On Thursday Wizards of the Coast rolled out its 2022 livestream, showcasing its upcoming Dominaria United set for Magic: the Gathering and previewing a ton of other new products, including a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons and new sets. We’re pretty excited about it, and today we’re talking about our favorite reveals and previews from the stream.
If you missed the livestream, you can catch up on it here.
- Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
- Rocco Gest
- Norman “MildNorman” Greenberg
- Marcille “Marcy” Donato
- Josh “Mutt” Boyes
Magic Travels to Middle Earth
TheChirurgeon: Please Wizards, I’m begging you: Do not make a Tom Bombadil card. No one wants that stupid idiot as a planeswalker. Otherwise, this seems like a fine flavor mash-up for Magic and another property, and works better than say, 40k, even if I like that particular game/universe more than others.
This also makes me oddly nostalgic for Decipher’s Lord of the Rings TCG, which was wildly underrated and had some cool mechanics. RIP to a real one.
Marcy: I’m the one who wants Tom Bombadil, but only if he helps further my addiction to playing Magic in the greatest way possible: Not letting opponents do anything ever. No character but Tom Bombadil better embodies “waste hours of people’s time”.
Rocco Gest: The card art is actually really wonderful and the tableau of arts across 18 cards is crazy and I like it a lot. Tom Bombadil card or I burn my collection.
TheChirurgeon: See I’m not a huge fan of the big card spread. Like it’s very cool, the art is neat, but A. It kind of makes the cards hard to read/use, and B. I’m never going to frame a bunch of cards to put on the wall. Just sell me a poster already. That said, I’m sure someone’s into this, so good for them.
Rocco Gest: They’d be cooler if any card binder had a page that could hold 18 cards.
TheChirurgeon: Ah shit you’re 100% correct on that – Fleer and the Marvel trading card guys figured this out like 30 years ago. Make your things 9-card spreads. It’s so obvious.
Marcy: I loved collecting those back in the day. The 18 card thing is… interesting but how will it work? Card borders, text, etc. are gonna make it look ass. Unless we get like, full art ‘token’ cards for them too.
MildNorman: Whatever man I’m just excited for more orcs for my orc tribal deck
Rocco Gest: What orc tribal deck?
Mildnorman: The one that is piloted by the Ghaz that’s definitely in the secret lair and lives happily in my brain.
Dungeons & Dragons: One DnD
TheChirurgeon: It seems early to roll out a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons but it makes sense to capitalize on the game’s popularity right now, especially as they’re trying to move things forward on the digital side. I haven’t looked at the playtest rules yet but we’ll likely have someone on the Turn Order team give them a test and write about it in the next couple of weeks. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge 5th edition guy; I find DnD to be a little too much for the simple dungeon crawler stuff I run (we use Dungeon World for that), and not quite good enough for the more narrative-driven stuff where Fate or Saga make more sense, but I’m open to trying a new system, particularly since new people always seem to want to start with DnD.
MildNorman: It doesn’t seem like it’s fully a new edition for what it’s worth. Maybe more like a 5.5? They seem to be focusing on updating the old stuff to bring it in line with the current stuff they’ve been releasing. As someone who’s been playing 5e since it launched pretty consistently, I’m pretty stoked about seeing what they do to expand out character options since that’s one of the things that feels a bit stale right now to me.
TheChirurgeon: Call it what you want. If you gotta buy new copies of the three main books, it’s a new edition. And for what it’s worth, I don’t have a problem with that. Tabletop RPGs always had an issue with regard to recurring revenue which is that once you buy the 2-4 books you really need to play, there’s little reason to keep spending money on the game (though this is also a draw for players, to be clear). Shortening edition times is one way to solve this, but the DnD beyond tools and a digital subscription model gives them a much more value-added way to do things.
Mildnorman: I do wonder if they’ll make you rebuy the stuff you have digitally in Beyond once it gets an update pass. Like I own the Player’s Handbook, does that get updated with the new rules, since it’s largely the same according to them, or do I have to buy a new one?
Marcy: The short answer: yes. I mean, WotC does not exactly play generously with “do I need to rebuy thing,” just look at Arena etc. I will say I like the concept of One DnD from a newcomer perspective, and agree with Rob that this will likely help to make the onboarding process even more streamlined than it already is. DnD succeeds because of the brand and ease of access, so anything to make that easier and more digitally enabled is a good thing in my opinion. Supplements is where the product goes wonky, but getting people to the table is where DnD shines. Nobody goes “Wow I love Critical Role, do you have a game that isn’t like that at all and is really complicated?”, they ask to play DnD.
Mutt: I’m surprised it took them this long to do something massive, honestly. 5e has been a mega popular hit, and it didn’t feel like they were capitalizing on it as much as they could have, aside from the usual train of supplements and adventure paths. Focusing on digital integration seems like the right move, and one a lot of TTRPG developers have been making with the rise in popularity with VTTs as well. My hope for the new edition, revamp, or whatever the heck you’d call it, is that it opens up player choice a lot more at character generation and beyond. 5e bums me out because aside from the five-or-so choices you make at the start, you’re pretty much done mechanically.
DnD Digital – WotC Moves into the Virtual Tabletop Space
Rocco Gest: This is great and is hopefully better than Roll20. However, it doesn’t seem like it will solve the main issue I have with virtual DnD: The unintelligible cacophony of your friends yelling at each other through your headphones. I already love DnD Beyond as a service and tool for playing DnD, so I hope this new tool is as great as it seems it will be.
TheChirurgeon: I like Roll20, but my group and I use it only in the most minimal way. That’s in part because I find the biggest challenge with the tool is that, while I in particular have the skills and tools to create all kinds of really cool assets and portraits and graphics and the like, that shit takes forever and there’s a real lack of compelling assets available to use otherwise. The appeal to me of this so far is that it looks fantastic and solves that assets issue, giving you a library of extremely cool models to use. That alone makes it worth a look for me. I’m also eager to see what level of customization they bring, because making your own character models or at least customizing them and having changing models for different gear/weapons would be tight.
Mildnorman: I actually really don’t like using Roll20 but it had been deemed a necessary evil until recently when my group started using Foundry. Depending on its integration with D&D Beyond I can easily see my group migrating to this. For a DM being able to click on the monster in the scene and see all its official stats is alone a huge step up. On top of that, this allows for automating things like damage and even inflicting effects which would allow for speeding up game night. We’ll see if they can pull it off.
Marcy: I never really cared for Roll20, because I found that a lot of what it could be do was easily done in other ways; Discord for example can do almost everything Roll20 does. I really like the idea of DnD beyond giving you the digital equivalent of all those DnD minis and table mats and etc. in a compelling digital way, but I really just want this to be easy to use and accessible. Making this hobby more accessible to more people is absolutely what I hope for with this stuff.
Mutt: I’m cautiously optimistic about it. It feels like this could easily become gimmick driven with too much focus on the 3d engine and not a lot of what makes a VTT great – which is all of the quality of life and accessibility features they provide. I’m excited to see what they do with it, but it’s not something I see myself using. I just don’t play that much Dungeons & Dragons. It’d be really awesome if they backport previous editions into it though. I think it’d be rad for playing 4e on.
Marcy: *turns to dust and dies of old age* Anyway, some cool reprints. Wood Elves was my first ever Magic Card, actually, that I bought for .25 cents cause I thought the art looked cool.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah I like this quite a bit for nostalgia reasons as well, but I’m generally less hype about promo stuff that is hard to get, spread across a bunch of releases/events, or both. I’m excited to see how they handle the events though – it feels like in-person play hasn’t really come back and hit its stride yet at the top levels, even if prereleases are very well attended at the local game stores I go to.
Dungeons & Dragons: Spelljammer, Dragonlance, and Planescape
Marcy: As a young lass, a lot of these settings were the places I escaped to from my everyday issues. I read Dragonlance novels until they fell apart, played Planescape Torment over and over again, and honestly loved Spelljammer’s Space Hippos so much. However, I recently got my hands on the new Spelljammer release and I’m a little mixed. I think there’s some great stuff in here with the options for weird player race possibilities like the Giff and Plasmoids for going a bit outside of the usual fantasy fare, but rules wise this supplement is a little iffier, particular with combat. The ship combat stuff is weird and doesn’t feel totally obvious. I am mostly also curious how Dragonlance will deal with the Kender, my favorite race from the setting (Tasslehoff Burrfoot was my favorite character), whose racial trait is, uh, stealing things (“Borrowing”), as a Treat. They’re basically Annoying Hobbits, and I love them, so I hope they get to make a return.
Also, they showed a screenshot of a board game, Warriors of Krynn. It’s hard to discern the type of game this is, but I do see ‘Scenario Book’, so I assume it will be a narrative based game with different replayable scenarios. My initial thought is this is a ‘TTRPG story without a DM’, but we’ll need to see more details before knowing exactly what to expect.
TheChirurgeon: Spelljammer is always an interesting one for me because I never felt like it was something you needed a setting for? Like the ocean in DnD is already imaginary; if I want to say you’re sailing on the lumniferous aether, that functionally makes no difference – just give me rules for magic guns and ship-to-ship combat and I can say it’s in space or on land; the actual “in space” part doesn’t seem to matter. That said, I loved Disney’s Treasure Planet so I’m always here for running a campaign set in that world or something like it.
Planescape is also interesting to me, though moreso because I loved Planescape: Torment, like everyone else who played it. Then again as cool as these settings are, I haven’t run a DnD campaign in a long time, and those Ravnica and Zendikar source books are collecting dust on my shelf right now.
Dungeons & Dragons Japan
TheChirurgeon: I don’t have a ton to say here; DnD has always been very popular in Japan and this won’t be the first time it’s translated. That said, I wanted to add this section because if you aren’t familiar with the history of DnD in Japan it’s worth reading more about it. The game being brought to Japan in 1985 basically gave rise to the modern JRPG and Roguelike genres as we know it. Mark Brown of Game Maker’s Toolkit did a great video on the RPG invasion of Japan and how it shaped modern video games – it’s worth checking out here.
Marcy: Cute commercial, the set they barely showed off looks… interesting. DnD is indeed super popular in Japan, so I’d actually like to see if this leads to any interesting collaborations or IP collabs at all (like Lodoss War or similar). Fun, weird fact: The most popular TTRPG in Japan isn’t DnD, but actually Call of Cthulhu! The history of it is super fascinating, with the equivalent of Good Morning America running segments on how interesting and exciting Call of Cthulhu was back in the day. You can read about it here on Dicebreaker if you want!
Magic: Universes Beyond – 40k and Doctor Who
TheChirurgeon: The Sol rings are cool as hell.
Rocco Gest: As a mark and a moron I’m very excited for the 40k commander decks. The Sol Rings are a great touch for the decks. The arts and flavor texts are great too. Now I’m drooling to find out what’s in the 40k Secret Lair.
TheChirurgeon: I am also clapping and barking like a seal over here.
Rocco Gest: I extremely don’t want Doctor Who in MtG. 40k gets a pass from me because its stupid big dumb space fantasy. Doctor Who, while still stupid and space fantasy, is just too grounded in our reality. And to be clear I love Doctor Who.
TheChirurgeon: I’m sorry grounded in what now
Doctor Who is absolutely fantastical. Imagine Daleks in the real world and being scared of those stupid trash cans. Pure fantasy.
Rocco Gest: I think it’s more because the IP is primarily a live action TV show. I was not a fan of the Stranger Things or Walking Dead Secret Lairs. I don’t want real people on my magic cards…Post Malone gets a pass. That guy rules.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah fair. It doesn’t help that a hilarious amount of Doctor Who takes place in Britain in the 1900s/2000s thanks to having BBC budgets to work with.
Something we haven’t really seen enough of or touched on is the Orks Secret Lair drop stuff. That’s probably going to be the most underrated part of this, and will likely make me mad we didn’t get an Orks deck, cool as Tyranids are. There’s gotta be a Ghazghkull in there, right? Is there even a legendary Ork creature that would map to him?
*Checking Gatherer* hm… looks like the only real option for a reprint is Zurgo Helmsmasher, so maybe they go the route of making a new card that gets reprinted in-universe later.
Mildnorman: God I hope so, I’d love to see some dual tribal with Orcs and Goblins in a legendary. Also gimme something to fuck up and mod vehicles. Really excited for those 40k decks because like the people above I’m a dumbass who’s gonna buy all of them. I can take or leave the Dr Who stuff, I’m sure someone out there will be very happy but it’s super not for me.
Marcy: I have to admit I’m not big into either of these (one of these is enough to get me fired probably) but I think it’s fun to see Magic branch off into these little collabs. I would hope they’re more easy to obtain than some of the Secret Lair stuff was, though.
The Magic roadmap takes us to Phyrexia, Eldraine, and Ixalan
TheChirurgeon: We already knew about the brother’s war – and that’s the set I’ll admit I’m most excited for – but it’s cool to see the plan for Magic’s next MCU-level event laid out. I won’t give anything away from the Dominaria United storyline – though they’ve posted the whole thing now on the mothership site – but it seems like they’re gearing up for a conclusion that leaves Phyrexians around this time, what with Urabrask showing that they don’t all have to be Elesh Norn’s puppets.
It’s also interesting to see them spending the next year mostly revisiting planes, even if Phyrexia isn’t quite Mirrodin – that’ll mark New Capenna as our last new plane for a while, but we’ll have been away from Eldraine and Ixalan long enough that they should feel good to revisit. I think Ixalan was always more interesting than people gave it credit for and that was also the last time I really enjoyed the story written for a Magic set – the whole thing between Jace and Vraska was surprisingly well done.
Rocco Gest: Phyrexia is absolutely one of the coolest planes and I’m very excited to go back. Inject my veins with more phyrexian mana and more weird artifact creatures and artifact lands.
Returning to Ixalan is interesting. I didn’t personally feel like that plane had much more of a story going for it apart from Huatli who is just a cool planeswalker. Azor is just chilling there on Useless Island kind of being a chump after Jace pulled rank on him. I guess we’ll at least get more big dinosaurs and some vampires of questionable historical reference.
I’m extremely worried about the story for March of the Machine. The last time MtG did a big climactic battle set, the cards were decent but the story was absolute dog shit. War of the Spark had great cards, but absolutely failed to stick the landing for the Nicol Bolas story line.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah, that’s a fair point. I’m also not sure how much it’s possible to stick any landing for a big story like this when the delivery vehicle is “a magic set plus some short stories on dailymtg.” Imagine Marvel’s problems making movies like Multiverse of Madness but instead of having to have seen the very popular Wandavision you’re instead asking people to have read a bunch of episodic short stories only available on a corner of your website and loosely drawn on some cards.
That, by the way, is one of my favorite funny aspects of all of this – you could just never own or see the card that has important story stuff on it. This is admittedly less likely these days with visual spoilers and all that but was one of the funnier things about trying to piece together Magic story as a kid from cards. “Ah shit I guess I won’t know what happens there cause I don’t own this $30 card. Oh well.”
Rocco Gest: It’s actually very cool to spend all of your money on cardboard.
TheChirurgeon: These days the cool kids spend it all on uncured resin, actually.
Rocco Gest: Spicy.
TheChirurgeon: That’s exactly what I say as the skin melts off my fingers.
Mildnorman: Just wanna say I hope the Phyrexians win. They’re so much cooler than all the losers in the setting. Make Magic a Phyrexian only game.
Marcy: First Tamiyo and now Ajani? Come on now this Phyrexia stuff goes too far–*sees new Elesh Norn art*–nevermind I love Phyrexia. Phyrexia rules.
Magic: Dominaria Remastered gives us another nostalgia dose
TheChirurgeon: This is right up my alley and yes, I know that makes me an aging millennial mark in the worst way. I don’t care. Set just looks cool as hell and I’m always here for nostalgia drafts and sick updates of cards from my childhood. If it’s a good draft environment I may grab a box or two just to hold onto for future drafts long-term.
Rocco Gest: My blue player-ass is more excited about a Force of Will reprint than anything else. I am very excited to see what else will be reprinted here. Kind of hoping they deign to print more planeswalkers in the old border.
Marcy: Ah, Force of Will is back! I… Have no other real comments on this set at the moment!
Magic: Dominaria United is finally revealed
TheChirurgeon: Yeah, it’s fine. The set looks cool. Kicker is a great mechanic, I’ve always enjoyed sagas, and the rest of it looks pretty cool. The storyline is… OK, and I think having two corrupted planeswalkers kind of ruins the shock of seeing Tamiyo compleated, but hey now her and Ajani can be buds again, but on the evil side of things.
Otherwise, having Liliana of the Veil back in standard is neat, and the new art for her rips, and seeing them come back to some classic legends is great. I do appreciate how they’ve managed to make the newer Dominaria sets an interesting blend of older Magic nostalgia and new concepts, and so far it looks like they nailed it here.
Rocco Gest: I’m excited for all the cool characters that seem to be bringing back. Ertai getting a new card is wild to me, bringing back cards with il-Kor is really cool. Jhoira continues to be a menace of an artifact deck commander. That effect to just turn artifacts into donuts by tapping her is insane. New Zur is a really fun take on enchantment based commanders and I could be convinced to make some wacky esper deck with him. Pain lands getting reprints is awesome. They are already great budget dual land options for budget players, and these reprints will hopefully bring their prices down further. Fingers-crossed that being standard-legal doesn’t burst my bubble. The new Sheoldred is absolutely incredible and breaks card draw in black wide-open. You cast her and 99% of your card draw has zero downside. Finally, I adore the return of stained glass alternate arts. I loved it for the planeswalkers in War of the Spark and the one’s they’ve shown off here look amazing too.
Mildnorman: I love legendary heavy sets. They’re always exciting to look through and find some interesting things to build around (especially since I primarily play commander). LOVE the new sheoldred and can’t wait to make a deck around her, or maybe just shove her in Nekuzar.
Marcy: When I first got into Magic, Weatherlight was a big deal. It’s fun seeing a lot of these characters return again in new ways and continue that storyline. This entire set really seems fascinating all around, with a lot of heavy hitter cards. Sheoldred looks disgusting, Liliana back in Standard is also really interesting. I think Zur might be a fun card to play around with while Kamigawa is still in rotation, as well. Braids, Arisen Nightmare is the card that most interests me so far though, because I’m wondering what impacts her ability to allow Black to sacrifice their own enchantments might have. That’s something Wizards hasn’t allowed in a really long time, but she’s also fairly fragile. But also, Pain Lands are back! And Banding, kinda!
TheChirurgeon: I was pretty sure I knew about most of the Magic reveals since I try to stay on top of that side of things but I was pleasantly surprised to see what’s going on with Dungeons and Dragons these days. The new One DnD piece is interesting and I’ll probably take a look at the playtest rules soon.
For the Magic sets, I’m largely here for it but my enthusiasm for Magic is tempered by the fact that I only really play paper magic and these days I don’t have a play group, so most of my interaction comes from the rare cube draft we get up to when longtime friends visit. I try to keep my collection largely up-to-date, or at least I pick up new staples now and then, but there’s definitely an edge of “who am I going to play with?” to my Magic purchases these days that makes it harder to buy more than a few packs per set.
Rocco Gest: Overall I’m extremely excited for the Magic stuff they showed off. I didn’t think I would be, but after the live stream today I’m all in. I enjoy DnD, but new releases for that don’t affect me outside of more content to sift through when I’m making a character.
Mildnorman: Count me as one of the weirdos for being excited about the D&D stuff! Can’t wait to see what they do with the system and I desperately want this new digital service to be good.
Marcy: Magic Preview Season Never Ends, I guess, but honestly they did show a lot of cool stuff. Magic’s been my favorite TCG for, well, 30 years, and while I play it in spurts, I always find myself coming back to it. Seeing it grow this much and retain a lot of the integrity of the game makes me happy. The DnD stuff is very Wait and See for me. I like One DnD in theory for getting new people into the hobby, but I’ve been really disappointed with some of the setting books lately (and Spelljammer was def part of that) so I’m… dubious of what the future holds there. Also, Banding is back in Magic, so really, we can just call today a win.
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