Fans of venerable table-top card game Magic: The Gathering who are also video game players were treated to a surprise last week as new crossovers were announced by the game's publisher.
In a livestream on Wednesday (24 August), Wizards of the Coast revealed its upcoming Magic: The Gathering products that are scheduled to be released next year and beyond, which included tie-ins with video game titles Fortnite and Street Fighter, as well as more updates on its other crossovers.
Earlier this year, Wizards unveiled plans for Universes Beyond, which aimed to bring the gameplay of Magic: The Gathering to other fictional universes. The universes of Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings: Tales from Middle-earth were the first two such crossovers initially announced.
In last week's stream, Wizards confirmed that Universes Beyond featuring the Warhammer 40,000 universe will come in the form of four Commander decks in late 2022. The Commander deck will have new cards, new art and reprints with some Space Marines flavour.
One can dream about having the Emperor of Mankind as your Commander, but it's pretty much wishful thinking for the moment.
However, for LOTR fans, you'll definitely be getting your favourite characters in The Lord of the Rings: Tales from Middle-earth, which will arrive in 2023.
It will be a full Magic release, meaning that Magic: The Gathering players will encounter famous characters like Gandalf, Gollum, Frodo, The One Ring and more as they venture across Middle-earth. This set will only be legal in Modern and Historic, and it will come to tabletop, Magic Online as well as Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Besides Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings: Tales from Middle-earth, Wizards of the Coast revealed Secret Lair drops in 2022 that will feature crossovers with popular games Fortnite and Street Fighter.
Magic: The Gathering’s Secret Lair drops feature collectible, specially curated cards that are only available for purchase for a limited period of time.
Fortnite will be getting two drops, while Magic: The Gathering will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Street Fighter in 2022 with a single drop featuring iconic characters such as Chun-Li. Chun-Li is expected to have the keyword ability Multikicker, so I guess 10 points for some creativity there?
Wizards also announced its upcoming Standard sets for 2022, which will start with the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, a return to the iconic and fan-favourite plane of Kamigawa.
The Kamigawa plane was first brought to life in 2004 with the release of the Kamigawa block, and is heavily inspired by Japanese mythology.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty will take place 2,000 years after the end of events in the previous block, and looks set to have heavy cyberpunk influences, although I am a little bummed out they did not invite Keanu Reeves for a crossover. Missed opportunity, Wizards.
The next release in the second quarter of 2022 will take us to the Streets of New Capenna, a city with special significance to the White-aligned Planeswalker Elspeth, where players can play as one of the five crime families in the city featuring angels and demons.
Dominaria United will then be released in the third quarter as Magic: The Gathering prepares to kick off its 30th anniversary.
Players will return to the plane of Dominaria, the plane where all of Magic: The Gathering’s stories and rich history began all the way back in 1993.
To add onto the nostalgia (and possibly take away our wallets), the last Standard set to be released in the fourth quarter will return to an extremely pivotal story in the history of Magic: The Gathering.
The Brothers’ War will finally explore the feud and eventual war between the brothers Urza and Mishra. Magic fans obviously know how this story pans out, but it is about time we finally stop referencing cards from the out-of-print Antiquities or Urza’s block (none of which was about the war) to describe the war.
Wizards also finally confirmed that its highly anticipated Magic: The Gathering animated series will be coming to Netflix in late 2022. The animated series is currently in full production, with actor Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) revealed to be the voice actor for Gideon Jura, the Planeswalker from the long-lasting War of the Spark saga.
The animated series is set to feature some of Magic: The Gathering’s favourite
Avengers Planeswalkers and characters, but will also introduce new characters and a completely new story, so that anyone who is not exposed to existing lore can also enjoy the show.
Along with the animated series, an upcoming novel from acclaimed fantasy author Django Wexler will be released as a prequel. It will specifically dive into the relationship between Gideon and his fellow Planeswalker, Jace Beleren, and is set to expand on the events that happen in the animated series.
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