26, May, 23

The Complete Commander's Guide to MTG Adventure (Updated)

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Article at a Glance

Since Temur Adventures appeared seemingly out of nowhere to dethrone Azorius Control in Theros Beyond Death Standard, I’ve fallen in love with the MTG Adventure archetype. Each Adventure creature comes with both an instant or sorcery half and a creature half. You can send your creatures ‘on an Adventure’ by casting the MTG Adventure spell in your hand. The creature will get exiled, and you can cast its creature half whenever you want!

gorion wise mentor

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate introduced Commanders for a ton of unsupported archetypes. Gorion, Wise Mentor gives Adventures its first powerful legendary creature! Alongside Gorion, a wave of powerful new support was created for the archetype. This allows us to fill out our Adventure deck with cards that have decent abilities on both sides instead of stuffing some of the less impressive Throne of Eldraine commons to fill out the MTG Adventure package. Here’s where we are with Gorion, Wise Mentor in EDH.

Core Card

lucky clover

Lucky Clover and Gorion have the same ability; they both want to copy your Adventure spells. Why bounce one of your opponent’s cards with Petty Theft when you can bounce two? Copying a counterspell can be even more powerful. If everyone’s throwing cards at a win condition and the owner has an out, counter both the out and the win condition. Since copying Adventure spells will be at the core of our deck, Lucky Clover is a must-have that may not even run you a dollar.

primal amulet
Primal Amulet may look slightly different, but don’t let it fool you! This is another Lucky Clover that needs a little investment to start copying more spells. Once you cast four instants or sorceries, Primal Amulet can flip into Primal Wellspring; a land that copies spells when mana from it is spent on an instant or sorcery spell. It will only copy a spell once per turn once it’s up and going, but it’ll reduce other MTG Adventure costs in the meantime.

As the deck slowly evolved, Primal Amulet has become a utility piece that does not always want to be flipped. Combined with Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios and some Adventure copy effects, this can create an insane Storm sequence that casts your entire library in one turn.

Find the Clover

tribute mage
Lucky Clover is so important for this archetype that we will want to go out of our way to find it. Tribute Mage is another inexpensive option that will find your equally inexpensive clover. Three mana for cheaper tutor effects is pretty standard, and the body that you get on Tribute Mage is a nice little bonus. Spoiler alert: this deck wants to bounce your own creatures. This gives you an opportunity to get even more value out of Tribute Mage.

Fabricate does the same thing as Tribute Mage, but with fewer restrictions. There are other core artifact cards to search for in Gorion Adventures, so if you’ve already found your clover, there are other options here.

whir of invention

The point of showing so many different tutors to find Lucky Clover is to hammer home just how important it is to the deck. Anyone who’s played Adventures in constructed knows how powerful of a boost you get after sticking one clover on board. Lucky Clover turns a mediocre creature deck into a tempo nightmare.

There are more expensive tutoring options available, but I want to highlight cards that can fit into every player’s budget. For players who want to go all-in on a Gorion deck, there will be a list of expensive upgrades later on in the article.

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Cash in on Your Value

twinning staff

Both Gorion and Lucky Clover will be copying spells, so having ways to copy your copied spells gets you up to the value level needed to win games of Commander. There’s no extra investment required – Twinning Staff acts as an extra Lucky Clover whenever you’re casting Adventure spells already getting copied by Gorion or Clover itself. The payoff can be a lot larger, however, if you have multiple copy effects out. With just Gorion, Twinning Staff essentially functions as an additional copy. With both Clover and Gorion out, Twinning Staff functions as two additional copies of any Adventure spell!

errant street artist
Errant Street Artist is a recent New Capenna release that plays better in this deck than it does with any of the cards from its own set. Like Twinning Staff, getting a payoff with this card will be easy in Gorion Adventures.

As the deck slowly found its place, Errant Street Artist took a bow out. This copy effect ends up being expensive to use in comparison to the other options that this deck has, and was later replaced for cards that create a ton of value with the final gameplan that was landed on.

clever impersonator

A slightly different approach, Clever Impersonator can enter the battlefield as a copy of your Lucky Clover instead of copying stuff from it.

sakashima of a thousand faces

Copying your Commander is equally as good! Ensure that the cards you copy Gorion with avoid the legendary rule. Spark Double and Sakashima the Imposter are other cards that fill the same role.

Retrieve the Clover

eternal witness

Once your pod has played against Gorion a few times, Lucky Clover will likely end up as a target. Run a few things like Eternal Witness and Bala Ged Recovery that can retrieve a lost Lucky Clover. Eternal Witness, in particular, has some incredible synergies with the other themes in this deck.

This aspect of the deck ended up aging really well. As we will get into later into this article, self-mill looks to be the most unique win condition that has a lot of Adventure support. Once your gameplan gets rolling, cards like Eternal Witness start to feel more like tutors.

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The Adventure Spells

Baldur’s Gate introduced a plethora of different MTG Adventure creatures. They aren’t all good, but most are pretty powerful in comparison to what we did have. I sincerely hope you will play more Adventure creatures than the ones I highlight here, as these will only be the core ones you want to play. For more ideas, there will be a sample deck list at the bottom of the article.

brazen borrower

The only expensive Adventure card financially, Brazen Borrower is a little worse in Commander than constructed. That doesn’t stop it from being ludicrous when your game plan is buying back your creatures to cast them again. Brazen Borrower is worth the investment with the procedure set up. Imagine bouncing everything your opponents are getting out on board, just to bounce Brazen Borrower and bounce all their stuff again.

Its pretty easy for this deck to start creating five copies of each Adventure spell once the setup has been achieved, and bouncing five permanents for just two mana is absolutely devastating. You get to slowly develop your gameplan while your opponents are stuck recasting the same cards over and over.

tlincalli hunter

A newly introduced MTG Adventure card from the Exit from Exile Commander precon, this is the single most crucial Adventure spell to bring in your 99. Both the Adventure spell and the creature on this card generate massive value. Use Retrieve Prey to recover other fallen Adventure creatures and replay them. Then, cast Tlincalli Hunter to start casting your Adventure creatures for free!

beanstalk giant

A few copies of Fertile Footsteps turns Beanstalk Giant into the most broken ramp card of all time. Beanstalk Giant pays for itself once you have a few copy permanents. Since the basic lands he finds come in untapped, Fertile Footsteps won’t cost you any resources and will set you up for something big in the turns to come.

guardian naga

Artifacts and enchantments are powerful in Commander, so getting a themed removal spell from Baldur’s Gate makes me feel warm inside. It may not seem like much, but this helps our other themes to keep producing value without using these slots on random pieces of removal.

sapphire dragon

Counter your opponent’s spells, then play a giant dumb dragon that helps you find more awesome stuff. I can’t think of anything that better embodies the casual format of Commander.

realm-cloaked giant

Another card that falls into the category of filling a slot that would generally be something else, Realm-Cloaked Giant, is a board wipe Adventure card. Copying the Adventure won’t amount to anything, but it’s still a board wipe that synergizes with your value engines.

Bounce Your Creatures Back

Ready to take your value to the next level? Bouncing your Adventure creatures back to hand allows you to cast their copied MTG Adventure spells all over again. Generally you can get some additional value when you do this. These aren’t all of the cards that fit into this synergistic category, but they are the best.

paradoxical outcome

The number of cards that Paradoxical Outcome will produce in this deck is nonsensical. Not only do you draw cards equal to the permanents that you return, but any MTG Adventure creatures that come back also get to recycle their spells halves all over again.

Familiar's Ruse

A cute little Counterspell that gets you some value too. A straight counterspell is usually better, but the extra value produced by Familiar’s Ruse is worth going for. Another bonus, this card is very cheap!

crystal shard

Here is a permanent that can buy some value every turn! Imagine casting Fertile Footsteps with a few copy permanents kicking around every single turn. This also allows you to have some instant speed answers to your opponent’s plays if your Adventure creatures double as removal.

There are many more cards that fit this niche of the deck, like Erratic Portal, but the point is to understand where we’re trying to go with this deck. Just flood your opponents with Adventure value!

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Draw Engines/Win Conditions

Since our game plan is to drown the opponent with value, our draw engines become our win conditions through the other cards we play. No need to speed things along; your Adventure creatures will beat everyone up eventually.

the great henge
The Great Henge will boost the strength of your Gorion Adventures deck to another level. This card has it all; draw cards, grow your creatures, and spend mana to cast them. Since there’s a subtheme of bouncing your creatures to create additional value, The Great Henge becomes even more ridiculous than it already is. Throw it in your EDH deck if you have one. If you don’t its a fantastic addition to your EDH collection.

archmage emeritus

Archmage Emeritus is already good in a deck that doesn’t copy spells. Since Magecraft cares about copied spells, Archmage Emeritus becomes an ally that can refill your hand in a couple of spells. There’s a potential here for Archmage Emeritus to draw too many cards, but that’s never a bad thing… right?

guardian project

You should be playing creatures consistently enough that Guardian Project becomes a straight win condition. Its strictly worse than The Great Henge, but cards like these are premier targets for removal. Since opponents will kill these things on sight, its good to have multiple cards that can do the same thing.

Other Draw Engines

edgewall innkeeper

Adventure’s own draw engine! Edgewall Innkeeper is a creature that enters play and immediately begs to be on the other end of a Path to Exile. As a cautionary note, unless you’re in dire need of cards, only play Edgewall Innkeeper out when you know it will replace itself. It will likely die after that.

chulane teller of tales
Chulane, Teller of Tales is a flavor win and a win condition for your Adventures deck. Chulane has accumulated a lot of hate in the Commander community, so follow the same rule as Edgewall Innkeeper when playing it. Make sure you can get some value because it will die very quickly. If Chulane survives, you should be in an excellent position to win the game.

vega the watcher
Vega, the Watcher is an easy card to forget, hence its mention. Vega will draw you a card whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand. Generally, you’ll be casting MTG Adventure spells from exile, making this a good draw engine.

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UPDATE: Self-Mill Theme

After building this deck myself and playing a good amount of EDH games with it, I found the version of this deck that doesn’t have a hard win condition to be difficult. Any deck with a decisive win condition threatens to make our game plan irrelevant. To address this, I wanted to add a win condition that wasn’t too powerful but rewards our Lucky Clover copy setup more frequently. Some adventure cards in this article were overlooked because they milled too many cards from our Library when copied. However, this can be turned into a strength by including a Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, and a Thassa’s Oracle in the 99. This win condition is not at all robust and usually occurs around turns 15-20 depending on your setup and how much disruption you see. However, it gives your deck a consistent game plan should your efforts on board fail.

monster manual

So, you got a bunch of copy effects lined up for your adventure spells… but you don’t have any adventure spells to pull ahead with. This was the most common issue I ran into with the other versions of this deck. Turning your win condition into self-mill, however, gives us access to some powerful spells. Zoological Study, in particular, quickly becomes the most powerful card in the entire deck. The book side is sometimes relevant, especially when converting to your janky infinite mana and storm wins via Hullbreaker Horror and Jadzi, Oracle of Arcaivos, but in my experience, you’re more interested in bouncing the book back to your hand than actually using it.

Not only will this mill a bunch of cards from your library, but it will also refill your hand with more adventure effects! The snowball nature intended for this deck shines when you get multiple copies of Zoological Study. To top things off, if you’ve found your Clover effects with all your artifact search, you can use them to instead search for Monster Manual to get a payoff.

colossal badger

This common seems silly and is totally not worth your time if you’re not playing self-mill win conditions. When you do, however, Dig Deep can get you closer to your game win while amassing a powerful board that your opponents are forced to deal with.

merfolk secretkeeper

Another silly adventure common that gets much better when you want to mill yourself. I find myself using this only when going for the win, but I have used it to get nasty cards that recur out of opponent’s decks like God-Eternal Rhonas. You don’t need this card for the self-mill theme to work, but it does help, and its not even worth a dollar.

Crystal Dragon

Crystal Dragon gets much better when you use a self-mill theme. You should still play this in a normal version of adventures to have access to a way to get your Lucky Clover back. Still, Crystal Dragon’s ability to also recur Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, and other artifacts make it a mainstay. There are situations, however, where Crystal Dragon is not great. Should you play the self-mill version of the deck, however, this will recur some strong cards more often than not.

thassa's oracle
jace, wielder of mysteries

The most important part of a self-mill plan is to include the win conditions. There are enough recursion effects with Monster Manual, Tlincalli Hunter, Crystal Dragon, and Eternal Witness to ensure that you can get them back in the very likely event that you mill these.

uro, titan of nature's wrath

It’s not an adventure spell, but Uro is fantastic when your strategy is self-mill. I’m interested in trying some more Escape filler effects because of how consistently I can access Uro for free value. While Uro is the only Escape card I currently play, there is definitely room for more.

UPDATE: Ramp is Really Important

One resounding truth when trying to win with the self-mill version of this deck is that you need a ton of mana to execute your winning sequences. Before you ‘go for it’ this deck plays more of a permission or policing strategy, keeping peace at the table by not letting anyone get out of control.

In my experience, you don’t need to go overkill with your ramp options, though. The Commander staples of Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach are both fantastic cards that further your gameplan. These should be swapped out for more efficient cards if you’re playing at a stronger table, but these get the job done otherwise.

On the topic of more efficient ramp, cards like Growth Spiral and Explore are perfectly reasonable includes for this deck. You need like ten mana before your bigger plays become easier to pull off, so getting there faster, while drawing a card, is a very good use of your early turns.

UPDATE: Using Your Graveyard for Value

If the self-mill route is the one you decide to explore, grabbing a few cards that return cards from your graveyard can go a long way. Your copy pieces like Lucky Clover will start to get targeted once your opponents know what you are up to, and having ways to re-set up are really important.

As such, one fantastic new inclusion from March of the Machine has been Invasion of Shandalar. This Battle recurs the three best permanent cards in your graveyard, and threatens to turn into an enchantment that can get your game-winning eight mana spell onto the board for free!

Other graveyard recursion, like Eternal Witness, Rob the Hoard, and more help turn your mill spells into value ones as well. This is really important for the sake of consistency for your deck, and helps give more context to the weaker cards in your deck.

Alternate Win Conditions

craterhoof behemoth
finale of devastation

While I like the idea of drawing cards, outvaluing your opponent, and winning with Adventure creatures, that won’t be enough for a more powerful pod of players. Craterhoof Behemoth and Finale of Devastation represent more direct win conditions that will take out multiple opponents on the spot.

Jadzi has become one of the win conditions in the self-mill version of this deck since it can churn through your entire library with ease. Some number of copy spells are needed for this card to start going off, and an unflipped Primal Amulet almost guarantees that you will be casting most of your library. The only problem with this win, besides it being undeterministic, which is on purpose, is the sequence of actions it creates can be pretty tough to follow.

Jadzi has Magecraft which cares about instants and sorceries that are both casted and copied by you. This means, should you have Gorion and Lucky Clover in play, each Adventure spell will trigger Jadzi three times. Each of these triggers will reveal the top card of your library. If its a land, you play it. If its not, you can cast it for one generic mana.

Since this is an Adventure-themed deck, its not difficult to believe that an Adventure spell can be flipped with Jadzi. Casting this will, once again, result in triggering Jadzi multiple times. Rinse and repeat, and, with enough mana, it is very easy to cast your entire library.

Should you have Primal Amulet unflipped, things get a lot easier. That’s because, instead of casting one, instants and sorceries cast with Jadzi will be free!

Unlike Jadzi, Hullbreaker Horror is a well-known Commander menace. Able to control the board with its activated ability, the initial idea behind including this card was to bounce Adventure creatures and re-use them. After a lot of reps with the deck, Hullbreaker Horror’s other aspect of creating infinite mana easily has also become a lategame win condition.

The only positive mana rock in the deck I currently run is Sol Ring. This, alongside a mana neutral rock like The Great Henge, can create infinite colorless mana. Once you get here, adding another mana rock that can generate any color of mana, like Arcane Signet, gets you into the realm of infinite mana of any color.

UPDATE: How to Power up Gorion Adventures

The self-mill version of this deck that I currently run has a razor-sharp gameplan, but executes everything at a relatively slow speed. The early turns need to be used ramping up to bigger plays, which gives stronger decks with faster mana an opportunity to get under you and execute a quick infinite combo win. As such, my iteration of this deck can compete with other streamlined strategies, but will generally lose to anything trying to win early – which is where I want to be with it.

If you want to power up this deck idea and make it more competitive, you need to speed up your mana. Adding mana rocks like Mana Crypt and Mana Vault will help speed up the initial ramping turns that are needed for this deck to start copying a ton of Adventure spells and bury your opponent in value. Should you speed these turns up rather consistently, Gorion Adventures should turn into a relatively high-powered deck.

You may also want to upgrade some of your interaction with more efficient, but expensive pieces. The current version of this list instead wants to recur heavy value by going into your graveyard to keep up with a slower level of play, but this can be too slow if your opponents are trying to win while you’re still durdling around with value cards.

Expensive Upgrades

For those willing to dive all-in on their Gorion decks, here are some more expensive EDH cards that will do fantastically in the deck.

enlightened tutor

If the name of the game is to find Lucky Clover, Enlightened Tutor is a great way to do it. If you already have Lucky Clover, Enlightened Tutor can find another artifact that amplifies your payoffs, like Twinning Staff.

copy artifact

Here is another way to copy Lucky Clover. Sadly, this one is not budget-friendly. If you are a Commander fanatic with a growing collection, you will likely pick up one of these at some point.

fierce guardianship

This one’s a no-brainer. A free counterspell that protects your Commander is almost always the optimal pick for a Commander deck – as long as your wallet can take it.

There are more upgrades out there than just the ones mentioned here, but this is a good place to start.

The Sample Decklist (Non-Mill)

With this, I’ve covered the game plan for Gorion Adventures. Have fun creating value by copying your Adventure spells, buying back your creatures, and drawing a bunch of cards. Here is a sample deck list if you do not know where to go from here. Note that the lands in this list are all suggestions and not mandatory. You will need to have some basic lands in the deck for Fertile Footsteps, even though none are in the sample list.

As for the self-mill variant of the Adventures deck, most of the core cards have been shown off here. Past that point, cards that interact with your graveyard make for great filler. Have fun making your opponent lose their minds with all the spells you’ll be casting with Gorion Adventures!

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