Magic’s most recent expansion had us travel to Baldur’s Gate on a grand adventure, and in addition to the set itself, we got the usual suite of companion preconstructed decks. We’ve covered the the decks individually, but this week we want to highlight the new cards from within them.
BPhillipYork: Interesting set piece that will let you cast from the top, always letting you view is nice, but deathtouch and +1/+1 counters are pretty lame until a way to turn deathtouch into infect comes out. If enough 1-2 cost Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Warriors come out and some ways to generate mana this gets really dangerous, potentially.
FromTheShire: Nice cheap Commander that gives you card advantage, and while the counters aren’t huge, deathtouch is great for getting your generally smaller party members through, or at least trade up with them.
BPhillipYork: One of the most solid “full party” mechanics, generating treasures off attacking, up to 4, is pretty solid ramp. The obvious synergy with Folk Hero is obvious.
FromTheShire: Draining is nice but the Treasure is what makes this really good, as well as letting you pick a background so you can pick what color you want with him. Very nice that he triggers independent of having a full party, which can sometimes be a struggle.
BPhillipYork: This is a solid background, and plays really really well with certain tribal decks, like Elves or Clerics.
FromTheShire: Fantastic card draw for tribal decks which often badly need it, especially in white. This is good enough to run in the 99.
BPhillipYork: One of the big staple cards of the set, combining with card draw with treasure creation with shapeshifter creation is amazing. Just amazing, and the amount of control you have over it is very nice.
FromTheShire: So much value and I love it. Do you know how much mana I have dumped in to Greed over time? And this is cheaper, makes mana, and a creature? Sign me right up.
BPhillipYork: Really really solid card, another set staple, this will show up in tons of white decks, i.e. all of them. It is a card whose power is negatively correlated with the power of your opponents decks, but you can set up deliberate ways to benefit from it, like Ghost Quarter
FromTheShire: Even at typical, non competitive tables, almost every deck is playing a Cultivate or a Terramorphic Expanse, which means this card is outstanding. Instant staple, goes in every white deck. Green is probably the most popular color in Commander, you’re going to be triggering this a lot.
BPhillipYork: Solid for party decks and tribal decks.
FromTheShire: Evasive card advantage, what’s not to like?
BPhillipYork: Basically the worst keywords you could stack on this, borderline unplayable.
FromTheShire: I think these keywords are all between nice to have and great, and once you have a full party you can do some extra fun things.
BPhillipYork: Potentially a huge swingy card, if you have a way to fill your graveyard and unearth it all, but scary to build your deck around since it’s a limited effect and since the creatures are exiled at the end.
FromTheShire: Ideally you’re getting a bunch of ETB’s or a combo here, because on the whole party members are not going to be swinging in for massive damage when you unearth them. Still very nice though.
BPhillipYork: Bad card.
FromTheShire: Disagree again, I really like introducing the initiative, and this gets a creature through to where you need it to connect. On top of that you get an explore trigger as well.
BPhillipYork: This is an interesting effect, and seems kind of neat, but so many solid creatures are Wizards or Rogues or Clerics or Warriors that I think this is going to really underperform expectations when it’s actually played.
FromTheShire: Not bad, and more often than not you’re definitely going to come out ahead with your party deck. I still lean more towards unconditional board wipes but I think this still makes the cut in your party deck.
BPhillipYork: Love it. Okay well I love the card text. I don’t really like the art. I mean it’s fine, horror/pirate. Any excuse to pull out the pirate patter. It’s so obviously Universes Beyond but not that I feel kind of gross. Milling madly then getting to steal artifacts and creatures is neat. I do like the way horrors / nightmares are going.
FromTheShire: Very fun card, and nice to see Horrors getting some love. One of my favorite things Wizards has been doing recently is giving support to oddball tribes. Even if it’s not something that speaks to me personally, I guarantee there is someone out there that gets stoked when say Thallids get some love. Okay that one is actually me but still.
BPhillipYork: Neat, fun, mill/exile/horror piece, solid commander.
FromTheShire: Generally going to go in the 99 for me rather than be the Commander, but the utility of choosing a Background is always a plus. Fun card.
BPhillipYork: Potentially a combo piece in the command zone, though it won’t go infinite. I do admire the elegance of how they made it do what they want.
FromTheShire: Nice aggressive anthem effect, and the undying reinforces it. Extra fun if you have access to counters shenanigans to reset the undying.
BPhillipYork: Another extremely solid staple from the set. Just really, really good. Stick into blue deck. Flash on top of it is crazy.
FromTheShire: Commander is chock full of creatures with ETB’s, I would even say it’s one of the more defining aspects of the format, and that means this card is incredible. Can’t overstate how much value this will get you if it sits out, and the Ward makes it more likely to do so.
BPhillipYork: I wish this wasn’t so prohibitively expensive, but it’s a fun annoying effect that nets you a permanent card advantage. Fits well into mill decks so you can reanimate it.
FromTheShire: It’s a tiny bit expensive, but I love stealing other peoples cards like this, and that’s before you tack on the life loss.
BPhillipYork: This is a great card. Great flavor, cool effect, not overly powerful but potentially does something really cool for you.
FromTheShire: If you can’t find something hilarious and groan inducing to copy with this, you aren’t trying. Even better with token doublers.
BPhillipYork: Expensive but recastable creature reanimation can be a solid pick for a deck that is going to mill and worries about dumping it’s spells to the grave unintentionally.
FromTheShire: Reanimates, introduces the initiative, and Escapes, all supremely useful.
BPhillipYork: This is neato but underwhelming, but of course, occasionally it’s going to be doing something really nuts. I like the idea of using donate to give your opponent a combo piece, it seems like a particularly horrific way to win.
FromTheShire: More often than not this is going to be used to turbo boost your mana, but situationally this is going to lead to some hilarious plays.
BPhillipYork: Potentially hugely dangerous. Massive Replication of sorceries and instants, and the ability to mill your opponents via horror abilities can be game-winning in an unpredictable way.
FromTheShire: A little bit of tension here since you want to have a wide board of Horrors as well as an impactful spell, but being able to get it from any graveyard opens up a lot of possibilities. Worst case, you replicate your Traumatize a bunch of times.
BPhillipYork: Lovin’ it. Fun card, grows slowly, hilarious synergy with Endless Evil, but just generally a cool goofy horror card.
FromTheShire: Some excellent Old Ones vibes here, and if you want to go nuts with cloning, this is one heck of a target.
BPhillipYork: Waiting for the goad triggers to get sufficiently good to make a deck around, right now I don’t think it’s there, 5 mana is a lot, especially for something that is unprotected. If he had ward equal to his power or something this would be extremely viable, but as is it’s just a commander that needs to be blown up.
FromTheShire: I actually think this is very powerful, scaling to each opponent is great, the card draw is great, and before you know it Firkraag is a scary threat.
BPhillipYork: This is one of those cards that to me is bafflingly unplayable, and people are reporting it dominating their playgroup. I do like the idea of getting a benefit from goading. A 5 cost 2/5 with these triggers seems a bit underwhelming, and like something someone would really hate to see sit on the table and blow up, but against a good deck no-one will care.
FromTheShire: At the typical creature heavy table, this guy is an absolute powerhouse. It’s very easy to have him be goading the entire table, which severely hampers most decks ability to kill you while also forcing them to beat their potential allies to death. Along the way, he’s also giving you a bunch of value, and ensuring that your own attacks are very likely to get through.
BPhillipYork: This is an extremely solid, toolboxy, card that just gets slammed into the 99. Sure you can build a deck around it, but all the ways of getting treasures combined with this is potentially quite explosive.
FromTheShire: Excellent source of card draw in an artifact deck, and growing your Commander is a nice bonus.
BPhillipYork: Fun, copying artifacts is fun, I am liking that this plays well with a lot of other alternate win cons and copying things.
FromTheShire: This would be worth it in artifact decks for the cost reducer alone, but you get a whole lot of upside stapled on as well.
BPhillipYork: There are a bunch of complex ways to go infinite with this, which is, fine, most hilarious one to me is to respond by turning it into a car via Swift Reconfiguration but you need a way to trigger it again after doing it. There are a bunch of copy target permanents you can use with this card. Other than that it’s a 4/4 flier that makes 2 3/3 fliers that are copies of neat things (like powerful triggered enchantments, imagine having 3 copes of Rhystic Study and beating your opponents to death with 2 of them. But it costs 8, so like, rough.
FromTheShire: So, so many fun things you can do with this, even more so if you have ways to get wild with the tokens with doubling, populating, etc.
BPhillipYork: This is a super solid goad supporting card.
FromTheShire: For when you want to make sure your opponents can’t politic their way around their forced attacks being beneficial for you, and make extra sure you can deal your own damage unimpeded. Fantastic.
BPhillipYork: Too expensive but fun otherwise.
FromTheShire: Very nice Furnace of Rath style effect that can’t bite you in the ass accidentally. Another great effect to help you wrap the game up before the table can figure out a way to break out of your goad lock.
BPhillipYork: Too expensive but a decent payoff at least for completing a dungeon. Cool art though.
FromTheShire: A nice piece, but it may turn out to be a little slow. I do love the initiative though….
BPhillipYork: This is a great card for stealing your opponents commanders and annoying them at the same time.
FromTheShire: Really good clone effect that can also effectively neutralize a Voltron Commander until you are playing heads up, which gives you some nice extra breathing room to set your game plan up.
BPhillipYork: A weird card that is potentially going to end the game in a hilarious way, especially with a Bothersome Quasit out. Solid toolbox from which to get double strike but also have some offensive potential on it.
FromTheShire: Card lives up to its name, this is going to lead to some absolutely spectacular game ending turns and I’m here for it.
Exit From Exile
BPhillipYork: A neutered version of Prosper, Tome-Bound but still a decent commander that can do some things.
FromTheShire: While the token isn’t a crazy payoff, it’s one that adds up, especially with how much support we’ve been getting for playing from exile recently.
BPhillipYork: Fun commander potential, but a bit slow unless there’s a big background to pair this with. Maybe White/Green warriors with Folk Hero.
FromTheShire: A little bit dicey to have an attack trigger on a 3/3, but especially in green you can make it work.
BPhillipYork: Big piece for Prosper, Tome-Bound and black in general, also potentially in Food Chain as a win-con.
FromTheShire: Again, we’ve been getting a bunch of support for this archetype across multiple sets and commander recently, so this is great, and will only get better the more we get.
BPhillipYork: Good flavor and a really solid card. Just really solid all around.
FromTheShire: 5 isn’t a ton of damage to creatures, but you will definitely clear out a good chunk of stuff, and hitting each opponents face is nice as well.
BPhillipYork: Really good counter that gets you an ooze and will let you do things like blow up a Rhystic Study.
FromTheShire: I love me a good Stifle, and one that blows that annoying thing up on top of it? *chef kiss*
BPhillipYork: I dunno. This baffles me. Sure the payoff is big but 1 in 20 chance, unless you have a way to reroll a lot I can’t see it.
FromTheShire: The value is that it sits out turn after turn getting little bits of incremental advantage and stacking up counters, and then if you ever hit the nat 20, you get alllll that stuff back.
BPhillipYork: More from exile triggers are starting to get more and more dangerous. Really expensive to get the pay off though. Also makes me lonesome for Planescape.
FromTheShire: Doubling things up is one of the most powerful things you can do in the game, and this is yet another great payoff for casting from exile.
BPhillipYork: Interesting mana rock, but 4 for 2 isn’t very solid, especially as it’s conditional, but I do like the free cast when you’ve completed a dungeon, one of the more powerful “if you’ve completed a dungeon” cards.
FromTheShire: It’s no Thran Dynamo, but the initiative is nice, and if you can get to the dungeon payoff, it’s great.
BPhillipYork: I like this card, some really fun things you can do with it and adventures. It costs 7, which is a lot, but you can cheat it out. Plays well with any particular exile / reanimation or mill type strategies.
FromTheShire: A nice pseudo reanimation spell, and then you get a big beater that casts those spells from exile for free? Excellent. 7 isn’t even that much for a green deck, couple of ramp spells and then hard cast that sucker.
BPhillipYork: I love these cards that just keep casting from exile, so I like this.
FromTheShire: The fact it returns is nice, but you’re paying 4 mana for your first land, and then waiting 3 turns to get your next….
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