Last updated on December 2, 2023
Davros, Dalek Creator | Illustration by Simon Dominic
With the release of Universes Beyond: Doctor Who, WotC made four precon EDH decks. While three of the EDH precons are focused on the different doctors the show had, this EDH precon deck is focused on the main Doctor Who villains. Since it’s a sci-fi show, lots of the villains are mechanical and robot-like, and the main villains depicted here are the Daleks and the cybermen.
Today we’re going through what makes the Masters of Evil precon deck ticks, what works and what needs more support, all with the goal to make it a little bit more competitive. Don’t worry though, I’ll keep most of the deck untouched because this deck is good to play as it is. Also, all the card swaps are very cheap, and these changes won’t cost more than 10 bucks total!
Let’s get to it!
Masters of Evil is a Grixis EDH deck filled with artifacts, aggression, and villains. The main commander is Davros, Dalek Creator, and I’ll be keeping it as the commander. It wants you to deal 3 damage or more to your opponents on your turn, and if you succeed, you’ll make a 3/3 Dalek artifact creature token with menace and make your opponents face a villainous choice: either they discard a card or you draw a card. I love this Dimir theme of draw and discard, present in cards like Invasion of Amonkhet and Disinformation Campaign.
There are plenty of other choices for the commander in this product. Since I want to keep the deck with three colors and keep the artifact theme, there are three other possible commanders:
No matter the commander, the deck is a Grixis artifact-themed deck. There are other potential commanders in Dimir and Rakdos colors, and they can be fun to build decks around too. These cards mostly make this build, but just not as commanders. Other Grixis commanders like The Valeyard and The Rani pull the deck into other directions, so I’m not considering them as commanders.
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Masters of Evil is a midrange deck made to grind your opponents out. The commander generate card advantage every turn provided that you keep dealing 3 damage to your opponents. There’s plenty of card draw, recursion, token making, and win conditions. There’s an artifact theme going on, so lots of cards either make artifacts, benefit you for having them in play, and boost them. To keep dealing damage to your foes, the main avenue is to attack them with your Daleks. You’ll keep making them, and they’re hard to block, so hopefully you can snowball into making more daleks. You’re drawing cards and forcing opponents to discard, further consolidating your lead.
The main weakness of the deck is that it has many different themes going on. Some cards take the focus away from the deck, like Rassilon, the War President, which gives you some card advantage and allows you conspire to noncreature spells. It’s a good card, but not exactly what you’re doing here. There are some cards that keep goading your opponents’ creatures so that they fight each other. The task here is to take off the cards that steer from the main theme and focus on maximizing the 3-damage theme as much as you can. Since the result is an upgraded precon deck, you’re not going crazy on spending money on expensive cards, so the suggestions are all budget friendly.
Suggested Cut: Wayfarer's Bauble
Suggested Cut: Rassilon, the War President
High Fae Negotiator is bananas in this deck. There’s plenty of stuff to sacrifice so it’s easy to trigger bargain, and making each player losing 3 life is exactly what the commander wants. Also, you can attack for 3 in the air each turn. Rassilon, the War President is a 5-drop that’s not going to attack that much, and you’re not building a deck that takes advantage of its gifts.
Suggested Cut: The Flood of Mars
Skorpekh Lord is a card that gives your artifact creatures +1/+0 and menace while also being a 3/2 with menace itself. With this card, I want to make artifact creatures that pack a greater punch. I get that The Flood of Mars wants to attack as an unblockable creature with islandwalk, but I prefer to beef my cybermen and Daleks, even if I have to resort to Warhammer 40K cards.
Suggested Cut: Zygon Infiltrator
Chief of the Foundry provides more beef to your artifact creatures, being a simple artifact lord. Making your Daleks into 4/4s or your cybermen into 3/3s is good. Zygon Infiltrator is a clone variant and it can be useful sometimes, but it’s an easy cut here.
Suggested Cut: Day of the Moon
Ominous Seas gives you an incentive to keep drawing cards with your commander. Making an 8/8 token every now and then is very good, and Ominous Seas just sits on the battlefield gathering counters. Day of the Moon doesn’t do much here, and it’s related to the goad theme of making your opponents fight each other.
Suggested Cut: The Rani
Inferno Titan is a beefy creature that deals 3 damage divided as you want it. Each damage trigger from Inferno Titan can trigger your commander directly so you can ping each opponent, or even clear the way for a better attack (especially against tokens). The Rani is a good card, but I prefer to make use of the damage-dealing aspect with the Titan.
Suggested Cut: Sontaran General
Combustible Gearhulk is an artifact creature that can give you cards or damage your opponents. You profit either way, and if you’re beating them, they’ll need to give you the cards. Sontaran General is a hasty 5/5 that can also do some damage, but I’ll go with the Gearhulk.
Suggested Cut: The Valeyard
Suggested Cut: Wound Reflection
Maestros Charm is a way to increase your interaction possibilities as well as to damage all your opponents at the same time. You may choose between card selection, removal, or damage. Wound Reflection is an expensive enchantment that you’ll be happy to replace, lowering your curve.
Suggested Cut: Time Reaper
Loyal Subordinate deals damage to your opponents if you have your commander in play, just when you want. Time Reaper is great at dealing damage as a 4/4 with haste, but that’s all. It hates on exiled cards, so when you’re facing a suspend deck it’s nice, but the meta usually doesn’t go that way.
Suggested Cut: Renegade Silent
Sygg, River Cutthroat is the original commander that cared about dealing 3 damage to your opponents. I’m adding redundancy here so you can draw extra cards. Renegade Silent is one of the weaker cards overall, so it must go.
Suggested Cut: The Sound of Drums
Court of Ambition fits perfectly into this deck. Each turn all your opponents lose 3 life and face villainous choices at the end of your turn if you have your commander online. You don’t even need to be the monarch for this to happen, but 6 damage is surely better than 3. The Sound of Drums is nice in a goad-based deck as a recursive aura.
Suggested Cut: Auton Soldier
Marionette Master strikes all the chords here. If your artifact creatures die, Marionette Master deals serious damage. The decklist has some ways to sacrifice your artifact creatures if needed, but ideally they’ll die in combat. This is a trade of 6-drops. Auton Soldier is a Clone with myriad, which is nice for the deck. I just think that I’d rather have the Marionette.
You don’t need to change anything here. For a precon deck, the mana base is surprisingly good and playable right out of the box, with lots of good dual lands. Xander's Lounge would be a nice upgrade over Crumbling Necropolis, or you can keep Crumbling Necropolis and take out a worse land like Path of Ancestry. Of course, any fetch land or shock land you already have in these colors strengthens the deck’s mana base even further.
Maestros Charm | Illustration by Steve Argyle
The Masters of Evil precon deck can be built in a lot of different ways, and this is one of them. I want Davros, Dalek Creator to be the main star of the show, making artifacts and boosting them, while other cards from the deck pump your team or make cybermen. You can go a totally new direction with Missy or The Rani as your commander.
I hope these tips make sense and that they help you build better decks in the future. If you have other artifact-based cards or deal three damage cards, let me know and we’ll discuss it on our comments section, or on our Draftsim Twitter account.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy being the Masters of Evil!
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