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Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks

Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks
Warhammer 40.000
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Winged skull
Design Ethan Fleischer (lead)
Matt Danner
Daniel Holt
Noah Millrod
David McDarby
Ken Nagle
Ari Nieh
Robert Schuster
Hans Ziegler
Development Same as design
Release date October 7, 2022 (paper)
Q3 2023 (Magic Online)
Themes and mechanics Warhammer 40,000
Keywords/​ability words Cascade, Miracle, Ravenous, Squad, Unearth
Set size Four 100-card decks
Expansion code 40K[1]
Universes Beyond
Street Fighter Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks Warhammer 40,000
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Unfinity Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks Game Night Free-for-All
40K expansion symbol

Expansion symbol

Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks is a product in the Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond series released by Wizards of the Coast.[2] Warhammer 40K was released on October 7, 2022.[3][4][5] The release of the set was originally slated for August 12, 2022, but it was delayed due to ongoing supply chain complications.[6]

Set details[ | ]

“  Prepare for Battle  ”
UB Warhammer 1
UB Warhammer 2

This is a cross-over product based on the Warhammer 40,000 miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop. The set introduces 42 new Warhammer 40K-themed cards in each deck, featuring the triangular holofoil stamp of non-canon cards. Reprints (#169-317) also feature art set in the world of Warhammer 40K.[3] Card numbers #318-321 are the display commanders.

Warhammer’s world isn’t evenly color-balanced as it wasn't created with the color pie in mind. R&D solved this problem by making Commander decks instead of a full set.[7]

There are no current plans to make in-universe Magic versions of the new cards in the Warhammer 40K Commander decks, but R&D has the capability to do it if needed on a card-by-card basis.[8]

Storyline[ | ]

Most Warhammer 40K fiction is set around the turn of the 41st millennium (about 38,000 years in the future).[9] Although Warhammer 40K is mostly a science-fiction setting, it adapts a number of tropes from fantasy fiction, such as magic, daemons, and races such as Orks (Orcs) and Eldar (Elves); "psykers" fill the role of wizards in the setting.

Marketing[ | ]

Warhammer 40,000 consists of four Commander decks, showing off the Imperium of Man, the Forces of Chaos, the undying Necrons and the Tyranids.[10] The four 100-card decks contain 168 new cards in total. Each deck plays true to the army's heroes, strategies and lore, and comes with a Sol Ring themed around its faction.[11]

Collector's Edition[ | ]

The four commander decks are also available in a Collector's Edition with a unique "Universes Beyond" card frame.[4] The Collector's Edition comes fully foiled with the never-before-seen special surge foil and has the same card content. A complete set costs about 550 dollars.

Secret Lairs[ | ]

The set is accompanied by three Secret Lairs featuring the same IP.[12][4] All three were released in the October Superdrop 2022.[13]

Events[ | ]

Promotional cards[ | ]

Magic Online[ | ]

At the time of release, a development pathway to bring the decks to Magic Online hadn't been established.[14] The original plan was to program only the cards that impacted the paper metagame for Commander or other eternal formats and release them as part of the Treasure Chest reward system but this was soon abandoned due to the IP contracts surrounding the Universes Beyond licensing.

The digital licensing contract only allows for the cards to be sold as complete 100-card decks, resulting in the Magic Online development team having to program the cards between premier set releases.[15] A tentative digital release had been outlined for Q3 2023, depending on finalization of the IP contract with Games Workshop.

The decks finally became available in Magic Online on February 21, 2024.[16]

Magic Arena[ | ]

Multiplayer Commander is not an available format on Magic: The Gathering Arena and commander-only products, where the new card designs are only legal in eternal formats, are not added to the platform.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks is multicolor themed, and many cards use flavor words.

Each preconstructed deck was designed with a theme for each tribe:

  • Tyranid Swarm ({U}{R}{G}, +1/+1 counters and aggro)
  • The Ruinous Powers ({U}{B}{R}, Instant and sorceries, and Lifeloss)
  • Necron Dynasties ({B}, Artifacts and graveyard interactions)
  • Forces of the Imperium({W}{U}{B}, Tokens and go wide)

Forces of the Imperium introduces the Squad mechanic that allows paying an extra casting cost any number of times to make that many copies of the spell. It also uses the Miracle mechanic from Avacyn Restored on several cards. It provides an alternative cost for a card if it is the first card drawn during a turn. In this set, it is used on permanents for the first time.

Tyranid Swarm introduces the Ravenous mechanic that allows players to draw a card from their {X} cost creatures if they spend five or more mana on X.

Necron Dynasties uses the Unearth mechanic that allows you to return cards from your graveyard, but exiling it at the end step.

The Ruinous Powers features the Cascade mechanic that allows you to cast nonland cards with lower mana value, from your library, without paying its mana cost.

Card types[ | ]

The set introduces the Astartes, C'Tan, Custodes, Necron, Primarch, Robot, and Tyranid creature types. It reintroduces the Inquisitor type.

Counter types[ | ]

The set introduces Necrodermis counters and saw the return of Eon counters and Infection counters.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Necron Dynasties B Szarekh, the Silent King
Forces of the Imperium W U B Inquisitor Greyfax
Tyranid Swarm U R G The Swarmlord
The Ruinous Powers U B R Abaddon the Despoiler

Tokens[ | ]

Warhammer 40,000 features 23 tokens:

  1. {W} 2/2 Astartes Warrior creature with vigilance, for Belisarius Cawl, Birth of the Imperium, Defenders of Humanity, Inquisitorial Rosette, Marneus Calgar, and Thunderhawk Gunship.
  2. {W} 1/1 Soldier creature for Company Commander, Deploy to the Front, Entrapment Maneuver, Launch the Fleet, Martial Coup, and Memorial to Glory.
  3. {W} 1/1 Soldier creature.
  4. {W} 1/1 Soldier creature.
  5. {W} Space Marine Devastator, a 3/3 Astartes Warrior creature with "When Space Marine Devastator enters the battlefield, destroy up to one artifact or enchantment.", for Space Marine Devastator.
  6. {W} Ultramarines Honour Guard, a 2/2 Astartes Warrior creature with "Other creatures you control get +1/+1", for Ultramarines Honour Guard.
  7. {W} Zephyrim, a 3/3 Human Warrior creature with flying and vigilance, for Zephyrim.
  8. {U} Sicarian Infiltrator, a 1/2 Human Soldier artifact creature with "When Sicarian Infiltrator enters the battlefield, draw a card", for Sicarian Infiltrator.
  9. {U} 1/1 Tyranid Gargoyle creature with flying, for Gargoyle Flock and Tyranid Harridan.
  10. {U} Vanguard Suppressor, a 3/2 Astartes Warrior creature with flying, and "Whenever Vanguard Suppressor deals combat damage to a player, draw a card", for Vanguard Suppressor.
  11. {B} Arco-Flagellant, a 3/1 Human creature with "Arco-Flagellant can't block" and "Pay 3 life: Arco-Flagellant gains indestructible until end of turn.", for Arco-Flagellant.
  12. {B} 2/2 Astartes Warrior creature with menace, for Mortarion, Daemon Primarch.
  13. {B} Cherubael, a 4/4 legendary Demon creature with flying, for Inquisitor Eisenhorn.
  14. {B} 2/2 Necron Warrior artifact creature, for Biotransference, Imotekh the Stormlord, Necron Monolith, Night Scythe, Royal Warden, and Their Number Is Legion.
  15. {B} Plaguebearer of Nurgle, a 1/3 Demon creature for Great Unclean One and Nurgle’s Rot.
  16. {R} 3/3 Spawn creature, for The Lost and the Damned and Magnus the Red.
  17. {G} 1/1 Tyranid creature for Tervigon and Termagant Swarm.
  18. {G} 3/3 Tyranid Warrior creature with trample, for Lictor and Tyranid Invasion.
  19. {G} 5/5 Tyranid creature for Old One Eye.
  20. {U/R} Blue Horror, a 2/2 Demon Horror creature with "Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, this creature deals 1 damage to any target", for Pink Horror.
  21. {C} Clue artifact for Inquisitor Eisenhorn and Inquisitor Greyfax.
  22. {C} 1/1 Insect artifact creature with flying, for Canoptek Scarab Swarm.
  23. {C} 4/4 Robot artifact creature with "This creature can't block.", for Cybernetica Datasmith.

Cycles[ | ]

Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks has three cycles.

Cycle name {U}{R}{G}
Tyranid Swarm
The Ruinous Powers
Necron Dynasties
Forces of the Imperium
Face commanders The Swarmlord Abaddon the Despoiler Szarekh, the Silent King Inquisitor Greyfax
Four mythic rare legendary creatures, each one the face of its deck.
Alternate commanders Magus Lucea Kane Be'lakor, the Dark Master Imotekh the Stormlord Marneus Calgar
Four mythic rare legendary creatures, each supporting their deck's theme.
Sagas The First Tyrannic War The Horus Heresy The War in Heaven Birth of the Imperium
Four rare Sagas of their deck's colors, each representing an important event for its deck's faction.

Reception[ | ]

Warhammer 40K was favorably received, thanks to the gameplay and the value of the decks. The set had at least four reprints. Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks called it “one of our best-selling Commander decks ever”. [17][18]

References[ | ]

  1. Information below the text box
  2. Wizards of the Coast (February 25, 2021). "Magic's Voyages to the Universes Beyond". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Adam Styborski (August 24, 2021). "What Happened In Magic Showcase 2021?". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b c Billie Kaplan (May 12, 2022). "A First Look at Magic: The Gathering's Universes Beyond Warhammer 40,000 Collaboration". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Jess Dunks (September 19, 2022). "Warhammer 40,000 Commander Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (June 27, 2022). "Updated Release Timing for Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (March 31, 2022). "WotC will release Warhammer 40K standalone Commander decks (i.e. there isn't an associated WH 40k set).". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Mark Rosewater (May 31, 2022). "Will the warhammer 40k commander decks ever have...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Davekay Mike (May 13, 2022). "What is Warhammer 40,000? A primer for Magic players". Scent of a Gamer.
  10. Wizards Presents 2022 (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (August 18, 2022).
  11. WPN (August 18, 2022). "Wizards Presents: What Retailers Need to Know". Wizards Play Network.
  12. Magic Showcase 2021 (live) (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (August 24, 2021).
  13. Opening Unfinity (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (October 14, 2022).
  14. Chris Kiritz & Daybreak Game Company (October 11, 2022). "State of Magic Online - Transition to Daybreak". Archived from the original on June 28, 2023.
  15. Tony Mayer (November 5, 2022). "Poxwalkers (Warhammer)". MTGO Forums. Archived from the original on June 28, 2023.
  16. Wizards of the Coast (February 20, 2024). "Magic Online Weekly Announcements, February 20, 2024".
  17. Thomas Wilde (December 17, 2023). "Wizards of the Coast President Cynthia Williams on tabletop trends, 2023 strategy, and more".
  18. Mollie Russell (April 27, 2023). "Hasbro says “MTG is strong” after 16% Q1 revenue increase".

External links[ | ]