Wizards of the Coast hosted a showcase this morning highlighting what 2022 will look like for its flagship card game, Magic: The Gathering. Not only will Planeswalkers be returning to a couple of beloved worlds, but Wizards is also rolling out the red carpet for the first Universes Beyond sets, including some new partnerships with big games like Fortnite and Street Fighter.
Universes Beyond is a way to bring fan-favorite franchises into the Magic ecosystem, and Wizards has grabbed some big names to incorporate over the next year and beyond. Fortnite will make its debut in Magic through a Secret Lair drop, a limited-time mini-set that can be purchased directly from Wizards of the Coast. Unlike some other Universes Beyond cards, the Fortnite game pieces will be reprints of existing Magic cards, but with art from the battle royale behemoth. You can check out the first art shown from this set at the top of the article. No expected timeframe was given for the release of the Fortnite Secret Lair.
Also on the horizon for Universes Beyond is a Secret Lair drop celebrating the 35th anniversary of Street Fighter. These cards will be mechanically unique, with versions set in the Magic universe coming at a later date. We were treated with a glimpse at the art for Chun-li’s card, which was said to feature the mechanic Multikicker, which is hilarious and flavorful for obvious reasons. These cards are set to go on sale sometime in 2022.
While the Warhammer 40k Commander decks and Lord of the Rings full set have been known for quite a while, we got some more information on them during today’s presentation. Warhammer 40k will be represented with four ready-to-play Commander decks with art representing characters and places in that universe for both new cards and reprints. These decks are slated to release in the second half of 2022, with some Secret Lair products releasing alongside them.
Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth is the official name of this full Universes Beyond set, now coming in 2023. It will be legal in the Modern constructed format. Tales of Middle-Earth features iconic characters such as Gandalf, Gollum, Aragorn, and Frodo. Taking beats from Tolkien’s stories, Wizards is promising players will “battle for The One Ring, scheme with Saruman, or journey to the heights of Mount Doom.” This set will also be accompanied by four Commander decks and Lord of the Rings-themed Secret Lair drops.
For those looking forward to 2022 for Standard-legal sets, the presentation did not disappoint. The first set arriving next year will be the long-awaited return to a Japanese lore-inspired plane in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. Taking place 2000 years after the original Kamigawa sets from 2004 and 2005, Neon Dynasty is a cyberpunk take on the plane.
After that, Wizards is taking us to a new plane altogether with an old-school mobster theme. Streets of New Capenna is a set featuring three-color demon crime families in a city originally built by angels. The art shown for this set looks to feature an armored and pin-stripe suited Planeswalker known as Ob Nixilis. Streets of New Capenna should hit sometime in the spring of 2022.
For the summer set, Dominaria United, we’re returning to the plane where Magic originated. Starting the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the game a little early, Dominaria United will allow players to explore the world packed with history again with classic characters and locations returning in card form. Expect plenty of legendary creatures to show up to build around for some spicy Commander brews.
Coming in the fourth quarter of 2022, the last standard product of the year will be The Brothers War, an event referenced in some of the earliest Magic cards. Set years in the past, The Brothers War tells the tale of the battle between Urza and his brother Mishra, which engulfed the plane of Dominaria in all-out war and set in motion the events that have transpired throughout the multiverse since the game’s beginnings in the early 1990s.
Cleaning up the remainder of the announcements, of which there are a ton, fans can look forward to the following products:
Unfinity – A new silver-bordered draft set that features a Space circus/carnival/amusement park theme. Expect plenty of jokes and whimsy, like any other Un-set release. Also included are new basic lands and shock lands set in outer space. Unfinity is coming in the second quarter of 2022.
Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate – Bringing together two wild ideas from the past year, this draftable Commander-focused set will take place in the legendary Baldur’s Gate and will also be coming in the second quarter of 2022.
Double Masters 2022 and JumpStart 2022 – These supplemental sets will be coming next year. JumpStart 2022 in particular will feature a new-to-Magic card in each pack and have special versions of cards featuring anime art.
Netflix’s Magic The Gathering animated series – The long-in-development series has its scripts locked in and is in production now. The story is set to follow Gideon Jura, a Planeswalker originally from the plane of Theros. Gideon will be played by Brandon Routh, who some may know from Superman Returns among other roles. The show launches at some point in 2022.
Innistrad Double Feature – Mashing together this fall’s two monster-themed sets into one draft format, complete with new art treatments based on classic movie monsters.
Wizards certainly put all their cards on the table for the next year of content. There’s a lot to look forward to with classic planes and stories, as well as worlds Magic has yet to travel to.