First Look and Impressions on Modern Horizons 3, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Assassin’s Creed and Bloomburrow from MagicCon Chicago

First Look and Impressions on Modern Horizons 3, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Assassin’s Creed and Bloomburrow from MagicCon Chicago

If you weren’t at MagicCon Chicago, we’ve got the first look of upcoming 2024 sets in MTG. Plenty of new and powerful cards to look forward to, with something for everyone.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction (OTJ) Early Previews

First Impressions:

Effectively the next set after March’s Universes Beyond Fallout release, the new plane Thunder Junction will see the return of controversial Planeswalker Oko and is likely the thing that gets most trigger-happy players happy. Oko, Thief of Crowns was notoriously overpowered and was swiftly banned in multiple formats. The new Oko, the Ringleader has already been spoiled, and on first impressions it is going to see some play. Oko can draw extra cards, create 3/3 Elks, and can even give itself Hexproof. His ultimate ability is very strong and can activate as early as the 3rd turn he is in play.

After the cycle of 10 swords was completed last year, who would have thought a new one would be created? Sword of Wealth and Power only gives protection from Instants and Sorceries (not quite as good as colour protection), but its triggered abilities of copying your own spell is definitely a threat even in the gun-slinging wild west. Expect the sword and Oko to drive the hype and sales for Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Release date: 12 April, 2024

Card Images and Art:

Modern Horizons 3 (MH3) Early Previews

First Impressions:

There were 2 key highlights from the Modern Horizons 3 early previews, namely the reprinting of 5 Fetch Lands to complete the cycle from Modern Horizons 2. This time, there will be new borderless artwork, and don’t be surprised if they have serialised foil versions as well.

And unlike Ravnica Remastered, Modern Horizons 3 will have new cards. MH2 brought the cycle of Evoke Creatures that have been dominating the Modern and Legacy scene ever since they were released. The eye-opening card from MH3 right now is Emrakul, the World Anew, a 3rd and new iteration of arguably the scariest Creature card in MTG. It ‘only’ costs 12 Mana, but even on casting it, you gain control of each Creature a player controls. It has Flying for the first time, and even has a Madness cost if you want to cheat it out early. It’s really strong.

Another big piece of news for MH3 is that there will have Collector’s Edition Commander decks in this set. These will likely be fully (or mostly) foiled versions of the 4 preconstructed decks that will be released under the MH3 banner. Think Warhammer 40k Surge Foil Commander decks and you’ll get an idea in terms of art style and price (it was around $1000 for 4 decks).

Release date: 14 June, 2024

Card Images and Art:

Universes Beyond: Assassin’s Creed Early Previews

First Impressions and Early Thoughts:

Like every other Universes Beyond set, there are new mechanics to MTG that will be a homage to key abilities in the crossover franchise. Below we see there’s Freerunning, and you can expect to see a healthy representation of new Assassins to MTG. While we’ve not played Assassin’s Creed, the Animus was featured prominently in the 2016 feature film (starring Michael Fassbender) and the Haystack (we presume) is how assassins can get off a perch safely.

The historical characters are a nice touch, but we’re wondering if it will be a case of too many like with the Doctor Who crossover, where nearly every other card was a Legendary Creature representing a character from the franchise’s history. If Assassin’s Creed can introduce a worthy mechanic to the game, it will live long in players’ memories.

Release Date: 5 July, 2024

Card Images and Art:

Reprints in the MTG Universes Beyond Assassin's Creed
Product boxes for MTG Assassin's Creed crossover

Bloomburrow (BLB) Early Previews

First Impressions:

With Bloomburrow being one of the later sets of 2024, there isn’t much revealed yet apart from key artwork. Cute and cuddly seems to be the theme, as Wizards tries to open up MTG to younger audiences. We even see iconic Planeswalkers like Ral Zarek and Jace Beleren turn into.. furry critters?!

As Bloomburrow will be for the Standard format, don’t expect an overpowered set, but there could be a handful of key cards that will see play in more competitive formats. Mabel, Heir to Cragflame proves that there will be focus on Mice Creature types (they’re not rats), and a new foil variant is coming – Raised Foil. No details yet on what that might mean, but it could be that parts of the card are raised to give it a nice feel on your fingers, similar to Gilded Foils.

Release date: 2 August, 2024

Card Images and Art:

End Step: Which 2024 MTG Set is the Most Anticipated?

Modern Horizons 3 is stirring up the most excitement among more entrenched players, with a new Emrakul and 4 Collectors Edition Commander decks driving the hype. Newer players will find Bloomburrow a soft escape from the general ominous feel of other MTG sets, and fans of Assassin’s Creed will no doubt enjoy playing their favourite characters in a game of Magic. 2024 is shaping up to be a good year, even for one of the oldest trading card games in the world.

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.
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