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Magic: The Gathering – Warhammer 40,000 Commander Deck Previews: The Ruinous Powers
Magic: The Gathering – Warhammer 40,000 Commander Deck Previews: The Ruinous Powers,Control the forces of Chaos with Magic: The Gathering's The Ruinous Powers Warhammer 40,000 Commander deck.

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

Kharn the Betrayer by Kekai Kotaki

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.


The Ruinous Powers by Lie Setiawan

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



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


Evolving Wilds

Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch

Exotic Orchard

Foreboding Ruins

Forgotten Cave

Great Unclean One


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



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


Warstorm Surge

Wayfarer's Bauble

Worn Powerstone