unfinity Cards revealed

An Early Look at Magic’s Unfinity

Tom Anderson Products

Editor’s Note, 1/20/22: This article originally listed UNFINITY’s release date as April 1, 2022. The product’s release has since been postponed until the latter half of 2022.

Magic‘s newest Un-set, UNFINITY, is officially counting down to blast-off. Lead designer Mark Rosewater gave us our first taste of the set this morning with a big preview article showing off the set’s sci-fi tropes.

Previously announced along with the rest of Magic’s 2022 product schedule, this “intergalactic circus theme park” set won’t be in stores until April. But the extremely early timing of today’s preview makes sense given the information revealed.

UNFINITY is breaking from Un-set tradition in important ways. Most notably, the set will include a mix of both silver-border (joke cards not intended for tournament play) and black-border cards (fully legal cards for eternal formats like Legacy and Commander).

Previous Un-sets Unglued, Unhinged, Unstable and Unsanctioned comprised silver-border cards exclusively, with playful card designs often mixing party games or Magic in-jokes with more normal rules text. 

But as Rosewater explains, while every silver-border card is meant to be “funny,” not all of them are “silly” in a way that precludes them from functioning in a tournament environment. As of UNFINITY, these “silly” cards are marked with an acorn-shaped security sticker instead of by a different-colored border. This means they can be mixed in alongside the black-border half of the set for a seamless UNFINITY experience, without rendering the whole set unplayable in normal games of Magic.

Rosewater demonstrated the difference between the acorn-stamp designs and those that will be Legacy- and Commander-legal with our first spoiler cards. The art and flavor show off the promised space-carnival-amusement-park, dubbed “Myra the Magnificent’s Intergalactic Astrotorium of Fun.” 

Saw in Half is legal for sanctioned play thanks to its oval security sticker (below the flavor text), while the other two follow the “house rules” legality of previous Un-set cards.

PUTTING THE “THEME” IN “THEME PARK”

After the zany mad science world we witnessed in Unstable, there’s now an expectation that future Un-sets will be set in their own distinct worlds.  Rosewater explains his initial idea was centered on the circus/amusement park theme rather than outer space, but it didn’t have the depth to support a full set. Unstable art director Dawn Murin was responsible for combining these carnival tropes with the look of older sci-fi media like The Jetsons or Buck Rogers, a style sometimes called “atompunk” or “raygun gothic.” 

The result is suitably exuberant and chaotic to capture the feeling of an Un-set, even on cards with more serious black-border rules text. These soon-to-be-legal cards seem aimed at the same high power level as those printed in Commander precons, and include 30 new legendary creatures, one of which was previewed today.

All the pop-culture referencing and dice-rolling of an Un-set, now legal in black-border!

Including new Commander choices and chase rares for Constructed will likely make UNFINITY an easier purchase decision for devotees of those formats, as opposed to previous Un-Sets, which were sought after largely for their signature full-art basic lands.

Of course, that tradition is still in place, and has even been expanded to fit into the modern product structure of “Booster Fun.”

UN-SET BASICS ARE BACK!

Rosewater concluded his preview with a full breakdown of card styles found in UNFINITY’s Draft and Collector Boosters – the first time an Un-Set has featured this split. The Collector Boosters for this set will contain 100% foil cards – 12 in the usual foil treatment, and three in a new style called “galaxy foil” that “looks like stars in space.”

Draft Boosters will contain a single slot for a basic land (or “space-ic land,” as Rosewater dubs them), while Collector Boosters will contain two — one normal foil and one galaxy foil. And there are three distinct cycles of space-ic land that can appear in these slots! 

The first are “planetary” basic lands, featuring a solar-system mana symbol and full-card artwork of alien landscapes. These will appear in ~70% of packs.

The second are “orbital” space-ic lands, which feature full-card artwork of mana-charged planets against the void of space, and no mana symbol at all. These will be in the land slot ~25% of the time.

But most surprising is the third and rarest cycle — not basic lands at all, but borderless sci-fi reprints of all 10 rare “shock lands,” previously seen in the Ravnica sets. While they will only be in ~4% of packs, the shock lands will appear in the land slot instead of the rare slot. That means you can potentially open two rares in Draft Boosters or even more rares (all foil!) in Collector Boosters.

Players will also receive one of these shock lands in foil as their box topper when purchasing a Draft or Collector Booster Box of UNFINITY

Rosewater promised these boosters would feature further goodies to warm the hearts of “die-hard Un-collectors,” but kept the remaining details under his ringmaster’s hat for now. Still, we did get a look at the “retro-pop” showcase treatment for new legendary creatures (and two yet-unseen planeswalker cards!), which brings the set’s Jetsons homage even more clearly to the fore. We also got a look at the participation promo players will receive for joining UNFINITY release events, featuring new art for a classic carnival-inspired Un-set rare: 

UNFINITY is slated for release in the latter half of 2022. Further information on the set mechanics, new Commander cards and special card styles will be available closer to release.