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Commander 2019: Oathbreaker Perspective


It is that time of the year again, Commander pre-constructed (pre-con) decks!

For the first time since their inception the Commander 2019 pre-cons each come with Planeswalker reprint in the mainboard. This raises the question, can the Commander pre-con's be pruned to Oathbreaker pre-cons?

The short answer: Yes, but don't.

A bird's eye view

There are four pre-cons:

Deck Colors Planeswalker Oathbreaker Legal Cards Recommended Signature Spell
Faceless Menance {B}{G}{U} Vraska the Unseen 60 Overwhelming Stampede
Mystic Intellect {U}{R}{W} Ral Zarek 60 Leadership Vacuum
Primal Genesis {R}{G}{W} Garruk, Primal Hunter 61 Full Flowering
Merciless Rage {B}{R} Ob Nixilis Reignited 48 Beacon of Unrest

As we can see in the table above only three of the four decks could actually be pruned, as is, into an Oathbreaker deck. However, since these decks are themed around the new commanders and Planeswalkers were included as incidental value, there isn't much synergy. Arguably, Faceless Menace with Vraska the Unseen and Overwhelming Stampede is the strongest pruned down pre-con. However, I doubt that these pruned C19 pre-cons would make an engaging Oathbreaker experience - even if played against each other.

So what about putative new Signature Spells?

There are 59 non-reprints this year, none of which are Planeswalkers. That leaves 12 instants or sorceries which could serve as new Signature Spells. Try searching:

s:c19 -is:reprint and (t:instant or t:sorcery)

on scryfall to see the results.

Of these 12 cards, there are four which may have Signature Spell potential:

That said, I doubt anyone will be using Mass Diminish as a Signature Spell anytime soon. Unfortunately cards with conditional upside such as Ignite the Future and Sevinne's Reclamation can not be fully utilized as a Signature Spell as they are always cast from the Command Zone.

If you want Full Flowering for a populate based Oathbreaker deck, I recommend just buying the single card. If you want to try a pruned pre-con for Oathbreaker, Faceless Menace is the way to go, with Mystic Intellect as a close second.

The pruned "decks"

Faceless Menace:

Pruned Mystic Intellect:

Primal Genesis:

Merciless Rage:

The take away

C19 is just that, Commander 2019! However, all hope may not be lost. Later this year we should be receiving Brawl pre-con for Throne of Eldraine. Brawl allows for Planeswalkers as Commanders and we know Rowan will be making an appearance. Perhaps Oathbreaker will get some new toys later this year.



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