Preview season has already marched on past Double Masters 2022, but I’m still digging into all the cool new things that Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate has brought to the table. This set is deep for Commander fans, and I keep finding awesome things to build around or put into decks. For instance, did you notice that there were three new God creatures in Baldur’s Gate?
These God creatures have an interesting spin on immortality compared to previous God creature cards, tied flavorfully to the black mana that each of them share: as long as your life total is less than or equal to half your starting life total, they have indestructible. In Commander, that means you need to get down to 20 life or less to get that benefit, which isn’t usually very difficult to do if your pod is even vaguely combat-oriented. Black has plenty of ways to trade life for resources, so any deck built around Baldur’s Gate Gods would probably want to make use of some of these:
The Lord of Bones
For Myrkul, Lord of Bones in particular, I really like Marshland Bloodcaster. Myrkul is the most expensive of the Gods mana-wise, so cashing in seven life to cast it from your command zone gets you well on your way to the 20-life threshold.
Speaking of Myrkul, Lord of Bones, I think it has a unique ability that makes for an interesting deckbuilding challenge. It calls for lots of creatures that you’d ideally want on the battlefield when Myrkul shows up, and make sure that those creatures have some sort of ability that will do fun things when you make enchantment token copies of them when they die and get exiled with Myrkul’s ability. You’ll want something that has a nifty tap ability, something with a nice enters-the-battlefield ability you’ll get to use again, or something with a useful sacrifice ability. Then there’s the fact that they’re enchantments, and you can even lean into Enchantress-style territory.
Let’s dig in!
Creatures with Activated Abilities
There is no shortage of creatures with helpful activated abilities to use with Myrkul. Once they become enchantments and no longer creatures, they become generally much more durable, since mass enchantment removal isn’t nearly as common. I really like Destiny Spinner, since it can help push important creature spells past any countermagic, and its activated ability will be quite potent late-game when you’ve potentially got a bunch of former creatures that are now hanging out as enchantments.
Creatures that provide mana will be useful on multiple fronts. First, they will help you ramp your mana to cast your very expensive commander. Then, after they die and come back as enchantments, you’ll be able to keep using that mana to help recast your commander if something happens to it. As enchantments rather than creatures, they won’t have summoning sickness, so you can use that mana right away. I’m partial to creatures like Llanowar Tribe and Canopy Tactician since they tap for multiple mana. Ilysian Caryatid will give you double the mana with Myrkul on the battlefield, while Selvala, Heart of the Wilds will provide a whopping seven mana!
Speaking of creatures with activated abilities, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: once these creatures from Shadowmoor that have tap and untap abilities become enchantments, you can tap and untap to your heart’s content: the -1/-1 counters don’t matter if they’re no longer creatures. You can create arbitrarily large amounts of mana with Devoted Druid, strip all cards from your opponents’ hands with Cinderhaze Wretch, and prevent any amount of damage dealt to any creature or player with Barrenton Medic.
I personally would never put Cinderhaze Wretch in this deck because I feel that stripping everyone’s hand and forcing everyone to play the card they draw each turn stinks. But I did want to point it out in case your playgroup is particularly cut-throat or higher-powered. The other two are a bit fairer if you allow room for your opponents to interact with your battlefield and don’t lock everything down with something like Avacyn, Angel of Hope; Privileged Position; and Sterling Grove. The mana from Devoted Druid in particular will advance things towards the end-game, which will be much more satisfying than making it impossible for your opponents to kill you with damage that Barrenton Medic provides.
Creatures with Inherent Abilities
Creatures with inherent abilities are good with Myrkul also, since it doesn’t much matter if they’re a creature or an enchantment to get the benefit. Syr Konrad, the Grim is a rock star in a Myrkul deck because when your commander is on the battlefield, you get a trigger when your creature dies, and you get one when you exile it with Myrkul since it’s leaving the graveyard. I love that if your Toski somehow dies, you can exile it with Myrkul and make an indestructible enchantment version.
Creatures with Enters-the-Battlefield Triggers
Creatures with abilities that trigger when they enter the battlefield are solid Commander staples. With Myrkul they get another chance to shine, even if, once they come back as enchantments and give you that trigger, they don’t do much else unless you can benefit from the enchantment in some other way.
The Selesnya and Simic color combinations have received a ton of support for the Enchantress style over the years, but Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has given us a few options outside of those colors lately. Earlier this year there was Tatsunari, Toad Rider that enables a Sultai enchantments build, and Myrkul opens up an Abzan spin on it. Although Myrkul’s ability to turn dead creatures into enchantments won’t trigger card draw from cards like Sythis, Harvest’s Hand or Mesa Enchantress, it does provide some resistance to removal by turning them into enchantments if they die after Myrkul hits the battlefield.
There are other creatures that do work great alongside Myrkul, like Ajani’s Chosen, which will create a 2/2 Cat token whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield. Weaver of Harmony does incredibly cool things with creatures with activated or triggered abilities that have become enchantments with Myrkul.
Speaking of triggered abilities of enchantments, Weaver of Harmony loves to be in a deck filled with enchantment creatures sporting the constellation mechanic! Eidolon of Blossoms and Doomwake Giant are snap inclusions in any Myrkul deck, but I also like including Nylea’s Colossus and Humbler of Mortals, since they can accumulate enough triggers to punch through a ton of combat damage. Even though Setessan Champion and Archon of Sun’s Grace aren’t enchantments initially, if they die and get copied by Myrkul, you’ll be able to copy their abilities with Weaver of Harmony.
Protect Your Stuff
Myrkul is so expensive, I’d lean towards having a few ways to try to protect the card from being destroyed or exiled too many times. I’d lean towards cheap green spells, since nearly all of our mana ramp options are going to be green, so chances are decent that you’ll have some extra green mana lying about. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping is top-notch for this, providing hexproof and indestructible, but since Myrkul has decent odds of granting itself indestructible, the spells that provide hexproof like Snakeskin Veil are going to work out a lot of the time.
I thought I’d also mention Fountain Watch here if you’re building a deck for a higher-powered Commander pod. If it dies and is copied by Myrkul, its ability to give enchantments shroud will cover itself, making your enchantments pretty difficult to interact with by casting targeted removal.
Being able to sacrifice your creatures will be useful once Myrkul hits the battlefield and is vital to turning on your combo pieces like Devoted Druid. Dockside Chef, Evolutionary Leap and Fanatical Devotion work particularly well for this since they are also enchantments to play into the synergies.
Jaheira, Friend of the Forest is a powerful card in search of the right decks, and Myrkul seems like the perfect home for it, especially if you’ve got other ways to make tokens outside of just Myrkul. And how awesome is it that we can play both Anointed Procession and Parallel Lives in our enchantments deck and get pretty crazy payoffs?
Other Enchantments Matter
Before I wrap up, I wanted to mention a few more enchantments-matter cards that aren’t creatures and so won’t directly benefit from Myrkul’s trigger. But Sphere of Safety and Hallowed Haunting will definitely bring some sweet benefits for the extra enchantments that Myrkul will bring to the battlefield and are worth considering for your deck.
What sort of other cards would you play alongside Myrkul? And what do you think of the other Gods from Baldur’s Gate?
Talk to Me
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And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy.