fbpx

Last updated on May 30, 2022

Ezuri, Claw of Progress (judge gift promo) - Illustration by Livia Prima

Ezuri, Claw of Progress (judge gift promo) | Illustration by Livia Prima

Wizards comes out with a series of preconstructed Commander decks meant to introduce new players to the format with each new set. But these decks are good for more than just giving to your younger sibling to get them to play with you. Especially with a few upgrades, these precons quickly become a medium power budget list that can hold their own in your LGS’s Commander pods.

Today I’ll be going in depth on everything about the Commander 2015 precons, from what’s included to which one is the best to buy and put together! Yes, you read that right. Commander 2015. While these decks released over six years ago, the cards’ value and the Commander format as a whole has changed quite a lot, which makes them due for a newer review.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What is Commander 2015?

Pathbreaker Ibex - Illustration by Christopher Moeller

Pathbreaker Ibex | Illustration by Christopher Moeller

Commander 2015 refers to the series of five dual-colored enemy precon decks released by WotC in (unsurprisingly) 2015. In addition to the fully-built and playable 100-card deck, each product comes with an oversized foil commander, a deck box for storage, 10 double-sided tokens, and 12 all new MTG cards.

Commander 2015 vs. Other Commander Precons

Each release of Commander precons change in terms of colors and archetypes. Commander 2015 gives us five deck choices, with each being a different dual-colored archetype including Orzhov (), Izzet (), Golgari (), Boros (), and Simic ().

The upside to these decks being multicolored is that they have a decent starting mana base to support the color paring. Each deck includes Commander staples like Command Tower, cheaper dual lands like the guild gates, and basic fetch lands like Terramorphic Expanse that you wouldn’t get in a mono-colored precon.

The mechanic unique to the Commander 2015 precons is experience counters. Each commander gains experience counters for completing various tasks, like playing enchantments or having creatures die. The more experience counters a commander has, the more potent and powerful its effects, and it can do powerful things like graveyard recursion or make your spells cheaper.

The mana bases for these decks are a strong start that will help to ensure you’re mana screwed far less often, but there’s still room for improvement and customization.

Are the Commander 2015 Decks Worth It?

Blade of Selves - Illustration by Alan Pollack

Blade of Selves | Illustration by Alan Pollack

Since these decks were released over six years ago, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a sealed version for anything close to MSRP. All of these decks currently retail for well over $100 online.

Not to mention the sum of the value of all cards included is between $80 to $180 depending on the specific deck. These cards have appreciated over time, and each deck including high price point cards like Phyrexian Arena and Arachnogenesis really drives up the price.

So these decks are absolutely worth it if you can find them for anything remotely similar to their $39.99 release price. But if you’re going to build the deck no matter what, you’re better off buying the cards individually.

Building the deck by buying singles gives you two advantages. The first being you save money compared to buying a sealed version online through a retailer like Amazon. The second is that you can make changes and improvements before you even buy the cards, meaning you won’t have to spend money buying pieces you replace or cut.

The Commander 2015 decks are not worth buying retail and you should instead stick to buying the singles individually, even if that means buying the entire deck off TCGPlayer.

#5. Wade into Battle

Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas - Illustration by Jason Chan

Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas | Illustration by Jason Chan

Commander, Themes, and Strategy

Commander 2015 Wade into Battle

The Boros aggro deck, Wade into Battle uses typical Boros combat strategies with large double strike creatures, effective combat tricks, and some powerful equipment. Your commander, Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, promotes a big-mana-creature strategy and rewards you with +1/+1 counters.

Kalemne is strong on its own as a 4-mana 3/3 double striker with vigilance at worst. At best it grows quickly turn 5 and 6 on curve, which allows you to quickly dish out large amounts of damage to your opponents.

There’s a strong and prevalent giant subtheme in the deck with over half your creatures sporting the creature type. This plays well with the commander’s theme since nearly all creatures in the deck are 5-mana or more. This also means the deck needs more than average mana ramp since getting to five mana is much more critical to the strategy.

Wizards blessed you with over 12 different mana artifacts at your disposal which gives you about a 70% chance to draw at least one in the first two turns. This lets you play your commander and a 5-drop a turn earlier!

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

Wade into Battle is the highest priced Commander 2015 precon and carries a total tabletop cost of well over $100 if you were to buy all of the singles. Most of this comes from Urza’s Incubator and Blade of Selves, which are around $40 and $20 respectively.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Lightning Greaves, and Rite of the Raging Storm can each be found in the $10 price range.

Overall Ranking

I like this deck and I think the combat-matters part is a refreshing strategy in Commander that we don’t see enough. But I think that’s also its primary weakness. Getting a good start early with lots of big creatures makes you public enemy #1, so make sure your politics game is on point if you’re going with this deck.

#4. Call the Spirits

Daxos the Returned - Illustration by Adam Paquette

Daxos the Returned | Illustration by Adam Paquette

Commander, Themes, and Strategy

Commander 2015 Call the Spirits precon

Call the Spirits is an Orzhov spirit and enchantment deck as you may have guessed, and it’s the next deck on this ranking of the Commander 2015 precons. This deck looks to resolve a powerful enchantment like Sigil of the Empty Throne or Dictate of Heliod to build an incredible board that overwhelms your opponents.

Daxos the Returned is your primary enchantment engine that triggers enchantment effects and builds you a powerful board state.

I think this deck could seriously benefit from a few new inclusions that could take its power level to, well, the next level. I’d cut some of the fat/filler cards like Dawnglare Invoker, Cage of Hands, and Sandstone Oracle. This would make room for some better more consistent cards like Grim Guardian, Authority of the Consuls, and Moon-Blessed Cleric. The mana base could also use some more dual lands like Godless Shrine and Caves of Koilos for better consistency.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

This deck has quite a few gems in the stock list. Most notable are Phyrexian Arena, Karmic Justice, and Karlov of the Ghost Council. These three cards alone make up nearly 40% of the entire decklist’s price, and for good reason.

Overall Ranking

I still think this deck is very strong out of the box and a great outline for a strong Orzhov enchantment list. If you end up liking it and intend to put it together, I’d suggest doing some research and making a dozen or so improvements which will really smoothen out the deck and playstyle for your enjoyment.

MTG Commander 2015 Edition Magic the Gathering – Call the Spirits White Black Deck New Sealed
  • Each deck features its own special Commander (both oversized and regular-sized), plus 15 never-before-printed cards.

#3. Plunder the Graves

Meren of Clan Nel Toth - Illustration by Mark Winters

Meren of Clan Nel Toth | Illustration by Mark Winters

Commander, Themes, and Strategy

Commander 2015 Plunder the Graves

Plunder the Graves is a Golgari graveyard deck that wins by sacrificing and killing off its creatures to gain powerful benefits from its commander and other graveyard-synergistic cards. Meren of Clan Nel Toth starts bringing creatures back to both the graveyard and the battlefield as it gains experience counters.

The deck also has some redundant recursion and graveyard synergies in case your opponents are shutting Meren down. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord gains strength for every creature in your graveyard which is often when you’re playing 37 creatures. Champion of Stray Souls helps you sacrifice fodder to bring bombs like Terastodon back into play.

Speaking of cannon fodder, this deck has a lot of valuable creatures that you’d love to die like Scourge of Nel Toth, Corpse Augur, and Viridian Emissary.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

Pathbreaker Ibex

As for some notable inclusions, Plunder the Graves has a couple expensive pieces you should know about. First is Pathbreaker Ibex, whose value is thanks to its very limited printing and strength in combat-matters green decks. It sells for over $20.

Eldrazi MonumentMeren of Clan Nel Toth, Lightning Greaves, and Skullclamp all go for around $10.

Overall Ranking

I enjoyed playtesting Plunder the Graves with my friends, but there are a few weak cards that need to be cut to take it to the next level. This list would benefit most from Reclamation Sage to shut down some enchantments and Birthing Pod to set up a chain. There’s also Dictate of Erebos to extract extra value out of your sacrifice engines.

#2. Seize Control

Mizzix of the Izmagnus - Illustration by Cliff Childs

Mizzix of the Izmagnus | Illustration by Cliff Childs

Commander, Themes, and Strategy

Commander 2015 Seize Control precon

Seize Control is the second-best Commander 2015 deck released. This is an Izzet spells deck that looks to play big spells for cheap with its commander’s discount ability.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus gains experience counters every time you cast an instant or sorcery with a mana value greater than the number of experience counters already on it. IMG

This means that your powerful instants and sorceries get drastically cheaper as the game goes on. This effect also works with spells that have an X in their casting cost. If you have a discount of one colorless from your commander, then paying for Blue Sun’s Zenith would have one X in there despite you not directly paying any colorless.

This list has a very strong start and even a possible shell to build a storm deck. While it’s not the most powerful overall, I think it’s the most fun to play and definitely my favorite. I suggest you look at cards like Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, Past in Flames, and Reiterate to ramp up the spellslinger theme and give your deck some redundancy if you’re planning on putting together this list.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

Mizzix's Mastery

Despite its high placement in terms of power and fun level, Seize Control actually has the lowest monetary value out of all five decks. The entire list can be put together for about $90 and the most expensive card on the list is Mizzix’s Mastery.

While the low price makes it a less worthwhile (but still profitable) investment if you got it for retail, it also makes it the easiest deck to put together from scratch.

Overall Ranking

I think Seize Control is an excellent intro deck for players interested in diving headfirst into the Commander format with a fun deck that doesn’t win through conventional combat. This deck has a lot of room to play politics but also dive through windows of opportunity with cheap but powerful spells.

#1. Swell the Host

Ezuri, Claw of Progress - Illustration by James Ryman

Ezuri, Claw of Progress | Illustration by James Ryman

Commander, Themes, and Strategy

Commander 2015 Swell the Host precon

Last but certainly not least is Swell the Host, the most powerful out-of-the-box Commander 2015 deck. This list is your typical run-of-the-mill Simic value deck that generates big mana and plays big spells.

Ezuri, Claw of Progress’ experience counter ability gives a creature X +1/+1 counters at the beginning of combat, and Ezuri gains experience counters whenever a creature with power two or less enters the battlefield. This means you’ll be looking to get a lot of early tokens and small creatures to ramp up experience early game to overwhelm your opponents with large buffs. This deck is both powerful and simple to play, making it the best choice for beginners.

The +1/+1 counter theme is incredibly potent given the right tools. Here’s what I’d suggest: The Ozolith is an incredibly important tool because it not only preserves the +1/+1 counters put on your now dead creatures, it also translates them onto your commander, which saves you time and resources if it’s killed during the game. Incubation Druid is a powerful mana dork that’s consistently able to generate the three mana, and more cards with proliferate like Thrummingbird or Evolution Sage keep the engine going.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

There are a few cards to note in terms of price and popularity. Arachnogenesis is currently over $30 and Beastmaster Ascension and Ezuri, Claw of Progress sell for around $10. These alone make up for the original MSRP.

But if you’re looking to put this deck together, buying all the cards individually will cost you about $120 which is three times its original MSRP. Like the previously mentioned decks, some upgrades and swaps would really help Swell the Host be more consistent and powerful.

Overall Ranking

I like Swell the Host and I think it’s a well put together deck, especially for a Commander precon. It’s a fun deck to play and has a lot of room for improvement and specificity in a new commander, or even new color theme as Bant (). It’s a starting list and an even greater shell for something amazing.

Best of the Best

The Best Value and Most Competitive

Commander 2015 Swell the Host precon

Swell the Host is definitely the best Commander 2015 deck for higher-level play. The power level of the original list is the strongest overall and it can also be put together much cheaper than some of the other lists, making it one of the best in terms of value as well.

Simic value is an incredibly powerful strategy, and the preconstructed deck does a better job at it than most strategies since it’s already a cheap archetype to build. The theme of +1/+1 counters is heavily supported in EDH and the deck gives way to a possible future where you’re playing Bant to take advantage of white’s synergy.

The Most Fun

Commander 2015 Seize Control precon

But in terms of raw fun, my heart lies with Seize Control and all of the fun Izzet interactions found inside. When I look at this precon I see a shell of a storm deck begging to be upgraded and popped off with at my local game store.

This deck has so much potential to totally ruin your opponent’s game, which is the purpose of the format, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Where to Buy Commander 2015 Precons

You have a few options if you’re looking to buy the Commander 2015 decks as sealed products. Amazon has Call the Spirits in stock, but this is a rough choice with prices close to the price as a sum of singles if not more. eBay has the precons for well over their original MSRP but still close to the sum of their individual cards.

You could also opt to buy the entire list off a retailer like TCGPlayer or CardKingdom. This will get you the cheapest price possible while allowing you to make changes and save money on cards you wouldn’t play anyway, which is a win-win in my book.

Commanding Conclusion

Karlov of the Ghost Council - Illustration by Volkan Baga

Karlov of the Ghost Council | Illustration by Volkan Baga

I think this round of Commander precons were pretty well fleshed out. They each have unique themes and playstyles that are adequately supported by the stock list, which left me without that icky feeling of playing a precon that’s just barely not good enough.

So that’s all you need to know about Commander 2015! What do you think? Are you interested in putting together any of these lists with some upgrades? Or did you manage to grab one for retail price upon release and are happy with your 400% return? Let me know below in the comments or talk about it with like-minded Magic players over at our Discord.

Until next time, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to make a purchase, you’ll help Draftsim continue to provide awesome free articles and apps.

Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *