Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Commander 2017 Leaks, Lore, and Speculation!

Commander 2017 Leaks, Lore, and Speculation!

Last week, we saw pictures of what appears to be legitimate leaks from the upcoming Commander 2017 set. You can check out all the leaked pictures here. Keep in mind we have no confirmation whether they are real or fake from Wizards of the Coast, so there's still a small chance that these end up being fakes, but for this article I'll be assuming that the leaked pictures are indeed real.

Facts About Commander 2017

Wizards of the Coast announced the Commander 2017 set back in April with a quick release date of August 25th. They haven't released any more information and there's still quite a bit of time before they start spoiling cards from the set. However, we do have some facts about the set:

  • We're getting only four preconstructed decks instead of the usual five
  • The decks are tribal-themed instead of being based on the color wheel (all previous sets had an even distribution of all five colors)
  • The tribes will be "some of Magic's most popular, and interesting tribes"
  • 56 brand new cards, just like the previous set

That already tells us a lot about the product. We know that the decks are tribal and the chosen tribes don't have to be evenly distributed between all five colors, so they could choose two tribes that are primarily found in the same color, for example Dragons and Goblins in Red. We also know that the chosen tribes fall under the category of "popular and interesting," with an emphasis on "popular" because that can be objectively defined. That means we're going to see popular tribes chosen, like Dragons, Angels, Demons, and not fringe tribes like Moonfolk, Kithkin, and Naga. But that was all we could infer at the time; to find out more, we'd have to wait until the beginning of August when the Commander 2017 spoiler season would officially begin...

... oh, some joker leaked basically an entire preconstructed deck. Right.

The Leaks

The leaks originated from a since shutdown Instagram account. Let's check them out:

New Commander 2017 Cards

O-Kagachi, Vengful Kami

Legendary Creature — Dragon Spirit

Flying, trample
Whenever O-Kagachi, Vengful Kami deals combat damage to a player, if that player attacked you during his or her last turn, exile target nonland permanent that player controls.

At his behest the Kami War began to regain That Which Was Taken.


First Impressions: O-Kagachi played an important role in Kamigawa's storyline: the oldest and greatest kami, O-Kagachi began the Kami War that lead the spirits of the plane against mortals to take back That Which Was Taken, a piece of O-Kagachi's essence that was described as his divinity, his heart, and what gave him purpose; it was stolen by Konda, Lord of Eiganjo. Even with his divinity stolen, however, O-Kagachi was incredibly powerful, as depicted in Final Judgment.

With that lore in mind, this version of O-Kagachi (looking to reclaim his divinity) is disappointing to me. I like the idea of a vengeful version of pillowfort and its political implications, but with no inherent protection against removal I feel like the triggered ability is just going to be clunky in practice. It's also disappointing that O-Kagachi, the mightiest kami, has no synergies with kami, which usually focus on death triggers and care about casting spirit and arcane spells. I don't think the card is good, but if you're in desperate need of a Spirit Tribal leader and Karador, Ghost Chieftain won't cut it, then this version of O-Kagachi is alright. 


Ramos, Dragon Engine

Legendary Artifact Creature — Dragon

Whenever you cast a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Ramos, Dragon Engine for each of that spell's colors.
Remove five +1/+1 counters from Ramos: Add {W}{W}{U}{U}{B}{B}{R}{R}{G}{G} to your mana pool. Activate this ability only once each turn.


First Impressions: Ramos is the most powerful card of all the leaks. In the right deck filled with multicolor cards, Ramos is going to be insane ramp potential. I can only imagine the insanity that will occur once Maelstrom Nexus and Ramos are both on the table. I can see Ramos work fine as part of the 99 or as the commander of a 5C multicolor-heavy deck, where you can also use those +1/+1 counters to smash for lethal in a hurry!

Lore-wise, this card is a design win. Dragon Engine? Check! Best of all, the mana he generates is the same that his leftover pieces produce: Eye of Ramos, Heart of Ramos, Horn of Ramos, Skull of Ramos, Tooth of Ramos. Flavor win!

Taigam, Ojutai Master

Legendary Creature — Human Monk

Instant, sorcery, and Dragon spells you control can't be countered by spells or abilities.
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell from your hand, if Taigam, Ojutai Master attacked this turn, that spell gains rebound. (Exile the spell as it resolves. At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may cast that card from exile without paying its mana cost.)


First Impressions: Rebound is such a feel good mechanic. I love playing with it, and I like seeing my opponents play with it. Spellslinger is my favorite archetype and I can see Taigam being part of cool decks that care about instants and sorceries, either as part of the 99 or as the commander. He's fairly costed, has a powerful and fun ability, good stuff all around. That said, I'm certain that unfortunately most Taigam decks are going to just be Time Walk.dec that will make people groan, just like Narset, Enlightened Master. Yes, you can do that, but you don't have to!

Lore-wise, this is Taigam from Khans of Tarkir block, specifically the new Dragons timeline where Sarkhan Vol screws everything up for his home plane because DRAAAAAGONSSS! The Dragons take over the world and they're dicks of various concentrations. Ojutai is probably the least dickish of the bunch. Taigam is a loyal follower of Ojutai in this timeline, and he's even appeared on rebound cards before with Taigam's Strike, which works well with Taigam. Flavor win!

The Ur-Dragon

Legendary Creature — Dragon Avatar

Eminence — As long as the Ur-Dragon is in the command zone or on the battlefield, other Dragon spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.
Whenever one or more Dragons you control attack, draw that many cards, then you may put a permanent card from your hand onto the battlefield.


First Impressions: DRAAAAAGOOOOONSSS!!! This is the most Timmy card I've seen it years. It basically reads "casual players everywhere hand over your money to Wizards." Instead of "just" printing a Big Dumb Dragons that does Big Dumb Things, Wizards printed a HUGE DUMB Dragon that does HUGE DUMB THINGS, slapped it on the front of their product and sat back to watch the money roll in. The card is expensive to cast in a tribe all about high cmc creatures. Eminence is the perfect mechanic to make such an expensive tribe like Dragons function, because otherwise the deck would be outrageously slow if it was stuck hardcasting everything. Once it enters the battlefied and you have a big army of Dragons, you Win More.

The Ur-Dragon is the epitome of casual fun at your kitchen table. Players looking for the most competitive Tribal Dragon leader will stick with Scion of the Ur-Dragon, but for people looking for casual fun that will make their inny Timmy squeal with glee are going to jam this hard.

Lore-wise, the "Ur-Dragon" was mentioned in the flavor text of an Invasion block cycle (e.g. Dromar's Attendant) and then again in Time Spiral with Scion of the Ur-DragonWizards actually went on record to explain that the Ur-Dragon "isn't a creature, but a concept - the paragon of 'Dragon-ness.'" I guess they changed their mind when they realized if they printed an actual creature called Ur-Dragon they would print oodles of money because DRAAAAAAGOOOOOOONSSSSS!!!

Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

Legendary Creature — Cat Dragon

Flying, trample
Whenever Wasitora, Nekoru Queen deals combat damage to a player, that player sacrifices a creature. If the player can't, you create a 3/3 black, red, and green Cat Dragon creature token with flying.

Once a fierce foe, she would become of Madara's greatest protectors.


First Impressions: This card reminds me of Thraximundar in a good way. No haste, no sacrifice trigger up front, but it's lower cmc, has evasion, and makes tokens! The card is fair, powerful in the right environment, and fun.

Lore-wise, yes, Cat Dragons (Nekoru) have actually existed in Magic's history for a long time, way back from the novels forLegends. Seriously. So yes, printing Cat Dragons is probably the easiest money Wizards ever made, but it also has precedence.


Commander 2017 Reprints

The cards pictured in the above images are familiar Dragons and Dragon-related lands:

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00


Since all the leaked cards deal with Dragons, I think it's safe to say these cards all came from the same preconstructed deck and that deck's primary tribe is DRAAAAGOOOOONSSS!! Ahem, sorry. That was Sarkhan Vol screaming like a fangirl behind me.

So we've got a 5C Dragons deck with The Ur-Dragon as its primary commander. Our new mechanic is eminence, which reduces the converted mana cost of (X) tribe by (1) and it works even from the command zone. Wizards did a crappy job with the last commander that works from the command zone, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, but this attempt doesn't look broken... as long as you're careful with which tribe you support with this. I'm cautiously optimistic.


Speculation #1: The Other Tribes Won't Be Low CMC

Eminence is basically a band-aid fix to tribes that are sorely lacking with low-CMC tribal cards. For example, most Dragons cost 5+ mana, so a deck looking to hardcast Dragons all day long is going to be reeeeally slow. Eminence speeds them up by a turn, which is nice. Since eminence will be featured on the primary commander of the three other decks, that points to each deck having similarly high cmc's to make best use of the mechanic. 

If we assume the other tribes are going to be mid-to-high cmc as well, we can cross out the popular tribes that have low cmc, like Goblins, Zombies, Elves, and Merfolk. Eminence is less beneficial when many of your most iconic cards don't benefit from the mana discount, like Llanowar Elves and Lord of Atlantis. Plus, giving a powerful Legacy tribe like Elves a bunch of new legal cards might accidentally break the format, which is another reason not to pick them. 

For higher cmc popular tribes, there's a few that immediately come to mind: Angels, Treefolk, Demons, Sphinxes, and Elementals. These tribes benefit greatly from the eminence mechanic.


Speculation #2: More Lore Creatures! Happy Vorthos!

Every new leaked creature (besides Ur-Dragon) was a character that played a role in Magic's story but never got their own card up until now. It's not a stretch to assume that the other decks will be similarly packed with named creatures with pre-existing histories rather than new ones made up specifically for this set, at least when possible. This is an excellent opportunity to put the spotlight on old storylines for that sweet nostalgia; Vorthos players will be very pleased with this set!


Speculation #3: All 5C Decks?

If one of the decks is 5C Dragons, then it's an easy step to brainstorm that all the decks are 5C. Wizards has specifically told us that the decks are not built around a color theme, so this does not have to be the case, but it could be. If that is the case, however, then our list of potential tribes gets much shorter since not a lot of tribal candidates appear in all five colors.

If all the decks are supposed to be 5C, here are my top candidates. I'm using EDHREC's ranking of top tribes as a guage, but keep in mind some tribes are boosted/lowered based on deck viability (Angel decks are terrible and have no synergy yet are still heavily represented!):

  • Slivers. Slivers are super popular and are heavily supported in all five colors; they even have a bunch of sweet 5C leaders already with Sliver Overlord, Sliver Hivelord, Sliver Queen, and Sliver Legion. It would be the easiest 5C deck for Wizards to make. There are two problems, however: 1) older Slivers all have abilities that help all Slivers on the battlefield, including the ones you don't control, while the new Slivers only affect your own. A deck that has a mix of both old and new Slivers could be confusing to new players and lead to annoying gameplay mistakes. 2) Slivers might just be too good for a preconstructed deck. It's so easy to make a powerful Sliver deck, and the only real answer is a ton of board wipes. Yes, there's a lot of terrible Slivers out there, but if Wizards goes out of their way to fill the deck with terrible cards just to keep the deck in check then it won't be fun to play. 
  • Allies. Allies are like a "fair" version of Slivers, aka a worse version, which fits better with the power level of preconstructed decks. We have a good distribution of Allies in each color, and even a 5C leader with General Tazri. Most the Allies support other Allies, and we also have other support cards like March from the Tomb and Ally Encampment. I think Allies are much more likely than Slivers.
  • Elementals. Elementals have a long history in Magic, but it was only until Lorwyn block that we had Elemental support cards, like Incandescent Soulstoke and Horde of Notions. They are well represented in all colors. You also have Timmy favorites like Animar, Soul of Elements and Maelstrom Wanderer as auto-includes.
  • Spirits. Spirits had support in Kamigawa block (albeit low power) and are evenly distributed across all five colors. They show up in pretty much every set so there's a big list of creatures to choose from. As much as I'd love to see Spirits show up in this set, most of the Spirits Matter cards kinda suck and the fact that O-Kagachi, the most obvious choice for the face card of a Spirits deck, is showing up as part of the 99 in the Dragons deck is ... not promising.
  • Humans. I find the idea of playing Humans in a fantasy setting full of magic kind of boring, but they are a popular tribe and the most printed tribe in all of Magic, so there's that. We don't generally see Human support, but we have some from Innistrad blocks (Thalia's Lieutenant).
  • Angels. I strongly believe that Angels will be one of the other chosen tribes, so much that I wrote a detailed explanation about them later on in the article!

If all the other decks were 5C, Angels, Allies, and Elementals would be my top choices.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00


Speculation #4: Not 5C

If the other decks don't have to be 5C, then we have more options to consider on top of the 5C choices. Again, I'm using EDHREC's top ranking tribes as a useful indicator, keeping in mind that more supported/stronger tribes play a factor. My picks would be:

  • Vampires. Vampires are hugely popular, have a lot of tribal support, and definitely lean towards the higher end of cmc. They're primarily Black but also show up a good deal in Red, with a little bit of White and Blue as well. The Tribe got huge boosts from Zendikar blocks (Anowon, the Ruin SageInnistrad blocks (Olivia Voldaren, and core sets (Captivating Vampire). I'd love to see a Rakdos, Grixis, or even 4C (not Green) Vampire deck! There's also tons of Vampires that played roles in Magic's stories but don't have cards yet, like the progenitors of the Innistrad bloodlines Edgar Markov, Runo Stromkirk, and the unnamed dead Falkenrath progenitor; the other bloodchiefs on Zendikar, the family of Nirkana, Emevera, and Urnaav; I'd also love to see an updated Baron Sengir now that he's out and about conquering new planes!
  • Snakes. I like Snakes. You like Snakes. They're cool as regular Snakes and even cooler as the Orochi (Seshiro the Anointed) from Kamigawa. They would make for a fine Mono Green or Simic deck full of combat, card draw, tapping down stuff, tempo plays — all good things. Unfortunately, Wizards doesn't like Snakes, because they're printing crappy Nagas instead. Boo. I doubt we'll see a Snake deck until the Wizards employee with ophidiophobia preventing Sneks from making their glorious return gets fired.
  • Wizards. Another hugely popular and highly printed tribe, Wizards are primarily Blue but dabble in Red and a bit in all the other colors as well. We have tribal support from Odyssey block (Patron Wizard) and Onslaught block (Voidmage Prodigy), and a smattering of it elsewhere too (Azami, Lady of Scrolls). Almost all of the Wizard support is in Blue, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a Mono Blue deck.
  • Treefolk. Treefolk are confusing to me: the tribe is really small, and most of the cards are terrible, yet Treefolk remain quite popular in Commander and the decent staples of the tribe are all hilariously expensive. They only received any attention in Lorwyn block, where their schtick was "Big Butts Matter" a la Doran, the Siege Tower. They are solidly Abzan colors, and if Wizards picked this tribe then they'd basically have to run every decent Treefolk card from Lorwyn and call it a day. Still, these cards are in dire need of reprints, there is support here moreso than Angels, and it's clearly a popular tribe amongst casuals. I'd love to see Treefolk chosen and expanded on.
  • Soldiers, Warriors, Clerics, Faeries ... All fairly popular tribes with some degree of support. I don't think any of them are popular enough to be chosen, however. Too much of a gamble. Wizards wants free money, like DRAGONS and CATS! And CAT DRAGONSSSS!!

My top choices of what Wizards settled on, assuming no color restrictions, would be Vampires, Angels, and Wizards.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Speculation #4: Definitely Angels!

I would be shocked at this point if one of the other deck isn't Tribal Angels. It's a popular tribe right up there with Dragons and the tribe's average cmc is high and can take full advantage of the eminence mechanic. Also similar to Dragons, Angels have a primary color (White) but have appeared in all five colors, offering a lot of flexibility on what colors you build them in.

Unlike Dragons, however, we have almost no cards that specifically support Angels. We have Heralf of War, Kaalia of the Vast, Scroll of Avacyn, Seraph Sanctuary, and that's it? Ouch. That's bad.

This means that if Angels are one of the chosen tribes, which I still think is the case, most of the new cards in the deck will specifically support Angels to help fill that void we currently have. Tribal Angels lacks synergy and this would be an excellent chance for Wizards to give much needed love to a casual favorite tribe.

As for what new Angels we could be getting, I have some ideas:


The Lore. Asha was first mentioned in the Shards of Alara block. She was a powerful angel from Bant that lived before the Sundering and kept a very high ranking position in Bant's society, ruling from the Cathedral of Bliss. She died sacrificing herself to banish Malfegor to Grixis. She remained a mythical figure beyond her death and the Prayer of Asha is still recited in Bant.

The only card we have that is directly connected to her is the Sigil of the Empty Throne, which might be the throne where she ruled from in the Cathedral of Bliss; the sigil maintained peace. She also carried a relic called the Sword of Asha which she used in her final fight with Malfegor, and which Rafiq of the Many now possesses and ultimately used to slay the demon.

The Cards. Asha opens up the possibility for three new cards. There's Asha herself, who would probably be Bant colors. I would expect her ability to either synergize with the Bant exalted mechanic, either with the mechanic itself or some wording of "whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gains XYZ". Or something that involves exiling (banishing) a creature. Or both! "Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, exile target creature."

We could also see the Sword of Asha, a legendary equipment. It probably grants double strike, since Rafiq of the Many is wielding it in his card. There's also the Cathedral of Bliss, which can be a new land, probably conditional mana-fixing for Angels like Crucible of the Spirit Dragon and Haven of the Spirit Dragon work for Dragons.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00


The Lore. Pierakor az Vinrenn D'rav, better known as Feather, was an important character in the original Ravnica block storyline. She was a Firemane Angel, a first generation Boros angel created by the guild's original parun, Razia, Boros Archangel, as images/reflections of her (their physical signature is the four wings). In the original story, she was disgraced / punished for unknown reasons, temporarily exiled from the Parhelion, the interplanar ship (yes, spaceship) where the Boros angels reside. The Parhelion is eventually destroyed and all its residents - all the Firemane Angels except for Feather - are killed, leaving Feather as the sole surviving Boros angel and kind of defaults into being the new Boros Guildmaster.

Like Razia, Feather creates a new generation of Boros angels based on her image (this time two wings for some reason). One of these new angels, Aurelia, the Warleader, turns the guild against Feather, arguing that nobody disgraced should lead the Legion. Feather is imprisoned (and eventually freed by Krenko, Mob Boss) and Aurelia ascends to Guildmaster.

The Cards. I never read the original Ravnica books. I would like to since I heard they're pretty decent by Magic novel standards -- so I can't delve too deep on what abilities she showcased. She is definitely Boros colors, and if Firemane Angel and Razia, Boros Archangel are any indicators, Feather would mix nice offensive stats with some defensive abilities, either lifegain or damage redirection.

We also have a chance to see the Parhelion in card form, either as an artifact or a land. According to MTG Wiki, it was first constructed as an interplanar ship to research the nature of the multiverse (what!), but was later on only used as the Boros headquarters. I have no idea how it could be represented in card form, but it certainly would be Angel-specific.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The Fourth Sister (Innistrad)

The Lore. Sigarda, Host of Herons, Bruna, Light of Alabaster, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, and a fourth unnamed angel are all "sisters" (of the same essence) born long ago on Innistrad. They were the eldest and strongest of the angels on the plane and fought evil together. Eventually Avacyn, Angel of Hope showed up, far more powerful than the sisters, and took charge. The fourth sister, described as "dark" and "wayward," engaged in inconventional actions and made unwelcome allies in her goal to combat evil. Sometimes she would consort with vampires and witches, even demons and devils, defending her actions by saying "we must know our enemies if we are to defeat our enemies." The other angels didn't approve, even the sisters sometimes, but they tolerated her because of the deep bond they shared.

Unfortunately for the fourth sister, Avacyn didn't share any bond with her, and when the fourth sister formed an alliance with a demon lord, Avacyn went ahead and single-handedly destroyed her and her entire small flight, then made the very mention of her name forbidden. Ouch.

The Card. The unnamed sister is clearly WB, both in lore and to complete the cycle. Each sister has flying and then another keyword based on their colors; I think this sister would have lifelink. Her main juicy ability is up for grabs really; my guess is it will involve either paying life, or even sacrificing a creature, to do something "good" like exiling a creature.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00


The Lore. Trine comes from the 1996 comic called Fallen Angel. As the name implies, Trine was a Serra Angel summoned by Archmage Xarl, who transformed her into a Fallen Angel with an artifact called the Horned Halo (depicted in Fallen Ideal). Bound to the wizard's will, Trine turned into an unstoppable killing machine, murdering thousands of people in the name of conquest. She's eventually defeated by another Serra Angel, Rahel.

The Cards. Fallen Angels tend to require sacrifices to remain strong. Trine would probably have an activated ability that sacrificed a creature for some sort of benefit, perhaps making each opponent sacrifice a creature, as she's really good at killing things. We also have an opportunity to see Rahel, a Serra Angel, too.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Serra, Planeswalker

The Lore. This is a long shot, but it would be so friggin' cool if we got to see Serra represented in card form! We've only ever seen her represented as a Vanguard. Serra was a human pre-Mending planeswalker who played a huge role in Magic's history. Named after a benevolent goddess, Serra acted as an embodiment of the goddess' virtues. She created her own heavenly plane, Serra's Realm, formed primarily with white mana and populated by her famous Serra Angels as well as human worshippers. Her realm was eventually destroyed when the planeswalker Urza appeared, who was being chased down by Phyrexians. The Phyrexians attacked, killing many, but even when they were repelled, the black mana essence of the Phyrexians tainted her realm so badly that Serra herself could not stay there. The Phyrexian corruption would eventually lead to the realm's ultimate destruction.

Serra wandered the planes until she met and fell in love with another planeswalker named Feros. They lived together on the plane of Ulgrotha, protecting the locals from Baron Sengir and his vampires, until Feroz was killed before her eyes. Heartbroken, Serra fled Ulgrotha to Dominaria, where she was attacked by a thief and mortally wounded. Though she could've healed herself easily, her will to live had been shattered and she wasted away.

The Card. Serra is a planeswalker, so she would need to be represented on a planeswalker card. I originally thought pre-Mending walkers couldn't be depicted in this way since they were essentially gods, but then they did in Commander 2014 (e.g. Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury). As a planeswalker card, Serra would be Mono White. She is the creator of Serra Angels, so summoning one as an ability would be flavorful. She also heals, inspires, and generally buffs people, so any abilities that deal with life gain / preventing damage, making your creatures strong (Serra's Blessing), or even Humble'ing your opponents' creatures are all lore-appropriate.

The only problem I see in printing Serra here is that planeswalkers are usually used to sell products and are the face of those products; I don't think Wizards would "waste" Serra as just part of the 99 of a deck when she could be saved for later use as the face of some future product.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00


You Like Lore?

I can keep going, but that's all for now. Let me know what you think about Commander 2017 and possible new decks, possible new cards! I went pretty Vorthos-heavy in this article to help explain choices; did you like getting lore tidbits from me, or would rather I just stick to card analysis? If you want more Vorthos, or entirely Vorthos articles/videos, let me know and I'll provide! Just gotta know what stuff you want me to focus on 'cause I can't do it all at once. Thanks for reading!

More on MTGGoldfish ...

against the odds

Against the Odds: Hondens (Historic)


Theorycrafting Post Ban Standard

instant deck tech

Instant Deck Tech: Esper Reanimator (Historic)

this week in legacy

This Week in Legacy: Time Can't Change Me

Next Article