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|Symbol description||Two connected figures in front of a diamond shape.|
Shawn Main (lead)|
Gavin Verhey (lead)|
|Art direction||Cynthia Sheppard|
|Release date||June 8, 2018|
|Two-Headed Giant, Team play, Warrior-tribal, "twos"|
or ability words
|Assist, Partner with, Support|
|Set size||254 + 2|
|Development codename||Slingshot |
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
- 1 Set details
- 2 Rules for limited play
- 3 Themes and mechanics
- 4 Cycles
- 5 Mirrored pairs
- 6 Changes in rarity
- 7 Notable cards
- 8 References
Set details[edit | edit source]
|“||Forge an Unbreakable Bond in Battle||”|
Battlebond is inspired by sports and e-sports. The set contains 254 unique cards (5 Basic Lands, 101 Commons, 80 Uncommons, 53 Rares, 15 Mythic Rares); 85 of those cards are new and will all immediately be legal in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. Returning favorites from throughout Magic 's history (many with new art) round out the set and cultivate an environment of two-on-two combat and sport. The Battlebond set is designed to be drafted with players who will make groups of two players for Two-Headed Giant multiplayer games. The expansion symbol depicts two connected figures in front of a diamond shape, and is a silhouette of the Spire Garden towers. Battlebond is printed worldwide on Japanese multi-ply card stock.
To facilitate the draft environment, R&D skimped on the weaker power level cards normally found at common and also increased the number of common artifacts above the normal rate. Apart from draft, Battlebond can also be played Sealed. Most of the unique mechanics — the main selling point of the play experience — are indifferent to the format, so long as it's Two-Headed Giant. Partnered pairs will always show up together in booster packs. If you open a foil partner, the other partner will also be foil. Some cards appearing in the set were designed with Commander, Cube, and other formats in mind.
Promos[edit | edit source]
Flavor[edit | edit source]
Welcome to Battlebond, where competitors battle in pairs. Recruit a trusted partner and fight shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, or back-to-back for glory and the roar of the crowd! Forge an unbreakable bond with your combat companion and claim your place in the pantheon of champions! All new cards in Battlebond depict the environment of Valor's Reach, an area on the plane of Kylem, where combat is fought two-on-two. And like any good spectator sport, the goal isn't just to win, but to look good doing it. Style points count.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
Battlebond is sold in 16-card boosters (one card being a marketing card). Like other draft related sets, it features horizontal art on the booster packs. They have artwork depicting key characters Will and Rowan Kenrith, Zndrsplt and Okaun, and art from the card Lore Weaver. The set is also sold in Booster Battle Packs containing six boosters.
Tokens / Emblems[edit | edit source]
- 1/1 Spirit with Flying, for Doomed Traveler.
- 1/1 Warrior, for Blaring Recruiter, Najeela, the Blade-Blossom, Regna, the Redeemer and Take Up Arms.
- 2/2 Zombie, for Doomed Dissenter and Noosegraf Mob.
- 5/5 Zombie Giant, for Quest for the Gravelord.
- 3/3 Beast, for Beast Within
- 1/1 Myr artifact creature, for Genesis Chamber.
- Emblem for Will Kenrith
- Emblem for Rowan Kenrith
Rules for limited play[edit | edit source]
See also: Comprehensive Rules for Two-Headed Giant
Draft[edit | edit source]
- Each team of two will receive four Battlebond booster packs to start the draft.
- Teams will open one booster and pick two cards from the pack before passing the booster pack to the next team on their left. This continues with teams taking two cards from the packs being passed around until there are no cards left to pick.
- Pack rotation remains left (clockwise) for the first pack, right (counter clockwise) for the second, left for the third, and right for the fourth pack.
- The team builds two 40- card decks from the cards that they have drafted — one deck for each player.
- Teams play single game matches.
Sealed[edit | edit source]
- Each team of two receives six Battlebond booster packs.
- The team builds two 40- card decks from the six booster packs — one deck for each player.
- The remaining unused cards will create a shared sideboard.
- Teams play single game matches.
Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]
The new mechanics in Battlebond elevate the promise of Two-Headed Giant to its full potential.
- Assist lets another player pay the generic mana cost of your spell, this way helping you to cast it.
- Partner with [name] is a variant of the Partner ability. It limits the ability to certain card pairs in the set. There are eleven of these pairs. They can be used as co-commanders (if legendary), and allow for the following: "When this creature enters the battlefield, target player may put [name] into their hand from their library, then shuffle." Note that not all the partners in Battlebond are legendary. The ones that aren't can't be commanders.
- Support, last seen in Oath of the Gatewatch, is a returning mechanic.
Card types[edit | edit source]
The set has a significant Warrior-tribal theme. The Warrior archetype is centered in black and red with a good amount in white. Blue and green have some Warrior rewards at uncommon, as well as some common Warriors. While reprints still have their old artwork, all the new Warriors in Battlebond have glowing weapons as a visual cue.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
Battlebond has seven cycles, one of which is a double cycle:
- Bond lands: Five rare dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped, unless you have two or more opponents. — Sea of Clouds (), Morphic Pool (), Luxury Suite (), Spire Garden () and Bountiful Promenade ().
- Partners: Five uncommon enemy-colored pairs of creatures, each with the partner with ability — Blaring Recruiter () and Blaring Captain (), Chakram Retriever () and Chakram Slinger (), Soulblade Corrupter () and Soulblade Renewer (), Impetuous Protege () and Proud Mentor (), and Ley Weaver () and Lore Weaver ()
- Legendary partners: Five rare enemy-colored pairs of legendary creatures, each with the partner with ability — Regna, the Redeemer () and Krav, the Unredeemed (), Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom () and Okaun, Eye of Chaos (), Virtus the Veiled () and Gorm the Great (), Khorvath Brightflame () and Sylvia Brightspear (), and Pir, Imaginative Rascal () and Toothy, Imaginary Friend ().
- "Friend or foe": Five rare sorceries, each associated with one of the legendary partners, and each having effects that require you to choose friend or foe per player. Each spell has a beneficial effect for friends and harmful effects for foes — Regna's Sanction (), Zndrsplt’s Judgment (), Virtus's Maneuver (), Khorvath's Fury (), and Pir's Whim ().
- Allied multicolor commons: Five common ally-colored cards to support draft archetypes. — Riptide Crab (), Urborg Drake (), Auger Spree (), Rhox Brute (), and Centaur Healer ().
- Uncommon multicolor draft archetypes: Ten uncommon ally-colored multicolored cards to support draft archetypes — Jelenn Sphinx and Kiss of the Amesha (), Dinrova Horror and Vampire Charmseeker (), Azra Oddsmaker and Rushblade Commander (), Relentless Hunter and Savage Ventmaw (), and Enduring Scalelord and Unflinching Courage ().
- Rare multicolor cards: Five rare gold cards that are rewards for drafting ally-colored draft archetypes — Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer (), Evil Twin (), Last One Standing (), Apocalypse Hydra (), and Archon of Valor's Reach ().
Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]
Battlebond has multiple mirrored pairs.
- Doomed creatures: A pair of common creatures that create a token when they die — Doomed Traveler () and Doomed Dissenter ().
- Striders: A pair of uncommon artifact creatures that cost , and are 3/3s with an enters the battlefield ability that deals damage or gains life — Peace Strider and Pierce Strider.
- Kenrith siblings: A pair of planeswalkers who share the same converted mana cost, the same starting loyalty, have the same costs for their loyalty abilities, and mirrored effects for their -8 abilities. They can also both be used as commanders, and each have partner with each other — Will Kenrith () and Rowan Kenrith ().
Changes in rarity[edit | edit source]
Common to Uncommon[edit | edit source]
- Aim High
- Battle-Rattle Shaman
- Dinrova Horror
- Dragon Breath
- Karametra's Favor
- Loyal Pegasus
- Peregrine Drake
- Pulse of Murasa
- Solemn Offering
- Trumpet Blast
Rare to Mythic[edit | edit source]
Rare to Uncommon[edit | edit source]
Uncommon to Common[edit | edit source]
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Doubling Season — a much asked for reprint that doesn't fit well in a Standard environment with Planeswalkers.
- Brightling — a continuation of the mega-mega cycle started with Morphling (Urza's Saga), Torchling (Planar Chaos), Thornling (Conflux), and Aetherling (Dragon's Maze) .
- Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith are the first Planeswalkers outside of the Commander series who may be used as deck commander.
References[edit | edit source]
- Product info
- Gavin Verhey. (May 21, 2018.) “A New Challenger Apporaches”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Gavin Verhey. (February 14, 2018.) “Announcing Battlebond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- WPN (March 19, 2018 ). "Before You Schedule Battlebond Events. . .", Wizards of the Coast
- Wizards of the Coast. ( June 1, 2018.) “Battlebond Release Notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Adam Styborski. (June 5, 2018.) “Two-Headed Tips and Tricks for Battlebond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Tom Wänerstrand. (May 17, 2018.) “Playing Card Board”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Gavin Verhey. (May 18, 2018.) “Find Your Partner with Battlebond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Gavin Verhey on Twitter
- Adam Styborski. (May 22, 2018.) “The Bonds after Battlebond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic: The Gathering on Twitter
- Blake Rasmussen. (April 30, 2018.) “News From the Editor: Odds & Ends”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak. (May 21, 2018.) “Battlebond Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic: The Gathering Twitter
- Mark Rosewater. (May 21, 2018.) “Doubling Down”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.