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.
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.
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
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.
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.