Wizards of the Coast had a fantastically fun stream that was designed to preview some of their newest set Throne of Eldraine. I do highly recommend you check out the stream recap, its only about 15 minutes long.
We were first greeted with a 45 minute baking montage; which was cute, honestly. One of the new mechanics in this set is creating Food tokens, and since they were baking gingerbread men, it was also a clear reference to the new Gingerbread Man card that will be revealed soon. Food tokens, for those who don't know, are artifact tokens not dissimilar to clues that gain you 3 life when you pay 2, tap and sacrifice them. And with one of the upcoming aggro decks being Mardu Knights, we are looking at an aggressive battlefield here. So, having this as a means to stabilize a bit could be very good for the format. On top of that though, we do have cards like Guilded Goose that not only make Food tokens but also can sacrifice them for additional benefits. Guilded Goose gives us a fixed Birds of Paradise, forcing us to sacrifice a Food token to create a mana of any color. Time will only tell what other effects we'll get from sacrificing these tokens.
After baking our cookies, we were treated with the trailer to Throne of Eldraine, which you can watch above. #WOTC has been doing a fantastic job when it comes to their treatment of these teaser trailers for the sets, and you can really tell they have been investing some serious dollars in promotions for their products. While this video doesn't have the same emotional impact as the War of the Spark trailer did, it had something that is potentially even better. Better for the community and better for this set in general. Memery.
This trailer is just one giant meme waiting to happen, and I absolutely love it. Why is this so important to the game at the moment? Well, we've had the past few years of nothing but "the world is going to end" and in the same vain as Battlebond, Wizards decided to give us a fun set to reset our pallate until we hit the next doom and gloom sets. There is a certain level of absurdity to be on a plane where animated gingerbread people are a real thing. And I'm willing to suspend my disbelief to enjoy it.
After the trailer premiere we were greeted by Mr. Jimmy Wong, shortly followed by Mark Rosewater himself and Cynthia Shepherd. Through their short discussion we get to learn some really cool things about this new set: New booster products, new art/border treatments, and the development cycle for this set. We also get a fake 1980's commercial about Magic Arena that just solidifies the memeness of this set. Lastly, the titles for the 2021 standard season has come to light with some interesting new developments.
New Booster Products
I know JB and I had discussed this on a podcast before, but I'll briefly describe the new products. There will be 3 boosters introduced with this set: Draft booster (the normal booster we currently have, just renamed), the themed booster, a 35 card booster pack that is all based around a specific color and will have a greater synergy with itself then other booster packs, and lastly, the one I'm most excited for, the collector's booster, a 15 card pack stuffed full of foils, alternate art, super art, full frame, and special border treatment cards.
That's right you heard me, full frame:
Adventure is a new mechanic that we see, it appears to be a new take on split cards; however, the main difference here is we now have sorceries and instants paired with creatures. How adventure works is we can cast our card as either a creature or the other type. If we choose the other type, we then exile the card on its resolution. You can then cast the creature from exile any time you normally could for as long as it remains exiled.
Speaking of mechanics, we also got a mechanic based around casting cards with at least 3 mana of the same color: Adamant.
Slaying Fire is a great example of this new ability. By utilizing the Adamant ability, we get to have an additional ability. Suddenly, it makes sense why we had the cavaliers printed as well as cards like Runaway Steam-kin.
I did also promise a cringy #MTGArena commercial, and I gotta tell you, it's pretty freaking amazing. Plucked right out of the late 80s or early 90s, it is sure to give you some fun. I give you:
(jump to 14:40)
Lastly, we have the outlook for the year 2020.
The set names released were as follows:
Theros Beyond Death, confirmed we will see the underworld of Theros, which helps solidify the speculation that we will see Elspeth return.
Icoria Lair of the Behemoth will be a set about large giants and monsters as well as a mechanic that sees you building your own monsters (Unstable anyone?
Core Set 2021 has been confirmed to be focus around the walker we all love to hate, Teferi. I'm assuming it is going to be much like #MTGM20 being focused around Chandra.
Lastly, Zendikar Rising. We are confirmed to be returning to Zendikar without an Eldrazi threat, allowing us to see how Zendikar is rebuilding after the Eldrazi were eradicated from the plane.
All in all, it was a huge day for #MTG with such a short announcement. There is a ton to unpack there but I hope I was able to help. Catch you soon.