Wizards of the Coast has been forced to move up the announcement of the much-anticipated 25th anniversary set for Magic: The Gathering. Called the Dominaria set, the decision was made yesterday after a Chinese version of the release notes was leaked online. Wizards has since revealed the English version of those notes.
“We messed up,” said Blake Rasmussen in an article about the leak posted to the official Magic website. “It’s not ideal, but we’re going to make the best of it by trying a few new things to make sure that you still get a fun and exciting look at our return to Dominaria for Magic’s 25th Anniversary.”
Since its release in 1994, the official Magic lore has splintered that fictional world into a series of planes. Dominaria is the original plane where the collectible card game first took place. The game’s most popular characters, called planeswalkers, are expected to make a dramatic return that will be highlighted on story cards throughout the set and fiction published by Wizards.
Rasmussen outlined a host of new content coming to the Magic website next week, including an article on the mechanics of the new set on Monday and a behind-the-scenes story about its creative direction on Tuesday. Later, it will offer interviews with some of the principle creatives behind the classic CCG, including Richard Garfield and Mark Rosewater. There will also be a five-episode string of Magic Stories podcasts that will provide a deep dive into the game’s lore.
According to the release notes, the set will include 269 cards, of which there are 53 rare and 15 mythic rare cards. There will be 10 cards only available in Dominaria planeswalker decks and a single promotional card only available in stores. Pre-release weekend is scheduled for April 21 and 22, and the Dominaria set itself becomes legal for sanctioned play on April 27, along with cards from Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan. League play begins on April 30.
Several new card types are being introduced with the Dominaria set, according to the release notes. Saga cards will gather at least one lore counter every turn, triggering the chapter abilities listed on the card. Although none of the actual cards have been released yet, the mechanic appears to be a way to ratchet up tension in a match while also aligning with the narrative goals of the set as a whole. Similarly, legendary sorceries are magical spells that can only be cast if certain famous creatures or planeswalkers are in play.
The release notes are extensive, and include new errata and rulings on older cards to align them with the new Dominaria set. We’ll know a lot more once Wizards releases its descriptive articles next week, and later this month when a selection of those new cards are finally unveiled.