Magic: The Gathering’s Next D&D Set Looks More Like Dungeons & Dragons

Wizards of the Coast knocked it out of the park last summer with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, a crossover with Dungeons & Dragons that became the best-selling summer set of all time. His next D&D crossover, Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate, releases June 10, and on Tuesday lead designer Corey Bowen gave the first full explanation of how it works. Fans should expect a complex, messy set of Commander-focused maps and a gameplay experience that evokes the feeling of actually playing D&D.

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The Noble Legacy background allows white mana to be used in your Commander deck and adds +1/+1 counters to your bag of tricks.

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Like the 2020s Commander Legends Position, Battle for Baldur’s Gate is primarily designed for drafting, which means players will have to create new decks on the fly right at the start of a game. The first task will be to select a Commander from the two Legendary Creatures that appear in each Draft Booster Pack. Next, players will want to select a background for that creature, if any.

According to Bowen, background cards serve a similar function to the partner mechanic (which was introduced with Commander 2016) by adding versatility to a given creature. It also fits right into the D&D theme, using the vanity of character creation to add to the potential mana colors Commanders can use while also sprinkling powerful new abilities.

Scion of Halaster is a legendary enchantment, background, that gives black mana and 2 scry, more or less, when drawing cards at the start of the turn.

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Raised by Giants is a background that turns your commander into a 10/10 giant.

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Absolute Background Cultist gives creatures Commander +3/+3, flying, deathtouch, and more.

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Criminal Past background adds black mana, threat, and +X/+0 based on the number of creatures in your graveyard.

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From there, players will draw two cards at a time from each deck as it moves around the table, building decks of 60 cards in all (down from Commander’s traditional 100 cards). ). Unlike the traditional Commander format, the singleton rule does not apply. This means players can have multiple versions of the same card in their deck.

Pre-built decks that align with the standard 100-card format will be sold separately.

A key feature of the new set will be the introduction of even more classic characters from D&D lore. This includes Elminster, the mighty wizard created by Ed Greenwood for the beloved Forgotten Realms setting; the elven vampire Astarion and the Githyanki warrior Lae’zel, companions of Baldur’s Gate 3; and Baba Lysaga, a witch from Barovia and Tasha’s mother, a novelist Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. There are also many deeper cuts from the original Baldur’s Gate video game and its various sequels and expansions. Even fan favorites Minsc and Boo will make an appearance as planeswalkers (naturally) who can double as a commander.

Elminster is a planeswalker who can be used as a commander.

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Would-be Commander Astarion is a rogue elf vampire with deathtouch and lifelink.

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Minsc and Boo, the timeless heroes are a singular planeswalker who can also be a commander.

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Baba Lysaga is a legendary creature that lets you sacrifice up to three permanents to extract life from your opponents and gain life yourself.

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A new dungeon map will also be available. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms introduces dungeons to Magic – cards that allow players to try their luck by pouring energy into exploring physical space in hopes of earning lucrative rewards. This time around, players will be able to explore the legendary Undercity beneath Baldur’s Gate. But how they do it will be just a little different.

Players will use the new initiative mechanic, gaining the initiative in turn to move their characters through the dungeon. The frequency of initiative cards should be a bit higher – especially when played with adventure cards – allowing players to travel a little faster.

Elder Brain is a creature, a horror, menacing.

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Complete card art for Elder Brain.

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Illithid reaper is a blue creature with sorcery attached.

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Wand of Wonders is an artifact that requires players to roll a d20 each time they use it, at the cost of 4 mana.

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Dice rolling also makes a comeback with Battle for Baldur’s Gate. Some cards will allow players to roll a d20 – just like in D&D – with rewards depending on the height of your roll. However, only one card called Wand of Wonder was shown.

Previews of the set’s preconstructed Commander decks will be available online starting May 30. For now, we only know their names: party time, Flayarr Spirit, Dragon Ascendancyand Coming out of exile.

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate hits retail June 10th. We’ve included a full gallery of all the new cards revealed today below.

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