On Monday, May 16, the Wizards of the Coast homepage posted an announcement, detailing news on upcoming products and set information for their popular collectible trading card game, Magic: The Gathering. While news of future releases is something that all Magic: The Gathering players look forward to, Wizards of the Coast very rarely releases this much information on this many products at once - this new method of releasing information is a part of their new release schedule. Almost all major product information, such as new sets and supplemental material, will be released in one of two announcements, either in the spring or in the fall.
The first major news involves the next Magic: The Gathering block that will release after Shadows Over Innistrad concludes with the release of Eldritch Moon on July 22, 2016. While the last two blocks in Wizards of the Coast's new block structuring have been revisits to two of the most popular planes in Magic: The Gathering lore - Zendikar and Innistrad - the next block will focus on a plane that's only been referenced, and never truly visited. The Kaladesh block will be comprised of two sets; the first set will be Kaladesh (release date September 30, 2016), and the second set will be Aether Revolt (release date January 20, 2017). One important piece of information is that with the release of Aether Revolt, Wizards of the Coast will be discontinuing the use of the " Æ" symbol, and will be retroactively applying this change to previous printed cards, like Æther Vial. The official Wizards of the Coast Tumblr page has also spoiled one of the new Planeswalkers (lore characters with the ability to move between the different aspects of the Multiverse) from Kaladesh: Saheeli Rai, pictured below.
The second major news concerns Fat Packs, which is a product containing nine booster packs, a special "spindown" twenty-sided die, two deck boxes, a 80-card land pack, a product guide, a rules reference card, and a decorative storage box. While the product will still be sold, there will be some changes in what it features, as well as some of the terminology. To start, it will no longer be called a "Fat Pack", but a "Bundle", and will contain ten booster packs, not nine. The "Bundle" will also no longer contain the deck boxes, and has had an increase in the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) from $39.99 to $42.99. This change to Fat Packs will start with the release of the Kaladesh block in September.
Additionally, Intro Packs - the pre-constructed Magic: The Gathering decks released with each set, using cards from that set and block - will no longer be used going forward with the Kaladesh block. Instead, Wizards of the Coast will release 60-card Planeswalker decks -two for each set - featuring cards, mechanics, and Planeswalkers from that set. Each deck will contain five cards that aren't from the set the decks are released along with, but will be playable in the Standard format. These decks will also contain two booster packs for new players to open and add cards to their collection as well as modify their deck. The MSRP for this new product will be $14.99.
In supplement news, the multiplayer sequel to Conspiracy, Conspiracy - Take the Crown will have special "Draft Packs" for sale in stores. These special packs, MSRP $11.99, will contain three booster packs of Conspiracy - Take the Crown, and are intended to be used for the Drafting format, in which players build a 40-card deck by opening and rotating packs through the other players in their group. Conspiracy - Take the Crown is set to be released August 26, 2016, and normal booster packs will be sold at an MSRP of $3.99. There will also be a special product called Planechase: Anthologies that will collect previous Planechase products together in one unit; MSRP for this product is $149.99.
Magic: The Gathering's popular preconstructed Commander decks will feature long-awaited viable four-colored Commanders on November 11, 2016. In the Commander format, players use a "Commander" whose color identity determines what cards are usable in their deck (in a deck featuring Narset Transcendent, players can only use White, Blue, or colorless cards, while a deck with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death can use Red, White, Black or colorless cards). These new Commanders will give Magic: The Gathering players more options to build decks around. MSRP for the 2016 line of Commander decks is $34.99 per deck.
A new Duel Deck product has also been announced. Duel Deck products contain two decks, each optimized for playing against the other; this product features two Planeswalkers from the Battle for Zendikar block: the elven Nissa Revane, and the demonic Ob Nixilis. The new Duel Deck will release September 2, 2016, at an MSRP of $19.99.
No new information has been released regarding Eternal Masters, a limited run Magic: The Gathering reprint set. Much like Modern Masters and Modern Masters 2015, Eternal Masters aims at putting Vintage and Legacy format staples like Force of Will (pictured below, image from official Magic: The Gathering website) and Wasteland, into the hands of new players, in the hopes of attracting them to those formats. While no new information is available, spoilers for Eternal Masters will begin the week of May 23, 2016. Eternal Masters will be released on June 10, 2016, and packs will sell at an MSRP of $9.99 per physical pack, and $6.99 per pack on Wizard of the Coast's digital service, Magic: The Gathering Online. For players that were hoping to open packs and find reprints of highly expensive cards like Underground Sea or Time Walk, may be disappointed as Eternal Masters will be adhering to the Reserved List and will not contain any of the cards found on the Reserved List which features some of the most expensive and earliest cards in Magic: The Gathering history.
The next big Magic:The Gathering announcement will take place in September, which is likely when we'll see more information and key art for Kaladesh and Aether Revolt.
With the Eternal Masters spoiler season beginning soon, stay tuned to TechRaptor for continuing coverage of the newest Magic: The Gathering sets and products.
What do you think about the latest Magic: The Gathering news? Are there any products you look forward to seeing? Let us know in the comment section below!
(Updated 5/21/2016: Fixed color identity for Alesha, Who Smiles at Death)