What do The Magic: The Gathering Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks Offer?

  • By: Richard
  • Date: March 2, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.

New sets for Magic: The Gathering are regularly released, and since Commander has become the most popular Magic format, pre-made Commander decks, known as Pre-Cons, are often included among them.

With the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks, Wizards of the Coast has further expanded into Universes Beyond and is collaborating with Games Workshop to bring the popular tabletop game into the world of Magic.

Below, you can find out what the four new Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks offer, what makes them special, and whether they are worth your attention.

What are The Warhammer 40K Commander Decks?

The Pre-Con Decks are pre-made and ready-to-play Commander Decks thematically built around 2 Commanders. In the Commander format, there is always one legendary creature that acts as the Commander, and the remaining 99 cards must be based on its color identity.

Heralds of Tzeentch

In addition, the remaining cards are selected to match each other and the commander’s ability. Since each card in this Magic format can only be in the deck once, the pre-made Commander decks are a good way to get started since you can play with them right away.

The illustrations are mostly new and adapted to the Warhammer 40,000 world. Additionally, each deck contains about 40 completely new cards, more than any other Commander deck.

Each Warhammer 40,000 Commander Deck box includes a single deck box, 10 double-sided token cards, a life point wheel, and a reference card.

The four Commander decks feature the most popular factions from the WH 40K tabletop: Empire, Necrons, Tyranids, and Chaos. Many would have expected Orcs to be included as well, but they are not available as a Commander deck.

Vexilus Praetor [Universes Beyond Warhammer 40,000]

Forces of The Empire

Magic the Gathering: Warhammer 40.000 - Forces of the Imperium - Commander Deck

The most popular Commander Deck out of these four will probably be Forces of Empire. It is a white, blue, and black deck (Esper).

In it, of course, you’ll find the Space Marines, who stand for the WH 40K universe like no other characters. But also, other well-known characters of the Empire can be found in it (like Marneus Calgar), as well as spells, artifacts, and more. Of course, matching colors as well. Space Marines, among others, form the core, which is also reflected in the new “squad” mechanic.

As with any Commander Pre-Con, the idea here is not that it’s already a high-level deck but rather to provide a good starting point to be able to play right away and then gradually throw out cards and put in new ones when you’ve gained a bit more experience with it.

The general opinion is that the Empire deck is the strongest and seems really well chosen.

WH 40,000 Commander DeckForces of the Empire
Publisher:Wizards of the Coast
Description:Space Marines, Psionics, and Army fighting for the God-Emperor
Authors:Doug Beyer, Grace Fong, Bryan Hawley, Jenna Helland, Miguel López, Michelle Roberson, Annie Sardelis
Designers:Matt Cavotta, Jehan Choo, Deborah Garcia, Lisa Hanson, Taylor Ingvarsson, Tom Jenkot, Dawn Murin, Keven Smith, Zack Stella, Andrew Vallas

Necron Dynasties

My favorite faction in Warhammer 40,000 is the Necrons.

They are an ancient machine race that has been deactivated for millions of years under the earth throughout the galaxy and are now awakening to conquer other worlds.

Of course, they are against all life, and overall, I find the story of this faction the most exciting. That’s why I have my own Necron army for Warhammer 40,000.

The Necron Dynasties deck is, of course, pure black, and it fits thematically very well. Besides well-known characters, like Szarekh, there are typical Necron creatures and many artifacts. Especially the latter are an essential part here, and I like them very much.

Szarekh, the Silent King (Surge Foil)
WH 40K Commander DeckNecron Dynasties
PublisherWizards of the Coast
ThemeMechanical warriors of the Necrons
TimeframeAfter millions of years
AuthorsDoug Beyer, Grace Fong, Bryan Hawley, Jenna Helland, Miguel López, Michelle Roberson, Annie Sardelis
DesignersMatt Cavotta, Jehan Choo, Deborah Garcia, Lisa Hanson, Taylor Ingvarsson, Tom Jenkot, Dawn Murin, Keven Smith, Zack Stella, Andrew Vallas

Powers of Chaos

Abaddon the Despoiler (Display Commander) (Etched Foil)

The various gods of Chaos are united in the Commander Deck “Powers of Chaos“.

Abaddon the Despoiler is the commander here and certainly one of the most well-known characters, followed by Be’lakor, the Dark Master.

This blue, black, red (Grixis) pre-con deck contains many creatures, but seems a bit wildly mixed overall thematically, making it the weakest deck for me.

As with the other decks, there are 42 new Warhammer-inspired Magic: The Gathering cards included here.

Warhammer 40K Commander DeckPowers of Chaos
PublisherWizards of the Coast
ThemeChaos Gods and their followers, war machines, and demons
AuthorsDoug Beyer, Grace Fong, Bryan Hawley, Jenna Helland, Miguel López, Michelle Roberson, Annie Sardelis
DesignersMatt Cavotta, Jehan Choo, Deborah Garcia, Lisa Hanson, Taylor Ingvarsson, Tom Jenkot, Dawn Murin, Keven Smith, Zack Stella, Andrew Vallas

Tyranid Swarm

Lastly, we have the Tyranid Swarm Commander Deck, which, of course, also contains 100 cards.

This deck features the colors green, blue, and red (Temur) and allows you to embody the unstoppable Tyranids. Well-known characters are less common in this deck, which fits the theme well.

However, the deck includes many different Tyranid creatures that ensure you can overrun your opponent, and this has been implemented mechanically very well. The new mechanic “Insatiable” also contributes to this.

Furthermore, this deck includes a saga and, of course, a sun ring.

The Swarmlord Legendary Creature  Tyranid
Warhammer 40K Commander DeckTyranid Swarm
PublisherWizards of the Coast
ThemePredators of the galaxy drifting through space as great swarms
AuthorsDoug Beyer, Grace Fong, Bryan Hawley, Jenna Helland, Miguel López, Michelle Roberson, Annie Sardelis
Graphic ArtistsMatt Cavotta, Jehan Choo, Deborah Garcia, Lisa Hanson, Taylor Ingvarsson, Tom Jenkot, Dawn Murin, Keven Smith, Zack Stella, Andrew Vallas

New Mechanics

Of course, these four decks also bring new cards that offer unique mechanics.

The Empire introduces the “Squad” mechanic, which enables you to create any number of token copies of a card with that keyword, each time costing x mana. For instance, with the “Ultramarines Honor Guard” card, this allows you to spend an extra 2 mana each time you play the card to create an “Ultramarines Honor Guard” token. This mechanic thematically represents the Empire’s abundant troops.

The “Insatiable” mechanic is also new and allows you to spend an additional x mana on the Tyranids to place x +1/+1 tokens on them. If x is at least 5, then you can draw another card. This mechanic emphasizes the size of the creatures and the swarm idea associated with the Tyranids.

On the other hand, the “Miraculum” keyword is a recurring mechanic that allows you to cast spells at a lower cost if it’s the first card drawn that turn. Other recurring mechanics are also included.

Are The WH 40K Commander Decks Worth it?

In the Magic community, there are quite divided opinions about the Universe Beyond releases. While at first, there were only Secret Lair releases, there are now more and more “normal” releases that are not set in the actual world of Magic.


Personally, I think the four Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks are very cool as I like that world a lot. The everlasting war in the galaxy, which covers millions of worlds and offers really great different races, is already fascinating. I especially like this gritty look.

Furthermore, there’s no question that the illustrations look great and also make sense mechanically in most cases. Additionally, I find the four sets to be really successful and well-playable.

On the other hand, these new Commander Decks bring something to the Magic world that doesn’t quite fit with Elves, Dragons, and the like. It looks a bit strange at the game table when your own elf with a bow and arrow competes against a space marine with a bolter.

In addition, at least thematically, you won’t be able to get other matching creatures so easily in the future since this was probably more of a one-time cooperation.

But honestly, there has been a significant variety in Magic for a long time. That’s why Warhammer 40,000 doesn’t stand out that much now. I can understand that WotC simply went a step too far for some, and the large number of planes in the Magic multiverse would have been enough. With such a completely foreign IP, you’re ruining your Magic world a bit.

But the bottom line is that they are great-looking cards, and after Kamigawa and New Capenna, which also looked quite different, it doesn’t stand out so much in the end.

In any case, I think the four decks are very successful because I just find Warhammer 40,000 very exciting.

Grey Knight Paragon


In conclusion, the Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks offer a unique experience for MTG (Magic The Gathering) players by introducing new Universes Beyond collaborations. These pre-made Commander Decks offer a good starting point for those who want to play right away, and each deck includes new Warhammer-inspired Magic cards and mechanics. While the Warhammer 40,000 theme may not fit with the traditional Magic world of Elves and Dragons, the illustrations look great and make sense mechanically.

Overall, the four sets are well-playable and successful, although some may feel that the collaboration with a completely foreign IP ruins the Magic world a bit. However, for those who find Warhammer 40,000 exciting, these Commander Decks are definitely worth checking out.


Are the Warhammer 40K Commander decks worth it?

Yes, this deck looks very enjoyable to play and is probably the most powerful for “competitive” play since Trazyn looks to be one of the strongest new commanders to come out of this set.

Are the WH 40K MTG decks good?

Yes, they are a roaring, bolt pistol-firing success. There are oodles of flavour packed into the new and returning cards, the artwork is good, the decks themselves are a joy to play and tinker with, and mechanically they can slot into Commander as a format with no fuss.

Are the Warhammer 40K Commander decks legal?

Yes, Warhammer 40,000 Commander cards with the 40K set code numbered 1–176 are permitted in the Commander, Legacy, and Vintage formats. Cards with the 40K set code numbered 181–317 and 322 are reprinted cards legal for play in any format where a card with the same name is permitted.

What are all 4 Warhammer Commander decks?

The four Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks are: The Ruinous Powers (Blue-Black-Red), Necron Dynasties (Black), Forces of the Imperium (White-Blue-Black), and Tyranid Swarm (Green-Blue-Red).

Will there be more 40K MTG decks?

No, Magic: The Gathering won’t be getting in-universe reprints of its Warhammer 40,000 crossover cards anytime soon, according to the game’s head designer.

Hey there! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who's been in the game for a solid decade now. I've been painting miniatures for ten years and I've got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I've gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.

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