Friday 17 June 2022

Baldur's Gate Conclusions and Additions


I'm pretty sure it is me slowing down more than it is releases speeding up at this point. Even so, these last three sets (New Capenna, Kamigawa and this) have rather blended into one for me. I simply have not managed to put in the testing time to get to know the cards and distinguish them all that much. I don't feel like it is mattering a huge deal however these days. New sets do not seem to have the same positive impact on my cube as they used to. Previously it was a lot of fresh new toys to play with, old gaps filled and extra support allowed for decent meta shifts and it was all good fun and games. This is not the case so much these days although primarily for reasons you would have to call positive. There are really not that many holes in magic any more, you can do the things and you can find enough tools to do them with. That means new cards are typically just sidegrades on existing stuff and on the occasions they are wanted in cube they do not seem to change all that much about the meta. There is also far better balance in terms of the range of power on cards. Back in the day most cards were bad with a few exceptions, now most cards are reasonable and this has been going on long enough now that there is only room in the cube for good cards rather than fair ones that happen to fit in well. The only time there is a significant new addition or upgrade that changes up the meta it is because the card is broken and that typically reduces everyone's fun. The are cards like Fury and Oko. That basically means I am only certain about adding cards that I don't want to, everything else just piles into the samey sea of viable and in need of some testing to join the rank and file of cube. This makes reviewing a bit less enjoyable as the interesting cards are usually too narrow or too fair. It certainly looks like the only two cards I think are sure bets from this set are two that look oppressive in their various ways. Meta narrowing cards rather than meta broadening ones. Basically magic feels pretty complete and as such either stagnating or getting worse with most new cards/sets.     

Cube tends to be worse affected than other metas by sets that avoid standard such as Modern Horizons and the Commander sets. I used to really look forward to the commander product but sadly the cards designed for that format can wind up being pretty broken in 1v1 play while most of the rest are unsuitable or just waaay to expensive. Being too powerful for 1v1 usually matters little for high powered places like legacy and vintage and cannot be a problem in modern onwards by virtue of not being legal there. In cube however a card like Minsc and Boo, Timeless Heroes is going to pretty nuts.  

Despite all those complaints I do like this set. I think they have massively improved on the rolling a d20 mechanic. Backgrounds are a good idea for the EDH format. I think the D&D flavour translates well into magic and results in a nice set aesthetic. I am pleased to see a return of adventure cards and like how they have been done, notably less broken than last time! I am really impressed with the power and option rich nature of many of the commons leading me to think this will be a good fun limited format. Some fun but under supported build around mechanics got a nice boost, those being Gates, dragons, adventure, and party. There is a much higher rate of low rarity cards of interest to me than usual which is always nice to see. There is a lot to like about this set but in spite of all this I have found it hard to be excited by or for any of it.   

* not main set cards

To Add

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

Delayed Blast Fireball *

To Test With High Expectations

Mighty Servant of Leuk-o

Sailor's Bane

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest 

Decent into Avernus

Nautiliod Ship

Altar of Bhaal

Black Market Connection*

To Test With Low Expectations

Githzerai Monk

Amethyst Dragon

Wrathful Red Dragon

Beckoning Will-o'-Wisp


Archivist of Oghma

Gale's Redirection

Greatsword of Tyr

Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss

Noble's Purse 

Faldorn, Dreadwolf Herald

White Plume Adventurer

Roving Harper

Young Red Dragon

Caves of Chaos Adventurer

Inspired Tinkering

Blessed Hyppogriff

Harper Recruiter*

For the Constructed/Rotisserie Reserves

Explore the Underdark 

Navigation Orb

Nine-Fingers Keene

Gond's Gate

Baldur's Gate

Heap Gate

Basalisk Gate

Thriving Gate Cycle

Earthquake Dragon

Rescuer Chwinga

Horn of Valhalla

Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter 

Cadira, Caller of the Small

Alora, Merry Thief

Monster Manual


Eldritch Pact

Circle of the Land Druid

Young Blue Dragon

Prized Statue

Nimblewright Schematic

Cloakwood Stormkeeper

Reckless Barbarian

Mold Folk

Guildsworn Prowler

Winter Eladrin

Artificer Class*


  1. I think you might have missed a few cards. I looked through your reviews for this set and couldn't find any mention of Owlbear Shepherd or Elturel Survivors. They're not super remarkable but I just thought I'd point out their absence for the sake of comprehensiveness.

  2. I have never reviewed the whole set, only those cards I think might have some application in a singleton setting. As power creep continues this rules out more and more cards and so increasingly reasonable cards get left out. I am also trying to be more concise in my writing and reviews and this also means leaving cards out where possible. Thanks for pointing out the absence though, often these things are errors!