Commander’s popularity among Magic: The Gathering players continues to grow at rapid rates, leaving many new players wondering which preconstructed deck is best when first starting out.
With the release of Commander 2019 (C19) on Aug. 23, local games stores are expecting an increase of new players seeking to try out this MTG casual multiplayer format. Choosing how to get started, however, can be intimidating.
There are four preconstructed decks in C19. Each deck is built around a theme (mechanics) with every card serving a purpose while working symbiotically with one another. This makes the C19 decks playable against other players homebrews (self-constructed decks) and previous preconstructed Commander decks.
Best C19 deck for new players
Not every C19 deck, however, is an ideal fit for new players to the format and easy to learn for beginners to MTG. Some of the mechanics featured are on the complex side, which can prove to be frustrating for new players who are learning to play for the first time.
1) Primal Genesis (Naya Populate)
Commanded by Ghired, Conclave Exile out of the box, the Primal Genesis is fast and fun to play. Within the deck are 17 new cards and 68 reprints (not including basic lands) built around the mechanic theme of Populate.
Populate is a mechanic that copies existing tokens on the battlefield, creating a wide and powerful army of tokens and creatures. Board wipes are the Primal Genesis deck’s biggest weakness, however, its speed and power balance it out.
Each C19 preconstructed deck also comes with a planeswalker, which is Garruk, Primal Hunter in Primal Genesis. A reprint from M13, Garruk balances nicely with Ghired, Conclave Exile. Read more about and review the full decklist of the C19 Primal Genesis deck here.
2) Merciless Rage (Rakdos Madness)
Slightly more advanced than Primal Genesis is the C19 Merciless Rage deck. Constructed in Rakdos colors, the theme of the deck revolves around the mechanic Madness.
Commanded by Anje Falkenrath, Merciless Rage has 17 new cards and 63 MTG reprints (not including basic lands). Madness operates by having players discard cards from their hand to cast spells at an alternative cost (Madness cost). The deck requires more strategy than Primal Genesis but is easy to get the hang of after playing a few times. And it’s a ton of fun.
Working with Anje Falkenrath is the included C19 planeswalker, Ob Nixilis Reignited. Not as symbiotic a Ghired and Garruk, Ob Nixilis’s plus one and minus three loyalty counters work well within the Madness theme. Read more about and review the full decklist of the C19 Merciless Rage deck here.
Full decklist of every C19 preconstructed deck
- Morph: MTG Commander 2019 spoilers: Morph, Faceless Menace deck
- Flashback: MTG Commander 2019 spoilers: Flashback, Mystic Intellect full deck reveal
- Populate: MTG Commander 2019 spoilers: Populate, Primal Genesis full deck reveal
- Madness: MTG Commander 2019 spoilers: Radkos Madness, Merciless Rage full deck reveal
MTG Commander 2019 is set to release on Aug. 23. To participate in this fun multiplayer format, most local game stores host Commander nights once a week.