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BBD logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Two connected figures in front of a diamond shape.
Design Shawn Main (lead)
Sam Burley
Adam Prosak
Robert Schuster
Melissa Li
Jules Robins
Development Gavin Verhey (lead)
Ian Duke
Melissa Li
Jules Robins
Michael Yichao
Art direction Cynthia Sheppard
Release date June 8, 2018
Plane Kylem
Themes and mechanics Two-Headed Giant, Team play, Warrior-tribal, "twos"
Keywords/​ability words Assist, Partner with, Support
Set size 254 cards
+2 alternate art Planeswalkers
Expansion code BBD[1]
Development codename Slingshot[2]
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Commander Anthology Volume II Battlebond Signature Spellbook: Jace

Battlebond is the first-ever Two-Headed Giant-focused Magic booster set. It was released on June 8, 2018. Battlebond was the Innovation Product for 2018, and was designed to be drafted.[3][4][5][6]

Set details[ | ]

“  Forge an Unbreakable Bond in Battle  ”

Battlebond is inspired by sports and e-sports.[3] 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.[3] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[4] Partnered pairs will always show up together in booster packs. If you open a foil partner, the other partner will also be foil.[9] Some cards appearing in the set were designed with Commander, Cube, and other formats in mind.[10]

Collector numbers for this set starts with the partners in rarity order, followed by the other new cards in WUBRG, and finishing with the reprints in WUBRG.

Promos[ | ]

There are twenty-two promos (the eleven partnered pairs); both planeswalkers with alternate art (numbered #255/254 and #256/254) and all with foil treatment. They come in two-card packs.[4]

Flavor[ | ]

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.[3] And like any good spectator sport, the goal isn't just to win, but to look good doing it. Style points count.[4]

Marketing[ | ]

BBD Booster pack

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[ | ]

Battlebond features six token and two emblems:[11]

  1. {W} 1/1 Spirit creature with Flying, for Doomed Traveler.
  2. {W} 1/1 Warrior creature, for Blaring Recruiter, Najeela, the Blade-Blossom, Regna, the Redeemer and Take Up Arms.
  3. {B} 2/2 Zombie creature, for Doomed Dissenter and Noosegraf Mob.
  4. {B} 5/5 Zombie Giant creature, for Quest for the Gravelord.
  5. {G} 3/3 Beast creature, for Beast Within
  6. {C} 1/1 Myr artifact creature, for Genesis Chamber.
  7. Emblem for Will Kenrith
  8. Emblem for Rowan Kenrith

Rules for limited play[ | ]

For Battlebond, Sealed uses six packs and Draft uses four packs.[12]

Draft[ | ]

  • 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[ | ]

  • 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[ | ]

Huddle Up

Rowan and Will

Battlebond has "twos" all throughout the art, flavor text, and world of Kylem.[2]

The new mechanics in Battlebond elevate the promise of Two-Headed Giant to its full potential.[13]

  • 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."[8] 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.

The set also introduces a new term: "your team". Any card that refers to "your team" refers to you or a teammate.[13] If you're not playing a team game, "your team" just means "you."

Card types[ | ]

Battlebond introduces the Azra creature type, and the Will and Rowan planeswalker types.

The set has a significant Warrior-tribal theme.[2] 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[ | ]

Battlebond has seven cycles, one of which is a double cycle:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Friend or foe Regna's Sanction Zndrsplt’s Judgment Virtus's Maneuver Khorvath's Fury Pir's Whim
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.
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Partners Blaring Recruiter ({W}) Chakram Retriever ({U}) Soulblade Corrupter ({B}) Impetuous Protege ({R}) Ley Weaver ({G})
Blaring Captain ({B}) Chakram Slinger ({R}) Soulblade Renewer ({G}) Proud Mentor ({W}) Lore Weaver ({U})
Five uncommon enemy-colored pairs of creatures, each with the partner with ability.
Legendary partners Regna, the Redeemer ({W}) Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom ({U}) Virtus the Veiled ({B}) Khorvath Brightflame ({R}) Pir, Imaginative Rascal ({G})
Krav, the Unredeemed ({B}) Okaun, Eye of Chaos ({R}) Gorm the Great ({G}) Sylvia Brightspear ({W}) Toothy, Imaginary Friend ({U})
Five rare enemy-colored pairs of legendary creatures, each with the partner with ability.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Allied multicolor commons Riptide Crab Urborg Drake Auger Spree Rhox Brute Centaur Healer
Five common ally-colored cards to support draft archetypes.
Rare multicolor cards Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer Evil Twin Last One Standing Apocalypse Hydra Archon of Valor's Reach
Five rare ally-colored cards to support draft archetypes.
Bond lands Sea of Clouds Morphic Pool Luxury Suite Spire Garden Bountiful Promenade
Five rare dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped, unless you have two or more opponents.[14]
Uncommon multicolor draft archetypes Jelenn Sphinx Dinrova Horror Azra Oddsmaker Relentless Hunter Enduring Scalelord
Kiss of the Amesha Vampire Charmseeker Rushblade Commander Savage Ventmaw Unflinching Courage
Ten uncommon ally-colored multicolored cards to support draft archetypes.

Pairs[ | ]

Battlebond has three mirrored pairs.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Doomed Traveler
Doomed Dissenter
Common 1/1 creatures that create a token when they die.
Peace Strider
Pierce Strider
Common artifact creatures that cost {4}, and are 3/3s with an enters the battlefield ability that deals damage or gains life.
Will Kenrith
Rowan Kenrith
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.

Changes in rarity[ | ]

Common to Uncommon[ | ]

Rare to Mythic[ | ]

Rare to Uncommon[ | ]

Uncommon to Common[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

New cards[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • Battlebond is the first set to take place entirely within one building—Valor's Reach.[16]
  • The character of Regna received her name early in development as "anger" spelled backwards and it stuck all the way through to print.[17]
  • Skystreamer's name is a reference to streaming sports.[17]

References[ | ]

  1. product info
  2. a b c Gavin Verhey (May 21, 2018). "A New Challenger Apporaches". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b c d Gavin Verhey (February 14, 2018). "Announcing Battlebond". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b c d WPN (March 19, 2018 ). "Before You Schedule Battlebond Events. . .", Wizards of the Coast
  5. Wizards of the Coast (June 1, 2018). "Battlebond Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Adam Styborski (June 5, 2018). "Two-Headed Tips and Tricks for Battlebond". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Tom Wänerstrand (May 17, 2018). "Playing Card Board". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. a b Gavin Verhey (May 18, 2018). "Find Your Partner with Battlebond". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Gavin Verhey on Twitter
  10. Adam Styborski (May 22, 2018). "The Bonds after Battlebond". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic: The Gathering on Twitter
  12. Blake Rasmussen (April 30, 2018). "News From the Editor: Odds & Ends". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. a b Matt Tabak (May 21, 2018). "Battlebond Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic: The Gathering Twitter
  15. Mark Rosewater (May 21, 2018). "Doubling Down". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Mark Rosewater (January 02, 2024). "May I request birthday trivia about Battlebond or the plane of Kylem where it takes place?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  17. a b The Professor & Gavin Verhey (July 3, 2023). "Brian Kibler And Olivia VS The Professor And Gavin - Shuffle Up & Play #29 (Video)". Tolarian Community College. YouTube.