Mana Creature Tribal With Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss!

Human Boar? That’s anything but boring! Bennie Smith offers ideas on how to build a Commander deck around Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate preview Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss.

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss
Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss, illustrated by Xavier Ribiero

One of the many cool things about Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is the incredible variety of lycanthropes there are beyond the expected Werewolf, half-man and half-wolf. Many, many moons ago when I was running one of my first D&D campaigns, I created a “big bad” for my low-level players called Snooker, a seemingly invulnerable and mysterious adversary who was always one step ahead of the characters, striking from the shadows and practically disappearing into the shadows just as quickly.

Eventually they found out that Snooker was a wererat, and once they acquired silver weapons, they were finally able to turn the tables on Snooker and put an end to his dastardly deeds. In addition to werewolves and wererats, in D&D there are wereleopards, werebears, werespiders, weresharks, werebats, and swanmays, and that’s just scratching the surface. 

There are also wereboars, which brings up to one of the coolest new legendary creatures in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate, Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss!

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Raggadragga is a wereboar character who operated as the infernal warlord of the Goreguts Gang in Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells plane. D&D adventurers can encounter him in the sourcebook Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus.

For Magic players, especially Commander fans, Raggadragga offers up something new: a lord for a “mana creature tribal” deck we never knew we wanted until just last week.  He offers a lot of potent abilities in his text box on top of being an on-par 4/4 for four mana critter, so let’s break it down.

The First Two Abilities

Each creature you control with a mana ability gets +2/+2.

In Commander, mana creatures are often cheap on mana and small on body stats, and while they’re great for accelerating your mana in the early-game, they certainly get outclassed really quickly by other creatures on the battlefield. Raggadragga can come down ahead of curve thanks to an early mana creature or two, and instantly provide a significant boost to your mana creatures.

Whenever a creature you control with a mana ability attacks, untap it.

Creatures provide a lot of utility in Commander, not least of which is their ability to attack or block. Creatures with mana abilities often spend their time tapped for mana to cast other spells, so it’s nice that Raggadragga gives you flexibility; your boosted mana creatures can both attack and block, or attack and then be able to tap to add mana for spells or abilities after attacking. And if you’re casting instant spells after blockers are declared, you can do all three!

If you’re a fan of multiple attacks in a turn, a Raggadragga deck can pull it off pretty easily, and with enough mana creatures, you can take as many combat steps as you’d like with the right support cards.

Aggravated Assault Hellkite Charger

The Haymaker

Whenever you cast a spell, if at least seven mana was spent to cast it, untap target creature. It gets +7/+7 and gains trample until end of turn.

And here we have the haymaker ability: cast a big spell and get a big effect. I really love this design because it scales so well in a Commander game when you need to punch through someone’s defenses. This actually combines well with the middle ability if you have an instant spell with a mana cost of seven or higher you can cast after blockers are declared; the attacking mana creatures can then tap to help you cast it, giving a whopping +7/+7 and trample to any creature.  You could even do this for an opponent’s creatures if it helps take down the archenemy.

Before we get to it, let me just give a shout-out to Wizards of the Coast (WotC)’s Studio X: if there’s someone on the team who keeps hitting homeruns on Gruul commander designs, they deserve a raise!  There are so many great choices out there these days, including Raggadragga:

Halana and Alena, Partners Chishiro, the Shattered Blade Jolene, the Plunder Queen Vrondiss, Rage of Ancients Kaima, the Fractured Calm Tahngarth, First Mate Zilortha, Strength Incarnate

Okay, let’s dive in!

Mana Ability Based on Power

Marwyn, the Nurturer Heronblade Elite Viridian Joiner

First I wanted to take a look at creatures that tap for mana equal to their power, and found exactly these three.  Heronblade Elite synergizes with our commander since Raggadragga is a Human, while Marwyn takes advantage of the fact that there are a ton of Elves that happen to be mana creatures. I would probably play both of these and Viridian Joiner in the deck!

Mana Elves

Radha, Heir to Keld Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood Llanowar Elves Elvish Mystic Fyndhorn Elves Priest of Titania Incubation Druid Devoted Druid Jaspera Sentinel Werebear

Speaking of Elves, there are a ton of them with mana abilities, and I’m sure we’re going to be playing with a bunch of them. Radha, Heir to Keld is perfect here since she’s a 2/2 with a mana ability that provides two red mana when she attacks, so with Raggadragga on the battlefield she’s a 4/4 attacker that can provide you with three mana during your attack for instants or activated abilities. I also like Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood since it rewards you for casting the high-cost spells you want to be casting anyway.

And Werebear gets a special lycanthrope shout-out that can potentially be a 6/6 creature if you have threshold with your commander on the battlefield.

Other Mana Creatures

Birds of Paradise Gilded Goose Ornithopter of Paradise Alena, Kessig Trapper Palladium Myr Sylvan Caryatid Plague Myr Scuttlemutt Mimic Reclusive Taxidermist Goldhound

Outside of Elves, there are plenty of other mana creatures you can tap into as well.  I especially like the flyers like Birds of Paradise and Ornithopter of Paradise, since they provide flying defense and can be evasive attackers.

Plague Myr’s infect ability gets scary with Raggadragga on the battlefield, and it’s a prime candidate for the +7/+7 trigger if you need to take someone down with poison.

I’m a big fan of Mimic, which has tons of D&D flavor, and if you turn it into a creature, since it has a mana ability, Raggadragga gives it a nice boost.

Everyone’s a Mana Creature

Cryptolith Rite Citanul Hierophants Ashaya, Soul of the Wild Song of Freyalise Manaweft Sliver Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro Rishkar, Peema Renegade Paradise Mantle

Hopefully you already have a Cryptolith Rite or Citanul Hierophants to play in the deck; both of these have jumped in price since Raggadragga was previewed because our wereboar friend turns these into an Anthem effect for all of our creatures, including Raggadragga himself! 

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild has been holding steady under $10 and does the same thing, since a Forest has the intrinsic mana ability of tapping to add one green mana, so that might make a good alternative if you have one of those.  Song of Freyalise is certainly appealing at a dollar or less, giving all your creatures a mana ability for the next two turns, and Chapter III is perfect for an aggressive posture.

If you want to do changeling shenanigans with Maskwood Nexus, you could consider Manaweft Sliver and Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro.  If you’ve got +1/+1 counter synergies, then Rishkar, Peema Renegade can boost the team. 

I’d also strongly consider Paradise Mantle as a cheap way to let Raggadragga take advantage of his own abilities.

Animate Lands

Sylvan Awakening Rude Awakening Kamahl's Will Kamahl, Fist of Krosa Jolrael, Empress of Beasts Nissa, Who Shakes the World Druid Class Spike Tiller

Speaking of Ashaya turning your creatures into lands with mana abilities, another angle in a Raggadragga deck could be turning your lands into creatures.  Sylvan Awakening with your commander on the battlefield turns all your lands into 4/4 creatures with reach, indestructible and haste, and they’ll untap when they attack to give you plenty of mana to work with later in your turn.  Kamahl’s Will has always been just a tad pricey to take full advantage of its effect, but if it’s going to shine anywhere, then a Raggadragga deck is going to be it!

Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is a perfect fit in this deck; not only can it pump extra mana into making your lands into 3/3 creatures while offering a potent mana sink when all your attacking creatures with mana abilities untap, it can also threaten to punish players who want to destroy all your mana creatures with a mass removal spell by making a few of their lands into creatures before the spell resolves.


Treetop Village Ghitu Encampment Den of the Bugbear Lair of the Hydra Inkmoth Nexus Mishra's Factory Mutavault Blinkmoth Nexus Raging Ravine Dread Statuary

Of course, there are also lands that have the inherent ability to turn into creatures and I imagine we’ll want to make use of a lot of them. Raging Ravine fixes both of your colors and can quickly ratchet up to being a massive threat with Raggadragga on the battlefield. I also really love Treetop Village since it has trample and can easily smash through chump blockers.

Trample for the Team

Glorious Sunrise Pathbreaker Ibex Archetype of Aggression Blossoming Bogbeast Akroma's Memorial Brawn Garruk's Uprising Gruul War Plow

Speaking of trample, we’ll want to give our team trample outside of Raggadragga’s last ability. I’ve really loved running Glorious Sunrise in my commander decks, especially ones where my commander has power three or greater so that I can draw a card on its trigger, but giving all your mana creatures an additional +1/+1 and trample will mean a big attack sometimes. Akroma’s Memorial is another good one that conveniently costs seven mana, which lets you trigger Raggadragga’s last ability.  And since it also gives your creatures vigilance, you can leverage Raggadragga’s middle ability to double your mana from your attacking creatures.

Mana Value Seven or More: Instants

Comet Storm Electrodominance Klauth's Will Kindred Summons Scour from Existence Hunting Pack Decree of Savagery Vitalizing Wind

Next, I wanted to look for instant spells we could cast during our attack step to unlock that last ability of our commander.  Spells with X in the cost like Electrodominance are nice flexible ways of giving us this option that we can also cast for less mana in a pinch.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve put Vitalizing Wind into a deck but I’m strongly considering it here. If you’ve got three creatures with mana abilities attacking, you’ll only need six mana from other sources to cast this after blockers are declared, giving all your creatures +7/+7 and Raggadragga’s last ability giving one creature an additional +7/+7 and trample!

Mana Value Seven or More: Sorceries

Brass's Bounty Ezuri's Predation Insurrection Praetor's Counsel

Unless you have a Vedalken Orrery on the battlefield, big expensive sorcery spells will just try to take advantage of Raggadragga’s last ability before going into combat. Ezuri’s Predation is green’s “Wrath of God,” but if you’ve got something like Cryptolith Rite and your commander on the battlefield, that boosts each Beast token to a 6/6, which takes the fight to an entirely different level.

Mana Value Seven or More: Creatures

Kamahl, Heart of Krosa Liege of the Tangle Craterhoof Behemoth End-Raze Forerunners Myojin of Towering Might Old Gnawbone

High-cost creatures that can animate your lands like Kamahl, Heart of Krosa seems like a good thing to consider for the deck.  Finishers like Craterhoof Behemoth and End-Raze Forerunners hit even harder with Raggadragga’s last ability tacked on. Myojin of Towering Might sounds like a solid inclusion here, giving a Raggadragga trigger when it is first cast, and later can use its activated ability to punch through damage with trample.

Saving the Team

Nim Deathmantle Cauldron of Souls Heroic Intervention Temur Sabertooth Kogla, the Titan Ape

Last are ways to save the team from mass removal spells.  Raggadragga becomes better the more mana creatures you have on the battlefield, which will make it very attractive for an opponent to pull the trigger on something like Wrath of God.

Nim Deathmantle triggers for each nontoken creature that is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, so if you have enough mana, you can pay multiple times to save some of your creatures (with the last one saved becoming equipped with Nim Deathmantle).  Cauldron of Souls is another classic way to protect the team that is usually not so effective on mana creatures since the -1/-1 counter will typically kill them, but Raggadragga’s +2/+2 covers that so long as he’s on the battlefield.

Temur Sabertooth lets you save creatures by putting them back to your hand, and since mana should be plentiful in this deck, this is a solid way to recover from a battlefield sweeper. Kogla, the Titan Ape does the same thing for Human creatures, and luckily for us our commander is a Human as well as a Boar.

So, what do you think of Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss?  Are there any cards I overlooked that you’d include in the deck?  What cards from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate are you excited about?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

CommandFest Richmond

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