Today at GenCon, Wizards of the Coast unveiled what’s in store for the next several years of Magic. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s break it down together!
Starting with Standard, Wizards released additional information in regards to the sets coming out in 2023 – Wilds of Eldraine and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan – in addition revealing four brand new Standard-legal sets to be released in 2024 – Murders at Karlov Manor, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Bloomburrow, and Duskmourn: House of Horror.
Beginning in 2023, Wizards will begin a three-year long story arc. The first year is known as the “Omenpath Arc”, which will reveal the implications of the Phyrexian War. With the King and Queen of Eldraine dead and a massive spell presiding over the plane, a desparked Will and Rowan will have to find a way to save their kingdom.
Following the return to Eldraine, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is using the plane of Ixalan as a setting for the new set. Initially this was supposed to be a brand new plane, but due to the amount of similarities it had with Ixalan, Wizards has chosen to showcase this previously unexplored section of Ixalan. The set features all of the familiar roles and themes from the last set from Vampires to Dinosaurs and more, but will feature new characters, areas, and events.
In addition, a new “Special Guests” sheet will be added to both Collector Boosters and in The List. These cards are supposed to be highly-sought-after reprints that are matched to the world, but will not be Standard legal.
2024 begins with the set Murders at Karlov Manor. This is a top-down murder mystery set that takes place on Ravnica. While it’s not going to be a classic approach to the Ravnica that we’ve come to know, the Guilds and all of the themes of Ravnica are being tied into the story.
After revisiting various planes, Wizards is taking Magic to a brand new one in a set known as Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Outlaws of Thunder Junction marks the end of the Omenpath Arc and takes place in a Fantasy Western setting where villains across the multiverse are gathering onto this one plane using the Omenpaths that were opened due to the Phyrexian War. Featured in the key art are such familiar faces as Oko and Vraska.
After the Omenpath Arc comes the Dragonstorm Arc, starting with the set Bloomburrow. Bloomborrow is a charming and heartwarming set that takes place on a brand new plane where, instead of humans, woodland critters are the focal point of the set. A key note is that a 1/1 on this plane is a mouse, and the rest of the world is scaled based from there.
Following the charming world of Bloomburrow comes the release of Duskmorn: House of Horror. This top-down Modern Horror set takes place in a single mansion that looks to explore horror from the common era.
Moving to things that will be affecting Magic Arena specifically, there are a few announcements that were shared at the 30th Anniversary Panel at GenCon today.
Starting with Wilds of Eldraine, Arena will be implementing an improved duplicate protection system, a new achievement system, and more ways to tie paper play into Arena under a “unified ecosystem”. While additional information has yet to be released, this is a great sign for all Arena players and hybrid Arena/paper players.
While it has been announced that Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered will be the last Remastered set for some time, Chris Kiritz, Executive Producer for Magic Arena, has announced the full release of Khans of Tarkir, showcasing their commitment to putting Pioneer onto Arena.
In addition to putting Khans of Tarkir onto Arena, Explorer and Pioneer players have finally been given a timeline for having Pioneer on Arena. According to Chris Kiritz, by the end of 2024, Magic Arena will be at “Tournament Pioneer”. This means that by that time, Magic Arena will have all of the cards for Tournament level Pioneer play available on the client. While Wizards will continue to release Anthologies and booster pack inserts, one of the primary ways that the Arena team looks to get to that stated goal is the release of the long awaited Pioneer Masters onto Arena. This draftable set looks to fill in the gaps missing in various archetypes while having an enjoyable draft environment.
There was more announced regarding the Arena design team’s core philosophy, but we’ll have more on that later.
Modern and Pioneer
With the rerelease of the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth happening later this year, we can expect both new treatments on cards as well as some brand new, mechanically-unique cards.
While the rerelease of the Lord of the Rings wraps up the year, Wizards is remastering another plane: Ravnica. Much like Dominaria Remastered, Ravnica Remasterd is receiving the same treatment, with retro-frame styles coming to a variety of cards such the Shockland cycle and other notable cards like Arclight Phoenix
Additonally, Modern is getting another Horizons set: Modern Horizons III. All this is a known quantity at this point is that Mark Rosewater mentioned that one of the major themes of the set are double-faced cards. These include cards and mechanics that typically couldn’t fit onto a single side of a Magic card. In addition, this set will be fully supported on Magic Arena.
While there have been many announcements for upcoming sets, many of these sets have Universes Beyond tie-ins.
With the release of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, a new “Special Guests” sheet will be added to both Collector Boosters and in The List. These cards are supposed to be highly-sought-after reprints that are matched to the world, but will not be Standard legal.
Alongside the release of Murders at Karlov Manor, Wizards is also releasing Ravnica Clue Edition. This standalone version of multiplayer Magic puts the mystery elements of the classic game of Clue into the the gameplay experience of Magic on the plane of Ravnica.
While there isn’t much known about any future Universes Beyond releases, we do know that Magic is releasing Fallout Commander Decks March 2024 as well as Assassin’s Creed “Beyond Boosters” in July 2024. Athena Frohelich described Beyond Boosters as nondraftable booster packs that showcase that Universe. In this case, the Universe of Assassin’s Creed.
2025 and Beyond
While typically, we wouldn’t know much about the future of Magic: the Gathering past the 2024 release of Duskmorn: House of Horrow, Wizards is giving us information about codenamed sets for the first time! While not much is known about these future sets, it is exciting that they are releasing this information to the public.
Starting in 2025 is another Remastered set in Innistrad Remastered. This set will take many of the cards across the various visits to Innistrad and put them into one set. It can be predicted that this set will get similar treatment to previous Remastered sets.
After Innistrad Remastered comes the codenammed sets. These sets don’t have a name yet and are thus still using their code names with the first set being Tennis. Tennis is a racing set that spans three different words that we’ve seen on cards before. Following Tennis is Ultimate. Ultimate is the return to Tarkir and can be described as a mesh of both Dragons and Khans of Tarkir.
The next Universe Beyond set will be released after Ultimate and it will be a Final Fantasy-based set. This set, which intends to have a Magic Arena release, plans to encompass all of the games from the original Final Fantasy to the newly-released Final Fantasy XVI.
Following the release of the Final Fantasy set will be the start of the final arc in the three-year long story with the release of Volleyball. While not much information can be released about it yet, Volleyball is a top-down Space Opera set. After Volleyball is the last release of 2025 in Wrestling. Mark Rosewater explains that Wrestling is a return to Lorwyn/Shadowmoor and takes a lot of inspiration of how they did the return to Kamigawa as inspiration.
In 2026, Wizards will be releasing Yachting and Zipling. While the vision of the sets is still being created, Yachting is a return to Strixhaven while Ziplining is a “Capstone” Set that concludes the three-year long story arc. While nothing can be said in regards to the set, previous Capstone Sets include War of the Spark and March of the Machines.
Well, that concludes everything we know about where Magic is going over the next three years! While not much is known beyond 2024, it is exciting to get a glimpse into where Magic will go over the course of the next several years.