Magic: The Gathering – Warhammer 40,000 Commander Deck Previews: The Ruinous Powers

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  • The Commander: Abaddon The Despoiler
  • Every New Card
  • The Full Decklist

Magic: The Gathering's Warhammer 40,000 Commader Deck preview season continues, with day two giving us the second of four decks in full. Across a whopping 41 new cards we're introduced to the Chaos Warlord Abaddon the Despoiler, and the demonic forces from the Warp that he represents.

Whether it's the endless, corrupt pleasure of Slaanesh, the bloodshed of Khorne, the jubilant decay of Nurgle, or the ever-changing mystery of Tzeentch, this deck lets you play with the full power of 40K's Chaos.

For Magic players, you should already know what to expect from a deck based on 'Chaos'. There's lots of cascading, lots of Chaos Warps, and a whole army of Demons to back you up. Here's everything revealed for the blue/black/red The Ruinous Powers deck.

The Commander: Abaddon The Despoiler

The Warmaster of Chaos and its greatest champion, Abaddon the Despoiler is the leader of the Chaos Space Marines, a horrific corruption of the supersoldiers that so famously represent the Imperium of Man.

True to his loyalty to Chaos, Abaddon's ability in Magic is highly random, granting cascade to spells that cost less than the total amount of life lost this turn by your opponents. While you do need to jump through hoops to make your opponents lose life, simply saving your big plays for after combat in the second main phase could allow you to cascade off of some of the deck's bigger cards and hit some spicy bombs.

It helps that this deck has a surprisingly high mana curve, with lots of expensive spells to cascade off of. Being able to cast one spell and get another for free helps counteract a few of the problems with this deck, notably its somewhat lacking land base for such big spells, and the deal is made even sweeter with some of the enters-the-battlefield effects you could be unexpectedly triggering.

The Ruinous Powers' backup commander is Be'lakor, the Dark Master, which is a much straighter Demon Tribal commander. As you'd expect from a Demon of Chaos from deep within the Warp, he's a bit of a double-edged knife: you can gain huge hand advantage when you play him thanks to the Prince of Chaos ability, but it's a one-off ability that could also end up dealing more damage to you than you'd like.

To help offset that, the second ability is very powerful. Demons are often big creatures with high power, so being able to use them to blast an opponent's creature off the board – or even go straight for their face – gives you a way to either force the life loss that Abaddon so desperately wants, or simply bring everyone else down to your life total.

Every New Card

The Ruinous Powers deck has two key themes: cascade and Demon Tribal. By playing cards like Sloppity Bilepiper and Heralds of Tzeentch, you can hope to hit cards that generate you even more value on hitting the battlefield, such as Chaos Defiler and Lords of Change.

Your second strategy is more straight-forward: fill the board up with Demons. Most creatures in the deck are Demons, which allows Be'Lakor to blast your opponent away with lots of damage. Make use of Herald of Slaanesh to reduce the cost of your Demons, and you could be both cascading off big spells and dealing huge damage on a single cast spell.

ImageNameText
Abaddon the DespoilerTwo generic, one blue, one black, one red legendary creature – Astartes Warrior – 5/5:


Trample


Mark of the Chaos Ascendant — During your turn, spells you cast from your hand with mana value X or less have cascade, where X is the total amount of life your opponents have lost this turn.

Heralds of TzeentchFour generic, one blue creature – Demon – 3/3:


Flying


Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Lord of ChangeSix generic, one blue creature – Demon – 6/6:


Flying, ward: three generic


Architect of Deception — When Lord of Change enters the battlefield, draw three cards.

Blight GrenadeFour generic, one black sorcery:


Destroy target creature.


All creatures get -3/-3 until end of turn.

Great Unclean OneFour generic, one black creature – Demon – 4/5:


Reverberating Summons — At the beginning of your end step, each opponent loses 2 life. Then for each opponent who has less life than you, create a 1/3 black Demon creature token named Plaguebearer of Nurgle.

Mandate of AbaddonThree generic, one black sorcery:


Chose target creature you control. Destroy all creatures with power less than that creature’s power.

Mortarion, Daemon PrimarchFive generic, one black legendary creature – Demon Primarch – 5/6: Flying


Primarch of the Death Guard — At the beginning of your end step, you may pay X generic. If you do, create X 2/2 black Astartes Warrior creature tokens with menace. X can’t be greater than the amount of life you lost this turn.

Nurgle's ConscriptionFour generic, one black instant:


Put target creature card from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield tapped under your control, then exile that player’s graveyard.

Nurgle's RotOne black enchantment – Aura:


Enchant creature an opponent controls


When enchanted creature dies, return Nurgle’s Rot to its owner’s hand and you create a 1/3 black Demon creature token named Plaguebearer of Nurgle.

Plague DroneThree generic, one black creature – Demon – 3/3:


Flying


Rot Fly — If an opponent would gain life, that player loses that much life instead.

PoxwalkersTwo generic, one black creature – Zombie – 3/1:


Deathtouch


Curse of the Walking Pox — Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, return Poxwalkers from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.

Sloppity BilepiperThree generic, one black creature – Demon – 3/3:


Jolly Gutpipes — Two generic, tap Sloppity Bilepiper, Sacrifice a creature: The next creature spell you cast this turn has cascade. (When you cast your next creature spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Tallyman of NurgleTwo generic, one black creature – Astartes Warrior – 2/3:


Lifelink


The Seven-fold Chant — At the beginning of your end step, if a creature died this turn, you draw a card and you lose 1 life. If seven or more creatures died this turn, instead you draw seven cards and you lose 7 life.

VenomcrawlerThree generic, one black artifact creature – Demon – 2/2:


Lifelink


Devourer of Souls — Whenever another creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Venomcrawler.

Aspiring ChampionThree generic, one red creature – Astartes Warrior – 3/3:


Menace


Ruinous Ascension — When Aspiring Champion deals combat damage to a player, sacrifice it. If you do, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card. Put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle the rest into your library. If that creature is a Demon, it deals damage equal to its power to each opponent.

Bloodcrusher of KhorneThree generic, one red creature – Demon Knight – 3/3:


Trample


Devastating Charge — Other creatures you control have trample.

BloodthirsterFive generic, one black creature – Demon – 6/6:


Flying, trample


Whenever Bloodthirster deals combat damage to a player, untap it. After this combat phase, there is an additional combat phase.


Bloodthirster can’t attack a player it has already attacked this turn.

Dark ApostleThree generic, one red creature – Astartes Warlock – 3/3:


Gift of Chaos — Three generic, tap: The next noncreature spell you cast this turn has cascade. (When you cast that spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Herald of SlaaneshTwo generic, one red creature – Demon – 2/2: Locus of Slaanesh — Demon spells you cast cost two generic less to cast.


Other demons you control have haste.

Keeper of SecretsFive generic, one red creature – Demon – 6/4:


First strike, haste


Symphony of Pain — Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, Keeper of Secrets deals damage equal to that spell’s mana value to target opponent.

Khârn the BetrayerThree generic, one red legendary creature – Astartes Berserker – 5/1:


Berzerker — Khârn the Betrayer attacks or blocks each combat if able.


Sigil of Corruption — When you lose control of Khârn the Betrayer, draw two cards.


The Betrayer — If damage would be dealt to Khârn the Betrayer, prevent that damage and an opponent of your choice gains control of it.

Knight RampagerFour generic, one red artifact creature – Knight – 6/5: Trample


Frenzied Rampage — At the beginning of combat on your turn, choose an opponent at random. Knight Rampager attacks that player this combat if able.


When Knight Rampager dies, it deals 4 damage to target opponent chosen at random.

Let the Galaxy BurnX generic, five generic, one red sorcery:


Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)


Let the Galaxy Burn deals X plus two damage to each creature that didn’t enter the battlefield this turn.

Noise MarineFour generic, one red creature – Astartes Warrior – 3/2:


Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)


Sonic Blaster — When Noise Marine enters the battlefield, it deals damage equal to the number of spells you’ve cast this turn to any target.

Seeker of SlaaneshThree generic, one red creature – Demon – 3/3:


Haste


Allure of Slaanesh — Each opponent must attack with at least one creature each combat if able.

Be'lakor, the Dark MasterThree generic, one blue, one black, one red legendary creature – Demon Noble – 6/5:


Flying


Prince of Chaos — When Be'lakor, the Dark Master enters the battlefield, you draw X cards and you lose X life, where X is the number of Demons you control.


Lord of Torment — Whenever another Demon enters the battlefield under your control, it deals damage equal to its power to any target.

Blood for the Blood God!Eight generic, two black, one red instant:


This spell costs one generic less to cast for each creature that died this turn.


Discard your hand, then draw eight cards. Blood for the Blood God! deals eight damage to each opponent. Exile Blood for the Blood God!

Chaos DefilerThree generic, one black, one red artifact creature – Demon Construct – 5/4:


Trample


Battle Cannon — When Chaos Defiler enters the battlefield or dies, for each opponent, choose a nonland permanent that players controls. Destroy one of them chosen at random.

Drach'NyenFour generic, one black, one red legendary artifact – Equipment:


Echo of the First Murder — When Drach'Nyen enters the battlefield, exile up to one target creature.


Daemon Sword — Equipped creature has menace and gets +X/+0, where X is the exiled card’s power.


Equip: Two generic (Two generic: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

HelbruteThree generic, one black, one red artifact creature – Astartes Dreadnought – 5/4:


Haste


Sarcophagus — You may cast Helbrute from your graveyard by exiling another creature card from your graveyard in addition to paying its other costs.

Kill! Maim! Burn!Three generic, two black, one red instant:


Choose one or more — • Destroy target artifact. • Destroy target creature. • Kill! Maim! Burn! deals 3 damage to target player.

Lucius the EternalThree generic, one black, one red legendary creature – Astartes Warrior – 5/3:


Haste


Armor of Shrieking Souls — When Lucius the Eternal dies, exile it and choose target creature an opponent controls. When that creature leaves the battlefield, return Lucius the Eternal from exile to the battlefield under its owner’s control.

The Ruinous PowersTwo generic, one black, one red enchantment:


At the beginning of your upkeep, choose an opponent at random. Exile the top card of that player’s library. Until end of turn, you may play that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it. When you cast a spell this way, its owner loses life equal to its mana value.

Chaos MutationThree generic, one blue, one red instant:


Exile any number of target creatures controlled by different players. For each creature exiled this wya, its controller reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal a creature card, puts that card onto the battlefield, then puts the rest on the bottom of their library in a random order.

Magnus the RedThree generic, one blue, one red legendary creature – Demon Primarch – 4/5:


Flying


Unearthly Power — Instant and sorcery spells you cast cost {1} less to cast for each creature token you control.


Blade of Magnus — Whenever Magnus the Red deals combat damage to a player, create a 3/3 red Spawn creature token.

Mutalith Vortex BeastFour generic, one blue, one red creature – Mutant Beast – 6/6:


Trample


Warp Vortex — When Mutalith Vortex Beast enters the battlefield, flip a coin for each opponent you have. For each flip you win, draw a card. For each flip you lose, Mutalith Vortex Beast deals 3 damage to that player.

Pink HorrorThree generic, one blue, one red creature – Demon Horror – 4/4:


Coruscating Flames — Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Pink Horror deals 2 damage to any target.


Split — When Pink Horror dies, create two 2/2 blue and red Demon Horror creature tokens named Blue Horror with “Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, this creature deals 1 damage to any target.”

The Lost and the DamnedOne generic, one blue, one red enchantment:


Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control from anywhere other than your hand or you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, create 3/3 red Spawn creature token.

Tzaangor ShamanTwo generic, one blue, one red creature – Mutant Shaman – 3/3:


Flying


Sorcerous Elixir — Whenever Tzaangor Shaman deals combat damage to a player, copy the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn when you cast it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

The Horus HeresyThree generic, one blue, one black, one red enchantment – Saga: (As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.) One — For each opponent, gain control of up to one target nonlegendary creature that player controls for as long as The Horus Heresy remains on the battlefield. Two — Draw a card for each creature you control but don’t own. Three — Starting with you, each player chooses a creature. Destroy each creature chosen this way.

The Full Decklist

Like the rest of the 40,000 decks, the majority of The Ruinous Powers is brand-new cards. However, it does also include over 30 reprints, including some much-needed reprints for format staples.

Alongside the ever-popular Blasphemous Act and Chaos Warp, we're also getting one of the game's best mana smoothing tools, Chromatic Lantern. Dark Ritual can be a fantastic first-turn play to speed you ahead of the rest of the board as well.

Particularly interesting to note for those hoping to run Be'lakor instead of Abaddon is Warstorm Surge, which deals damage to any target equal to the power of a creature entering the battlefield under your control. As long as you have Be'Lakor out at the same time, your Demons will be firing off double damage with this and could speed up your gameplan signifiantly.

Like most preconstructed decks, the big weakness here is in the mana base and how slow it is. While Chromatic Lantern is a very nice addition to help ensure you have access to the colours you need, if you're going to upgrade this improving the lands and swapping out that Temple, Swiftwater Cliffs, and Terramorphic Expanse should be your first priority.

8 Island

8 Mountain

8 Swamp

Abaddon the Despoiler

Aspiring Champion

Assault Suit

Barren Moor

Be'lakor, the Dark Master

Bile Blight

Bituminous Blast

Blasphemous Act

Blight Grenade

Blood for the Blood God!

Bloodcrusher of Khorne

Bloodthirster

Brainstorm

Chaos Defiler

Chaos Mutation

Chaos Terminator Lord

Chaos Warp

Chromatic Lantern

Command Tower

Commander's Sphere

Crumbling Necropolis

Dark Apostle

Dark Ritual

Decree of Pain

Deny Reality

Dismal Backwater

Drach'Nyen

Evolving Wilds

Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch

Exotic Orchard

Foreboding Ruins

Forgotten Cave

Great Unclean One

Helbrute

Herald of Slaanesh

Heralds of Tzeentch

Keeper of Secrets

Khârn the Betrayer

Kill! Maim! Burn!

Knight Rampager

Let the Galaxy Burn

Lord of Change

Lucius the Eternal

Magnus the Red

Mandate of Abaddon

Molten Slagheap

Mortarion, Daemon Primarch

Mutalith Vortex Beast

Noise Marine

Nurgle's Conscription

Nurgle's Rot

Past in Flames

Path of Ancestry

Pink Horror

Plague Drone

Poxwalkers

Reverberate

Seeker of Slaanesh

Sloppity Bilepiper

Sol Ring

Sunken Hollow

Swiftwater Cliffs

Talisman of Creativity

Talisman of Dominance

Talisman of Indulgence

Tallyman of Nurgle

Temple of the False God

Terramorphic Expanse

The Horus Heresy

The Lost and the Damned

The Ruinous Powers

Tzaangor Shaman

Venomcrawler

Warstorm Surge

Wayfarer's Bauble

Worn Powerstone

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