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It’s been a while since Wizards of the Coast have long range notice of its upcoming sets, so many players were surprised to see the entire line up of Standard sets for 2020 revealed.
In the midst of preview excitement for the brand new Eldraine setting, I was surprised to see only one new setting in the upcoming line up.
The set symbols were also previewed, though no cards were shown – not surprising given the timelines.
Theros: Beyond Death
This set is next and caused the most excitement. The set symbol being one of Theros’ death masks, forged in the underworld, points to the return of the planeswalker Elspeth. She was killed in the previous visit to Theros by on of the gods. Her most recent card art showed her with a mask in hand:
The two lights on Elspeth’s mask seem significant, and match those on the blade she wielded in life:
There must be some connection. Whether the gods of Theros return in this next visit remains an open question. In our fist visit to the planes, the gods provided us with some memorable art, which I covered in three articles.
Ikoria: lair of Behemoths
Little and less is known of this new setting. However given the popularity of dinosaurs when introduced as a creature type in Ixalan I expect we’ll see more of those creatures.
Core Set 2021
The set symbol is the most interesting part here. Previous core sets have simply had the letter M followed by a number as thier set symbol, for example M15 for the Magic 2015 core set, and M19 for the Magic 2019 core set. I’m sure you can see the pattern.
Will future core sets have different symbols, or will all core sets share this symbol from now on? I guess we’ll know in 2021 with Core Set 2022.
This will be the third visit to Zendikar. Many people’s first response was “why bother/” as the tale of this plane seems to be over. It’s possible that Wizards will return to Zendikar’s origins as ‘adventure world’ and we’ll have a set where D&D style parties explore unknown and treacherous terrain. That is more hope than speculation though.
What are your thoughts on these four sets?