MTG meets D&D in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate

June 10, 2022

Today, Wizards of the Coast has launched their latest set for Magic The Gathering, a second instalment in their Commander Legends range after the initial 2020 release, this time called ‘Battle for Baldur’s Gate.’ Once again, the sets crosses over with Wizards of the Coast’s other major franchise, Dungeons & Dragons, including both characters and mechanics from the RPG.

Battle for Baldur’s Gate includes 361 cards, and is designed in a way that’s meant to be drafted, breaking the Singleton rule of traditional Commander play, allowing two or more of the same card to be in the same deck. At a launch event, I played with the new set for a few hours to come to grips with some of the new mechanics as well. Many cards in the deck require a roll of the D20 dice for various effects (such as drawing extra cards), and there’s also now ‘Initiative’ that players can take to venture into the ‘Undercity’ (a new dungeon card). Players with Initiative can venture into further levels of the Undercity as their turn comes around. Exploring further levels yields beneficial results, like Treasure tokens, and several cards in the set also get better if the player has Initiative. Of course – initiative can also be stolen by another player if they successfully attack the holder.

There’s also Legendary ‘Background’ cards, which provide ‘backstory’ to your chosen Commander, but also impart bonus effects or toughness to their abilities (like adding deathtouch or indestructible). The art style of the new set also includes references to classic Dungeons & Dragon material, like the Monster Manual. Rulebook frames and Borderless cards are among the set.

The Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set is out today for tabletop.