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$50 Commander Precon Upgrade – Exit from Exile

Ready for round two of this budget upgrade cycle? I know I am! I’ll be taking a look at each of the Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander preconstructed decks and upgrading them on a $50 budget. Today we’re on our second upgrade: the Exit from Exile deck! As always, I’d like to remind you of a couple of things regarding my budget articles:

  • $50 has a different impact on different people, but given that it’s less than the price of a triple-A console game release, I think it’s a price many will be willing to pay for hours of entertainment, which a Commander deck should provide.
  • I’ll be using prices from the ChannelFireball Marketplace to track our costs, specifically the lowest available Near Mint price at the time of this writing. I apologize if listings have changed since then, but that’s just part and parcel of a budget article.

Exit from Exile is a red/green deck all about playing cards from exile, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise based on the name of the deck. Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald pays you off for playing cards from exile by giving you 2/2 Wolf tokens, and better yet, she lets you discard a card to exile your top card and play it this turn! I think the best thing to do here is stick to the “play from exile” theme, which luckily takes a lot of different and exciting forms. Let’s check out the starting deck list!

 

 

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate - Commander Deck (Exit from Exile)
Commander: Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald
1 Arasta of the Endless Web
1 Arcane Signet
1 Ash Barrens
1 Aurora Phoenix
1 Battle Mammoth
1 Beanstalk Giant
1 Beast Within
1 Blighted Woodland
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Bonecrusher Giant
1 Castle Embereth
1 Chaos Wand
1 Cinder Glade
1 Command Tower
1 Cultivate
1 Delayed Blast Fireball
1 Demon Bolt
1 Dire Fleet Daredevil
1 Dream Pillager
1 Durnan of the Yawning Portal
1 Embereth Shieldbreaker
1 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Escape to the Wilds
1 Etali, Primal Storm
1 Explore
1 Ezuri's Predation
12 Forest
1 Game Trail
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Green Slime
1 Grumgully, the Generous
1 Gruul Turf
1 Highland Forest
1 Hornet Queen
1 Ignite the Future
1 Izzet Chemister
1 Jeska's Will
1 Journey to the Lost City
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Laelia, the Blade Reforged
1 Light Up the Stage
1 Lovestruck Beast
1 Managorger Hydra
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Mossfire Valley
1 Mosswort Bridge
11 Mountain
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Nalfeshnee
1 Natural Reclamation
1 Nature's Lore
1 Outpost Siege
1 Passionate Archaeologist
1 Primeval Bounty
1 Raging Ravine
1 Return of the Wildspeaker
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Sandwurm Convergence
1 Sarevok's Tome
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sol Ring
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Stolen Strategy
1 Sweet-Gum Recluse
1 Tectonic Giant
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Temple of the False God
1 Terramorph
1 Three Visits
1 Tlincalli Hunter
1 Urabrask the Hidden
1 Venture Forth
1 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
1 Volcanic Torrent
1 Warstorm Surge
1 Wild-Magic Sorcerer
1 Xenagos, the Reveler

So we have an average mana value of 4.18 ignoring lands, which is pretty high. Happily, though, the precon runs 39 lands plus Arcane Signet, Sol Ring and five ramp spells that cost three mana or less. You know what that means, folks? That’s right – we’re not cutting Temple of the False God! Incredible. We are going to cut quite a few cards, though, starting with eight creatures.

 

Header - Creature Cuts

Arasta of the Endless WebManagorger HydraUrabrask the Hidden

These cards are all fine, but they’re also all off-theme. Urabrask was a late cut because I really needed to make room for some specific cards, and while it’s fairly powerful, I wanted to focus the deck more rather than simply playing generic cards.

Dream Pillager

I wish this didn’t cost seven mana, but it probably needs to. That said, I’m not interested in playing it since it’s so poorly costed in relation to its stats. By the time you’re putting this on the battlefield fairly, which this deck is going to do, you’re not going to get through with it often.

Durnan of the Yawning Portal

Yes, it’s on theme, but without tools to keep Durnan alive, you’re usually just going to be cashing it in for a card. I’m not into that – I’d rather play Durnan as a commander with Passionate Archaeologist as the background. Surprisingly, I’m leaving Passionate Archaeologist in the deck because it’s so powerful when Faldorn’s in play!

Greater Gargadon

While this is on theme, we’re not really able to take good advantage of the sacrifice except by hurling our Wolves into the garbage, and if we’re doing that… what are we doing?

Lovestruck Beast // Heart's Desire

Do you see a lot of 1/1s in this deck? No? Me neither. Lovestruck Beast won’t be attacking or blocking if its Heart’s Desire dies, so I’m out.

Sakura-Tribe Elder

We have so many great ramp spells in this deck already, and some of them even play from exile, so Sakura-Tribe Elder might actually be the worst one. Goodbye, Steve!

So what comes in? Well, we’re keeping the creature ratio the same – we’re bringing eight creatures in. 

Conspiracy TheoristContainment Construct
Conspiracy Theorist (STX) Containment Construct (NEO)
$0.26 $0.65

If we’re going to discard cards to our commander, why not cast them from exile? Both of these cards let us do just that, and if Faldorn is in play, we get extra 2/2s in the process. These don’t do a ton without Faldorn on the battlefield, but that’s fine.

Professional Face-Breaker (Extended Art)Surly Badgersaur
Professional Face-Breaker (SNC Extended) Surly Badgersaur (C20)
$4.26 $0.50

We’re adding in a few small Treasure synergies here (more coming later!). Professional Face-Breaker lets us use Treasures to exile cards from the top of our library and play them, while Surly Badgersaur hooks into Faldorn’s discard ability as well as discards from some of our other cards we’re adding – Conspiracy Theorist is one, and we have another coming in a moment.

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky (Extended Art)Apex DevastatorBirgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty (Showcase)Kami of Celebration
Atsushi, the Blazing Sky (NEO Extended) Apex Devastator (CMR) Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty (KHM Showcase) Kami of Celebration (NEC Extended)
$4.94 $8.70 $4.28 $0.19

Let’s play more from exile! Atsushi comes at a fantastic rate, and we might use either option when it dies. Apex Devastator? Well, imagine getting four extra Wolf tokens in addition to all that value. Yeah. Birgi is more useful to us as Harnfel, triggering our new faux-madness friends as well as Faldorn herself. Kami of Celebration might not have a ton of modified creatures to work with right off the bat, but what’s that? Casting spells from exile will let us modify our creatures with +1/+1 counters? Yeah, that’s right; Kami of Celebration feeds itself based on our pre-existing theme.

 

Header - Noncreature Cuts

We’ve now spent $23.78 – time to get into the noncreature spells. Here are my six cuts.

Ezuri's Predation

With no real token synergies in this deck and an eight mana price tag, this is going to get exiled off the top of our deck and just stay exiled forever so much of the time. Worse, it might just sit in our hand all game. I’m out.

Journey to the Lost City

I was mean to this card in my set review. Upon reflection, I meant every word. This card might be fun for someone, but it’s not for me, and I think it’s kind of bad.

Mizzium Mortars

Blasphemous Act was in that other list, right? Why not here? So many creatures in Commander go unanswered by this, and we’re not overflowing with big creatures that can tangle with the creatures that will be left over after overloading this, so I’m out.

Sandwurm Convergence

Another off-theme eight mana card. I’m good.

Sarevok's Tome

We’re not going deep enough on the initiative. I’m glad these cards got printed, but this one isn’t useful here.

Xenagos, the Reveler

I suppose the +1 is somewhat useful, but if we’re already that wide on the board, we should be doing just fine. If we’re not already winning in a pretty serious way, Xenagos isn’t helping us much.

So what comes in?

Blasphemous ActValakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge
Blaphemous Act (CLB) Valakut Awakening (ZNR)
$1.30 $5.49

Blasphemous Act is my go-to sweeper in red these days. 13 damage is usually enough. Valakut Awakening is a fantastic way to add a virtual land while also having a solid utility spell to cascade into and reset our hand a bit.

Inspired TinkeringThroes of ChaosWand of WonderRain of Riches
Inspired Tinkering (CLB) Throes of Chaos (MH1) Wand of Wonder (CLB) Rain of Riches (NCC)
$0.20 $0.10 $0.34 $11.60

Inspired Tinkering and Rain of Riches add to our Treasure subtheme here, and both fuel our main theme of casting from exile. Tinkering basically gives you a mail-in rebate, meaning you are effectively paying only two mana as long as you can pay the full up-front cost, and Rain of Riches lets you turn those little mana vouchers into lottery tickets via the cascade mechanic. Throes of Chaos is yet another casino game in and of itself, letting you cash in extra land in the late game for additional spins at the low-mana wheel plus more 2/2s from Faldorn. Wand of Wonder slots in nicely alongside Chaos Wand as another great way to cast exiled cards from other players’ decks.

 

Header - The Mana Base

We’re getting close to our budget limit here – we’re up to $42.81 spent. The mana base in this deck is pretty decent already, so let’s make some small changes.

Ash Barrens

Again, in a two-color deck with no real synergies for this, Ash Barrens is not what I want.

Blighted WoodlandMyriad Landscape

Slow. So slow. So, so slow.

Mossfire Valley

You know I love to cut these Odyssey filters. They make early turns so awkward.

Here’s what comes in for these four:

Ghost QuarterRockfall ValeRootbound CragScavenger Grounds
Ghost Quarter (C14) Rockfall Vale (MID) Rootbound Crag (M13) Scavenger Grounds (C20)
$0.78 $1.30 $3.70 $1.40

Rockfall Vale and Rootbound Crag augment our dual land suite decently well, while Ghost Quarter and Scavenger Grounds plug some holes in our interaction suite. Nothing complex here.

In total, we’ve now spent… $49.99! Incredible! We’ve even dropped the average mana value among nonlands down to 4.10, and I think we’ve improved the focus of the deck. Before we finish, I’ll mention that I’ve been looking at the other two decks and I’m thinking of combining them into a single article with a smaller budget. We’ll see what happens. For now, though, here’s the full upgraded deck list – see you next time! 

Commander: Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald
1 Apex Devastator
1 Arcane Signet
1 Atsushi, the Blazing Sky
1 Aurora Phoenix
1 Battle Mammoth
1 Beanstalk Giant
1 Beast Within
1 Birgi, God of Storytelling
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Bonecrusher Giant
1 Castle Embereth
1 Chaos Wand
1 Cinder Glade
1 Command Tower
1 Conspiracy Theorist
1 Containment Construct
1 Cultivate
1 Delayed Blast Fireball
1 Demon Bolt
1 Dire Fleet Daredevil
1 Embereth Shieldbreaker
1 End-Raze Forerunners
1 Escape to the Wilds
1 Etali, Primal Storm
1 Explore
12 Forest
1 Game Trail
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Green Slime
1 Grumgully, the Generous
1 Gruul Turf
1 Highland Forest
1 Hornet Queen
1 Ignite the Future
1 Inspired Tinkering
1 Izzet Chemister
1 Jeska's Will
1 Kami of Celebration
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Laelia, the Blade Reforged
1 Light Up the Stage
1 Mosswort Bridge
11 Mountain
1 Nalfeshnee
1 Natural Reclamation
1 Nature's Lore
1 Outpost Siege
1 Passionate Archaeologist
1 Primeval Bounty
1 Professional Face-Breaker
1 Raging Ravine
1 Rain of Riches
1 Return of the Wildspeaker
1 Rockfall Vale
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Scavenger Grounds
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sol Ring
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Stolen Strategy
1 Surly Badgersaur
1 Sweet-Gum Recluse
1 Tectonic Giant
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Temple of the False God
1 Terramorph
1 Three Visits
1 Throes of Chaos
1 Tlincalli Hunter
1 Valakut Awakening
1 Venture Forth
1 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
1 Volcanic Torrent
1 Wand of Wonder
1 Warstorm Surge
1 Wild-Magic Sorcerer

 

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