Last updated on April 12, 2021

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a new set out! And it’s the first one that was designed specifically for the Commander format. In Commander Legends you can crack packs, get sweet Commander specific cards, and it’s the first time you can draft Commander.

With a new Magic set comes new Commander preconstructed decks that we’ll be talking about today. We’ll breakdown who’s at the head of these decks, their strategy, what comes in them, where the value is, and determine which would be better. Let’s not waste any more time and get into it!

Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
$34.88
$16.40
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
$34.88
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
$16.40

Who These Decks Are For

Precon Commander decks are typically made as fun, synergistic decks that both new and experienced players can enjoy.

For new players, these decks are a good place to start. They work well together, they’re typically cheaper than designing and purchasing your own Commander deck, and they’re primed to upgrade if you want to go that route.

For experienced players, you can try something new, get a new concept for you to upgrade around, and grab a couple format staples that typically accompany these precon decks.

What’s in the New Commander Legend Decks?

Drum roll please!

Meet Aesi and Wyleth, your Commander Legends precon commanders!

Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait from Reap the Tides is a Simic commander following up on Zendikar Rising’s landfall theme. You get to play extra lands and draw extra cards for doing so! Definitely two things we love doing in Magic: getting ahead in mana, and having more cards.

Wyleth, Soul of Steel from Arm for Battle is a very Boros commander, to no surprise, and is going to be a very combat-focused play style. ZNR also had a warrior and equipment theme, so this seems to continue that idea and encourages a voltron (making one beefed-up creature with a bunch of auras/equipment) strategy.

Commander Legends vs. Other Commander Precons

WotC has seemingly increased their focus on creating Commander products. The majority of Commander products have typically come out with either a Standard-legal set or as the year’s Commander deck (Commander 2019, Commander 2020, etc.). Now, with Commander Legends, they’re giving us a couple extra precons. I don’t know if this will be a continued trend, but at the very least it gives you more product to choose from.

A common theme with any precon Commander deck WotC releases is that their archetypes will typically mirror the mechanics of the sets that it’s released around. For example, Zendikar Rising has a landfall theme, so WotC released a Commander precon deck based on landfall with Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor at the head. The Commander Legends precons hit this mark as well.

These decks are overall pretty on par compared to previous years. We get a couple new decks to choose from and they introduce a couple new legendaries, but don’t have a huge impact on the format.

What’s Notable about this Set’s Decks

Word of Seizing

Word of Seizing | Illustration by Vance Kovacs

As mentioned earlier, these new precons seem to mimic some of the mechanics that we’ve seen with Zendikar Rising. Specifically, landfall and equipment. If you’ve already opened up a bunch of sealed ZNR, you might have some easy upgrades for these precons on hand.

It’s also worth noting that these precons only have a couple cards from the new Commander Legends set. If you’re looking to open up some of that sweet sweet new stuff, you’ll have to stick to the boosters.

Are the Precons a Good Value?

Commander precons are always good value when they first release. You typically get several Commander staples in them, which add up to what you paid for it. They’re also good fun and a nice place to start for new players.

If you’re looking to get both of the new precons, is it better to purchase them individually or as a set? It really depends on where you’re purchasing it. The price of Magic cards can vary from location to location, both in-person and online. So make sure you run the math before purchasing to get the most value.

Price for the individual decks:

Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
$34.88
$16.40
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
$34.88
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
$16.40

Price for both together:

Magic The Gathering MTG Commander Legends Both Decks!
  • Each deck contains: 1 deck of 99 cards + 1 legendary foil commander card, 10 tokens, 1 deck box, 1 life tracker. This listing includes both decks.

I specifically mentioned earlier that Commander precons are always good value when they first release. That’s important to note because, once released, the prices can change significantly depending on how good they end up preforming combined with how valuable cards within them become.

Reap the Tides Deck Breakdown

Decklist

Deck Theme and Strategy

Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait is a landfall-focused deck looking to gain an advantage off playing a lot of lands or getting big creatures out and overpowering your opponents. It has some good ramp, some good removal, and with Aesi allowing you to play additional lands and draw cards, that’ll get you where you want to be even quicker. This deck will start off a little slow as it gets setup, but once it gets going it’ll really start swinging.

I think this deck will do well in most Commander play groups, as a lot of games can be fairly long. The top end of this deck will keep it in the game. Along with some good interactive countermagic and decent removal, it’ll be fun to play.

Notable Reprints and Money Cards

There’s a whole bunch of fun reprints in these decks. The Aesi deck is rocking some classics in card draw and countermagic, like Mulldrifter, Fact or Fiction, Arcane Denial, and Counterspell.

It also has Commander staples including Rampant Growth, Sol Ring, and Simic Signet. Ramunap Excavator is the most interesting reprint as it was only ever printed in Hour of Devastation.

As far as money cards go, the most notable are Avenger of Zendikar and Eternal Witness.

Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Reap The Tides | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Blue-Green
  • BATTLE YOUR FRIENDS. Commander is a different way to play Magic: The Gathering. It’s all about legendary creatures, big plays, and battling your friends in epic multiplayer games.
  • 100-CARD READY-TO-PLAY DECK. Designed as an introduction to Commander, this MTG deck is ready-to-play right out of the box, without sacrificing the richness and depth that made Magic iconic.
  • GATHER THE STORM. Summon the strength of Aesi, call forth a torrent of extra cards and lands, and sweep your opponents away.
  • THREE CARDS PRINTED FOR THE FIRST TIME. This Commander deck debuts three cards, plus it’s loaded with reprints to kickstart your Commander experience.
  • CONTENTS: 1 ready-to-play deck of 99 Magic: The Gathering cards, 1 legendary foil commander card, 10 tokens, 1 deck box (can hold 100 sleeved cards), 1 life tracker

Arm for Battle Deck Breakdown

Decklist

Deck Theme and Strategy

Wyleth, Soul of Steel is a more aggressive deck with a voltron style. It doesn’t have a lot of creatures because it wants to beef up the few that it does have and beat down your opponents. This deck has some efficient removal and good equipment to complement what it’s trying to do. You will have to get the job done quickly with this deck, though, because if the game goes on too long it may struggle.

The early game of your matches will be where this deck shines. You’ll want to get creatures out as fast as possible, especially your commander, and get as much damage off as you can. As the games go longer, the windows for getting damage on your opponent will be smaller. You’ll have to find ways using evasive enchantments that give your creatures flying or with timely removal.

Notable Reprints and Money Cards

Some of my favorite reprints in the Wyleth deck are Odric, Lunarch Marshal, combo all-star Dualcaster Mage, and Flickerwisp. The most interesting reprint is definitely Sram, Senior Edificer. It’s his first reprint since his release in Aether Revolt.

The most notable money cards would be Boros Charm and Swords to Plowshares. Yea, Swords to Plowshares, in a precon! One of the most efficient removal spells in Magic.

Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Commander Deck – Arm for Battle | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | 1 Foil Commander | Red-White, C78590000
  • BATTLE YOUR FRIENDS. Commander is a different way to play Magic: The Gathering. It’s all about legendary creatures, big plays, and battling your friends in epic multiplayer games.
  • 100-CARD READY-TO-PLAY DECK. Designed as an introduction to Commander, this MTG deck is ready-to-play right out of the box, without sacrificing the richness and depth that made Magic iconic.
  • BRANDISH YOUR BLADE. Ally with Wyleth, equip him with arms, and draw tons of cards as you dispatch your opponents with martial superiority.
  • THREE CARDS PRINTED FOR THE FIRST TIME. This Commander deck debuts three cards, plus it’s loaded with reprints to kickstart your Commander experience.
  • CONTENTS: 1 ready-to-play deck of 99 Magic: The Gathering cards, 1 legendary foil commander card, 10 tokens, 1 deck box (can hold 100 sleeved cards), 1 life tracker.

Which Is the Best Deck?

Let’s evaluate this on three fronts: value, competitiveness, and most fun.

Value

For value in terms of what the cards are worth, I think you’ll have to go with Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait. It has a couple more/better money cards and a few more staples of the format than the Wyleth deck’s got. The difference is slight though, as the Wyleth deck has its list of staples and useful cards. WotC does a good job of balancing the price of these decks with the value of the cards inside them.

Competitiveness

As far as competitiveness goes, I’d have to lean toward the Aesi deck again. Being able to draw extra cards and play extra lands is very good in Magic. In combination with Wyleth being somewhat of an aggro deck, I think Aesi’s top end would perform much better in most Commander games.

More Fun

But which one would be more fun? It really depends on your play style. If you want to go wide with a bunch of creatures, go with Aesi. If you want to be a more aggressive, go with Wyleth.

Personally, I think I’d have more fun with Wyleth, Soul of Steel. Getting him out fast and beefing him up sounds awesome! Doing things like Sunforger’s activated ability for some cool instants or Flickerwisping cool enchantments to get them on different creatures would be a blast!

The Bottom Line

Sharktocrab

Sharktocrab | Illustration by Jehan Choo

Besides the decks being a good value for purchase, these decks do look like a lot of fun to play! There are some fun flashy cards and impactful interactive Magic.

It’s worth mentioning though, compared to previous iterations of Commander, these do seem a little more filler-ish. The cards in the decks don’t add anything major to any formats, and being a precon, the product might be better suited for newer players. Nonetheless, you’re getting your money’s worth here.

Precons to Plowshares

That’s the downlow on the Commander Legends preconstructed decks. We talked about what’s in them, how they might preform, and what might fit your play style better. These decks are only a tip of the iceberg of what Commander Legends is, though. They only have four cards that are from the set. So make sure you check what goodies you can get in those boosters!

And if you want to join in the conversation with the community, make sure to join the Draftsim Discord! You could also leave a comment down below for a quicker chat, if that’s more your style.

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