- Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald
- Durnan of the Yawning Portal
- Passionate Archaeologist
- Delayed Blast Fireball
- Green Slime
- Journey to the Lost City
- Sarevok’s Tome
- Tlincalli Hunter
- Venture Forth
The final of Magic: The Gathering’s Commander Legends: Battle For Baldur’s Gate Commander decks has been revealed, and it’s an intriguing mix of creature tribal and exile-matters. Although the last Dungeons & Dragons set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, also had an exile-focused deck with Prosper Tome-Bound, this red/green version offers something decidedly different from that first attempt.
With foretell and suspend both re-joining Adventures and the initiative from the main Baldur’s Gate set, Exit from Exile is one of the strangest, but most interesting, preconstructed decks we’ve seen in quite a while. Here is every new card making its debut in the deck.
Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald
One generic, one red, one green legendary creature – Human Druid – 3/3:
Whenever you cast a spell from exile or a land enters the battlefield under your control from exile, create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token.
One generic, tap Faldorn, discard a card: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.
Faldorn is definitely the most niche of all four preconstructed decks, just because exile-matters and Wolf tribal aren’t exactly two archetypes you see so close together. And yet Faldorn manages to pull them together in a really interesting way.
By boosting the Wolf side with green cards, and pumping them out with red’s affinity for impulsive card draw and other self-exile effects, it is possible to quickly flood the board with powerful Wolf tokens. It’s a very one-track deck, but it isn’t as disjointed as it may first appear.
Durnan of the Yawning Portal
Three generic, one green legendary creature – Human Warrior – 3/3:
Whenever Durnan attacks, look at the top four cards of your library. You may exile a creature card from among them. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. For as long as that card remains exiled, you may cast it. That spell has undaunted.
Choose a Background.
Had we not already seen Baeloth in the Draconic Dissent deck, Durnan would have had a chance at being the best of the secondary commanders. Blasting through your deck to find a creature you need whenever you attack is good on its own, but giving it undaunted when you later cast it is wild.
Undaunted means the creatures costs one generic mana less for each opponent. With it, an Elder Gargaroth goes from five mana to just two, or an Avenger of Zendikar down to four. Using this to cheat out big creatures for substantially cheaper, while also triggering Faldorn or Passionate Archaeologist, could be a deadly synergy.
One generic, one red legendary enchantment – Background:
Commander creatures you own have “Whenever you cast a spell from exile, this creature deals damage equal to that spell’s mana value to target opponent”.
This is a brilliant Background, simply because of how much damage it could potentially bash out in one go. Using Durnan to reduce the amount you pay will allow you to hit hard in the early stages of the game, while mechanics like foretell could set you up for multiple instances of damage in a single turn later on.
Delayed Blast Fireball
One generic, two red instant:
Delayed Blast Fireball deals two damage to each opponent and each creature they control. If this spell was cast from exile, it deals five damage to each opponent and each creature they control instead.
Foretell: four generic, two red.
Fortell has proved to be a popular mechanic since its debut in Kaldheim, as it also appeared in the exile-focused Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander deck. It’s a great way to get spells into exile to trigger Faldorn, and doing so turns Delayed Fireball Blast from a basic mass-damage spell into something more approaching a respectable damage-based board wipe.
Unfortunately, foretelling this spell does cost more than just casting it normally. This is different to most other foretell cards, but the increased damage does justify the much higher cost.
Two generic, one green creature – Ooze – 2/2:
When Green Slime enters the battlefield, counter target activated or triggered ability from an artifact or enchantment source. If a permanent’s ability is countered this way, destroy that permanent.
Foretell: one green.
Exit From Exile supplies us with a new green staple with Green Slime. Baldur’s Gate has returned green to a design space it hasn’t been in for decades with the ability to counter activated and triggered abilities – the catch being it can only do it to artifacts and enchantments.
For one green mana, at instant speed, Green Slime is fantastic. To then take that counter and destroy the permanent you countered adds insult to injury, and makes this easily one of the best artifact or enchantment removal spells we’ve seen for the game. This is one card any green player is going to want to stock up on.
Journey to the Lost City
Three generic, one green enchantment:
At the beginning of your upkeep, exile the top four cards of your library, then roll a d20:
1-9: You may put a land from among those cards onto the battlefield.
10-19: Create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token, then put a +1/+1 counter on it for each creature card among those cards.
20: Put all permanent cards exiled with Journey to the Lost City onto the battlefield, then sacrifice it.
Dice rolling hasn’t been a huge part of the preconstructed decks, but Journey to the Lost City is here to provide us with more of that weird Wolf-themed exile play Faldorn loves.
As long as you can keep this in play, the payoff is huge. Each turn, you exile four cards and get to do various effects depending on what you roll. Then, when you finally hit a 20, every single card exiled with Journey to the Lost City comes out onto the battlefield as an explosive finale because it sacrifices itself.
However, this is a really risky card to play. Enchantment removal is very easy in Commander, and sitting with 36 cards in exile that will be completely inaccessible with just a single Disenchant or Reclamation Sage. The cost of losing this with half your deck exiled is just too great to make this the splashy bomb Wizards is positioning it as.
Five generic, one red creature – Beast Demon – 4/6:
Whenever you cast a spell from exile, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy. If it’s a permanent spell, the copy gains haste and “At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice this enchantment”.
In this deck, Nalfeshnee only supplies a little bit of extra value. Doubling spells is always nice, but it won’t trigger Faldorn a second time because the copy isn’t cast, making it a bit of a synergistic fail. It doesn’t really further the deck’s game plan beyond a simple ‘more spells are good’ strategy.
What makes Nalfeshnee interesting is how it’ll fit into other decks. Throw this into an Izzet (red/blue) deck and you suddenly have the chance to copy an Alrund’s Epiphany for two additional turns, or using it to copy a Starnheim Unleashed to make a ludicrous number of Angels. With so many better exile-based spells available in other colours, putting it in a deck where one colour doesn’t rely on exile as much as the other feels like it’s doing Nalfeshnee a disservice.
Four generic artifact:
When Sarevok’s Tome enters the battlefield, you take the initiative.
Tap: add one colourless mana. If you have the initiative, add two instead.
Three generic, tap Sarevok’s tome: Exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card. You may cast that card without paying its mana cost. Activate only if you’ve completed a dungeon.
All four of the decks have at least one new card that takes the initiative, but Sarevok’s Tome feels like one of the weakest of the bunch. For four times the mana cost, you get a Sol Ring that only works properly once you’ve completed a dungeon – something that can be hard and costly to do.
To get the most out of Sarevok’s Tome, you have to meet a lot of tricky conditions. You need to have cast it and kept it out long enough to complete a dungeon, pay three mana, hope you hit a spell you can cast, and can’t even play lands from it (as they’re not cast, simply played).
If you get it to work, it could have splashy potential. But it dies just as easily to artifact removal as anything else, and nobody will want to let you cast spells for free.
Five generic, two green creature – Scorpion Scout – 7/7:
Once each turn, you may pay zero generic mana rather than pay the mana cost for a creature spell you cast from exile.
One generic, one green sorcery – Adventure:
Exile target creature card from your graveyard. Until the end of your next turn, you may cast that card.
It’s nice to have some Adventure cards that have been made specifically for Commander, as their debut set Throne of Eldraine came just before Commander preconstructed decks became a regular product.
The Retrieve Prey Adventure spell half of this card is intended to just be setup for the much better Tincalli Hunter side. As long as you can continue to put creatures into exile (such as with foretell or other creatures with Adventure), you’ll be able to cheat their mana costs every turn. This includes some heavy hitters, like Quakebringer, Battle Mammoth, Beanstalk Giant, or Topaz Dragon.
Three generic, one green sorcery:
Exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a land card. Put that card onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. Exile Venture Forth with three time counters on it.
Suspend 3: one generic, one green.
Using time counters to make a spell that automatically casts itself every three turns is something we’ve seen with Rousing Refrain from Strixhaven’s Commander decks, and it proved to be a really powerful tool.
Though Venture Forth doesn’t quite have the same impact, being able to drop an extra land every three turns does help ensure you won’t be caught in a mana drought for too long. Plus, as the spell is cast from exile when it runs out of time counters, it’s a guaranteed Faldorn trigger each time as well. Hardly the best ramp spell, but definitely not one of the worst, either.
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