Magic: The Gathering news - June 2017 announcement week
Anyone else enjoy following the evolution of Magic? Frankly, as a product lead myself, I find reading the lead designer's Tumblr and reading articles about the meta decisions around the game as much fun as playing the game. Mark Rosewater is a saint and a sage in my book.
Highlight reel from what's been announced this week:
- After 4 years of hiatus, the core set returns next summer with some changes.
- They're getting rid of the "block" format that's been a staple of Magic since '96.
- Instead, each new set will be free to roam to new locales or stay as appropriate.
- "Unstable" is set for Dec release, the first silver-border satire set since 2007's Unhinged.
- The first set of 2018 will return to Magic's original setting, Dominaria, for the first time in 11 years.
- Richard Garfield returned (first time in... 20 years?) to help design that set, which is named "Dominaria".
- They're doing a "Masters 25" set to commemorate the game's 25th anniversary next year.
- They're laying off the "Masterpiece" series (super rare, super nice foil reprints sprinkled in booster packs) and doing it intermittently instead of every set.
These are all pretty great from my perspective. They're making considered, data-driven changes to the game's rhythm and doing a lot of great fan service. Their rationale for all of these changes and announcements rang true to me as a long-time off-and-on player whose interest in the game has waxed and waned with how compelling (or overwhelming) it was. Stuff like having a Masterpiece series for every set kinda made me throw up my hands because as a collector that's basically an impossibly high (expensive) bar to cross. And while I really liked the 2-set cycles (recently down from 3-set cycles) I agree there's actually no great benefit to being locked to that format whatsoever. And having a set finally named "Dominaria" just makes my nerd heart happy.