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Best Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander Cards – Green, Gold, Artifact and Land

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate looks like it’s going to make a big impact on Constructed Commander, and the Limited format looks like a ton of fun as well. I’m very excited to draft it, but we’re not here to talk about draft today. We’re here for my full Constructed-focused review of this fantastic new set!

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. These days, I’ve been leaning more toward a desire to play three 40-minute games in lieu of one two-hour slog, but I’ll be talking about cards from the wider social perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game – or at least doing the thing my deck set out to do – so if that’s your mindset as well, these reviews will probably resonate with you. I won’t be reviewing reprints, so you can just assume I feel the same way about Fireball as I did before we found out it was in this set. I also don’t review every card – if I feel they’re not worth mentioning, I don’t give them a write-up, but we all know there’s a deck out there for every card. In particular, if I don’t mention a card with one of the set’s core mechanics, my thoughts can likely be summarized as “Decent in a deck focused on that mechanic, not great outside of it.” When you inevitably disagree with a review (or think I skipped something good), please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

Please note that all of the cards in this review are from the main set – the cards exclusive to the preconstructed decks will be in a separate set of articles.

One other note: for each commander with Choose a Background, I’ll let you know which background I’m most excited about pairing with that commander in Constructed!

 

 

Header - Green

Acolyte of Bahamut

Acolyte of Bahamut
As mentioned earlier, I think the best pairing is easily with Renari, Merchant of Marvels, but you could get into Gruul Dragons with Ganax if you felt like it as well, since you get Treasure-related rebates on your Dragons that way.

Ancient Bronze Dragon

Ancient Bronze Dragon

You have to target the creatures before you find out the outcome of the die roll, but since you get to target two creatures, there’s less of a chance of getting blown out. Cards like Fathom Mage or Gyre Sage that can make use of a pile of +1/+1 counters right away are great choices, as is Chasm Skulker or anything else that pays off from a huge set of counters later on. And since you’re playing green, seven mana is about the same as four mana, so this is clearly the best one.

Barroom Brawl

Barroom Brawl

This may not be the “best” spell, but it’s clearly a fun spell. If you have the biggest board – and that should be your goal if you’re including this card in your deck – or if you’re loaded up with fight synergies or indestructible creatures like Rhonas the Indomitable or Zangief, the Red Cyclone, you might get a quick circuit around the board out of this before the person to your right decides “You know what? No thank you.” If you have a small creature they can pick off though, that might even be advantageous because you’ll get to spin the wheel even further! This is a fun subgame card – don’t treat it like something it isn’t.

Cloakwood Hermit

Cloakwood Hermit

I’ve mentioned this a few times as a solid source of sacrifice fodder for commanders like Lulu or Shadowheart, and I stand by that. Not much more to say!

Earthquake Dragon

Earthquake Dragon

A recursive 10/10 flying trampler for just 15 mana? Sign me up… for something else. At least, unless we can get some serious Dragons going. Think about it this way: if you drop a Thunderbreak Regent on turn four and a Terror of the Peaks on turn five, that drops the cost of Earthquake Dragon down to just 5G – what a perfect curve! If you’re playing a decent number of those mid-level Dragons, you’ll be interested in this one. The recursion is a little awkward since it’s quite hard to cast after a board wipe before you refill with other Dragons, so it might just be a 10/10 flying trampler.

Erinis, Gloom Stalker

Erinis, Gloom Stalker

In a format where fetchlands exist at all budget levels, from Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse and the new SNC common fetches all the way up to the more flexible rares, Erinis seems like a winner. You don’t have to be in the “right color identities” to play the fetches, and plenty of utility lands with sac abilities are out there too. Let’s fill our graveyard using Scion of Halaster or protect Erinis with Agent of the Shadow Thieves – either way works, and Golgari has plenty of recursion tools for land we can use to support Erinis!

Giant Ankheg

Giant Ankheg

This is mostly worth mentioning because it provides your whole board with trample and ward 2. That won’t stop you from getting wrathed out, but it will restrict your opponents’ options with point removal. Once you’re putting eight mana creatures on the board it probably isn’t stopping them from casting point removal, but it is a solid flagbearer-style creature that probably keeps someone from double-spelling on the same turn they kill this. 

Halsin, Emerald Archdruid

Halsin, Emerald Archdruid

Halsin gives your tokens the energy of a bear that has the energy of two bears! (See, bears are usually 2/2, not 4/4). We need tokens for Halsin to work with, and they don’t have to be creature tokens, so Guild Artisan and Veteran Soldier are both solid options. Attacking with a 2/4 later in the game is a little rough, so it might just be better to play Inspiring Leader and rely on Selesnya token generation to get things done.

Hardy Outlander

Hardy Outlander

This pumps another creature, not your commander, so someone like Karlach or Amber is relevant here in terms of encouraging multiple attackers. The bigger your commander gets, the more relevant this is, and ideally you’re pumping up something that has relevant combat abilities or cares about its power, making Gruul a solid choice for our color identity.

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest

This card rules. All of your tokens get this ability, not just your creature tokens, which means Treasure nonsense is in play. We could pair this with Guild Artisan and try to get in some attacks in the early game with our three mana 2/3, but I’d rather play Tavern Brawler and just reload on cards in the midgame while finding ways to generate Goblin, Elf and Treasure tokens to do our bidding. 

Jaheira’s Respite

Jaheira's Respite

Five mana is a lot to hold up for a fog, but if you’re sure you’ll get attacked, this is a hilarious way to upend things. During some combats, this might pull all of the basics out of your deck. I don’t think this is a ridiculously powerful card, and cards that stop you from losing are usually worse than cards that help you win, but if your opponent has tapped down for the alpha strike, a fog effect can accomplish both of those things.

Majestic Genesis

Majestic Genesis

For this to work, you need a high-cost commander and a high concentration of high-cost cards in your deck. Let’s say your commander is Tiamat, who has a mana value of 10. If you can ramp into this and hit some of the Ancient Dragons or other huge threats, we’re looking at a pretty good deal. If your commander costs less than six mana, don’t play this card, and honestly, six might not even be enough. Eight might be the actual breakpoint. That said, this will drop land onto the battlefield too, so landfall synergies could get some side benefits here.

Master Chef

Master Chef

This one goes perfectly with Lae’zel, but you could also make Lulu a master chef for extra +1/+1 counter synergies. More is better, of course! 

Monster Manual

Monster Manual // Zoological Study

The Adventure half is nice enough to put a creature into your hand a good percentage of the time. If you’re playing 30 creatures, you should be seeing about an 85 percent hit rate with Zoological Study. That said, if you play the Adventure, play the Manual and activate the ability, that’s nine mana to put a creature on the battlefield. You need to be using this multiple times to really reap the rewards, so make sure you stuff your deck chock full of great creatures!

Owlbear Cub

Owlbear Cub

Awwwwww. What a cute friend. A 3/3 isn’t too hard to trade with or chump block later in the game, and my sadness at the idea of the Owlbear Cub losing a combat might be enough to stop me from actually casting it. If your top eight cards have a six-plus mana creature though, you’re probably getting a great deal, but unless you play this early and keep it around, it’s pretty slow. Slow and adorable. 

Raised by Giants

Raised by Giants

Yes, it’s clearly my favorite of the backgrounds. Why else would I try to put it on everyone? Well, because making your commander a 10/10 puts them in the coveted Three Hit Club – if a 10/10 commander connects with an opponent three times, that’s the ballgame for them, since 30 commander damage is definitely greater than or equal to 21. Put this on anyone, because who knows? They might be giants!

Skanos Dragonheart

Skanos Dragonheart

I like the idea of making Skanos a Dragon Cultist and pumping him up just the tiniest bit. That gets us more Dragons, and if a 4/4 makes Skanos’s trigger better, that’s awesome. Any of the attacking-focused backgrounds would be fine as well.

Undermountain Adventurer

Undermountain Adventurer

It’s hard to imagine being that excited about a four-mana Fyndhorn Elder, even one that’s a 3/4 with vigilance, in Constructed, so unless you’re in turbo-Dungeon mode or really need the initiative, skip this one.

Wilson, Refined Grizzly

Wilson, Refined Grizzly

What’s that? Wilson also wants to attack? And his refined nature makes him a perfect Guild Artisan? Sign me up! Let’s get some Gruul pumping going and turn Wilson’s power and toughness up to 11 for serious commander damage. No need for Raised by Giants here – I’d rather get access to another color, and I think red and white are both great options. If you want to add white for some great Aura and Equipment synergies, try Flaming Fist – double strike and trample is a great combination.

 

Header - Multicolor

Alaundo the Seer

Alaundo the Seer

I remember playing Jhoira of the Ghitu in Commander years and years ago, and Alaundo the Seer scratches a similar itch. It’s notable that time counters on these cards are only removed by Alaundo directly, not in the upkeep like traditional suspend, so you’ll want to maximize churn by untapping Alaundo frequently with cards like Kiora’s Follower, Quirion Ranger and Thousand-Year Elixir. Using Saryth, the Viper’s Fang also lets you give Alaundo hexproof at opportune times.

Astarion, the Decadent

Astarion, the Decadent

Exacerbating life loss and doubling life gain are both interesting effects that can potentially feed into one another via cards like Exquisite Blood or Sanguine Bond. Blood Tribute and other effects that cause players to lose half their life are at a premium for Astarion. I think larger, swingier effects are going to be better with Astarion than a bunch of smaller chip effects, so I’m looking at cards like Debt to the Deathless for one-shots as well as repeatable effects like Twilight Prophet and potentially even Keen Duelist.

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Baba Lysaga needs to sacrifice three different kinds of permanents – when we say types, we mean artifact, creature, enchantment, land, planeswalker and rarely, tribal. Snow, legendary and other super/subtypes need not apply! Note that you sacrifice up to three cards, so the key here is to play artifact creatures, enchantment creatures, artifact lands, Whip of Erebos, Bow of Nylea, Urza’s Saga and Dryad Arbor. With plenty of ways to recur land in Golgari, sacrificing them isn’t so bad, and there are enough artifacts and creatures with solid ETB/dies abilities that we can easily toss into the bin.

Bane, Lord of Darkness

Bane, Lord of Darkness

Yes, we know, we merely adopted the darkness, and you were born in it and molded by it. We’ve heard it all before. This card is absolutely bizarre. That said, you can easily build it as a sacrifice deck full of solid dies triggers, throw in a Teysa Karlov for good measure, and use temporary or restricted reanimation effects to keep the death going. Blood for Bones, one of my favorite Limited cards of all time, would work wonders here.

Bhaal, Lord of Murder

Bhaal, Lord of Murder

For whatever reason, all of these gods have this line of text about being indestructible when you’re at half life or less. This is the kind of ability that looks like flavor text until you get down to a grindy end of game and your opponent suddenly realizes they can’t kill your commander anymore. Riveteers Ascendancy and Bhaal go together really well, and you can really get into some nonsense with Shirei and low-power sacrifice fodder like Impulsive Pilferer, Shambling Ghast and Serrated Scorpion. If you want to watch your opponents’ armies smash into each other over and over again, I’d advise trying out Lifeline here. Why are all these cool cards on the Reserved List?

Cadira, Caller of the Small

Cadira, Caller of the Small

It must be bunnies! Cadira wants you to build an ever-growing army of tokens, so throw Sigil of the Nayan Gods or Hope Against Hope on her and watch your Rabbit tokens multiply. Exalted synergies are interesting until your token army gets really huge – Qasali Pridemage and Battlegrace Angel are pretty good starters, but Sublime Archangel is always good here. 

Commander Liara Portyr

Commander Liara Portyr

All of your favorite “cast from exile” effects, whether they’re from your own library (Outpost Siege) or opponents’ libraries (Stolen Strategy) play well here. That said, I think you’ll want to put as many creature versions of these effects into your deck as possible to maximize your good attacks – let’s get our Laelias and Mezzio Muggers involved in this process. The biggest question for me is this: should Liara go in a Bell Borca deck, or should Bell Borca step down and let Liara take the helm? I like having the enabler in the top spot rather than the payoff card, and I think the enabler in this equation is Bell Borca.

The Council of Four

The Council of Four

Bureaucrats keeping things fair? This really is a fantasy world. It’s easy to put yourself into a place where you’re playing a bunch of cards that say “when your opponents do X, get this boon” and pile on the Propaganda effects, but honestly, I’d rather take a more active role. 2/2 Knights are a nice bonus, but they don’t really make things equal when opponents double-spell, so let’s break out some white Knight synergies so the Council has a decent army. Knight Exemplar and Valiant Knight should help us turn these tokens into reasonable attackers!

Duke Ulder Ravengard

Duke Ulder Ravengard

Inferno Titan and Sun Titan come to mind immediately as great cards to multiply with the Duke, but there are plenty of low-end card draw options like Inspiring Overseer and Spirited Companion thanks to recent sets. For me, this is all about the powerful ETB abilities. Karmic Guide? Yes please. Combustible Gearhulk? All right! Let’s get Panharmonicon rolling.

Dynaheir, Invoker Adept

Dynaheir, Invoker Adept

The pseudo-haste is nice, but I’m most interested in the copy effect. Wand of Wonder springs to mind as a sweet card directly from this set, and its old friend Chaos Wand could be sweet as well. Activations with X in their costs, like Soul Foundry and Prototype Portal, also work well with Dynaheir – the ability cares about how much was spent, after all! I’m sure there are a couple of broken combos I’m not thinking of, but this looks overall like a fun card.

Elminster

Elminster

Scry tribal, you say? Sign me up for Mystic Speculation, Ugin’s Insight and yes, Crystal Ball. The army of Faerie Dragon tokens plays very well with Siani, Eye of the Storm from the original Commander Legends, and the more we scry, the better we are at casting big nonsense like Diviner’s Portent or Interpret the Signs. Just make sure you put in some cards that actually help you win the game – I’m thinking Alrund’s Epiphany to help us swing with the Faerie Dragons an extra time, but if your group doesn’t enjoy that kind of gameplay, pump up your flyers with Favorable Winds and Serra the Benevolent.

Gluntch, the Bestower

Gluntch, the Bestower

So Gluntch gives you whatever you value most in the moment – counters, a card or Treasures. Obviously if you can pick someone with no creatures (or ones they don’t really want to swing with) for the counters, that’s great – players with tons of cards, similarly, won’t become too much more powerful with an extra draw. Treasures are subtly dangerous in many situations, so you may want to take those yourself a lot. I like asymmetrical giveaways, as I find them much more interesting than generic Group Hug. Orzhov Advokist is a favorite card of mine, and this is a perfect place for it. 

Gorion, Wise Mentor

Gorion, Wise Mentor

Break out your Lucky Clover and pile on the Adventures! The new Adventures in this set help a lot, as this deck may find itself sleeving up cards like Queen of Ice and Silverflame Squire just to hit critical mass. You can shoehorn some spellslinger synergies in to go with the Adventures, or you can just use cards like Temur Sabertooth to return your Adventurers to your hand and cast them all the way through again.

Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter

Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter

Jan Jansen makes me want to sleeve up all four Stations from Fifth Dawn, and from me, that’s a compliment. Intruder Alarm is not available in this color identity, but with cards like Reckless Fireweaver and the new Ingenious Artillerist, we can deal plenty of damage just using this. Of course, the activated ability support squad of untappers is relevant here, as are cards like Daretti, Scrap Savant that let us weld powerful sacrificed artifacts like Spine of Ish Sah back into play.

Jon Irenicus, Shattered One

Jon Irenicus, Shattered One

I love the idea of giving away creatures forever and letting them be goaded permanently. Jon Irenicus will draw us a lot of cards too! There are a couple of ways to go with this: first, we can give away nasty stuff like Desecration Elemental and Taniwha, or second, we can just play creatures like Baleful Strix and Changeling Outcast that will get through the red zone and actually beat up opponents. Choosing your lane here will be dependent on what your playgroup finds fun!

Kagha, Shadow Archdruid

Kagha, Shadow Archdruid

Kagha’s not very blockable early on, unless you’re willing to lose a serious creature, and she reads like a variant of Sidisi to me. Self-mill is the name of the game here, and Golgari has that in spades with cards like Skull Prophet, Splinterfright and plenty of dredge goodies. This just looks like the face of a Golgari value deck as a commander, but I would honestly rather play her as part of a Sidisi deck or other self-mill focused deck with more mill attached to the commander.

Korlessa, Scale Singer

Korlessa, Scale Singer

Casting spells from the top of your library is usually good when those spells are cheap. Dragons are not cheap. Korlessa is, therefore, definitionally kind of awkward. That said, this is a fun card for sure, and if you’re interested in some Arcane Adaptation nonsense, you can get wild with this one.

Lozahn, Dragons’ Legacy

Lozhan, Dragons' Legacy

This looks much more interesting! Not being able to blast commanders is a weird restriction until you consider how annoying this would be in Limited. X-cost Adventures like Illithid Harvester’s Plant Tadpoles are great here, but you can also throw in cards like Terror of the Peaks and even Warstorm Surge for more ETB damage triggers. If you really need to blow up a commander, you can use Wrathful Red Dragon to funnel your damage through one of your own creatures, but that seems like a pretty terrible idea most of the time.

Mahadi, Emporium Master

Mahadi, Emporium Master

Oh dear. The Rakdos Treasure machine goes brr. I like this more as a synergy piece for Juri, but you could certainly just put Mahadi at the helm and use Viscera Seer, Goblin Bombardment and other sac engines alongside Pawn of Ulamog, Sifter of Skulls and so on to just generate monstrous amounts of Treasure all at once. We already know that tons of Treasure can quickly end the game through various means, so… great?

Mazzy, Truesword Paladin

Mazzy, Truesword Paladin

You might be tempted to play Mazzy with just Auras to buff your own creatures, but this works with defensive auras as well. Kenrith’s Transformation, Darksteel Mutation and Song of the Dryads all play here, and it’s also okay to put some less powerful Auras on opponents’ creatures to incentivize them to send those creatures elsewhere. Of course, Vows and Impetuses make sense in this context as well, and some goad synergies won’t hurt either.

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

Yes, it’s very simple: just play Temur Dragons. Legendary, not legendary, doesn’t matter. Dragons with ETB abilities like Ganax, Astral Hunter, Lathliss, Dragon Queen (even though it doesn’t count tokens, having two is good) and of course Terror of the Peaks are huge winners, and Miirym having ward 2 is a nice bonus. 

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

I wrote a whole article already about Minsc & Boo, so check that out. Long story short, you want a mix of good haste creatures, tramplers and Hamsters (changelings) to synergize with Minsc and Boo, plus some additional Fling-style effects.

Minthara, Merciless Soul

Minthara, Merciless Soul

Experience is back! Minthara doesn’t mind if some hapless tokens or other expendable creatures die on the way to glory. In fact, their deaths give us experience! The more experience we gain, the more power our creatures have, and the more ward Minthara gets. Cards like Hidden Stockpile and Yawgmoth that give us sac outlets plus some extra value are going to be at a premium here, as are cards that generate wide boards of tokens all by themselves – Elenda’s power gets buffed by our experience counters, so she’s a great candidate, and since we don’t need to use actual creatures, clues and treasures are on the table as well.

Myrkul, Lord of Bones

Myrkul, Lord of Bones

So our creatures die, get exiled and become enchantment versions of themselves. They won’t be creatures, so they won’t be attacking or blocking unless we’re in Opalescence mode, which honestly seems unnecessary. Anything with evoke seems like a great pick here, as do creatures like Sanctum Weaver with enchantment synergies that don’t need to be doing combat. And yes, Devoted Druid got broken again. Speaking of Devoted Druid, you can put Luxior on a planeswalker, let it die, bring it back as an enchantment and activate its loyalty abilities. Since entering with loyalty counters is an intrinsic ability tied to the planeswalker type (Comprehensive Rules 306.5b), it’ll start with no loyalty, but since it’s not a planeswalker, that won’t send it directly to the graveyard. You’ll just have to build things up from scratch.

Neera, Wild Mage

Neera, Wild Mage

If you like spinning the wheel, this is the card for you. Build yourself a deck that’s mostly one and two-drops and seven-plus-drops, then pray for victory. I suppose you could hedge with cards like Jori En, but honestly, why? Just play a bunch of one-cost instants and hope you get there. You probably need some mana rocks too, and you’ll want to cast a one-cost card the turn Neera enters because people who don’t like fun will try to blow her up. 

Nine-Fingers Keene

Nine-Fingers Keene

First off, I’m getting this card altered to be the manager from Almost Famous (you wanna buy a Gate? You just bought a Gate!). As far as I can tell, there are 11 gates in the Sultai color identity: Dimir/Golgari/Simic Guildgates from the middle Ravnica block, Gateway Plaza from WAR and then seven from this set: Black Dragon/Manor/Sea Gates that mimic the Thriving lands from Jumpstart, Gond Gate and Heap Gate that provide some Gate synergy, Basilisk Gate, which is here to pump a creature (probably Keene) and Baldur’s Gate, the Gate-bal Coffers. That means there are enough Gates to make Keen work and, just as importantly, enough Gates for Maze’s End. Mix in a heavy dose of land tutoring and you’re off to the races. Just make sure one of those lands is Rogue’s Passage.

Oji, the Exquisite Blade

Oji, the Exquisite Blade

The interesting thing about Oji is that they’re their own payoff – cast them, get that triggered gain and scry, and then cast your second spell to blink them for additional value. Of course, there are plenty of better blink targets, and if you care solely about power level, plenty of stronger commanders for blink at this cost and color identity. As always though, when you vibe with a commander, power level stops being a real concern! Small creatures that generate advantages, like Spirited Companion, and blink spells that draw you additional cards, like Blur and Acrobatic Maneuver, are great ways to get some additional value out of Oji, as they make it easier to double-spell. 

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Raagh! Raggadragga is a wereboar, hence the creature types here. Bring in your mana Elves, especially ones like Viridian Joiner that care about their own power, and let’s party! I’m quite ready to Glimpse of Nature or just coast with a Beast Whisperer to get a big pile of cards, and once I’m there, I’m ready to cast something huge like Craterhoof Behemoth. Leyline of Abundance is a natural fit here, and you know I’m ready to put a ton of X-spells in here.

Oh, by the way, you may care what the definition of “mana ability” is when you’re building Raggadragga. Activated abilities that could add mana when they resolve are mana abilities when they don’t require targets and aren’t loyalty abilities. Sorry, Deathrite Shaman and Chandra, Torch of Defiance, among others. Triggered abilities that could add mana when they resolve are mana abilities when they don’t require targets and do trigger from the activation or resolution of another mana ability. That means Fertile Ground’s trigger is a mana ability, whereas creatures like Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient and Grand Warlord Radha do not have mana abilities. 


Raphael, Fiendish Savior

Raphael, Fiendish Savior

Raphael is well named – he’s cool but rude. Specifically, his rudeness stems from the fact that he wants creature cards to go to your graveyard from anywhere! I’m honestly not super interested in doing too much self-mill nonsense, though – I’d rather just pack my deck full of Demons, Devils, Imps and Tieflings. You do get a few side benefits from cards like Sin Prodder and Zurzoth, Chaos Rider, though. I have trouble imagining the game state where you want to cycle Archfiend of Ifnir to trigger this, though never say never.

Rilsa Rael, Kingpin

Rilsa Rael, Kingpin

Rilsa Rael’s addition of deathtouch to an attacker makes it hard for opponents to want to block, which in turn makes it easier to regain the initiative. Being a 2/5 deathtoucher already, Rilsa has plenty of ability to steal back Undercity access. +5/+0, first strike and menace on top of the deathtouch makes any creature nearly unblockable! I honestly might put Rilsa in a Safana/Dungeon Delver deck, but either way, you want to be venturing into the dungeon a bunch with Acererak, Yuan-Ti Malison and so on.

Tasha, the Witch Queen

Tasha, the Witch Queen

So we get a real payoff for casting spells we don’t own – 3/3 Demons! Tasha takes a while to get to the point where she can comfortably make that happen, but the good news is that cards exiled with page counters are still eligible if Tasha has to leave and come back. Elder Brain from this very set is a great pickup for Tasha, as is Intellect Devourer, but there are just so many Dimir cards that work here. I really like Cunning Rhetoric, as it helps deter attacks at Tasha as well as at you!

Thrakkus the Butcher

Thrakkus the Butcher

Is it okay if my full review of this card is a picture of Atarka, World Render? Because that’s the most important thing I have to say about Thrakkus. ONE HIT. This is a better role player than a commander, but if you love Thrakkus, don’t let that stop you, especially if you realize this is a Double Dragon and get the card art altered to feature Bimmy and Jimmy. Yes, those are their names.

Zevlor, Eturel Exile

Zevlor, Elturel Exile

I covered Zevlor in my newsletter, but here’s my general concept: activate Zevlor, then cast some point removal… or better yet, some serious haymakers like Cruel Ultimatum and Din of the Fireherd. Don’t want your opponents to have any fun? Head Games them all and give them the worst possible hands. Control everyone with Worst Fears. Tip the scales with multiple Clone Legion. The possibilities are wide-ranging in terms of power and “fun” level.

 

Header - Artifact

Bronze Walrus

Bronze Walrus

Why did I put this in my notes? Just because it’s a Walrus? No, because it’s THE Walrus – our only creature with the printed type Walrus. That’s all!

Campfire

Campfire

Having another way to get your commanders out of the command zone is nice, especially if you’re paying a total of three mana to evade commander tax on a partner pair or a commander with a Background. This exiles itself to prevent shenanigans, though, so keep that in mind – it’s no Command Beacon in that regard, but it also doesn’t take up your land drop.

Decanter of Endless Water

Decanter of Endless Water

Thought Vessel II: this time, it’s for multicolor decks.

Fraying Line

Fraying Line

Save yourself! Players willing to keep the rope from breaking can pay mana to save one of their creatures – otherwise, the rope breaks and everyone not hanging on falls to their death… all the way in exile, which is the big thing that prevents this card from being just a meme. The biggest draw of this card is certainly that it’s fun, though.

Mighty Servant of Leuk-o

Mighty Servant of Leuk-o

So you have to get into the drift to properly crew this, making it a perfect fit for a Shorikai-helmed Pacific Rim theme deck. I think Vehicle-themed decks might be poorly positioned to best take advantage of this, though, since they’ll often be cheating the equip, but if you have two Pilots or are willing to over-crew, you’re good!

Mirror of Life Trapping

Mirror of Life Trapping

If you want to cycle through your creatures with ETB effects as they get cast, this is a really fun way to accomplish that. It’s also effective at keeping haste creatures out of combat for a turn, but that’s very much a secondary consideration.

Nautiloid Ship

Nautiloid Ship

This card rules. First off, it looks like a nautilus, and that’s rad. Second, it comes down right away and nukes a graveyard. Finally, it gets value out of that graveyard – quite easily, I might add, because of flying! Crew 3 is a lot in some contexts, but when you’re playing commander, it’s very much achievable, and honestly, any deck with a decent concentration of three-plus power creatures would love to have this. 

Noble’s Purse

Noble's Purse

Cash money! Make some Treasures, then sacrifice this down the road to another effect. In decks that want Treasure turn after turn, like Jolene, this is a great way to up your Treasure generation rate. Mix in a Xorn for a really fun time.

Prized Statue

Prized Statue

If you’re playing someone like Juri and can sacrifice artifacts, or if you’re already in the Ichor Wellspring Dimension, Prized Statue is the next logical step. That means Osgir, Daretti, Oswald and more are on the table here.

Vexing Puzzlebox

Vexing Puzzlebox

Look at this hilarious card. If you’re rolling dice, just put more counters on this box, and eventually you have an innocuous-looking mana rock that people may actually want to destroy. I love it when cards like this turn threatening! 

 

Header - Land

Baldur’s Gate

Baldur's Gate

If you’re going to play Maze’s End, you probably also want Baldur’s Gate… right? Well, you need at least three other Gates to make Baldur’s Gate work, which means you’ll need plenty of Gate-searching effects to make this worth your while. That means we need Circuitous Route, Explore the Underdark and probably some effects that search for lands without caring about types. All that work when we can just play Swamps and Cabal Coffers? Yeah, Gates had better matter for some other reason before I want to sleeve this up.

That’s all for now – see you next time with the 24 Commander precon exclusives. Then maybe hibernation.

 

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