Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Set Review - Gold: Wedges & Enemy Colors

Michael Celani • June 2, 2022

(Alaundo the Seer | Aurore Folny)

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold I | Gold II | Artifacts & Lands

Biggs and Wedge

My name's Michael Celani, and I'm a Baldur's Gatekeeper. Do the wedge and enemy-colored cards in Commander Legends II: The Sequel to Myst reach the soaring heights of Commander Legends I: The Prequel to Riven? With the help of coding and algorithms, I'm about to find out.


Mythics


Firkraag, Cunning Instigator

For whatever reason, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate has a bunch of not-five-color Dragon commanders. Let's discuss one now.

Firkraag, Cunning Instigator is a 3/3 with flying and haste for  that goads a creature an opponent controls whenever you attack them with a Dragon. Unfortunately, were you to throw more lizards at the problem, you don't get to goad any additional creatures; like wives, you're really only allowed one at a time. To that end, I don't think Farkquaad here makes a great strictly Dragons commander.

No, this instigator is much more cunning at the helm of a generic goad deck; think the piles of cards that run Geode Rager and Komainu Battle Armor simply because they affect each creature an opponent controls. It doesn't have to be pure goad, either — Funkyrag is worded in such a way that Fumiko the Lowblood and Goblin Spymaster's token are effective, too. Going shields down against such a deck is a terrifying prospect, because if Timmy I-Cloned-Avenger-Five-Times gets one meaningful set of swings in, you suddenly have a noodle that's not quite so limp. On the other hand, Johnny I-Play-No-Creatures-Combo isn't affected at all, so it's a bit of a wash.

Frankly, I'm not dazzled. He's fine, but his color identity is so restrictive, and I really would like to see him with black or green to expand his range of options. The blue also denies him his most natural home, which sucks.

Nalia de'Arnise

I've never had high hopes for Party in Commander. Unless you're running a lot of Changeling or cheesing the requirement with Maskwood Nexus, it's going to be pretty difficult to hit that final clause. Nalia de'Arnise herself counts as a Rogue, sure, but that's a small consolation for the deckbuilding restrictions you've undertaken. Your reward for assembling Exodia is that attacking is slightly more profitable for you. In terms of usefulness, I'd say she's comparable to Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate, a commander that screams "I'm proud of my 16 on the ACT."

As far as I'm concerned, this reads as a restricted Future Sight, and at that point I have to question why you're not playing The Reality Chip. Who's clamoring for this strategy to get more mediocre generals?


Rares


Alaundo the Seer

That's a lot of words to say ": Draw a card, then suspend a card from your hand."

Except not really, because if it granted real Suspend, then the exiled cards would remove their time counters themselves during your upkeep, but they don't, so make sure that you don't do that at the beginning of your upkeep and only remove time counters from those cards when you activate Alaundo the Seer's ability, and also make sure to only remove the time counters from other cards in exile, not the one you just put there.

The confusion certainly won't be compounded by the fact that Alaundo the Seer works really well with actual Suspend cards, incentivizing you to put them into your deck because it removes the time counters from those cards regardless of if they were put there with his ability or suspended with Suspend, because Suspend uses time counters. Not to mention, if you were to exile a card with Alaundo that just happens to have Suspend, it will remove the counters on its own because that triggered ability is an inherent part of the card having Suspend. And don't think to try cheating something like Ancestral Vision onto the stack with Alaundo because then you'd exile it with no time counters and thus couldn't remove the last one, so you'd never cast it.

Wait, am I supposed to be reviewing him on his merits? He's Jhoira of the Ghitu, but you exchange extra mileage out of Twiddle effects for your next migraine.

Astarion, the Decadent

Astarion, the Decadent's end-of-turn trigger is ostentatious, no doubt, but you can't deny the showstopping threat of a two-for-one Gray Merchant of Asphodel deal. Load Astarion up with protective gear to stop the riff-raff across the table from eating the rich, and then go all in on life loss effects.

I'm dour on the healing mode, unfortunately. Orzhov lifegain is an established archetype that cares more about the quantity of triggers rather than the quality, and once you hit a hundred or so life the numbers start to mean nothing. You're pretty much playing this as an Archfiend of Despair with emergency rations if you need them.

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch

Baba Lysaga, Night Witch loves sacrificing artifact creatures, enchantment creatures, artifact lands, land creatures, artifact enchantments, and artifact enchantment creature planeswalker land — Saproling Jace Forests. The simplest way I can think of to draw three cards a turn is to pitch a land and an artifact creature token, such as a Servo. It's a good thing that clause is there, because I haven't seen the last five words on a card's text box save it so hard since Battle Hymn.

Duke Ulder Ravengard

Duke Ulder Ravengard is easily going to be the most popular commander in the set. He might even be the most popular commander in Boros. He's Osgir, the Reconstructor for creatures! If making two Myr Battlespheres was petrifying, how about making two per turn?

There's plenty of avenues to take the Ulderman, whether it's that aforementioned Panharmonicon style, huge beaters like Soul of Eternity, or even legend rule shenanigans involving Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero, Yosei, the Morning Star, or an enemy commander you threatened. Grow an ever-bigger army by duplicating Guardian of Faith and phasing the tokens out before they're exiled. Myriad works well with Anointed Procession, too. I think my favorite plan is Landfall by using the trigger to target a manland just for the audacity of it.

Anyway, if Duke Nukem here doesn't end up in the top three for Boros, I'll give away five whole Commander decks. Deal? Deal.

Dynaheir, Invoker Adept

Echoing Henzie "Toolbox" Torre from the previous set of precons, Dynaheir, Invoker Adept has an arbitrary mana value restriction on her most interesting ability to prevent it from being busted.

Four mana is entirely too prohibitive, though; looking at the cards with activated abilities that meet the criteria, most of them are overcosted land effects, make no sense to copy, or both. It makes Dynaheir come off as the anti-Hinata, in that she gets a minimal amount of value for the investment. Even the Zirda Companion deck angle isn't great here; you can't use a cost reducer to make the initial investment more palatable because you need to spend at least four mana, not just activate an ability that costs that much.

The best effects to copy are probably huge abilities, like Treasure Vault, abilities with punishing nonmana costs, or something that would win you the game outright. I'd sprinkle a few of these silver bullets throughout the list, but mostly ignore it and instead take advantage of the Thousand-Year Elixir effect to do stupid stuff, such as tutor Kaldra Compleat onto the field for four mana or make a million Goblins.

Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter

Jan, Jan, Jan is just Breya-lite. He's probably the stronger option if you want a Treasure-focused build, but I struggle to come up with any other niche he excels at.

This wins the "most inoffensive card" award. If you wanted to build an introductory deck for a friend getting into Commander, this is the general I'd pick.

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm builds itself: Dragons, legendary Dragons, and lots of them. She's got the all-important in her color identity, meaning you've got access to the bulk of the Dragons printed, and the other colors round out the package with much-needed token synergy.

Though I think Volo, Guide to Monsters does roughly the same thing better, Miirym has a hidden talent in that she's also secretly Krark and Sakashima. As soon as a Clone hits the battlefield, simply have it enter as Miirym, who will see herself enter, die, and then trigger to make a nonlegendary Miirym. From there on, each additional Clone you cast doubles your Miirym count. You don't need many flying 6/6 creatures to kill an opponent, and you can still add some other choice Dragons to round out your strategy.

This is the first commander I've reviewed so far where I feel like you can do something clever, which is interesting considering how far down the list we've come.

Myrkul, Lord of Bones

Wow! All your creatures get reanimated for free, in a harder-to-kill form, and he's indestructible once your friends realize how terrifying you are? Never mind the fact that he costs seven—Gabriel Angelfire costs seven and he's objectively more attactive than I am—this might just be a good commander!

Myrkul, Lord of Bones is the result of a disgusting polyamorous marriage between Teysa Karlov, Yedora, Grave Gardener, and Yarok, the Desecrated. An entrancing commander for many strategies, whether it be sacrifice, enchantress, or tokens, your enemies essentially need double the removal to handle your board when Myrkul is around. You can even get a second helping of a zone-change trigger whenever you want so long as your High Market is in play. Hell, even Gideon tribal is great here; you essentially control an army of creatures that dodge a ton of targeted removal and will eventually win you the game if left alone. He's a solid value commander, but not in the detestable way most Simic commanders personify.

Also, he goes infinite with Devoted Druid.

Neera, Wild Mage

This is another deck that builds itself. Cheap instant cantrip, cheap instant cantrip, Time Stretch, cheap instant cantrip... It's a good thing Neera, Wild Mage costs six and forces you to play real midrange cards, or I'd have to call her as busted as that urn on my aunt's mantle I knocked over last week.

Nine-Fingers Keene

Despite having more nines than a Kotaro Uchikoshi novel funded by Herman Cain's tax plan, Nine-Fingers here is keen on getting his mitts on a grip of Gates, and just in time, too. Since the archetype's last commander now shares the same relationship with libraries as copies of The Anarchist Cookbook, Nine-Fingers is officially the new Gates general. Luckily, enough of them have been printed now that it's possible in three colors.

The rest of your deck? Who knows, goodstuff?

Tutors for Maze's End?

Anyone?


Uncommons & Commons


Commander Liara Portyr

I know that the uncommon commanders are just for draft, but I appreciate that despite that, Commander Liara Portyr still manages to be more useful than Adriana, Captain of the Guard ever was.

Kagha, Shadow Archdruid

Discount Muldrotha.

Korlessa, Scale Singer

As far as I'm concerned, this reads as a restricted Future Sight, and at that point I have to question why you're not playing The Reality Chip. Who's clamoring for this strategy to get more mediocre generals?

Lozhan, Dragons' Legacy

Well, it includes , so this one's a fine, if inoffensive, burn commander. I like the Adventure spell rider, but it's mostly to support the few Adventure Dragons they printed this set.

Minthara, Merciless Soul

I really wish this was every end step, not just mine, because otherwise it takes six turn cycles to become as threatening as Jetmir, Nexus of Revels is in zero.


Golden Riches

I've come to the conclusion that this set's not as fun in the gold cards as the original. It felt like every general there had something going for it. In contrast, this set feels like it's geared towards Commander Draft, and not so much Commander Draft. But now, let's hear what you have to say about the new legends in this set. What are you looking forward to building, and how are you going to build them? Let us know!



Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at https://discord.gg/xWWqD2G8Fj and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.