Magic's newest set Commander "Legends Battle for Baldurs Gate" is already here and oh boy are there a lot of cards to sift through (666 if you count the Commander decks). With so many cards being released all at once it's incredibly difficult to evaluate how each one will fair in Magic's many formats. We here at Enter the Battlefield like to keep things simple and so we asked our staff a simple question, "what is your favourite card from the set?". Heres what they had to say!
First up is a great new way for the dragons to surprise your opponents, giving them less time to react and remove before they get to swing. Renari, Merchant of Marvels. A 2/4 for 4 mana, you may cast artifacts and dragon spells as though they have flash. Your dragon’s have flash! Drop those bad boys at the end of the opponent’s turn and when you’re ready for combat, so are they.
This one is a bit of a stretch but if you play The Ur-Dragon you might want to play this card in the 99. Majestic Genesis. 8 mana in green, you reveal the top X of your library equal to your commander’s mana value and any permanents you find you may put straight onto the battlefield. In 5 colour deck with big mana costs this will generate you a ton of value. Close to a Genesis Wave but 4 mana cheaper for the same result.
Gruul players rejoice. Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss Lives up to its name with a text box filled with abilities. For 2 a red and a green, you get a 4/4 with “Each creature you control with a mana ability gets +2/+2. Whenever a creature you control with a mana ability attacks, untap it. Whenever you cast a spell, if at least seven mana was spent to cast it, untap target creature. It gains trample until end of turn.” This human boar encourages big spells and fast combat. The first static effect Raggadragga gives is a great buff to your small mana rocks like Llanowar Elves. In the early game you get cheap ramp but in the mid to late game they become more than chump blockers. The next ability gives you more options for you to cast more spells or block after you swing wide. The last ability hits two birds with one stone. It encourages big spells early with its untap affect and buffs your creatures even more. You can cast expensive spells and swing with your creatures in the same turn!
Token overload just got even more powerful. Whether you play a 60 or 100 card deck Cadira, Caller of the Small will fit right in. For 1 a green and a white you get a green, white Orc Ranger with trample and “When Cadira, Caller of the Small deals combat damage to a player, for each token you control, create a 1/1 white Rabbit creature token,” Green likes to make things go boom with great buff spells and white loves to make small chumps. Make Cadira unlockable or swing strategically to quickly double your army. Soon you’ll be overwhelming your opponents with an army of tiny or big buffed up tokens.
Aristocrat players can make an aristocrat deck with this fun new 3/3 for 3 (a red, black, and colourless). Mahadi, Emporium Master is a cat devil creature that allows you to “create a Treasure token for each creature that died this turn.” At the beginning of your end step. Of course, you can sacrifice your own creatures, but wouldn’t it be even more fun to use the plethora of red and black kill spells to wipe your opponents’ creatures off the board and create mana to further destroy their boards? You may not be the favourite at the table but who doesn’t love spell slinging.
Myrkul Gideon’s very close roommate.
Myrkul, Lord of Bones is quite the Magic card. This over-consumer of milk is quite the large Abzan boy, not just in power and toughness but also CMC coming in as a 7/5 for 7 mana. But no one cares about the stats of a creature except for mono red players, and as we all know, their opinions don’t matter.
Myrkul’s effect is “whenever your life total is equal to or less than your starting total Myrkul, Lord of Bones has indestructible”. Conditional indestructible is better than not but where the card really shines is in its second line: “Whenever another nontoken creature you control dies, you may exile it. If you do, create a token that's a copy of that card except, it’s an enchantment and loses all other card types.” When I read this my neurons started firing about how I could make the worst deck imaginable with it, and I got it.
Gideon tribal, a very underrepresented tribe with only eight Planeswalkers. “But Evan, I hear you say, why on earth would I play Gideon cards when I could make a good deck around Myrkul?”, hush my child as all will be made clear.
All the Gideon Planeswalkers are able to turn themselves into creatures and as Myrkul cares about creatures dying so he can turn them into enchantments all we do is sac a Gideon and make him live on forever as an enchantment. Alternatively, we can wait until an opponent spot removes him, but that’s just being uncool. So now you have a Planeswalker that can activate its abilities but can’t be the target of attacks. The only downside of these Planeswalkers coming in as enchantments is that their loyalty is zero. This means that you can Ult with a Planeswalker and still have it on your board.
This was my step-by-step guide on Theros’s Number-one-h
unk’s best friend, Myrkul, Lord of Bones.
“But Evan, this just seems like a bad way to play Myrkul. Couldn’t I just play Devoted Druid and go infinite or do Super-Friends with Luxior and play better Planeswalkers”.
No, you can only play Gideon tribal.
As someone who doesn't interface commander, I was waiting for a spoiler card similar to Kappa Cannoneer to be revealed and make waves in legacy. For better or worse, it seems like that’s not going to happen this time around. That said, pauper is getting a pretty sweet addition in Cloakwood Swarmkeeper. I have been playing a bunch of the tier decks in pauper as of late and wanted to try my hand at brewing my own UGx tokens deck with Glimmer Bairn as the main payoff. As I was brewing, I realized that there aren’t enough payoffs and that this deck idea was likely a dud. The next morning, I saw Cloakwood Swarmkeeper had been spoiled. A 1/1 for [G] that gets a +1/+1 counter every time you make a token. This is a perfect addition to my janky pile of crabs and plants! It puts pressure on during early turns and then around turns 3 or 4 you can hopefully stick your Glimmer Bairn and then you have two big creatures. Add some ramp; Ichor Wellspring, and Deadly Dispute for some value; bounce lands, and Snap to make extra mana and have some disruption, and there you go, a “playable” deck… I’ll just hope my opponents aren’t also playing Snap…
As the resident Commander-Jank aficionado, I am here today showing off my new love from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, called: "Barroom Brawl"! This is an awesome evolution on the traditional green creature removal of old, Barroom Brawl limits the targets of your interaction to the opponent to your left, however, that player may then continue the shenanigans against the player to their left. Traditionally, chain-like effects akin to Chain of Vapor or Chain of Smog oftentimes require some sort of investment to continue the effect, or simply are too dangerous of an effect to continue. These cards also allow for the targeted player to punch back against the caster leading to possible animosity between the two players. However, one of the aspects of Barroom Brawl that I absolutely love is the inherent political machinations that stem from its restrictive targeting. There are plenty of highs with the card and sometimes you may be able to use it as a traditional Prey Upon-like effect where the player to your left has a problem creature and you have a bigger creature, but if ANY other player has the creature that holds your ire, you will have to use some negotiations and problem solving to set up large chains of fights using the creatures on other players' boards as your own to get the outcome you want! I would say that death-touching or indestructible commanders like Glissa, The Traitor, or Klothys, God of Destiny (When active) will love this card because it guarantees your key piece is most likely protected from punches from your right. Flavor-wise, the idea that everyone has to punch in a specific direction recursively and start attacking someone that didn't even provoke initially devolves into chaos, which is a flawless allegory for a tavern brawl. In the end, for 2 mana, I think Barroom Brawl is sweet, but definitely, a jank card that players looking for some fun problem-solving or niche removal effects will have a hoot with. To be clear, is this card "good"? Absolutely not! There are so many common situations where Barroom Brawl can go awry or work out negatively for you, but has there ever been a tavern tussle that went according to plan?