A total of four Magic: The Gathering mechanics will get showcased in the Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set, of which two are new.
The Commander Legends sets are designed to get played in Limited Draft and Sealed. This is the second set of its kind, specifically for Commander. A total of 361 regular cards are contained within the Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate (CLB) set. There are two new Magic mechanics getting introduced, Background and Initiative, along with two returning mechanics, Adventure and Dice Roll.
Here’s every new and returning Battle for Baldur’s Gate mechanic.
Background Baldur’s Gate mechanic
The Background mechanic helps Baldur’s Gate Draft remain flexible, similar to Partner from the first Commander Legends. Some legendary creatures in the CLB set have the “Choose a Background” mechanic attached, providing a legendary enchantment as a second commander subtype. All legendary creatures that have the “Choose your Background” mechanic are mono-colored, as are the legendary Enchantments.
Players can choose the Background Enchantment to pair with their legendary commander. The legendary elf druid Halsin, Emerald Archdruid, for example, can have either Cloakwood Hermit or Raised by Giants as the Background.
Background can adjust a commander’s color identity, specifically within Baulder’s Gate Draft. Choosing a Blue Enchantment Background with Halsin, Emerald Archdruid as your commander opens the colors of the deck up to Blue and Green, as opposed to Mono-Green.
Background Enchantments can get included in any deck, as they don’t have to get attached to a commander. And Constructed Commander decks can use legendary creatures and Enchantments with Background.
The Initiative Baldur’s Gate mechanic
The new Magic mechanic called the Initiative taps into the Venture mechanic from AFR in conjunction with Monarch from the first Commander Legends set. This mechanic is triggered by a player dealing combat damage to an opponent who has Initiative, or through abilities, and from creatures that trigger Initiative as they enter the battlefield. If a player leaves the game, the player whose turn it is next will gain The Initiative.
Unlike the AFR set, there is only one dungeon within the CLB set. Anytime a player has Initiative within Draft or Sealed, they will always Venture into the Undercity dungeon or into the next room within the Undercity dungeon.
In the Commander format, only one dungeon is allowed on the battlefield at a time. If a player is already in an AFR dungeon and gains the Initiative, they advance to the next room within the dungeon they are already in. If no dungeon is on the battlefield, the default dungeon for the Initiative is Undercity. All rooms within the Undercity dungeon can be found here.
Adventure Baldur’s Gate mechanic
The Adventure mechanic is returning to Magic from the ELD set. Each Baldur’s Gate card with the Adventure mechanic showcases a creature on the right and an Instant or Sorcery speed spell on the left. Players can choose to cast either one from hand, but there is a twist.
Should a player choose to cast the Adventure side first (Instant and Sorcery spell), the creature side of the card goes on an Adventure and can get cast from there at any time. If a player casts the creature side first, the card does not go on an Adventure and the spell side can’t get cast unless the card gets returned to hand or library. Should the spell side get countered, both the creature and the spell end up getting exiled.
Whenever an Adventure card is in your hand, library, or graveyard, it is always considered a creature card. Searching your library for a spell will not reveal an Adventure card.
Dice Roll Baldur’s Gate mechanic
Dice Rolling was first introduced during the AFR set, using a d20 die to provide a variety of outcomes based on the number rolled. The Artifact Wand of Wonder, for example in Baldur’s Gate, lets its controller roll a d20 die at the cost of four mana. Upon this trigger taking place, each opponent exiles cards from the top of their library until they exile an Instant or Sorcery card, then shuffle the rest into their library.
You, as the controller of Wand of Wonder, may then cast up to “X” Instant and/or Sorcery spells from among the cards exiled this way without paying their mana costs. And “X” is determined by the number you roll on the d20 die. Rolling a one to nine results in “X” being one, 10 to 19 has “X” equal two, and hitting 20 has “X” equal three.
Introduced into Magic via Commander 2015, the mechanic Myriad allows a creature to attack in all possible directions. The official rules text for Myriad states “Whenever a creature you control with Myriad attacks, for each opponent other than the defending player, you may create a token that is a copy of that creature to attack that opponent or planeswalker that opponent controls.”
Only the creature gets copied into a token via Myriad. Any Auras or counters on the copied creature do not carry over to the token copy. All tokens enter the battlefield tapped and attacking. And at the end of the turn, all created copied tokens via Myriad in CLB are exiled.
Update May 18 10:30am CT: Added the CLB mechanic Myriad.
All images via WotC, Magic: The Gathering.