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Mtg: Universes Beyond

I've been playing Magic: The Gathering for some time, and today I want to share my tricks.

Recently, during the 2021 investor conference, Hasbro announced an internal reorganization into 3 divisions: Consumer Products, Entertainment, and Wizards & Digital.

During the event it was also announced that Hasbro had a reduction of about 8% of the net revenue due to Covid-19, as a positive note, the subsidiary Wizard of the Coast managed to grow by 24% thanks to the brands Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, these brands have already been growing over the past 5 years.

Wizard of the Coast will therefore have a fundamental role in the Wizard & Digital division that will allow it to work on the expansion of existing brands, the creation of new IPs and manage digital licenses for the entire company.

Along with this information, which helps us understand the general context of internal transformation that are also bringing to Magic: The Gathering, prestigious new collaborations with other external IPs have been announced, the source is available here.

I speak specifically of the IPs of Warhammer 40K and The Lord of the Rings and the birth of MTG: Universes Beyond.

mtg-universes-beyond

Personally I have always been more for Warhammer Fantasy but it is undeniable that the futuristic counterpart still exercises its charm due to the beautiful miniatures and the incredible amount of lore available, the game has also recently been updated to the ninth edition.

The release of Warhammer 40K-themed Commander decks has already been announced and will be available starting in 2022.

I imagine a classic "Space Marine VS Chaos" as a possible pair of debut decks as well as it would be possible to have a more varied choice also involving the other armies available such as Orks, Necrons, Aeldari, Tyranids or T’au.

The challenge is extremely challenging but at the same time very interesting, Magic has already made expansions with Gothic themes (Innistrad is one of the best sets ever made) but never with such advanced technologies (at the moment, only the Steampunk world of Kaladesh can be considered "advanced" on the technological point of view).

I hope this can also lead to the later transposition of Warhammer Fantasy which would be even more akin to the classic imagery of a Magic set.

mtg-universes-beyond

At the moment no rumors have yet been released on how the world made by Tolkien will be used but even in this case we are faced with an incredible source of information that over the years has been a source of inspiration for all modern Fantasy.

The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and the many short stories published even after Tolkien's death are a vibrant, complete and full of opportunity world.

Perhaps, compared to the Warhammer theme, this lends itself better to the creation of a complete set precisely for the sense of travel and for the personal growth of the different characters involved.

In this case we find ourselves in a less "innovative" environment for Magic: The Gathering in the sense that there are many cards that can individually refer in a scattered way to the world created by Tolkien.

A set or cohesive set of cards on the theme has never been made and therefore could represent a unique opportunity.

The fan base for this type of project is virtually huge and could further help the expansion of Magic: The Gathering.

What does this mean for us players?

For us as players we could not be happier, in the past in MTG we have had small appearances as small Cameos (such as the "Godzilla" cards in Ikoria as an alternative version of the cards in the expansion) or as references in additional products such as for example Secret lair (like The Walking Dead themed cards) or the cards made for other Hasbro IP like Nerf or Transformers.

In this case, however, we are talking about greater partnerships and with greater freedom of movement for the creation of additional content. For example, The Walking Dead has been added to the Universes Beyond project thanks to the Secret Lair X The Walking Dead collaboration but this could help and involve the parties for new collaborations.

This allows the world of MTG to expand and find new sources of inspiration or be able to draw on years and years of content, storylines, etc.

In the official communication it has already been indicated that these new universes will not be available for the Standard format, since these sets are planned well in advance and therefore inserting them in the current planning would take at least 2-3 years to be able to structure everything correctly.

On the other hand, it is much easier to insert them into additional products that do not pass through the standard, such as in products for the Commander format or for the other Eternal formats.

This is a great opportunity for Magic players to explore new worlds or for those unfamiliar with Magic to have a way to get closer and discover a new hobby.

Furthermore, these experiments, if they were to result in a good reception by the public, could lead to other collaborations or other crossovers.

What do you think? Are you for or against these influences? Should Magic: The Gathering just focus on its own IPs or could it offer a lot more thanks to collaborations?

© 2021 Christian Allasia

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