Commander Legends: Baldur's Gate Set Review - White

(Battle Angels of Tyr | Art by Fajareka Setiawan)

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold I | Gold II | Artifacts & Lands

Don't Draw Til You See the Whites of Their Cards!

It's the Year of White, and we're the lucky ones to judge whether Wizards is living up to the name or just trying to sell us cardboard rectangles with inflated value!

Don't go thinking about that last sentence too much, there're cards to evaluate!


Ancient Gold Dragon

Any card that you can even loosely compare to Avenger of Zendikar probably fits in the "good" category, but Ancient Gold Dragon has all of the problems of Avenger of Zendikar and then some, all while not coming with the inherent pump that makes Avenger a "it pretty much wins you the game on its own" kind of card. This Elder Dragon is seven mana, which is pretty much the standard for an Elder Dragon. Throw in some above-rate stats at a 7/10 flier for seven, and we're looking pretty great. The things is, efficient stats aren't enough in Commander.

"But if you get 10+ tokens off of this, you're gonna be set!" I hear you saying. Yes, but there will also be a lot of times where you only get 1-5 tokens off this, and you're going to feel sad.

Not that I'm saying this is a bad card. Far from it. What I'm saying is that, in the long run, I feel like you're more likely to see Ancient Gold Dragon less as a white staple and more as a niche playable in Dragons decks, flying decks, and token decks.

Battle Angels of Tyr

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's... a Land Tax for everything, strapped to an efficient flier that makes copies of itself for each opponent every combat step?

I've been asking for this card for years, and it's actually gone above and beyond my expectations. Sure, sure, even with the 12 damage in the air, there's a solid chance you might not get much out of this as far as triggers. Still, even if you only get a Treasure or a card once or twice, you're pretty happy with your rate here, given the damage and the slight upside.

Plus, if you happen to play enough Scorched Ruins and weenies out onto the table to get two or three cards and Treasures each combat, well then, pour it on!

Legion Loyalty

Speaking of Myriad, Legion Loyalty will give it to all your creatures, which seems like a pretty sweet deal. That deal looks a little less sweet when you realize that you have to get to eight mana, but there's still little doubt that combat will be a windmill of enter-the-battlefield triggers and huge damage if you do manage to get this thing onto the battlefield.

Still, I'd like to tamp down the hype a bit here, if I could. Legion Loyalty does not pass the "eight-mana cards should more or less win you the game" test, at all. On an empty board, I'd rather have Parhelion II than this, and that doesn't really do anything either. Where I do think that Legion Loyalty is a great deal is in blink decks that are currently struggling for a real win-con once they've reached a dominant position. Just make sure not to accidentally draw yourself out with all those Cloudblazer and Mulldrifter triggers.


Archivist of Oghma

The best case study I can think of when trying to figure out whether or not Archivist of Oghma will do work for you at the average table, is to compare it to Cosi's Trickster.

The news doesn't get better from there, I'm afraid. While I'm always a happy camper if I'm playing against a ramp deck with the Trickster in play, I'm usually rather underwhelmed with the number of counters I'm stacking on it. Granted, card draw with incidental life gain stapled to it is much more impactful than +1/+1 counters, but for those with dreams of drawing three or four cards a turn with this, I'm afraid that that's just not going to be the case at any but the highest powered tables.

Which is not to say that it's a bad card, or that you shouldn't play it. As a flash 2/2 for two, even if you only draw a single card off of Archivist of Oghma, you're above-rate. If you get two, you're feeling good, and any more than that, you're ecstatic. Go in with those expectations, and you'll probably feel alright about Pippin here.

Ascend from Avernus

My first inclination was to compare this to Rally the Ancestors or Return to the Ranks, but neither of those really do the same thing, do they? Rally the Ancestors only gets you your creatures back for a single turn, without haste. Return to the Ranks is going to be better in the average weenies deck, but cutting off at two mana value is really low.

With that said, you're going to have to pump a lot of mana into Ascend from Avernus to get your money's worth. At five mana, you're just starting to compete with what you can do for two and a couple creatures with Return to the Ranks, because there aren't even any two-mana planeswalkers in white. At six, there are currently only five mono-white planeswalkers that cost three mana, but you're probably really starting to grab quite a few creatures. Seven is where it really feels like the rubber meets the road, with a litany of format staples you can grab in both the creature and planeswalker realm. In other words, this will almost always be a late game play for a more midrange-y deck, rather than a mid-game play for a weenie deck, where Return to the Ranks would serve you much better.

Horn of Valhalla

There's no shortage of various versions of "this creature has power and toughness equal to the number of creatures you control" out there, but believe it or not, Horn of Valhalla outcompetes most of the Equipment options before you even get to its Adventure option.

As it should, considering that it's technically harder to cast due to its white pip, Horn of Valhalla is cheaper to both cast and equip than Pennon Blade. Sigil of Valor, in turn, beats out the Horn with its one-mana equip, but only allows for a sort of mimicry of Exalted. So if you're going wide and you're in white, you're probably better served by this unless you're specifically in the Exalted build.

However, the Adventure half of this spell really pushes this thing over the edge. Two white and X is sort of the going rate for this effect, but the fact that you can lay down a full battlefield of Soldiers, untap, and then put this on one of them to double your total swinging power is just nuts! In other words, Horn of Valhalla is coming to a tokens deck near you.

Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion

There aren't a ton of Backgrounds that care about counters, but that's fine! Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion is very cool. First off, she's another Weird Counter Tribal commander in the same vein as Falco Spara, Pactweaver, Denry Klin, Editor in Chief, Volrath, the Shapestealer, and her distant cousin, Pir, Imaginative Rascal. And, just like Pir, she will also put extra counters on planeswalkers both as they enter the battlefield and as they activate their (positive) loyalty abilities, so we have a very flexible potential Superfriends commander here. Add all of that in with your typical +1/+1 counter shenanigans, and you have a ton of fun options to build around here. (PS: I recommend using Myojin of Blooming Dawn in this deck!)

Lae'zel's Acrobatics

Lae'zel's Acrobatics is a blink deck's dream. It's also a decent way to save all of your stuff from a board wipe, especially if your deck has more than a couple enter-the-battlefield triggers. If you like Eerie Interlude, you already know you like this spell too.

Noble Heritage

Basandra, Battle Seraph decks rejoice, there's another white combat matters card! It's just too bad you can't give her the Background.

All kidding aside, this is a fun politics Background that will have your opponents swinging at each other in the short term in the same vein as Agitator Ant. The struggle is figuring out just which commander to pair this with.

  • Imoen, Mystic Trickster: It might seem counterintuitive, but you can buy some time with Noble Heritage to do Dungeon shenanigans, and Imoen protects herself, so you're more likely to keep the deal going.
  • Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant: Not only does Lulu fly, which allows for huge commander damage swings with all the +1/+1 counters flying around, you can also untap creatures to act as blockers for when opponents do stop taking the Noble Heritage deal so they can attack you again.
  • Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar: Make your creatures big so you can draw more cards with them!
  • Vhal, Candlekeep Researcher: White has a ton of very good activated abilities, and you can stack counters on Vhal to have her tapping ludicrous amounts of mana. What's not to like?
  • Wilson, Refined Grizzly: Probably the most likely combination you're going to see with Noble Heritage, Wilson protects himself and has trample and vigilance to ensure you're stacking the counters for both offense and defense.

Sculpted Sunburst

There's been a disturbing trend of new cards lately that you have to read, then read again, then ask a friend, and read again before you understand what exactly they do. Sculpted Sunburst fits that description to a "T", so allow me to break it down:

  1. This is essentially another Divine Reckoning/Single Combat/Cataclysmic Gearhulk variant.
  2. The twist on this particular variant is that the lower the power of a creature you choose, the worse it probably is for your opponents (you get to keep your Mother of Runes/Esper Sentinel/Stoneforge Mystic, they get to keep a token).
  3. The whole weird wording of "if you chose" is to allow other players to interact while this is on the stack, improving their chances of coming out ahead. The worst case scenario is if you only have one creature, in which case they can remove it and Sculpted Sunburst is essentially fizzled. The more likely scenario is that they remove your Esper Sentinel in response, and now your lowest-power creature is a 2/2 or a 4/4 instead of a 1/1, making it much more likely that they can also save a relevant creature.
  4. The "if you chose" wording also prevents (or at least disincentivizes) you from casting Sculpted Sunburst without a creature on board, as the board wipe wouldn't actually happen.
  5. Finally, outside of Shroud interactions, it's worth noting that unlike targets, no player has to declare which creatures they're choosing while Sculpted Sunburst is on the stack, meaning that any interaction happening before the spell resolves is done blind, before you know what folks are going to officially choose.

White Plume Adventurer

The going rate for taking the initiative is firmly established at four mana throughout Battle for Baldur's Gate, so it's worth mentioning that you're getting a discount with White Plume Adventurer. What's even more noteworthy is just how good this Orc Cleric's second ability is, whether you've completed a dungeon or not. If you've raced through the Undercity (or any dungeon, for that matter), then White Plume Adventurer is a Seedborn Muse for creatures. Even if you haven't, it makes any tapper you have into an Endbringer, letting them do nonsense on each player's turn.

That's not an effect you want just anywhere, but in a deck with a commander with a relevant tap ability, like - well, allow me to throw together an impromptu Too-Specific Top 10 (ranked by EDHREC score):

Top 10 White Legendary Creatures That Tap

  1. Mikaeus, the Lunarch
  2. Zirda, the Dawnwaker
  3. Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
  4. Hanna, Ship's Navigator
  5. Oswald Fiddlebender
  6. Rhys the Redeemed
  7. Jegantha, the Wellspring
  8. Selvala, Explorer Returned
  9. Samut, Voice of Dissent
  10. Osgir, the Reconstructor

I think you get the idea. Now just imagine it in a dedicated untap deck. Helloooooooooooo, Samut!

Windshaper Planetar

This is the kind of card I'd normally be bummed to see in a main set because it's never going to be good enough to put in a serious Commander deck, but would be an absolute blast in a Precon. Hopefully we'll be seeing that as spoilers go out for the Precons this week, but even if we don't, it's okay in this case. Why? Because this is a Commander Limited set, and while this thing isn't a bomb, it's more than good enough to make it into your deck to make a story.

Uncommon Commanders

Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward

I fell so deeply for Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward when he was first spoiled that I immediately made a Pauper EDH deck out of him:

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I couldn't help myself, he's just so delightfully counterintuitive! The nature of Abdel's strategy is to flicker your nonland permanents over and over again, getting enter- and leaves-the-battlefield effects like candy. However, he's a Background-based commander, meaning that you're going to have a Background with him that only works when he's on the battlefield.

This either incentivizes you to use him strictly as a sorcery-speed Cosmic Intervention, essentially only playing him when you're expecting a board wipe, or jump through a ton of hoops to try and make his nonsense work with his Background.

You can see which route I went.

Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody

Similarly, Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody is not a powerful commander, nor should she be! Professional NPC that she is, she's only there to create backstories. What she lacks in power, she makes up for in intrigue. It's not hard to make tokens in Magic: the Gathering, but to do so consistently, on every turn? That's a deck-building challenge I can get behind, whether it be in Limited or full-blown EDH.

Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant

I have no idea what Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant wants, from a deckbuilding perspective, and I don't care. Who has time to think about things like deckbuilding focus when there's Elephant Angels to be had? I'll take one Blink-Go-Wide-Untappers brew with unknown Background, please!

Rasaad yn Bashir

Toughness Matters gets more and more robust every year, and there's no exception when it comes to Rasaad yn Bashir. In a similarly unfocused fashion to Lulu, he does want to mix toughness with Dungeon crawling, but at three mana with 10 toughness waiting in the wings, do you even really care if you never manage to stick a Dungeoneer's Pack for double damage?

Commons & Uncommons

Beckoning Will-o'-Wisp

Just in case it's not clear on your first read, Beckoning Will-o'-Wisp's effect does not end at the end of your turn, meaning that during each of your turns, you can point at the most menacing player, Saskia-style, and just sit back and see who goes at the Archenemy for extra damage.

Contraband Livestock

It happens every set, and it gets said every set: this would be a great card if Swords to Plowshares didn't exist. As it is, it is still a fun card, and it does synergize with dice rolling decks.

Cut a Deal

Oh, hey. It's a good draw spell. In white. Weird.

Keeping in mind that this is going to be not great once players start dying, getting three cards for three mana is great value. I'd put this slightly above Words of Wisdom even if it were blue, so to see this effect in white is a real breath of fresh air.

There's a lot of talk comparing this card to Secret Rendezvous and trying to decide which one is better. A targeted draw allows for politics, and to help you and an ally catch up to an archenemy, but also provides a bigger advantage to an opponent than to the person who cast the Rendezvous, which could in turn create a new archenemy. The dispersed draw avoids the politics, but also potentially avoids that pitfall. Which would you prefer to play? Would you play both?

Far Traveler

It's easy to overlook the "tapped" rider here, but there's no doubt that you're looking at what's going to be one of the most played Backgrounds, even if it might not be in the command zone. At three mana to blink a creature every turn, this will see play right alongside Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and Soulherder. The card Conjurer's Closet appears in 32,000 decks, and Teleportation Circle appears in 15,000!

Hammers of Moradin

Hammers of Moradin isn't gonna take over any tables, but it's worth mentioning just because it's an efficient creature with Myriad and kind-of-better menace. With that said, even aggro decks aren't going to find a place for this unless they also have enter-the-battlefield triggers galore.

Veteran Soldier

Can we talk for a minute about the wording on this? I know it has to be done a specific way to avoid the pitfalls of Seraphic Greatsword, but it's really awkward to read.

Anyways, Veteran Soldier will make you some tokens, provided you play its game. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar likes it. It would just be nice if you didn't have to read the card five times to understand what its very simple game is.

Flaming Fist

It really seems like Wizards went out of their way to try and make easy synergies between Background commanders and Backgrounds a little difficult, and I'm kind of here for it. I like the challenge. With that said, this is going to be a Limited all-star, since it matches up well with just about any commander. 9,800 decks out there play Battle Mastery, and they should consider changing that over to this card instead, since it doesn't fall off if your Voltron commander dies. An extra Duelist's Heritage-lite sounds nice to me!

The name feels like it should be a red card, though.

Guardian Naga

Three-mana Disenchant that exiles might not be wowing anyone, but it's not terrible either. Combine that with a late-game Überblocker, and you've got something that's gonna see a bit of play in budget decks, methinks.

Pegasus Guardian

It's rare that you're going to get up the eight mana to cast both halves of Pegasus Guardian in the same turn, but Blink decks are going to be happy to see both a blink enabler and a blink payoff in one card, no matter the price.

Rescuer Chwinga

There are a surprising number of decks that care about bouncing your own stuff. God-Eternal Oketra, Karametra, God of Harvests, Torens, Fist of the Angels, and many other cards love a suite of Whitemane Lion, Kor Skyfisher, and Jeskai Barricade-style cards, and they're happy to pad their numbers out a little more.

Roving Harper

There's nothing remarkable about Roving Harper, and that in itself is noteworthy. It's just one in a long list of small monowhite creatures that cantrip now, joining:

  1. Carrier Pigeons, 1996, Alliances
  2. Rhox Meditant, 2009, Conflux
  3. Wall of Omens, 2010, Rise of the Eldrazi
  4. Orator of Ojutai, 2015, Dragons of Tarkir
  5. Priest of Ancient Lore, 2021, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
  6. Search Party Captain, 2021, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  7. Spirited Companion, 2022, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
  8. Inspiring Overseer, 2022, Streets of New Capenna
  9. Roving Harper, 2022, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate

As for where it ranks on that chronological list, it'd be about halfway up it if we were rating on value.

Scouting Hawk

In similar fashion, we're starting to get enough of the "Land Tax on a creature" effect now that it's also becoming a real decision to figure out which ones you want in your deck:

  1. Knight of the White Orchid, 2008, Shards of Alara
  2. Oreskos Explorer, 2015, Commander 2015
  3. Boreas Charger, 2018, Commander 2018
  4. Cartographer's Hawk, 2020, Commander 2020
  5. Keeper of the Accord, 2020, Commander Legends
  6. Stoic Farmer, 2021, Kaldheim
  7. Scholarship Sponsor, 2021, Commander 2021
  8. Loyal Warhound, 2021, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
  9. Scouting Hawk, 2022, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate

It's worth noting that while Scouting Hawk does fall on the largely-thought-to-be-superior side of putting the Plains onto the battlefield instead of into your hand, it's also above-rate at three mana. With eight of these effects available, it isn't gonna take much mental math to cut this three-mana option unless you really care about the flying or Bird portions of the card.


While this is going to be a fun combat trick in Commander Limited, probably the bigger use-case here is the absolute beasts this is going to make in Toughness Matters decks. Eat your heart out, Arcades! Doran, the Siege Tower is really excited right now.

Your Temple Is Under Attack

I loved Secret Rendezvous. I fought for it over and over again on social media, and I proceeded to attempt to put it in deck after deck, and cut it every time because it just didn't fit the theme or strategy of what any deck was trying to do (not even group hug).

Now we have Your Temple Is Under Attack. Giving your team indestructible is something that almost every white deck in existence is looking for in one form or another, and while there's no shortage of great versions of this effect, tacking card draw onto it is going to ensure that this sees play somewhere.

Wyrm's Crossing Patrol

It would be all too easy to flip past this French Vanilla 1/1, but if your deck cares about enter-the-battlefield triggers, sac outlets, aggro, or combat damage triggers, then this is worth consideration. Kyler, Sigardian Emissary and Bess, Soul Nourisher will genuinely do some awesome work with this little guy.


Alright, Wizards, you win this time. I'll continue to buy your pretty cardboard, but only because you've somewhat lived up to my personal expectations over what an arbitrary color we've attached flavor and meaning to appears to be getting its just desserts.

Seriously, it's easy to be cynical about white's lot in life when it comes to Commander, but bravo for delivering on your promises to improve said lot. Let's hope that trend continues throughout the year!

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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