Review: Magic: The Gathering "Planar Portal" Commander Deck

Magic: The Gathering is a wonderful card game. Wizards of the Coast has made something quite special, but, with some degree of collaboration with its player base, they've made something even better in the form of the Commander format. Anyone who has read our articles knows that Commander is our favorite format by miles. We've ultimately been playing this format for even longer than its official recognition by Wizards of the Coast. So, having gotten ahold of the "Planar Portal" preconstructed deck from the Commander decks coinciding with the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms expansion set, we can safely say that this is one of the most coherent decks they've made for the format. Here's what we think of the deck in just a bit more detail!

The front of the box containing "Planar Portal", the Commander deck coinciding with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
The front of the box containing "Planar Portal", the Commander deck coinciding with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

Wizards of the Coast has clearly been making a push to use more eco-friendly packaging with these precons, as since Strixhaven this has been the form of packaging they have their hearts set on using. As such, when we open the box, using the easy-open tab on the bottom, inside is a fair amount of cardboard but with perforations with which to remove circular counters and a deck divider for ease of differentiation in your deck. This is quite helpful.

As to the other contents of the box, they include the 100-card deck (with tokens and a thicker stand-in of the main commander Prosper, Tome-Bound included), a deck box, a cardboard life-counter, and a small strategy guide on how to play "Planar Portal" directly out of the box. The only gripe we have about this setup is that many of the cards in this deck reference rolling dice from out of a polyhedral dice set, and none are included. The strategy guide insert would have been a perfect way to link players to a dice roller app, be it third-party or included on a Wizards of the Coast- sanctioned application such as Magic: The Gathering's Companion app, which at present does not utilize a dice roller function. This is something they likely need to do, to be frank.

An array of the contents of "Planar Portal", the Commander deck coinciding with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
An array of the contents of "Planar Portal", the Commander deck coinciding with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

We have already discussed the best way to utilize Prosper, Tome-Bound in an abridged deck tech written up and published only yesterday. However, this deck is perfectly capable of running well right out of the box. What do you think about these decks? Are they to your liking? We sure like them. Let us know what you think of them in the comments below!

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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