Magic: The Gathering's Battle for Baldur's Gate Brings Back Popular Dungeons & Dragons Theme for New Format

The upcoming Magic: The Gathering set Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate brings back several of the popular Dungeons & Dragons' themed mechanics from 2021's Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to use in the eternally popular Commander deck format. Dice-rolling, adventure cards, and dungeon-delving all return in some format in Battle for Baldur's Gate, which comes out nearly a year after the popular Adventures in the Forgotten Realms first sent Magic: The Gathering fans into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. While Battle for Baldur's Gate is a full set with over 300 new cards, the set is designed exclusively to be drafted for use in the Commander format. This marks only the second time that Wizards has produced a Commander draft set, following the release of the original Commander Legends set back in 2020. 

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate is both a sequel to the 2020 Commander Legends set and the 2021 Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set. The set itself is designed for a specific format – to be used in a Commander draft in which players build a 60-card deck from several card packs to use in a Commander game. These decks follow all of the same rules as a regular Commander deck, save for the "singleton" rule that limits players to having one card of any type in their deck. 

(Photo: Wizards of the Coast)

Because Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate is a sequel of sorts to Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, several keywords and mechanics from that set make a comeback. Dice rolling, parties, flavor words, and adventure cards all make their return in Battle for Baldur's Gate. The dungeon mechanic also makes its return with a twist. Whenever a player takes damage, they "take the Initiative" and are able to venture into the Undercity, a new dungeon introduced in the set with more rooms. There's also a new kind of Background card that can be equipped to certain mono-mana type Commanders, giving them extra abilities and changing their mana type. Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate will also bring back the "Rulebook" variant cards first seen in that set, along with the usual extended art alternate cards. 

Of course, Battle for Baldur's Gate draws heavily from Dungeons & Dragons, with numerous characters and monsters appearing on cards for the very first time. Elder brains, fireball spells, and the Robe of the Magi all appear in the set along with recognizable names like Minsc, Boo, and Elminster. The card set also brings in characters from the Baldur's Gate video game series and the 2019 D&D adventure Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, with the loyal Hollyphant Lulu making her first appearance on a Magic card.  

(Photo: Wizards of the Coast)

Previews for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate starts this week, with Commander Deck previews running on May 24th and May 25th. Prerelease will run June 3rd-5th, with the Global Release taking place on June 10th.