Announcement Week 2017: Day 3
In the midst of a week full of announcements, Wizards of the Coast has perhaps one-upped all other news with 25th Anniversary Announcement Day. Announcement Day is WotC’s chance to reveal details about many of the coming year’s product releases, and it’s clear they are really going all-out for Magic’s 25th.
If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend you get today’s news via Wizards’ official announcement video.
Today brought a whole slew of product announcements in addition to the many other recent announcements. While a lot of products were teased, I want to focus on the news that’s gotten me most excited for the coming year.
Returning to Dominaria
I have been playing Magic: the Gathering in one form or another for the majority of the game’s history, and as such, I grew up with Dominaria. Over a decade ago, Wizards made the decision to move away from Dominaria – away from the plane of the Ghitu, Krosa, Benalia and more. Imagine my dismay, then, when the game failed to return to Dominaria, year after year.
While we’ve gotten to visit numerous interesting and exciting planes over the last decade, Magic will always mean Dominaria for me. It was the setting for the game. And though I hope WotC will always push to explore new worlds, these new worlds have rarely felt like the Magic that I grew to love as a child and young adult.
I hope they do right by the plane when we return to Dominaria on April 28th, 2018. After all, it has been a while. But I’m not to worried, as Wizards also announced today that Richard Garfield is on the team.
Unstable – The New Un-Set
Silver-bordered cards are finally returning this coming December with Unstable, the third Un-set! I thought for sure that today’s Wizards of the Coast would never create a new Unhinged or Unglued, but I am incredibly excited to be proven wrong. I will never forget attending the Unhinged pre-release (taking home a sweet promo Ass Whuppin’), or the hours I spent drafting Unhinged with friends before any of us really knew how to draft.
The challenge will be on R&D to make Unstable funny, self-deprecating and fun like the sets that came before it. It will also be important to see how this set sells. It is no secret that Unhinged did not sell incredibly well (I remember purchasing boxes for just $30 each because local card shops could not move them), but the game is much more popular today than it was back then. Wizards also seems more content to release one-off supplemental products without high print runs, so I’m sure they’ll do just fine.
Let’s see if Wizards can come close to the craziness that was Cheatyface, City of Ass or Chaos Confetti.
All About Ixalan
Now that the biggest news is out of the way, let’s touch on the rest. For Ixalan, we received some very basic news about the setting. Beyond the September 29th release date, all we have is the following statement:
Brave the Unknown as you venture to the new world of Ixalan, where all we know so far is that Pirate Vraska battles Dinosaurs.
Historically accurate, feathered dinosaurs? And Vraska is a pirate now? I’m down. And perhaps this will turn out to be the home of Imperiosaur. If so, we could be headed to a world where basic lands matter.
In addition to these minor setting details, we learned that the second set in Ixalan block is called Rivals of Ixalan, releasing January 19th, 2018.
The farther into the future we look, the less we know about each product Wizards of the Coast is releasing. Today, we learned the very basics of several product releases that will be sprinkled in with the main expansion releases.
- Expect a 4-player “out-of-the-box” experience with no new cards called Explorers of Ixalan coming November 24th, 2017.
- Ixalan’s edition of The Art of Magic coffee table books releases January 2nd, 2018.
- The next Duel Decks entry pits Merfolk vs. Goblins on November 10th, 2017.
- Do you love flip cards? From the Vault: Transform is apparently a thing. Out November 24th, 2017.
- Masters 25 will collect 249 cards, drawing from Magic’s complete history for a 25th anniversary draft experience on March 16th, 2018. Yes, this means two Masters sets in one year.
That’s a lot of news to take in, on top of the news that’s already been released this past week and throughout the last six months. One thing is for sure – if Wizards of the Coast wants to keep me hooked, this is one hell of a way to do so.