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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / New Zendikar Rising Commander Precon Decklist Reveal & Initial Thoughts | Land's Wrath | Sneak Attack

New Zendikar Rising Commander Precon Decklist Reveal & Initial Thoughts | Land's Wrath | Sneak Attack

The two new Commander preconstructed decks, "Land's Wrath" and "Sneak Attack," have just been revealed and I'm here to give you the details and also my initial impressions on the new cards. These precons are releasing together with the new set, Zendikar Rising, on September 25th. They are meant to be on-ramps to Commander, with three brand new cards per deck and the rest being reprints, so they're going to be a great entry point for new players to get into the format while still offering some goodies for veteran players.

Land's Wrath

Now let's take a look at the precons, starting with "Land's Wrath":

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Land's Wrath is a Naya deck with three main themes that meld together seamlessly into a cohesive whole.

The first theme is Landfall, putting lands into play to fuel powerful landfall triggers. We have a bunch of ways to put additional lands onto the battlefield, such as ramping you with Springbloom Druid, letting you play additional lands with Mina and Denn, Wildborn, or returning lands back to our hand to replay with Living Twister. Then we have a bunch of cards that reward us for playing lands, exiling permanents with Admonition Angel, creating angry elementals with Omnath, Locus of Rage, and getting back permanents with Emeria Shepherd. and  and a bunch of cards that reward you for doing so.

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Then there's an Animate Land theme, animating lands you control into huge Elemental beaters to finish your opponents with. Cards like Waker of the Wilds, Planar Outburst, and Embodiment of Insight animate our lands into huge beaters to start smashing face with. 

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Finally there's a +1/+1 counter theme, putting counters on your creatures and then rewarding you for having counters.We add counters with cards like Together Forever, Retreat to Kazandu, and Elite Scaleguard, then get rewarded for doing so by drawing cards with Armorcraft Judge, protecting our creatures from removal and drawing more cards with Inspiring Call, and giving our creatures flying with Abzan Falconer.

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Land's Wrath has its three main themes enhanced by its brand new commander, Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor:

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Obuun's first ability animates a land you control at the beginning of combat until end of turn, with its power and toughness being equal to Obuun's power. And its second ability, lets you put a +1/+1 counter on target creature whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control. So we can clearly see the themes of Land Awakening, Landfall, and +1/+1 counters all working together with Obuun.

Obuun fits perfectly with all the cards found in the precon. The idea is to load up Obuun with a bunch of +1/+1 counters by triggering its landfall ability as many times as possible, which in turn makes the land that Obuun animates that much bigger, and then we smash in for huge damage.

If you're looking for upgrades to make Obuun even stronger, I suggest adding ways to generate additional combat steps, like Waves of Aggression, which let you animate an additional land with Obuun and swing for even more damage. Hardened Scales is a great way to bolster the +1/+1 counter theme, and ways to play lands from outside of your hand like Radha, Heart of Keld can ensure even more landfall triggers.

There are two other new cards coming with "Land's Wrath" so let's go over them real quick:

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Trove Warden is an excellent new source of graveyard recursion and card advantage. It's similar to the Commander staple Sun Titan that it puts permanents with a cmc 3 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield, but with big differences on how it does it: this ability is a landfall trigger and you only get the cards once Trove Warden dies. So Warden great in a Landfall deck like this one, but easily fits into any White deck that runs a good amount of fetchlands, which the Warden synergizes particularly well with: playing and cracking a Flooded Strand gives you two landfall triggers to exile two cards, and you can even exile the Flooded Strand itself, putting it back into play once the Warden dies, which is a sweet (but convoluted) way to ramp in White. 

The big downside to Trove Warden though is you only get the cards exiled by it once it dies and the cards will be exiled forever if the Warden leaves the battlefield other ways, like if it gets exiled or bounced to your hand. Having a way to consistently sacrifice the Warden is the key to making it amazing, so it will be strongest in decks with a heavy sacrifice theme like Athreos, God of Passage, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, and Teysa, Orzhov Scion.

The next new card is Geode Rager:

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Geode Rager is a pretty small Elemental for its big casting cost, but it comes with a subtle yet high powered landfall trigger, goading each creature target play controls. This forces your opponents to attack with all their creatures and hit anyone other than you, dishing out extra damage to your opponents, saving you from being attacked yourself, and removing would-be blockers so you can safely attack your opponents.

Despite how much I love the goad mechanic and think the Commander community underrates cards like these, I know most people are going to cut the Rager at the first opportunity. Still, I love this card and will happily run it in political decks like Marisi, Breaker of the Coil, Karona, False God, and Tahngarth, First Mate.

Overall "Land's Wrath" is a sweet Lands Matters deck that has a simple premise of ramping hard and smashing with huge Elementals, but it has many overlapping synergies going on to keep it interesting.

Sneak Attack

The second precon is called "Sneak Attack":

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This Dimir precon is all about Rogue Tribal. This deck is all about sneaking behind enemy lines with your Rogues and stealing your opponents' best stuff to use against them.

Our sneaky Rogues are tiny enough to sneak by unnoticed. Cards like Slither Blade, Triton Shorestalker, and Invisible Stalker easily slip by any potential blockers to deal combat damage. That combat damage then triggers a bunch of powerful abilities, like making opponents discard cards with Oona's Blackguard, creating clones with Stolen Identity, and even taking an extra turn and making a bunch of tokens with Notorious Throng.

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Our Rogues are expert thieves that can steal a whole bunch of different things, yoinking artifacts with Master Thief, the top of libraries with Gonti, Lord of Luxury, and even stealing card draw with Notion Thief, but we specialize primarily in plundering our opponents' graveyards. First we mill our opponents to make sure they have juicy things in their graveyards with cards like Soaring Thought-Thief, Consuming Aberration, and Oona, Queen of the Fae. Then we grab the best cards in graveyards with Extract from Darkness, Rise from the Grave, and Fated Return.

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Leading our Rogue squadron is the brand new commander, Anowon, the Ruin Thief:

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Anowon enforces the primary strategy of our deck: we attack with Rogues, mill opponents, and draw cards. In a typical 4-Player FFA game if we deal combat damage to our 3 opponents and they each mill a creature card we then draw 3 cards, a pretty great rate. Milling creatures is even sweeter since we can later yoink it with our reanimation spells.

Anowon is a pretty straightforward but effective Rogue Tribal leader. We attack, we mill, we draw cards.

If you're looking to make Anowon even stronger through upgrades, I would suggest adding more powerful Rogues like Thada Adel, Acquisitor, more ways to generate value through combat like Knowledge Exploitation, and finally more ways to plunder our opponents' graveyards like Mnemonic Betrayal.

The next new card is Enigma Thief:

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Enigma Thief has a powerful enter the battlefield trigger, bouncing a nonland permanent each opponent controls. Paying seven mana for this Sphinx Rogue is a terrible rate, but its Prowl cost of just four mana is fantastic, making it an allstar in Rogue Tribal decks but less appealing anywhere else. Pretty straightforward card, powerful but narrow.

Our next card is much more flexible though:

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Whispersteel Dagger is a fantastic graveyard theft card. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you can cast a creature spell from that player's graveyard this turn. This is obviously a perfect fit in Rogue Tribal decks since the tribe is full of evasive creatures to consistently deal combat damage and they have a Mill theme going on to ensure opposing decks have graveyards stocked with juicy creatures to steal. But this Dagger is useful in other decks as well, as long as you run evasive beaters and mill opponents a bit. I can see this Dagger showing up in Syr Konrad, the Grim or Nath of the Gilt-Leaf, for example, and there's certainly other homes for it as well.

That's All, Folks!

So that's my quick rundown on the two new precons, the new cards, and thoughts on upgrading them. What do you think about them? How will you upgrade them, and where will you be using the new cards? Let me know in the comments section below!

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