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Battle for Baldur's Gate Set Review

Battle for Baldur's Gate Set Review

Posted by Joe Parlock on 6th Jun 2022

In 2020, Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format was completely shaken up by the arrival of Commander Legends. A new set entirely dedicated to Commander, but… draftable? There are dozens of new commanders to play with, tons of great reprints, and new, powerful cards like Jeska’s Will that will help cement Commander Legends as one of the best sets ever released for Magic.

In 2020, Magic: The Gathering’s Commander format was completely shaken up by the arrival of Commander Legends. A new set entirely dedicated to Commander, but… draftable? There are dozens of new commanders to play with, tons of great reprints, and new, powerful cards like Jeska’s Will that will help cement Commander Legends as one of the best sets ever released for Magic.

Fast forward to 2022, and we’re just about to receive the follow-up set, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate. A draftable Commander set with lots of new commanders, great new Background and initiative mechanics, and a Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic splashed on top make Battle for Baldur’s Gate one of the year's biggest releases. Here is everything you need to know about Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate.

What can I expect from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate?

In every draft booster pack of Baldur’s Gate, you’ll receive a bumper pack of 20 cards. When drafting, your goal is simple: by taking two cards each time a pack is passed to you, you need to make a 60-card Commander deck. Find a Commander you like in those packs, build around them, and have at it in four-player multiplayer sessions! Along the way, you’ll find lots of powerful reprints to help spice your deck up, like Geode Golem, Arcane Signet, and the five allied-colour Bond Lands, last seen in 2018’s Battlebond. The best bit? Once you’re done with the draft, all of these cards are legal in the full Commander format, meaning you can put them into your favourite decks!

Of course, it isn’t all reprints. The vast majority of the set is based in Dungeons & Dragons’ setting of Baldur’s Gate, which means both of the new mechanics are D&D-themed. The first are Backgrounds – a new type of enchantment that can be partnered with certain commanders to give them powerful new effects while also expanding the colours available to your deck in a draft. There are lots to love here, like Haunted One’s ability to boost black tribal decks, and Raised by Giants making your commander a whopping 10/10.

The second new mechanic is taking the initiative. When you take the initiative, you begin venturing into a new, exclusive dungeon called the Undercity. Like the ever-popular monarch mechanic, initiative can be stolen from other players to begin your own journey through the undercity, encouraging you to attack your opponents instead of just hunkering down!

As a Commander-focused set, loads of older mechanics are making their returns. From goad and myriad to help you swing out, to the Forgotten Realms’ dice rolling and the long-anticipated return of Throne of Eldraine’s Adventure spells, there is so much power buried into the set, and you could see your favourite mechanic making a surprise return somewhere in there.

Which cards should I look out for?

It wouldn’t be a Commander set without the legendary creatures themselves, and Battle for Baldur’s Gate is delivering in droves. In total, there are 91 brand new commanders to choose from (split between creatures and the new Backgrounds), and there’s definitely something for everyone.

Want to play enchantment-based hatebears? Try Myrkul, Lord of Bones, who can turn your creatures into enchantments your opponents will struggle to deal with. How about a Hell-inspired tribal deck full of Devils, Demons, Imps, and Tieflings? Raphael, Fiendish Savior is here to serve you in style. A particular personal favourite of mine is Wyll, Blade of Frontiers, a new dice-rolling commander that partners up with the Sword Coast Sailor to make a hefty, unblockable bash of Commander damage to one unlucky opponent.

How can I get my hands on Baldur's Gate?

If you just want to shuffle up and play, four preconstructed Commander decks are available. The theme of these decks is combining an unexpected creature type with a returning mechanic: the red/blue Dragon and goad-themed Draconic Dissent, the exile-focused Wolf tribal Exit from Exile, the Horror and mill blue/black Mind Flayarrrs, and the black/white Party-centric Party Time decks all combine popular creatures with more obscure mechanics to make easily the most interesting set of precons we’ve seen in a long time. If you’re hoping to pull these apart for their parts, each deck contains ten exclusive cards and a ton of great reprints in these like Jeska’s Will, Propaganda, and Blasphemous Act.

Unlike the last Commander Legends, this set is getting the full product lineup. Whether you’re wanting to draft with a Draft booster, crack packs with a Set booster, or splash out on a fancy Collector’s, Battle for Baldur’s Gate has it. There are also booster boxes and booster bundles available. Of course, if you just want to pick up a few choice singles for your deck, you can do so through Magic Madhouse today!

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate launches on June 10.

Written by Joe Parlock