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MTG: From the Depths to the Heights – Rating the ‘Lost Caverns’ Commander Decks

3 Minute Read
Nov 16 2023

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan gave us some incredible preconstructed Commander decks, but which one is the best?

Lost Caverns of Ixalan is finally upon us, and it’s been an incredible set so far. With the prerelease week coming to a close, players have gotten plenty to enjoy. The new mechanics, old classics, and brand-new power pieces have made Ixalan one of the most exciting releases in a while, and for good reason.

Alongside the release is the usual suite of preconstructed Commander decks, and Wizards really outdid themselves with this release. Alongside some crazy reprints (Akroma’s Will in the box?!?!?), the decks come in with some amazing new cards. Of course, if the internet loves anything, it’s ranking things, so we’re here to do just that. We’re rating them straight out of the box, not their upgradeability or fixed value. These decks are all pretty incredible, but some are a little better than others.


#4: Ahoy Mateys

Starting off at the bottom of the pack, with have the Pirate-themed “Ahoy Mateys” deck. Situated in the nasty Grixis color combo, this deck is designed to thin out your deck, throw your cards in the graveyard, and then pull them back out. At the helm is Admiral Brass, Unsinkable, who mills your cards when she hits the field, then resurrects a Pirate at the beginning of combat. When she does, they come in a little stronger and get haste, but also a finality counter. While some of the reprints, like Pitiless Plunderer and Black Market Connections, are powerful, this deck feels disconnected. It’s almost like two halves of separate powerful decks, and it suffers because of that.

#3: Veloci-Ramp-Tor

I know everyone is going to hate me for not putting this higher, but I’m not saying this deck is weak. The others are just incredible. This Naya deck is all about getting your big Dinosaurs onto the field and getting buffs off of them. Pantlaza, Sun-Favored, leads the charge, and he’s pretty amazing. He gives you a once-per-turn discover trigger, giving you a toughness-based free play. Dinos all have big butts, so this can dig out some gigantic things. Plus, the deck has Akroma’s Will right there in the box. Still, the deck is a little too easy to stall out, so even the incredible combat prowess of the Dinosaurs falls a little flat.

#2: Blood Rites


This one is my favorite of the four, and it has certainly earned its silver medal. Clavileno, First of the Blessed, leads this Orzhov Vampire army, and he makes them pretty nasty. This deck is aristocrat good stuff, and Clav makes your sacrifices even better. There’s also a really gnarly life siphon subtheme in the deck that will make sure you stay high on life while your opponent withers into nothingness. It only nudges out the Dinosaurs by a small margin, and the top spot is only a little ahead.

#1: Explorers of the Deep

At the top of the pack is the Merfolk explore deck, and boy, does this make Simic go brrrrrrrr. Hakbal of the Surging Soul guides the expedition, and he sits in the gold medal seat thanks to the fact that his ability triggers for EVERY Merfolk, not just one. Explore is an incredible mechanic, and in a color pair where you can almost always control your top card, you’ll be getting counters for all your fish fellows in no time. Even better, Simic loves counters, and this deck packs Hardened Scales to make sure your creatures are the biggest fish in the sea.

Which deck is your favorite?

Author: Clint Lienau
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