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Building Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant in Commander


Hello fans of Commander and Commander Legends. I hope that you are having an awesome-tastic day today! I want to turn to a Commander from said set that is a Spectral Sargent...er...Sergeant, Bell Borca.

Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant

Look at good ol' Bell. Borca. What does our happy Spirit Soldier offer us as a potential Commander? You note the casting cost of things as they are exiled, both yours and your foes. Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant's power is equal to the highest cost exiled this turn. That means if a foe's seven-drop was exiled earlier in the turn, then Bell would punch for seven damage, which is pretty kickin' for a four-drop. It gives you a powerful Commander Damage clock although less reliable as its power will shift over time. And then at the beginning of your upkeep you exile the top card of your library for free and you can cast it that turn. That means Bell's power will always be something barring a land. It also provides great card advantage over time in a color combo that's starving for it.

So, what am I looking at for Bell Borca?

  1. Exiling Removal. I want to lean heavily into White's exiling removal of opposing things like Swords to Plowshares. I really want to push this hard as this is the most reliable form of power sculpting of Bell Borca we have.
  2. Exiling Card Drawing. I want to lean heavily into Red's self-exiling card drawing, much like Bell's final ability. This exiles cards from your library and then you can cast them that turn. Do so after your attack so you get card advantage and a swelled Bell Borca.
  3. Evasive Commander. Bell Borca has no evasive abilities like flying or menace. I want to suit up with some things that will ensure he can kill with aplomb using a sizable power.
  4. Boros Ramp. When I am not using exiling card draw or removal, I want to include both larger things with higher costs and the mana needed to drop them with mana rocks and colorless ramping things. That way the card draw of Bell's innate ability and the self-exiling is more likely to exile something big enough to kill quickly with Commander damage.

And there we are!

Showdown of the Skalds
Hero of Bretagard
Etali, Primal Storm

The first card I tossed into my build was this recently printed Saga from Kaldheim. It's a great example of exiling card draw for your Commander. Drop it on the first main phase and then exile a powerful card. Swing. You have two turns to cast the four spells you exiled. Don't forget chapters two and three here. Load up your leader with those counters as you cast those spells. It'll help your build put your commander damage on the map in a major way.

Hero of Bretagard was another of the first cards added to my build. As you exile cards from your hand (rare) or permanents (common) you'll load this up with those cool +1/+1 counters. Did you have at least five such counters? You'll now have a 6/6 (at least) flying Angel. Did you have at least 10 of them? You now have an 11/11 (at least) flying, indestructible God Angel. Good stuff! Man, this thing will love the overload of Winds of Abandon!

Check out Etali, Primal Storm in this build! Did you swing? Awesome! Self-exile a card from your library (and each opponent's) and you can cast those cards for free! Swing with Bell Borca in the same combat to swell your commander by the biggest one that was exiled! This will yield big fruit even if your Bell Borca trigger during your upkeep was a cheap card like Swords to Plowshares. Etali is all right with me!

Angel of Finality
Remorseful Cleric

A key way to get a big fat Bell Borca for a turn is to exile a big fat card from a foe's graveyard! Enter the duo of Angel of Finality and Remorseful Cleric! When the Angel arrives to the party you can exile an entire graveyard! Graveyard removal is good on its own as graveyard abuse is rife in the Commander metagame. But it's also good alongside Bell Borca. Drop it on the precombat main phase and exile something nasty in that graveyard and then swing with your giant leader! You can also sacrifice Remorseful Cleric for the same effect, and I tossed in a Tormod's Crypt to play into the same space.

Squee, the Immortal

Your deck has a lot of ways to exile things, including your own. If you get Squee Take Two from your self-exile in your library you won't have to cast it or lose it, it can hang out in your exile zone until you have the mana or the need and cast it. You can also cast it from your graveyard if it died. Jump in front of an attacker and then come on out to block again!

And check out this crazy Wurm! With it on the battlefield, Bell Borca should never be worse than 4 power as it will self-exile after a creature arrives to the party and then comes back at the end of the turn. Note that this is all your foe's stuff as well so they can blink it out prior to swinging and preventing you from blocking. You just have to drop any dork during your first main phase to net the trigger. It's really useful when your Commander's self-exile trigger came up low and you need a bigger force.

Mangara of Corondor

Sing this duet! I didn't just have my exiling removal the sorcery and instant level! When the first card arrives to the party you can exile anything that you like! Then you'll copy its power, toughness, and creature types which can be pretty good! Cast in your first main phase and then choose the priciest target available to really push your leader! And then look at the second card! You can exile another permanent. Choose the biggest one and unlike the first card, this one could be a pricey planeswalker or artifact or enchantment. If the card you need to answer is cheaper than 3 mana, then you'll get the Mangara for 3 power. This duet is a powerful song!

Apex of Power

Did you forget that Apex of Power existed? It's okay if you did! You want to ramp this bad 10-drop out and then net 10 mana for the seven cards that were exiled. Do this in your first main phase cast everything but the most expensive with the mana you made, and then pass and swing with a fat Spectral Sergeant. You can cast other things in your second phase if you have any mana left. It's also nasty if you self-exile it with your leader's (or other) triggers from your library as you'll have a 10-powered Commander!

I added in seven planeswalkers; let's take a look at them!

Karn Liberated
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

This pair is the best, and Karn Liberated is my favorite planeswalker for this build! You can -3 and exile any permanent and Bell Borca will beef up by that amount. Nasty! Get the most expensive dork out there! Need to finish off someone with commander damage but you exiled a land or something cheap like Mana Crypt during your upkeep? Nothing out there expensive enough to finish off a player or not enough loyalty to -3? No problem! +4 yourself and use the card that's pricey enough to finish off a player. Win. Don't do that often as it's bad card advantage mojo but keep it in your mind. Now look at Ugin, the Spirit Dragon! You can +2 to Lightning Bolt which adds to your exile removal suite. That ain't why he's here, though. Nope! He's here for that -X. You can exile a lot of stuff that's colored so you won't take out your mana rocks and pump up Bell Borca if needed - just don't go four or more if you need to keep Bell around. Both are pricey but we have the mana! And the card exiling to ensure a land drop!

Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Chandra, Pyromaster
Chandra, Fire Artisan

We have three Chandras in the build as well. Chandra, Pyromaster gave her the ability to exile a card and then cast it with her 0 ability. Since then, it has become very popular with Chandra and you have both Chandra, Fire Artisan and Chandra, Torch of Defiance that can +1 to exile and cast the spell. Note that the ToD can also +1 for 2 mana to help you cast your two cards per turn with Bell Borca and his trigger on the battlefield, so don't sleep on that. Good trinity of Chandras!

Karn, Scion of Urza
Nahiri, the Harbinger

We have two more planeswalkers! The first is Karn, Scion of Urza, and he's here for that +1. You dig two and draw one that your foe chose, and exile the other one, which triggers your Bell Borca. Normally with Karn, your foe will choose to exile the worst, most powerful, card and you'll get the land or mana rock. However, with Bell Borca out you are likely to get the better card since you won't exile a seven-drop [card]Karn Liberated" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/Karn Liberated" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Karn Liberated">[card]Karn Liberated">Karn Liberated" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Karn Liberated">[card]Karn Liberated to make your leader way too big for a turn. Karn Take 2 is great here! And you can cast the exiled stuff with his -1 if you have something great for the situation. Nahiri is here for her -2. She can use it twice before dying and is a great supplement to your spells that exile artifacts or enchantments. Drop her after someone swung and exile their best tapped dork. Good stuff!

Now let's turn to some of the ramp-targets in our build.

Eternal Dragon

Look at Eternal Dragon! You can invest two mana to Plainscycle it early for a land and then drop said land. After that you can return it to your hand for five mana in your upkeep when you aren't doing anything else and your Bell Borca was just a land or something cheap. You can cast it as a sweet 5/5 flyer on the curve or just keep investing seven mana a turn for lands if you have nothing else until you run out of Plains. As a seven-drop, if you self-exile it you can do a lot of damage with your Commander. Enjoy!

Akroma, Angel of Fury
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Moraug, Fury of Akoum

A lot of folks have forgotten just how good the Akroma Pair are. The former can drop down with morph if you prefer and then flip up for six mana. It cannot be countered and has a ton of evasive stuff going on. She has Firebreathing for more damage when you fly over a foe or past White and Blue dorks. She's awesome! And the latter is awesome too, with haste added in as well as vigilance and first strike. She loves those key words! She flies past Black and Red stuff and can punch with ease! This pair also nets you an eight-power Commander when self-exiled!

Check out Moraug, Fury of Akoum! With the card draw in this brew you are likely to hit landfall once a turn. That nets you a powerful Relentless Assault and you'll get two attacks with your team and two swings with a beefy Bell Borca. With a big enough Bell, you can finish off a player in a turn with two hits of commander damage, and Bell Borca will get +1/+0 on the first swing and +2/+0 on the second which could be enough to finish someone off. Good stuff, right? I am also shocked that this bad boy isn't on the EDHREC.com page as he's so perfect for our Spectral Sergeant!

Greater Gargadon
Heroes Remembered

Have you seen just how synergetic suspend is with our Spectral Sergeant? You exile the card from your hand for the reduced cost and then you net the big fat casting cost for Bell's power for the turn. Both of these have huge costs to speed up a Commander kill and feature just one mana to suspend. You can easily suspend one in your pre-combat main phase, swing, and then smash away with a nasty good commander. Then in your post-combat main phase you can cast stuff as normal like the card exiled by your commander during your upkeep. You may want to save these for a great flip like a land or a Sol Ring. And with our mana rocks and lands like Ancient Tomb and Temple of the False God, casting these might be possible just normally, for example, if Bell Borca is answered by something like Imprisoned in the Moon and you don't have a removal in your hand. You might just want to cast the Beast and swing away with a 9/7. Enjoy them!

Endless Sands
Safe Haven
Cold Storage

We have 24 creatures in our deck, and I have dedicated two land spots to ways of self-exiling our stuff. You can pop out a big expensive dork like an Akroma and Bell Borca will rise by 8 power! Then later on you can sacrifice the land and bring back your exiled stuff. The Sands will let you tap for mana, tap two mana and itself to self-exile and then later on four mana to grab your exiled stuff.

The Haven is an old school land that won't tap for mana. You can tap two mana to exile something and then in your upkeep sacrifice the Haven to bring it back. You can put the trigger on your stack, tap the mana, and exile and bring in back the same turn and Bell Borca will get huge! Check out Cold Storage from Tempest. It's a better version of the card as it doesn't tap so you can load it up with stuff. It also costs no mana to sacrifice so you can do it at any time, like when it's targeted for removal. I like keeping mana open with these so you can use them in response to targeted removal or after you chump block with something about to die if you don't have a cool combo with Bell Borca or if you exiled something with Bell that's more expensive than your current team. Don't forget Cold Storage!

Arcane Lighthouse
Detection Tower

The duo of Arcane Lighthouse and Detection Tower is not on Bell Borca's EDHREC.com page and I am not sure why. We have a lot of targeted exiling removal from Crib Swap to Winds of Abandon. We'll break through indestructible with the mass amount of exiling, but hexproof and shroud will shut us down. We need something that we can lean on to target through it. Enter this land duo!

Let's check out my deck for you!

Sargent's Sergeant | Commander | Abe Sargent

And there you are! I hope that you enjoyed my build! Anything in here that inspired you or that you think I missed? Just let me know!

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