The Magic Showcase 2021 kicked off at 11AM Eastern having promised it will let us scry the future and let us see what was coming to the world’s oldest trading card game next year. Kicking off the show Wizards of the Coast retraced the year previously, and looking at the set releases that we’ve seen for Magic: The Gathering, including Kaldheim, Strixhaven, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and more.
In-Store Play has returned. Friday Night Magic events are returning to local game stores according to Aaron Forsythe, the Vice President of Magic Design. In fact, we've already seen them rolling out the red carpet with the Mystery Booster Convention Editionrelease in limited quantities at local stores. A focus of in-store play will be the return of pre-releases, and they emphasized the companion app that players can use in-store on their phone. Store championships will be coming back and feature promo Wurmcoil Engines, Collected Companies, and Arbor Elf for everyone. The top 8 Collected Companies and winner's Wurmcoil Engines will have the store names printed on them.
A new way to play will be Commander Parties, Forsythe announced. This will be a variant on commander play but with a narrative element, and aim to be a more social event than most store tournaments or events.
Jess Winslow continued the presentation with a quick look at the upcoming Innistrad sets. Further details about the sets, including an iconic werewolf character, will be released on the official Magic Twitch channel. There was also the announcement of a new limited-run booster set called Innistrad Double Feature. Basically, this is a selection of cards from the two new Innistrad sets, Crimson Vows and Midnight Hunt, combined into a single box of boosters, but with a special black-and-white style art treatment for all the cards. As the name implies, this is meant to invoke the look of a horror movie drive-in double feature.
Aaron Forsythe then moved the discussion back to the digital end of things with Magic: Arena. After briefly discussing the Mirror, Mirror update, Forsythe talks about various sets being rotated out of the game this September (Throne of Eldrain, Ikoria, and Theros Beyond Death). Forsythe continued to talk about Jumpstart Historic Horizons, about how they had digital only cards.
Four new Pioneer Decks have also been announced for October 15 2021 release. These decks include cards from the Ravnica guilds, including Azorius and Orzhov. In addition, another new in-store Commander set. Commander Collection: Black! will include double-sided tokens and include powerful cards such as Toxic Deluge, and Phyrexian Arena.
Continuing briefly about the lore of Magic The Gathering, Boom Studios has announced an official comic book. These comics are meant to flesh out and continue the story of the War of the Spark.
Following this was an announcement for a new set of five Secret Lair drops called Out of Time available right now. Later, Product Architect Mark Heggen discussed the series. The first is Kamigawa Ink and will feature a new oil painting look for the cards, and a return of Kamigawa's legendary creatures. Teferi's Time Trouble features old bordered planeswalkers of Dack Fayden, Karn, the Great Creator, and Teferi, Time Raveler. Then there were two Artist Series, one for Thomas Baxa, and the other was Johannes Voss. The third is Math for Blockers, which features art by Alexandre Chaudret, and a math theme.
A new Commander Legends experience has been announced once again set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. The game is called The Battle For Baldur’s Gate, set in the tabletop RPG world of Forgotten Realms, around the Sword Coast region. It is slated for release sometime in the first half of 2022.
Continuing these announcements are Jumpstart 2022. These cards are coming to the tabletop, which will include new art reprints of classic cards, including a few in an anime artstyle as part of booster fun. Themes for this will include Eldrazi and multi-headed creatures. In addition is Double Masters 2022. All of the cards in these packs will be reprints. Each pack will contain two rares as well as two foil cards. If you’re looking for alternate looks at your favorite cards, check these out when they release in the back half of 2022.
Mark Rosewater arrived at the presentation with absolute showmanship. He started talking about a new sci-fi amusement park-themed set, titled Unfinity, coming out in the second quarter 2022. This set will introduce a retro sci-fi aesthetic, featuring space land cards as well as shock lands.
Product Architect Mark Heggen came on stage to discuss the future of Universes Beyond. Heggen gave some updates on the upcoming Commander decks based on Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 series. It will be releasing in Q3 of 2022.
Following that, Heggen continued by talking about the upcoming Lord of the Rings set, officially titled Tales in Middle-Earth. Every single character people will remember, Gandalf, Gollum, Frodo, etc., will be included. Better still, the cards will be viable for modern play. There will also be four Commander decks releasing alongside the set. This set is scheduled for release in 2023.
Heggen then announced three new Secret Lairs set in Universes Beyond. Two of these drops are based on Epic Game’s popular Battle Royale game, Fortnite. These will be all reprints with new art and name/flavoring based on Fortnite. The third will be built around Capcom’s iconic fighting game franchise, Street Fighter. Heggen even confirms that the Chun-Li card has multi-kicker which lets you pay its kicker cost multiple times to get the ability a number of times.
Magic: The Gathering Returns to Kamigawa with Kamigawa Neon Dynasty
The biggest announcements are the new sets for 2022. The first is Kamigawa Neon Dynasty. The Eastern Fantasy world of Magic returns, but set 2000 years in the future, complete with cybernetics and advanced technology, following enfranchised player demand for the plane to return. They even tease a new Planeswalker that is a cyber ninja. The hosts did insist this isn’t a complete cyberpunk world, and discussed that magic and fantasy elements would be included as well, perhaps drawing more on ideas like Shadowrun. It will release in Q1 2022.
Magic 2022 will have Streets of New Capenna
Following that is a more modern urban fantasy set, inspired by gangster films. The new set is titled Streets of New Capenna. The artwork shows off a fantastical art deco style, and will feature crime family factions, all of which will be more than just humans in suits. The setting will contain lore implications for Planeswalker Elspeth, but that is for players to discover for themselves. It will release in Q2 2022.
Magic 30th Anniversary being celebrated with Dominara return in Dominaria United and goes back in time with The Brothers War
Celebrating the 30th anniversary is a return to a classic Magic setting with Dominaria United. This is the world that has been with Magic since the very beginning, going back to its original beta tests. Heroes, locations, and organizations from this rich history will be returning in this set. This is the first set on the world since 2018's Dominara that reenvisioned the world in the wake of the destructive events in Time Spiral. It will release in Q3.
Following that is The Brothers War, which will take us back to Magic's past. Originally serving as background to Antiquities, The Brothers War will now be expanded and explored more as we see the fighting between Mishra and Urza this time first hand, rather than what was unearthed in Antiquities. This will be the final release of the year and we'll see it in Q4 2022.
With the set releases taken care of, we then went to the Netflix show, which we recently learned that the Russo Brothers had left while Jeff Kline has taken over running it. New details emerged including that Scripts that have been written, voice actors cast, and audio recorded. The story will revolve around Gideon Jura and his journey through the Magic multiverse. There will even be a prequel novel that ties into the new show. Gideon will be voiced by Brandon Routh, known for his work as The Atom on the CW Arrowverse shows as well as playing the Man of Steel himself in Superman Returns. The Netflix series is scheduled to release in the back half of 2022
And that was everything announced at Magic Showcase 2021.