Who else is excited about the announcement from Wizards of the Coast about the new Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond series that will bring characters from other realms such as Warhammer 40,000, The Lord of the Rings, and Secret Lair X The Walking Dead?
Earlier today, we revealed an exciting expansion of Magic: The Gathering into the realms of Universes Beyond—a series that combines the gameplay of Magic: The Gathering with worlds, characters, and stories that are cherished by millions of fans around the world.
Among those worlds are the expansive universes of Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings, with others set to join as our Universes Beyond expands.
This expansion of the Magic game system to other universes is exciting and new, and certainly raises questions for many of our longstanding fans, so today we’re going to answer many of those questions as we look toward the Universes Beyond release in 2022 and further.
Universes Beyond will act as a brand within Magic: The Gathering—existing in addition to and alongside our existing line of products.
Universes Beyond came about thanks to a simple thought—if we can expand our story beyond the game system to things like comics, novels, and other games, then surely we can expand the game system to let players explore worlds outside of the worlds of Magic.
We are all fans of these other universes. Many of us imagined what it might be like to play a game of Magic with Gandalf the Grey, sketched out how we might translate the One Ring to Magic, or wanted to build a deck around the mighty Space Marines. In many ways, Universes Beyond is us living out those dreams of our own.
But we also hope that Universes Beyond will bring the game we love to more people who might not have otherwise found us. We hope fans of these worlds and characters will find our game through Universes Beyond—and we hope they’ll stay a while and become part of our amazing community.
We know you’re curious about Universes Beyond. We can’t answer everything you may be asking, but we are thrilled to set the table on a number of topics today.
First, Universes Beyond will be branded slightly differently and will have a specific look as a result. These are still Magic cards, through and through, but the frame will be distinct and cards will have a holofoil stamp that denotes them as being from Universes Beyond. It will look like this:
If that stamp looks familiar, it’s because it already exists on Secret Lair X The Walking Dead cards, which will be grandfathered into Universes Beyond.
On that note, Universes Beyond products will generally be sold in all Magic channels—these will not be strictly Secret Lair products. The Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks, for example, will be available everywhere we currently sell Commander decks, as will The Lord of the Rings product. We may occasionally do associated Secret Lair products related to the main release, like the Secret Lair Godzilla lands when Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths came out. There will also be the occasional standalone product like The Walking Dead, but the intention is to typically make Universes Beyond as available as any other Magic product.
That said, Universes Beyond cards will not be Standard legal. We strive to make Magic cards that are widely useful, but Universes Beyond will be above and, well, beyond our normal Standard releases. So nothing much is changing with our normal cadence of releases for Standard. This is purely a cool thing we’re doing in addition to all the other cool things we’re already doing.
To that end, it’s worth noting that the upcoming Magic set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is not part of Universes Beyond. For now, we’re reserving the Universes Beyond branding for worlds outside those built by Wizards of the Coast. As to whether the Forgotten Realms are now canonically part of Magic‘s Multiverse, for now, the answer is no. But we may change our minds in the future if it makes sense and is a fun net positive for Magic and D&D.
Finally, fans who have seen us try out a variety of treatments for cards featuring characters from other universes might wonder if we’re utilizing the treatment from the Ikoria Godzilla cards—existing Magic cards skinned with the alternate universe—or the treatment used for The Walking Dead—alternate universe cards that stand on their own. The answer is “both,” but often we’ll default to letting these cards stand on their own. We may find charming opportunities to do the reskinned versions of existing cards and will continue to balance between the two as we move forward.
Universes Beyond represents an exciting, new, and, yes, different take on Magic. We’re ecstatic to geek out over some of our favorite stories, characters, and fandoms alongside all of you, and we look forward to sharing more on Universes Beyond as we get closer.