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Junji Ito returns to Magic: The Gathering for Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Previews for 2023’s first set are here

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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 invited legendary Japanese horror manga artist Junji Ito back for more Magic: The Gathering card art. Following a limited-time Secret Lair drop in October, Ito has been tapped once more for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the first set of 2023. Wizards made the announcement Tuesday during its WeeklyMTG streaming broadcast.

Elesh Norn squatting in a threatening posture. The mythic card is a 4/7 legendary creature with vigilance. It is rendered in black and white. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Ito is best known as much for his intricate line work as he is for his creepy themes. The first of these new pieces shown is a card called Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines — a 4/7 Legendary Creature with vigilance who triggers additional abilities from permanents. It shows the Phyrexian Praetor in a threatening pose, head down and arms raised in an almost feral posture. The Phyrexians are a non-human almagamation of meat and metal, unique for having their own in-game language that few can decipher. Phyrexia: All Will Be One is therefore an excellent playground for Ito, as the setting leans into aspects of body transformation and body horror.

Magic said in a news release that this set, which is scheduled to release on Feb. 10, will include 10 planeswalkers in all. In addition to the traditional booster and collector’s packs, All Will Be One will also include two new Commander decks — Corrupting Influence (white/black/green) and Rebellion Rising (red/white) — and three additional Secret Lair drops. Jumpstart Boosters will also be making a return.

Also new for this release is a special raised foil treatment, which Wizards is calling “oil slick.” You can see more examples of the treatment alongside all the other cards revealed on the stream today.