The Elder Dragons of Strixhaven

Tom Anderson Design

After covering the complex utility of the Strixhaven Commands at the start of spoiler season and then the ultra-wordy, double-faced Deans cycle in my last column, I wanted to follow up with something a little more classic and straightforward. Luckily enough, there’s a third cycle of college-defining cards which fit the bill for us battlecruiser Magic enthusiasts: the Elder Dragons …

Strixhaven’s Secret Sauce is Red Mana

Kristen Gregory Commander, Design

Strixhaven looks to have a smorgasbord of powerful and exciting Magic cards. It seems to Kristen, though, that red is currently Magic’s Golden Child.  Looking through the previews for Strixhaven, it’s occurred to me that all of the most exciting designs involve red mana. It’s no secret that red has been the second-most maligned color from the players’ perspective in …

Meet the Deans of Strixhaven

Tom Anderson Design

Since as far back in Magic design as Ravnica: City of Guilds, WotC has embraced using powerful legendary creatures to anchor the identity of a set’s signature archetypes or factions. This habit has only been reinforced by the mechanical need to support these factions in the Commander format. So as soon as it became clear that Strixhaven: School of Mages …

Why Games of Magic Are Getting Faster

Tom Anderson Design

Do you think games of Magic might be getting too fast these days? It’s an odd thing to worry about in regard to a turn-based strategy game, even if chess clocks and Arena ropes force us into hasty decisions from time to time. But in its own best measure of speed — how many turns it takes to crush opponents …

Kaldheim’s Utility Lands

Tom Anderson Design

The long voyage to Kaldheim, having taken most of December and January, is nearly over. Today, myself and many other streamers will be trying out the set for the first time on Magic Arena. Shortly thereafter, the whole Magic Arena population will be logging in to test the cards and combinations they’ve been hyping themselves up for. And boy, has …

New MTG Mechanic Spotlight: Foretell

Tom Anderson Design, Strategy

If WotC set up Kaldheim spoiler season like a metal concert, then this week feels like the showstopping guitar solo. We’re seeing more and more powerful cards drop, many of which feature the set’s new cost-reduction mechanic: foretell. Appearing across all five colors and a wide variety of different cards, foretell has the potential to challenge players with sequencing choices …

Best Magic Card Designs of 2020

Bradley Rose Design

From Elder Giants to Giant Pirates, 2020 saw plenty of exciting, new Magic cards. We escaped from the underworld and battled it out in the Underdome. Our creatures mutated, formed parties, and partnered with other commanders.  With 2020 coming to a close, let’s review the new cards released this year. Each of these cards are exemplary in their own ways. …

How Planeswalker Design Changed in 2020

Tom Anderson Design

I’ve found myself being critical of Wizards and Magic more often than not this year. Obviously, that all comes from a positive, hopeful place; I love Magic. I believe it can be a great experience for millions worldwide, and I want to see it reaching that potential well into the future. But it’s important not to get sucked into a negative mindset and …

Top 5 New Magic Mechanics of 2020

Mara Katz Design

The Magic of 2020 has been full of new mechanics that push the boundaries of the game’s design space. Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen a wealth of exciting and flavorful mechanics introduced that have made gameplay more exciting and changed the way we build decks. Here are our top 5 new mechanics from this year. Escape Theros Beyond …