22, Dec, 23

Baldur's Gate 3 Companion Creates Two-Card MTG Combo!

Article at a Glance

Timeless really feels like MTG Arena decided to allow players do duke it out in a lawless zone with unspoken monstrosities. Offering a taste of Legacy, players can get up to all kind of disgusting strategies. Players who enjoyed Arclight Phoenix at its absolute height get to play with Faithless Looting, Treasure Cruise and Fetch Lands all in the same format. Deathrite Shaman, Necropotence and even the menace Oko himself are all over the format.

With the format being so young, there’s still a ton of things to learn. Early giants have been established, but even some of the wackiest crossover cards can have some hidden potential. Players may not be too fond of the digital-only Alchemy cards, but they can seriously pack a punch, and that can’t be less true for one of Game of the Year Award-winning Baldur’s Gate 3 companion: Shadowheart!

Shadowheart, Sharran Cleric

Shadowheart is the kind of card that’s always on the edge of being a problem. In a deck with strong life loss synergies, Shadowheart excels, turning into an incredibly powerful win condition that can easily shut the door very quickly. If life loss isn’t a strong strategy in a format, unless you really tailor your strategy to Shadowheart, she’s just not that good.

Of course, the main form of Shadowheart is mediocre at best. In order to truly unlock Shadowheart, you need to use the Specialize mechanic to fit your needs.

Specialize is an Alchemy mechanic that allows you to discard a card to change a creature into a variety of different forms. The form you get depends on the color of the discarded card. Notably, lands that you discard do not count as colorless cards, but as the colors of the mana that land produces instead.

The most powerful iterations of Shadowheart, in our opinion, are the white, red and blue ones. Shadowheart, Cleric of War (Rakdos) is definitely the most exciting of these, able to erase your opponent’s life total through a variety of different combos. Shadowheart, Cleric of Order (Orzhov) can create a board of tokens out of nowhere. Finally, Shadowheart, Cleric of Trickery can draw a ludicrous amount of cards. This is particularly lethal with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse to gain back the life you lost.

In Timeless, there are a ton of powerful cards that lose you life in exchange for their power. The most notable of these is definitely Fetch Lands. These cards have been known to completely warp formats for various reasons, but Shadowheart can make your life loss from these lands (and the Shock Lands that follow them) that much more reasonable.

While Shock lands are indeed a big deal for Shadowheart, there is one card that is much more deadly with it: Necropotence.

Shadowheart and Necropotence


This Baldur’s Gate 3 Companion turns into a win condition when used alongside Necropotence. Shadowheart, Cleric of War can easily lower an opponent’s life total to zero if you have a head start. Shadowheart, Cleric of Order can create a massive board of creatures while you refill your hand, and Shadowheart, Cleric of Trickery can easily draw your deck.

Just be careful using Shadowheart’s blue variant while an opponent has Orcish Bowmasters in their deck. You will end up dying in a feedback loop.

Either way, Necropotence was already considered the best archetype in Timeless, at least according to early format data. Now, players have access to a two-mana creature that, when Specialized, just turns into a win condition.

If you want to try this combo for yourself, Twitter user and streamer BinarySoloistMTG has been playing around with the combo. We recommend starting there.

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Death’s Shadow

Death's Shadow

Death’s Shadow is another popular shell that Shadowheart can fit into, but it probably is not as powerful as Necropotence strategies. Shadowheart functions more as a threat in this strategy instead of an instant win button. Shadowheart, combined with Death’s Shadow, is incredibly potent, able to beat down your opponent very quickly.

This deck is the one I’ve personally been playing in Timeless. As far as it goes, this deck is just ok. There are better strategies available in the format, but I’ve been having fun with it.

Between Fetch Lands, Shock Lands and Thoughtseize, it’s easy to get yourself under 13 life in just a few turns, which both turns on Death’s Shadow and allows you to Specialize Shadowheart. Discarding a card shouldn’t be too problematic considering you have Lurrus and Treasure Cruise to turn that discard into further value.

In this deck, you can utilize the green Shadowheart as well. Death’s Shadow has trouble connecting through a field of tiny chump blockers. Shadowheart can connect easily, delivering a ton of damage if you’ve lost incremental bits of life.

I have considered trying Necropotence in this deck, but I find it really clunky. You need to dedicate your life to breaking Necropotence and drawing a ton of cards since the enchantment shuts down your draw step. The upside is ludicrous, but I find that this deck is more interested in trying to play the tempo game than resolve a clunky three mana spell.

One major draw to Shadowheart in more traditional builds of Death’s Shadow is actually the mono black Specialization. It’s easy to get yourself down to such a low life total that you back yourself into a corner. Shadowheart, Cleric of Graves is just a Lifelinking 4/4 for the most part, but it can get you out of a bad spot.

On the topic of Memory Lapse, I found having two blue for Counterspell to be somewhat challenging. Mind you, I was not running Deathrite Shaman when this was the case, so maybe it’s not so bad anymore.


Why is Death’s Shadow maybe not the best choice in Timeless right now? There are a few cards that totally screw the Shadow’s prominence in the format. Swords to Plowshares can be an absolute blowout if not played around carefully. Committing two Shadows to the board allows The Swords to become a two-for-one. Since Death’s Shadow’s stats is always equal to the difference of your life and 13, Swords to Plowshares will put your life to 13, killing the other Death’s Shadow.

Burn is also an issue for any who are not well practiced in the art of Death’s Shadow. This deck can be very difficult to play optimally, and you really need to know what you’re doing to play against Burn properly. Fetch Lands become incredibly pricy, and, while your Shadows can generally connect and end the game immediately, deploying the Shadow in spots where it cannot get removed is really important.

Chalice of the Void on one can also be an issue. We have Molten Collapse in the sideboard to help beat this card, as well as Oko, Thief of Crowns.

As much as paper purists may hate it, Shadowheart may be one Alchemy card that sticks around in the Timeless format. If you don’t deal with it on-sight, the game can easily end in the blink of an eye.

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