Hasbro has certainly been busy as of late. Wizards of the Coast is revealing new content for MTG left and right. With Wilds of Eldraine’s spoiler season coming up next week, the non-stop spoiler season seems to be continuing.
Its not just Magic: the Gathering that’s been churning along, though. Baldur’s Gate 3 just got released and the game has become incredibly popular. No one expected the game to amass over half a million players so quickly. Needless to say, this game has been hugely successful.
Thanks to Magic and Dungeons & Dragons being owned by the same company, there are some extreme crossovers between the two franchises. Many of the beloved characters that one can interact with in Baldur’s Gate also have their very own Magic cards! Heck, Magic has an entire Commander Legends release themed around Baldur’s Gate!
For Baldur’s Gate players who want to take a look a Magic, or vice-versa, all of Baldur’s Gate’s Companions make appearances in Magic as well!
Baldur’s Gate 3 has (at least) ten different companions that can be recruited through completing missions to join you on your adventure. All of these characters are rich in backstory and have quite a lineage in the D&D franchise. Players will likely get to know these characters quite well since they will be aiding you during your perilous battles. If you want to try these characters in Magic, here’s where they appear!
Minsc & Boo
Minsc is one of the ten companions that can join you on your adventure in Baldur’s Gate 3. According to a majority of companion tier lists released thus far, however, many players have not had the opportunity to try fighting with Minsc yet.
Minsc is a Ranger known to converse and have a connection with the mysterious space Hamster named Boo, who has a huge role in Magic’s incarnation of the character.
Of the companion characters in Baldur’s Gate 3, Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes is the most powerful Magic card. Minsc & Boo actually has two variants in the game so far but, in terms of power, this Planeswalker is hard to beat.
Able to create and recreate a powerful Hamster token that is difficult to deal with, Minsc & Boo both hit hard and can draw you a ton of cards. For this reason, Minsc & Boo even sees play in Legacy, one of the most powerful formats in MTG that has access to cards released in the past 30 years of history.
Of the companions that players know more about in Baldur’s Gate 3 at the moment, Lae’zel has been particularly impressive. This Gith Warrior has been incredibly effective in Baldur’s Gate 3, offering a huge asset in your battles.
In Magic, Lae’zel promotes a fun counter theme in the Commander format. Using her in this format allows her to partner with a Background, giving your Commander deck a unique flavor that opens a larger card pool for you to play with.
Personally, to go all-in on the counter theme that this card presents, I would recommend trying Master Chef. This will effectively ensure all your creatures, including your Commander, enter play with two additional +1/+1 counters. Combining this with competitive homestays like Hardened Scales and Ozolith, the Shattered Spire can turn even the smallest creature into a terrifying threat.
This card also synergizes extremely well with Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes, but thanks to color identities, having both these cards in the same deck means you would need a different Commander.
For fans who want to engage in a 1V1 environment instead of a multiplayer (4-player) one, Lae’zel has a unique digital variant in Magic Arena’s digital formats. This version of Lae’zel is much more powerful in a vacuum, proving very difficult to remove thanks to her embedded protection. Her Specializations are all quite powerful as well, allowing players to utilize their dead cards to gain more powerful abilities.
Astarion is one of the more effective companions that players can utilize in Baldur’s Gate 3. Known to boost your proficiencies in stealth and sneak attacks, many have come to favor Astarion as a Companion in the game’s early development.
In Magic, Astarion is a rather expensive Commander to cast. With a mana value of six, the card is too expensive to be effective in other formats.
Astarion, the Decadent embodies a core strategy to the Orzhov archetype: playing with your opponent’s life total. Astarion’s ability to force opponents to lose life equal to the life they lost essentially doubles the damage that they took over the turn. Combine this with massive life loss effects like Exsanguinate can knock players out from seemingly nowhere. Gaining life equal to the life you gained can help stabilize you from extremely perilous situations.
Many cards in Commander Masters can help create an incredibly explosive strategy in Commander that wipes out players from nowhere. Archfiend of Despair is a particularly fantastic card that can stack with Astarion to deadly proficiency.
Say you dealt 10 damage to your opponent. Astarion and Archfiend both force your opponents to lose life equal to the life they already lost. Astarion will force your targeted opponent to lose another 10 life. This will stack with Archfiend, forcing them to lose an additional 20 life. Since players generally start with 40 life in Commander, this deadly combo can easily knock someone out.
Early information for Shadowheart as a companion in Baldur’s Gate mentions her as a defensive Companion that can help the player tank some of the damage that enemies are dishing out. According to the Baldur’s Gate 3 wiki, “Shadowheart is a Half-Elf and a Trickery Domain Cleric, which gives your party heals, buffs and interesting stealth and deception spells.” The card plays a similar role in Magic, but at the expense of your other creatures.
Shadowheart has a particularly powerful draw effect in its paper variant. Like Lae’zel, you can pick a Background to help take this card as a Commander in unique directions. Because Shadowheart encourages an Aristocrat theme with her activated ability, we recommend trying Haunted One. This will make your color identity mono-black, which limits your card pool somewhat but leads to some incredibly powerful synergies.
The biggest downside to Shadowheart is that you need to sacrifice creatures to trigger her ability. Haunted One granting Undying to your creatures can help mitigate this downside. Sadly, there is a bit of anti-synergy here since Shadowheart needs to sacrifice a creature to activate her ability. Because this is a cost, the sacrificed creature will not be able to get Undying. It is, regardless, an interesting tool to use alongside cards like Sting, Glinting Dagger that can untap Shadowheart to sacrifice an Undying creature consecutively.
Like Lae’zel, Shadowheart has an alternative digital card that is quite deadly in 1V1 play. This card hosts a number of infinite combos when specialized properly.
Gale is a companion in Baldur’s Gate 3 known best for, well, being a Wizard. Able to cast massive spells to assist your adventure, players have found Gale to be a middling option to choose as your Companion.
Gale appears to be a lot more effective in Magic than Baldur’s Gate. Fans of Gale will have access to his powerful ability to cast instants and sorceries from your graveyard. Do note that there are no freebies here, so sticking to small spells that can accrue advantage may be your best bet.
This card is incredibly interesting when used alongside the Background Scion of Halaster. Adding Black to your color identity, this card will allow for additional card selection on your first draw. Not only do you get to choose one of two cards to add, but the other card will go to your graveyard, which can eventually be cast using Gale’s ability!
Whether it’s Magic or Baldur’s Gate 3, Karlach is all about smashing your opponent. This companion wants to take a lot of damage and deal even more. Karlach is a bit more on the aggressive side in Magic vs. Baldur’s Gate where she acts more as an aggressive tank. Players who want to attack their opponents with powerful creatures should consider this Baldur’s Gate Companion as a Commander.
Karlach probably wants to partner with a Green background, but not necessarily because of an individual background’s abilities. Hearty Outlander and Raised by Giants are two options that are good for smashing faces, but the Gruul color identity cares a lot about utilizing combat triggers. Getting access to cards like Doors of Durin and Wulfgar of Icewind Dale can allow Karlach’s potential to be utilized to the max.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, Wyll is a Companion that offers players a charismatic option who is good at, well, talking. The Companion is also decent in combat but charisma is the main pull here.
Wyll promotes a rather weird strategy in Magic. Dice rolling is fantastic to create random unexpected situations to shock the table, but finding a consistent game plan can be difficult. A blue Background is your best bet with Wyll since this will grant access to some other powerful dice-rolling effects like Pixie Guide.
Building a thematic deck is probably the way to go with Wyll, and there’s no better way to do that than utilizing Unfinity’s Attractions! These rides will proc a dice roll every turn, which will grow Wyll very quickly. Having access to blue also allows you to run Myra the Magnificent, one of the most powerful support options for any deck interested in Attractions.
Halsin’s common trait between Baldur’s Gate 3 and Magic seems to be his ineffectiveness. Early reviews of this Companion have not been the kindest, and he’s not a super powerful option in Magic either.
That said, for any who want to thematically turn their tokens into bears, Halsin is very good at that. Combine this with a Background that generates tokens like Veteran Soldier, and you can create a concerning number of bears if given time.
Minthara is a rather unique Commander that wants you to utilize permanents that want to leave the battlefield. This allows Minthara to accumulate Experience Counters, making your board bigger and making Minthara more difficult to remove. Notably, the player is the one that holds Experience counters, meaning removing Minthara will not affect the number of Experience Counters you have.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, Minthara’s reviews range from her being a decent Companion to the absolute worst. Look to find her in the Shattered Sanctum if you want to use her in your adventure.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Jaheira. In Magic, Jaheira is second only to Minsc & Boo of your Baldur’s Gate 3 companion options. This card is an absolute nightmare.
The text on Jaheira, Friend of the Forest is rather simple: Tokens you control can tap to add a green mana. When utilized alongside token generators, especially non-creature ones that are unaffected by summoning sickness (you can use Jaheira’s ability immediately), Jaheira can generate a critical mass of mana very quickly. This can be used to cast spells to draw more cards and, eventually, cast gigantic win conditions.
Honestly, when choosing a Background for Jaheira, you should consider the cards that the color will grant access to over what the card does. Jaheira works best with non-creature tokens, and none of the Backgrounds are particularly good at producing those. One interesting option is Shameless Charlatan which can allow you to repurpose Jaheira into something different if you aren’t in need of more mana.
Consider Giving These a Try!
This is how 10 of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Companions appear in Magic: the Gathering. These cards are generally best used in the Commander format, so if you want to interact with your favorite Companion in a different setting, try giving these a whirl! You can read more about the Commander format here.
For Magic players who enjoyed the Baldur’s Gate set and want to explore the Lore behind the set more, there’s never been a better time than now thanks to the breakout release of Baldur’s Gate 3. If you’re unsure of whether or not to give this game a go, you can read more about it on our sister site Stealth Optional.
As mentioned earlier, the overlap between Magic and Baldur’s Gate goes far deeper than just featuring the Companion characters. Chances are any character with a decent amount of detail in Baldur’s Gate 3 also makes an appearance somewhere in Magic. Whether you want to look into the future with Elminster or terrify your opponents with Tasha, the Witch Queen, Magic has everything that a Baldur’s Gate fan could ask for.
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