Magic the Gathering's head designer Mark Rosewater has given us our first real look at next year's Unfinity, the fourth parody set released for the game.
Unfinity is going to be the second-ever science-fiction set in Magic, following its immediate predecessor Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. Set in Myra the Magnificent's Intergalactic Astrotorium of Fun, it combines retro-futuristic aesthetics with carnival and funfair stylings to be the first Un-set to be designed "top-down" (meaning the theme and flavour was decided on before any mechanics. Theros, Innistrad, Ikoria, Eldraine and more were all designed in similar ways, and were massively successful).
To fit the new setting, a few of the new creature types coming in Unfinity have been confirmed. While we'll be getting more goblins, elves and vampires, robots and aliens have also been announced as well to help make things that little bit more Jetsons-y, and guests will reflect visitors to the Astrotorium.
The biggest news to come from the announcement article by far is that Unfinity will be the first parody set to not have the range's iconic silver borders. The colour of a card's border has long been used to determine whether a card is legal in Magic's main formats like Standard, Modern of Commander: if it's black or white, it's legal; if it's silver (like previous Un-sets), gold, or anything else, it isn't.
With Unfinity, silver borders are being ditched in favour of what Wizards is calling "Acorn Cards". If a card has a holographic acorn at the bottom, it's effectively a silver-bordered card in all but name, and isn't legal anywhere other than in specific silver-border-friendly games.
However, the majority of cards in Unfinity won't be Acorn Cards, and so they can be played in, at the very least, Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. Commander, in particular, is going to have a lot of support in Unfinity, with 30 two-colour Legendary creatures designed explicitly to give "Commander players a whole bunch of quirky commanders".
To say this is huge is an understatement. Un-sets have often been testbeds for new mechanics, with things like Mutate and dice-rolling appearing in them before they were introduced in Ikoria and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms respectively. Cutting out the middle man and just letting most of the less out-there cards be part of the full game is a great move. Though, of course, there will be some concerns about the legibility of a small, acorn foil icon at the bottom of a card over the big, bold silver borders we've been used to before now.
The other big thing that has been announced is that Unfinity will have Collector's Boosters, the first time an Un-set has had anything other than the most simple Draft kind. Collector's Boosters will introduce a new foiling style called "Galaxy Foil", which is likely to be at least similar to the galaxy foil we already see on the Pokemon TCG. It will also have a higher chance of including a new cycle of basic lands called the "Orbital Space-ic Lands", which show off planets for their art – in Drafts, there will be a one in four chance of pulling an Orbital Space-ic Land, while in Collector's that chance will be doubled, with a chance to either get one in foil or Galaxy foil.
Finally, we were shown the ten borderless shock lands that are getting reprints in Unfinity, and will appear in about one in every 24 Draft boosters, and in some form (normal or Galaxy foil) in one in ever 12 Collector's boosters. Shock lands are some of the game's most powerful and useful lands, so having a chance of finding full-art ones with sci-fi art is very exciting. For example, Overgrown Tomb is an abandoned and overgrown spaceship, while Godless Shrine is a black hole.
Unfinity will launch on April 1, 2022 in Draft and Collector's Boosters.
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