Magic Unfinity Review, Part 1 of 2: The Mechanics

Magic’s newest Un-set is Unfinity, releasing in October 2022. This set features a number of new mechanics and a major twist, in that the set no longer features the trademark silver borders of traditional Un-sets. Instead, the entire set features black borders and a large number of cards which are legal for play in Eternal formats. Cards which are only legal in Un-play are instead denoted by an Acorn mark where the holofoil security stamp would normally be found.

What this means is that Unfinity is the first Un-set to have a major impact on the Commander and cEDH formats, releasing a number of cards and mechanics which are legal to the formats. And some of those mechanics are pretty bonkers, adding a ton of complexity to games that use them. As always, in the first part of our set review we’re talking about the mechanics of the new set, how they work, and what they mean for games.

BPhillipYork: Mechanically, I hate this set.

TheChirurgeon: Just starting this one off on a positive note, huh.

Beanith: I’m still pretty new to this card malarkey so I’m automatically banned from playing up my default grumpy old man status decrying the downfall of Magic. As it turns out, I’m actually down to clown and am ready to have some fun with Unfinity with my friends.

FromTheShire: On the one hand, it feels pretty odd to be adding all of these Un cards to the format and I’m not sure I’m a fan. On the other hand, the community liked when silver bordered cards were briefly legal previously and I already have a Baron Von Count deck because I have a fun playgroup and it’s slow and hilarious to shout DOOOOOOOOM!!!! a bunch so…. can’t throw too much shade.


Ye Olde Silver Border, Reinvented as an Acorn

Going forward, cards that formerly would’ve been silver bordered now have an acorn on them where the security stamp would be. Cards with acorns are “fun” cards by definition (but not fact), and are not legal in Vintage or any “real” format. They are only playable by pre-game agreement. This allows WotC to print all these cards in a black border, which is presumably cheaper, and to include cards sans acorn, which are legal in Eternal formats, i.e. Vintage, Legacy, Commander, and Pauper.

TheChirurgeon: I understand the reasoning behind this and I don’t necessarily have an issue with printing Eternal-legal formats in an Un-set (though I have qualms with which ones they made eternal-legal), but the Acorn is not visibly distinct enough from the oval and I’ve already seen many people talk about how bonkers a card will be in Commander without realizing it has an acorn on it.

Beanith: I’m with TheChirurgeon on this, the Acorn is all but invisible and I just know I’m going to accidently include a card in my Inquisitor Greyfax Commander deck that buffs her snazzy hat.

Snazzy hat Credit: Wizards of the Coast

FromTheShire: For once we’re in solidarity, even as someone who is deeply in to Magic, between when this method of differentiating was announced and spoiler season began I had switched which was which in my brain, and if it can trip me up temporarily, it’s extremely likely to do the same to the many, many more casual players. While often this will just be a quick oops discussion when theory crafting, other times it’s going to be people wasting money and feeling bad when they show up with an illegal card.



Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Tickets – which are counters that players get – are just a new form of resource, and essentially identical to the energy mechanic from the Kaladesh block. When cards give you tickets, they are giving you ticket counters. Tickets are used to pay costs – currently, these costs are all connected to putting keyword and power/toughness stickers on other cards.

TheChirurgeon: One thing to note is that because they’re counters, you can create more sticker counters for yourself and other players via the Proliferate mechanic.

FromTheShire: Energy was an extremely strong mechanic in Standard so on the surface a similar one in a whacky set could be concerning, but it’s a small card pool and in Commander you have access to every answer that has ever been printed, so I’m not really concerned about it. There’s a decent amount of bookkeeping in the set but it’s manageable.



Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Stickers are essentially a new form of ability or power/toughness counters to put on cards. If an effect allows you to place a sticker, and you can pay the ticket cost (name and art stickers have no cost), then you can place that sticker on a creature (including token creatures). Stickers come in sheets; in constructed games you construct a sticker deck choose up to 48, but at least 10, unique (no repeats) sticker sheets. When the game starts, you choose 3 sticker sheets at random from your sticker deck chosen sheets. Those are the only stickers available to you during that game.

BPhillipYork: Currently. Until they hack in more stupid mechanics to let us grab more sheets out of our araarghgh.

TheChirurgeon: I wouldn’t worry – they’re going to forget this mechanic immediately. Remember contraptions?

Beanith: I’m with the curmudgeons on this one, I’m not a fan of idea of sticking things to my sleeves that may end up leaving residue behind.

Stickers come in four types: Name stickers which can alter the name of a card, art stickers which can add things to the art of a card, ability stickers, which give cards new abilities like Trample or Flying, and Power/Toughness stickers, which modify the power/toughness of a card. You can’t ever sticker a card you don’t own, for any reason. If a card goes to a hidden zone like your hand or library, the stickers are removed from it and returned to their sticker sheet.

TheChirurgeon: The sticky backs of the stickers are reportedly akin to the adhesive used on post-it notes, so they should be both removable, and also re-usable, which answers my question about how permanent these are. I might have preferred vinyl removable stickers instead since these are liable to get pretty gross after a couple of uses.

FromTheShire: In the short term, I think this is all likely to be parasitic enough that I’m not worried about doing busted stuff with it or having too much consistency. Long term these do seem a like a hassle to source, cart around with you, keep in good condition, etc.



Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Attractions represent a bunch of games, rides, and carnival scams set up at the set’s big in-universe theme park. Attractions aren’t played in your main deck and instead belong in their own attraction deck (BPhillipYork: wow I hate this set). Attractions are artifacts that have no cost; when you have an effect that puts an attraction into play (this will be phrased as “open an Attraction”), you put the top card of your attraction deck onto the battlefield, face up, under you control (yes you now control an artifact for effects that count or care about artifacts.)

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

At the beginning of the first main phase on your turn, you roll a D6 for each Attraction you control to see if you trigger that Attraction’s visit ability. There are six numbers on the right side of each attraction’s text box; if the dice roll equals a number that is “lit up” then you visit the attraction. 1 is never lit up, 6 always is. There are multiple versions of attractions, each with different dice numbers lit up. This only occurs on this triggered dice roll, not when you roll a dice for other reasons. There are also cards that cause you to visit an attraction, for various reasons.

In constructed games, your Attraction deck must contain at least ten attraction cards and it must be “singleton,” i.e. it may contain no more than one attraction of each name.

Beanith: Sorry I was distracted by the incredibly pouty robots.

FromTheShire: I actually like these, getting random Attractions in to play and then they trigger randomly – these are going to lead to some great laughs around the table when they go off (or fail miserably) at key moments. Worst case they’re just another artifact, and you definitely brought removal for those right?



Credit: Wizards of the Coast

There’s a large number of cards and effects that have you roll a die. All dice effects in this set are six-sided.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

FromTheShire: Dice effects have been in the game and Un sets for a while now so no real surprise to see them again, and they tend to be pretty fun.

Acorn-Only Effects

A number of mechanics and effects only show up on Acorn cards, and so don’t affect Eternal formats or constructed play at all.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Some cards care about whether a character in the art of a card is wearing a hat. You can modify this with stickers of hats.

FromTheShire: Sure, why not? Stuff like this is what made the Un sets popular to draft with your friends, an oddball mechanic that is still pretty unobtrusive and fits the feel of the game. Plus deep cut or stunt players frequently have art decks like this, such as the infamous Chairs deck on Commander Vs where every card’s art has someone a chair in it.



Credit: Wizards of the Coast

One of the older Un-set mechanics is looking at the name or word text of a card. These are back – the most common being cards that count unique vowels – and can be modified via stickers.

FromTheShire: Again, something we’ve seen before that fits right in to the set.


People outside the game

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Some cards have you generate effects based on input from people outside the game. You may have to phone a friend to ask them a question, the answer to which will determine a card’s final effect. Or just ask someone nearby.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

BPhillipYork: I’m trying to imagine the sort of things the people who designed this set do for “fun”, or running into them at a party.

TheChirurgeon: Yeah these sets always feel like they’re trying way too hard and failing, and at best just giving us a bunch of wacky art and puns. For every legitimately fun idea like Booster Tutor there are a dozen cards like Rock Star and I think that just underlines how much of a fool’s errand it is to try and do this for an entire set’s worth of cards.

That said, the lands in the set are rad as hell and I want those space-themed shocklands.

Beanith: Those land and shockland cards are amazing and is one of the major reasons that this Magic Unfinity Draft Booster was my next big investment into Magic after the 40k Commander Precons. Outside of Arena, this will be my first time Drafting. But with that said, it will be with some long time friends and we’re looking forward to having some silly fun clowning around with bad puns and stacking dice… It will be a nice break from the decks with tutors, infinite mill combos and Mutations.

FromTheShire: With the vibe of these sets, it’s definitely almost impossible for all of the cards to land right, and normally that’s not a big deal because you’re drafting this a couple of times with friends and having a good time, and then you never see the cards again. With their introduction into Eternal play though it gets a bit more dicey, and between this change, Universes Beyond, etc, I do think Wizards has to be aware of the risk of turning a game that has looked both largely the same and largely internally consistent for 30 years into something unrecognizable. Maybe that will still prove to be wildly popular and propel the game forward, or maybe at some point people will be turned off by sitting down to a game where Space Marines fistfight the cast of the Walking Dead inside a carnival funhouse. One way or another, it seems likely we’re going to get an answer.


Next Time: The Set’s Notable Commander Cards

We will be covering the non-acorn cards in the set for their impact in Commander, and talking about how and where they’ll be worth playing. Stay tuned!

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