Is MTG Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate worth it for newcomers?


The latest Magic: The Gathering set has been released into the wild, but what makes Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate special? Is it worth worrying about if you’re a D&D fan who doesn’t play MTG? We’ve had our hands on the set for a little while now, so we have thoughts on this point.

Basically, our team is here to help newcomers decide if MTG Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is where they should start their journey into one of the best card games on the shelves right now. We also have details on what makes this set different from standard Magic: The Gathering decks (because this is not normal MTG).

Confused? Intrigued by our exclusive Battle for Baldur’s Gate map revealed a while ago? No problem – let’s go straight to it. You’ll find all the info you need below, including deals on where to get Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate for less.

Where to buy Commander Legends: The Battle of Baldur’s Gate

Commander Legends: Baldur's Gate Battle Boosters

A variant of Commander game lets you build a deck entirely from boosters (Image credit: future)

What is Commander Legends: The Battle of Baldur’s Gate?

As the second crossover with Dungeons and Dragons, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate brings you iconic D&D characters and locations to go along with your usual MTG shenanigans. As the name suggests, it takes us to the town of Baldur’s Gate – a classic Forgotten Realms setting that features in video games and many of the best Dungeons & Dragons books. It is a high fantasy world and is often considered the “default” universe for modern D&D; many adventures, including the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, take place here. As such, you can expect a few familiar faces (like the barbarian Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster, Boo) to appear.

As this is a Commander Legends pack, it is also designed as a slightly larger special multiplayer set.

Moved D&D “initiative” turn order mechanic here

However, that does not mean that everything is different. Much like the latest Magic-D&D crossover, Battle for Baldur’s Gate also features dungeon maps. These allow you to earn bonuses as you traverse its depths, but this time there’s a new addition – backgrounds. Used by your deck’s commander, they provide a boon they can call on during the match.

Likewise, D&D’s “initiative” turn order mechanism has been applied here. Players will bicker over this as having the initiative provides certain bonuses and allows you to access the “Undercity” dungeon.

How is Commander Legends different from normal MTG?

Unlike standard Magic: The Gathering games, Commander Legends can be played with multiple people – often between three and five, although you can always go head-to-head if you prefer. Depending on the game variant you are playing, decks are also created slightly differently.

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Initiative Card

Initiative is one of the main ways Battle for Baldur’s Gate stands out from other MTG sets (Image credit: future)

The first is the “Commander” version of the game. This uses a pre-built deck that’s ready to go right out of the box (whether it’s one of the four official pre-made packs or a custom 100-card deck) , and it is led by a special character card. All players start with 40 life, and you cannot have repeat cards in your deck – only single cards are allowed here, please. Likewise, your deck should match your commander’s color type.

The second variant is ‘Draft’. Here, each player has 40 life and builds their own 60-card deck from the unopened booster packs they brought with them. You open a booster pack, draw two cards, and keep going until you have a full deck.

Either way, the battle then begins… and the last person standing wins.

It should be noted that you can not however, use Commander Legends cards in Standard, Pioneer, or Modern formats. This means that these decks are only for Commander games.

Why Baldur’s Gate?

Why return to the Forgotten Realms with this set when there are so many other D&D universes to choose from? The steampunk-inspired Eberron would make a great deck, for example. Senior game designer James Wyatt is on hand to shed light on how the team chose this location for the second D&D-MTG crossover.

Even if you’re a D&D player who’s never tried MTG, there should be plenty of cool stuff to recognize

James Wyatt, Senior Game Designer

“There are players who love both MTG and D&D,” says Wyatt. “We’ve known since the launch of Adventures of the Forgotten Realms that both sets of fans loved how we brought all the D&D flavor into one Magic set. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms was designed to make it easy for players MTG who may not be familiar with D&D to understand some of the game’s lore, characters, and mechanics. This didn’t give a full understanding, but if you’ve never played D&D your interest might have -getting stung just playing the new set. That’s why we wanted to revisit Forgotten Realms for this crossover, because even if you’re a D&D player who’s never tried MTG, there should be a lot of cool stuff to recognize while playing.”

Should you buy Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate?

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Maps

The Faceless One is an interesting commander option in Battle for Baldur’s Gate, mainly because it’s what you use if you can’t find anything else (Image credit: future)

Whether you should buy this set or not will depend on the type of games you want to play. Want to take on multiple friends at once or take on a friend who also has a Commander Legends deck? The Battle of Baldur’s Gate is worth a look. While it takes a while to figure out, the fact that you can grab a pre-made deck that’s been expertly designed and balanced by experts also makes things all the more accessible.

Love D&D and want to get into MTG for the first time? While it’s a cool set with lots of winks and nods that you’ll appreciate, I’d probably recommend opting for the slightly older Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set instead. These decks can be used in Standard games, so you’ll have more flexibility than the Commander Legends alternatives. They’re also full of general D&D lore rather than Easter eggs focused on Baldur’s Gate itself, so you’ll likely get more out of it as a fan.

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Deals

Want more recommendations? Don’t miss the best tabletop RPGs or the best board games. Worth checking out these board games for 2 players as well. As for upcoming MTG sets, check out our exclusive Preview of the Double Master 2022.


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