Magic The Gathering: Top 5 Things To Be Excited For In 2022
It's 2022, which means we've got a whole new year of Magic the Gathering stuff on the way. While the year kicks off later this month with the start of the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty spoiler season, there's a lot more to be excited about as well.
You may have read the guide to everything coming out this year, but what stands out as something you should keep an eye out for? Here are the five most exciting things coming this year for Magic.
5 Deep Lore In The Brothers War
Magic's story is often overlooked by its players, which is a shame because it can be incredible. One of the most noteworthy events in Magic's long, multiverse-spanning history was the Brothers War, the great war between one of Dominaria's most powerful mages, Urza, and his brother, Mishra.
The war had massive consequences for years to come: it's the event that turned Urza into an almost god-like Planeswalker, it culminated in the Phyrexians arriving on Dominaria, and it triggered an Ice Age across the plane. It's even used as the Magic's pivotal epoch, with history being marked as either before or after Urza's birth, in the same way we use Jesus'.
Despite that, we've never actually explored the Brothers War in the game, with its events only being told through the odd comment, flavour text and side-story. That's why the last set of 2022, The Brothers War, is so exciting.
It's a flashback to a key part of Magic's history for the story fiends who want to know more about what happened in the conflict, but it's also a chance to introduce some really exciting cards to the game. The war was defined by its arms race, with both Urza and Mishra making ever-scarier artifacts to try and defeat the other. It also ended with the Phyrexians taking Mishra, giving us a chance for some more of the Phyrexian themes we've seen creeping into Magic since last year's Kaldheim.
The Brothers War launches in Q4 2022.
4 More Jumpstart With Jumpstart 2022
Jumpstart was an utterly fantastic product marred by unfortunate timing. A set that was made for limited play released at the height of lockdown meant very few people got to play it when it first launched, and by the time game stores were opening up, its stock was dwindling.
The idea of Jumpstart is so simple: take two booster packs, open them, and shuffle them together. Bish bash bosh, you've got yourself a Jumpstart deck ready to play with. Designed to take the confusion out of other limited formats like draft, it was one of the most beginner-friendly releases ever made. It also gave us some excellent reprints like Rhystic Study, Blood Artist, Exquisite Blood, and Craterhoof Behemoth.
While Omicron is already putting a big question mark over this year, Wizards is trying again with Jumpstart 2022. Though the idea is still the same, it'll feature new cards, more reprints, and even an anime-inspired showcase style, something we didn't get in the first Jumpstart. Hopefully we'll be able to actually play this one when it comes out!
A release date for Jumpstart 2022 has yet to be announced.
3 Eternal-Legal Parody Cards In Unfinity
Unfinity is the second release of this year, launching on April 1, 2022. Like all the other Un-sets, Unfinity is a parody of Magic that takes the game and twists it in weird ways, with lots of new and wacky mechanics that simply wouldn't work in normal play.
On its own, a new Un-set is exciting. They're bursting with deep references to Magic and inside jokes fans love, while also being colourful and funny enough for newcomers to enjoy as well. However, this set is doing something no other Un-set has done before, and is making cards you can play in eternal formats like Commander, Legacy, and Vintage.
Instead of using the silver border of older Un-sets, Unfinity is splitting its cards into "Acorn" and "Eternal". Acorn cards have an acorn-shaped holo stamp on the bottom, and signify they can only be used in silver-bordered formats and Un-set draft. On the other hand, Eternal cards can be played in the Commander, Legacy, and Vintage formats, letting you add a little – but not excessive – amount of Unset silliness into your regular decks.
Though this has been a controversial decision, it's still something to get excited about. We're not losing that silly flair of other Un-sets, they're just being given an Acorn stamp instead. Instead, we're getting an Un-set product that has a life beyond the draft, making it much more appealing to those who don't play limited formats.
Unfinity launches on April 1, 2022.
2 Three-Colour Matters Theme In Streets Of New Capenna
Out of the four Standard-legal sets announced for 2022, Streets of New Capenna is easily the most interesting one. Set in an art deco, film-noir-inspired city, it revolves around the five demonic crime families that run it from the shadows.
The aesthetic is impeccable, and is the closest to our world that Magic has ever gotten, but that's not wholly why you should be excited. It's already been confirmed that Streets of New Capenna will have a three-colour-matters theme, meaning many of the cards in the set will be found in the either the shard or wedge colour identities.
This is important because the last time we had such a set was Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths in 2020. Since then, Magic has drastically lowered its power level, with last year's two-colour-matters sets Kaldheim, Strixhaven, and both Innistrad sets being a bit simpler than sets in the previous year. While three colours don't inherently make a set more powerful, it adds an extra layer of mechanical depth to it that we've been missing in the almost two years since Ikoria.
Streets of New Capenna launches in Q2, 2022.
1 A New Commander Legends Set With Dungeons & Dragons: Battle For Baldur's Gate
Commander Legends is one of the best sets ever released. Ever. A made-for-Commander draft set that featured tons of great reprints for the Commander format, and dozens of new Legendary creatures to build around, its impact on the format is still being felt to this day.
This year, we're getting a follow-up to it that takes the same made-for-draft Commander theme of Commander Legends, and adds a layer of Dungeons & Dragons flavouring on top of it to make Dungeons & Dragons: Battle for Baldur's Gate.
Although last year's Adventures in the Forgotten Realms wasn't the best set of the year, one thing that stood out about it was its fantastic Commanders. Wulfgar of Icewind Dale, Volo Guide to Monsters, Minn Wily Illusionist, Trelassara Moon Dancer, Kalain Reclusive Painter, the list goes on for really interesting and flavourful legendary creatures. Take that kind of design and expand it with new, made-for-Commander cards and crucial reprints for the format, and you've got an incredibly exciting set on your hands.
Not only that but combining the format that brings most people into Magic these days, Commander, with a property as beloved as Dungeons & Dragons is a brilliant idea. Getting more newcomers to Magic is always good, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms did a great job of doing that.
Taking that brand and world, and an audience who may have only really heard of Commander and not Magic as a wider game, and putting the two into a product you can play Commander out of the box with is a stroke of genius. It'll be so exciting to see how many people make the jump to Magic through it.
Dungeons & Dragons: Battle for Baldur's Gate – Commander Legends launches in Q2, 2022.
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