Party Time Upgrade Guide – Five Ideas

I hope you brought your Solo cups, because this party is just getting started. I’m talking about the Party Time Upgrade Guide. This deck encourages you to have four creatures on the battlefield at the same time. Each of these creatures fills a specific role in your Party. They should either be a Rogue, a Wizard, a Cleric, or a Warrior. If you successful assemble a full Party, you will unlock powerful rewards.

A Brief Note on Budget

The purpose of this article is to help you come up with a fun way to upgrade your new Party Time Commander deck. I am not going to include full decklists or specific instructions for includes/excludes. Rather, I want to throw out some ideas that I thought were cool, and let you pick and choose the ones you like. I want you to feel like your deck is unique and special to you.

Because this is my intention, I don’t intend to impose a budget restriction on any of the cards I talk about in this article. The cost of these cards will likely range from cents to hundreds of dollars. If I come across a cheap card that could replace a more expensive option, I will try to include that. If there really isn’t any alternative for expensive cards, though, considering talking to your playgroup about letting you play with proxies.

Last thing before we get to the upgrade recommendations, I found five themes to focus my upgrades on. They all have their own appeal, but I probably didn’t discover every possible upgrade strategy. If you come up with something that I missed, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

In case you don’t have a Party Time precon yet, you can order one on Amazon.

Party Time Baldur's Gate Commander Decks

Party Time Decklist

Commander (1)
Nalia de’Arnise

Creatures (39)
Archpriest of Iona
Bygone Bishop
Frontline Medic
Galepowder Mage
Glorious Protector
Jazal Goldmane
Magus of the Balance
Mikaeus, the Lunarch
Mirror Entity
Order of Whiteclay
Selfless Spirit
Solemn Recruit
Squad Commander
Bloodsoaked Champion
Butcher of Malakir
Calculating Lich
Dire Fleet Ravager
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Grim Haruspex
Grim Hireling
Mardu Strike Leader
Mindblade Render
Nighthawk Scavenger
Pontiff of Blight
Puppeteer Clique
Felisa, Fang of Silverquill
High Priest of Penance
Aven Mindcensor
Irregular Cohort
Mage’s Attendant
Mother of Runes
Priest of Ancient Lore
Rumor Gatherer
Valiant Changeling
Changeling Outcast
Corpse Augur
Malakir Blood-Priest
Zulaport Cutthroat

Sorceries (4)
Austere Command
Dusk // Dawn
Sevinne’s Reclamation
Thwart the Grave

Instants (3)
Unbreakable Formation
Crib Swap

Enchantments (1)
Firja’s Retribution
Lands (37)
Castle Locthwain
Shambling Vent
Temple of Silence
Vault of the Archangel
War Room
Windbrisk Heights
Command Tower
Ash Barrens
Bojuka Bog
Mortuary Mire
Myriad Landscape
Orzhov Basilica
Path of Ancestry
Snowfield Sinkhole
Starlit Sanctum
Tainted Field
10 Plains
10 Swamp

Artifacts (6)
Maskwood Nexus
Arcane Signet
Orzhov Signet
Sol Ring
Talisman of Hierarchy

New Cards* (9)
Burakos, Party Leader
Folk Hero
Deep Gnome Terramancer
Harper Recruiter
Seasoned Dungeoneer
Stick Together
Black Market Connections
Solemn Doomguide
Multiclass Baldric

*These are the new exclusive cards in this deck.

Party Time – General Upgrades

Nalia de'Arnise Baldur's Gate Commander Decklists

The Mana Base

One of the only things you should improve from the pre-constructed deck before making any other upgrades is the land base.

Vault of the Champions Party Time Upgrade Guide

For the most part, the mana in this deck is workable, but it can always be better. Seven of the deck’s thirty seven lands can tap for both of your deck’s colors. Of those, only Command Tower comes in untapped. In order to improve Party Time’s consistency, you should try to increase the number of dual lands that enter untapped. For example:

In Zendikar Rising, Wizards printed a land that works well specifically with the Party mechanic. That land is called Base Camp and could potentially be valuable in certain versions of this deck. If these tribal lands are good for you, you might also like Cavern of Soul, Unclaimed Territory, and Secluded Courtyard.

What to Take Out

Because this deck cares about four different creature types, there are not a lot of creatures that I would point out as “bad”. Every creature in the deck is a Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, or Warrior. However, not all cards with these creature types are “good”. I would probably recommend removing the following Party members in spite of them contributing to both commanders’ strategy.

If you take out these cards or too many other Party members, you have to be sure to replace them with other Party members. However, you want to be sure that the cards you replace them with are better than these ones.

Other than that, each individual section will go over a couple of cards that you will want to remove because they are not specifically relevant to that exact strategy. Hopefully there will be a couple more cards you can take out in those sections to help make room for all of the new recommendations you’ll want to add.

5 Ways to Upgrade Party Time

As I studied this deck, I came up with five ways to specify the strategy for it. Those strategies are specifically:

  1. Party
  2. Tribal
  3. +1/+1 Counters
  4. Treasures
  5. Life Manipulation

Power Level

At the beginning of each the next sections of this Party Time Upgrade Guide I included a range of numbers. That range is what I expect this deck to be able to perform at on a 1-10 power scale (Based on the power scale established by the Command Zone Podcast). For more information on the Commander power scale, you can take a look at the table below.

Power LevelNameDescription
1-2Jank Very little synergy among cards. No Commander staples. Under powered on purpose.
3-4Casual Some synergies, but lacking the strong ones. The deck still lacks focus. Mana curves mostly neglected. A deck that a new player would build.
4-6Focused Synergy exists, the deck has a focused gameplan, although it doesn't always win in the exact same way, usually after turn 13. Includes staples and a small amount of tutors. On the same power level as most Commander precons.
7-8Optimized Powerful and varied synergies between the cards. A decent number of good tutors. Good mana curve. Has an efficient and consistent way to win on turns 10-12 (level 7) or 7-9 (level 8). Some social rules — like no mass land destruction, no consistent combo wins — still exist.
9-10Competitive The most powerful decks, on competitive EDH level. Quick and explosive, can win on turns 4-6 (level 9) or 1-3 (level 10). No social rules, no jank cards. Only the most powerful commanders and strategies can reach this level.

Actual power levels may vary, but let those numbers be a guide when considering upgrading this deck in those ways.

1. Party (5-8)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader

First and foremost, this deck is supposed to be a Party deck. This mechanic was introduced in Zendikar Rising, so it doesn’t have much support. That being said, the cards that come in this deck support the Party mechanic and make it a pretty powerful strategy.

Coveted Prize Party Time Upgrade Guide

You have to make sure you have an appropriate balance of Wizards, Warriors, Clerics, and Rogues, which is difficult. However, Changelings help fill in some of the missing Party member gaps. Keeping this all in mind, the Party payoffs are pretty strong. Here are the specific ones that don’t come in the precon:

I would say that the precon is designed well enough that you will probably be able to assemble a Party fairly easily. If not, though, you should look at the number of Wizards, Rogues, Warriors, and Clerics you have in the deck and try to balance them out. Also, more card draw can help you find the cards that you need.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

The new set doesn’t have any Party payoffs, but it has quite a few Party members. I don’t think that they are that much better than the Party cards in the deck or that you can find from other sets, but if you have them and want to play them they could work just fine. here are some of the ones that I found that I thought could work:

What to Take Out

For this section, you really shouldn’t cut too many cards. Or rather, there are not that many cards in the deck that don’t actively contribute to what this version of the deck wants to do. I already mentioned a few previously, but in order to make this deck work you will want to trade a card in the deck for a card that does a similar this but better. If you have a really great Rogue, take out a different Rogue that isn’t as good. If you need room for a Party payoff, find another card that serves a similar function or is a worse Party payoff. If you approach the deck in this way, you will probably not have too much of a problem making enough room in the deck.

2. Tribal

In a way, Party Time precon is designed to be a tribal deck. However, its a tribal deck that tries to split its resources between four different tribes. Thanks to the Party payoffs I mentioned in the previous section, its worth it to try to force all four creature types at once. In this section, though, I want to focus on each individual tribe. This includes the non-Party tribes that Nalia and Burakos belong to. Perhaps by looking at these tribes individually we can find some interesting synergies that we missed before.

Humans (4-7)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise

The first tribe I want to look at is actually not related to the Party mechanic at all. Nalia is a Human, and Humans show up prominantly in Black/White.

Thalia's Lieutenant

This version of the deck probably looks pretty similar to sixty-card tribal Humans decks. You want to have plenty of utility creatures, as well as enough lord effects to turn them into a formidable army. Here are some of the cards that come to mind:

You might be able to draw inspiration for this deck from the Mardu Humans deck, Ruthless Regiment. This means that, in addition to using lord effects, you can probably also build a reasonable aristocrats theme or subtheme into the deck if you would like.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

If there’s one tribe that Baldur’s Gate does not have a shortage of, its Humans. There are plenty of card you could consider if you crack them in boosters. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Clerics (4-8)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader

Clerics are a tribe that are probably fairly similar to Humans. After all, if you used cards like Orah, Skyclave Hierophant or Whisper, Blood Liturgist, you can build an aristocrats deck that is as good as or better than the Humans version. However, in my opinion, the best creature to go in this kind of deck is Shadowborn Apostle.

Shadowborn Apostle How to Upgrade Party Time Precon

Sure, Apostles are also Humans, but Nalia lets you cast them off the top of your deck because they are Clerics, not Humans. Paired with an Edgewalker or just a large amount of Black mana, you could cast absurd numbers of Apostles in one turn. Effects that alterr the top card of your library also come in handy, in the event that your top card is something other than an Apostle. I’m thinking cards like Sensei’s Divining Top, Brainstone, and fetchlands.

Other than that, you’ll need a couple of Demons to fetch up when you activate Shadowborn Apostle‘s ability. Rune-Scarred Demon, Razaketh, the Foulblooded, and Burning-Rune Demon are good options because they let you immediately search for something else. Vilis, Broker of Blood and Harvester of Souls are also great at generating card advantage for you. If you want to be really spicy, Changelings count as Demons you can tutor for with your Apostles, and Party members for Nalia. That could be the best way to maximize the value you get from this strategy.


In a Shadowborn Apostles deck, you want to run about twenty five to thirty five Apostles. Combine that with thirty seven lands, and you only have about twenty five to thirty five deck slots left over. You have to be pretty choosy about what you include. Here are some ideas though:

Don’t forget to also consider that you need enough removal, ramp, etc so your deck operates properly.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

There are two Demons in Baldur’s Gate, neither of which are especially interesting to Shadowborn Apostles. Those cards specifically are Hezrou and Vrock. There are quite a few more Clerics, but most of the good ones are in this precon. Here are some good ones you can open in packs, though:

Rogues (4-7)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader
Frogtosser Banneret Party Time upgrade Guide

Typically a Blue/Black tribe, I am not convinced that Rogues will be very good in White. However, they tend to like flash-speed, tempo positive threats. Nalia’s ability to cast Rogues from the top of your library can be great for getting a leg up on your opponents.

Thanks to Rogues belonging primarily to Black and new cards from this precon, I think Orzhov Rogues will actually turn out to be a decent deck.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

There are a handful of Rogues in the new set, but not many of them seem like they could fit well into a tribal Rogues deck. You might really like some of them, though, so I’ll list some of them here:

Wizards (3-6)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader
Apprentice Necromancer How to Improve Party Time Deck Commander

This is another tribe that does not commonly appear in White/Black. Similar to Clerics and Humans, there are quite a few Wizards that reanimate creatures from the graveyard. There are not, however, many cards in these colors that care specifically about Wizards. This will likely look like a different flavor of the upgrades I’ve already recommended. In spite of that, here they are:

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

Surprisingly, there are no Black or White Wizards in this set that don’t show up in this precon.

Warriors (3-6)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader
Species Specialist Party Time Upgrade Guide MTG

There have been a couple of sets where Warriors have shown up either in Black or in White. They probably work a little better with Burakos than Nalia, mostly because they usually want to be aggressive and attack your opponents. There’s a small amount of synergy in Black/White for this tribe, but I assume you will mostly be relying on this aggression to win games.

Like the other tribes we’ve discussed so far, Warriors also have a small sacrifice theme. Most of the sacrifice abilities in this tribe tend to behave like removal spells, rather than aristocrats combos. This can be refreshing if you are bored with Black/White aristocrats.

There are tons of Warriors in Magic, but here are some of the ones I thought would be significant to this upgrade path:

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

Following the pattern that you might have noticed already, most of the good Warriors from this set come with the precon. If you’re trying to crack packs for cards to go in this deck, you’re better off spending your money on singles. These are three Warriors from the set that you could potentially consider if you have them:

Orcs (2-4)

Recommended Commander: Burakos, Party Leader

Lastly for this Party Time upgrade section, we have Orcs. Not only is this tribe not the strongest or most synergistic, but it also doesn’t relate to most of Burakos’ abilities. Their greatest strength is that Folk Hero will draw you cards when you cast them. If you want to piece this deck together, it will likely be a fairly weak option. However, if yiu’ve really been looking for an Orc tribal commander, Burakos could prpbably do as good a job as anyone.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

Other than the Orcs in this precon, the only other Orc in Battle for Baldur’s Gate is White Plume Adventurer. Its a decent card, but one good Orc does not a tribal deck make.

What to Take Out

I usually recommend that you only play creatures that are members of your tribe when you build a tribal deck. To me, it feels weird to have a deck built around a specific tribe and then have creatures of another tribe in it. However, I know that not everyone agrees with me on this. If you feel the same way as I do, go ahead and take all of the creatures that don’t belong to your tribe of choice out of the deck. Otherwise, include any off-tribe creatures you want, get rid of the rest, and voila. You have a tribal deck.

3. +1/+1 Counters (4-7)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader

This deck is not explicitly supposed to be a +1/+1 counters deck, but Nalia can do a pretty decent job of distributing them out to your team. The downside is that you are going to need a full team in order to do that.

Damning Verdict

You will probably want to look into the important parts of the Party section of this article to make sure you have enough Party members to reliably be able to trigger Nalia’s ability. Then, once you do, consider adding some of these +1/+1 counters payoffs to supplement that strategy:

And if you find that Nalia isn’t triggering as often as you would like, here are some other great ways to distribute counters to you creatures. One of them is even a party member, for additional value.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

There are a bunch of cards that give +1/+1 counters to your team in this set. Feel free to include whichever ones you feel you have room for, but these are the ones that I felt like were most useful:

What to Take Out

It would be hard to justify taking out too many of the creatures in this deck, since they all contribute to Nalia’s ability and thereby the +1/+1 counters strategy. Like I said in the Party section, you could probably cut some of the weaker Party members, especially if you replaced them with more powerful cards of the same tribe. Also, some of the non-creature cards are probably worth replacing with more synergistic pieces.

4. Treasures (5-8)

Recommended Commander: Burakos, Party Leader

Revel in Riches Instant Win MTG Party Time Upgrade Guide

Treasures are a strategy that is gaining more and more traction in the meta, for better or for worse. Burakos might not be the best Treasures commander, but if you just need a good subtheme to supplement your Party deck Treasures are probably one of the best.

I am confident that if you don’t have/can’t get a hold of these cards, Wizards will continue to print more cards you could play instead. Keep an eye out for more cards you could use to upgrade this deck.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

The new set has a bunch of Treasures cards, but many of them come in the Party Time precon. Others are less potent in fully-powered Commander decks. However, two cards I would say are definitely worth playing are Battle Angels of Tyr and Blood Money. They are each good utility cards but also synergize well with Treasures. Agent of the Iron Throne is also a pretty amazing card that doesn’t explicitly say “Treasure” on it.

What to Take Out

Again, this version of the deck needs a lot of the Party synergies to turn on Burakos. If you don’t want to rely on Burakos, you can probably cut a few Wizards/Rogues/Clerics/Warriors. If you do this, though, you might just want to run a different commander.

5. Life Manipulation (3-6)

Recommended Commander: Nalia de’Arnise or Burakos, Party Leader

This is the least synergistic strategy I am going to bring up in this article. Burakos only slightly deals with life totals at all. However, there are some really cool cards that go in this deck that I wanted to point out here.

Tainted Remedy Party Time Upgrade Guide MTG

These cards involve using your life total as a resource. The trick with a deck like this is to balance burning through your life points without losing. Here are some of the cards that came to mind when I was brainstorming these themes:

In a lot of cases, more colors give you more access to tools you could use in this deck. Each colors gives you different things, but I would consider adding at least one more to this deck. That being said, if you want the life manipulation to just be a subtheme you could fit it in the deck alongside a Party theme fairly easily.

New Cards From Battle for Baldur’s Gate

Astarion, the Decadent, Pact Weapon, and Brainstealer Dragon are perfect cards for this Party Time upgrade deck. Agent of the Iron Throne and Archivist of Oghma are also good yet again. Other than this, there are a couple of cards with smaller life-related effects. Any of these could be good if you happen to have them, but you probably don’t need them to make the deck good.

What to Take Out

Same as before, if you want to take advantage of Burakos’s ability, you need to keep most of your Party creatures. This leaves you with the life game plan as an interesting subtheme. However, if you don’t want to rely on Burakos, feel free to take out more Party cards and really focus in on the life manipulation strategy.

Party Time Upgrade Guide – Conclusion

And that about wraps things up for this round of Commander precons. If you have questions or comments, please leave them down below or contact me directly on Instagram or Twitter. I always love to hear what you readers think of these articles.

If you’d like to try your luck and perhaps open some cards for your Party Guide upgrade process, you can get a Baldur’s Gate Set booster box on Amazon.

Battle for Baldur's Gate Set Booster Box

More Content

Check out the other upgrade articles I wrote for the Commander Legends 2: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander decks:

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