Exclusive MTG Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Preview – Arcane Encyclopedia

The next Magic: The Gathering set will involve characters and locations that will be familiar to fans of both Dungeons & Dragons and the Baldur’s Gate series. The upcoming Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set will bring more D&D characters into the card game, as well as some video game characters, with Baldur’s Gate 3‘s Karlach joining Magic: The Gathering as a Legendary Creature.

D&D and Magic: The Gathering are both owned by Wizards of the Coast and a crossover between the two seems like a match made in heaven, yet it took over twenty years for D&D cards to appear in Magic: The Gathering, as part of 2021’s Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set. The upcoming Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set will feature the next D&D and Magic: The Gathering crossover, and it will include iconic D&D and Baldur’s Gate characters, like Elminster, Jon Irenicus, Abdel Adrian (the canonical hero of the events of Baldur’s Gate), and Tasha. It wouldn’t be a Baldur’s Gate set without an appearance from Minsc and Boo from Baldur’s Gate, with the legendary ranger and hamster duo becoming a Planeswalker in the new set.

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Screen Rant’s exclusive Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate card is Arcane Encyclopedia. This is an artifact card that costs three mana of any color to play onto the field. Once Arcane Encyclopedia is on the field, it can be tapped for three mana to draw a card, giving the player the ability to draw an additional card each turn for a relatively cheap cost. The card’s flavor text refers to different high-profile academic roles in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, as places like Candlekeep contain many ancient and magical texts.

Arcane Encylopedia is about as basic as a card gets in terms of its effect, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an incredibly useful asset across multiple deck types. An artifact that can provide a cheap draw every turn without being tied to any specific color can be a great addition to many decks, as the extra draw power will always be useful, as early game players need as much in their hand as possible, while mana is often more abundant in the later stages of play, so the extra draw won’t be as costly. A simple card can still be one of Magic: The Gathering‘s best cards, and straightforwardness can be an asset when it comes to strategies with other complex moving parts.

Magical books are some of the best items in D&D, especially the ones that permanently raise a player’s stats, so it’s natural that they would be represented in a Magic: The Gathering crossover set. The Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set is the second Magic: The Gathering Commander set that is designed around drafting, which involves a smaller minimum deck size than usual (60, instead of Commander’s usual 100), and duplicate cards are allowed in the deck. A card like Arcane Encyclopedia has such utility that it would fit in almost any deck type, especially in a draft format and its limited pool of cards to choose from. A magical book with extra drawing power will be useful to many Commander decks in Magic: The Gathering.


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The Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set for Magic: The Gathering launches on June 10, 2022.