Magic: The Gathering – Warhammer 40,000 Commander Deck Previews: Tyranid Swarm

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  • The Commander: The Swarmlord
  • Every New Card
  • The Full Decklist

Magic: The Gathering's first major Universes Beyond crossover is here, with four Warhammer 40,000 decks introducing more than 120 cards based on the grimdark sci-fi series to Magic's Commander, Vintage, and Legacy formats.

While MTG's preview seasons normally only showcase a few cards each day, Warhammer 40,000's are different. Every day, a whole deck is being previewed in its entirety, complete with exclusive mechanics and over 40 brand-new cards.

Day one of the preview season focused on the blue, red, and green Tyranid Swarm deck, with 40K's famous insectoid monsters turning into a counters and X-cost-centric creature type when brought over to Magic.

Here's everything revealed on day one, including the new cards and mechanics coming in Tyranid Swarm when it launches on October 7.

The Commander: The Swarmlord

The main face of this deck is The Swarmlord, Tyrantlord of the Tyranid Hivemind and the biggest and strongest Tyranid of the fleet.

At three generic, one green, one blue, and one red for a 5/5, without any trample of evasion, it's a little on the expensive side. However, don't forget that Rapid Regeneration triggers on the first cast as well, making it enter on the first cast as a 7/7 instead.

While you're likely not going to be able to pay to cast The Swarmlord for much beyond that, with a few tools like Hardened Scales or upgrading for a Doubling Season or Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, you should be able to make The Swarmlord a big threat when it enters play.

That second ability is Xenos Cunning, and it's fantastic. Drawing a card whenever any creature you control with any counter on it dies will give you massive advantage, especially in this deck with its numerous ways to put +1/+1 counters on things. Recent Standard-legal sets have been playing with keyword counters a lot more as well, making upgrading the deck with a wider variety of counters a distinct possibility.

The alternative commander for this deck is Magus Lucea Kane, one of the first-ever named Genestealer Cultists within 40,000 lore. Their role is to infiltrate worlds as sleeper agents and eventually take over, ready for their Tyranid masters' arrival and the planet's inevitable destruction.

As a commander, Lucea Kane feels like a more consistent leader for the deck. While she lacks The Swarmlord's card advantage potential, she works nicely alongside the numerous X-cost cards in the deck and copies them for maximum impact.

The fact she can also tap for two colourless and put counters on your creatures makes her a highly flexibly and all-round great new commander for not just the Tyranids here, but the many Hydras found in mainstream Magic.

Every New Card

Each of the four Warhammer decks features 42 brand-new cards, a massive increase from the ten previous Commander releases has included.

The Tyranid Swarm deck introduces one new mechanic, Ravenous. Ravenous is found on creatures with X in their mana cost, like Exocrine and Broodlord. Creatures with ravenous enter with as many +1/+1 counters as you paid for it, and if that number is more than five, you also get to draw a card.

From that, you can pretty plainly see the strategy of this deck: swarm the battlefield with lots of creatures, and augment them with +1/+1 counters. Whether you're throwing out large X-cost creatures with ravenous, buffing them with Magus Lucea Kane and Bone Sabers, or using Tyranid Prime to evolve them, this deck shares a lot of history with both more traditional green counters decks, and the ever-popular Hydra creature type.

ImageNameText
The SwarmlordThree generic, one green, one blue, one red legendary creature – Tyranid – 5/5:


Rapid Regeneration —The Swarmlord enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it for each time you've cast your commander from the command zone this game.


Xenos Cunning —Whenever a creature you control with a counter on it dies, draw a card.

Genestealer PatriarchFour generic, one blue creature – Tyranid – 4/4:


Genestealer’s Kiss — Whenever Genestealer Patriarch attacks, put an infection counter on target creature defending player controls.


Children of the Cult — Whenever a creature with an infection counter on it dies, you create a token that’s a copy of that creature, except it’s a Tyranid in addition to its other types.

Genestealer LocusThree generic, two blue creature – Tyranid Human – 3/3:


Neurotraumal Rod — Whenever a creature attacks you, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn.


Whenever a creature attacks one of your opponents, it gets +0/+1 until end of turn.

Acolyte HybridTwo generic, one red creature – Tyranid Human – 2/2:


Heavy Rock Cutter — Whenever Acolyte Hybrid attacks, destroy up to one target artifact. If an artifact is destroyed this way, its controller draws a card.

The Red TerrorThree generic, one red legendary creature – Tyranid – 4/3:


Advanced Species — Whenever a red source you control deals damage to one or more permanents and/or players, put a +1/+1 counter on The Red Terror.

Screamer-KillerFour generic, one red creature – Tyranid – 5/5:


Trample


Bio-Plasmic Scream — Whenever you cast a creature spell with mana value 5 or greater, Screamer-Killer deals 5 damage to any target.

ExocrineX generic, two generic, one red creature – Tyranid – 2/2:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is five or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Bio-plasmic Barrage — When Exocrine enters the battlefield, it deals X damage to each plater and each other creature.

Bone SabresTwo generic, one green artifact – Equipment:


Whenever equipped creature attacks, put four +1/+1 counters on it.


Equip: three generic

Old One EyeFive generic, one green legendary creature – Tyranid – 6/6:


Trample


Other creatures you control have trample.


When Old One Eye enters the battlefield, create a 5/5 green Tyranid creature token.


Fast Healing — At the beginning of your precombat main phase, you may discard two cards. If you do, return Old One Eye from your graveyard to your hand.

ClamavusFour generic, one green creature – Human Tyranid Artificer – 3/3:


Proclamator Hailer — Each creature you control gets +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on it.

NexosOne generic, one green creature – Human Tyranid Advisor – 2/2:


Strategic Coordinator — Basic lands you control have "Tap: Add two colourless mana". Spend this mana only on costs that contain X.”

BiophagusOne generic, one green creature – Human Tyranid Wizard – 1/3:


Genomic Enhancement — Tap: Add one mana of any color. If this mana is spent to cast a creature spell, that creature enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it.

AberrantX generic, one generic, one green creature – Tyranid Mutant – 0/0:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Trample


Heavy Power Hammer — Whenever Aberrant deals combat damage to a player, destroy target artifact or enchantment that player control.

SporocystX generic, X generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 0/0:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Defender


Spore Chimney — When Sporocyst enters the battlefield, search your library for up to X basic land cards, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

Hierophant Bio-TitanTen generic, two green creature – Tyranid – 12/12:


Frenzied Metabolism — As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may remove any number of +1/+1 counters from among creatures you control. This spell costs generic less to cast for each counter removed this way.


Vigilance, reach, ward two green.


Titanic — Hierophant Bio-Titan can’t be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less.

BroodlordX generic, three generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 3/3:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Brood Telepathy — When Broodlord enters the battlefield, distribute X +1/+1 counters among any number of other target creatures you control.

Tyranid InvasionThree generic, one green sorcery:


Create a number of 3/3 green Tyranid Warrior creature tokens with trample equal to the number of opponents you have.

HaruspexThree generic creature – Tyranid – 2/2:


Rapacious Hunger — Whenever another creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Haruspex.


Devouring Monster — Tap, Remove X +1/+1 counters from Haruspex: Add X mana of any one color.

Hormagaunt HordeX generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 1/1:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Endless Swarm — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay two generic, one green. If you do, return Hormagaunt Horde from your graveyard to your hand.

Purestrain GenestealerTwo generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 1/1:


Purestrain Genestealer enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.


Vanguard Species — Whenever Purestrain Genestealer attacks, you may remove a +1/+1 counter from it. If you do, search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

ToxicreneThree generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 2/4:


Reach, deathtouch


Hypertoxic Miasma — All lands have “Tap: Add one mana of any color” and lose all other abilities.

TervigonX generic, one generic, green creature – Tyranid – 0/0:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Trample


Spawn Termagant — Whenever Tervigon deals combat damage to a player, create that many 1/1 green Tyranid creature tokens.

Termagant SwarmX generic, one green creature – Tyranid – 0/0:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Death Frenzy — When Termagant Swarm dies, create a number of 1/1 green Tyranid creature tokens equal to Termagant Swarm’s power.

LictorThree generic, green creature – Tyranid – 3/3:


Flash


Pheromone Trail — When Lictor enters the battlefield, if a creature entered the battlefield under an opponent’s control this turn, create a 3/3 green Tyranid Warrior creature token with trample.

Tyrant GuardX generic, two generic, on green creature – Tyranid – 3/3:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Shieldwall — Sacrifice Tyrant Guard: Creatures you control with counters on them gain hexproof and indestructible until end of turn.

Goliath TruckFour generic artifact – Vehicle – 4/4:


Stowage — Whenever Goliath Truck attacks, put two +1/+1 counters on another target attacking creature.


Crew: 2

Atalan JackalOne generic, one red, one green creature – Human Tyranid Scout – 2/2:


Trample, haste


Skilled Outrider — Whenever Atalan Jackal deals combat damage to a player, you may search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

Shadow in the WarpOne generic, one red, one green enchantment:


The first creature spell you cast each turn costs two generic less to cast.


Whenever an opponent casts their first noncreature spell each turn, Shadow in the Warp deals 2 damage to that player.

Deathleaper, Terror WeaponTwo generic, one red, one green legendary creature – Tyranid – 3/3:


Flash


Haste


Flesh Hooks — Creatures you control that entered the battlefield this turn have double strike.

MawlocX generic, one red, one green creature – Tyranid – 2/2:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Terror from the Deep — When Mawloc enters the battlefield, it fights up to one target creature an opponent controls. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

Winged Hive TyrantThree generic, one blue, one red creature – Tyranid – 4/4:


Flying, haste


The Will of the Hive Mind — Other creatures you control with counters on them have flying and haste.

Ghyrson Starn, KelermorphOne generic, one blue, one red legendary creature – Tyranid Human – 3/2:


Ward: two generic (Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays two generic.)


Three Autostubs — Whenever another source you control deals exactly one damage to a permanent or player, Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph deals two damage to that permanent or player.

ZoanthropeX generic, one blue, one red creature – Tyranid – 0/0:


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Flying, ward: two generic


Warp Blast — When Zoanthrope enters the battlefield, it deals X damage to any target.

VenomthropeOne generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid – 2/2:


Flying, deathtouch, hexproof

Gargoyle FlockTwo generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid Gargoyle – 2/2:


Flying


Skyswarm — At the beginning of your end step, if a creature entered the battlefield under your control this turn, create a 1/1 blue Tyranid Gargoyle creature token with flying.

Trygon PrimeTwo generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid – 4/4:


Subterranean Assault — Whenever Trygon Prime attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it and a +1/+1 counter on up to one other target attacking creature. That creature can’t be blocked this turn.

RavenerX generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid – 0/0:


Flash


Ravenous (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, draw a card when it enters.)


Whenever Ravener enters the battlefield, target creature attacks target opponent this turn if able.

Tyranid PrimeOne generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid – 0/4:


Evolve (Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, if that creature has greater power or toughness than this creature, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)


Synapse Creature — Other creatures you control have evolve.

Tyranid HarridanFour generic, one green, one blue creature – Tyranid – 4/4:


Flying, ward: four generic.


Shrieking Gargoyles — Whenever Tyranid Harridan or another Tyranid you control deals combat damage to a player, create a 1/1 blue Tyranid Gargoyle creature token with flying.

Magus Lucea KaneOne generic, one green, one blue, one red legendary creature – Human Tyranid Wizard – 1/1:


Spiritual Leader — At the beginning if combat on your turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.


Psychic Stimulants — Tap: Add two colourless. When you next cast a spell with X in its mana cost or activate an ability with X in its activation cost this turn, copy that spell or ability. You may choose new targets for the copy. (A copy of a permanent spell becomes a token.)

The First Tyrannic WarTwo generic, one green, one blue, one red enchantment – Saga:


(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after three.)


One — You may put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield. If its mana cost contains X generic, it enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the number of lands you control.


Two — Double the number of each kind of counter on target creature you control.


Three — Double the number of each kind of counter on target creature you control.

The Full Decklist

While the majority of non-land cards in these decks are brand new, there are a number of reprints given new, Warhammer 40,000-themed art. In the Tyranid Swarm deck, there are some very exciting inclusions, like Abundance, Death's Presence, and Hardened Scales.

Like many Commander precons, where this deck does falter slightly is in its selection of lands. It has a few good ones, like Exotic Orchard, but with a lot of tap lands (the three Temples, Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse etc.), your mana base is going to be on the slower side, and should be your first consideration when upgrading.

Note: Bolded cards are new cards.

7 Island

7 Mountain

8 Forest

Aberrant

Abundance

Acolyte Hybrid

Aetherize

Arcane Signet

Ash Barrens

Atalan Jackal

Biophagus

Bone Sabres

Bred for the Hunt

Broodlord

Cave of Temptation

Cinder Glade

Clamavus

Command Tower

Cultivate

Deathleaper, Terror Weapon

Death's Presence

Evolving Wilds

Exocrine

Exotic Orchard

Explore

Farseek

Frontier Bivouac

Game Trail

Gargoyle Flock

Genestealer Locus

Genestealer Patriarch

Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph

Goliath Truck

Hardened Scales

Harrow

Haruspex

Herald's Horn

Hierophant Bio-Titan

Hormagaunt Horde

Hull Breach

Icon of Ancestry

Inspiring Call

Lictor

Magus Lucea Kane

Malanthrope

Mawloc

New Horizons

Nexos

Old One Eye

Opal Palace

Overgrowth

Path of Ancestry

Purestrain Genestealer

Rampant Growth

Ravener

Rugged Highlands

Screamer-Killer

Shadow in the Warp

Sol Ring

Sporocyst

Starstorm

Temple of Abandon

Temple of Epiphany

Temple of Mystery

Termagant Swarm

Terramorphic Expanse

Tervigon

The First Tyrannic War

The Red Terror

The Swarmlord

Thornwood Falls

Toxicrene

Trygon Prime

Tyranid Harridan

Tyranid Invasion

Tyranid Prime

Tyrant Guard

Unclaimed Territory

Venomthrope

Winged Hive Tyrant

Zoanthrope

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