Will War of the Spark Make “Oops, All Planeswalkers” Viable in All Colors?

37 New Planeswalkers Confirmed! But is that Enough?

A few years back, “Oops, All Gideons!” crashed onto the 60-card scene, and a slight chortle was had by all. Since then, it’s become more common to see variants in EDH such as “Oops, All Spells!” or “Oops, All Creatures!” The common theme among them is to play only that type of card in the deck (outside of lands).

It’s a good deckbuilding challenge, and a decent way to have a unique deck you can play at lower power levels. Some of the easiest and best ways to do this have been figured out already by the community, such as Mizzix of the Izmagnus for all spells and Yeva, Nature’s Herald for all creatures.

So with War of the Spark coming out, what about “Oops, All Planeswalkers!”? Well, Superfriends decks led by Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice or Progenitus are fairly common, although it’s rare to go true “Oops” status and have only planeswalkers. Even if you wanted to, however, it’s really only been possible with four and five color commanders.

But will that still be true after War of the Spark comes out?

In all likelihood, no! Let’s do some math, and look at what colors are looking viable for Superfriends and “Oops, All Planeswalkers!” decks so far this spoiler season:


How Many Planeswalkers Are There in Each Color Combination?

There are currently 139 planeswalkers, not counting the War of the Spark previews. Here they are sorted by mana cost.

With War of the Spark, there will be 176 planeswalkers total, adding in the new 37 that have been promised in some sweet stained glass teasers and the PAX East Panel where the Buy-A-Box promo was also added to the total. There is still some possibility of another surprise walker, but that would almost contradict the information that’s been shared so far, so it seems unlikely.

While we don’t yet know the cycles of planeswalkers, we can at least assume for now that Wizards isn’t pulling a Torment and skewing the color balance of the set one way or the other, and work from there to get a pretty good idea of what each color combination may end up with.

Therefore, for the purposes of looking at what will be possible once War of the Spark is out, we’ll make some fairly safe assumptions.

Assumption 1: 5-6 New Walkers per Two-Color Combination

In some combination, each two-color combination will get five to six new planeswalkers. For example, could get full cycles of two walkers per guild pair, and two monocolor walkers for each color (this would take up 30 of the slots). Or we could get some combination of one or two walkers per color and one or two per guild, giving Wizards more freedom to explore the design space freely. At the end of the day, though, there are 37 new planeswalkers and five colors. Simple division says that if there’s anything close to color balance, we’ll end up with at least five new planeswalkers in any given two-color combination, with the possibility for one or two more if there is a reason to lean into that color combination thematically in the set.

Assumption 2: Karn and Ugin are Still Colorless

While it’s a small thing, when you’re talking about having barely enough planeswalkers to make a deck themed with them, the fact that you can play colorless walkers in any Commander deck is a big deal. With that in mind, then, we’re going to assume that Ugin isn’t suddenly going to become Naya to contest Nicol Bolas, and Karn will remain colorless despite the fact that he can use all five colors of mana in the story. This means that every color combination will be able to count on at least two more planeswalkers they can play.

Assumption 3: Nicol Bolas is the Only Three-Color Walker

While it is my personal hope that we do get full cycles across the board, including one planeswalker for each Shard combination (Bant, Esper, Grixis, Jund, and Naya), the numbers really don’t indicate that eventuality. If there was another surprise walker that got their spark in the storyline (or the Buy-a-Box promo gets counted as part of a cycle), there would be exactly enough slots to do two planeswalkers per color, two planeswalkers per Guild, and one for each Shard, but it is much more likely that the set designers explored what they wanted to without having to adhere to rigid cycles. With that in mind, the last assumption will be that the Dragon God himself is the only three-color planeswalker, and we’ll have to wait until the next big three-color event to fill out the ranks.

With the assumptions out of the way, the math on how many walkers currently exist in a color and how many there will be after the release of War of the Spark is fairly simple.

  • For monocolor, there is a possibility of up to three walkers for each color, although two is much more likely.
  • For the two-color guilds, our assumption is five to six walkers, although a seventh is a possibility.
  • For three-color, Nicol Bolas is assumed to be the only new three-color walker, so pretty much across the board all we will be doing is adding up the mono and dual-colored planeswalkers that fit the color combination. That means if our assumption is five to six walkers per Guild, and there are three Guilds in each Shard or Wedge, we’re looking at 15-18 new walkers for each three-color combination.

So without further ado, let’s look at all of those breakdowns and see what new planeswalker-themed decks may be possible for each color combination!


Monocolor

White:

Pre-War of the Spark, there are 16 existing mono-white planeswalkers. After release, most likely there will be 18 with the new additions. So let’s do a quick viability check on what can and can’t be done in this color as it relates to planeswalker decks:

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. The average deck on EDHREC under the Planeswalker theme has 21 planeswalkers in it.
      With colorless walkers, it’s looking like the total for white will end up close to 22. While that does mean you’re playing pretty much every walker you can get your hands on, it is a doable hurdle with a couple different ways to tutor for specific planeswalkers as well as having access to board wipes and pillow fort elements. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent. 22 planeswalkers is way under the 60-64 planeswalker cards you would need to make a true “Oops” deck.

Blue:

16 existing, 18 probable.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. While there’s probably the same amount of planeswalkers in blue as there is in white, all in all it is a much more friendly color to the strategy. You’ll be able to stack the deck full of draw spells to find your walkers, the planeswalkers themselves often draw cards as well, and Proliferate is around to make things a little unfair. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent.
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Black:

13 existing, 15 possible.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Low. While black is great at everything a planeswalker deck wants to do in one way or another, the number of planeswalkers you have access to is just a little too low at 18. And that’s if you spend the $70 on Liliana of the Veil. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent.
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

 

Red:

17 existing, 19 possible.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Low. With the colorless walkers you do get up to a probable total of 22 or so, however, there are some limitations. While cards like Koth of the Hammer do provide some badly needed mana acceleration, there are a lot of them that you’ll be forced to play that have very disparate strategies. The Chandras and Jayas of the world just want to watch it burn, while Sarkhan cares about Dragons and Daretti cares about artifacts. Still, you could probably scrape together something workable given the amount of removal available and all of the new red exile-then-cast effects. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent.
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Green:

15 existing, 17 possible.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Low. Pretty much all of the planeswalkers make mana, creatures, or both, and you’re in colors to deal with many permanent types. Board wipes are pretty much nonexistent, which is a major drawback, but you might be able to just out-value opponents by going wide while they can only slowly ping off individual planeswalkers. If only you had a couple more to choose from, then there would be a real opportunity here. Green is looking like it will come in at about 19 total, with the colorless walkers, and most of Green’s card draw options are creature based, which may be a shaky way to do it with mostly tokens. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent.
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Guilds

Azorius:

7 existing, 9 possible, plus 32 from mono-blue & mono-white walkers, for a total of 42 if you include the 3 colorless walkers. Given the above assumptions, we’re looking at a bare minimum possible 46 planeswalkers in Azorius, still well under the 60 required for a true “Oops, All Planeswalkers!” bill. Still, let’s check in on some Superfriends options:

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: High. Azorius is the color combination for control, with options for everything you need to keep your planeswalkers around while keeping your opponent’s board states under control. Indeed, the Planeswalker theme page on EDHREC has a whopping total of 54 cards available in an Azorius commander deck on it, not including artifacts or lands. You easily have enough depth in planeswalkers in the combination not just to play a lot of them, but to cut a whole bunch to ensure you’re playing the best ones. Your only real drawback here is a lack of mana acceleration, but given your ability to slow everyone else down, that’s an easy hurdle to overcome. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Orzhov:

5 existing, 7 possible, totaling 37 with a possible 41.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: High. White and black have been shoring up each other’s weaknesses for a long time now, and it is no different when it comes to planeswalkers. In Orzhov you’ll have all of the board wipes, will be able to remove any permanent type you like, and will have incidental life gain in addition to all of your planeswalkers, who direct aggression away from your life total. Add to the mix a strong token theme with the ability to sacrifice creatures for benefits and you’ve got a very workable strategy here. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Boros:

4 existing, 6 possible, totaling 40 with a possible 44.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. Sigh. As usual, Boros gets the short end of the stick. While 44 planeswalkers is more than enough, there’s just not much to tie them together. The white walkers want to make tokens and grow creatures while the red ones want to deal damage and… a lot of other things. There is some overlap with Equipment, as usual, but not nearly enough to solve the problems the color combo has with playing out its whole hand and then shrugging. The only real thing Boros Superfriends has going for it here is board wipes, almost as good as what you see in Orzhov. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Selesnya:

4 existing, 6 possible, totaling 37 with a possible 41.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: High. Lands galore leads to tokens galore which leads to green getting you cards galore. Rinse and repeat until you find the right Overrun effect to end it all, or until you manage to get the right ultimates lined up, as helped by Fog effects, pillow forts, and board wipes. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Dimir:

4 existing, 6 possible, totaling 36 with a possible 40.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. All of the card draw in the world will only get you so far, and Dimir has a serious problem with split attention syndrome. Dimir walkers care about everything from card draw to mill to artifacts, and finding a common thread among them with only 40 walkers to choose from could be a bit of a tall order. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Izzet:

6 existing, 8 possible, totaling 42 with a possible 46.

  • Viability Check: 
    • Superfriends: High. Izzet walkers care about a fair amount of things. There are more than enough that care about artifacts to go that route, or about drawing cards, which is always welcome, and spell slinging is easy to do as well. This is the first pile I’ve looked through where I’m excited about building it, but not sure which direction I want to go, as they all seem fairly viable. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Simic:

3 existing, 5 possible, totaling 36 with a possible 40.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: High. Has Simic’s viability ever not been high? It’s no different when it comes to planeswalkers. You’ll have cards and mana, and if you can keep those cards in play you’ll accrue all sorts of value. The only difference here is thanks to ultimates; you might not have the usual Simic problem of having value but no win condition. Normally that’s not something you would count on to win, but given the ability to manipulate counters, you’d be fine here. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Rakdos:

4 existing, 6 possible, totaling 37 with a possible 41.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. There are a lot of powerful walkers in black and red, enough so that you could even go a direct damage route if you wanted to, while backing it up with board wipes galore. Add in some discard to keep your opponents in line, and there’s definitely a viable option to make this a one-sided game. The only reason this doesn’t rate a little higher is that there’s not really a great commander to tie it all together. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

Golgari:

6 existing, 8 possible, totaling 36 with a possible 40.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: High. The typical token-heavy Aristocrats build would work fine here, or you can just keep other people’s boards under control with the ability to destroy any type of permanent while you acquire lands and loyalty. Either way, the gradual grind will take you far, until you’ve killed everyone with Blood Artist effects or some of the best ultimates in the game. This color combo also suffers from not having the greatest commanders for the strategy, but I still think it’s fairly strong despite that fact. Highlight commanders:
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent
  • Confirmed in War of the Spark So Far:

Gruul:

7 existing, 9 possible, totaling 41 with a possible 45.

  • Viability Check:
    • Superfriends: Medium. The walkers are there, and they’re great. They’re going to get you a lot of land and mana, then make a bunch of creatures or deal a lot of damage. Unfortunately, the best you can do with Gruul commanders is get a lot more mana or go full Landfall. There’s a build here somewhere, and I’m excited to find it sometime, but it’s not going to be an easy one, and it won’t ever be the best deck at the table. Highlight commanders: 
    • Oops, All Planeswalkers: Nonexistent

So there you have it, a treasure trove of ways to build Superfriends decks utilizing only two colors. We now know that you can’t pull off a feasible deck completely full of only planeswalkers and lands in any two-color combination. That just leaves three-color combinations, and to find out which combos are barely possible to pull off “Oops, All Planeswalkers!” and which ones have a little more depth to play with.


Shards

Bant:

2 existing, 3 possible, totaling 65 with monocolor, dual-color, and colorless planeswalkers included, with a possible 74. Most interesting commander (in my opinion) for a Bant all-planeswalkers deck: Angus MacKenzie

Esper:

1 existing, 2 possible, totaling 65 with a possible 74. Most interesting commander: Aminatou, the Fateshifter

Grixis:

4 existing, 5 pretty much guaranteed, totaling 67 with a possible 76. Most interesting commander: Nicol Bolas, the Ravager

Jund:

1 existing, 2 possible, totaling 65 with a possible 74. Most interesting commander: Vaevictus Asmadi, the Dire

Naya:

0 existing, 1 possible, totaling 65 with a possible 74. Most interesting commander: Tied between Zacama, Primal Calamity and Rith, the Awakener


Wedges

Abzan:

0 existing, 1 possible, totaling 61 with a possible 70. Most interesting commander for this color combo (again, just in my opinion): Ghave, Guru of Spores

Jeskai:

0 existing, 1 possible, totaling 69 with a possible 76. Most interesting commander: Narset, Enlightened Master

Sultai:

0 existing, 1 possible, totaling 59 with a possible 68. Most interesting commander: Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Mardu:

0 existing, 1 possible, totaling 62 with a possible 71. Most interesting commander: Mathas, Fiend Seeker

Temur:

1 existing, 2 possible, totaling 67 with a possible 76. Most interesting commander: Maelstrom Wanderer

In other words, all of the three-color combinations are possible to do a true “Oops, All Planeswalkers” deck, with Jeskai and Temur being the deepest. You might even have to make some hard decisions, what with having to cut 10 planeswalkers!

So, what do you think of “Oops, All ____” decks? Are you excited to try any three-color all-planeswalkers decks now that the option will be available? Will you pick up the challenge of making Superfriends the hard way?

Also, what predictions do you have about War of the Spark now that we’ve seen a bit of it? Will Fblthp get found *and* get a spark? Will the Rules Committee allow planeswalkers as commanders on a trial basis, a la Unstable?

Finally, what colors do you predict the 36 spoiled stained glass planeswalkers to be? Will we see an Orzhov Gideon in the wake of his association with the Blackblade? Will Huatli or Samut become Naya? Tell us what you think in the comments so you can get the credit during this spoiler season!

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.