Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming crossover with television series Doctor Who will feature legendary cards based on every single Doctor.
The Magic: The Gathering – Universes Beyond Doctor Who set will see players picking up decks based on different eras of the long-running cult UK TV series, Doctor Who. The set will contain four Commander decks designed to be played with the popular Magic: The Gathering format which sees players using 100-card decks and selecting a legendary creature to serve as their leader.
Each of the four Commander decks featured in the Doctor Who Magic: The Gathering set will focus on a different era of the sci-fi television series, except for a deck featuring cards focused on the various villains from across the entire franchise. Three of the Commander decks included in the set will contain legendary cards based on certain iterations of the Doctor, which players will be able to choose as their commander.
One of the Commander decks featured in the upcoming set, Blast from the Past, features legendary cards based on the first eight Doctors, which is every Doctor leading up to the TV series’ reboot in the early 2000s.
The very first Doctor - portrayed by William Hartnell way back in 1963 – enables players to immediately find the TARDIS card and put it into their hand. The TARDIS card grants players’ spells the Cascade ability, enabling them to cast spells for free from the deck. The First Doctor also allows players to planeswalk, which can only be done in the Planechase format of Magic: The Gathering. Additionally, any time the player casts a spell with Cascade, they’re able to put a +1/+1 counter on one of their artifact or creature cards.
The Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton, removes the hand size limit for all players and enables them to draw a card using the card’s ‘How Civil of You’ ability. Those opponents who drew a card cannot attack the player controlling the Second Doctor, or their permanents, until their next turn.
The Third Doctor – who was played by Jon Pertwee – has the Trample ability, meaning excess damage to permanents carries over to the player’s life total, and gains a +1/+1 buff for every non-creature token the player controls. When the Third Doctor is summoned, players can create either a clue, food or treasure token, kickstarting the Doctor’s buff ability.
Playing The Fourth Doctor, as portrayed by Tom Baker, will allow the player to look at the top card of their library whenever they like, as well as active the ‘Would you Like A...?’ ability – a reference to this Doctor’s love of Jelly Babies – which enables the player to, once per turn, play a historic land or cast a historic spell from the top of their library. It also lets them create a food token.
The Fifth Doctor card – depicting Peter Davidson in the role – features the ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ ability, allowing the player to put a +1/+1 counter on each of their characters that didn’t attack or enter the battlefield that turn, as well as untapping them.
Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor card contains the ability ‘Time Lord’s Prerogative’, which allows players to copy any historic spells they cast once per turn, with the copy not being classed as legendary.
The Seventh Doctor card, showing Slyvester McCoy as the Doctor, features a much more complicated ability that has defending players attempting to guess whether the mana value of a card in the attacking player’s hand is greater than the number of artifacts they control. If the player guesses incorrectly, the attacking player is able to cast it for free - otherwise they can investigate to gain a clue token.
The last Doctor card in the Blast from the Past set is The Eighth Doctor, a card that forces the player to mill three cards when it enters the battlefield, and then allows them to play a historic land or cast a historic permanent spell from their graveyard - whenever they use this ability, the chosen card is exiled when it leaves the battlefield.
Doctors Nine, Ten and Eleven are all featured in the Timey-Wimey Commander Deck, which focuses on the era of the show between its revival in 2005 and the switch to the Twelfth Doctor in 2013.
Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor has the Haste ability, which enables the player to use the card to attack or perform actions immediately after they’ve played it. The card’s ‘Into the TARDIS’ ability gives players an extra upkeep phase whenever the Ninth Doctor is untapped, meaning that players can draw another card.
Using the Tenth Doctor card – showing David Tennant in the role – gives players access to the ‘Allons-y!’ ability, that allows players to exile nonland cards from their deck and place time counters on them, and the ‘Timey-Wimey’ ability, enabling players to time travel at the cost of removing time counters from their cards.
With The Eleventh Doctor, who was played by Matt Smith, players can use the ‘I. AM. TALKING!’ ability – which allows players to exile a card with a number of time tokens on it whenever The Eleventh Doctor deals damage to a player. Players can also spend two mana to prevent a creature with three or less power from blocking. Several of the cards in the Timey Wimey Deck allow players to remove time tokens from their suspended cards, playing into this ability.
The Paradox Power deck is focused on the Doctor Who seasons that took place from 2013 up until where the show is currently, before the arrival of the Fourteenth Doctor – played by Tennant – and Fifteenth Doctor, set to be portrayed by Ncuti Gatwa: both of whom have been confirmed to make a future appearance in the set
Featured in the Paradox Power deck is The Twelfth Doctor, as portrayed by Peter Capaldi. The Twelfth Doctor grants the Demonstrate ability to any spell cast from outside the player’s hand, which allows both the player and their opponents to copy the spell. Whenever the player copies a spell, The Twelfth Doctor gains a +1/+1 counter.
The last Doctor card featured in the Magic: The Gathering Doctor Who Commander decks is The Thirteenth Doctor – pictured as played by Jodie Whittaker – who has the ‘Paradox’ ability, which allows players to put a +1/+1 counter on any creature whenever they cast a spell from outside their hand. Additionally, the card has the ‘Team TARDIS’ ability that allows the player to untap every creature they control that has a counter on it.
Players can get their hands on the Commander Decks from the Magic: The Gathering – Universes Beyond Doctor Who set from October 13th.