The MTG Warhammer 40k crossover seems to have been a pretty major hit for Magic: The Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast. It’s not as though I’ve got sales figures in front of me, but all four Warhammer 40k Commander decks look to be flying off the shelves, selling out pretty much everywhere.
The decks are full of flavour wins that Warhammer 40k fans can enjoy, and EDH players have deemed these Commander precons far stronger and better tuned than most. Even those who typically rally against any and all third party Universes Beyond Magic content have been unusually quiet about this product.
The online MTG community is aflame with positivity about the Warhammer decks, or it was, until last week a tidal wave of well-justified rage at Magic 30th Anniversary extinguished that fire. Wizards of the Coast must be looking ahead to 2023’s Lord of the Rings set with dollar signs in its eyes.
While the MTG Warhammer 40k crossover covered many of that sci-fi universe’s major factions, especially since it combined all the Imperium and Chaos factions into one deck apiece, it didn’t cross everything off the list. There are still plenty of popular Xenos factions waiting to get some attention.
If sales of the Warhammer decks have been as strong as I think they’ve been, it seems a given that Wizards of the Coast will follow up with a second batch sooner rather than later With so many troops and characters that could still be included, Wizards could easily do sequels to its Forces of the Imperium and Ruinous Powers decks. For the other two, it’ll need to look to the remaining alien threats of the 40k cosmos.
Here’s what the remaining Warhammer 40k factions might look like as Commander decks:
The Eldar’s whole schtick is that they’re a superior power, but also a dying race. It’s only because they’re so limited in number that the Eldar are an even match for the Imperium, and other 40k factions.
To me the Eldar are best represented with a five-colour good stuff deck. The Eldar deck could do pretty much anything, but would be restricted by the casting costs required to play its cards.
A five-colour Eldar deck could also do like the latest Aeldari Warhammer 40k codex and fold in the Harlequin and Ynnari subfactions too. The Ynnari cards would obviously do graveyard shenanigans. The Harlequins, not sure – maybe Cascade? Blinking? Something odd, anyhow.
MTG Dark Eldar
The sadomasochistic Dark Eldar are Rakdos through and through. Their Commander deck would be Aristocrats – it would obviously be all about sacrificing stuff for value, perhaps abducting other players’ creatures in order to do so.
There’d also be a life draining subtheme – to represent the Dark Eldar gaining strength from pain. Reprints would include Blood Artist.
I think Gruul makes far more sense for Orks, but I could see Wizards throwing white in there alongside the red-green. Orks would have to be a creature-themed deck that goes balls to the wall aggressive. There’d doubtless be a few big hitters, but the deck would want to go wide, each creature getting stronger the more Orks are on the battlefield, as it builds up to a glorious Waagh!.
Creatures like Craterhoof Behemoth would be a natural fit for this deck, although I can’t quite see that particular card slotting into the Warhammer 40k universe, unless Squigs have hooves.
I’ve left the hard ones for last. The technological T’au would of course need lots and lots of vehicles in their deck to represent their mech-heavy force, as well as creatures with reach or maybe pingers to show ranged dominance.
As the supposed ‘goody-two shoes’ of 40k, the T’au could be a group-hug deck that gives everyone a good time. Or perhaps it could go the exact opposite route and be a nightmarish mono-white stax deck, to show this Xenos race’s ordered, regimented society, and its lack of magic.
MTG Leagues of Votann
The Leagues of Votann are tricky to place in Magic, since in Warhammer 40k they sort of occupy a spot between the Imperium and the T’au right now, with a sprinkle of space dwarf thrown in. Perhaps they’d fit a defenders theme, to show how they hold onto their strongholds, though that seems a little gimmicky.