Well then, wasn’t 2017 a bit of a roller-coaster. Yet another change to the Standard rotation, more bannings (both in and out of the game) and more product than we know what to do with. While 2017 has not been the smoothest year for us in the magic community, it has certainly been an interesting one. But as the countdown to the end of this year fast approaches, we are left with the all-important question. What will 2018 bring? Today we are going to have a look at what we can expect from the few releases that Wizards of the Coast have already previewed for us. Now there is quite a lot to go through and not much time left in 2017, so we better get cracking.
19th January: Rivals of Ixalan
The final part of the last two block set, Rivals of Ixalan certainly has some work to do. While many people have enjoyed the setting and world of Ixalan, a lot of players have been somewhat underwhelmed by the prehistoric/swashbuckling plane. While it may be true that the extremely popular and powerful Kaladesh block and its energy mechanic has had a lot to do with the state of the current Standard metagame, Ixalan just didn’t have enough of an impact on constructed play. May pros have also voiced there concerns that Ixalan Limited is quite dull and uninteresting. So, a lot is riding on this little second set. It has to make an impact on Standard, rejuvenate the Limited format and set a high bar for the sets that will follow it. no pressure then.
16th March: Masters 25
Next, we have yet another premium draft set, this time celebrating the twenty-five-year history of this great game. The last Masters set, Iconic Masters, was seen as a bit of a let down by some in the community. While it had some great reprints and played very well as a stand-alone draft set, many players where disappointment by the lack of ‘Iconic’ cards in the set. Now, this is nothing new. Masters sets have been historically hit and miss, with some being held on the highest of pedestals. However, since Wizards are wanting to celebrate this particular milestone with quite a bit of fanfare, you have got to imagine the pressure is on. Let’s hope they can pull it out off the bag.
6th April: Goodbye Duel Decks, and hello Challenger Decks
In April, we will be saying goodbye to a ten-year veteran of the hobby. Yes, a decade after they came into being, Duel Decks will have their curtain call with the interesting named Elves vs. Inventors. Seeming to be going out on a nature vs. industry vibe, many people in the Magic community will be sad to see these two-player battle pack go, yours truly included. However, with one hand they take and with the other they give, as Wizards will be releasing the new Challenger Decks on the same day. Seen as the spiritual successes to the now discontinued Event Decks, these Standard legal decks have been promised to come with a competitive sixty card mainboard, and a full fifteen card sideboard. I’m pretty excited about this new product, and already have some plans for it when April comes around.
27th April: Dominaria
Get out your slap bans and throw your hot pockets in the microwave, its time to get all 90’s up in here as we finally return to Dominaria. Seen by many as the greatest plane in the multiverse (sorry Ravnica), Dominaria is the setting for some of the greatest events in the entirety of Magic. With many beloved and classic character already set to make an appearance, Wizards are going for the nostalgia homerun with the first of the one set blocks. The buzz around this set is already quite insane. Let’s hope that they can do it justice.
20th July: Core Set 2019
Finally, we have the return of the much-missed Core Set. I was one of those who thought that Wizards was making a huge mistake when they originally cancelled Core Sets when they shifted to the two set blocks. However, absence does seem to make the heart grow fonder as in just over seven months we will be able to live in a world where answer cards can be printed even if they don’t thematically fit in a block. Whether or not these introductory sets will be a success or not is still to be determined. But if they can be used to balance out Standard, then I am hopeful.
And that is all we currently know about 2018 so far. Personally, I’m pretty excited for what the new year has in store. I would also like talk about what we have to look forward to in terms of the #UKMTG community scene in the new year, but I don’t want to give you a sensory overload. Suffice to say 2018 is going to be a great year for us in merry old blighty, but I will let Abbie tell you more about that when the time is right. But what do you think? Will 2018 be another great year for Magic? What are your hopes for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like a subscribe to keep up to date on all the goings on here at Master of Magics. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.