Breaking Down Announcement Day

On September 1st we got our look at what the next year of Magic is going to look like, and it looks wild. Let’s get right down to it!

Zendikar Rising

The main event of today’s announcements is the next Standard set: Zendikar Rising. This set is poised to be a return to the adventure world of original Zendikar. The set will feature some fan favorite returning mechanics in Kicker and Landfall, as well as two new mechanics. First up is Party. Party is a batch mechanic, similar to Historic from Dominaria. Party triggers off of having the following four creature types: Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard. Having a larger Party could increase the effect of the card or reduce its cost (for example). Second, Double Faced Cards make their return. Here they are Modal Double Faced Cards. Each side is a discrete card and the physical card can be used as either side. While these are mostly cards with a spell on one side, there is a six-card cycle of rare dual lands that enter the battlefield untapped. However, only one side can be used so you need to decide which color you need before committing to the land drop.

Zendikar Rising will also see the return of full art Basic Lands and a set of 30 Expedition Lands. Full art basic lands will appear in Draft Boosters and Set Boosters. Collector Boosters will always contain a foil full art Basic Land. Expeditions will appear as box toppers (as non-foil). Foil versions will only appear in Collector Boosters. This time around, the Expedition set includes all ten Fetchlands and the five allied colored lands from Battlebond, as well as Cavern of Souls, Prismatic Vista, and Wasteland.

We also learned more about cards from The List. These are cards from older sets that will be available in Set Boosters. The three new cards revealed are Food Chain, Simian Spirit Guide, and Slimefoot, the Stowaway.

2021 Releases

The announcement stream also gave us information about sets coming in 2021.

  • Kaldheim – Magic’s take on Viking world, to be released in Q1 2021
  • Strixhaven: School of Mages – coming in Q2, the set brings us to a renowned school of wizardry
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in Forgotten Realms – taking the slot of the Core Set, a Standard legal Magic set using the lore of Dungeons & Dragons
  • The final Standard legal release of 2021 is a double feature. A return to Innistrad that features two sets – one themed around Werewolves and one themed around Vampires. The set names are not confirmed at this time. We also know that these sets will impact Standard rotation somehow.

That’s not all. We heard about two non-Standard legal sets coming in 2021.

  • Time Spiral Remastered – taking all three Time Spiral sets and remixing them into a cohesive draft experience. Each booster will also include a card in the pre-8th Edition frame. While we do not know the entire list, we saw three cards with this treatment: Chalice of the Void, Path to Exile, and Relentless Rats.
  • Modern Horizons 2 – building on the success of the first Modern Horizons, this set will also feature the Enemy Fetchlands at rare

Secret Lair

We got a sneak peak at two upcoming Secret Lair drops. The first will go live on September 3rd and celebrates Yargle Day. The drop will contain five cards, each prominently featuring Yargle:

We also learned about an upcoming crossover Secret Lair with The Walking Dead television series, but besides a Zombie token, we were left guessing.

Wrapping Up

The last bit of information dropped was that MTG Arena is coming to mobile. While no date was given, it was implied that it will be happening soon. If you want more information on Announcement Day you can check out this article and if you want the full breakdown of collecting Zendikar Rising you can read this piece.


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