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Magic: The Gathering’s first Warhammer 40,000 cards are sufficiently grim, dark

Four Commander decks and three Secret Lair drops expected this summer

A miniature of Abaddon. Image: Games Workshop
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Wizards of the Coast has finally unveiled the first Warhammer 40,000-themed cards for Magic: The Gathering. Announced in February 2021, the Universes Beyond product line will include four standard Commander decks and four collector’s edition Commander decks, which are all scheduled to be released on Aug. 12. In addition, the collaboration with Games Workshop will also feature three Secret Lair drops. The announcement, made Thursday on Twitch, also included a handful of preview cards.

These new Commander decks will contain a combination of new cards and reprints of classic cards featuring new 40K-themed art. Decks include Necron Dynasties (black), Forces of the Imperium (white, blue, and black), Tyranid Swarm (green, blue, and red), and The Ruinous Powers (blue, black, and red). The only Legendary Creature revealed was Abaddon the Despoiler, a 5/5 monster with trample. That card includes the new Mark of Chaos Ascendant ability, which adds cascade to cards based on the amount of life that your opponents have lost this turn. That should allow plenty of additional spells to get triggered as a result.

Abaddon the Despoiler card shown in two treatments. Image: Wizards of the Coast

The concept of collector’s edition Commander decks is a first for Wizards. Presenters said Thursday that the decks will be “fully foiled” and will include a new “surge foil” treatment on certain cards. Photos and videos of the never-before-seen treatment are on the way.

Image: Vanguard Suppressor Image: Wizards of the Coast
Fabricate allows you to search your library and put an artifact in your hand. Image: Wizards of the Coast
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! It’s an instant, and allows you to deal 8 damage to each opponent for discarding your hand. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Another new ability mentioned during the presentation is called Squad. It was included on the only Ultramarine-themed card shown during the presentation, and it allows players to field copies of a newly summoned creature for the cost of two additional mana of any color.

The 40-minute presentation also includes details on Double Masters 2022 (coming July 8) and Dominaria United (coming Sept. 9). For more details, you can find the entire archive on Twitch.

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