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News Round Up: Week of February 20

The world, or should we say worlds, of Magic are changing. In the wake of news that Magic experienced another year of growth and that Wizards of the Coast was becoming a division of Hasbro (as opposed to a subsidiary), the new Universes Beyond line was announced. Universes Beyond will be products that take other IPs and build a set of cards that utilize the Magic game system. The first two that were announced are a full set themed around J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series and a set of Commander decks based up GamesWorkshop’s Warhammer 40,000 war game. The Lord of the Rings will be out later this year with the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks slated to arrive in 2022.

The announcement answered some – but not all -questions about this new venture. While the cards will not be Standard legal, their legality in other non-rotating formats has not yet been announced. The cards will be delineated from the main Magic “canon” by a different holofoil stamp that first appeared in Secret Lair X The Walking Dead. In fact, that drop will be retconned into the Universes Beyond line. The upcoming release Adventures in the Forgotten Realms will not be part of the Universes Beyond series (but the Forgotten Realms will not be a plane in the Magic multiverse). Cards from Universes Beyond can be either unique cards, a la The Walking Dead, or reskins of existing cards like the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Godzilla Series.

From places Magic has never been to one steeped in nostalgia, Time Spiral Remastered spoiler season began this past week. Taking cards from the original Time Spiral block to craft a new draft experience, the set also has a new Bonus Sheet. The Sheet includes cards from Magic’s more recent history that have never appeared in the pre-8th Edition frame, and gives them that treatment. The set releases on Magic Online on March 18 and releases for tabletop on March 19. The remainder of the set looks to be spoiled this week.

Finally this weekend sees the Kaldheim League Weekend for both the Rivals League and the Magic Pro League. Featuring Standard, the format has shifted a bit towards the aggressive side of things, with both Mono-Red and Mono-White aggro making a strong showing.  Obosh, the Preypiercer makes a return as Companion, featuring heavily in Temur Adventures. The next round of League Weekends – associated with Strixhaven – will start to cull players who are not placed high enough in their respective league and lock them in to the standings.

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