Three Budget Commander Decks In One With The Ninth Doctor and Clara Oswald!

Benjamin Levin • October 12, 2023

The Ninth Doctor | llustrated by Colin Boyer
Clara Oswald | Illustrated by Marta Nael
TARDIS | Illustrated by Chris Ostrowski

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another install of BathroomBrews. Today I'll be showcasing not one, not two, but three different Commander decks using the same partner pair of The Ninth Doctor and Clara Oswald. We can do this thanks to Clara's ability, which allows you to change her color at the start of a game, meaning we can make and play three three-color decks, Grixis, Temur, and Jeskai, with the same commanders.

To make it as easy as possible to swap decks, the core of the deck will be Izzet with a total of 65 cards including the commanders and lands, while each of the modules will be 35 cards, which include 18 nonlands and 17 lands. I tried to make each of the themes distinctive and synergize with the commander, and because we don't know the final prices of the singles for the precons, I decided to leave out the new cards.

As I said, I usually aim for $50 budget decks, but this time around I tried to keep the cost of the core and one of the modules under $100, and as always this is excluding the cost of the commander. You can find all the deck lists at the end of the article. Okay, with all of the explanation out of the way, let's get into it!

The Core

Let's kick things off with the core of the deck. Aside from The Ninth Doctor, there were two other cards I could find that would let us get additional upkeep steps. We have the well-known enchantment Paradox Haze and one of the most underrated blue creatures in my opinion, Sphinx of the Second Sun. While Paradox Haze just gives us an additional upkeep step, Sphinx of the Second Sun gives our board pseudo-vigilance and provides card draw. Yes, this creature is eight mana, but we have a way to cheat it out, which I'll cover in the next section. Finally, we have Spark Double, which can clone our commander or the Sphinx for even more value

Suspend Your Disbelief

One of the main themes of the precon The Ninth Doctor comes in is suspend. Because we remove time counters at the start of our upkeep, we can easily turbo out some of the best suspend cards in Magic, whis is why Jhoira of the Ghitu is the backup commander for this deck. With the proper board state, we can make any spell essentially cost two mana. One of the best cards to cheat out is Sphinx of the Second Sun. We can also abuse Inspiring Refrain and Rousing Refrain from Commander 2021 since, once they resolve, they suspend themselves again, letting us cast them until they get countered.


The other mechanic that works surprisingly well with multiple upkeeps is the initiative. The Undercity normally takes a total of five turns to complete, but we can easily finish it in three, two, or sometimes one turn cycle, which is exactly why I wanted to include Caves of Chaos Adventurer to cheat on cards once we finish a dungeon, along with Tomb of Horrors Adventurer to potentially let us copy spells not once, but twice. Finally, Sarevok's Tome is a great mana rock and card advantage piece once we finish a dungeon.

Keeping Up Card Advantage

Of course, there are cards that have great upkeep triggers that we want multiple of. Starting off, we have As Foretold to let us cheat on spells once each turn. That's right, we can cheat on instants, too! Plus, it will let us cast our zero-mana suspend cards, such as Lotus Bloom, Sol Talisman, and Inevitable Betrayal, for free. If we want to draw a million cards, Mind Unbound will quickly draw us into full hands turn after turn. Lastly, why not steal some cards from your opponents with Stolen Strategy? Sadly, we still need to pay for the spells we take, but at least we take them away from our opponents.

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The Grixis Module

The Grixis module was the first one I built, so I figured we'd start there. The first card that made the list was Phyrexian Arena. With additional upkeep triggers, this card quickly becomes a budget version of The One Ring. Then we have a card I discussed in my previous article, Taigam, Sidisi's Hand. This provides us with powerful card selection, often allowing us to see six, nine, or even twelve cards per turn. And one of the win conditions, Twilight Prophet, to drain out the table.

If stealing cards is more your speed, Xanathar, Guild Kingpin will let you steal cards and sometimes prevent the entire table from casting spells during your turn, or we can let Court of Ambition burn out the table and have players lose their hands. Protection Racket forces players to pick between taking damage or giving you cards. Sometimes you'll hit a zero-mana spell, but I still think it's worth the inclusion thanks to its potential upside.

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The Jeskai Module

While Grixis might be the color of burn, Jeskai lets us make an army of tokens to protect the initiative. Normally I'd cut Assemble the Legion from decks because it's too slow. However, it becomes a powerhouse if we can trigger it multiple times each turn. With just one turn cycle, it can easily produce three to six tokens. The next token enchantment I had to include was Outlaws' Merriment. While it doesn't scale like Assemble the Legion, it creates a lot of bodies to help block. Of course, I had to add Court of Grace; if we can keep the monarch, even for a turn cycle, we're rewarded with an army of Angels.

As for winning with the deck, there are three cards that come to mind right away I had to include. First is Azor's Elocutors, which can win the turn it comes down with the right setup. With both of our commanders out and with Sphinx of the Second Sun, Spark Double, and Strionic Resonator in play, we can get five upkeep steps after combat to instantly win the game if we don't take any damage.

Next is more of a two-card synergy with Restore Balance to remove everyone's creatures, lands, and hands, preferably while we have the initiative. And Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker to help speed up the win.

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The Temur Module

Last but not least is the Temur module. The first creature I thought of was Progenitor Mimic. It's a card I've loved for a long time, but I've always felt it under-performed. However, I think this is the perfect deck for it thanks to the multiple upkeep triggers. Next is Wolverine Riders, or as I like to call it, budget Tendershoot Dryad. While we only gain one life for each of the tokens, we can easily create a massive army in just a few turn cycles. Lastly, Awakening Zone provides us with much-needed ramp, even if it is colorless.

Green also provides us with some powerful card advantage options thanks to Court of Bounty. Even without the monarch, we can ramp multiple lands each turn to quickly take over games. Next is Gaea's Will, which is a green version of Yawgmoth's Will. While I didn't include any combos with it in this deck, it is still a great way to recur key cards. We also have Hydra's Growth, which will quickly turn any creature into a huge threat.

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If you're looking to spend just a little more money, I'd recommend adding The Scarab God to the Grixis module. It's another win condition, card advantage engine, and overall powerhouse of a card. For the Jesksai module Land Tax is a monster, allowing you to dig more lands than you'll know what to do with from your deck. For the Temur module, Koma, Cosmos Serpent is a great token-generator and win condition that's even more powerful with additional upkeep steps.

This has been another installment of BathroomBrews; make sure to check out my YouTube channel, BathroomBrewsMTG, for weekly MTG content and the accompanying video. Also, make sure to check out my Patreon if you want to take your support further.

Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG ( Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.