Commander Legends 2: Battle at Baldur’s Gate is a great entry point into Magic, not just because it melds two hugely popular franchises, but it also continues the fun of the Commander Draft format first introduced in the previous installment.
Over the past two years, Magic players have been hoarding boxes of the original Command Legends to draft among friends. If you’re a Dungeons & Dragons fan but only heard of Magic, you’ll easily spot iconic characters like Elminster, Volo, Minsc and Boo (among others) on actual Magic cards that you can duel with other Planeswalkers.
Just like how Adventures in the Forgotten Realms served as an excellent entry point for the Standard format, you can expect Commander Legends 2 to have the same effect in the Commander space. The question then is: what product should you buy?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different Magic products on offer, depending on your level of experience and what you are hoping to get:
Pre-release Kit: Quick entry into the Commander Draft Format
Like every other Magic set, pre-release (PR) events take place about a week before the official launch date. If you’re curious about the Commander Draft format, then this is the perfect entry point.
These pre-release kits come with three booster packs instead of the usual six, because in Draft, everyone picks two cards and passes the remainder of the pack down the table. Once all three packs have been distributed, you’ll proceed to build a 60-card deck. Commander Draft is especially unique because not only is your deck drafted, it is helmed by a Commander.
To entice players to take part in pre-release, these kits also come with a random foil Rare or Mythic Rare card from the set and a 20-sided spin-down die, all packed into a nice storage box. The box is neat for short-term storage or transportation, but it still is small and rather flimsy. If you expect to get several more booster packs down the road, then the Bundle might be a better choice for you
The Bundle comes with 8 Set Booster packs, a fixed foil Rare Wand of Wonder card, a 20-sideddie (larger and cooler than the one in PR kits), and 40 Basic Lands (20 foil and 20 non-foil), all in a sturdy cardboard box. In terms of presentation and storage, no other product outshines the Bundle, which makes it such a perfect gift to someone who is starting out in Magic.
Buying one for yourself isn’t a bad idea too, as you can collect the stylish 20-sided die that cannot be found anywhere else, and the Bundle doubles as a storage box.
Overall, your price per Set Booster pack will not be as low as a full Set Booster Box, but don’t forget you’re getting a lot of extras in the Bundle. If you’re willing to spend a little more for a better average cost per pack, then take a look at the Set Boosters.
Set Booster packs from Commander Legends 2 have 15 cards each (more than the usual 12 in other sets). Although cards are still randomised, they are designed so that you can potentially get a much higher return of value than Draft booster packs.
With some luck, a single Set Booster pack can yield 3 Rare or Mythic Rare cards, which should easily top the cost price of that pack. In addition, there’s a guaranteed foil and art card in each pack, with the chance of getting a card from The List, a specially curated selection of previously released cards.
In terms of expected value, Set Booster packs and boxes (containing 18 such packs) offer very good bang for buck. They are often sold at a mid-range price that is not the cheapest or most expensive, but still relatively affordable. If you’re an equal mix player and collector, the SetBooster box is a good choice to get.
The cream of the crop is also the highest price point for a reason. A Collector Booster box contains 12 packs, with each pack consisting mostly of foil cards. It’s the best and fastest way to get your hands on certain Extended-Art, Showcase or Borderless cards that are harder to find in any kind of booster pack.
Each pack contains a total of 16 cards, including a guaranteed total of 5 Rare and/or Mythic Rare cards, so it’s not a bad way to grow your card collection. It does come at a cost though, as Collector Booster boxes are often sold in the hundreds price range.
For those who have extra money to spend and perhaps looking to sell off singles at a later date, the Collector Booster box is a worthy product.
If you’re lucky to be based in Singapore, there are a few deals available on the official Wizards store.
For each purchase of a collector booster box, players will receive a MTG branded dice bag, which is okay.
But if you’re a big fan of Baldur’s Gate, a special Pininfity AR pin with a lanyard might be something you’d want to look out for. It’s given free with selected bundle purchases.
There are so many different products in Magic’s lineup now, but the good news is you don’t have to collect them all. Depending on what you want to get out of Magic, or your level of experience, there’s a right product for everyone.
Hopefully this Commander Legends 2: Battle at Baldur’s Gate guide will help guide you through that maze, and most importantly, remember to have fun in the game.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.