The preview season of a Magic: The Gathering is often a quieter day than the surrounding days, and Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur''s Gate is no different. We now have six or seven new things to look at.
Not that it''s a bad thing, though. Preview seasons may be overwhelming, and having quiet spots like this to process everything we''ve seen is nice. Today, we have a new counterspell to watch out for, an interesting Azorius (white/blue) group hug commander, and a blue tool for the Ur-Dragon in comparison to the classic Vedalken Orrery.
Gale''''s Redirection (translated name TBA)
Three generic messages, two blue instants:
Exile a target spell, then roll a d20, and add the mana value of the spell:
1-14: You may cast the exiled card for as long as it is still exiled, and you may spend mana as though it was a mana of any colour to cast it.
15+: You may cast the exiled card without paying the mana cost for the duration of the process.
This one has the benefit of stealing your opponent''s spell from them and you can also use it yourself. It''s also potentially beneficial than a Narset''s Reversal or Deflecting Swat, because you don''t have to decide the new targets there and then, you can leave the card until you''re ready to play it.
It''s unlikely that the 15+ roll to cast it for free will be too challenging either, especially in lower power level games with very high mana value spells being flung constantly. However, Gale''s Redirection does not alter the timing restrictions of a spell like Narset''s Reversal, and you''ll have to wait until your own turn before playing it.
Note that it''s very unlikely you''ll be stealing commanders with this. Although you can counter the spell, your opponent may opt to move it into the command zone rather than the exile.
The Council of Four
Human Noble 0/8: Three generic, one white, and one blue legendary creature
When a player draws his second card during their turn, you draw a card.
A 2/2 white Knight creature token has been created when a player casts their second spell during their turn.
Although this was technically revealed in day four''s selection, time zones meant it missed out in being included then, and it''s too odd to not share.
The Council of Four is a new Azorius (white/blue) commander who rewards you for your opponents drawing cards and casting spells. While you might consolidate it into a hatebears package to discourage your opponents from doing too much, the ultimate advantage might be to take a group hug approach intentionally to force your opponents into triggering the Council and giving you a leg up.
Run cards like Howling Mine and Dictate of Kruphix to ensure your opponents draw a second card every turn. While how many spells your opponents cast is difficult to control, Knowledge Pool will usually be sufficient to get that extra knight every turn.
Because of its meaty 0/8 statistics, The Council of Four can make a great inclusion in a toughness-matters deck. Whether it be Arcades the Strategist, or a blue-partnered Rasaad yn Bashir, these four old politicians might become a dangerous attacking force.
Popular Artist (translated name TBA)
Background: One generic, one red legendary enchantment
"Whenever one or more creatures you control deal combat damage to a player, goad target creature controlled," say commander creatures you own.
Backgrounds have always been a relatively low-powered alternative to having a partnered commander, bringing minor benefits that requires your commander to be in play. When it enters the battlefield, a popular artist will not flip the table, but there''s still a lot to be done here.
As long as you''re constantly swinging out and dealing damage, you may be adding three creatures to your deck, including Duke Ulder Ravengard, Fathom Fleer Swordjack, Rakshasa Debaser, and Trove Tracker. Both cards are great for a variety of myriad or encore creatures.
Sivriss, Nightmare Speaker
Snake Cleric Warlock 3/3 is a three-genre model, with just one black legendary creature.
Tap Sivriss, sacrifice another creature or artifact: For each opponent, you mill a card, then return it from your graveyard to your hand unless that player pays three lives.
Choose a Background.
This is a fantastic strategy. A once-per-turn sacrifice outlet has some energy, but being able to grip your opponents'' heads and allow them to offer three extra cards is quite powerful. In the right deck full of graveyard synergy benefits, you might make it so your opponent prefers to draw the card instead.
Sivriss can be tricky on several occasions with Cloakwood Hermit Sivriss'' card no matter what, so if it''s a creature you''ll always receive two 1/1 Squirrels. Doing so also expands Sivriss to the green/black Golgari colours, which have even more graveyard-loving tools at their disposal. Additionally, Seedborn Muse allows you to sacrifice a creature with Sivriss on every of your opponents''
Criminal Past is another alternative. Although it keeps you locked into mono-black, Sivriss will become bigger and bigger, and your opponents may be more inclined to offer it instead.
Renari, Merchant of Marvels
Dragon Artificer 2/4: Three generic, one blue legendary creature
Dragon spells and artifact spells may be cast as if they had flash.
Select a Background.
One of the themes of this series is to include a larger selection of Dragon commanders who aren''t total powers like the Ur-Dragon, Progenitus, and Tiamat. Despite the fact that Renari is one of the most powerful, the dragon is quite terrifying in his own right.
The process of casting Dragon spells as though they had a flash is quite straightforward. It''s a good way to surprise your opponents with blockers, and with some clever deck building you may be throwing out powerful Dragons on your opponents'' end steps, just to untap and attack them immediately afterwards. Ahead, you may do some nasty play with a Background partner like Acolyte of Bahamut to reduce the first Dragon each turn.
It''s possible to play artifacts with a flash that''s more interesting. Diamond elimination (that enter tapped) for a ramp on your opponent''s end step is excellent, and a Nevinyrral''s Disk to board wipe is even better.
Renari will be a well-known feature in Ur-Dragon decks as part of the 99. With its distinctive colour profile and frequent use of the Vedalken Orrery, Renari assists in maintaining those instant-speed plays.