Aftermath: The Prospects of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate

  Welcome into the Aftermath series where I reexamine sets that have been out for at least a year. During preview seasons, many cube content creators, me included, will do a preliminary look at cards and try our best to gauge how they will perform in cube. This is a tough endeavor as cubes vary wildly between different restrictions and players preference. Combine this with the fact that we haven't really seen the cards in action and what we all provide is an incomplete picture of the ceiling and baseline. As time progresses, the cards are better understood and the community does an amazing job of putting out this information. These post are intended to highlight the winners, duds, and interesting cards in cube from the set.

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Continuing from the last article we'll be taking a look at cards that still have potential in the future. The prospective cards from this set are more interesting as many of them have the potential to be amazing in the lower power environments but are gimmicky just enough to keep them away from higher power environments. They fill a unique spot and with time might actually get better.

Livaan, Cultist of Tiamat has been the favorite card from this set for my Commander playgroup (as much as I bash on commander I have a commander playgoup). I'm a huge fan of the Kiln Fiend style blitz decks to the extent that I tried to incorporate it into my own cube with success. This card functions as an inbetween of Guttersniper and Kiln Fiend. When supported correctly, this card is a damge nightmare as a fullgrip of cards forces your opponent to tread carefully in their decision making as any misread can result in them dying. This mind game extends further when you have multiple attacking creatures. In the multiplayer games, you can buff your opponent's creatures wth Livaan as well. Do what you want knowing this but, this is a card I'd want to revisit when you are redesigning your cube and will probably be difficult to replicate.

Erinis, Gloom Stalker is a Restore tied to a creature and will often be treated as a Ramunap Excavator in function. Erinis makes for a solid creature as she is on cost for the stat line with all upside. Her ability just needs her to swing in to trigger. Combined with deathtouch, this is a hard card to stonewall and makes for a decent defender.  She is dependent on being played with graveyard decks and fetchlands to be amazing. This shouldn't difficult to overcome as both of which are somewhat ubiquitous in the cube format. The lands she returns enter untapped, making her a potential source of ramp allowing you to hit your 5 drops a little early.

Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward is a Worldgorger Dragon as an uncommon with all the same combo potential with Animate Dead. The value the card presents in monstrous. It is a board wide blink card stapled on to a solid body. He exiles nonland permanents and replaces them with soldier tokens. This can make it so you have a larger creature presence allowing you to push through damage. In the event this is removed, you are able to return all of the exiled cards replacing the lost Abdel making it an excellent piece of anti board wipe tech. Where this card really shines is in situations where you're setup with a blink source. This will enable you to use its ability multiple times a turn, which means you are rebuying ETB effects multiple times a turn, and grow your board of 1/1 soldiers. 

Candlekeep Inspiration is an Overrun in blue for spells matter. This card is perfect for when you want to take a different approach to blue without being too weird. It serves as a finisher in go wide/token strategies, which blue often complements for cards like Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer. Outside of these two specific cards, many token generators are instant/sorcery cards already. Adventures are also included on the list of cards that count towards this card which is less common. As time passes, they are a growing part of Magic and many players enjoy playing them thanks to their flexibility. What pushes the card is the fact that it counts card in both the graveyard and your exile pile. The exile aspect is way bigger than you might realize. This includes cards that are suspended, rebounded, foretold away and allows you to comfortably delve away cards as all of those will count towards the card. Lastly, Adventures are included on this list, which is a nice quality of life since they are normally counted as creatures taking away from your spell count. In environment where you want this card, it's going to be extremely difficult to replace.

Sailor's Bane is Tolarian Terror before Tolarian Terror. It has more resiliency and a bigger body. Similar to Candlekeep Inspiration, this card cares about instants, sorceries, and ADVENTURES (intentional emphasis) in both exile and graveyard. I like this aspect of the card for reason mentioned already on  Candlekeep Inspiration. Having access to a creature like this for 2 mana is insane value and makes for an amazing control finisher or a big pay off in spells matter in a lower power environment. This card is one evasion keyword short of being an instant include in higher power environments. Also a dragon for dragon tribal and turtle if you're weird.

Gates are prbably the biggest prospects in the long run of this set. They are a very incestuous archetype, however as lands, they are playable to every player thanks to the colorfixing they provide. With this set, we are given more pay off cards for lands like Basilisk Gate and Baldur's Gate as well as the gate version of Thriving lands. Any additions made at this point might push the deck into cubeable territory. There is already a gate focused commander that isn't 5 colors and WotC has been demonstrating that they are willing to do weird decks as seen with the release of the Commander Masters. For certain this will not be the last we see of gate support as it becomes a matter of when.

The End Step

Just realized all the cards I named are potential bangers in Peasant cube but I don't play the format to confirm. This should have been less surprising than it was but a significant portion of the cards were unplayable because they were backgrounds or unplayable in a single player environment. The design for the set has been lauded as amazing by some (I thought the set was great, but not amazing) and it can serve as a great basis for a variant of commander cube. The mechanic seems weird initially however when you take the time to slowly think about how far you can push each of the commanders, you start to see how compatible the set is with other mechanics. This allows Baldur's Gate based cubes to vary based on designer's tastes. 

Outside of blog writing, I've been streaming more on Rumble of the various games I'm currently enjoying, less effort and it doesn't take away from the writing. Video editting and Youtube weren't things I was feeling successful in the amount of effort made it more less enjoyable, while Rumble has been more receptive of me. If you want to take a look, just click this link here. I typically stream from 8PM Pacific- Whenever I feel like sleeping.

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