After a wobbly first three days of Magic: The Gathering’s Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate’s preview season, it feels like we’re settling back into a decent flow of cards. Though there still were only a few revealed, today very much had a theme of red and green, and the fun things it can do with mana dorks.
Today we had not one, but two powerful new mana dork commanders, a potential rival to Brass’s Bounty, and a blink spell that adds an extra insult to injury for your opponents. Here are the highlights from day four of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate’s previews.
Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss
Two generic, one red, one green legendary creature – Human Board – 4/4:
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 gets +7/+7 and gains trample until end of turn.
Mana dork tribal is now a thing, and its implications are quite scary. Mana dorks are generally small, low-costed creatures that can produce mana. They’re great for ramping in the early stages of the game, but are often offset by being easily removed and no good at blocking.
Raggadragga takes all your Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic, Leafkin Druids, and Birds of Paradises and gives them +2/+2 – putting them out of range of ping (one damage) and shock (two damage) spells. Players with just a mana dork out can now more safely block without hurting their own resource base too, which is huge.
Scaling things up, it’s shocking how quickly Raggadragga becomes scary thanks to his second ability. Your deck is incentivized to have lots of ramping dorks in it, so you’re going to be hitting bigger spells quicker than many of your opponents. Triggering his +7/+7 and trample buff is going to be so easy, and with something like Marwyn, the Nurturer under your control there’s some combo potential here too.
And what about Ashaya? Ashaya, Soul of the Wild turns all your creatures into forests, giving them a mana ability and putting them under your commander’s protection. An 8/8 Llanowar Elves is one thing, a 17/17 Gigantosaurus with trample is another thing entirely.
Jaheira, Friend of the Forest (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one green legendary creature – Human Elf Druid – 2/3:
Tokens you control have “tap: add one green mana”.
Choose a Background.
The second mana dork commander on today’s highlights, Jaheira turns every token you produce into a dork that can tap to produce green mana.
At first glance, it seems like the obvious answer is to make a load of creature tokens to have near-endless supplies of green mana, but Jaheira does a lot more than that. Note that it just says “tokens”, not “creature Tokens” – all those Treasure tokens you make can tap for green instead of sacrifice under Jaheira. Clue, Food, Gold, and Blood also work, making Academy Manufactor a card you’ll want to run in your Jaheira deck. It even works for more specific tokens, like Volo’s Journal, Tamiyo’s Notebook, or Toggo’s Rocks.
Creatures will likely be your main source of mana, though, making Jaheira such a good inclusion in your Raggadragga deck, or vice-versa if you partner Jaheira up with a red Background like Dragon Cultist or, preferably, Guild Artisan.
Thrakkus the Butcher
Three generic, one red, one green legendary creature – Dragon Peasant – 3/4:
Whenever Thrakkus the Butcher attacks, double the power of each Dragon you control until end of turn.
While Thrakkus isn’t going to be the greatest Dragon tribal commander ever made, it’s almost wholesome to see such a simple, straight-forward ability available for the creature type. Why bother with cheating mana costs with the Ur-Dragon when you could just do big, smashy things with Thrakkus?
Thrakkus means dragons stay expensive, so you’ll need the heavy-ramping ones like Goldspan Dragon and Old Gnawbone to keep yourself in the mana. The upside is he even buffs himself, turning from a 3/4 into a 6/4 whenever he attacks.
Though we’re still pretty low on the common Dragons available, we have seen more of them in Battle for Baldur’s Gate, thanks to the liberal use of Dragonborns to represent lower-rarity Dragons. With time we could see Thrakkus become a Pauper Commander version of Atarka, World Render.
Speaking of Atarka, imagine putting Thrakkus into an Atarka deck to quadruple the total damage of your Dragons.
Blood Money (translated name TBA)
Five generic, two black sorcery:
Destroy all creatures. For each nontoken creature destroyed this way, create a tapped Treasure token.
Blood Money is a card some have already described as “the new Brass’s Bounty”, thanks to the sheer number of Treasure tokens it could make. However, while it does make an astonishing amount of mana for you, it isn’t quite as overpowered as it may at first seem.
Seven mana for a board wipe is expensive, and casting it as a sorcery likely means it’s the only thing you’ll be casting that turn. Having those Treasures enter the battlefield tapped also means you can’t rebuild your board straight away, and you’ll need to survive a whole turn cycle with minimal blockers and few ways to stop your opponents from blowing up all your mana if they can.
There are ways to work around it, though. This could be a good card in an Archelos, Lagoon Mystic deck if you can find a way to ensure Archelos survives the wipe. You’ve also got cards like Amulet of Vigor that serve the same role – ensuring those Treasures enter untapped to let you rebuild while your opponents are defenseless.
Three generic, one white instant:
Exile all nontoken creatures you control, then roll a d20.
1-9: Return those cards to the battlefield under their owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.
10-20: Return those cards to the battlefield under their owner’s control, then exile them again. Return those cards to the battlefield under their owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.
What’s better than a way to protect your creatures from a board wipe like Blood Money? Having a way to protect your creatures from a board wipe like Blood Money, and then flexing by having your creatures blink in and out of exile an extra time for good measure.
Lae’zel’s Acrobatics is straight up value. For four mana you get at least one set of new enters the battlefield triggers while protecting your board, which is incredibly powerful, but there’s a 50 percent chance that you’ll get another set of triggers on top of it. From simple effects like Solemn Simulacrum and Eternal Witness, to game-winners like Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Dockside Extortionist, Lae’zel’s Acrobatics has so many ways to storm you way ahead of the rest of the table.
NEXT: Everything We Learned In Magic: The Gathering’s Commander Legends: Battle For Baldur’s Gate Debut
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