The Tenth Doctor – Doctor Who
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
You might be used to me having lots of out-of-game stuff to say, but I have to admit that I’ve never actually watched a complete episode of Doctor Who. But I do know that the Tenth Doctor was portrayed by David Tennant, who was the first actor to play the role in years and was well received, as evidenced by the fact that the Magic card of him can use not one but two catchphrases/flavor marker words.
In gameplay, The Tenth Doctor’s ability to grant suspend to things that don’t intrinsically have it reminds me of Jhoira of the Ghitu from Future Sight. Where she functions as more of a combo card, he seems like more of a value card on first reading – if a card of yours is suspended, you’ll know you can cast it at a later date, and it can’t be hit by discard spells or the like. Of course, your opponents will know it’s coming too, but it seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to make a deck that can either defend them or cheat on things in such a way that it doesn’t matter. It’s interesting to note that he triggers on any creature attacking, so you can scry, cast him the next turn, and immediately attack with other things to put an Eldrazi into exile.
The keyword action “time travel” means to add or remove a time counter from a suspended card or a permanent you control, and that suggests the other angle for building around him: every blue and red card with suspend. I joke, but with enough mana and the right setup, he can drop Emrakul on someone’s head in the middle of combat. Even for someone who doesn’t know Doctor Who, that sounds pretty appealing.
Limited: N/A (he’s only in a Commander deck)
Commander [EDH]: 4
All of the Universes Beyond: Doctor Who Cards are only legal in Legacy and Vintage and aren’t available in Limited. These are reflected in my scores.
I’ve never been particularly into the Doctor Who franchise, though I am familiar with it as an institution that has sort of been disseminated into wider popular culture, and I have watched a couple episodes over the years. That said, I do remember the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, as a particularly well-remembered point of the show’s run, and I figured it was a good place to dip our toes into the newest crossover Commander decks, as it were. They like playing with time and other things, as is their wont, and The Tenth Doctor does that well.
Amusingly, his two abilities synergize beautifully with each other. The attack trigger lets you prepare a spell to be cast Soon, and his active ability lets you cast it immediately. Time travel is one of this set’s unique keyword mechanics: you choose permanents or suspended cards you own with time counters on them, and you can either add or remove time counters from them. This pairs very well with other suspend cards or other time-related mechanics, and this does include cards dug out with his attack trigger. He also need not attack, so that’s a pro, since his combat stats are pretty…middling, though workable in a pinch.
The Tenth Doctor is intriguing; he’s a particularly neat piece for decks built around storm, time counters, suspend, and other related things, and he’s even in the perfect colors for that, regardless of how deep you dip your toes into Doctor Who overall. He’s not apt to make waves in Legacy, by virtue of being slow and relying on attacking to make a splash, but weirder things have happened, I guess.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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