By Cody Perez
October 11, 2019
After a tease from Gavin Verhey earlier this week, the latest MTG Weekly show aired its latest episode live. In that episode of the Magic: The Gathering show, Wizards of the Coast took the time to make a ton of new announcements, some smaller and others bigger.
Many of these announcements were surprising like the Theros Beyond Death release date since we just saw the release of the most recent card set Throne of Eldraine a few weeks ago. There are other announcements, too, including the holiday gift set this year, the new Game Night 2019 set, and more.
It all begins, though, with the biggest and most important announcement of them all: the Theros Beyond Death release date. Just recently, Wizards of the Coast did something quite unlike anything it has done before in the past by going ahead and revealing the names of all four expansions coming out next year.
This is unprecedented and far from the Wizards of the Coast who was so secretive about everything regarding Throne of Eldraine until the final month or so before its release. Instead of going that route, the company went ahead and spoiled the names of all four sets the year prior to their releases.
This was shocking in the community but the names alone didn’t do too much to give players an idea of what the sets will be like. But what is crazy, though, is that we already have the release dates for the first two sets that are going to be coming out sometime next year.
It all starts with the Theros Beyond Death release date that is going to kick off the year right in January, which is typical for the first expansion of the new year. Pre-release weekend for this set will begin January 17 and go through January 19, offering those awesome pre-release opportunities the week before the official release.
In addition, no announcement was made for the digital versions of the new set but we do expect them to release around the same time as the pre-release weekend if the past couple of sets are anything to go on. As for the actual Theros Beyond Death release date in tabletop, it will be coming out on January 24, 2020.
But the Theros Beyond Death release date isn’t all for next year as Wizards of the Coast also announced the release date for the second expansion of 2020. Named Ikoria Lair of Behemoths, these intriguingly named card set will have its pre-release weekend starting April 17 and through April 19.
Like with the case of the first expansion of the year, we expect the digital releases of that spring set on both Magic Online and Magic: The Gathering Arena to happen around the same time as the pre-release weekend. However, the official release date for the tabletop physical release will be happening a week later on April 24.
Then there is the Game Night 2019 set that is releasing later this year. We wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know about this type of card set since it only launched for the very first time last night. It is a more casual set that is meant for allowing players to have something fun to play on, well, game night.
It isn’t anything like the normal matches that players play in it since it is a more casual format like Commander but perhaps even more so than even that mode. The Game Night 2019 set comes with five 60-card decks in just one set that allows for five people to instantly have an entire deck to use.
It also comes with the other standard things you would expect like five life counters to keep up with your life points, five life counter cardboard platforms, 20 plus one/plus one counters, 15 double-sided tokens to use, five rules reference cards perfect for newcomers, and an overall rulebook.
The MSRP is around $39.99 USD, offering a rather cheap price that is on par with the Planeswalker decks but coming with a grand total of five decks instead of one. In addition, the power level of these preconstructed decks are meant to be around the same level or so as actual Planeswalker decks.
Game Night 2019 is meant to be an introduction for newcomers to the franchise through a rather casual multiplayer setting. It is available for two to five players to compete against each other in. The five decks contain one of each of the five colors plus an exclusive card and a unique archetype.
However, the problems with this set is that there are cards like the unique ones that aren’t already in Standard and if they aren’t, then they aren’t allowed for normal legal play in that match format. However, there are some legal cards that you will find possibly reprinted in this Game Night set.
Regardless, the Game Night 2019 set is perfect for those who know the game well (or don’t but want to) and simply wish to show their up to four friends how to play as well. This is great for a game night or two and who knows? It could lead to some new fans of the card game. The Game Night 2019 bundle set will release later this year on November 15, 2019.
Wizards of the Coast also announced the Throne of Eldraine Gift Edition set for players to enjoy as well. This holiday gift set is perfect for the card game fan in your life, or as a gift to yourself if you want, too. It is fairly similar to the Collector’s Edition box that players were able to get for the fall set.
What it comes with is a collector booster for the fall expansion, an oversized spindown life counter to use in matches, 10 draft booster packs from the set to get you started with a good number of cards, 20 regular basic land cards, 20 foil basic lands, and a foil alternate art promo Piper of the Swarm card.
With 10 booster packs and the ton of basic land cards, it is possible to build a Standard-ready deck with this bundle but it really does come down to chance. Instead, this is a great collector’s item perfect for someone who is trying to collect all of the cards in the expansion. It will be released on the same day as the Game Night set: November 15.
However, there is one more deck set that Wizards of the Coast announced during the livestream. Continuing the strange Undecks from the past, we have the new Unsanctioned deck that will be released early next year. It comes with five full decks of 30 cards that represent all of the colors in the game.
It also comes with ten double-sided tokens for the player, two six-sided dice, five full art basic land cards, five premium art basic land cards, five 30-card decks, the previously mentioned five decks of 30 cards each, 16 non-land new cards, and both new and old reprints from older expansions.
What is weird about Unsanctioned is that two players battle it out one on one and pick two decks each to make up 60 cards. This mixes everything up and makes everything really weird, allowing for bizarre and interesting matches in person. It releases early next year on February 29, 2020.
While those are all of the sets that Wizards of the Coast had to announce during the livestream as well as the release dates for next year, there was one more tease that the company revealed. There is some mysterious new card set that will be revealed next month at the Mythic Championship VI in Richmond, Virginia.
That will be the final Mythic Championship event for the tabletop physical version of the card game so it will be interesting to find out what the new mysterious set is and why the company is waiting until then to reveal it. Until then, we have another Mythic Championship event to look forward to.
The Mythic Championship V event launches next weekend and will feature the MTG Arena digital version of the card game as the platform for players to use rather than normal physical cards. There is a lot happening in the game right now so be sure to stay tuned here for all of the future announcements.