The Best Spoilers Of MTG’s Commander Legends: Battle For Baldur’s Gate Preview Season – Day Eight
- Ancient Silver Dragon
- Ancient Copper Dragon
- Wrathful Red Dragon
- Storm King's Thunder
- Earthquake Dragon
- Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm (translated name TBA)
For a set based on Dungeons & Dragons, we haven't seen too many actual, big, flappy Dragons in Magic: The Gathering's Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. Dragonborn aplenty, but true, horde-keeping, fire-breathing serpents? Not so much. Fortunately, that seems to be the focus of day eight of the preview season, as we saw so many of the beasts that your Dragon Commander deck could be completely reworked with the cards included here.
In today's highlights, we have a new Treasure token Dragon to rival Old Gnawbone or Goldspan Dragon, a behemoth of a Green Dragon, and a new way to get no maximum hand size for the rest of the game.
Ancient Silver Dragon
Six generic, two blue creature – Elder Dragon – 8/8:
Whenever Ancient Silver Dragon deals combat damage to a player, roll a d20. Draw cards equal to the result. You have no maximum hand size for the rest of the game.
Eight mana in blue is a big ask, but you only need one swing of this Dragon to get its benefits. Drawing up to 20 cards is fantastic, but it does have the potential of backfiring and decking yourself out, especially in limited formats. The permanent removal of your maximum hand size is more interesting.
We've had cards that give you no maximum hand size before, like Thought Vessel or Reliquary Tower, but they're often predicated on keeping the permanent on the battlefield. Ancient Silver Dragon joins a rare group of cards that only includes a handful of others, like Sea Gate Restoration and Praetor's Counsel, that just give you the effect for the rest of the game regardless of if the Dragon is still on the battlefield.
Ancient Copper Dragon
Four generic, two red creature – Elder Dragon – 6/5:
Whenever Ancient Copper Dragon deals combat damage to a player, roll a d20. Creature a number of Treasure tokens equal to the result of the roll.
It's a spicy and exciting card, but did we really need Ancient Copper Dragon? Dragons already have Old Gnawbone and Goldspan Dragon, and Commander itself has been inundated with all kinds of Treasure-producing effects in recent sets. This feels like one of those cards that is pushed slightly too far and exacerbates problems players already have with Treasures in the format.
When you roll a d20, the average roll is approximately ten and a half. Dungeons & Dragons is balanced for d20s so that a roll of ten is generally an okay, if not special, result. In Magic, producing ten Treasure tokens for rolling the average is a ludicrous amount that pushes that player so far ahead of the rest of the game. Rewarding a player for doing the average with such an advantage feels over the top.
It's a powerful card and will definitely be one of this set's chase pulls, but it doesn't feel particularly healthy for the format.
Wrathful Red Dragon
Three generic, two red creature – Dragon – 5/5:
Whenever a Dragon you control is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to any target that isn't a Dragon.
The second red Dragon of today's highlights plays with one of red's funniest mechanics: reflecting damage back at your opponents. Cards like Brash Taunter and Stuffy Doll are popular for their janky combo potential, and Wrathful Red Dragon spreads the fun across all of your Dragons.
For example, in a mono-red deck, you could have a Wrathful Red Dragon, Fiery Emancipation, and Brash Taunter out simultaneously, and then cast a Blasphemous Act. That 13 damage to two creatures becomes 432 aimed directly at an opponent's face in a wonderfully over the top display of power.
Of course, there will be ways to build this more conservatively. It's an interesting political tool that dissuades your opponents from attacking you, and allows you to still slip some damage through if your Dragons are blocked.
Three generic, two red creature – Demon – 5/5:
Whenever Balor attacks or dies, choose one or more. Each mode must target a different player:
- Target opponent draws three cards, then discards three cards at random.
- Target opponent sacrifices a nontoken artifact.
- Balor deals damage to target opponent equal to the number of cards in their hand.
Balor is the only non-Dragon on today's highlights, but he's still a fascinating card that can punish your opponents asymmetrically. You can tailor which effect goes to which player, ensuring everyone's hurt in some way.
It's a shame that each of these effects specifies they have to be aimed at an opponent, as pointing the Balor at yourself could've been useful in specific decks. It also means that, if the game has less than three opponents in it, you're locked out of getting this card's full value.
Storm King's Thunder
X generic, three red instant:
When you cast your next instant or sorcery spell this turn, copy that spell X times. You may choose new targets for the copies.
Baldur's Gate is introducing lots of new potential game-enders. Storm King's Thunder may look expensive at first glance, but when you consider what spells it can copy it becomes immediately clear that this is a total bomb of a card virtually any red-using deck will want to pack in somewhere.
In Gruul (red/green), you can copy a Finale of Devastation; in Rakdos (black/red), it could be a Torment of Hailfire. Izzet (blue/red)? Time Warp for multiple extra turns stacked up. Playing slightly slower, you could pull an entire combo into your hand by copying a tutor enough to grab all the pieces, or just add a lot more mana than you spent with a Brass's Bounty, Jeska's Will, or Seething Song.
Copy effects have happened numerous times before, but we rarely see one this powerful. After the first copy, every other one is effectively just one generic mana – ridiculous value that ensures that this is going right alongside Jeska's Will, Blasphemous Act, and Deflecting Swat as one of red's best nonpermanent spells.
Fourteen generic, one green creature – Elemental Dragon – 10/10
This spell costs X less to cast, where X is the total mana value of Dragons you control.
Pay two generic and one green mana, sacrifice a land: Return Earthquake Dragon from your graveyard to your hand.
Earthquake Dragon was so close to making history as the highest-costed creature in Magic's history, but unfortunately Draco still pips it to the post by just one generic mana. It's still breaking records though, as this is the single-biggest flying green creature the game has ever had, beating out Old Gnawbone to be the new top dog.
While a 10/10 for 15 mana is a big ask, there are a number of reasons why this could be solid gold in the right decks. Flying and trample make it much more difficult to block than fellow 10/10 reptile Gigantosaurus, and in a deck full of Dragons you'll likely be paying far less for Earthquake Dragon as well. Even without Dragons, there are enough ways to cheat creatures out of your library or the graveyard that allows Earthquake Dragon is to be a major hidden threat for your opponents.
Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm (translated name TBA)
Three generic, one green, one blue, one red legendary creature – Dragon Spirit – 6/6:
Flying, ward 2.
Whenever another nontoken Dragon enters the battlefield under your control, create a token that's a copy of it, except that token isn't legendary if that creature is legendary.
It wouldn't be a Dungeons & Dragons set without a frightful new Dragon tribal commander. While other Dragon commanders focus on cheating Dragons into player or getting them into your hand, Miirym simple asks "why not more Dragons?" and doubles them all instead.
At six mana, Miirym is also one of the cheaper Dragon tribal commanders out there. With a bit of ramp, you could easily get this out ahead of a Goldspan Dragon, Old Gnawbone, or Ancient Copper Dragon, and you've then got enough mana to cast your much bigger ones.
The fact it makes legendary Dragons nonlegendary is also immense. Dropping two Thrakkus the Butchers to quadruple the damage they deal, or two Lathliss, Dragon Queens to make two additional Dragons with each nontoken Dragon you play is enough to swarm the board and bring the game to a close very quickly.
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