Commander 2019 early hopes and expectations

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on June 26, 2019, 2:24 p.m. by Madcookie

Commander 2019 is less than 2 months away, so I want to share my own expectations around themes, colors and mechanics and see what other people hope to see in this product.

Personally I'm expecting a few wedge colored decks / / and either or (as a return to the first commander series maybe) and Boros deck, based on the love that color-combination's been getting recently.

Mechanics-wise maybe a spellslinger deck to further promote the revised splice mechanic with kamigawa-spirit theme (might be biased on that one). Maybe a return of experience counters too (I may be biased on that one too).

I don't expect a snow theme nor a colorless one as the basic mana-base alone would skew the value of the deck disproportionately. I'm not seeing mono-colored partner commanders either both flavor and mechanics-wise.

Lastly (given the c18 debacle) I expect my hopes for better reprints to fare against reality about as good as my ninja deck would in a death's shadow match. (It will be better than c18 but nothing compared to c16, maybe halfway between c18 and c17)

But don't let me spin my wheels here, what do you think C19 will be about?

GhostChieftain says... #2

A half baked money grab like c18. I surely hope they do better, but I have my doubts. My hope is that they have slightly colorshifted mechanics like they did in modern horizons and base each deck off one main mechanic.

June 26, 2019 3:46 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #3

Personally, I would love to get a set of potentially competitive commanders built around keywords and ability words that are currently poorly represented on viable legendaries.

To use my go-to example, Banding is a very neat little ability with a lot of potential for both defensive and offensive decks. Want to play aggressively? Banding enables some fun offensive options. Would you rather build a little fort? Banding allows you to safely deal with Trample. It's a great ability for a whole host of players, held back by the lack of viable options for a Banding-based commander and supporting 99.

Understanding I am in the minority on this particular ability, it is only one of many keyword/ability word abilities that does not have sufficient representation to make a viable Commander deck. Any number of those would be a great choice for Wizards to develop further.

June 26, 2019 3:56 p.m.

Eledain says... #4

What has everyone always with banding? :-)

They already said that it's nearly impossible that banding will return.

June 26, 2019 4:14 p.m.

hejtmane says... #5

I hope it is better than 2018 and the only commander anyone uses from 2018 is Lord Wind grace and the usually they just by him and build there own deck. Commander 2018 is complete and utter trash in fact you can find those decks online for below msrp if you look hard enough. Now 2016 was of course the one everyone loves and 2017 was at least good. I am hoping for at worse 2017 levels; but if all we get is 2018 all over again I will make a hard pass on the pre-built commander decks once again.

June 26, 2019 4:34 p.m.

Dylan says... #6

The commander pre-con's are designed for people who are seeking to get into commander. I think it's fair to assume that Wizards isn't going to reprint cards that aren't good in commander that are also staples in other formats. Personally I think "Color-shifted" mono-color commanders would be fascinating as they would perhaps make red a little more viable in commander; especially since recently the best red card was effectively "Neutralized" by the changing of the tuck rule.

June 26, 2019 7:30 p.m. Edited.

Dylan says... #7

@cdkime - What do you mean by "Competitive Commanders"?

June 26, 2019 7:32 p.m. Edited.

Dylan says... #8

I think a commander deck for each color and one colorless commander deck would be fascinating

June 26, 2019 7:37 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #9

I really would like to see reprints of Chromatic Lantern , Vedalken Orrery , Reflecting Pool , and Akroma's Memorial , to keep their prices low.

Also, an entirely colorless deck would be very awesome, since that has never been done, before, and I also would like to see a non-tribal five-colored deck.

I shall predict that WoTC shall not repeat any of the color combinations from the previous set, so I very much would like to see a red/white/blue deck and a red/white/green deck.

Also, I definitely hope to see more cards for famous characters from the story who have not yet had cards (in this case, Ashnod and Gix).

June 26, 2019 11:01 p.m.

Madcookie says... #10

@DemonDragonJ Ashnod or Gix pre-con would be awesome, but considering people on forums have been wanting Urza, Serra and Yawgmoth cards for years (esp in c18 from what I've red) and them ending up as booster bait in Comm... cough ... Modern Horizons I'm not hopeful that we will get them so easily this year or any year for that matter. Maybe in MH2. If they decide to do old/new phyrexian pre-con I expect it to be someone like Memnarch or Geth at the helm, who already have a card, or if we are very very lucky a corrupted Karn, but then he'd have to be PW commander and that was last year :/.

June 27, 2019 4:44 a.m.

Personally I am hoping we will get a good werewolf/wolf commander in the color combination red/white/green.

June 27, 2019 11:23 a.m.

ThoAlmighty says... #12

@cdkime: I'm gonna call you out on the lack of viable banding commanders, Kethis, the Hidden Hand or Sisay, Weatherlight Captain both enable the cycle of banding lands ( Cathedral of Serra , Seafarer's Quay , etc.) to be powerful, with Sisay being able to tutor Urborg to let them produce mana. Just think of the value!

Real talk though, banding is likely never coming back due to complexity and intricacy :(

June 27, 2019 2:23 p.m. Edited.

Dylan says... #13

@Madcookie A corrupted Karn could easily be a creature???

June 27, 2019 2:49 p.m.

Madcookie says... #14

@Dylan Unfortunately Karn was already a planeswalker in the lore, by the time he was trapped in the Mirrodin core so I don't think he can be printed in creature form if it will be based on that time period.

@CasualCucumber That would be nice but the only reason I don't think they will ever print WW commander pre-con is that they will have to basically print all the common and uncommon werewolves from Innistrad too (no incentive to buy anything, somewhat limit upgrades too) and the fact most of those cards are flip cards which at least on paper are a big problem for pre-cons (big eyebrow raiser was this years Legion's Landing  Flip in the challenger deck). Apparently the community for some unfathomable reason didn't like the Kamigawa flip cards either which were at least much easier to print Bushi Tenderfoot . Now if the fall set has werewolf theme in a nordic plane as some people speculate...that might make this option seem a lot more possible :).

June 27, 2019 3:27 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #15

June 27, 2019 8:07 p.m.

dbpunk says... #16

To be honest, I'm guessing they probably didn't learn from this past years commander sets that they have to include value for people to buy (although honestly like the commanders themselves were pretty good).

What I'm hoping for is WBG, BGU, R and WU. I feel like those would be fun, cool decks to have.

June 27, 2019 10:49 p.m.

As we're getting three-coloured commanders for everything except grixis, esper, jund and bant in M20, I'd consider exactly these four to obtain a new commander. The big point against this theory that we got three of these in C18.

June 27, 2019 11:56 p.m.


I have never found Ulrich of the Krallenhorde  Flip to be a huge succes and it doesn't enable white, which means we don't have access to cards like Eidolon of Rhetoric , Tolsimir Wolfblood and Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves . The closest commander I have found to this is Samut, Voice of Dissent . But it may just be a problem with the gameplan I want to go for.

June 28, 2019 4 a.m.


I also think that is the primary reason we won't get it. But they could include it in one of the decks without it being the front commander and without any transform ability, much like Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow . The only thing I want is something close to Immerwolf and in red/white/green.

June 28, 2019 4:04 a.m.

Zeri says... #20

I'd like to see a werewolf commander that is always a werewolf and has an emeinace ability that is basically immerwolf in rwg.

If they want to do more tribal things an expansion on dinosaurs with reprints with the correct creature type for the ones that were errata'd

June 28, 2019 7:12 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #21

There has never been a zombie-centric deck, so this set is a great place for that (hopefully, in multiple colors).

Also, a deck that focuses on elves and a deck that focuses on goblins would be nice (again, multicolored, to provide greater versatility and more options).

June 29, 2019 1:14 a.m.

It's hard to imagine they 'd do tribal again. It's not impossible though. They might still make the missing five experience counter commanders.

June 29, 2019 3:31 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #23

Madcookie, the new card for Sisay reminds me that Mark Rosewater has stated that he would like to make new cards for other characters from the Weatherlight saga, as well, most notably Gerrard and Volrath, since their current cards fail to properly capture their essence from the story.

I also would like to see a card of Belbe, since she was a very major character in Nemesis, and I still am very sad that she was in only one book.

June 30, 2019 9:15 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #24

dbpunk, why do you have such a pessimistic view on this matter?

June 30, 2019 9:17 a.m.

DemonDragonJ: Having new versions of the weatherlight crew would be awesome. And it really seems like something a commander set could do (looking at you, Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist ).

I haven't read the weatherlight books, but I guess Gerrard could be RW? We already got a new Sisay, there are two Sqees. So how about a new Hanna as an Azorius Artificer, a Boros Gerrard and then two more?

June 30, 2019 1:37 p.m.

dbpunk says... #26

Mainly because despite the fact that the decks generally sucked, they still made a lot of money. Yeah, on this site people'll admit they generally sucked, but at like my University playgroup's meeting, I saw about 4 people with Yennet decks, 5 people with Saheeli or Brudiclad decks and like some representation of each commander. They still made money, and that's kinda the bottom line for companies.

June 30, 2019 3:01 p.m.

Yeah the one thing I want to see is more creative representations of some older characters or even Characters that haven't yet been represented.

Belbe was mentioned and I think thats a great idea. Also seeing what they did with Yawgmoth and Urza I wouldn't mind seeing some other pre walkers either... Lashrac has never had a card for instance.

There were also some really well designed characters way back in legends like Sivitri Scarzam and Hazezon Tamar that would be neat to see new versions of (UB Dragons and Deserts Matter?). Even though the stories are more or less irrelevant.

July 2, 2019 4:40 p.m.

Also there was a Reddit thread i was perusing where someone mentioned that it would be fun if they chose "Villains" as the overall theme for the 4 decks.

Each decks face cards would feature prominent antagonists from magic's history... this would be a perfect way to get that new Volrath card Maro was talking about, Leshrac perhaps and a bunch of other options.

Only thing holding that back is that most of the options we would want to see would all have black in their identity and I don't see them putting black in all 4 decks. But It would also be a chance for them to shine creatively!

July 2, 2019 4:44 p.m.

dbpunk says... #29

Actually that would be super cool and honestly like there could be villains without black in their identity. For example, newer Avacyn and Heliod are good examples of white villains.

July 2, 2019 5:52 p.m.

I hope for a sliver EDH, but if they gave us one last Bolas, I would not be mad

July 2, 2019 6:23 p.m.

Madcookie says... #31

LittleBlueHero I red the same or similar thread on the MTGSalvation and it does seem like a cool idea, but I think Wizards will stray a bit from such a dark and gloomy theme as printing 4 villains decks. Maybe 2v2 heroes and villains, but then again that does remind a little too much to the old duel decks.

As for a little side note: The recent sets (recent emm give or take 16 years :D) have tried to shift the focus on black as the main villain color towards the others, because black is more about individuality, which like other colors can be taken to extreme.

Non-black villains: Konda, Lord of Eiganjo - Stole That Which Was Taken in order to become immortal, which resulted in the Kami War Meloku the Clouded Mirror - Helped Konda with his plan, but intended to claim the entire plane for himself and the soratami.

Heliod, God of the Sun - After Xenagos, he's the second villain in the Theroes storyline. He also killed Elspeth.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite - Currently supposed elader of New Phyrexia

Dovin Baan - Major antagonist in Kaladesh and War of the spark story lines

Baral, Chief of Compliance - murdered Chandra's father, another major antagonist from Kaladesh

Pretty much the entire Consulate from Kaladesh is white-blue aligned.

Vivien Reid - while technically not a villain she does represent a ...certain side of the green mana. (MTGWiki quotes her saying that "She wants to destroy the cancer of civilization"...ouch)

Black heroes: Drana, Liberator of Malakir - Fought on the side of the Gatewatch against the Eldrazi.

Yahenni, Undying Partisan - Fought against the Consulate in the Kaladesh story line.

Toshiro Umezawa - major protagonist in the Kami War

Sorin Markov - despite his panache and the whole War of the spark scene with Nahiri, he's still one f the three who imprisoned the Eldrazi Titans. Also created Avacyn to protect mankind on innistrad.

Lord Windgrace - Fought against Phyrexia alongside the Nine Titans. Sacrificed himself to seal a time rift in Dominaria.

There could be more examples but I can't think of any at this time.

P.S. I may have gone overboard with this much examples as is :S

July 3, 2019 5:18 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #32

As usual, I would like to see some much-needed reprints, most notably Akroma's Memorial , Vedalken Orrery , Chromatic Lantern , and Reflecting Pool , but I have learned by this point that WotC is very reluctant to put very valuable cards in preconstructed decks.

A reprint of Dromar, the Banisher is still on my list of highly-desired reprints, because he is the only dragon from Planeshift who has never been reprinted.

WotC never did print allied-colored decks, to accompany the enemy-colored decks from Commander 2015, so I would very much like to see such decks, although the fact that they are now printing only four decks per Commander set means that that is unlikely to happen.

July 6, 2019 10:47 p.m.

dbpunk says... #33

I mean, I doubt they're gonna reprint Chromatic Lantern again after reprinting it in Guilds.

July 7, 2019 12:05 a.m.

LittleBlueHero: Doing villains as a main focus would be awesome. I'm not too deep in the old lore, but I know there are many great villains to not be properly represented, with Volrath definitely being one of them. And just imagine if they just did another Aminatou in this, revealing that the new enemy is an eight-your-old with the power to alter reality...this would be a great twist of events.

July 7, 2019 2:08 a.m.

Uberplatt says... #35

I think a Boros Dwarf deck is in order! Dwarves, vehicles, and some untapping synergies. A Dwarven Bloodboiler reprint would be great?

July 9, 2019 12:18 a.m.

I love tribal. I have a really hard time building anything that doesn't at least have a tribe as a sub-theme so I wouldn't be opposed to seeing some tribal love even if its not the focus of the decks, much like Animatou had a zombie sub-theme.

If they do I for sure would love some new cards for underrepresented tribes like Dwarves, Orcs (who just got new cards in m20) or Skeletons Etc.

DemonDragonJ I agree I think all the invasion dragons and Planar Chaos dragons should not only be reprinted but get a new art treatment. The updated arts on Crosis, the Purger , and Rith, the Awakener were awesome and I would love if the rest got that treatment. The cards aren't as strong as commanders as they might have once been but when I see a card with awesome art im gonna find a way to build it anyway.

July 9, 2019 9:52 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #37

LittleBlueHero, what about the promo artwork for Treva, the Renewer ? Is that not awesome?

July 9, 2019 9:29 p.m.

DemonDragonJ Oh yeah totally forgot about that one. I did enjoy that as well.It doesn't look a whole lot like the original but neither did Rith really.

July 10, 2019 11:41 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #39

LittleBlueHero, that artwork could even have been used for Dromar, theoretically.

July 10, 2019 6:27 p.m.

Luckieshot77 says... #40

I would like to see a colorless phyrexian 1 drop commander or something of that ilk, maybe a black phyrexian 1 drop would be sweet but probably broken lol, just want to see phyrexian in commander cost

July 17, 2019 4:57 a.m.


I have been on and off again trying to build a Lifegain/Pay Life matters deck with Licia, Sanguine Tribune and/or Selenia, Dark Angel .

I have noticed they are printing a handful of new cards with abilities that trigger "if you lost life" or "Whenever you lose life". I would love to see a commander that had phyrexian cost and cared about life gain/life loss.

Phyrexian Commander 3PP (color is white black)

Legendary Creature – Something Evil

Vigilance, lifelink

When you pay life you may put a -1/-1 counter on X target creatures where X is the amount of life you paid.

Whenever you gain life each opponent loses 1 life, then proliferate.


Something like that anyway.

July 17, 2019 11:46 a.m.

hejtmane says... #42

There is an unofficial leak that dropped. I will leave it at that staying away from any more info you will have to look for yourself. I will say if they go the route of the leak it will be pretty interesting. Now lets hope the decks have some solid cards in them.

July 17, 2019 5:15 p.m. Edited.

So the themes were apparently found on a wizards website, can anyone confirm? Please delete this post if it was considered a leak.

2019 Commander Deck Themes Show

July 18, 2019 11:16 a.m.

ShutUpMokuba says... #44

I'm still mad about the last year's Esper Deck since that is my favourite colour combination and the deck was based on a gimmick. Yes it was fun to play but lacked consistency and a solid win condition. That was a problem in my opinion. The level of the pre cons dropped with 2018. So i expect the next ones to be more focused. The idea of building a deck around an already existent mechanics may help to have four decks that are consistent and not based on gimmicks just to have fun and see what happens. Since the decks are meant to be "ready out of the box" i expect them to be solid. Because if i buy i pre cons and then i have to change 70% of the cards just to have a decent deck that somehow works then there is no point in buying one in the first place. About the leaked mechanics i'm looking forward flashback and madness.

July 19, 2019 3:19 p.m.

Leeco says... #45

madness really need the boost... i tried to build Xantcha as a madness deck and there are powerful enablers but the payoffs are just not there... fiery temper as much as i love the card is not an edh card...

i'm expecting a commander to give spells in your hand madness and alternate madness costs like ... Braid of Fire because rakdos also has mana issues...

July 20, 2019 4:16 a.m.

Madcookie says... #46

I gave the 4 mechanics a good look in Scryfall and I don't know how to feel, really. On the one hand the mechanics seem cool and especially if they open up more options in other colors for them it would be amazing (like Naya populate). 2 main worry points is that madness does not strike me as a multiplayer mechanic and mostly the reprint value worried me tremendously. Populate's highest value card as is Trostani, Selesnya's Voice sitting at around 2$, morph's top card is Riptide Entrancer at 4$, madness with Big Game Hunter at 1.5$ and flashback with Past in Flames at 5$(Im not counting Echo of Eons as it is a new card and won't be reprinted here). On top of that certain cards like Dream Chisel and Catalyst Stone have already spiked significantly and if they are not reprinted we will see another Enchanted Evening type spike. All in all this puts the reprint value either at 2018 levels or in cards that don't synergise directly with the mechanic.

I know the reprints and value aren't everything but if the bet it all on the new cards hype and snub reprinting needed cards, I'll pass.

July 20, 2019 5:41 a.m.

Leeco says... #47

Madcookie Don't try to find reprints within the mechanics!

The reason they print these mechanics is that(with the exception of Flashback which is an all-star) they are all fun to play in all formats but they need support in commander!

All they need to reprint Oracle of Mul Daya or Mana Reflection is a green deck! They can print Doubling Season in the populate deck if they want or they can print a similar card in black which will immediately cost as much if the populate deck is abzan as many suggest! Bloodchief Ascension , Painful Quandary and Kolaghan's Command are excellent with madness while Wound Reflection , Exquisite Blood and Phyrexian Arena would also fit in any black deck! Mesmeric Orb would work wonders in a dimir Flashback deck focused on self Mill Morph could have Akroma's Memorial or Eldrazi Monument

There is value in the themes! Let's hope they put it in the decks!

July 20, 2019 9:11 a.m.

hejtmane says... #48

No way they re-print doubling season they did that last year in the Ultimate masters. My guess is the populate deck will have both Parallel Lives and Anointed Procession . I think that makes more sense and their prices have creeped up so that will help bring their prices down again.

July 21, 2019 2:40 p.m.

hejtmane says... #49

We will know here in two weeks

Commander 2019 Previews to Begin August 1 at GenCon

July 22, 2019 12:51 p.m.

I am a fan of the mechanic focused theme this year. I think all of the chosen mechanics were great/interesting choices as well.

Who else is super excited for Morph? My Quicksilver Dragon , Chromeshell Crab , and Ixidron will finally have a home! I have toyed around with decks using that mechanic for years, but they always lacked enough support to prevent the deck from being clunky.

Hopefully it will be Temur, but I'd settle for Simic. I think a cool ability for the new morph lord would be a reverse Ixidor, Reality Sculptor where you can activate him/her to turn a morph creature face down again.

Also, I wouldn't worry about mechanic specific cards like Dream Chisel or Catalyst Stone . Those cards are so unique/niche. WotC would be crazy not to reprint them in decks dedicated to their respective mechanics...though I have been wrong before.

July 23, 2019 12:29 p.m.

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