Card: Anje Falkenrath | Art: Cynthia Sheppard

9 Recent Commander Precon Decks You Should Try!

9 Recent Commander Precon Decks You Should Try!

Commander has exploded in popularity over the past decade. With it came “preconstructed” or “precon” decks. These decks play Commander out of the box with a fully built 100-card deck that removes the need for buying cards or making your own list. Before, Commander precons came out once per year. But now, multiple precon decks release alongside every set! Today I want to take the stress out of finding your next Commander precon and highlight a few of the more fun options from recent years.

Finally, I’ll note that with over 100 precon decks, I do not have hands-on experience with every single deck. I will base my advice on those decks I do have experience with. This article will focus on precons from Commander 2019 onward. This felt like a nice wide range of decks, and, as a bonus, these decks can still be found at a reasonable price in many online stores. If you would like to see a similar article based on even older precon decks, please let us know in the comments!

Criteria for the Best Recent Commander Precon Decks

In choosing these decks I have decided to target various kinds of players and playstyles. Some of these decks will be focused on new players, while others are better for brewers and experienced players. Some will target the high-power gamers. This selection of decks here has something for everyone.

This is also not an exhaustive list. Always keep in mind price and availability when you are looking at Commander precon decks. If you see a deck on this list selling for $100, do not buy it. For all the decks discussed today, I am assuming a fair retail price. 

Moxfield has a section of its website dedicated to precon decks if you would like to follow along.

Best Recent MTG Precon Decks for New Commander Players

Price naturally can vary by region, your LGS, and the secondary market, so I’ll base my price on Wizards of the Coast’s official Amazon store. You can draw your conclusions from there. Most new Commander precons start at $47.99. Special sets, such as Lord of the Rings, Modern Horizon, etc., will usually have a higher starting price, often in the $70+ range, and are usually a higher power level.

Note: Bolt the Bird generates affiliate revenue through links found in this article. If you make a purchase, you’ll help support the site at no additional cost to you.

With all that talk of expenses, I am delighted to share the Starter Commander Decks, which are a great budget-friendly choice for new Commander players. I am going to talk about these as a group rather than individual decks. These precons break the mold. You can buy the entire collection of five decks for $102, around $20 per deck. Individually, the decks are a little more expensive. “Draconic Destruction” and “Chaos Incarnate” are $62 and $44 each. However, if you can snag a bundle or get them at the original $20 price these decks are a steal!

If you would like to follow along with me, here are the decklists on Moxfield:

The Commanders

These decks come with commanders that telegraph what the deck is trying to do. If you like the look of the commander, you will like the rest of the deck! This may seem obvious but to a new/returning player, this is key. You will know what you are getting into before you even open the packaging.

The commanders found within these five starter precons are simple and broad. They allow you to take the deck in whatever direction appeals to you. Additionally, each deck (except the dragons) comes with an alternative commander. Use this as a chance to shake up the deck and try new things. (Personally, I would advocate for Kangee, Sky Warden as the “true” commander of the “First Flight” deck. I prefer his emphasis on combat over Isperia’s more passive ability.)

The commanders are clear in their purpose, cover a wide range of well-established Commander archetypes, and are not trying to be overly “cute” with their abilities. I appreciate their honesty. For new players, this is very appealing and makes playing these decks far easier than some of the other precons on the list.

Ramp & Rocks

Each deck is given a suite of mana rocks to help in the early turns. We see classic staples here, including Signets, Talismans, and Sol Ring, making an appearance in decent numbers. With all the decks receiving similar amounts of ramp, we can expect each deck to have a similar pace and play pattern.

The only exception here is the “Token Triumph” deck. It has fewer artifacts and instead plays Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Jaspera Sentinel to round out its ramp. As well as this, there are several convoke spells in the deck. Nissa’s Expedition is a good example.

Across the board on these precons, the ramp can obviously be improved upon. However, it won’t be a stumbling block for you when you take them out of the box to play for the first time.


Each of these precon decks also comes with a Planeswalker. For an established player this might be a bit gimmicky. However, for a new player, I think it is great to introduce these cards early. I have had many encounters with new players who simply do not know how these cards work. Including them in the starter decks is a great way to introduce the mechanics and characters!

Breadcrumb Upgrades

These decks contain a mixture of powerful cards and some weaker alternatives. Additionally, decks that share colors will not necessarily have the same cards. Let me give an example.

The “First Flight” deck features Swords to Plowshares and Condemn. These are both white removal spells, but one of them is definitely not as powerful as the others.

Meanwhile, the “Token Triumph” deck has Path to Exile. So why is there no Path to Exile in the flyers deck? I believe the inclusion of Path to Exile in one deck is to serve as a contrast. This shows new players there are many ways to achieve the same effect.

Playing these decks as a group will show more of these similarities. It will help give you ideas of what’s out there. Each of these precons wants you to be curious and explore! This makes them a great tool to teach new players.

Best Precon to Fast Track to High Power Combos – Merciless Rage

2019 brought the Merciless Rage deck! This featured Anje Falkenrath as the face commander, who has great potential for high-power play, and has even seen some fringe play in cEDH!

Anje taps to discard and draw a card, so anytime you discard a card with Madness, you untap her. With enough Madness cards, you can cycle through a huge amount of your deck to find your combo pieces! While the precon in its base form lacks the key combos, if you spot this deck at a good price, consider picking it up and tuning it toward a powerful combo list.


Speaking of combos, how does this deck win in its tuned form? Worldgorger Dragon and Animate Dead is our bread-and-butter combo. This combo can be picked up for less than $10 and gives the deck a clear direction! From here, you can pack in some extra madness cards to make your Anje more effective. A popular CEDH version of the deck runs 38 Madness cards.

Cheating On Mana

Going back to the base deck, we see there are multiple ways to cheat on mana costs. Madness itself is chief among them. But beyond that, we have K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth, a powerful commander in their own right. This is a great way to get ahead on black mana in the deck.

Perhaps more chaotic, Wildfire Devils makes an appearance in the deck too. This lets you hijack your opponent’s grave and cast one of their instants or sorceries. Or for something more focused on your own grave, Doomed Necromancer, and Beacon of Unrest let us reanimate a creature.

Anje can be the base of a very powerful combo deck. Her ability to dig through your deck relies on strong deck knowledge to execute her combo consistently. Knowing when to go for the kill is vital here. Outside her combo potential, Anje could also form the base of a very fair and solid reanimator strategy. This is definitely not as new-player-friendly as some other decks on our list, but the power ceiling is much higher.

Personal Favorite Commander Precon – Party Time

This section is a love story to the Party Time precon featuring Nalia de’Arnise. This is a precon I spent a lot of time with and thoroughly enjoyed. If you enjoy the style of decks I build and discuss in other articles, Party Time might be for you!

The Commander

Nalia lets you look at the top card of your library and cast it if it’s a Rogue, Cleric, Wizard, or Warrior. Already, this acts as a form of card advantage. Additionally, there is no limit to how many spells we can cast off the top, so if we keep hitting party members, we can keep casting them!

She also gives all your creatures a +1/+1 counter and Deathtouch at the beginning of combat as long as you have a full party! This makes for some formidable attackers! Nalia makes boards your opponent will have a hard time dealing with. Deathtouch makes things tricky for your opponent to block while the counters become more and more of a threat as the game goes on!

Four’s A Party

I love this deck because it is an “incidental” tribal deck. You do not need to go hard into the party theme to get value. Simply playing good creatures is enough! Nalia herself is a Rogue, meaning you really just need to focus on the other three party members.

Luckily Wizards, Warriors, Clerics, and Rogues can be found throughout Magic’s history. Here are some of my favorites in this deck! Harper Recruiter is a Warrior who can draw us up to four cards per attack! At only three mana, it’s a low investment to start digging into your deck. It can be really useful when looking for your missing party members.

Selfless Spirit is my favorite Cleric in the deck. It is a clean and simple protection effect. We want to build a huge board of Deathtouch creatures. Selfless Spirit is an easy way to add to the party count while keeping the board safe.

Felisa, Fang of Silverquill is an awesome Wizard for the deck. Mentor allows us to grow our creatures. She also generates 2/1 tokens whenever a non-token creature dies. These are perfect targets for her mentor trigger!

Being a Nuisance

There is also a hatebears subtheme in the deck. This is the angle I built my personal version of this deck around. Hatebears are small creatures with small troubling effects that can keep opponents in line! What’s more, many of these effects are often seen on party members! Let’s look at some of the best options in the deck!

Aven Mindcensor is a great option to deny your combo-heavy opponent! Demonic Tutor becomes a lot worse if it only looks at four cards! Speaking of searching your deck, Deep Gnome Terramancer lets us get a land whenever the opponent cheats one into play. This could include Rampant Growth or an Evolving Wilds trigger. Notably, the Gnome can get any Plains. If you have dual lands, such as Godless Shrine, the Gnome is a powerful player in this deck!

The precon deck was certainly restrained in its choices of hatebears, but I would highly recommend leaning deeper into this theme for a high-powered playstyle. Some obvious include Grand Abolisher, Drannith Magistrate, and Ethersworn Cannonist. Note: Bolt the Bird takes no responsibility for salt/loss of friends for the inclusion of these cards!

If you would like to learn more about hatebears, check out my previous article on the topic!


Changelings can also supplement this deck. Mirror Entity, Irregular Cohort, or the tokens from Black Market Connections can all help achieve the full party requirement. For me, I found warriors were the hardest creature type to come by. Changelings helped smooth out this process.

Note that a Changeling only counts as one member of your party. For example, Mirror Entity, while it is all creature types, will only count towards one member of the party.

Out Of The Box Full Spellslinger Precon – Quick Draw

The Outlaws of Thunder Junction “Quick Draw” precon is an awesome starting point for Izzet mages! The commander, Stella Lee, Wild Card wants you to cast multiple spells per turn. Whenever you cast your second spell each turn, you exile the top card of your library. You can play that card until your next turn. Additionally, she can tap to copy an instant or sorcery spell as long as you’ve cast three or more spells this turn.

Stella Lee does everything I want in an Izzet commander. We have card advantage and copying spells all in one! Unsurprisingly this plays really well with the theme of this precon and a lot of the other inclusions.

Spellslinger Staples

This deck is full of so many spellslinger classics. This deck features several cards that do something whenever you cast an instant or sorcery. Young Pyromancer, Stormkiln Artist, and Archmage Emeritus just to name a few! Even if you don’t like Stella Lee, these cards will be staples in any deck that loves casting cheap spells, which makes picking up this precon a great deal if you’re looking to build out your collection.

Alternative Commanders

Speaking of flexibility, this deck has tons of other commanders included. Do you prefer your commander big and imposing? Try Niv-Mizzet Parun! Would you rather double up all those Young Pyromancer triggers? Try Veyran, Voice of Duality! Or maybe you just want to hit the face! Try Eris, Roar of the Storm. This deck has so many other options if Stella Lee isn’t your cup of tea.

Cackling Like a Mad Scientist!

Izzet mages love big spells. Their magnum opus (or Magma Opus)! This deck is no stranger to big spells. We have Epic Experiment as the ultimate outlet for big mana, and the potential here is huge!

You can also try storming off with Elemental Eruption. For six mana, you can create a 4/4 dragon with flying and prowess. Oh, and it has storm! While cards like Grapeshot need a high storm count to truly pop off, Elemental Eruption creates an imposing board with little effort. A storm count of three or four is enough to make your opponents sweat!

Mizzix’s Mastery is a fantastic finisher too! It’s the end of the game, and you’re all out of gas… Mizzix’s Mastery is here to give you a second wind! Cast all your spells from the graveyard again. You will bury your opponent’s under all that value!

Power Up

Stella Lee has a secret side that is not explored in her precon but is fantastic with a little bit of upgrading. She combos with effects that untap her! Let’s assume we have already cast enough spells to turn on her tap ability.

Cerulean Wisps lets us untap a creature and draw a card for one mana. So here’s the plan!

  1. Cast Cerulean Wisps.
  2. With Wisps on the stack, tap Stella Lee copying Cerulean Wisps.
  3. Resolve the copy of Wisps, untapping Stella Lee and drawing a card.
  4. With the original Cerulean Wisps still on the stack, tap Stella Lee again, copying the spell.
  5. Repeat this process to draw as many cards as you like!

This combo works with any spell that untaps a creature, so we have lots of other options too! Twitch and Refocus will achieve the same results.

However, my favorite is Twisted Fealty. It lets us gain control of a creature, untap it, and attach a wicked role token to it. Roles are a unique type of enchantment. A creature can only have one role token at a time. If it ever gets a second role token the other one goes away. In the case of the wicked role token, it deals one damage to each opponent when it goes away.

So, do the same combo above but swap Cerulean Wisps for Twisted Fealty. This will generate as many wicked role tokens as you like! From here, you can kill all your opponents.

Unlike Anje Falkenrath discussed previously, Stella Lee feels like it touches a wider spectrum of playstyles and power levels. Stella can be built without the desire to combo if it doesn’t suit you. I am really excited to brew this one for myself!

Big shout out to AmmiO2 on Youtube/Moxfield for their take on a high-power Stella Lee! 

Strong and Stylish – Mishra’s Burnished Banner

The Brothers’ War came with two Commander decks. Both are incredibly powerful. However, I would like to focus on Mishra’s Burnished Banner. It is the deck I have the most experience with. However, be aware the Urza counterpart to this deck also appears quite strong.

Retro Style

First things first, every single card in the Brothers War precon decks is in the retro border. This harkens back to the old days of Magic. Personally, I love this look. It is a huge draw to the deck. The Brother’s War is a story from Magic’s early days and seeing this callback to that in the retro frame is a cool nod to the old era of Magic. An example here is Mind Stone’s original printing, a modern printing, and the Brothers’ War Retro frame. For me, customizing a Commander deck is a lot of fun. The idea of sticking to this retro style as I upgrade the deck could be a fun challenge!

The Commander

Mishra has an incredibly powerful ability. At the beginning of combat on your turn, you make a copy of an artifact you control. It becomes a 4/4 construct with haste. It is then sacrificed at the end of the turn. This makes Mishra a force to be reckoned with in the turn he comes into play. Spend your first few turns setting up powerful artifacts. Then play Mishra. You can immediately make a copy of something you already had in play. Leverage this to copy a mana rock for a pseudo rebate on your mana. Or copy a powerful artifact and start swinging! Mishra makes an impact right away. I love that in a commander.

Artifact Versatility

Artifacts as an archetype have a huge breadth of playstyles as they are one of the core parts of the game. The Brother’s War decks could easily be pivoted in a couple of different ways. Mishra, being in red, could leverage Trash for Treasure effects to cheat big artifacts into play. This would also give us access to Daretti, Scrap Savant, and Goblin Welder. From here, we turn our mana rocks into massive beaters!

Alternatively, we can go deep into mana rocks. This can let us get ahead on mana and leave our opponents in the dust. Additionally, Mishra can make copies of artifacts. This lets us Duplicate our Sol Ring for a turn, then use that mana to cast a Wurmcoil Engine ahead of schedule. Then on the next turn, we can copy our Wurmcoil. From here, it can be hard to keep up!

If the big artifact plan doesn’t appeal to you, we could always go small with an aristocrats strategy! Mishra’s ability forces us to sacrifice the copied artifact at the end of the turn. Let’s use this to take advantage of death triggers! Ichor Wellspring can become a 4/4 thanks to Mishra. Then it dies on the end step drawing us a card!

There are plenty of little incidental artifacts that give us the chance to stay ahead of our opponent. An artifact you cannot miss is Myr Retriever! This little guy can return an artifact from the graveyard to your hand. There are countless uses for this. And just in case MIshra’s one death trigger per turn is too slow for you, pair this up with Krark Clan Ironworks for some incredibly powerful plays!


That wraps up some of my favorite commander precons you can still get your hands on today! We have so many precons these days. It can be a daunting task to find the right one. Over time I believe precon decks have only gotten better. We are seeing better mana bases, more mana rocks, and less filler. No matter what deck you pick, try to find something that calls to you. Be it the commander, the playstyle, or some other factor. Find the deck that’s right for you! If you have any precons you think we should have included, let us know in the comments!

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