CardName – Doctor Who
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.37
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Daleks are an element of Doctor Who that might be known even to people who haven’t watched the show – their characteristic style and their famous catchphrase were sort of proto-memes. I am not too surprised to learn that they have an Emperor, and as a Magic card, he pretty much delivers what his name promises. He wants you to have lots of Daleks in play, which is not quite as easy as it sounds, and the “villainous choice” is not only flavorful but potentially very disruptive to opponents. Barring an unexpected second Doctor Who set, you might look into reanimating him, where he probably doesn’t compare great to competitive Magic’s usual targets; having said that, there aren’t a huge number of those that really replicate the effect of his villainous choice, so that is definitely a point in his favor. And on top of that, how often do you get to say “Exterminate!” when you cast a spell?
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
Daleks are one of the more iconic Doctor Who entities, extermination-minded extraterrestrials who do love conquest and extermination and who can be formidable en masse. The Dalek Emperor leans into that, parleying a horde of Daleks into…an even larger horde of them.
That said, affinity for Daleks, an ability that sounds promising, is more “cute” here than efficacious; besides The Dalek Emperor, there are three printed Daleks (one of which is tri-colored, meaning this can’t be in charge of the deck if you’re running them), and while there are several ways to produce Dalek tokens, there are…three by my count, if you’re not counting Planechase cards, ad one of those is also three-colored. So not a great start…while it’s not necessary, a seven-mana 6/6 is not great.
That said, once this comes out, things get fun. Each combat, your opponents have to either let you have a Dalek or lose a creature. Forcing a choice like this is interesting, especially since (I believe) they have to let you have the Dalek if they do not have a creature to sacrifice; making a flood of 3/3s with haste and menace is a way to push the advantage, and this also pairs well with the other Dalek token generators.
The Dalek Emperor is definitely a bit clunky, but it can push the extermination of your opponents pretty far ahead of schedule if it’s allowed to live. Affinity for Daleks actually might matter more after the first time this comes out, since you’ll have the Daleks necessary to facilitate his return. It seems more cute than good, but cute has room to be good.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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