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A Look at What is Coming Next in Magic the Gathering in 2021, 2022 and Beyond

Written by Ssquirrel76

Introduction

Greetings programs!!

Tuesday was WotC’s Showcase 2021, which lets us know about some cool things happening before the end of the year. A lot of this stuff was given with minimal information and rather than try and go in linear order as presented, I’m going to try and discuss things in a chronological order, by release date.

What is coming in 2021

There was some discussion of FNM and pre-releases, with hints of new things being done w/pre-releases, including possibly more multi-player action, but no real information to sink our teeth into, classic WotC announcement of an announcement. There was also some discussion about the Companion app, which largely amounted to an ad for it, reminding players they need it for in-store play.

December will see a return of Store Championships. This was always a fun thing where we would get to compete at our local stores to win cool playmats and such. This time around, the winner gets a foil Wurmcoil Engine, the T8 all get a foil Collected Company, and everyone who comes gets a foil Arbor Elf. Arbor Elf is normal art, the Collected Company is new art, I THINK the Wurmcoil is the same, but didn’t get a great look watching on my phone because my company has Twitch blocked, of course. Aaron also mentioned there would be something new coming to game stores called Commander Parties. Vague comments about affecting other people’s games, but no real details. Unknown participation promos will be a thing, and it starts with Innistrad.

Jumpstart Historic Horizons (JSHH) is coming out in 2 days and they say there are more ways to play coming to Arena, but as for details….yeah. Rotation comes this September and there was something mentioned, I think he called it a Renewal Egg, to help people get started on Arena, including packs of the new Innistrad set. Historic Brawl is becoming a 100 card format and the queue will be there in perpetuity. JSHH brings a lot of Modern Horizons cards to the format, as well as many cards that can only function in a digital realm.

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt releases September 24th. Werewolves are trying to take over, and on 9/2 there will be a stream on Twitch with announcements for Innistrad w/Joe Manganiello and Jimmy Wong. Innistrad: Crimson Vow is due Nov 19th. It’s a Vampire Wedding set, where Olivia Voldaren is marrying an unannounced vampire to take over the plane. No surprise, both werewolves and vampires are trying to take over. Almost like there will be a fight. A tale as old as time, right?

Commander Collection: Black is coming soon. No date was given, but it will be similar to the Green collection already released. A double-sided Snake/Zombie token, as well as Liliana, Heretical Healer, Ghoulcaller Gisa, Ophiomancer, Phyrexian Arena, Reanimate, Toxic Deluge, Sol Ring, and Command Tower are all included.

Pioneer is not dead! I’ve maintained this thru the entire pandemic, that once we saw in=paper play return, along w/real tournaments, companies like SCG will need Pioneer for multi-format team events. WotC apparently agrees it isn’t dead, as they are releasing Challenger decks later this year. Azorius Spirits, Orzhov Auras, Mono-Red Burn, and Lotus Field Combo are set to arrive on 10/15/21.

They advertised a few things that are out now or coming soon. There’s a new MTG comic line from Boom Studios with lots of variant planeswalker art covers. #5 is already on shelves. Dumbgood.com has a limited release Black Lotus Collection. There’s a new book called Planes of the Multiverse: A Visual History by Jay Anneli, which was released today. Ultra Pro is going to be producing Kamigawa tie-ins, like Mochi Kami dicebags, stitched edge playmats w/art based on the set, and should be available around the pre-release. What Kamigawa set you ask? Continue onward dear reader. There’s also something called Pinfinity. Go here to check it out, it wasn’t exactly a highlight of the day.

There’s a new Secret Lair drop out today, called Out of Time. There are 5 sets making up the super drop, which I will list below:

Out of Time: Dack Fayden; Teferi, Time Raveler; Karn, the Great Creator. These cards have old borders, no formatting for the Planeswalker abilities, extra explanations and basically look like the classic old Magic word salad. I love old borders, but these aren’t for me personally.
Kamigawa Ink: Kami of the Crescent Moon; Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker; Heartless Hidetsugu; Reki, the History of Kamigawa; Toshiro Umezawa
Artist series Johannes Voss: Sanctum Prelate; Carpet of Flowers; Sphere of Safety; Karmic Guide
Artist series Thomas Baxa: Ob Nixilis Reignited; Sliver Hivelord; Sire of Insanity; Spellskite
Math is for Blockers: Brazen Borrower; Thragtusk; Ohran Frostfang; Meandering Towershell; Vindictive Lich

Check the Secret Lair out over Out of Time.

What is coming in 2022

Now we get to things coming in the real future for Magic, 2022. Early in the year we are getting a special draft set called Innistrad Double Feature. It will be combining parts of both the new Innistrad sets into one draft experience and has special card art influenced by classic horror films. Think the old Universal or maybe Hammer films. Box art we saw was black and white, but I doubt we get an entirely black and white shaded set.

We have a couple of special sets being released over the course of the year. In the 1st half of 2022, we have Commander Legends: D&D Battle for Baldur’s Gate. This will be a the same draft focused environment from the first Commander Legends set, drafting 2 cards at a time from 20 card packs. They’re using the sketch frame art style from AFR, borderless cards, and etched foil legends in the set.

In the summer of 2022, we are getting another round of Double Masters, in Double Masters 2022. Catchy and an original name, I agree. 2 rares or mythics and 2 foils per pack, it’s a classic reprint set. Looking forward to having some card prices dropped as we get more copies of some needed cardboard in there.

In the second half of 2022, we will be getting Jumpstart 2022 coming to tabletop. 46 themes, 20 card boosters. The only themes we were given were Multi-headed Creatures, and Eldrazi. Each pack will contain 1 new card to the set, booster fun (anime art style), and “awesome reprints”. There is also a new Un-set coming in the second half of the year, a top down faction based Un-set. They were doing a Buzz Lightyear gag and it’s called Unfinity, because it’s a retro sci-fi space carnival/amusement park/circus themed set. Art was shown for Myra the Magnificent, who may have been running the circus. New basic lands of course, as that is one of the hallmarks of an Un-set. Space-ic lands. Full-art, full-bleed (I believe similar to the Unstable lands), as well as a return of Shock lands, this time with new space art.

They also talked more about their Universes Beyond. In the second half of 2022, we are getting 4 Warhammer 40k Commander decks, as well as some related Secret Lairs. Some art was shown from the set. We have 2 Secret Lairs from other universes coming in 2022, but they didn’t specify when. Fortnite will have 2 drops, all reprints of current cards. Art was shown of Cuddle Team Leader dancing in a club. There will also be a Street Fighter drop. They showed us art for Chun Li and pointed out that her card will, very fittingly, have multi-kicker. Nice pun WotC.

What is coming next in 2023:

Our last Universes Beyond news isn’t releasing until 2023, but it should be massive when it does. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth will be a full booster set. Gandalf, Gollum, and Frodo are all name-checked as having cards in the set. It will be coming to Magic the Gathering Online AND Magic Arena. They showed us some art for Gandalf, which looked pretty good. There will also be 4 Commander decks and some related Secret Lairs released for it too. I think that covers everything, for what is likely to be the biggest Magic release of all time from the point of view of WotC’s bank account.

Oh yeah, small addition. The Lord of the Rings set will also be Modern legal. So any Modern fans who are big fans of LotR and just wanted to grab a few cool cards for the collection, but could ignore the set (*cough* me *cough*), sorry about your luck, because now you will have to actually pay attention to this set and see what its impact will be like. On the one hand, the idea of getting to maybe have Gandalf as a planeswalker is awesome, but I hope its handled well. It isn’t a guarantee its power level is raised like Modern Horizons 2, so it could end up with minimal impact on the format, but this was definitely a way to increase the number of people who will have eyeballs on the set.

What Premiere Sets are coming in 2022

Finally we get to the meat and potatoes of what a lot of folks want to know about. Yes, I’m talking about my recipe for meatloaf! No, it’s the 2022 Set Roster obviously.

First up, all of these are roughly quarterly based, we have Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. It’s set 2000 years after the original Kamigawa block and has a cyberpunk theme. This was predicted by a website domain registered by WotC awhile back. Several arts were shown off and there were hints that we have seen the Kamigawa Emperor before. They know the original Kamigawa block has some problems, so they have all new gameplay mechanics while keeping background information. They also made sure to involve lots of outside consultants to make sure they hit the right feel and were respectful of the society its based on.

Next up we have Streets of New Capenna. This is a modern urban fantasy set, built around 5 3-color crime families. “Crime does pay”. There is a keyword for each crime family, not all of which are humans. The city was originally built by angels, and now demon crime families rule it. This plane has special meaning for Elspeth, but no real info given there. Hoping these are ally colors, so we can get ally triomes.

In the 3rd quarter we are returning to Dominaria for Magic’s 30th anniversary in a set called Dominaria United. One piece of art was shown, for what is only the second time we have returned to Dominaria since the original Time Spiral block. Dominaria is where the first link to the Phyrexians was located, so I’m willing to bet that this set is where we really start working our way into the Phyrexian storyline.

Lastly we have a story that has been told in old Magic novels and was the background for Antiquities and Ice Age. That’s right, we are stepping back in time and experiencing The Brothers War in person. Yes, we finally get a set detailing the Brothers War when it was happening back then, rather than it being purely historical like the way it was excavated in Antiquities and was a several thousand year old tale of what broke the world in Ice Age. Normally Standard sets don’t go back thousands of years, those things normally show up in supplemental sets. So it will be interesting to see if the Gatewatch time travels or we just get a cool set from history.

The last thing happening in the second half of next year is the Netflix Magic show. The scripts are done, casted, and audio is recorded for the first season. Gideon is at the heart of story, and there is a prequel novel coming from Penguin-Random House to tie it in. Gideon and Jace meetup is shown and the novel and first season will be released together. Brandon Routh voices Gideon and apparently a character in Arena.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for today folks, I hope you enjoyed this summary of the near future of Magic. You can see a VOD of the stream here. Now get out there and remind people Pioneer isn’t dead.

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