Unfinity isn’t coming out until April 1, 2022. But the head designer at Wizards of the Coast, Mark Rosewater, shared some information on Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming -Un set today.
The space carnival-themed Unfinity is the fifth -Un set in Magic and will include black-bordered cards for the first time.
Typically, every card in these sets had a silver border, which means that the card isn’t legal in any format. This meant that even in casual eternal formats like Commander, the cards couldn’t be played, according to the format’s rules.
In today’s article, though, Rosewater said that during the design of Unfinity, he questioned why most of the cards needed to be silver-bordered when they work perfectly fine with the regular Magic rules.
“Why couldn’t casual formats make use of host/augment or contraptions?” Rosewater said. “They both worked in the rules. They were silver border only because the set was silver border, not because they couldn’t work in black border. Why were we making cards casual players could play and then not allowing them to play them?”
This has led to Unfinity having a distinction between “eternal” and “acorn” cards. Acorn cards are like silver-bordered cards in previous -Un sets. They aren’t legal in any regular Magic format for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s because the card’s balance doesn’t work in a normal context. Other cards just “don’t feel right in black border,” according to Rosewater.
Acorn cards are identified by the security stamp at the bottom of the card being an acorn. This is because squirrels are a creature type that’s synonymous with -Un sets, making them an unofficial mascot. Eternal cards have the normal oval security stamp at the bottom.
A pair of acorn cards were revealed with brief explanations about why they wouldn’t work in a normal Magic setting.
Assembled Ensemble is a five-mana Artifact Creature that sees its power scale with the number of Robots you control. Whenever a player casts a spell with an Artifact Creature in its art, they Create a 1/1 White Clown Robot Artifact Creature token.
Rosewater said Assembled Ensemble wouldn’t work as an eternal card because it “mechanically references art,” which isn’t allowed by the regular Magic rules.
Killer Cosplay is a one-mana Equipment. When it attaches to a creature, you choose a creature card name with an identical mana cost. The equipped creature becomes a copy of your choice until Killer Cosplay is unattached from it. This is an acorn card because it’s difficult to balance for competitive formats.
There were also two eternal cards revealed named Saw in Half and The Space Family Goblinson.
Saw In Half is a removal spell that destroys a creature. Then, that creature’s controller creates two copies of it with power and toughness that’s half of the destroyed creature’s base stats. This is a design that probably wouldn’t be seen in a Standard-legal set, but Rosewater said the design still works for black-border games.
The Space Family Goblinson is able to be an eternal card because dice rolling has been introduced into black-border Magic in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. The Space Family Goblinson is one of 30 legendary creatures in Unfinity. About one-third of these creatures are eternal cards that are playable in Commander.
Unfinity spoilers won’t come back until a few weeks before the set is released. Expect more news on the next -Un set in March in anticipation of its April 1 launch.
All images via WotC.