Magic: The Gathering's Battle for Baldur's Gate Plays like DnD

2022-05-28 11:18:40 By : Mr. WAKATEK -- Renewable Energy

Commander Legends: Dungeon & Dragons Battle for Baldur's Gate brings back old mechanics and adds some new ones for a decidedly D&D experience.

Wizards of the Coast's newest Magic: The Gathering set brings Dungeon & Dragons mechanics to the popular collectible card game.

Wizards of the Coast revealed details today about the upcoming set. Taking off from where the first Magic: The Gathering: Commander Legends left off in 2020, Battle for Baldur's Gate takes the multiplayer Commander mechanic and adds some extra flavor to mirror the Dungeons & Dragons experience. Along with a host of spells, creatures, planeswalkers and other cards based on content from D&D, the new set brings back old mechanics along with two new ones: initiative and backgrounds. Many new cards are available for preview in the gallery below.

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On Tuesday, lead designer Corey Bowen explained the Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons crossover, including how the new gameplay invokes the classic tabletop RPG. To achieve this, Battle for Baldur's Gate reintroduces the Adventure mechanic, which hasn't been seen in the game since it debuted in Thrones of Eldraine. The Adventure mechanic essentially gives you two cards in one: players get the flexibility of casting the card as a spell and then casting it again as a creature. An excellent example of this is the classic D&D enemy Illithad Harvester. As a spell, the card prevents the opposing player from untapping on the controller's next untap step. The player immediately exiles Illithad Harvester but can play it later from exile as a 4/4 creature.

Another returning mechanic is Dice Rolling, a classic of traditional D&D previously introduced for Magic: The Gathering in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Essentially, players must roll a die to determine the outcome of a card they've just played. Although it does add a great deal of unpredictability to the game, this matches the excitement of battle in the usual D&D fashion. The last known returning mechanic is the Gate subtype on land cards and multiplayer lands.

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Battle for Baldur's Gate introduces a new mechanic with decidedly D&D flavor: Backstory. Like the partner mechanic from the previous Commander sets, Backstory acts as a subtype on certain Legendary Enchantment cards that can be applied to Legendary Creature with a "Choose a Background" option. It essentially becomes a second commander for the player, allowing them to have one enchantment and one creature as commanders on the field simultaneously.

Lastly is the Take the Initiative mechanic, which serves a similar purpose as the Venture into the Dungeon mechanic from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Take the Initiative allows players to venture into Undercity, a dungeon only available with the Take the Initiative mechanic. This allows players to explore the dungeon and earn a reward upon completion over several turns of the Upkeep phase. However, the Initiative can be stolen from the player if an opponent manages to attack them with a creature and deal damage.

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Outside of game mechanics, there is little variety when it comes to the cards in the deck, though players can expect to see a few returning favorites. Extended and borderless cards are coming back, and rulebook frame cards, first seen in Adventures in the Forgotten Realm, add a retro style to certain cards.

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate arrives at retail on June 10.

Source: Wizards of the Coast

Julia Anderson is the Lead Gaming News Editor for CBR. She is a life-long gamer and bookworm, spending most of her childhood either glued to a novel or the computer. As a teen, she found herself deeply embedded in the fanfiction community and discovered her talent for writing and editing. Since then, she's run her own freelance writing and editing business, Anderson Wordsmith. When she isn't reading or playing D&D, RPGs, or stealth-based games, Julia is usually found imitating old age: drinking herbal tea in her favorite chair, crocheting, and watching a Shakespeare or Jane Austen adaptation with her faithful dog, Ben.