If you have been following the lore of recent Magic: The Gathering Standard sets, you would have noticed that the New Phyrexians are up to something, and the inaugural Wizards Presents has (kind of) unveiled the Phyrexians’ plans for the Multiverse.
It is no surprise that the Phyrexians are back to conquer (insert shocked Pika… wait, wrong game) and for the new readers of Magic: The Gathering lore, Dominaria was the first plane where the first stories in Magic: The Gathering were set.
At a point in Dominaria’s history, the Phyrexians from the plane Phyrexia sieged against Dominaria, and it resulted in almost total annihilation for the plane of Phyrexia.
Now, 30 years after Magic: The Gathering was first released in 1993, the Phyrexians are again back in Dominaria (this is a really long story that spans from the stories which began in Mirrodin), and they are not stopping.
The Phyrexian story arc starts from the upcoming Standard set Dominaria United, and will continue through most of 2023 after the culmination of The Brothers' War, which we already know will be released later in November this year.
For long-time Magic fans, The Brothers' War has a nostalgic familiarity, being the setting for the second-ever expansion, Antiquities, which was released in 1994.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One will be the first Standard set to be released in the first quarter of 2023, and returns to the plane of New Phyrexia, where the White Praetor Elesh Norn is busy scheming.
The Phyrexian arc will conclude in the next Standard set March of the Machine in the second quarter when the whole Multiverse comes together for a climatic battle with the Phyrexians.
March of the Machine: The Aftermath is exactly what it sounds like.
The third Standard set of 2023 will tie up loose ends as well as address the new changes to the Multiverse in the third quarter of the next year.
To be honest, is there a better way to kickstart the 30th anniversary of Magic: The Gathering than a story back in Dominaria with the Phyrexians a looming threat once again?
Yes. of course there is: a reprint set which celebrates the history of Dominaria!
Dominaria Remastered, a special limited print run set, was also announced in Wizards Presents.
Featuring cards from 27 previously printed sets that were either based in Dominaria, or ancillary sets with Dominaria-featured cards, this set will be draftable, promising classic draft archetypes from the history of Magic: The Gathering.
The set will also, of course, come in collector boosters, but the release date was not announced in Wizards Presents.
Considering how popular Time Spiral Remastered was, it's not far-fetched to think that this set will be equally hot.
Returning to the Standard sets for 2023, with the end of the Phyrexian arc and a potentially new look to the Multiverse, Magic: The Gathering will revisit two quaint but popular planes — Eldraine and Ixalan.
Brothers Grimm knock-off, I mean homage, Wilds of Eldraine will be released in the third quarter of 2023, where players will get a chance to explore the wilderness of Eldraine.
Meanwhile, expect to meet new pirates, dinosaurs and vampires in the Lost Caverns of Ixalan, releasing in the final quarter of 2023.
Besides the new Standard sets for 2023, Magic: The Gathering is set to ramp up its Universes Beyond products, which expands Magic: The Gathering to feature pop culture.
One new upcoming crossover with Doctor Who was announced, which features some familiar faces and scenes, such as Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor in the 2010 episode The Pandorica Opens.
Yes, that BBC sci-fi television show is still ongoing, which has Ncuti Gatwa of Sex Education fame as the newest I-have-lost-count iteration of Time Lord.
This new collaboration will include Commander decks, collector boosters and Secret Lair drops, so expect to see more scenes from BBC’s (possibly) most famous and the world’s longest running action-adventure television show featured on cardboard.
By the way, did you remember that the previous Universes Beyond announcement featured Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™?
Because I nearly didn't. But fret not, Wizards of the Coast decided we all needed a refresher, and has released more information and art.
The upcoming Warhammer 40,000 will feature Sol Ring with four different art–each representing the different 40k factions — The Imperium of Man, Tyranids, Necrons, and Chaos.
They will be available in each of the four Commander decks that were already previously announced, and these Sol Rings will also get a Surge foil treatment in the Collector’s Editions of the Commander decks.
The Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks will be released on 7 October, while the previously announced three Secret Lair drops will be available on 17 October.
Beyond that, we can finally traverse Middle-Earth with Frodo, Aragon, Gandalf, and whoever else we have here from the Lord of the Rings stories in the third quarter of 2023, along with a rather intriguing artwork for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was the greatest battle between Sauron’s forces and Gondor in War of the Ring at Minas Tirith, and the new artwork unveiled is set to span across 18 individual Magic: The Gathering borderless scene cards that can be put together to reveal the full image.
Cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ will be legal in the Modern format and available for draft.
Besides appearing on cardboard, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ is also set to appear in Magic: The Gathering Arena as an Alchemy set later in 2023.
There's definitely a lot for Magic fans to be excited about in the coming year!
Jay Chan plays a lot of Dota 2 and MTG. He's terrible in Dota 2 and a scrub in MTG, and maybe spends too much money on both games.