It’s not just a ton of new cards that the new Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks have brought to the format: tucked away in these decks are a fair few reprints as well. Some are to be expected – Sol Ring, Command Tower, Arcane Signet – and some are just boring filler cards (I don’t know who’s excited to see Thornwood Falls make a return). Some, however, are actually noteworthy, and for all sorts of different reasons. Whether it’s a card’s cost, its availability or just the fact that it’s the first time we’re seeing it reprinted, there are a few different reasons to take notice of these familiar faces from the new decks.
10. Hardened Scales
Hardened Scales might not seem like a very exciting reprint, to begin with. After all, we’ve seen it reprinted more than a few times, in Commander 2016 and Double Masters 2022, not to mention Commander Anthology II. But the fact that this feels like a run-of-the-mill reprint is actually excellent, and it’s exactly why it’s so good to see it again here. Compare this card with other key +1/+1 counter enchantments, such as Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, Primal Vigor and of course Doubling Season. All of these cards are expensive – Doubling Season in particular – and given how Hardened Scales is just as indispensable in any self-respecting counter deck, it’s good to see it being aggressively reprinted so as to make sure its price doesn’t blow out.
9. Launch the Fleet
A lower-impact reprint, for sure, but anyone playing Hinata, Dawn-Crowned will be pleased to see it again – particularly as this is the first time this card has ever been reprinted. Launch the Fleet was first printed in Journey into Nyx, and while it has never been a Commander all-star, it does a lot of work in decks led by the likes of Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, Isshin, Two Heavens as One or even just go-wide weenie decks with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. I’m glad when narrow cards like this don’t get forgotten about, and it’s cool to see how “fleet” can be so readily adapted from the historical fantasy setting of Theros to 40k’s sci-fi.
8. Icon of Ancestry
Another card that has only ever been printed once, Icon of Ancestry is a second-tier tribal enabler. While not as powerful or as ubiquitous as something like Vanquisher’s Banner, it’s still excellent in tribal decks, particularly those with a lower curve and smaller creatures that want as many cheap anthems as they can get. Besides, the built-in card advantage engine can be crucial in tribal decks that lack ways to draw a ton of cards – if you’re running a white, red or Boros tribal deck, it might be worth looking at including this card in your list if you aren’t already.
7. Caged Sun
Monocolored decks aren’t all that popular in Commander, but for those out there who restrict themselves to just one color, Caged Sun is here to offer you a huge payoff. As a Mirari’s Wake that can go in, say, a mono-red deck, it’s perfect for any list looking to go big. In particular, Caged Sun benefits monocolored commanders that have an activated ability into which you can dump huge amounts of mana: Inferno of the Star Mounts, Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief or Ashling the Pilgrim.
6. Living Death
Living Death can lead to absolutely disgusting board states in the right deck, when you’ve been piling creatures into your bin while your opponents foolishly build out a board. Everything from Chainer, Nightmare Adept to Sidisi, Brood Tyrant can make excellent use of this card, and I’m glad it’s received another reprint. Living Death still commands a pretty respectable price tag, despite being printed a ton of times over the years and not being legal in competitive formats outside of Legacy and Vintage, so it’s good that access to this card isn’t being stifled.
5. Herald’s Horn
As far as I’m concerned, Herald’s Horn is a first-tier tribal enabler and I don’t know why you wouldn’t play it in every single tribal deck you build. It does everything – it makes your plays cheaper, it draws you cards, it goes in every deck as an artifact and it only costs three mana. It used to be a very expensive uncommon – over $20 – and the fact that it’s only halved in price after a string of reprints speaks to the power of the card. If you’re playing a tribal deck of any kind, take advantage of the surge in availability, pick up a copy or two, and put it in your decks. You can thank me later.
4. Mystic Forge
Mystic Forge gets its first-ever reprint in this set, having only ever appeared in Core Set 2020 before this. It is, of course, a mainstay in colorless Commander decks of all kinds, from Hope of Ghirapur all the way up to Emrakul, the Promised End, while also being useful in artifact-based decks led by commanders such as Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain. Interestingly, it almost doubled in price recently around the release of Dominaria United; this reprint will help the price settle and make the card more available to anyone hoping to make the most of this powerful colorless card advantage engine
3. Chromatic Lantern
They cannot reprint this card enough. Chromatic Lantern is essential for any deck with greedy mana bases and demanding color restriction on cards, because people can and will choose to play Cruel Ultimatum and Planar Cleansing in the same deck. This card has been reprinted a ton of times over the years and you still won’t be able to find a copy for $10, so the more copies there are of it out there the better, I say. It’s extremely relieving to be able to plonk this down early, and not have to worry about whether you have the correct mana for your spells!
2. Talisman of Progress
The variation when it comes to the price of all the different Talismans is staggering. Given the enemy-colored ones were printed relatively recently, in the first Modern Horizons, they’re relatively inexpensive… but still range from 30c to $3 depending on color, a whole order of magnitude! Then there are the ally-colored ones, which were first printed in original Mirrodin and have been inconsistently printed over the years, to the point that Talisman of Unity costs 50c while this one, Talisman of Progress, is a $13 card. This is because it’s never been reprinted outside of a Secret Lair, and because white-blue is a reasonably popular artifact-based color combination – in any case, let’s hope this reprint brings that price down a little bit.
Here’s a weird one. I didn’t even realize there was a black Fog effect, but there is, and it goes all the way back to Legends. Darkness had only ever been reprinted once as a timeshifted card in Time Spiral, and after a huge price spike last year, has remained at $15 ever since. It’s back in this set, however, appearing for the first time in a “new” border (although obviously not the traditional one, as all the 40k cards have a slightly different template). I don’t know how many fans of black decks out there are in desperate need of Fog effects, but if you are, how’s this reprint for a bit of good news?