Throughout Magic’s 30-year history, Planeswalkers and players have gone on no end of adventures. Whether it’s to the cyberpunk streets of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty or the fairytale-inspired Throne of Eldraine, MTG has no shortage of stunning locales. While MTG sets have taken us to plenty of planes and even through time, one area remains unexplored; Space.
The Final Frontier
Thanks to MTG’s following Un- set, Unfinity, that is about to change. Launching next month on the 7th of October, Unfinity takes players to Myra the Magnificent’s Intergalactic Astrotorium of Fun. This giant intergalactic amusement park offers MTG players a taste of the unknown, that unknown being the cold vacuum of space. With oodles of sci-fi styling and twenty space-themed basic and nonbasic lands, Wizards truly revels in this new setting. Alongside ’50s and ’60s retro-pop-inspired showcase frames, Unfinity may be one of the boldest and best-looking MTG sets to date.
As a Un- set, however, Unfinity will never be seen as true Magic. While Wizards of the Coast have tried to combat this by making the set black-bordered, there’s sure to be a stigma against this comedy-focused set still. While interesting, there’s also no guarantee that Unfinity’s Eternal legal cards will see any play. This may mean that, once again, another Un- set may only be remembered for its gorgeous, borderless lands.
For better or worse, however, Unfinity may not be the end of MTG’s space-themed adventures. Throughout recent sets, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and Streets of New Capenna in particular, we’ve seen Wizards pushing the boat out with the styling of MTG sets. In these back-to-back premier sets, Magic has been given dramatically unique worlds that shift Magic’s traditional historical tone. With the scope of planes looks like expanding, it may only be a matter of time before Magic takes one giant leap for mankind.
An Untapped Design Space
While nothing has been officially confirmed just yet, a sci-fi-inspired premier Magic set appears to still be on the cards. Back in early August, when talk of a Star Wars crossover was all the rage, there were also ruminations about a “space fantasy set,” disconnected from a hypothetical Universes Beyond one. After receiving a question on Blogatog that requested a “space fantasy plane,” Magic’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, turned the question around on the community, asking, “would others like to see a space fantasy Magic set (in world, as opposed to a Universes Beyond one)?”
In response, Rosewater received the usual variety of reactions that ranged from an apathetic “Nah” to an enthusiastic “Hell yes.” While there were those lamenting the modernization of Magic and top-down set design, most players supported the idea. Throughout the plethora of responses, there were repeated calls for space pirates being the focus of a set, with Treasure Planet being a core inspiration. There were also those suggesting another Dungeons & Dragons set, this time styled after Spelljammers. As a potentially non-canonical premier set, this may be the most viable option to keep Magic feeling magical.
Furthering these early discussions, the topic of an MTG space fantasy set has popped up on Blogatog once more. In a new question, Rosewater was asked if a hypothetical sci-fi set could have “✨space mana✨” similar to snow mana. In response, Rosewater merely stated that “I never say never.” From this vague response, it’s likely that Rosewater hasn’t spent all too long obsessing over this bizarre set concept. Nevertheless, just as snow mana made Kaldheim flavor rich and exciting, space mana would likely do the same for any space-themed set.
Into the Not So Unknown
While most of Magic’s sets have been steeped in history and fantasy, a sci-fi set may not be as out there are you might think. Following on from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Magic has already tasted a futuristic technology-driven set. However, this isn’t the only time that Magic has embraced technology rather than magic. Back in 2016, players were treated to the ornate mechanical stylings of Kaladesh in the set of the same name. As a plane that relied on technology rather than magic, Kaladesh could be the perfect place for Magic’s venture into space.
Ultimately, Wizards of the Coast hasn’t confirmed any intentions to go to space in a premier set just yet. With Unfinity on the horizon, and Doctor Who Commander decks planned for 2023, there’s still plenty to be excited about. Unfortunately, players can likely rule out the possibility of a Star Wars Universes Beyond set. This is thanks to the recent announcement of Disney’s Lorcana. This brand new TCG will utilize Disney’s vast roster of characters, likely shutting down any chances for an MTG crossover.