Magic: The Gathering did a huge crossover with Warhammer 40k this October. Prior to this, the TCG‘s ‘Universes Beyond’ dabblings in other IPs have been mostly small-scale, limited to small bundles of cards in Secret Lairs. But the MTG Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond crossover is on a whole new level. It includes a full set of four, 100-card Commander decks, set in the far future dystopia of the Warhammer 40k universe. The four decks feature brand new cards with tasty Warhammer artwork and even some fresh mechanics.
While early artwork focused solely on the Space Marine boys in blue – fan-favourite Ultramarines – it soon became clear the MTG Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond collaboration would run the gamut, featuring plenty of Xenos, Imperium, and Chaos representation. As of October 7 each deck has now been revealed and released.
The decks are out now, but if you need a recap, here we’ve collected everything that’s been shared about the MTG Warhammer 40k crossover so far, both the Commander decks and a series of three 40k-themed Secret Lairs that’s coming out soon.
Read on to find out everything we know about the MTG Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond release date and cards:
MTG Warhammer 40k Release Date
So when did the MTG Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond decks come out?
When the MTG Warhammer 40k (and Middle-Earth) crossovers were announced, the the originally scheduled release date was August 12. But delays did there thing, and in the end the MTG Warhammer 40k crossover was released on October 7.
While October 7 was the global release date and you should now be able to pick up the Commander decks until they sell out, the three Warhammer Secret Lairs are coming a bit later, on October 17.
MTG Warhammer 40k Decks
There are four Commander decks in the Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond release. They are:
- Tyranid Swarm (Green, Red, Blue)
- Forces of the Imperium (White, Blue, Black)
- The Ruinous Powers (Blue, Black, Red)
- Necron Dynasties (Black)
On August 18, the first artwork from each faction was shown. We got to the four commanders: Szarek The Silent King, Inquisitor Grayfax, Abbadon the Despoiler, and The Swarmlord.
In terms of the factions involved, the Xenos decks are pretty straightforward – you’ve got the Necron and Tyranid armies, ready to devour and destroy – though the Tyranids also have the Genestealer Cults in their corner. However, the human decks require a little more unpacking.
We can see that the Forces of the Imperium deck collates all the Imperium factions into one set of cards, and presumably the Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Adeptus Mechanicus and Sisters of Battle will each make an appearance. Similarly the factions of Chaos are combined in The Ruinous Powers deck, where we see demons and Chaos Space Marines fighting side by side.
Interestingly, the set of four Warhammer 40k Commander decks is not colour balanced. It seems the 41st millennium has lots of Blue and Black, but not much White or Green mana to speak of.
Wizards will be selling two versions of the Warhammer 40k Commander decks upon release. There’s the regular ones, which need no explanation, as well as Collector’s Editions, which come all dressed up in shiny foil. They also feature a new kind of foil: ‘surge foil’, which looks like this:
Besides the four Commander decks, there’ll also be three Warhammer Secret Lair drops released a couple of weeks later on October 17. These are:
- Secret Lair x Warhammer 40,000: Orks
- Secret Lair x Warhammer Age of Sigmar
- Secret Lair x Blood Bowl
As you can see, the Secret Lairs include one more Warhammer 40k faction – it seems like Orks just missed out on getting their own Commander deck – and two Secret Lairs from the other Warhammer properties, Blood Bowl and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Wizards has said the cards in the Warhammer Secret Lairs will be later be rethemed and reprinted in regular MTG sets.
MTG Warhammer 40k Cards & spoilers
The decks are now out, so of course the full decklists for the MTG Warhammer 40k crossover have now been revealed.
A few cards were shown off ahead of previews, with the most exciting of these being Abaddon the Despoiler, the commander for The Ruinous Powers deck. He packs a punch, and also gives your spells Cascade, provided you can make your opponents lose life.
We’ve now seen all the other commanders too. Swarmlord gets bigger each time you cast it, and draws you cards each time a creature with counters dies. Szarekh, the Silent King self-mills and pops creatures and vehicles back in your hand. And Inquisitor Greyfax can give everyone Vigilance, while tapping down creatures and creating Clue tokens.
Blood for the Blood God is another card from the Ruinous Powers deck, named after the catchphrase of the Chaos God Khorne‘s followers. It’s sort of their scout motto. Anyhow, the card is pretty interesting, drawing a ton of cards and dealing a fair bit of damage, but massively overcosted unless you can make things die. Fortunately, the Chaos deck is quite good at that.
We’ve also seen Vanguard Suppressor, a Space Marine card from the Forces of the Imperium deck. This one seems pretty mighty. It draws cards whenever it deals damage, and when you cast it you can make as many copies of it as you want, provided you have enough mana.
Along with plenty of new cards, the crossover includes reprints of existing MTG cards with Warhammer 40k art and theming. A good example is a reprint of Fabricate with art featuring Belisarius Cawl (who’s also got his own card), Archmagos Dominus of the Adeptus Mechanicus. This copy of Fabricate is the promo card for the crossover. It won’t be in the Commander decks, but can be gotten from local game stores on launch day.
A recent set of spoilers from these decks comes right from Warhammer Community, featuring a number of creatures and characters you may well recognise.
Each MTG Commander deck comes with a Sol Ring these days, it’s basically Magic: The Gathering law. It’s therefore only natural that each Warhammer 40k MTG deck gets its own copy of Sol Ring, each themed around its faction.
Wizards of the Coast showed off a ton of Warhammer 40k MTG artwork from the crossover in a recent video, and even more spoilers started rolling out shortly after. They’ve come at a furious pace, with one whole deck unveiled each day.
Here’s the rundown on the decks revealed:
Just like their 40k counterparts, the new Tyranid Magic cards look like they’ll put up a pretty tough fight. The beefy Old One Eye was revealed in the Weekly MTG stream, and Mark Rosewater shared Deathleaper, Terror Weapon on the Magic website. With Trample, Haste, Flash, Fast Healing, and even Flesh Hooks (ew) written on these cards, the Legendary options seem to be shaping up nicely.
There are also insectoid versions of the Abundance and Hardened Scales enchantments for the Tyranid Swarm deck.
Broodlord and Zoanthrope (which was revealed by MTG Japan) both introduce a new keyword to the game – Ravenous. This allows those nasty ‘nids to enter the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters. X equals the amount of mana you’re prepared to spend, and spending five or more allows you to draw a card too. It’s a little similar to Magic’s Devour ability (which is fitting for a race also known as The Great Devourer).
The X plays a secondary role on both cards. Broodlord can share out X amount of +1/+1 counters amongst its fellow hive-mates, while Zoanthrope does X amount of damage to any target.
These cards will come in handy if you happen to have The First Tyrannic War in play, as this gives a creature card with an X mana cost an extra number of +1/+1 counters equal to the number of lands you control. It can also double the counters on a target creature.
The full Tyranid Swarm decklist has now been revealed, with 42 unique Tyranid cards in total. You can check out a bunch more cards below.
The Ruinous Powers
On Wednesday, September 14, it was time for the forces of Chaos to shine. The Ruinous Powers deck is full of demons, board-wipes, and gets lots of value out of the extremely strong Cascade ability. Here’s a few previews from the deck.
September 15 saw the full deck list for Necron Dynasties revealed. Unsurprisingly, this mono-black deck has plenty of graveyard interaction, including the return of the Unearth mechanic. Artifacts also seem to provide a lot of the power. Below are some of the Necron cards you can expect to see very soon.
Forces of The Imperium
September 16 saw the final Warhammer 40k deck revealed – Forces of the Imperium. This deck features a load of tokens, making use of the new Squad mechanic to create copies of many of its cards. It also has loads of recognisable Warhammer characters as Legendary creatures. Here are some previews from the deck:
For more details on upcoming MTG sets – check out our guide to everything we know about The Brothers’ War.