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Magic: The Gathering’s Wilds of Eldraine expansion gets moody anime trailer

The trailer teases a tragic story

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An image of Rowan and Will clashing swords in an anime teaser trailer for Wilds of Eldraine. Image: Wizards of the Coast
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Magic the Gathering’s Wilds of Eldraine expansion hits counters on Friday. In the lead-up to release, Wizards of the Coast released a flashy new anime trailer that teases the upcoming story. The short three-minute-long trailer sets up one of the key conflicts in the series: A tragic fallout between the royal siblings Will and Rowan Kenrith.

Wilds of Eldraine takes Magic the Gathering back to the plane inspired by magical Arthurian legends. A large part of this Eldarine set is about balancing a sense of whimsy with the land’s darker side. On one hand, there is a magical world filled with living gingerbread men and hydra-geese. On the other hand, a twisted land ravaged by war — which is where Will and Rowan’s story comes in.

The expansion’s setting takes place in a broken and fragmented world after a witch named Eriette has cursed the land with evil. The King and Queen have died and left the land to their two children: Will and Rowan Kenrith. Whereas Will wants to work toward a new idea of peace, Rowan is willing to fight for the nation she envisions.

Studio Pierrot, most known for creating popular action series like Naruto or Bleach, served as the production producer on the trailer along with animation from and S.o.K. We see glimpses of happy childhood memories and shots of a broken family photo in the rubble. In the end, we see a shot of Rowan turning around and heading out toward the woods on her own.

Wilds of Eldraine was released digitally for Magic: The Gathering Arena on Wednesday, with a physical release set for Sept. 8. More portions of the story by K. Arsenault Rivera are available online. You can download The Phyrexian Arc, the previous narrative arc for Magic: The Gathering, as a free ebook.

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