest you run away with the game completely.


Honestly, you can never go wrong with +1/+1 counters. Typically found in blue-green colours, Selesnya’s secondary identity, after its token generating prowess, is its potent +1/+1 counter synergies. And this deck is no different. Coven is a hard mechanic to value because it requires an established board state to provide any degree of benefit. You need a minimum of 3 creatures to trigger the Coven mechanic, and some of the payoffs are absolute garbage. Stalwart Pathlighter can give your creatures indestructible only if you make it to your combat step, while Wall of Mourning lets you play 1 more card! Yayyy…?

Yes, some effects are valuable given the theme of the deck, which is “go big and go home”. Sungold Sentinel can effectively dodge any form of targeted removal or force unfavourable blocks using its coven ability, but Dawnheart Wardens gives the best bang for your buck, as it acts as a power-boosting anthem when it attacks, which can certainly help close out games fast and efficiently through combat.

Thankfully, the deck has many cards supporting the +1/+1 counter theme, with Gyre Sage, Heronblade Elite, Herald of War and Katlida, Dawnheart Prime carrying the bulk of the deck’s Mana base as “more-efficient” Mana dorks.  

Looking to grow your creatures? Juniper Order Ranger and Enduring Scalelord helps to build a strong board quickly. Elite Scaleguard and its accomplices, Ainok Bond-Kin, Abzan Falconer and Champion of Lambholt will make your opponents dread combat by buffing your team with all means of temporary evasion and first strike effects.

Kyler, Sigardian Emissary, Sigardan Zealot and Wild Beastmaster offer strong anthem effects to make your army even stronger than before, with Victory’s Envoy offering a more permanent buff over the other two.

Unbreakable Formation offers one-off defensive protection against board wipes, while Sigarda, Heron’s Grace gives you ways to defend against Beast Within-style effects. Moorland Rescuer offers a one-time mass resurrection effect, and Eternal Witness can help you bring back key deck pieces.

Combat and recursion-wise, this deck seems to run quite smoothly, with strong supporting pieces to fuel this deck’s engine, but it runs out of steam faster than alt-coin cryptocurrencies.

But the main drawback of having so much fuel for the deck’s engine is that there is a blatant lack of good draw effects. The main draw effects are cost-locked at 5 mana (Shamanic Revelation). Even its cheaper cousin, Inspiring Call requires heavy setup, and typically you’ll only get around 1-2 cards out of it in most games, which is rarely enough to turn the tides of battle. 

“BuT Wall of Mourning OfFERs CArd aDVaNtage,” I hear you say. 

Yes. It does. And bleach helps kill stomach viruses because it’s a sterilising agent.

You’re trading 1 card to “draw 3,” which is only possible if you have 3 or more Creatures with different powers,  and even then you put 1 card, mind you, one card in your hand.

At the beginning of your end step.  

It’s not a “you may play cards Exiled with – “

It just adds one card to your hand.

These cards are Exiled from your Library face down. You don’t even get to choose.

God, I hate this card. It’s absolute hot garbage. Even in green-white, you shouldn’t get shafted this hard on card draw. Leinore’s draw ability once per turn isn’t enough to refill your hand. And just for that, I’m knocking it down a pace to 4 stars.


Thankfully, this deck works well with some minor tweaks. Leinore as a face commander feels quite awkward, but the once-a-turn +1/+1 counter makes for a powerful value engine over time, and it can easily fly under the radar in 4-man Commander pods. 

Straight out of the gate, I’d replace Somberwald Beastmaster and  Enduring Scalelord with Hamza, Guardian of Arashin and Felidar Retreat (or Cathar’s Crusade if you have it). Double up on cost reductions while giving yourself free value for just playing a land for a turn. Need a way to trigger Coven? Create a 2/2 Cat. Want to buff your squad? Give everything +1/+1 and Vigilance!

Curse of Conformity doesn’t belong in this deck, and would certainly be better attached to an enchantress Commander like Estrid, the Masked or cast it on yourself to buff your Winota, Joiner of Forces. You can replace it with something like Conclave Mentor or Ajani, the Greathearted

This deck can easily be adapted to fit a +1/+1 counters theme, with potential higher budget upgrades being cards like Shalai, Voice of Plenty, Augur of Autumn, Hardened Scales and Branching Evolution.

As always, replace mundane and often redundant effects like Biogenic Upgrade and Celebrate the Harvest with more reliable cards like Migration Path, Solidarity of Heroes or even Pledge of Unity. Growth Spasm -> Rampant Growth. Nuff’ said. 

The removal suite can be edited to fit stuff like Slaughter the Strong, Generous Gift and even Winds of Abandon to help deal with recursion-based Commanders.

If you’d like to explore the subcommander of the deck, Kyler, Sigardian Emissary breaks in a new niche in the form of Selesnya Human tribal decks. Buff him with cheap humans and turn them into a formidable army. 

Remove most of the standalone +1/+1 counter package cards like Custodi Soulbinders, Enduring Scalelord, Verduous Gearhulk as well as weaker nonhuman token-generating cards like Trostani’s Summoner and Bestial Menace in favour of human producers like Maja, Bretagard Protector, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Thraben Doomsayer and Castle Ardenvale

He’s strong enough with his abilities, but even the additional oomph added by Increasing Devotion makes it a must-run card to drag yourself out of a tough situation. 

Since this new deck will rely heavily on your commander, you’ll need to leverage on protection pieces like Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves, Mask of Avacyn and Instants like Snakeskin Veil to shield him from harm. If you feel like killing players with Voltron levels of damage, you can consider running Ring of Kalonia and Ring of Thune coupled with Whispersilk Cloak for the added evasion.

Beginner Friendliness

A great deck with an easy-to-understand mechanic, but I feel that keeping track of large board states may be difficult in the wider scheme of things. Having to track if you have Coven during combat, at the end step and everywhere in between will ultimately slow down the game greatly. Even then, stuff like Somberwald Beastmaster, Trostani’s Summoner and Bestial Menace, while there to allow for an easy Coven trigger, can make for dead cards in hand in the early game and bog down the deck late game when everyone’s trying to cast 3-4 spells a turn, and you’re casting a 2/2 that creates a bunch of bodies and then dies by the next turn rotation to a Cleansing Nova.

Leinore puts a big target on the pilot’s back, drawing the opponent’s ire to try and stop you before you can go off with your Coven triggers. It’s a rare occasion where you can cast sufficient spells and stabilise long enough to trigger Coven more than once.

The greatest sin of this deck is its lack of recursion. Even a Regrowth effect would be perfect to help this deck bounce back against removal, but all we have is a 6 mana 4/4 and an Eternal Witness. The deck runs board wipes, but most are detrimental effects rather than beneficial since we’re a creature heavy deck. 

I’d give it 3 stars, since it leaves a lot to be desired, especially for newer players who may not be able to value the cards as well as experienced players with hundreds of games under their belt.


Financially speaking, the deck offers some pretty good reprints in the form of Bastion Protector, Eternal Witness, Somberwald Sage and Swords to Plowshares. Many of the newer cards also hold strong price tags due to their potential value elsewhere. Cards like Moorland Rescuer and Sigardan Zealot are likely to see play in other Commander decks, while Kyler is likely to become a popular Commander for Human tribal decks.

The deck offers many a simple +1/+1 counters base to build off of, and can be used as the primer for Commanders like Hamza, Guardian of Arashin or Ghave, Guru of Spores. If Humans are more your forte, you can consider swapping colours into red and black and building Jirina Kudro or Winota, Joiner of Forces.

Overall, the usability and financial value of the deck remains high, even after the fiasco of Commander 2021. Though I feel that certain staples such as Rampant Growth, Commander Sphere and Rishkar, Preema Renegade are missing, this deck isn’t a bad starting point for newer players. 


Stores in Singapore have these two decks retailing at preorder prices for S$72-$80, which equates to around US$26-30 per deck at the time of writing. 

These are pretty much at regular precon deck prices, but unfortunately (as I’ll get into it in a bit), these decks are getting scalped due to the high paper value of the “Undead Unleashed” Zombie deck. As such, prices for both decks have skyrocketed to $100, which is significantly higher than what I’d tell my friends to pay for a Commander precon deck.

Final Rating

A strong contender for a Selesnya +1/+1 counter deck that runs well both in casual pods and in slightly more tuned metas, the Coven Counters precon deck makes for a good entry point to the commander format especially given the ease of upgrade and easy-to-learn mechanics. 3.8 / 5

“Undead Unleashed” Deck Review

Main Commander: Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Sub-Commanders: Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth, Gisa and Geralf.

See Full Deck List!

Deck Overview: 

Featuring the leader of the Ghoulcaller Gisa fan club – Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver! Summon an undead army to try and win over the affection of his all-time favourite imaginary wife Gisa! Try not to drool too hard as you climb your way to a tier-3 sub through monthly donations of your entire allowance and legions of zombies!

Her brother’s here too, so try not to make things too awkward 🙂


At first glance, this deck looks like a stock Dimir Zombies list all the right parts in all the right places. You have your Zombie Lords in the form of Cemetery Reaper, Death Baron and Lord of the Accursed, and your payoffs like Dark Salvation and Endless Ranks of the Dead

But this deck is everything BUT a stock Zombie tribal list. Rather than constantly looping some Geralf’s Messenger infinite combo, your deck revolves around classic black recursion that’s made cheaper by Decayed. The deck prefers its Zombies temporary rather than permanent, so you’ll be focusing most of your efforts on making zombie tokens with Decayed, and buffing them up that way.

Stuff like Eternal Skylord and Bitterblossom’s cousin, Dreadhorde Invasion are key pieces to this deck’s token strategy, with Wilhelt being the main token generator and draw engine of the deck. 

As for reanimating, your deck loves cards like Gisa and Geralf, Gravespawn Sovereign and Ghoul’s Night Out, which can return massive threats or just recur that one combo piece that makes your deck tick. Simultaneously, you’ll be bulking your deck up fast with a few self-Mill/mass-Mill strategies through cards like Undead Alchemist and Forgotten Creation, which can help dump cards into Graveyards to fuel the undead uprising!

And if board clears weren’t good enough, your deck actually has ways to clear boards relatively frequently and easily through cards like Fleshbag Marauder and Ravenous Rotbelly, both painful cards to see reanimated as they can easily remove big Indestructible creatures. Even the targeted removal spells aren’t half bad. Go for the Throat is a cheap spell that just can’t hit Artifact Creatures and Feed the Swarm offers extra utility at destroying troublesome Enchantments at the cost of life. 

If you’re ever feeling low on gas, this deck can easily refill itself using Distant Melody and Wilhelt’s secondary ability on your end step. If you need fuel for the fire and want to fuel your hand too, Drown in Dreams is an excellent Mana sink late game. Even at X=2, the spell can replace itself and aid with your Graveyard shenanigans.

And let’s not forget the “big finishers,” which this deck has a bunch of. You can Betrayal your opponent to death with Curse of Unbinding, storm off with Rooftop Storm and a bunch of zombies, or just watch as your wombo-combo of Enchantments like Endless Ranks of the Dead, Curse of the Restless Dead and Liliana’s Mastery create an army of undead that we can call “passive income.”

Ultimately, this deck has all the hallmarks of a well built deck, with strong recursive potential and decent synergies in and out. Though I feel the Mana curve could afford to be a little lower, owing to the weak Artifact and Land ramp package (or the ramp package strengthened), but for a preconstructed deck, I can see it holding its own against tuned and optimised Commander decks. 


Never thought that another precon deck would stun me on how to best upgrade it.

Though it tries to flesh out two main ideas, one being “Zombie Tribal” and another being “Sacrifice Matters/ Aristocrats”, both are supported by the Decayed tokens since they’ve become cheap fodder for the endless hum of the machine.

If you’d like to take this deck full-zombie tribal, you can do away with Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver and run the hidden Commander, Gisa and Geralf instead. Throw in a Gravecrawler, Undead Warchief, maybe an infinite combo with Geralf’s Messenger]] and you’ll have a fully functional deck that can easily become high-powered with tutors ([c]Demonic Tutor) and fast mana (Mana Crypt, Jeweled Lotus if you have unlimited budget).

Feel like giving Wilhelt a chance? Swap out the sacrifice matters package (Butcher of Malakir, Eater of Hope, Ruthless Deathfang) in favour of zombie token generators. You ideally want to trigger Wilhelt’s ability semi-frequently to generate a consistent card draw engine where you swap 2/2 zombie tokens for 2/2 zombie tokens with Decayed. As such, look into cards like Cryptbreaker, Plague Belcher and Grave Titan. You can finish your opponents more consistently with cards like Shepherd of Rot and Vengeful Dead as opposed to just swinging in and praying for the best.

If you’d like to explore Eloise’s niche, you’d be looking to overhaul a large volume of the deck. Creating 2/2 zombies is nice, but what utility do they serve? Eloise has an easily exploitable loop, since she lacks the “nontoken” clause on her first ability. As such, with any “when a creature dies” effect such as Bastion of Remembrance, Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat and March of the Machines, you can create an infinite death machine with Eloise on the field. She can be built as a combo-centric commander with support from Black’s many tutors and Blue’s insane archive of draw effects to create a menace that aims to curve out by turn 5.

If not, Eloise can also go for a more chill, less competitive deck build using Rise and Shine as a potential win condition. Fuelling her rage with the cost reduction from Inspiring Statuary and granting her fuel with Blood Funnel when you cast a non-Creature spell, you can easily cast a bunch of cards for free and fuel a cheap graveyard recursion deck that aims to loop creates from your graveyard back onto the battlefield and then send them back. Stuff like Phyrexian Reclamation and Haunted Crossroads can help you return cheap thrills like Shambling Ghoul, Doomed Dissenter or Woe Strider which help create tokens that replace themselves with clues which Eloise can sacrifice to Surveil 1. 

Doubling up, you can use cards like Grinding Station to mill your opponents out with the Clue tokens, or use Krark-Clan Ironworks to generate massive volumes of mana. Even Eloise can help fix the top card of your deck using her Surveil ability. 

As always, upgrade the Mana base with cards like Drowned Catacombs, Underground River, Watery Grave and Shipwreck Marsh.

As for the Artifact ramp package, remove the two Diamonds for cards such as Dimir Signet, Mind Stone, and if you have the budget for it, Sapphire Medallion and Jet Medallion.

Beginner Friendliness

“Tribal synergies are strong with this one, I feel.”

“Overcommit, easy to.”

“Bad feeling about this, I have.”

  • Master Yoda

This deck owes itself to strong tribal synergies and many redundant zombie buffing lord-style effects. Giving your army of 2/2s +3/+3 just by existing is certainly a big achievement for a budding Padawan, but to watch your token army just disappear into the wind is another level of despair that massacring the younglings could never burn into a poor Jedi’s soul.

The deck is very proactive, with little to no counter magic or counter plays to defend against faster, more aggressive decks. As such, you have to plan your game strategically. Casting a zombie lord isn’t always the most efficient use of mana when you could instead create two 2/2 creatures that might help you block or provide sacrifice fodder to draw some cards.

While the deck is very easy to pick up and the deck theme outlined in black and white, it can often fall into the pitfall of “burned too bright, too fast.” New players may lack the judgement to tell when they’ve crossed into Archenemy territory and hence may end up getting targeted in certain pods because of it.

I can’t fault a deck for being too good at what it does a la Icarus, but I can fault it for not giving new players a better chance to fight back with better counter magic and more interaction to go against control decks or other token decks.


Dear god where do I start?

The deck is chock full of amazing card reprints, stuff like Diregraf Colossus, Cemetery Reaper and Rooftop Storm all carry a hefty price tag. What’s even better is that the deck has a Planeswalker that commanded a high price tag throughout its Standard life cycle and in Commander, Liliana, Death’s Majesty. With such great reprint value, it’s no wonder that the deck is currently valued at almost 2.5x its MSRP on MTGGoldfish (as of 20/09/21)

And then again, with such staples, you’d think that the rest of the deck isn’t great torn apart.

But on the contrary, the deck can easily be torn apart to create all manner of decks!

The new curses can be used in a curse tribal deck with the new Grixis curse commander.

The sacrifice matters cards can be slotted into an aristocrats-style deck or just tossed directly into a [[Tegrid, God of Fright]] deck.

And the Zombies are so fluid that they can fit into almost any Zombie Tribal list, budget or optimised.


Retailing pricing on this bad boy is around US$32-$35. Unfortunately, when the lists were released and the commander decks had such amazing value stuffed into them (particularly this deck), their retail price has. spiked as a bundle.

While I hate paying more than the original listed price, I can understand the high price tag this bundle can demand and I feel that this price is totally justifiable. Undead Unleashed contains many valuable reprints and core pieces for any Zombie player, and can easily act as an entry point into the format.

Final Rating:

I think this is the highest I’ve given any decks throughout my reviews. But I feel “Undead Unleashed” deserves it. It’s well-built, there’s minimal issue of under stocking/under printing due to it being a larger print run than some of the Commander decks (*cough Commander 2017) and the deck can easily be upgraded or torn apart to build other decks.

Honestly this is a marvel of work both as a Commander precon deck and as a standalone deck. It’s amazing they chose such on point reprints and timed it so well that players interested in getting their hands dirty with zombies in Innistrad don’t feel left out when card prices spike. 4.6 / 5
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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