Shanid, Sleeper's Scourge - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

For a while now, WotC has developed preconstructed Commander decks that supplement their major set releases. These decks give them a chance to flesh out worldbuilding while also providing a great budget entryway for new players to start enjoying the Commander format.

Today we’ll look at the two latest decks that will release alongside Dominaria United.

Best Value
Most Fun
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends’ Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends' Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
$39.45
$39.64
Best Value
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends’ Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends' Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
$39.45
Most Fun
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
$39.64

What Are the Dominaria United Commander Decks?

Drana, Liberator of Malakir - Illustration by Mike Bierek

Drana, Liberator of Malakir | Illustration by Mike Bierek

Dominaria United Commander decks are the latest set of preconstructed Commander decks tied in with the release of DMU. Following the recent trend of having two Commander decks per Standard set release, these DMU decks pull from the major locations, themes, and mechanics of the mainline set.

Each DMU pre-con contains a 100-card Commander deck, including 10 new-to-Magic cards and 90 reprints. Three cards from each deck will be a foil variant: The face commander and the two “alternative” commanders for each deck. You’ll also receive a non-tournament legal display commander, a deck box, a life counter, and 10 double-sided tokens.

If you purchase a sealed Commander deck, you’ll also receive a “Collector Booster Sample Pack,” a bonus pack containing two cards from Dominaria United.

As part of the regular product lineup for major set releases, these Commander decks are intended to be introductory decks for players just getting into the format. They still hold valuable reprints and new cards for enfranchised players, but their main purpose is to provide an out-of-the-box deck that’s ready for casual Commander play with no additional investment needed.

Each deck contains fewer new-to-Magic designs than previous products in this line-up (for example, each NEO Commander deck had 15 new cards). Still, you’re receiving your money’s worth when you purchase one of these precons, especially as a newer player trying to build a collection.

It’s worth noting that the face commander for each deck is a planeswalker, which hasn’t been done since Commander 2018. Additionally, this is only the second time Wizards has offered a 5-color Commander precon, the other being 2017’s Draconic Dominationdeck, spearheaded by The Ur-Dragon.

We’re going to take a closer look at both decks and compare the value, playability, and fun factor of each deck to determine which one’s the better pick-up.

Legends’ Legacy

Dominaria United Legends' Legacy precon
Commander (1)

Dihada, Binder of Wills

Creature (28)

Adriana, Captain of the Guard
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
Arvad the Cursed
Ashling the Pilgrim
Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant
Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant
Cadric, Soul Kindler
Captain Lannery Storm
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Etali, Primal Storm
Garna, the Bloodflame
Jazal Goldmane
Josu Vess, Lich Knight
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
Moira, Urborg Haunt
Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle
The Peregrine Dynamo
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
Verrak, Warped Sengir
Zeriam, Golden Wind
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

Instant (7)

Bedevil
Generous Gift
Hero’s Downfall
Mortify
Thrill of Possibility
Unbreakable Formation
Wear // Tear

Sorcery (7)

Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
Urza’s Ruinous Blast
Faithless Looting
Kaya’s Wrath
Night’s Whisper
Read the Bones
Ambition’s Cost

Enchantment (1)

Day of Destiny

Artifact (17)

Blackblade Reforged
Bontu’s Monument
Commander’s Sphere
Arcane Signet
Fellwar Stone
Gerrard’s Hourglass Pendant
Hazoret’s Monument
Hedron Archive
Hero’s Blade
Heroes’ Podium
Honor-Worn Shaku
Oketra’s Monument
Sol Ring
Sword of the Chosen
Tenza, Godo’s Maul
The Circle of Loyalty
The Reaver Cleaver

Land (39)

Battlefield Forge
Bojuka Bog
Boros Garrison
Command Tower
Dragonskull Summit
Evolving Wilds
Foreboding Ruins
Geier Reach Sanitarium
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
Mobilized District
Nomad Outpost
Orzhov Basilica
Rakdos Carnarium
Reliquary Tower
Shivan Gorge
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Smoldering Marsh
Temple of Malice
Temple of Silence
Temple of Triumph
Terramorphic Expanse
Tyrite Sanctum
Caves of Koilos
Mountain x5
Plains x6
Swamp x5

Commander, Theme, and Strategy

Dihada, Binder of Wills

Legends’ Legacy is a Mardu () deck led by Dihada, Binder of Wills. With Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge as a great alternative commander, this deck focuses heavily on legendary permanents.

The creatures aren’t the most synergistic bunch, but the gameplan is straightforward: make an army of legendary creatures and use “anthem” effects like Day of Destiny and Heroes’ Podium to make them unstoppable.

It’s a combat-centric deck focused on attack triggers, ways to grow your creatures in combat, and a few tricks to protect yourself from sweepers.

Notable Cards, Reprints, and $$

The Reaver Cleaver

The Reaver Cleaver is an expensive equipment that does its best Ancient Copper Dragon impression by making a bunch of Treasure tokens when the equipped creature connects.

Verrak, Warped Sengir

Verrak, Warped Sengir lets you copy abilities that you paid life to activate. It’s a narrow effect, but you can copy fetch land activations from Bloodstained Mire and friends.

The Peregrine Dynamo

The Peregrine Dynamo is a narrower version of Strionic Resonator that only works with legendary sources, but costs less to activate.

Cadric, Soul Kindler

Cadric, Soul Kindler gives you the Mirror Gallery effect for tokens and lets you make token copies of legends you control.

Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant

Gerrard’s Hourglass Pendant shuts down extra turn spells and helps rebuild after a board wipe.

Shanid, Sleepers' Scourge

Finally, we have Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge as one of the best new additions. It’s possible this commander spawns new “Mardu Legends” archetypes.

Shizo, Death's Storehouse

Valuable reprints are a bit sparse here, with the most expensive reprint at the time of writing being Shizo, Death’s Storehouse. This is the only reprint in the deck worth more than $10.

Reliquary Tower, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, and Dragonskull Summit are the only other lands worth more than $2.

Outside the mana base, we have Bontu’s Monument, Day of Destiny, Captain Lannery Storm, and Ashling the Pilgrim as the only cards worth $3 or more.

Notably, this deck contains the first-time reprints of Honor-Worn Shaku and Day of Destiny, cards that have a home in legendary-themed Commander decks.

Urza’s Ruinous Blast, Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth and Nomad’s Outpost all received new art in this deck.

The Verdict

Straight out of the box, Legends’ Legacy is a hodge-podge of legendary creatures thrown together without much cohesion but makes up for that with a roster of great new additions. The theme is very straightforward and shouldn’t have many complexity issues for first-time Commander players. As a legends-themed deck, it should provide new players with a lot of options for building new Commander decks.

Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends’ Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • 100-card ready-to-play Dominaria United Commander Deck2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • Introduces 10 MTG cards not found in the DMU main set

Painbow

Dominaria United Painbow precon
Commander (1)

Jared Carthalion

Creature (26)

Archelos, Lagoon Mystic
Atla Palani, Nest Tender
Baleful Strix
Chromanticore
Coiling Oracle
O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami
Faeburrow Elder
Fusion Elemental
Zaxara, the Exemplary
Fallaji Wayfarer
Hero of Precinct One
Illuna, Apex of Wishes
Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile
Knight of New Alara
Maelstrom Archangel
Nethroi, Apex of Death
Primeval Spawn
Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
Selvala, Explorer Returned
Solemn Simulacrum
Surrak Dragonclaw
Tiller Engine
Transguild Courier
Two-Headed Hellkite
Glint-Eye Nephilim
Xyris, the Writhing Storm

Instant (10)

Abzan Charm
Beast Within
Echoing Truth
Growth Spiral
Terminate
Naya Charm
Path to Exile
Sultai Charm
Sylvan Reclamation
Unite the Coalition

Sorcery (14)

Cultivate
Duneblast
Explore
Explosive Vegetation
Farseek
Iridian Maelstrom
Kodama’s Reach
Lavalanche
Merciless Eviction
Migration Path
Painful Truths
Radiant Flames
Search for Tomorrow
Time Wipe

Enchantment (4)

Abundant Growth
Maelstrom Nexus
Mana Cannons
Path to the World Tree

Artifact (6)

Arcane Signet
Coalition Relic
Fellwar Stone
Commander’s Sphere
Obsidian Obelisk
Prophetic Prism

Land (39)

Bad River
Arcane Sanctum
Canopy Vista
Cascading Cataracts
Cinder Glade
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Crystal Quarry
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Flood Plain
Frontier Bivouac
Grasslands
Jungle Shrine
Krosan Verge
Mountain Valley
Murmuring Bosk
Mystic Monastery
Nomad Outpost
Opulent Palace
Prairie Stream
Rocky Tar Pit
Sandsteppe Citadel
Savage Lands
Seaside Citadel
Smoldering Marsh
Sunken Hollow
Terramorphic Expanse
Forest x3
Mountain x2
Island x2
Plains x2
Swamp x2

Commander, Theme, and Strategy

Jared Carthalion

Painbow is an entirely different beast. This deck is themed around multi-color cards, specifically 5-color spells. Jared Carthalion leads the deck, with Jenson Carthalion, Druid Exile as a great substitute commander. Either way, you’re looking to get all five colors online as soon as possible and overwhelm your opponents with splashy multi-color finishers.

This deck focuses less on aggression and more on ramp, mana fixing, and late-game threats, all while casting a few devastating sweepers to hinder your opponents.

Notable Cards, Reprints and $$

Primeval Spawn, Two-Headed Hellkite, and Unite the Coalition are this deck’s new, splashy game-enders. Iridian Maelstrom is the other new 5-color card that wipes the board of any creature that isn’t all five colors.

Though worse than Arcane Signet most of the time, Obsidian Obelisk is a new mana rock for multi-color decks. Mana Cannons is another payoff for playing gold cards, since it deals more damage the more colors your spells have.

Tiller Engine

Tiller Engine looks like it might be one of the more likely contenders to see play outside of EDH. With its ability to untap lands as they enter the battlefield, it’s not unreasonable to think Constructed decks with Amulet of Vigor might eyeball this as an alternative. Except… it isn’t Modern-legal. Yikes.

This deck doesn’t have any reprints quite as valuable as Shizo, Death’s Storehouse in the other deck, but there are still some gems scattered throughout. Faeburrow Elder, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami, and Cascading Cataracts are all between $3-$6, with Crystal Quarry reaching closer to $10.

The entire cycle of Mirage “slow fetches” are reprinted here to help form a budget 5-color mana base, with Bad River receiving new art. Crystal Quarry also receives its first reprint since Odyssey.

The Verdict

Painbow has an above-average complexity level for a beginner’s product, but the new cards are fun and a bit over-the-top. 5-color decks are bound to excite many players out there, and this deck provides a foundational budget mana base for new players looking to jump into Commander with a splash. The new “must be all 5 colors” archetype is a fresh deviation from multi-color strategies we’ve seen in the past.

Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • 100-card ready-to-play Dominaria United Commander Deck
  • 2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box

Which Deck is the Best?

For Value

Dominaria United Legends' Legacy precon

Two weeks prior to release, Legends’ Legacy has the better value of the two decks. Including early pre-sale prices, Legends’ Legacy would total over $200 if you wanted to purchase the individual cards. By contrast, Painbow would cost around $170.

Note that valuable reprints are pretty sparse overall for both decks, and most of the value is comprised of the 10 new-to-Magic cards per deck.

Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Legends’ Legacy + Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • 100-card ready-to-play Dominaria United Commander Deck2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • Introduces 10 MTG cards not found in the DMU main set

For Competitive EDH Players

Neither of these decks will be viable contenders at a competitive EDH table. They’re designed for head-to-head games against other precons and serve as decks to onboard players into casual EDH. Against fleshed-out cEDH decks, these are unlikely to make an impact.

Some specific cards like Tiller Engine and Gerrard’s Hourglass Pendant seem like they have a shot in competitive pods, but if you’re interested in getting into the cEDH scene, this is not the product you’re looking for.

What is the Best Deck for Fun?

Dominaria United Painbow precon

The Painbow precon is hands-down the more fun of the two. There’s just something about casting 5-mana spells that brings out the inner Magic player in me.

If that’s not your speed and you prefer the more streamlined Legends’ Legacy deck, that’s fine too. You just can’t deny the extravagance of a 5-color Commander precon and how much more unique it is than the typical decks we see.

Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Commander Deck – Painbow + Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • 100-card ready-to-play Dominaria United Commander Deck
  • 2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box

Commanding Conclusion

O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami | Illustration by Daarken

The lineup of Commander precons continues to be one of the best products offered by WotC. These two decks can take a player from having no collection at all to playing a game of Commander in just moments. The combination of fun new designs, decent mana bases, and well-balanced strategies usually makes them a real contender at casual Commander tables, and I expect these two to be no different.

Do you plan on picking up one of Dominaria United’s Commander precons? If so, which do you think is the better option? Let us know how it plays out, and which cards you’re excited to add to different decks.

As always, check out the Draftsim Discord and Twitter accounts, and thank you for making Draftsim your #1 stop for all things Magic!

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