Magic: The Gathering (TCG) Catch-all

Wizard's of the Coast announces Magic the Gathering branching into non-Wizards' owned properties in 2022. They're calling this crossover of properties Universes Beyond and have confirmed Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000 crossovers already. While they've done this once in the past with the Walking Dead, they've confirmed that these crossovers won't just be tied to Secret Lairs (i.e. Warhammer 40K Commander decks). They have confirmed that the Universes Beyond cards won't be Standard legal.

I'm curious what other people think about this news.

I'm fine with it existing but I hope they don't print anything I mechanically want in my Draft Cube. I mean, maybe a couple Middle Earth bits wouldn't be too out of place but I'm not particularly keen to run a Leman Russ battle tank or something.

I'm in a spot, maybe like Vargen, where I'm untroubled by this, but also not super excited to be playing a game of Commander where some Walking Dead cards hit the table. And that's before this whole Universes Beyond initiative!

It's weird, I didn't care for all the pearl-clutching about TWD Secret Lair, but when I think about it, I have to admit that I don't want massive immersion breaks in the game.

I do think it's very interested for them to see MTG as a system, since it's clearly withstood the test of time. LOTR fits pretty well, and might not perturb me at all in a Commander game. I am curious about the Warhammer 40k stuff - they said multiple Commander decks, which could be cool, but does anyone really want to see an Elder Gargaroth alongside a Chaos Marine? I don't. And I didn't think I cared about that kind of stuff! It blows my mind that people care about MTG lore, which I consider to be amateurish sh*t.

Enjoying the lore is about focusing on the parts they've done well. They've built up some fun characters in recent years, and the Phyrexians are cool as hell. The world-building is top-notch, both in the art and in the Art Of books. The actual storyline is... usually fine. It took a notable drop in quality once it started attracting the attention of more senior corporate folks though.

Is it just me or does this feel like a FortNite-type grab where they want to put the peanut butter with the chocolate?

I mean, I'm going to be buying the 40K stuff, for sure. Because I'm a sucker. But I'll probably feel bad playing it.

There's going to be a real record scratch when:

Turn 1: Llanowar Elves
Turn 2: Chun Li
Turn 3: Cobra Commander
Turn 4: Dominic Toretto
Turn 5: Cersei Lannister
Turn 6: The Grinch
Turn 7: Yoda
Turn 8: Pikachu

ETA:
https://cardboard-crack.com/post/630...

IMAGE(https://64.media.tumblr.com/40e9e8e44c93b2703b524d8f0b9bb17b/e847cc39c99331cf-a0/s500x750/286f8208cf77b44971eb15002c273eebc0fbdfb0.jpg)

Top_Shelf wrote:

Is it just me or does this feel like a FortNite-type grab where they want to put the peanut butter with the chocolate?

I mean, I'm going to be buying the 40K stuff, for sure. Because I'm a sucker. But I'll probably feel bad playing it.

There's going to be a real record scratch when:

Turn 1: Llanowar Elves
Turn 2: Chun Li
Turn 3: Cobra Commander
Turn 4: Dominic Toretto
Turn 5: Cersei Lannister
Turn 6: The Grinch
Turn 7: Yoda
Turn 8: Pikachu

Man, I want to play that game. Except, house rule: you have to narrate your turn. Every turn is its own stupid little ad-lib crossover fanfic.

Player 1 wrote:

Darth Vader's baritone rings through the halls of Hogwarts. "You have learned much, little one." Tap, Force Choke for three damage. That's your blocker down.

Player 2 wrote:

Not so fast: I cast Giant Growth. Vader finds himself crushed against the portrait of the Fat Lady by a wall of orange fur.

"You'll find I'm full of surprises," chuckles Garfield.

Just for kicks I searched Amazon for Monopoly by most reviews to get a sense for which Hasbro licensed "systems" (as they are now calling MTG) sell the most, which is where Hasbro seems to want to go with MTG with their goal of doubling (!) revenue by 2023.

Are these the next Universes on the horizon?

Stranger Things
Lion King
Pixar
Zelda
Game of Thrones
Star Wars
LOL Surprise
"Elections" theme
National Parks
Fortnite

I was pondering the upcoming Lord of the Rings set and had a thought. I'm not really interested in seeing Magic cards that ape Alan Lee and John Howe's concept art from the movies. It's great art and I love the films, but it doesn't excite me. But the thought of a Seb McKinnon Nazgul, or Rebecca Guay painting Rivendell, or John Avon showing me The Lonely Mountain? That notion gets me excited...

Is the LOTR thing going to be a full set that stands on its own and will have its own boosters/drafts? Or is it a Secret Lair kinda thing where it's a handful of cards you mix in with your other cards?

Top_Shelf wrote:

Is the LOTR thing going to be a full set that stands on its own and will have its own boosters/drafts? Or is it a Secret Lair kinda thing where it's a handful of cards you mix in with your other cards?

They've said LOTR is a set, and mentioned Warhammer Commander decks.

Nothing I've heard is clear on whether it's a batch of Commander decks or a set with booster packs. Mark Rosewater keeps using the word "set" and talks about being on the team, and he usually sticks to the big draft sets. However the announcement used language that implied another Commander release by saying we should expect to find it wherever we find those decks.

It's worth noting that Arabian Nights was technically the first set from outside the world of MtG, so it's not like there isn't precedent for all this.

A few of the new chase Mystical Archive cards for the Stryxhaven set:
IMAGE(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/806006167457366067/824714569632317450/SPOILER_unknown.png)
I'm glad that they've decided to put one in each kind of pack (Except theme boosters). I would bet sealed deck events would be a lot of fun with the inclusion of these cards.

Those are gorgeous.

The Japanese language exclusive ones are nice too.

Demonic Tutor:
IMAGE(https://media.wizards.com/2021/stx/jp_aS3PkVdhjK.png)

Swords to Plowshares:
IMAGE(https://media.wizards.com/2021/stx/jp_wrxgPxYWTm.png)

They showed a Lightning Bolt too, but it might just be in the video.

Anyway, those show up in all Japanese boosters and in the expensive Collector Boosters in all languages. (They're in Japanese regardless of which language booster you pull them from.)

Saw an Opt one (or what I assume was Opt - I don't read Japanese!).

Coming back to this thread as I'm getting stoked for paper to return.

What are folks' LGS' doing to reopen? Have they already?

My favorite store to support is looking at having in-person in July. There are lots of immuno-compromised folks that visit the store and maybe even staff. They've been highly cautious throughout the pandemic (masks, sanitizer required on entry, using gloves when looking through card boxes) and I'm very glad they are going to make it.

I've never actually played in-person MTG there (spent plenty on boardgames tho!) so I'll be interested to see if I can't get some EDH going...but I'm a bit wary of trying to do that with complete strangers. From everything I've been reading during pandemic (when I really got into EDH the format), it's a real crapshoot trying to marry up power levels and there's lots of hard feelings when decks comp-stomp each other. Plus, I don't know if I'm really up for stereotypical poor social skills gamers (maybe that's changed since I last played Magic 15yrs ago?).

ETA:
Looks like Stranger Things is coming to Magic cards. Still waiting on Burger King.

What was confusing is it appears to be a Secret Lair thing...for a limited time before showing up in packs? My understanding was that the whole value proposition for customers for Secret Lair was oneshot opportunities to get cards. If it's just time-limited, why am I buying those?

Who is in charge of marketing and brand strategy over there?

I believe what they said was that alternate universe Secret Lair stuff would be functionally reprinted with in-universe flavor.

As far as LCGs, mine restarted events with limited attendance (for social distancing) a few weeks ago. They've been doing Sealed rather than Draft for the same reason. The imminent Modern Horizons 2 prerelease will be their first in-store prerelease in over a year. Again, attendance is capped at low numbers, and they're holding something like 8+ events.

I get it, so it's Secret Lair for The Upside Down enchantment with the Stranger Things art of a mall...and then in 6 months those same stats show up on a card called Lost In The Underworld or something and it's got a picture of Liliana.

So maybe they're telling customers to buy the mechanic early, or the licensed art, or the collectible? And then they're making pack players happy with the mechanic half a year later.

That's super convoluted but I could see where they could trick themselves into it making sense? Maybe it could work and this is what folks want. Maybe Magic is so huge now the customer base is really really diversified.

Product for collectors.
Product for fans of other IP.
Product for players that go to LGS on Friday nights.
Product for casuals.

Top_Shelf wrote:

Maybe it could work and this is what folks want. Maybe Magic is so huge now the customer base is really really diversified.

*looks over at Commander*

*looks over at the competitive Standard scene*

*looks over at the hardcore draft junkies*

Magic has had a really diverse audience for years now. This new licensing push is just them leaning into it a little more. They made Wizards of the Coast a division of Hasbro on par with the Toys and Media divisions. That isn’t a growth goal; that was due to the business Magic and D&D are already bringing in.