A Guide to Magic: The Gathering in 2022

Tom Anderson Products

Wow. If any of you out there joined me in tuning into WotC’s latest big product announcement stream a few hours ago, you know how overwhelming it can be. Our future flashed before our eyes as WotC revealed a year’s worth of new sets, new art, and new worlds – all in under an hour!

To help us all keep track of everything that was just announced, here’s a full list of the products that were unveiled — from the expansions that will shape the next year of Standard, to all the new Commander decks, Secret Lairs and other goodies that will be filling out the 2022 calendar. 

There’s absolutely something for everyone in here, so scroll down and check it out. Even if you’ve already heard about some of it, with this many new spoilers, it’s easy to miss a gem among the horde…

MAJOR EXPANSIONS

KAMIGAWA: Neon Dynasty (Q1 2022)

Magic will return to Kamigawa in 2022… but not the Kamigawa we know. As many have speculated, the new set will take place 2000 years after the events of the original Kamigawa block, transforming the setting from “samurai” to “cyberpunk.” A new planeswalker, Kaito, was teased as a “futuristic cyber ninja,” and we were also told to anticipate a familiar character reappearing as the new Emperor of Neon Kamigawa.

Our first official look at new ninja planeswalker Kaito, who will debut in Neon Dynasty

The aesthetic of Blade Runner, Shadowrun and Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be all over this set, while WotC also emphasized the care taken to ensure Neon Kamigawa would offer positive cultural representation.

Further card releases tied to Neon Kamigawa in the form of Secret Lair drops or Commander precons were also hinted at, as they were for most announced expansions.

Streets of New Capenna (Q2 2022)

Our first brand-new addition to the multiverse for 2022, New Capenna is unlike anything Magic has shown us before. It’s a beautiful 1920’s art deco-style city, once built by angels, but now run by five demonic crime factories. Literally demonic, as horned fiends seem to be the dominant – if not only – citizens of New Capenna.

Each of the crime families will tie into a specific three-color identity, with their own signature mechanic and aesthetic theme. The story will be crime noir, and Elspeth is somehow involved; we’re told that New Capenna is “deeply significant” to the righteous planeswalker. Gumshoe Elspeth? Glittery art-deco card treatments? Sign me up!

Dominaria United (Q3 2022)

2022 will mark a monumental 30 years of Magic: The Gathering, and it’s now confirmed that we will celebrate the milestone by going back to the plane where it all began: Dominaria.

Precious little was shown to indicate a possible plot for the set (or the meaning behind the title Dominaria United), but we’re told there will be plenty of references to beloved characters and events from the past, as well as further exploration of Dominaria’s future. There seems to be a real focus on introducing new players to Magic’s history, which leads us to…

The Brothers War (Q4 2022)

Also set on Dominaria, but flashing far, far back into the distant past is The Brothers War, 2022’s final Standard expansion set. We’ll relive the story of brothers Urza and Mishra, whose rivalry drives them to create unfathomably powerful magi-tech war machines that nearly tear Dominaria apart.

This story will be familiar to older heads as the subject of the first-ever Dominarian expansion, 1994’s Antiquities. But that was the war as told by historians poring over the relics. The Brothers War will show us these titanic events as they happened, in full destructive scale.

Here’s a quick recap of next year’s Standard lineup. There’s quite a lot to look forward to!

SUPPLEMENTAL PRODUCT RELEASES

Innistrad Double Feature (Q1 2022)

We got some additional details about the upcoming Innistrad sets on yesterday’s stream: Midnight Hunt previews officially begin September 2nd, and Olivia’s groom in Crimson Vow is listed as “TBA.” Another important reveal is the unique Double Feature boosters, which combine cards from both sets into a single, specially curated draft experience. As an extra twist, the cards will feature unique art treatments not found in the regular sets themselves, which honor the monsters and tropes from classic horror cinema. It was not mentioned whether Double Feature boosters will be priced as Draft or Collector boosters.

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate (Q2 2022)

It seems the tie-ins between Magic and Dungeons & Dragons aren’t finished yet, as WotC announced a return to the Forgotten Realms in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate

This will follow the successful formula of Commander Legends as a “Commander Booster Draft” set, making room for more famous D&D characters to appear as potential commanders – some in etched foil or “D&D Rulebook” printings. Seems like all the die-rolling cards from the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms precons will be getting fresh support sooner than we figured!

UNFINITY (Q2 2022)

That most zany of designers Mark Rosewater appeared in a spacesuit to announce UNFINITY — a new un-set featuring fun, wacky multiplayer cards themed around a “retro sci-fi circus-slash-themepark.” Gosh.

As with all Un-sets, players will be able to grab unique and beautiful full-art lands, this time showing off what Islands, Plains and Swamps look like… INNNNNNN SPAAAAAAAAACE! And the really big news? UNFINITY will also feature reprints of the shock lands — presumably also in glamorous full-art sci-fi reimaginings.

Double Masters 2022 (Q3 2022)

Another return to the blueprint of a successful supplemental set is the new Double Masters, slated for next summer. The brief announcement focused on the set’s theme of two rares and two foils per booster, and promised an exciting multicolor-focused draft environment.

Judging by the previous Double Masters set, we can look forward to lots of powerful reprints for Commander and other older formats, with as much new artwork and other fancy card treatments as WotC can muster. Expect a premium price point to go with that.

Jumpstart 2022 (Q4 2022)

The original Jumpstart was a brilliant idea, and WotC has made it clear that they see the crack-and-shuffle Limited format as a key part of their new player experience in years to come. That means Jumpstart 2022 is on the horizon, bringing with it 46 fresh themed boosters to mix and match. We were teased with “Multiheaded” and “Eldrazi” as two examples.

Of course, those themes get even more exciting with the announcement that each pre-formulated booster contains one completely new card that fits that theme. Remember,  the first Jumpstart gave us all-stars like Muxus, Goblin Grandee, Allosaurus Shepherd, Tinybones, Trinket Thief and Bruvac the Grandiloquent! Each pack will also feature one reprint in an exclusive “anime” card treatment.

UNIVERSES BEYOND

Commander: Warhammer 40K (late 2022)

The infamous grimdark future of the 41st millennium will arrive in Magic as four new Commander precons, presumably each featuring different armies from the tabletop game.

Today’s announcement showed off art for several new cards, confirming that at least one precon will focus on the famous Space Marines and perhaps the Ultramarines chapter, specifically. Which armies will make it into the remaining decks — orks, tyranids, eldar, Chaos — remains to be seen.

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth (2023)

Revealed card artwork for “Gandalf, Friend of the Shire”

It looks like we will have to wait until 2023 for this most ambitious Universes Beyond release. We did at least get some solid confirmation of its legality and power level, though! 

The full-sized set, featuring the full gamut of beloved Tolkien creations, will skip Standard and be immediately legal in Modern and eternal formats, making it effectively the third Modern Horizons release. This, of course, means the cards will be legal in Commander as well, and we were specifically told the set will be coming to MTG Arena. Does this mean the set will also be Historic-legal? Will Modern be fully ported to the client by then? If only we had our own Palantir with which to divine such secrets…

SECRET LAIRS

WotC continues to be completely in love with the mini-drop product format, seeing as how it gives them a way to celebrate special artists, characters and tie-in IPs outside of the carefully-calibrated release schedule we covered above. They took the chance to announce several upcoming Secret Lairs and tease many more, which you can take a look at below:

“Out of Time” Superdrop

This multiple-release will feature Lairs for retro-frame planeswalkers, original Kamigawa-block reprints in a “traditional ink” art style, and artist drops for Johannes Voss, Thomas M. Baxa and Alexandre Chaudret. You can get these all together or individually, foil or non-foil, with preorders already open on the Secret Lair website.

For these retro “1994 planeswalkers,” the rules text formatting is half the charm!
As we look to Kamigawa’s future in the new set, these gorgeous legends honor its past.
Thomas M. Baxa’s fiendish art skills are well applied to this monstrous Lair!
Johannes Voss connects these artworks with a gentle theme of love amidst nature.
The math joke here is that the stat lines “spell out” Pi, a nod to Chaudret’s geometric art style.

STREET FIGHTER DROP

In an inspired bit of top-down design, R&D have designed Chun-Li to use multikicker. No joke!

WotC have announced another Secret Lair will unleash completely new, tournament-legal cards, featuring legendary characters from the Street Fighter franchise. We were treated to some spectacular art of Chun-Li as a teaser, likely to be joined by franchise mascot Ryu, and other mainstays like M. Bison, Sagat, Blanka, Vega and Akuma.

Oh, and if you don’t love Secret Lairs or Street Fighter? Mechanically-identical replacements with more “traditional” Magic art will be added to The List in coming months.

FORTNITE DROP

Are you ready to see Blasphemous Act reprinted as the Tomato Town Massacre?

Another tie-in confirmed, although this one will not feature mechanically unique cards. Instead, we’ll get our favorite staples reprinted with Fortnite’s colorful art style. You probably already know if this product is for you or not.

COULD THERE BE EVEN MORE MAGIC IN 2022?

While WotC stopped short of officially announcing any more Secret Lair drops — that’s the “Secret” part, I guess — they did all-but-assure us that more Lairs will be arriving to extend 2022’s collaborations with Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings

There’s also plenty of room to squeeze extra juice out of all those new card treatments and promo art styles mentioned for upcoming sets, like adding movie-monster reprints from original Innistrad alongside the Double Header boosters; or say, giving us art-deco versions of Platinum Angel, Worship and Darksteel Colossus to hype up Streets of New Capenna.

Yes, this product schedule is an overflowing cup of Magic goodness — and yes, not every product on the slate is going to excite every single player. But if you focus on whatever is most exciting to you here, you’ll find there’s plenty to look forward to in the next 12+ months of Magic.