Updated: Jan 29, 2020
Originally announced by Wizards in October of 2019, Unsantioned has been the talk of the town, atleast in my area. With numerous rumors and thoughts coming to see what the project and ultimately the set would look like. Questions on whether they will have new restyled full art lands, and what personalities may show up, such as Timmy.
I personally was hoping that the legendary squirrel that Gavin Verhey was talking about with the command cast during his interview would be in a normal set it appears that for now we have to settle for it in the in-set. I am not entirely upset, as it seems like a normal powered card and I would love to try and see it function normally. While I am not familiar with Cracked, and they don't have a really descriptive "About Us" (Go take a look at their article). They broke the news today with the first official view of MTG's Unsanctioned with various cards, and deck list that are being provided this coming season, and I will add that it does look amazing.
Unsanctioned is slated to hit stores February 29, 2020 further more it was stated by MTG's Mark Rosewater that the way this set will sell as a box of five 30-card decks. You will take any of the two decks and shuffle them together and enter the multiverse with the most outlandish and silliest cards (Some drawn from other 'un' sets) in Magic's History. It remains that the silver bordered cards will still not be legal in competitive play.
In his interview with Cracked, Rosewater stated, "Magic is on a spectrum, on one side there is serious competitive play and on the other side the social aspect of having a good time. Magic does a lot to reinforce the competitive aspect". He goes on to further state "I wanted to make sure the In-sets are the poster child for the other side of the spectrum, casual fun social play where win or lose you will have a good time".
I would have to agree with Mark. Ever since I started playing my only focus was to have fun. This is reinforced by my win/loss ratio with a large life time of losses, but that's neither here nor there. It was meant to have fun, it was meant as a game for people to come together and get to know one another and "geek out" which in recent years has become more full of "Try-hards".
Mark continues "We've never reprinted any silver border products ever. Unsanctioned is a really good sampler of silver-bordered Magic; it is a reward for all the In-Fans out there, and introduction for new players. You just take two half-decks, mix them together and play. This is a walkthrough of the best stuff the in-sets have to offer".
Like Dominaria, Mark was generous enough to go over the design process of the new cards, many of which were designed with Magic's most popular format in mind, Commander. How this will work since Silver border cards are not legal in this format remains to be seen. Perhaps with them taking it over or the rules committee making the change in the near future.
"Stet, is one of many enemy-coloured legendary creatures. We knew that we needed a red card with a white activated ability". Mark goes on to mention that he wanted the card to be a dragon, saying to his team 'I want a dragon, doing the a job you would never think a dragon would do, what could we have a dragon do that is the most in-dragon thing ever'? And we got a proof reader, with his name being an editing term".
"What happened in my early Magic career, during Mirage block, I was entertained by the idea of squirrels. There's a card called
that was supposed to have squirrels in it, and then the artist just drew cats so it had to be changed. During the [2001-2002] Odyssey block, I just put a lot of squirrels in and the brand team said to me, 'Squirrels are too silly' and so they kicked squirrels out of Magic. So I said, 'If they're too silly for black-bordered Magic, I'm going to put them in silver-bordered Magic.' I know players like squirrels! So I used the whole point of Un-set to do things we won't do in regular sets, and Players have been asking for a squirrel commander forever, and so finally we delivered with Acornelia, Fashionable Filcher". As a fan of squirrels, having a Garuuk #Oathbreaker and modern deck. So for me Acornelia, is definitely one of my favorites, even more so than Ear of Squirrel.
One of the ones I think is flavorful is Alexander. Mark says this about him; "The clamfolk first showed up in Unglued. Magic does this thing where we like to anthropomorphize animals. So I thought, 'what is the silliest animal we can do this with'? Magic does [humanoid] cats and elephants and all sorts of stuff, so I came up with clams. we had
Clam-I-Am, Clam Session, a lot of clam puns. In Unsanctioned we needed to introduce an legendary blue creature with a red activated ability (keeping in the enemy colour theme), so I said, 'Let's make it a clamfolk! Give me the best clam name you can give me'. So, Chris Mooney, who was one of the finalists for The Great Designer Search
, came up with 'Alexander Clamilton', and I thought that was amazing. So we had to design Alexander Clamilton! What did we do? well Alexander cares about wordy spells, because Alexander Hamilton was a writer, but he also duels!"
Continuing on, Mark mentions about the new Planeswalker, Bevy of Bebbles. I always loved beetles so seeing Mark and his team come up with this was amazing, I haven't stopped smiling. "I knew we were going to do Unsanctioned and it needed an planeswalker Again, one of the rules is I don't want to do something black-bordered Magic would do. So I came up with a lot of crazy ideas and I went to our franchise team and said, 'Here are a lot of wacky, out-there ideas, which one of these might you do?' And there was some stuff that they would do, I was surprised! But for the Beebles, they said, 'No, we are not doing a collective of Beebles, that is all yours.' and here we are."
Lastly, Mark talks about the Grandson. The grandson of the Internal Spawn of evil. "In Unglued we had a card called Infernal Spawn of Evil. This came about when the artist, Ron Spencer, was turning in a sketch for the art director to sign off. Instead of handing in a sketch of some scary creature, he turned in a picture of a little mouse with hot cocoa to make the art director laugh. We had it posted up at work, and when we were making Unglued, I said, "We're using that art!" With MTG Unhinged, we had Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil, which was Infernal Spawn of Evil with his son, two generations of Infernal Spawn of Evil. So it was only natural that we now we have three generations of Infernal Spawn of Evil with each art referencing the art before it. Who wouldn't love it, it's super cute. The original Spawn of Evil, he's now a grandpa! It's one of the longest running joke, and this one paid off well." Having fun reading Cracks article it makes me super excited to see this set, especially with the many different deck ideas. I have posted the link to Cracked and the decks below this post so that you too can share in the excitement. What are you most excited to see? What combinations of decks would you love to play and how would you pick the decks?
Thanks for reading my post,
J, The Filthy Casual
This article is the opinion of the writer.
Justin Morrison is CEO of The Phoenix Syndicate Gaming and is a 13 year veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy. He likes to, in his spare time create MTG Content and paying RPG's like Everquest and World of Warcraft. You can find him on Twitter >