Bane, Lord of Darkness – Baldur’s Gate
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
In one of my Icewind Dale II playthroughs, I had a Dreadmaster of Bane character in the group. She had some absolutely devastating dialogue options, many of which revolved around how any NPC who failed her would be punished by Bane himself. If this card is anything to go by, that’s not just an idle threat. It’s surprisingly easy to make him a difficult-to-stop attacker and/or blocker, though I think there will be even more interest in his triggered ability. It offers the possibility of nearly unprecedented chains of creatures coming into play and leaving play and doing other stuff in the process, even if your opponent gets a degree of choice in what happens. And his exact color combination might well make for some welcome diversification in the death trigger tribal archetype in Commander particularly.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
That ability on Bane, Lord of Darkness certainly is something, but let’s begin from the top (as always). The gods in this set all have a conditional indestructibility trigger, being at half life or less. While this might seem perilous, that still affords room to maneuver and gives them a bit more sticking power than they’d already have. And make no mistake, Bane wants to stick around.
Bane, Lord of Darkness has an interesting twist on punishment: if something else of yours dies, an opponent can either let you draw a card…or take a chance that you don’t have something ruder to replace it with. Since this tracks toughness, you can definitely make use of boosting effects to pull off a nice and epic bamboozle…or just draw cards. An indestructible 5/2 that draws you cards whenever something else of yours dies is certainly not so bad, and you can use the politics angle to try and get more value (since you target an opponent, and they have to make the decision). Bane’s almost certainly not going to do anything in Legacy, but given that Esper has pretty potent card draw options available to it, Bane can make sure that whichever choice your opponents make is an awful one.
Constructed: 2 (might have some legs, but he’s definitely fiddly and a combo piece that requires a particular set-up)
Limited: 4.5 (if they don’t remove him immediately, things might get ugly)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (I can see sacrifice outlets pairing viciously with Bane)
A really fun commander in the right colors to pull off some shenanigans in the right deck. It is not hard when playing black to use your life as a resource, so getting to 20 or below life isn’t challenging especially when you’re going to be getting attacked also so you can utilize the indestructibility for protection. The fun part is the second ability. Again being in black you can cause your own creatures to die pretty easily so you don’t have to rely on your opponents to do it so you’ll be building an advantage in either board state or hand value. The board state is interesting because it goes by toughness versus power and there are plenty of creatures with low toughness but high attack value that can be put into play with relative ease.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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