Last updated on August 29, 2023

Monologue Tax - Illustration by Justine Cruz

Monologue Tax | Illustration by Justine Cruz

Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths was when Commander products made the transition to what we now expect: a set of EDH precons tied to premier MTG set releases. Prior to that was a mishmash of supplemental products with a standalone Commander set for each year plus different types of precons for that set. The immediately preceding sets, Theros: Beyond Death and Throne of Eldraine, had planeswalker and brawl decks respectively, but Ikoria (and perhaps the pandemic) shifted the Commander landscape to this day.

For better or worse.

There’s some concern with product fatigue these days with so many sets being released, especially for Commander players, for whom it’s all legal. Maybe we’ve all missed some important cards lately? Although cards from these Commander precons show up in collector boosters, it seems like the new cards printed for these Commander products are starting to slip under the radar.

That’s where I come in. I’ve got the best precon original cards from Ikoria to today so you can see what you haven’t noticed that you can pick up for your decks. Let’s get right to it!

Table of Contents show

What Are Original Commander Precon Cards in MTG?

Call the Coppercoats - Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Call the Coppercoats | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Cards in Commander precons that are original cards, not reprints from previous sets or in the associated premier set, are what we are calling “precon original” cards. There are almost 700 of these cards from Ikoria to March of the Machine.

I’m not ranking the legendary creatures in these sets, including face commanders like Prosper, Tome-Bound, or the “alternate commanders” that many of these deck have. Most of these EDH precons have a few subthemes stapled together in their builds, and you can usually shift the legendary creatures around to make the deck fit if you make a few changes to it out of your existing collection. Those cards tend to be pretty well known and deserve their own time to shine.

Best Original Commander Precon Cards in White

There are lots of great cards. Shout out to powerful but clunky Dismantling Wave and Bronze Guardian.

#18. Tenuous Truce

Tenuous Truce

Tenuous Truce is a perma Secret Rendezvous. For some of you, that’s all you need to hear.

#17. Excise the Imperfect

Excise the Imperfect

Excise the Imperfect is at instant speed for three mana and exiles any nonland permanent without leaving an enchantment around that can be bounced or destroyed. Better than Anguished Unmaking?

#16. And They Shall Know No Fear

And They Shall Know No Fear

White got a lot of “save your board” effects in these precons. And They Shall Know No Fear is great for tribal decks.

#15. Grand Crescendo

Grand Crescendo

You can cast Grand Crescendo for zero as a cheaper Unbreakable Formation. Nice. You can cast it for a lot on the last end step before your upkeep to go ham. I like modular. A lot.

#14. Thopter Shop

Thopter Shop

Morbid Opportunist triggers off any creature, but that card isn’t as good as Midnight Reaper and we still play a lot of it! Thopter Shop triggers a lot in artifact decks while being immune to creature destruction. You can also tap it to make a chump blocker and draw a card when it dies. This draws a card on every player’s turn in an artifact sac deck. Sleeve it up!

#13. Chivalric Alliance

Chivalric Alliance

This is solid card draw for aggressive white decks. Chivalric Alliance also seems awesome in white reanimator decks.

#12. Folk Hero

Folk Hero

Phyrexian Arena for tribal decks. Yeah, Folk Hero wants you to keep your commander alive and cast the creatures you sleeved up, but isn’t that the only thing your deck is designed to do humans/soldiers/warriors/spirits players?

#11. Drumbellower


Obviously nice in decks that want to untap like Shorikai, Genesis Engine or decks that run stuff like Krenko, Mob Boss, Drumbellower is gonna break at some point.

#10. Swift Reconfiguration

Swift Reconfiguration

If you’re gonna run spot removal, Swift Reconfiguration is a great option against Voltron commanders. I like it even better as a way to turn your own Atraxa, Praetors' Voice into a dune buggy that retains its static ability at instant speed in response to something like a Sunfall.

#9. Call the Coppercoats

Call the Coppercoats

Make lots of soldiers at instant speed with Call the Coppercoats!

#8. Clever Concealment

Clever Concealment

Phase out your entire team with Clever Concealment!

#7. Cosmic Intervention

Cosmic Intervention

Blink your entire team in response to a wrath with Cosmic Intervention!

#6. Monologue Tax

Monologue Tax

Monologue Tax is to Smothering Tithe what Mystic Remora is to Rhystic Study. SAT analogy lesson over for the day. Back to card games.

#5. Smuggler’s Share

Smuggler's Share

There’s another analogy for Smuggler's Share but these trash pandas have no time for that kind of subtlety. You like cards and treasures, right?

#4. Resourceful Defense

Resourceful Defense

Resourceful Defense looks fine in +1/+1 counters decks, but this thing is the best life insurance policy ever for superfriends decks. “To my life partner Jace, I bequeath the six loyalty counters I spent my entire life on this table accumulating. May it help you in acquiring opponent libraries.”

#3. Organic Extinction

Organic Extinction

Vanquish the Horde comes down for two mana a bit more reliably than Organic Extinction, but in any kind of affinity deck, you want this.

#2. Deep Gnome Terramancer

Deep Gnome Terramancer

Land Tax is still better, but Deep Gnome Terramancer has to now be the second-best white catch up ramp card.

#1. Flawless Maneuver

Flawless Maneuver

Flawless Maneuver is often a free Unbreakable Formation That’s not quite a  Teferi's Protection, but for tapped out go wide decks, it can sometimes be better.

Best Original Commander Precon Cards in Blue

Pour one out for these powerful honorable mentions for more niche decks: Perplexing Test, Endless Evil, and Cleaver Skaab.

#9. Extravagant Replication

Extravagant Replication

I feel like when you have the mana to cast this, you have faster ways to start to win. If you can cheat this out some way, I’m sure you can think of degenerate things to do with Extravagant Replication.

#8. Access Denied

Access Denied

Do we like Access Denied better than Spell Swindle? If you have a deck full of improvise cards, both are just value. This one also enables your convoke spells. I run both in the kinds of decks that are willing to pass with five mana up, which aren’t many.

#7. Artificer Class

Artificer Class

Wanna copy Time Sieve? I’m sure you have plenty of other fun artifacts to copy. That’s already why you’re playing Mishra, Eminent One. Of course, you can always just put that one wincon artifact in the deck and use Artificer Class as a tutor.

#6. Aboleth Spawn

Aboleth Spawn

Aboleth Spawn has flash, which is key. Pick something of high value and go wild. Yorion, Sky Nomad? Atraxa, Grand Unifier? Anything with a good ETB is fair game.

#5. Universal Surveillance

Universal Surveillance

Got tokens? Treasures, powerstones, clues, incubators, food, even blood? Here, have a lot of cards with Universal Surveillance.

#4. Curiosity Crafter

Curiosity Crafter

Literally making Curiosity, right? Curiosity Crafter can only Toski, Bearer of Secrets for tokens, but you’re in blue here, so that’s easy enough.

#3. Spectral Deluge

Spectral Deluge

This card is such a spectacular beating in so many circumstances. The foretell on Spectral Deluge is just chef’s kiss.

#2. Imposter Mech

Imposter Mech

This card should see lots more play. Imposter Mech is about the cheapest clone you can get. And often you’re cloning things to get ETBs or static abilities anyway, and this does that while also being safe from board wipes. And in a blink deck you can keep retargeting with it.

#1. Fierce Guardianship

Fierce Guardianship

Free spells are good. Fierce Guardianship is so effective it’s probably a design mistake.

Best Original Commander Precon Cards in Black

Good cards here. I have homework for you, though. Look at Prowling Geistcatcher, Tallyman of Nurgle, and Chronomancer and tell me in the comments if they should break into this list.

#12. Monumental Corruption

Monumental Corruption

Yeah, Monumental Corruption costs five. But so does Revel in Riches, and this is a lesser quality wincon for that deck that could also just dig for the Revel in a pinch.

#11. Body Count

Body Count

Body Count is total nonsense in a creature deck. Need to refill after a board wipe? Here you go, pal. Too bad so many sweepers exile these days.

#10. Wand of Orcus

Wand of Orcus

Don’t think about Wand of Orcus as a zombie card. Stop it. When this hits, it makes untapped, non-decayed zombie tokens. It’s the same basic costs but it’s better than half the swords of X and Y. #hottake.

#9. Hellish Rebuke

Hellish Rebuke

Black has a lot of board wipes, but not that many that can just kill an attacker like Hellish Rebuke.

#8. Keen Duelist

Keen Duelist

Keen Duelist is the most fun card on this list, and in the right deck this can do some good work, either as a riskier Secret Rendezvous or a build-around in a low-to-the-ground deck.

#7. From the Catacombs

From the Catacombs

From the Catacombs is definitely a card you’d be playing if you knew about it! Repeatable reanimation from any graveyard is just amazing.

#6. Haunted One

Haunted One

Undying is ridiculous with ETBs, and Haunted One is a must have for black tribal decks of any kind, even if in just the 99.

#5. Species Specialist

Species Specialist

Species Specialist is a card that annoys me. How are they a specialist if they haven’t decided yet what they’re studying? Isn’t there like a school for that? Did they even bother studying?

#4. Black Market Connections

Black Market Connections

Clearly better than Phyrexian Arena. Black Market Connections does so much, especially if you’re gaining life and can hit third gear every turn.

#3. Grim Hireling

Grim Hireling

I have never used Grim Hireling as removal. I always have better things to do with those treasures. But it’s comforting to know it’s there, like evil insurance.

#2. Crowded Crypt

Crowded Crypt

Crowded Crypt is one of the few playable 3 mana rocks in EDH. Very nice upside, especially for zombie decks but also lots of other builds.

#1. Deadly Rollick

Deadly Rollick

It’s beginning to seem like free spells are too good, isn’t it. Is WotC on its own Deadly Rollick of power creep?

Best Original Commander Precon Cards in Red

Red got a lot of good stuff in these decks, which is a nice change. So good that I didn’t have room for the powerful but twitchy Blast-Furnace Hellkite and Smoke Spirits' Aid.

#13. Ruin Grinder

Ruin Grinder

Ruin Grinder is a wheel on a stick. That stick is also an artifact. I know you have a use for this. You don’t? Well, then it cycles for a land!

#12. Bloodthirster + Akki Battle Squad

Akki Battle Squad and Bloodthirster: This kind of effect is always good, and you needed another Moraug, Fury of Akoum for your Isshin, Two Heavens as One deck, right?

#11. Indulge // Excess

Indulge // Excess

In a go-wide deck, this doubles your tokens and makes a billion treasures (plus or minus a few million, depending on the deck build). For a 5-mana investment Indulge // Excess is usually free-ish or better.

#10. Delayed Blast Fireball

Delayed Blast Fireball

Modal wraths are always nice to have, and Delayed Blast Fireball also feels nice to cast from foretell. “The fireball I secretly cast a few turns ago finally kicks in,” feels cool if everyone is a bit over-the-top and role-play-y at your table.

#9. Roar of Resistance

Roar of Resistance

Roar of Resistance is insane value in any token deck. This ends games.

#8. Geode Rager

Geode Rager

If you keep the lands flowing, Geode Rager makes you unattackable. It costs six, but you’re a landfall deck!

#7. Rain of Riches

Rain of Riches

Total nonsense. Turn your broken treasure deck into a cascade deck with Rain of Riches!

#6. Agitator Ant

Agitator Ant

Agitator Ant is peak goad.

#5. Determined Iteration

Determined Iteration

I know populate is an old mechanic. For two mana Determined Iteration does hard work in Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter and other sac decks, but just think about it in Mishra, Eminent One. I’ll make two token creature copies of my Spine of Ish Sah, k?

#4. Wild-Magic Sorcerer

Wild-Magic Sorcerer

Already pretty rad in Prosper, Tome-Bound and cascade decks, you’ll be glad you grabbed this if Wilds of Eldraine gives us a red adventures deck. So. Much. Value.

#3. Hedron Detonator

Hedron Detonator

Because Reckless Fireweaver and Ingenious Artillerist needed help in a treasure-heavy meta, we now have Hedron Detonator!

#2. Cursed Mirror

Cursed Mirror

Cursed Mirror is an awesome addition to the Midnight Clock cycle of colored 3-mana rocks. Can you get down with the Etali, Primal Conqueror copy?

#1. Deflecting Swat

Deflecting Swat

Hey, look! Another free spell at the top! Deflecting Swat is good at a lot, including the about half of extra turn spells that specify a “target player.”

Best Original Commander Precon Cards in Green

Mana. Fogs. Counters. You know, green stuff.

#10. Dodgy Jalopy

Dodgy Jalopy

Look, just put it in the ‘yard. Dodgy Jalopy has scavenge. With something like a Ghalta, Primal Hunger on the field, you can exile it from the graveyard for 12 +1/+1 counters on something. Who’s dodgy now?

#9. Boxing Ring

Boxing Ring

When you look at this Boxing Ring, you think you gotta use it with big beaters and eat the world. Hold up, champ. Lemme dab that eyebrow cut, and let’s take a sec before we jump back in there.

We’re making all these token creatures, right? And this is Commander in 2023. There’s more token creatures on the field. So, we always have a zero-mana cost target to pick a fight with. That means we get a death trigger and a treasure every turn. We lose the fight, sure, champ, but Adrian will still love us in the end.

#8. Nexos


How about a weak High Tide at home? Nexos knows you’re gonna need that eventually, and note that you don’t need to tap it to get that going. I smell combos.

#7. Sawtusk Demolisher

Sawtusk Demolisher

A Beast Within for one more mana is good enough if Sawtusk Demolisher is the only mutate card in your deck. But if you have a larger mutate package, forget about it.

#6. Slippery Bogbonder

Slippery Bogbonder

One of the most flexible move counters spells, Slippery Bogbonder can do a lot. The floor is a big Saiba Cryptomancer whose effect is permanent. Start bouncing this for extra fun.

#5. Sporocyst


Ramp on a creature is always nice, which is why Sakura-Tribe Elder is giving you side eye. Sporocyst can get you a lot once you get those landfall triggers going. It’s only basics, though. If only there were a card that fixed that.

#4. Rootpath Purifier

Rootpath Purifier

Rootpath Purifier is calling again, bruh, and she wants to know if you’re interested in fetching some Tron lands for your green ramp spells? What should I tell her?”

#3. Obscuring Haze

Obscuring Haze

Free spells are free, but a free Fog isn’t the best thing in that cycle. Still, fogs are a lot better than most players think, and Obscuring Haze is just about the best one.

#2. Silkguard


Even a hard to use Heroic Intervention is welcome in green, and Silkguard can also shield auras and equipment.

#1. Green Slime

Green Slime

There are lots of limits on Green Slime. But isn’t this the kind of thing green usually wants to do to stop the combo deck, the only thing at the table that can beat its stompy breakdown machine? It’s pretty much a green counterspell. Deal with it.

Best Multicolored Original Commander Precon Cards

Shout out to Elderfang Venom, Tyranid Prime, and Life Insurance for the specific decks that want them.

#7. Hurl Through Hell

Hurl Through Hell

Here’s the thing. If you choose an opposing commander to Hurl Through Hell, you can’t cast it from their command zone. Don’t get too excited. But this is still a super powerful effect! You basically steal a creature and never give it back.

#6. Klauth’s Will

Klauth's Will

You don’t have to put that much mana into Klauth's Will to stabilize, against your aggro and control opponents alike. But lots of mana really does a lot with this card.

#5. Prosperous Partnership

Prosperous Partnership

You don’t even need to pair this with Academy Manufactor to see the upside to Prosperous Partnership.

#4. Blood for the Blood God!

Blood for the Blood God!

For three mana after a devastating sweeper, you refill your hand and do a spot of damage on the way. Plus, you’re playing a card with an exclamation point! Blood for the Blood God! is so metal.

#3. Shadow in the Warp

Shadow in the Warp

Would you play a 3-mana rock that tapped for two? How about we staple a spellslinger killing clause to Shadow in the Warp? Do we have a deal?

#2. Disorder in the Court

Disorder in the Court

Hidden gem alert! What can this card do? Disorder in the Court can save your team from a sweeper, especially with Hinata, Dawn-Crowned. Then all the ETBs reset. And it drops a pile of clues!

Oh, and you could also just use it to instantly blink attackers, which drop back tapped or are destroyed if they’re tokens, and you keep the clues.

#1. Inkshield


Inkshield is the best fog ever.

Best Colorless Original Commander Precon Cards

Honorable mention to niche players Thunderhawk Gunship, Wondrous Crucible, and Manascape Refractor.

#5. Currency Converter

Currency Converter

Legacy brewers are working on this. You can imagine how much fun Currency Converter is with things like Lion's Eye Diamond. As a 1-drop, it’s pretty easy to tutor in EDH, along with all the stuff you’d want to break with it.

#4. Smelting Vat

Smelting Vat

In a world of colorless ramp and powerstones, Smelting Vat is looking for ways to get broken. You can sac treasures to get two zero cost artifacts. In an affinity deck you can drop Thought Monitor for cheap and sac it to look at a lot of cards.

#3. Machine God’s Effigy

Machine God's Effigy

Machine God's Effigy is cracked, but still seems to be sliding under the radar. Copy a creature but don’t be a creature. Sure, that means you get ETBs. But you can also nab static effects like on Platinum Angel or Myrel, Shield of Argive while being a bit harder to destroy. And you can still tap it, which means you can pull off Devoted Druid style combos much more easily since who cares how many -1/-1 counters you drop on this thing?

#2. Tempting Contract

Tempting Contract

How often are you gonna get three treasures per turn cycle off Tempting Contract? Often enough, I think.

#1. Twinning Staff

Twinning Staff

Three mana for a static ability to copy a copied spell? Twinning Staff is crazy. Of course, there are loads of ways to grab infinite triggers off this. Narset's Reversal on your own spell, for example, or even Fury Storm.

Best Original Commander Precon Lands

#4. Urza’s Workshop

Urza's Workshop

If you’re running a Tron lands and tutor package, why not Urza's Workshop? It’s like adding Neil Young to Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

(I know that’s a boomer reference, but don’t worry, I’m sure Tron players get it).

#3. Tomb Fortress

Tomb Fortress

If you are gonna play MDFC taplands, why not Tomb Fortress?

#2. Nesting Grounds

Nesting Grounds

Nesting Grounds is one of the best cards to move counters around, and there’s not a lot of good ones, so take a look!

#1. Witch’s Clinic

Witch's Clinic

You can imagine a lot of commanders that want Witch's Clinic, but don’t sleep on Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence and others that tap for damage.

How Many Commander-Original Cards Are There?

There are 860 Commander-original cards from Ikoria to March of the Machine. 194 of those are legendary creatures, which were omitted from this analysis.

Wrap Up

Call the Coppercoats - Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Call the Coppercoats | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Phew! That’s a lot of cards! No wonder we all missed some. Hopefully this will catch you on some good stuff you might have overlooked that can take your deck to the next level.

Have any of these cards been key in your decks? Do you plan on running any of these in the future? Did I manage to introduce you to any awesome EDH-original cards you didn’t know about? Let me know in the comments down below, or join the discussion over on the official Draftsim Discord.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

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