Alora, Merry Thief – Baldur’s Gate
Date Reviewed: June xx, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There are surprisingly many things you can do with Alora’s ability. Not only does she guarantee combat damage to a player, she obviously guarantees anything that triggers from combat damage, and also comes-into-play or leaves-play abilities. It also seems awfully coincidental that she was released right around the time there were ninjas in Standard again. There used to be a lot of explicit encouragement of cross-block synergy – you could look for cards that “didn’t belong” and they would often be relevant to the previous block’s or the next block’s themes – and this card is undoubtedly more of that. In Commander, there is a huge number of things you can do with her, and that’s true to a lesser extent in limited too.
If you’re not familiar with the Baldur’s Gate games, Alora was a recruitable companion in the first one. Despite being located in an area that’s rather out of the way (and also difficult for early-game characters), she made an impression on quite a few people, but still didn’t make it into the second game. She was notable for being a good-aligned character who had positive interactions with the evil and notably self-centered Edwin – and that brings us to another curious point, since he was popular at the games’ release and didn’t make it into Battle for Baldur’s Gate!
Commander [EDH]: 3/5 (more of a synergy card than a self-contained powerhouse, but when it all comes together, you can do some great stuff)
Hit and run can always be fun, and Alora’s antics even have the upside of letting you reuse various effects from comes-into-play triggers; on its own, this helps a lot with things like adventure-spell creatures and just incremental value and advantage. She’s not the flashiest creature, but she is cheap. can bring along a nice and tragic bit of lore, and even has the upshot of not needing to attack. She’s plenty intriguing without being warping, and you can have a lot of fun between getting a lot of re-use out of abilities or just smashing really, really hard.
Constructed: 2 (might be useful for sneaking something in for lethal damage, but Legacy isn’t wanting for such things)
Limited: 3.5 (very much wants to be built around)
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
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