Baldur's Gate: Elminster Synergies and Tech Cards

Mikeal Basile
May 30, 2022

“Magictating” is defined as getting into the zone with your Magic the Gathering collection--thinking, planning, organizing, reminiscing about past games, and imagining future games. It is a combination of hard thinking about the game and calm meditation, reveling in the joy it brings you.

I must profess that I don't know all that much about Elminister. What I do know about is lots of older Magic cards and a fair number of these newer cards as well. Elminster is an upcoming planeswalker in Commander Legends 2 (Battle for Baldur's Gate). This is a seriously interesting Commander card, and I'd like to take some time to share some synergies and interesting cards with you that are sure to guarantee you a fantastic time with the incredibly powerful mage that is Elminster.

Elminster wants us to Scry and Scry often. Additionally, if you find some interesting ways to bring high casting cost cards to the top of your library, then you can crank out a ton of 1/1 blue Faerie Dragons. So, what types of cards should be considered for an Elminster deck? Let's start with some of the most ridiculous cards we can find for this spell-slinging beauty.

Tamiyo's Epiphany (WAR)

Graven Lore (KHM)

Foresee and its twin Tamiyo's Epiphany are both pretty cool, because if you have another spell to cast that's four or more mana, then you just managed to cast these for free. The essentially free price of these draw-two spells should not be underestimated. You can go as deep as six cards, or really stack your deck up to set up a big Faerie Dragon token-making turn. While we're speculating on interesting cards to add to our pile, let's consider using Mystic Speculation. Mystic Speculation is really a very cool card to play around with as its buyback cost is reduced by Elminster's ability. This means that you can spam Mystic Speculation for just one blue mana over and over again (after the initial payment that is). Scrying 3 over and over again is another easy way to set up some powerful token generating turns. Ugin's Insight offers a dangerously powerful effect. Even if Elminster is your only permanent with a mana value, you're getting to look through at least the top five cards and then select the best three to draw. Then, you can use the Scry effects to set up more Faerie Dragon tokens! Now, I know that we have to exile those top cards to employ Elminsters ability, so having a card like The Raven's Warning can be a nice way to leverage our flying tokens for card advantage, and then snag back one of our big beefy spells to brutalize our opponents with more than just a mob of flying creatures. To be gravely serious, it might even be cute to run snow lands and run Graven Lore, but that might be getting a little too cute.

Alrund's Epiphany (KHM)

Big powerful spells are the things that will help not only crank out the tokens, but bury our opponents with their reduced casting costs that basically let us power out huge turns. The nastiest cards combine powerful effects with high CMCs so that we can have the option of ditching them for our army or casting them for some gross profits. Cards like Alrund's Epiphany, Expropriate, Time Stretch, Invincible Hymn, Clone Legion, Blessed Wind, Beacon of Tomorrows, Mnemonic Deluge, and even Aminatou's Augury are all excellent ways to break people's backs. Casting any of these for a reduced amount off the back of any of our Scry machines is gross. Additionally, being able to essentially pitch them to Elminster in order to crank out 7 or more power in Faerie Dragons every turn is fantastic.

Of course, the biggest spells are always the ones that let us decide how much mana to sink into them, but no I'm not talking about Power Sink. I'm talking about powerhouse cards like Heliod's Intervention, White Sun's Zenith, Ondu Inversion, Secure the Wastes, Finale of Glory, and even Grand Crescendo. Remember that if your costs are reduced that applies to X spells as well. If you reduce your spell by 5, then X is already equal to 5 before you can even pump any more mana into it. Of course having other cards, aside from Elminster, to crank out a few more tokens is usually a good idea in a deck like this, so don't forget to include Metallurgic Summonings to crank out creatures while you are casting those free and reduced spells. It also helps that you can use this to get back all the spells you cast.

Elminster and Metallurgic Summonings don't have to be the only ways we build up our armies. We can use cards like Deploy to the Front, Storm Herd, Shark Typhoon, and Devout Invocation to build out some truly powerful turns. Using Shark Typhoon to nab extra fliers and then using a card like Devout Invocation to level up our Faerie Dragons with 4/4 Angels as partners is a great way to close out a game. Also, Deekah, Fractal Theorist is grossly powerful in this deck.

If you find yourself worried about getting closed out of the game, then consider running cards like Play of the Game, Ondu Inversion, Sphinx's Revelation, and Magus of the Moat. These can help slow things down and give you a chance to rebuild with the creatures of your dreams.

Siani, Eye of the Storm (CMR)

Kangee, Sky Warden (CMR)

Now, this is definitely a spell-slinging deck, but that doesn't mean you have to banish all Creatures to your binder. A couple of grossly powerful synergies exist, and foremost is a fantastically fun card from Commander Legends, Siani, Eye of the Storm. Wow! Scry X, where X is the number of…what!? This is a match made in Commander. Likewise, Brain in a Jar is also a sweet little inclusion to consider. A couple other notables include Kangee, Sky Warden, Prognostic Sphinx, and Soulblade Djinn. These all help to either close the game out or power up those Scry triggers.

Brainstorm (MMQ)

Brainstone (MH2) Cavalier of Gales (M20)

Speaking of ways to sculpt the top of our deck, perhaps we should consider running Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Sure, he doesn't Scry, but he can put cards from our hand back on top to help Elminster get crazy value from cards we have no intention of casting. Likewise, there are cards like Scroll Rack, Brainstorm, Brainstone, Cavalier of Gales, Conch Horn, and Dream Cache all help to return cards to the top of your library while providing additional benefits. However, the coolest and most exciting way to drop cards to the top for Elminster to exile is Hidden Retreat. This is a great way to blank a Crackle With Power, and it can be activated on any of your own spells (even the ones that aren't dealing damage can be used to activate this ability). This means while we are reducing our casting costs of spells and sifting through our decks, we can easily drop cards we've drawn to the top of our deck to maximize the number of the Faerie Dragons we can crank out. This allows us to dump cards that are superfluous and get maximum value from all of our spells.

Spicy inclusions go beyond the amazing Hidden Retreat when we consider running hidden gems like Chant of Vitu-Ghazi. Using your Faerie Dragons to blank someone's big alpha strike when you're “tapped out” is a beautiful thing. Hero's Remembered is a cute little piece of tech as well, and lastly I'd like you to pause a moment and consider running Dig Through Time. Delving away its huge casting cost still allows you to benefit from all of its high mana value synergies without compromising on your own ability to actually cast it. Also, you might want to consider dropping in Sephara, Sky's Blade and Rally of Wings to help steal games and/or remove an opponent quickly.

Honestly, I could keep going on about all the interesting inclusions and fantastically fun synergies that are available. I would like you to consider that foretelling and delving both help you reduce your casting costs even more than Elminster's ability. You could even consider running something with Storm, or maybe even Surge like Crush of Tentacles. I think the cute factors are OK, but I prefer to run the cards I've mentioned in this article, as they have multiple points of synergy with this deck. There's always more to discover, but I think this ought to give you a great head start on making a true spell-slinging, Faerie Dragon creating Elminster Commander deck. Well my friends, may the cute little Faerie Dragons, their wizard master, and the cards be ever in your favor!