Ancient Gold Dragon Art by Simon Dominic

Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate Limited Set Card Review: White

Our complete review of all the Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate cards, for limited (sealed and draft).

It’s everyone’s favorite time again! Yeah, that’s right, it’s time for a new draft set, but this time it’s MTG Arena exclusive (fancy, I know). Once I finally escaped from all the trouble I got into in Streets of New Capenna, I started doing some scouting around Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate and I’m here to give you the inside secrets about the crazy adventures that await you there.

First thing to get out of the way, this is an alchemy set so some of these cards were designed for constructed. What’s that mean for us drafters? In the words of Emperor Palpatine, UNLIMITED POWER! I hope you’re prepared to slang some serious card action.

Here’s the usual grading scale:


Ancient Gold Dragon

Rating: 4.0/5

If you manage to pick up this 7/10 split you are going to be celebrating all night long. It might as well be immune to damage-based removal and it puts your opponent in The Abyss because one hit with this will likely end the game on the spot with a pile of 1/1 flying tokens. The tokens being dragons is even relevant because it takes away the option of killing them with Breath Weapon.

Archivist of Oghma

Rating: 2.0/5

This would have been a great card in the Streets of New Capenna with all the sacrifice lands flying all over the place.  Instead, it is almost always going to just be a flash bear (I just pictured a bear in a trench coat…) in a world without many 1/1s to pick off.

This is a tough one to grade because there is no official ruling on whether or not seek counts as searching your library because it is a digital only mechanic and isn’t part of the comprehensive rules. If it does count, then I would bump this up half a grade.

Ascend from Avernus

Rating: 3.5/5

The kind of top end I dream about. This reads like pay seven mana, ascend to victory. Strictly a late game card, but one that should give you a huge advantage on both cards and mana when you pull it off.

If you ever got Brilliant Restoration to blow up in Kamigawa, then you know what this is all about. Just trade everything off, even if it’s a slight down trade, pop this bad boy off, and do your victory walk with doves and fireworks going off in the background.

Blessed Hippogriff

Rating: 2.5/5

Buckbeak is the trick that keeps on giving. One mana tricks are typically overperformers just because of how efficient they are and this one even throws in a barely overcosted flyer afterwards.

It’s also nice to not just get stuck with a trick in your hand when you need to be adding to the board. The fallback option here isn’t even that embarrassing.

Boareskyr Tollkeeper

Boareskyr Tollkeeper

Rating: 2.0/5

Your opponent having to pay the toll of putting a land into play tapped can be pretty devastating on turn two. Later in the game, it has the same problem as most other 3/1s for two, in that it doesn’t really do anything anymore.

If you need to fill your curve, this will be fine. Just don’t invest too much into picking it.

Celestial Unicorn

Rating: 2.5/5

This unicorn was a secret star back in AFR as it could grow out of control in combination with Inspiring Bard, Prosperous Innkeeper, Sylvan Shepherd, and friends.

Let me check, yep, the band is indeed all back for an encore performance. I expect this to once again be one of the cards that make you rage when your Selesnya opponent curves out and gores you with the unicorn of doom.

If you don’t have any way to gain life, then drop this to a 1.5.

Champions of Tyr

Rating: 4.5/5

The only reason this is not a straight five is that there is an opportunity to kill it before you get the double team off. A pair of reasonably costed 4/3 flyers that both give a bonus to your next creature is a whole lot to deal with out of one card though.

The usual play pattern will be giving the second one lifelink unless the board dictates that it needs the +1+1 counter. Then getting another boon out of the second one is going to just put you way so far ahead that there’s no coming back.

Dawnbringer Cleric

Rating: 2.0/5

This is a great sideboard card if you see some enchantments worth popping off. In the main deck, it’s pretty suspect unless you have no early game or really need a way to gain a couple life.

Devoted Paladin

Rating: 1.5/5

There is a lot of crossover between this set and AFR where this was a last second filler for your top end when your deck didn’t quite get there. I’m expecting it to be the same here as there aren’t a ton of ways to go ultra-wide.  

Flaming Fist Duskguard

Rating: 2.0/5

If you’re hyper aggressive or short on two drops then this can fill a small role in your deck. Best case is curving this into either a flyer or a lifelinker to take advantage of the bonus. 

It is important to note that it is cast, not enters the battlefield so if your follow up gets countered your bonus goes to the graveyard as well.

Flaming Fist Officer

Rating: 2.0/5

We’ve seen this before with Rising Populace and it was a very mediocre card even when it counted planeswalkers too. I’m pretty confident this is going to be one of those cards that some people will think is amazing based off the couple of times it went off while ignoring that most of the time they just played Gray Ogre.

Guardian Naga

Rating: 2.5/5

If you get to pick something off with this and then incidentally get a very annoying, but really expensive creature then this is pretty great. If you just have to settle for the creature then it’s a bit too expensive for a non-evasive top end threat. 

I will happily main deck the first one just to have an out on artifacts and enchantments that’s not a dead card otherwise.

Guiding Bolt

Rating: 2.0/5

A wonderful side board card that can guide you to crushing your opponents hopes and dreams. Pretty much a blank card in some situations, but when you hit, you really hit. Don’t forget that you can use a pump spell on your opponent’s creature and then hit it with this.

I would consider it in the main if Green is a big part of the meta or if you are playing a low to the ground deck that just needs a way to get through something big.

Horn of Valhalla

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m normally a huge fan of adventure cards as they always feel like you got something for free. The drawback on this one is that you are rarely going to have much use for it until later in the game as just hard casting the equipment is going to be unspectacular compared to having the normal creature option as the backup.

Late in the game, this can break it wide open by adding a pile of 1/1s to the field followed by a massive equipment that is going to put a ridiculous amount of pressure on.

Icewind Stalwart

Rating: 2.0/5

There are some choice blink targets floating around this set including Priest of Ancient Lore and Owlbear. It will be significantly better in a Selesnya deck built like it was an AFR Teleportation Circle deck.

While it can wreck a Seatower Imprisonment, it can’t do anything against a Minimus Containment since it is no longer a creature.

Obviously if you don’t have any targets to get value off of, leave Icewind Stalwart in the freezing cold of the sideboard.

Klement, Novice Acolyte

Klement, Novice Acolyte

Specializations

Rating: 4.0/5

A bear that perpetually gives all of your creatures in hand a Glorious Anthem is worth the price of admission on its own. That’s going to put you one step ahead of your opponent and then the constant threat of specialize makes this really difficult to block.

All of the options are situationally great with the zombie production or card draw options almost always being generically worth pitching a card for.

Lae’zel, Githyanki Warrior

Lae'zel, Githyanki Warrior

Specializations

Rating: 4.0/5

Lae’Zel blesses you with a variety of ways to decimate your opponent with the absurdly cheap specialize cost of one mana. I think the most likely choices will be the Glorious Anthem effect or the seek a nonland permanent effect, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Good luck to your opponent on profitably blocking a 3/6 double strike creature. Let’s just say this is one of the signature cards of the set for a reason.

Lulu, Forgetful Hollyphant

Lulu, Forgetful Hollyphant

Specializations

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m a big fan of Lulu’s boon since it specifically waits for you to play a creature without flying. It’s nice to not have to be inefficient with your mana to be able to maximize the bonus.

The options on specialize are really well designed here as well because they provide many options for a similar situation without making one too powerful. The option to gain life, drain, or pump are all very math dependent on which one is the best route to victory. I always love cards that reward you for good decision making.  

Lae’zel’s Acrobatics

Rating: 2.5/5

Go back and read what I said for Icewind Stalwart. Are you back? Good. Now this is a mega blink effect that plays well with all of those same cards we talked about. It also has the advantage of being able to protect against a sweeper or chump block their whole side without losing your creatures.

An important thing to remember is that this returns them at the beginning of the next end step. That means put a stop on their second main and don’t use it during their end step or you won’t get them back until the end of your turn.

Mace of Disruption

Rating: 1.0/5

This is pretty awful unless you have a bunch of the same creature or multiple creatures with double team. Even if you have three of a kind, the situational power boost isn’t really enough to get excited about this. 

Minimus Containment

Rating: 3.0/5

You don’t really ever want to ramp your opponent, but having a catch all removal spell for only three mana can be really important in a world where double team exists. If your opponent drops Champions of Tyr, you need that removal before they get the opportunity to attack and get another copy.

Monk of the Open Hand

Rating: 1.5/5

This is going to be pretty underwhelming without Grand Master of Flowers to fetch it up. The thought is nice of double spelling every turn while having this growing monster, but the reality is often much harsher. It’s basically a dead draw later in the game and is that worth a creature that might get to be a 3/3 on turn five if everything plays out right?

Moradin’s Disciples

Rating: 3.0/5

If this was on its own, it’s over costed by one and probably wouldn’t see much play. Adding draw a card to anything makes a huge difference and going into the format I’m counting double team as 3/4 of a card.

Their ability makes it more likely that they survive the attack step and let you double up on the tapping action. That’s going to force your opponent to choose between being in a full race situation (queue up my Chocobo race music) or to do the full turtle with at least three relevant blockers.

Patriar’s Humiliation

Rating: 3.0/5

Your bomb died to my one mana common… How humiliating. The power of dad jokes. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

This will often be Lightning Bolt a creature with the add on of stripping it of all of its abilities. I guess it is pretty humiliating if you show up to a battle without your pants on.

This is a card that I could see going lower than it should early in the format, but I think it is a premium card that I might even be too low on. I do have to point out the downsides that they can kill a creature in response and that you have to have enough creatures to turn it on.

Pegasus Guardian

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m sure you’re already tired of hearing how blink effects have some real value in this set and that you should prioritize the awesome targets. Well, a two-mana instant speed blink would probably be worth playing on its own in this set so everything else is just those sweet sprinkles on top.

The creature here isn’t even bad, it’s just one or two mana too expensive depending on if the rest of your deck can enable it making some extra pegasi. Plus, it was free when you bought the blink spell, who can complain about that.

Portable Hole

Rating: 2.0/5

There are times this is great, but also a lot of times you’re going to board it out because they don’t have any targets worth hitting. There are certainly cards that you’ll want this against like Sepulcher Ghoul or Battle Cry Goblin so I’d keep it in the starting lineup for now.

Priest of Ancient Lore

Rating: 3.5/5

At least it doesn’t have flying, am I right? Too soon? Wow, Inspiring Overseer was such a mistake. Even this ground bound version is really, really good for a common.

People underrate how prodigious this is because Rakdos was all the rage in AFR, but I’m betting that this ends up as one of the top commons by the end of the set.

Rally Maneuver

Rating: 2.5/5

There are times that this is an absolute blow out when you first strike something out and wreck a trade with some life gain. There are also times where it is just an unspectacular three-mana trick.

Being an uncommon actually benefits this because they are less likely to play around it than a common. Think about this on any suspicious attacks because it can really help your opponent rally back into the game if you walk into it.

Ranger Squadron

Rating: 2.0/5

Double team is so powerful that I want to like this card, but it seems like it will just be a one-off top end in some decks because it is one mana too expensive. If you were guaranteed to get the second copy, then I would bump this up, but here we are.

Rasaad, Monk of Selûne

Rasaad, Monk of Selûne

Specializations

Rating: 4.0/5

I’m a sucker for Faceless Butcher effects and will be thrilled to be playing it for three mana. It’s a good thing that the front half is so good on its own because the specialize is really expensive at a whopping five mana.

What do you get for all that mana and a card? Honestly not much. It’s basically +2+2 and a death trigger on something you usually don’t want to die.  

Rescuer Chwinga

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m not going to lie, I had to google Chwinga. I also am incapable of pronouncing it without picturing Wayne and Garth calling it Schwinga (Go ahead and get your boomer jokes out). Now that my confession is out of the way, I guess we can talk about the card.

Not quite as powerful as a blink effect because you do have to recast the card you bounce. It does however have the bonus of being able to hit something that has Minimus Containment on it. So basically a flash bear with enough actual upside to almost always want it in your deck.

Scouting Hawk

Rating: 1.5/5

I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the business of playing a 1/1 flyer for three mana unless it does something really good too. I might board this in when I know that I’m on the draw, but even then, do you really want your turn four to be a 1/1 flyer that puts a Plains in play.

Seatower Imprisonment

Rating: 3.5/5

Removal is going to be at a premium to be able to shut down opposing double team creatures before they can get the value out of them.  This also throws in a free creature that begets another creature unto you when it bum rushes at your opponent.

You can read my thoughts on Soldiers of the Watch below, but needless to say I like it a lot more when it’s a throw in on a removal spell.

Soldiers of the Watch

Rating: 2.0/5

It’s hard to put any creature with double team this low, but if you draw this at any point past turn two, it’s going to be pretty awful. It’s almost impossible to get a profitable attack with a 2/1 and replacing itself doesn’t matter when it was just eaten up by a dragon on its first adventure in.

Steadfast Paladin

Rating: 2.5/5

Now this is the type of bear that I can get behind. The only reason this isn’t graded higher is the lack of quality equipment like Plate Armour that can make this an unraceable beast. Though you really can’t ask for too much more out of a common two drop.

Steadfast Unicorn

Rating: 2.5/5

The first thing that comes to mind is Sea Gate Banneret which was a very underrated card in Zendikar Rising. The drawback of only being able to use it during your turn is offset by the vigilance letting you keep up pressure while staying on D.

It seems like ancient history when people automatically assumed that one drops were bad. Don’t be that caveman who sleeps on this card, it’s going to be a solid addition to any aggressive deck.

Stick Together

Rating: 3.5/5

I’m off of the situational sweeper train. There are a ton of creatures that don’t have any party types, but you don’t really want to be caught with your pants down when you find out your opponent likes to party.

I’d also look back at SNC and Depopulate which was a cheaper and less conditional sweeper. It wasn’t good because most of the white decks weren’t controlling. I see a lot of aggressive white creatures and think that we could end up in a similar situation.

Sune’s Intervention

Rating: 4.0/5

If this was in real life, you’d have the opportunity to set up a giant intervention banner and hand them a letter telling them how they made you feel before blowing your opponent out of the water with this.

Unfortunately, on Arena, you’re just going to have to be satisfied with ball batting them and taking the W. You’ll almost always get 4/4 worth of stats, a card, and 3 life off of this, but it’s going to be filthy if you also get to pick off an artifact and enchantment.

Sworn to the Legion

Rating: 2.5/5

In any grindy game, this is going to be a game ending unbeatable bomb that gives you a prime opportunity to do your best Batman “Swear to me!” impression. If you’re in a tempo-based game then this is a six mana do nothing that is an excellent opportunity to tap out and die.

Valiant Farewell

Rating: 2.0/5

This trick can help you trade up and has that beautiful phrase “draw a card” on it. When you say farewell to your poor little creature, it even leaves you with a nice little permanent bonus on your next creature.

Vladimir and Godfrey

Rating: 2.0/5

I’d love for this team of Zombie Knights to be great, but I haven’t seen many 1/1s worth playing to make this pop off. If you end up with multiple Prosperous Innkeeper, then by all means grab this and let this team live their dream. Otherwise, it’s a 3/2 for three which hasn’t been playable in years.

You Hear Something on Watch

Rating: 2.5/5

You telegraphed something on watch. This grade might drop after the first week once people realize how obvious it is when they are sitting on this. Arena rats you out because it always gives priority since the +1+1 doesn’t require a target and its pretty sus when you say go with the mana up.

It is, however, a cheap, versatile card that works on either offense or defense. I’ve played four of them in AFR and been totally fine with it.

You’re Ambushed on the Road

Rating: 1.5/5

Another one mana trick that does wonders against removal decks. I think it is going to have a hard time making the cut over some of the other tricks available. If you need it, it’s fine, but nobody likes you when you’re card twenty-three.

You’re Confronted by Robbers

Rating: 2.5/5

This is a card that will fluctuate in value based off of what else you have going on in your deck. It enables Vladimir and Godfrey or makes Devoted Paladin a solid follow up to lay the beatdown.

Both abilities can be great as tapping down three blockers certainly isn’t a joke and can end the game out of nowhere. It just seems like I can be doing more for four mana in this format.


Wrap Up

White has a lot going for it with a well-rounded suite of creatures, a few removal spells, some solid tricks and one of the most powerful commons in Priest of Ancient Lore. It also has a sub theme of blinking creatures which can really be taken advantage of if you team it up with Green.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my limited review of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate Blue.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at:

Card Kingdom - Double Masters 2022
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j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

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