We’re only halfway through Double Masters preview season and the fall set hype train has already left the station. On Saturday, July 25th, Magic design head Mark Rosewater provided a few sneak peeks into Zendikar Rising at Comic-Con at Home.
We’ll be updating this post through Zendikar Rising‘s release with the latest info on the set, including preview cards. For now, here’s what we know so far.
Zendikar Rising will be Magic‘s third visit to the plane of Zendikar. We first encountered this world of adventure and intrigue in 2009’s Zendikar — Magic‘s first set that revolved around land-based mechanics. Zendikar is one of the most mana-rich lands in the Multiverse, and the set included several important milestones: land-based mechanics like landfall, the completion of the fetch land cycle introduced in Onslaught, and the inclusion of full-art basic lands in a major expansion set.
But the perilous world of Zendikar proved to be far deadlier than we realized. At the end of original Zendikar block, a monster race called the Eldrazi, who had been imprisoned on Zendikar, escaped from captivity and began to ravage the plane. These colorless creatures are among the most fearsome in all of Magic‘s history, and it would take a super-team of Planeswalkers to eradicate them from Zendikar.
In 2015’s Battle for Zendikar, four Planeswalkers — Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar and Nissa Revane — join forces to fight the Eldrazi. They succeed in their quest and form the Gatewatch: a peacekeeping force sworn to defend the Multiverse. Thanks to their efforts, Zendikar can rebuild — but, as Wizards has hinted, the Eldrazi have left an indelible impression on the plane.
At the Comic-Con at Home panel, Mark Rosewater shared a few teasers for Zendikar Rising:
- Zendikar Rising is another land set featuring land-centric mechanics. Full-art basics will be back with new art, and the set will feature six new dual lands.
- Zendikar Rising will feature a brand-new mechanic that offers a fresh take on a popular Magic theme.
- There are two returning mechanics that have appeared in previous Zendikar sets.
- Several legendary creatures from previous Zendikar sets will return in Zendikar Rising, and one will have a new color added to its color identity. After the panel aired, Wizards released packaging for Zendikar Rising that confirmed that the elemental Omnath would be one of the returning legendary creatures.
- The set will feature three Planeswalkers that we’ve met before: Jace, Nissa, and Nahiri.
Here’s the Zendikar Rising packaging that Wizards shared on Saturday. We can see Jace Beleren, ready for adventure, on the Draft Booster and Bundle boxes, and Omnath on the Collector Boosters.
Zendikar Rising will also introduce a new kind of booster pack: Set Boosters. Rosewaters breaks down the full contents in both the Comic-Con panel and this follow-up article, but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
- 1 art card from Zendikar Rising (81 total)
- 1 basic land card (can be foil)
- 6 commons and uncommons that are thematically related
- 1 showcase or other alt-art card
- 2 “wildcards” of any rarity
- 1 rare/mythic rare card
- 1 foil card
- 1 token, ad card, or a card from “The List”
“The List” is a collection of 300 cards from Magic‘s history that replace the token or ad card in 25% of Zendikar Rising Set Boosters. Like the contents of Mystery Booster, cards from “The List” will look just like their original printings, with the exception of a Planeswalker symbol in the lower left corner. Wizards has already shared three cards on “The List” — Muscle Sliver, Cloudgoat Ranger, and Pact of Negation — but we’ll have to wait to find out more!