Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate is the latest set in Magic: The Gathering’s 2022 release schedule. This MTG set is a crossover with D&D, much like 2020’s Adventures in The Forgotten Realms was, and it’s similarly filled to the brim with recognisable D&D monsters, characters, magic items, and other references. However, unlike that Standard set, Battle for Baldur’s Gate is designed for the Commander format, with multiplayer matches in mind.
It’s also a Commander Legends set, which means it is designed to be drafted. You can just pop the cards right into your Commander deck, but you can also get together with friends and draft decks by picking two cards at a time and passing packs around. Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate will be sold in Draft Boosters to facilitate this experience, but it’ll also come in Set Boosters and Collector Boosters, if you just want to open packs in search of powerful cards. There are also four preconstructed Commander decks.
We’ve reached the end of spoiler season for Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate, so we have a ton of information to share about the set. This guide will get you up to speed on Commander Legends Baldur’s Gate’s release date, mechanics, and key cards. Check out our guide to Double Masters 2022 and Dominaria United for more information on the year’s upcoming MTG sets.
Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate release date
The release date for Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate is just around the corner now. It’s coming out globally on June 10. There was also a pre-release the week before, from June 3-5.
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Spoiler season for the set began on May 17 and drew to a close on May 31, after the preconstructed Commander decks were shown off. We’re now in the midst of a little lull, before the June 10 release date.
Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate mechanics
Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate has a ton of interesting mechanics that take advantage of the set’s D&D theme.
First up is Backgrounds, legendary enchantments that can go in your command zone if your commander has the Choose a Background ability. Referencing D&D backgrounds, part of character creation in the tabletop game, they’re a limited form of the last Legends set’s (rather overpowered) Partner mechanic. They not only give your commander new abilities when put out on the battlefield, they also expand the colour identity of your deck, letting you play cards that would otherwise be off-limits to your chosen legendary creature.
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There’s also Initiative, a mechanic that lets you venture into the Undercity dungeon. The way this works is, when you take the Initiative, and at the beginning of your upkeep, you can venture into Undercity, working your way through a range of powerful abilities on a new Undercity dungeon card. Initiative works a lot like the popular Commander mechanic Monarch. Only one player at a time can have the Initiative and you can take it from them by dealing combat damage with your creatures.
Battle for Baldur’s Gate also has a number of returning mechanics. There’s Adventure, instants and sorceries attached to creature cards which you can cast before you play the creature. This was one of those mechanics that seemed a shoe-in for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, but was strangely absent. It’s here now though!
Party is another mechanic that seems to fit the theme well, but it was deemed too restrictive for the main set, relying on only four creature types, when there are 12 D&D classes in 5e. It does show up in one of the pre-set Commander decks, however.
Gates should also probably get a mention. These are a special land type that has a number of cards that interact with them. This set adds a few more to the roster, including Gond’s Gate, which lets all your Gates come in untapped, and Baldur’s Gate, which produces a load of mana if you have enough Gates on the field.
Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate planeswalkers
As you may already know, not many D&D settings have planeswalkers… but Battle for Baldur’s Gate still has plenty. Just like it did in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set, Wizards of the Coast has avoided a potential issue by just making powerful or well-known characters or gods into planeswalker cards for gameplay reasons, and ignoring any strange lore implications that may result.
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There are three new planeswalker cards in Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate. There’s Elminster, in blue-white, Tasha, the Witch Queen, in blue-black, and Minsc and Boo, in red-green. All three of them can be your commander.
They each have very different abilities. Elminster rewards you for scrying and can make little faerie dragons, Minsc & Boo can buff up a Boo hamster token and then sacrifice it for damage and card draw, and Tasha lets you cast other player’s spells and creates demons when you do.
Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate decks
The four preconstructed Commander decks being released alongside the Commander Legends set are:
Mind-Flayaaars: A blue-black deck led by the pirate horror Captain N’ghathrod. This commander focuses on milling your opponents, and then stealing creatures or artifacts from their graveyard. Part of the ship, part of the crew.
Party Time: A white-black deck led by the human rogue Nalia de’Arnise. This commander let’s you cast Cleric, Wizard, Rogue and Warrior cards from the top of your library, and once you’ve got a full party, everyone gets buffs!
Draconic Dissent: A blue-red deck led by the dragon Firkraag, Cunning Instigator. This commander is focused on Goad, forcing your friends to attack each other, and drawing you cards when they do.
Exit from Exile: A red-green deck led by the human druid Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald. This commander lets you exile cards from the top of your library and cast them, making wolf tokens whenever you do.