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Battle for Baldur’s Gate Legacy Set Review

I think Commander Legends products are pretty cool. The previous one was a lot of fun to draft with friends and Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate looks very similar in that regard. The last Commander Legends set had a fair impact on Legacy, with Hullbreacher being the marquis card, but Baldur’s Gate seems like it will have a much more muted impact. There is still some power here, and plenty of cards that look interesting, so today we’re going to take a look at the most meaningful cards in the set for Legacy.

 

 

Header - White

Archivist of Oghma

Archivist of Oghma
The fact that this doesn’t actually deny opponents from tutoring really hurts this card’s impact. That makes it a poor hatebear against combo decks (since drawing a card won’t be enough in most games) and a mediocre hatebear against fair decks (since drawing a card off of fetch lands is somewhat reasonable, but not particularly impactful). In the past, this card may have been a stronger consideration but that’s not reflecting its power, but a long history of bad white cards getting printed. These days, Death and Taxes is actually a very powerful deck full of great cards, so the bar for entry is a lot higher than it once was.

Lae’zel, Vlaakith’s Champion

Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion

This card is not going to have an impact on any archetypes in Legacy right now. However, the effect and body are both reasonable and at this point there are a lot of ways to get extra counters on your creatures, so it’s possible that a counter-based deck would want to include this in the future (think a Hardened Scales-style deck, for instance). I don’t think it’s likely, but it feels worth mentioning.

Deep Gnome Terramancer

Deep Gnome Terramancer

There aren’t many decks that take advantage of putting lands into play without, well, playing them. Lands is the best example and in that context, this is somewhat underwhelming. I could see this being a sideboard card for some situations like that but, unless I’m missing something obvious, I think this will see niche play at best.

Harper Recruiter

Harper Recruiter

I don’t know if you can actually afford to play the deck building cost of this, but this does have the potential to draw a couple of cards, which is powerful, for sure. Later, we’ll see some cards that I think will see play because of changelings, but the fact that this has a ceiling (even if that ceiling is draw four) makes it worse in that context. If there is a way to easily fit each of these creature types in your deck, I could see this being good, but I don’t think it’s better than just putting a Recruiter of the Guard in play and having the ability to tutor the best card.

 

Header - Blue

Artificer Class

Artificer Class

I don’t think this is a powerful enough effect for the artifact decks in Legacy, but a consistent way of reducing the cost of an artifact every turn is not a meaningless effect. Combining that with the ability to dig a bit if you have extra mana may add up to a card that could do something, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Zellix, Sanity Flayer

Zellix, Sanity Flayer

Mill decks do occasionally pop up in Legacy and while this doesn’t really have any meaningful impact on the mill game plan, being able to make 1/1s could be really relevant in certain circumstances. This is a niche card in an even more niche archetype but it’s a reasonably unique and powerful effect so there might be a chance.

Displacer Kitten

Displacer Kitten

This card just looks like a combo enabler to me. This is not the kind of thing I have any ability to figure out but with enough zero-mana spells and mana artifacts, this could absolutely set something up. I bet it won’t take long for someone to break this card, honestly.

Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy

Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy

This card is very powerful, but fragile. If you can cast an instant or sorcery immediately after casting this, you can start to generate an incredible amount of value. You do have to pay mana to cast the card from your graveyard, which makes it quite a bit more difficult to get value in the same turn. But if you time this card appropriately, you could easily bury your opponents in card advantage. This can draw extra cards, disrupt their hand or kill creatures, which makes it very versatile. I’m actually not sure if you can cast sorceries off of this on your opponent’s turn (say, if you Force of Will a removal spell on your end step and have an extra mana to cast Ponder). If that’s true, this card seems even better. If you can’t, though, I think this card still has a real chance of seeing play. 

Sailors’ Bane

Sailors' Bane

This is a very powerful threat that I think will struggle to see play with Murktide Regent in the format. It takes up a lot of the same space so despite working well together (this counts cards in exile), filling a deck with both of them can be fairly clunky. Gaining a form of protection is a nice upside, but losing both flying and the ability to get larger is a huge cost. If Murktide ever gets banned, I think this card is a shoe-in in the format. If not, I could still see it fitting in, but again, being on the ground means that more decks can shut it down (such as Elves), which is not optimal.

 

Header - Black

Ghost Lantern

Ghost Lantern // Bind Spirit

I don’t think this is really a Legacy card, but it’s somewhat cool that you can use Stoneforge Mystic to tutor up a way to recur a creature if that’s the kind of thing that matters. 

Pact Weapon

Pact Weapon

This card is really powerful. Stoneforge targets are spread fairly thin at this point, but I could easily see this card being worth including. It’s really powerful against a deck like Storm, for instance, since they can’t really remove the creature quite as easily and once its attached they won’t be able to win the game. Having a free equip cost is fairly nice, and the attack trigger is strong, especially when attached to something like a True-Name Nemesis. That being said, I don’t think this is really a shoe-in because there are a lot of situations where this isn’t good enough. I do think this is a good card to keep in mind when you select your equipment targets.

 

Header - Red

Fang Dragon

Fang Dragon // Forktail Sweep

I think this is largely worse than End the Festivities and other options, but having a sweeper option tied to a (very expensive) threat is pretty interesting though, so maybe there are decks that would occasionally consider this. 

Gut, True Soul Zealot

Gut, True Soul Zealot

I think this is worse than Goblin Rabblemaster effects in red prison decks, but it does have some upsides. Being able to make a 4/1 right away if you already have a creature on board is a nice upside, but many of the creatures in that deck either die right away or kill your opponent, so I don’t know if that’s reliable. Giving the 1/1 tokens Rabblemaster leaves behind some extra value is nice, though, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this show up at some point.

Inspired Tinkering

Inspired Tinkering

This doesn’t have the upside that a card like Reckless Impulse has where it can work in the middle of a combo and as an early way to power through cards, but making three Treasures makes this really powerful if you can reduce the cost. I could see a red storm deck wanting to adopt this, since it is functionally two-mana if you can cast it in the first place, but I’m not sure if the five-mana upfront cost is something that can be overcome.

Storm King’s Thunder

Storm King's Thunder

It’s a huge red mythic that requires a lot of red mana, so immediately I look at red storm decks. Those decks have gotten a lot stronger and more efficient lately, and I don’t know if this is doing anything better than what they already have access to (such as Bonus Round), but it’s big and splashy, so I could see a world where that deck would adopt this as a win condition.

Wild Magic Surge

Wild Magic Surge

While this does answer a variety of things at a low-cost, I think the drawback is too high for this card to be a viable option. 

 

Header - Green

Circle of the Land Druid

Circle of the Land Druid

This is a lot worse than Satyr Wayfinder, but decks like Hogaak might want extra copies of that card in order to maximize consistency, so I could totally see it being effective there.

Green Slime

Green Slime

This is really slow, narrow and easy to see coming, but if this catches an ability and can kill the permanent, that’s fairly powerful, so I could see a world where a deck might want this.

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest

While there is no deck that would take advantage of this at the moment, it’s a really powerful mana enabler that can be tutored with Green Sun’s Zenith, so I don’t think it should be completely counted out. 

Sharpshooter Elf

Sharpshooter Elf

This takes a bit of work to consistently kill the flyers that exist in the format, but the fact that this has the potential to check an onboard Delver and DRC simultaneously (kill one, block the other), means that this could be a really valuable Green Sun target in the future.

 

Header - Multicolor

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

This looks both too narrow and too difficult to get to work, but the effect is powerful if you put the work in so I could see a deck built around this that could get something good going. Sacrificing permanents that have multiple types seems like the way to go, so artifact lands or Urza’s Saga are what I think you want here.

Korlessa, Scale Singer

Korlessa, Scale Singer

While most Dragons tend to be too expensive (outside of Murktide Regent, of course), in conjunction with changelings, this has the potential to draw a ton of cards. In general, the cheap changelings are a bit underpowered, which is a knock against building your deck to maximize this, but this being another option (on top of Realmwalker) for that style of deck could be really interesting.

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

This is a reasonably powerful effect. The +1 combining with the token trigger means that you can apply a fair amount of pressure to opponents with some consistency. The -2 has the potential to deal with a lot of threats and, if you can set up a Hamster sacrifice for a larger amount, you can really start to bury your opponents in card advantage. The fact that Boo has haste is really nice at pressuring planeswalkers, too.

However, one of the major problems with this card is that it’s both expensive and doesn’t answer the best threats in the format with consistency. Spending this much mana and not being able to kill a Murktide Regent is a decent knock against it (although, to be fair, not that many cards can). In addition, a lot of games in Legacy aren’t really about what Minsc & Boo care about. It can apply pressure against certain combo decks, but again, four mana is a lot. Overall, I anticipate playing against this occasionally from players that want to run it as a one-of in their Jund or Temur decks, but I don’t really expect this to have a lasting impact.


Elminster

Elminster

UW planeswalkers have gotten a lot of love over the years. Elminster is competing with the likes of Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils, Jace, the Mind Sculptor and The Wandering Emperor, which are all very powerful cards. That said, the -3 has the potential to create a very impressive board, which can both pressure opponents and defend Elminster. It also meets the bar of being able to generate card advantage with its +2 ability.

However, five mana is a lot and the fact that the -3 might make one or zero birds on its first use is a huge knock against it. If you could consistently exile a Force of Will to make five, I would say this has a decent chance of seeing some play, but as it stands, I think it is worse than the other options that exist at the moment.


Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald

Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald

It’s cool that this card enables itself, but in order for it to be good you need to consistently take advantage of the exile ability. I think there are ways to do that (Valakut Exploration and Expressive Iteration, for instance), but this does look fairly impactful if you can’t trigger it right away, which can be tough to do.

Nalia de’Arnise

Nalia de'Arnise

Much like Korlessa, I’m interested in Nalia for its ability to combine with changelings. I think this is a better version though because it naturally has the ability to make your time better. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really fit in different Humans decks since many of those cards are Soldiers, but regardless, I think Nalia has a decent chance of making an impact on the various changeling decks that occasionally pop up.

 

Header - Artifact

Vexing Puzzlebox

Vexing Puzzlebox

I don’t think I will ever come close to playing this card, but there may be a world where a deck like Dice Factory wants to take advantage of this. It does take a ton of work to get going, though, so I don’t really think this will survive the test of time. 

 

1 thought on “Battle for Baldur’s Gate Legacy Set Review”

  1. The Deep Gnome Terramancer should trigger from fetched lands, right? Still not good enough I would say to put into a deck

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