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Magic: The Gathering’s 2022 Release Rollout Is Both Impressive And Overwhelming

Before anyone can even sink their teeth into Innistrad: Midnight Hunt next month in September 2021, Wizards of the Coast is already teasing fans with more juicy treats! These 2022 products are going to explore completely new worlds, old ones in the future, and millennia-old rivalries among classic characters.

Standard sets are now known as Premier sets, but they’re still the backbone of Wizards’ release schedule every year. There will also be a lineup of sequels for past popular ancillary sets. Although some of these sets were leaked months ago, there are definitely a couple of new surprises here. Don’t have to wait till 2022 to find out!

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New Premier (aka Standard) Sets

Q1 2022: Kamigawa Neon Dynasty

Throttling two thousand years into the future, Kamigawa Neon Dynasty is the first revisit to the Japanese-inspired plane of ninjas and rogues since the first Kamigawa block in 2004-2005. Back then, the block consisted of three sets but now it’ll be a solo visit.

It looks like the world has changed a lot, advancing in technology while holding on to some traditions such as their architecture and weapons. Looking at the art of a possible card below, there could be a steampunk angle (perhaps similar to Kaladesh), combining classic melee weapons with mechanical suits of armor…and a pet? 

Expect a strong return of the well-loved Ninjutsu mechanic, as it looks like Kamigawa folks have not forgotten their ninja roots. There could also be a new cycle of Gods, or Kami, to show that some things haven’t changed no matter how many years have passed. 

Q2 2022: Streets of New Capenna

Not much is known about this new plane, except that it is “a world of grit and glamour that mixes angels, demons, and Magic.” If the logo is any hint, imagine a world of crime, decadence in Great Gatsby fashion. Wizards even describes the storyline as five kingpin families vying for dominance in the city.

If New Capenna is anything like Gotham City, teeming with criminals, then chances are a new Planeswalker vigilante will also show up. Dack Fayden is another Planeswalker who might also fancy a trip to New Capenna, but right now this is all speculation.  

There have been so many iconic demons and angels in Magic history that it’s hard to predict who will make an appearance. They are generally higher-cost Creatures with flashy abilities, which does suit well within the themes of indulgence and vice. It’s hard to imagine righteous angels such as Lyra Drawnbringer or Aurelia hanging around with demons and criminals, so don’t hold your hopes up that they’ll make an appearance. 

Q3 2022: Dominaria United

Dominaria is a fan-favourite because of its treasured long history, and the last Dominaria set in 2018 was a nice homage as part of Magic’s 25th anniversary celebration. And when Dominaria is involved, you can bet Teferi and Karn will be close by. But what if Wizards wanted to throw a curveball and focus on the non-Planeswalker characters and the stories of individual nations? 

That looks like what’s exactly happening here for Magic’s 30th anniversary, as two different species (humans and elves) are banding together for a common cause. Are players going to see the same old tribes of Serra and Benalia, or will there be something new? More importantly Dominaria United will also provide important background lore for the last set of 2022 – The Brothers’ War – since that was also set in Dominaria. 

Q4: 2022: The Brothers’ War

So Wizards has brought players two thousand years into the future of Kamigawa, and now they’ve decided to turn the clock back several thousands of years in Dominaria to finally tell the story of The Brothers’ War. 

But why are they going back to the early days of Magic? The story of The Brothers’ War was told mostly in the Magic comics and novels, and perhaps Wizards felt the cards itself should do the legendary tale some justice by committing an entire set to it. As the last Premier set for 2022, not much other info is known about The Brothers War, but don’t be surprised to see new Legendary versions of Urza and Mishra make an entrance. It’s Urza and Mishra after all – they’ve got to be powerful cards right?

Sequels to Popular and Fan-favourite (Non-Premier) Sets

When fans clamour for more, it’s hard to say no, especially if the dollar figures are making a strong case. 2022 will see sequel sets for three very popular series, after the pioneer ones did so well.

Commander Legends 2: Baldur’s Gate

The first Commander Legends set in 2020 introduced lots of new Partner Commanders that became instant hits. Obeka, Brute Chronologist and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces are leading some formidable decks, and others like Krark, the Thumbless are fuelling the more janky ones.

Now Wizards is combining the popularity of Commander Legends with the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, which has already proven successful in the recent crossover set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. But what is Baldur’s Gate?

Baldur’s Gate is a series of roleplaying computer games, inspired and set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. First released in 1998, the game has gone through sequels and rereleases up to 2021. Just like how those games are set in Baldur’s Gate, this Commander Legends spinoff would likely feature characters and locales that are recognisable to fans. There could be a new version of Minsc, since he had already made his bow in Magic as Minsc, Beloved Ranger.

The biggest question on many players’ (and speculators’) minds is: will Jeweled Lotus be reprinted? There’s definitely a chance, since this gem has been so hard to find in the first Legends set, and prices will just keep rising without reprints. However, the reprints will probably will come in some other form. The cycle of free Instants – remember [c]Fierce Guardianship[/c]? – from the 2020 Commander preconstructed decks could see a much-needed return as a way to drive demand. 

Double Masters 2 (with VIP Boxes)

It could have been Triple Masters (with three Rares in every pack), but I guess that was just too much to hope for! Nevertheless, a lot of people are going to be excited with Double Masters 2 as the first one was well-received, packed with amazing reprints such as Force of Will and Mana Crypt, Sword of Feast and Famine and a dozen more.

One thing you can expect is the return of VIP boxes and their exclusive alternate art variant cards. Those VIP boxes stirred up a lot of controversy and might still be the most expensive Magic product (for what you get), but fans and collectors snapped them up anyway. It’s unlikely they’ll reprint the same power cards again, so the question is what else could live up to the hype? Mana Vault and Ancient Tomb are possibilities since they have not been reprinted lately, though they could easily fall under the Commander Legends product.

The cycle of original tutors could also see a reprint this time. Although Demonic Tutor had been reprinted recently in the Strixhaven Mystical Archive, others such as Mystical Tutor and Enlightened Tutor have been lacking in recent years. 

Jumpstart 2 – Another Great Set for Beginners

The first Jumpstart was a brilliant idea, offering pre-made packs that new players could combine to instantly form a deck. No-fuss with Lands distribution or buying individual cards to get started – just two packs and you were good to go. The randomisation of pack themes added an additional layer of fun that everyone overlooked at the beginning. In Arena, the Jumpstart event was so popular that they have created a totally new expansion just for the online platform.

Hopefully, Jumpstart 2 will expand on what made the product so good. Fans will be happy to see more Creature themes, special Jumpstart-only cards, and perhaps even packs geared towards obscure mechanics like Mentor, Party, or Venture into the Dungeons could see the light this time round. 

Jumpstart has always been lighthearted, but in this concept art Wizards might lean more toward humour. Well, either that, or this belongs to a Cat or Wizard-themed pack!

End Step

Are you excited for 2022? Not only is the prospect of returning to live, tabletop Magic exciting, the unexpected early sequels for Double Masters and Commander Legends should get players saving up right now. The Premier sets appear disjointed in terms of storyline, and perhaps that’s the intention. Ultimately Wizards is gearing up for the 30th anniversary of Magic, so they certainly wouldn’t want to disappoint.


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