Wizards of the Coast Announces Last Core Set — Magic: Origins

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Wizards of the Coast announced Sunday during a Pro Tour Fate Rerforged livestream the first details about this summer’s Magic: The Gathering core set, Magic: Origins.

Magic: Origins will be the last of the game’s core sets. But, according to designers Mark Purvis and Ian Duke, it will differ sharply from previous Magic: The Gathering core sets and set up a new direction for storytelling in the Magic: The Gathering world.

Magic: Origins Logo from the magic: Origins announcementMagic: Origins set symbol

Key Details of Magic: Origins

  • July 17 release
  • 277 cards
  • 2 new mechanics
  • More new cards than any previous core set
  • Focus on the origin stories for five planeswalkers

The 277-card set will include more new cards than any previous core set as well as two new mechanics. Story-wise, it will focus on the origins of five notable planeswalkers: Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra and Nissa.

According to Duke, the story for Magic: Origins will focus on “who they are where they came from and how they became the planeswalkers you know today.”

“We get to see our planeswalker characters before they are planeswalkers,” Purvis added.

Liliana, for example, was a healer in her home plane before she became a necromancer. See the example art revealed below.

Screenshot 2015-02-09 09.37.06

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While the pair avoided any specifics about how the set would play, Purvis said that the mechanics would reflect players “leveling up” during play. In addition to what this means for new mechanics, it may mean that the set includes a significant selection of “Level Up” cards from the Eldrazi block.

Planeswalkers focussed on in Magic: Origins

  • Gideon
  • Jace
  • Liliana
  • Chandra
  • Nissa


Announcement video. Details begin around the 3:55 mark.

The Long View

According to Duke, Wizards of the Coast sees Magic: Origins “as a new beginning” in terms of both the game’s release schedule and its method of storytelling.

Wizards will begin telling “very coherent, in-depth” stories about its planeswalkers that will play out over story arcs that span multiple sets.

This may reflect further infusion of the Hasbro business approach into Wizards’ daily operations. Former Hasbro board game designer Rob Daviau said at Gen Con 2014 that Hasbro prefers to consolidate all of its products under discrete brands — using the “Scrabble” name on all of its word games, for instance.

It’s likely no coincidence that the five planeswalkers featured in Magic: Origins include all of the planeswalkers we know to be included in the Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game.

Magic The Gathering Strategy Board Game Box

Given that approach, and what Duke and Purvis said during the announcement, it’s likely that Wizards will use those five planeswalkers as the default faces of the Magic: The Gathering brand going forward.

What do you think of the Magic: Origins announcement? Tell us in the comments.

2 comments

  1. Tyler Dryden Reply

    Crazy, this whole past year I couldn't find a magic shop that didn't do two modern tournaments a week. Move to Seattle man, don't have to deal with those crazy blizzards too :)

  2. Tom Chieppo Reply

    Well, I just think that Standard is going to be the most expensive format in Magic. Moreover, the standard format is going to have a quicker rotation with more sets to choose from. Furthermore, I don't like not having anymore core sets, due to the fact that is going to take away from people, who are just learning the game, or budget players, who don't have the cash to buy a bunch of new cards. It is more of a money grab from players, who want to save up their cash for other things, not just cards.

    When you play in a Standard Tournament, you are going to face the same decks more than half of the time. In essence, Standard doesn't have the same competitive play like Modern, Legacy, Vanguard, Limited, and Commander does. I think Modern is the format I'm mostly interested in playing, but Connecticut doesn't do Modern Magic Tournaments. The card shops in Connecticut should do Modern Magic Tournaments. I think they will be surprised on how much business they would end up getting from the crowd turnouts.

    I rather use the cards I have even though that they aren't all Standard. I like playing Magic for the competitiveness spirit and the fun the game presents. All the rotations as I mentioned before, is just going to be way too costly in a two year span, which isn't even enough time to play with those card sets anyway. You're basically going to keep your cards, sell them, or play a different format when you can't use the certain cards you want in your deck because of the switch in the rotation.

    What should happen is the rotation of the new sets should be extended at least 3-5 years, or some of the sets in Modern should also be accessible to play in Standard. Also, make the cards more budget worthy instead of making them $30-$50 bucks a pop. The more expensive products are, the less of the product is going to be sold to customers. I just think more Magic players will break away from the Standard format when all the new sets enter the rotation and the decks that they want to use for the upcoming tournaments are no longer allowed that may change the overall perspective of the game and could change how many people will stick to this card game?

    It is going to turn more players off and possibly quitting the game all together.

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