Hello again! And welcome to part 2 of my Commander Legends 2 review here on Cardsphere. Last time we looked at all of the mono-colored commanders from the set, and we discussed the best of the backgrounds. Today we’re digging into all of the multi-colored commanders who are battling for Baldur’s Gate, and a chance to lead your next Commander deck. Here we go.
Elminster - I wish the discount effect lasted until end of turn, but I guess we can’t have everything. I like that Elminster has his own Scry effect built in, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a discount of 2 every turn. Unless you use the minus effect, of course. This is a little tricky, as you have to plan ahead so you’re not pitching something important, but you also don’t want to pitch a land since you won’t get the tokens. I wish it was more like
Mystic Forge, where you could look at the top and then choose to exile if you don’t like what’s there, but, again, can’t have everything. Now the question is, what’s our win-con?
Approach of the Second Sun seems like the obvious answer, since you can quickly dig to it after you cast it the first time. But I’m honestly a little bored with Approach these days. Definitely need to ponder this. Also,
Eligeth, Crossroads Augur is a non-bo (the opposite of a combo), since it’s a replacement effect and will shut down Elminster’s discount.
Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes - The best
Fling commander since
Brion Stoutarm? Maybe! I honestly feel a little bad about repeatedly killing a hamster, but it’s just a game, right?
Inferno of the Star Mounts would be a great addition here, as you can fire off the 20 damage from Inferno’s ability, then sacrifice Inferno to Minsc for 20+ more. You’ll definitely want counter doublers and Proliferate effects here as well.
Tasha, the Witch Queen - I’m just realizing now that all 3 of these planeswalkers make token creatures to defend them from attackers. Nicely done, WOTC. Anyway, I’m a huge fan of casting other people’s stuff, which is the goal of my budget
Prosper, Tome-Bound deck. You’re in the right colors for milling your opponents, which is exactly what you’ll need to do to have good options for spells in their graveyards. But there’s a big problem here: her low starting loyalty. Let’s run through the plan. On T1 you +1 her to 5. Then T2 you -3 her to 2. That means if you want her to survive, you need to +1 her the next two turns, then the following turn you can -3 her to 1 loyalty. This is, of course, ignoring the fact that people will be attacking Tasha, and you may not always have enough blockers to defend her. At the end of the day, you did all of this to get one 3/3 demon and one free spell. Doesn’t seem worth it.
Alaundo the Seer - I absolutely love this commander. Important note, Alaundo does not give your exiled cards Suspend, so they won’t remove a counter at upkeep and aren’t affected by
Jhoira’s Timebug. However, you do remove time counters from your suspended cards with Alaundo’s ability. The goal here is to get as many cards exiled as possible so you can keep firing off free spells. That means you need untap and ability copy/double effects. Then I’d probably go with big threatening creatures, which blue/green excels at.
Astarion, the Decadent - I like Astarion’s abilities, but not for 6 mana. This guy is overcosted, and not good enough that I’d want to pay any commander tax for him.
Baba Lysaga, Night Witch - This witch sounds fun, in theory, but in practice it’s a lot of work. It’s not often you’re going to have three permanents that you’re willing to sacrifice, let alone three different permanent types. Unless you’re playing land sacrifice, in which case you’ll want
The Gitrog Monster and
World Shaper in the 99. Your best bet is to focus on artifact creatures or enchantment creatures, so you can hit two types with one permanent. And definitely run ability copiers, like
Rings of Brighthearth or
Cadira, Caller of the Small - I can get on board with this. A 3/3 isn’t big enough to get through most of the time, so you’ll need to make Cadira bigger or unblockable to trigger. And in white/green you’ll have no problem making tokens and amassing a bunny army. I recommend putting a
Mace of the Valiant on Cadira. This will ensure she can connect with Trample, and probably get big enough for a commander damage kill.
Coat of Arms will be great for pumping your bunnies up to Monty Python levels of scary.
Captain N’ghathrod - It’s pretty narrow, you’re just playing horrors and milling. But stealing from other people’s graveyards is always fun.
Commander Liara Portyr - Okay, we’ve got a Boros commander that wants you to attack. We’ve certainly seen that before. But where Liara excels is in card and mana advantage. On the top end, we’re looking at 3 cards exiled that all cost 3 generic mana less. The downside is that we can’t play lands from the exiled cards, so we’re going to lose a lot of those. But the important thing to note here is that the discount doesn’t just apply to the cards Liara exiles, it’s any card you cast from exile. So cards like
Outpost Siege and
Reckless Impulse become much better.
Duke Ulder Ravengard - Myriad is massively powerful in Commander, and this set is giving us a long overdue influx of the ability. Giving one creature the ability isn’t exactly earth-shattering, but it’s fun to imagine how high we can go with the creature that we’re, essentially, copying twice.
Sun Titan and
Inferno Titan will give us their entering abilities, but sadly no attack triggers since they enter play attacking. So we focus on massively threatening creatures, or ones with incredible enters-the-battlefield (“ETB”) effects, like
Aerial Extortionist. And with all the creatures entering we’ll probably want to run
Purphoros, God of the Forge and
Witty Roastmaster. Maybe a
Mirror Box if we’re looking to give Myriad to legendary creatures without the copies immediately dying. There’s a lot you can do with this one.
Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald - It’s basically
Prosper, Tome-Bound, except you get wolf tokens instead of treasures. I can see that working, especially with pump effects like
Arlinn, Voice of the Pack or
Firkraag, Cunning Instigator - Firkraag may sound like a dirty word, but it’s also a very powerful commander. Goading creatures is great, and you don’t have to rely on dragons. Run your own creatures that have to attack, like
Impetuous Sunchaser, or
Phyrexian Juggernaut, or put
Bloodshed Fever on Firkraag. Or force many creatures to attack each combat, with
Avatar of Slaughter,
Fumiko the Lowblood, or
Curse of the Nightly Hunt.
Gluntch, the Bestower - Quite the group-hug commander here. If you’re looking for something less color-intensive than
Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, then this might be up your alley. Otherwise, the jellyfish is probably gonna end up in the 99 most of the time. Sad that that 4th player doesn’t get anything, but I suppose the game won't have 4 players the whole time.
Jon Irenicus, Shattered One - This guy’s amazing. The addition of “can’t be sacrificed” is chef’s kiss. And you give it to them tapped, so they can’t block with it before their turn! I love being able to make other players do my dirty work. So what are we giving to our opponents? Creatures that are strong, but also have a drawback.
Archdemon of Unx,
Liege of the Pit,
Lord of the Pit, or
Kagha, Shadow Archdruid - This is a surprisingly strong self-mill commander, despite being a bit hamstrung by the “this turn” part of the ability. Golgari self-mill has quite a solid cardbase, including
Winding Way. For the most effectiveness, you’ll want to have the ability to play additional lands, so add
Azusa, Lost but Seeking.
Tormod, the Desecrator will flood your board with zombies, and
Syr Konrad, the Grim dishes out the damage.
Korlessa, Scale Singer - Dragons in Simic is a strange, and not super strong, archetype to try to build off of, so I think this mostly goes in the 99 of five-color dragons.
Lozhan, Dragons’ Legacy - One of two adventure commanders in the set. I’m a big fan of this one, not only because it’s red and red has my favorite adventure cards, but also because most dragons are costly and will deal a lot of damage. It’s any non-commander target, so you have removal in the command zone, or the ability to threaten life totals. Aside from Lozhan’s low toughness, there’s nothing here to not like. It’s a bit linear, and pretty much builds itself, but sometimes that’s okay.
Mahadi, Emporium Master - I don’t see Mahadi overtaking the Rakdos treasure archetype from
Prosper, Tome-Bound, but if you’re looking for something a bit more hipster, then Mahadi might be for you. Especially if you’re interested in killing a lot of creatures that aren’t your commander.
Minthara, Merciless Soul - Minthara could easily slot into the 99 for
Daxos the Returned or
Kelsien, the Plague. But is she worth running in the zone? Only one Experience counter per turn isn’t ideal, but we can bump that up with trigger copiers like
Strionic Resonator or
Lithoform Engine. You can also run Proliferate effects like
Contagion Engine or
Martyr for the Cause. And Minthara gives you a counter for any type of permanent leaving the battlefield, so you could go the treasure route.
Nalia de’Arnise - As someone who has built a party deck, I can assure you that having a full party isn’t always gonna be easy. But with Nalia’s built-in card advantage, you should have a decent chance. However, white and black isn’t a great color combination for the party mechanic. You’re losing a lot of the best warriors without red, and most of the best rogues and wizards without blue. I’d probably stick with
Tazri, Beacon of Unity, and throw Nalia in the 99.
Neera, Wild Mage - At first glance this might look like complete chaos, and it very well could be if you want to play it that way. But there are numerous ways to manipulate the top of your library to take advantage of this commander. Got something beefy in your hand? Use
Scroll Rack to put it on top.
Mystical Tutor does it,
Cavalier of Gales. Lots of options. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the trigger only happens once per turn. So if you cast a spell and choose not to do Neera’s ability, you won’t get to cast another spell and use the ability. Gotta wait until next turn. For this reason, I’d recommend
Leyline of Anticipation and
Vedalken Orrery in this deck.
Oji, the Exquisite Blade - Does Oji do Azorius blink as well as
Brago, King Eternal? No, not by a long shot. But if you’re looking to go hipster, then Oji might just be for you. You’ll need a lot of card draw to make Oji worth it, and a lot of spells that you can cast on other people’s turns.
Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss - This commander really is something else. Aside from having a crazy name and the strangest creature type combo in the history of the game, it’s also very powerful. If you’ve been dreaming of turning your mana dorks into a massive army, then your dreams are coming true. All of your mana dorks getting pseudo-Vigilance is great, since you’ll be able to attack and then use them to cast spells on your second main.
Circle of Dreams Druid will be an all-star in this deck, and don’t forget your
Marwyn, the Nurturer and
Viridian Joiner automatically tap for 3 mana.
Alena, Kessig Trapper will also be fantastic.
Raphael, Fiendish Savior - Okay, this ain’t bad. I’m thinking your best bet is to focus on the Lifelink and really try to drain your opponents with
Sanguine Bond and
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose. Also, can you imagine
Devilish Valet with Lifelink? Sheesh. Also throw in
Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos.
Rilsa Rael, Kingpin - Rilsa is the only commander that gives you the Initiative, which seems like a bit of an oversight. Aside from that, giving one attacking creature Deathtouch per turn didn't seem great to me, until I remembered the interaction between Deathtouch and Trample. So if we fill the deck with huge tramplers and give them Deathtouch, that’s a pretty solid aggro deck. Especially if we throw in some dungeon elements so we can get that second boost from Rilsa.
Mindleech Mass, and
Scion of Darkness are great adds.
The Council of Four - Commanders that require your opponents to do things that they don’t have to do are usually pretty sketchy, in my opinion. Although I have seen
Mangara, the Diplomat do a lot of work in some games. When we consider that drawing extra cards is such a huge part of the format, and even the main goal of certain deck archetypes, it’s easy to see how you might be able to draw several extra cards from The Council during a game. Their second ability of making knight tokens, however, I’m really not sold on. If your goal is to just hold off attackers long enough for you to reach a combo…maybe. But you’ll be very lucky to make enough knight tokens to make an impact on the game.
Thrakkus the Butcher - It certainly makes
Inferno of the Star Mounts hit 20 a lot faster. If aggro is your game, doubling your dragons’ power, especially if most of them are in the air, is going to end games really quick. And, although he’s not a dragon,
Wulfgar of Icewind Dale is a must-have for doubling Thrakkus’s trigger.
Bane, Lord of Darkness - Very similar to
Colfenor, the Last Yew, with a few key differences. Bane returns that creature to the battlefield instead of your hand, which is a plus. But in the minus column, Bane only triggers off of nontoken creatures, where Colfenor doesn’t have that requirement. It’s a horse apiece, to be honest, but I think if you’re looking for a better reanimator commander in Esper, you might check out
Sefris of the Hidden Ways instead.
Bhaal, Lord of Murder - Much like Bane, we’re looking at our nontoken creature deaths. The nontoken clause is unfortunate, and probably keeps us from completely breaking this commander (maybe that’s a good thing). So if we look at this from a cost/reward perspective, we’re killing one of our creatures to get another creature off our backs for a turn. Obviously there are varying situations here. Perhaps you put the counter on someone’s voltron commander who’s already big enough to kill. Or maybe you put it on an
Esper Sentinel to force it to attack and die in combat, thereby getting rid of a powerful card draw engine. I’m not sure this commander is very powerful, but there’s definitely potential for fun.
Dynaheir, Invoker Adept - Okay, so we’ve got half a
Thousand-Year Elixir in the command zone, which I’m a fan of. The question is, how do we break this copying ability? Activations that tend to cost 4 or more usually get ignored since they’re so expensive. And we can’t use any cost reducers like
Zirda, the Dawnwaker, because then Dynaheir won’t copy the ability. My friend Colin suggested the Tower cycle from Mirrodin, which includes
Tower of Fortunes that draws 4 cards for 8 mana. With Dynaheir that’s 8 cards for 8 mana. That’s a nice bit of card draw, but at 8 mana we’re basically taking a turn off to draw cards, which might be worth it.
Rogue’s Passage could make two creatures unblockable.
Planar Bridge can get you any two permanent cards. A
Diviner’s Wand activation gets you two cards.
Captivating Crew steals 2 creatures. There’s a lot you can do. But I’m not sure what the end goal would be.
Gorion, Wise Mentor - I’ve been wanting more Adventure spells since Throne of Eldraine came out, and I’m glad we’re finally getting them in this set. This is going to be great for casual games where you like to tell stories of the adventures of creatures like
Beanstalk Giant (I always pretend Old Beany is searching for love).
Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter - Check out my deck tech for Jan. It’s swell.
Mazzy, Truesword Paladin - Now this is a fantastic new card, in an archetype that hasn’t seen any love in these colors since
Uril, the Miststalker. And it solves the problem of auras by giving you the ability to recast them if they go to the grave. Keep in mind, she doesn’t just trigger off of your creatures, so go ahead and run those Goad cards, like
Shiny Impetus. Mazzy’s gonna be big, and I expect to see her a lot.
Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm - Wow! Easily one of the most powerful dragon commanders, in a long line of already powerful legendary dragons. Copying each nontoken dragon you play is incredible, and completely breakable. This isn’t a cast trigger, it’s an enter trigger, so flicker effects like
Ghostly Flicker and
Deadeye Navigator are here to amass you an army.
Panharmonicon will make you two copies.
Dragon Tempest triggers twice, as does
Scourge of Valkas. And if you’re looking to make copies of some non-dragon creatures, then
Maskwood Nexus is the card for you. Ward 2 is icing on this delicious cake.
Myrkul, Lord of Bones - What a cool design! The casting cost is brutal, but might be worth it if we find the right way to play it. So what we’re looking for is creatures with great abilities, whether they be static, activated, or triggered, that don’t care if the card is still a creature. So no attack triggers or damage triggers. And since your dead creatures become enchantments, we’re going to use a lot of enchantress effects, like
Eidolon of Blossoms and
Sphere of Safety.
Weaver of Harmony is fantastic for copying your enchantment triggers.
Devoted Druid will give you infinite green mana once it becomes an enchantment. And we can play into token strategies as well, with
Anointed Procession and
Parallel Lives. You’re gonna need a lot of ramp and card draw to make this deck function, but once it’s going, you’re gonna have a really good time.
Nine-Fingers Keene - “Ward - Pay 9 life” is basically Hexproof. We agree on that, right? While this set did give us a bunch of new gates, in Keene’s color identity there are only 11 gates available for the deck. Keene wants you to have 9 of them. The numbers just don’t add up. Throw Keene into the 99 of your 5-color
Maze’s End decks.
Zevlor, Elturel Exile - You can do some ridiculous things with Zevlor. Magecraft abilities will be amazing, so add in
Professor Onyx, and
Twinning Staff will give you an additional copy, because why not?
Snap bounces 3 creatures and untaps 6 lands.
Jeska’s Will gets copied twice, making you a ridiculous amount of mana. And the list goes on. Play some untap cards as well, like
Magewright’s Stone and
Thousand-Year Elixir, and run a lot of ramp.
Onto the Next
That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed my analysis of all the multi-colored commanders from Commander Legends 2. Check back next time for the final portion of my review, as we take a peek at all of the best cards from this set that can’t go in the command zone, as well as give you my assessment of the set as a whole. Until then, take care. And play lots of games!