Magic: the Gathering is on a rampage. Hot on the heels of the game’s epic War of the Spark expansion and this week’s release of Modern Masters, a set built specifically to tickle the fancy of long-time players such as yours truly, game publisher Wizards of the Coast is gearing up to release yet another set of new cards next month: Core Set 2020. And in advance of this expansion’s “spoiler season,” which officially begins next week, io9 revealed three new Chandra Planeswalker cards that will be available in Core 2020.
While for many years, Planeswalker cards were only produced at Mythic Rare, the highest possible rarity for a card in Magic, War of the Spark shattered that truism by printing dozens of Planeswalkers at Rare and Uncommon. Core Set 2020 looks to continue this trend by including a Chandra Planeswalker at Uncommon, Rare, and Mythic.
For those not up to date on Magic‘s storyline, Chandra is a Planeswalker– meaning she can travel between Magic‘s many worlds thanks to her unique spark. She’s one of the Magic story’s most prominent characters and a member of the Gatewatch, an organization of Planeswalkers dedicated to protecting the Multiverse from all threats (think Justice League). She also happens to be a pyromancer who has spent most of her life mastering fire magic. And in a fun creative choice, her Core Set 2020 cards showcase her at various stages of pyromantic mastery.
According to Magic Art Director Taylor Ingvarsson, the idea to create multiple Chandra cards came from Magic creative designer Jenna Helland, who had “the fun idea to explore some alternate looks for Chandra that illustrate her journey as she matured into the Planeswalker that we know and love today. Since there were four different Chandra Planeswalker cards tied to Core Set 2020, this gave us the opportunity to showcase different aspects of this interesting, nuanced character. We could have shown her jumping, leaping, and blasting things with fire in all of them, but Jenna’s idea was such an elegant visual solution that added more variety to this product so we were excited to jump on the opportunity.”
Core Set 2020 will serve as an on-boarding point for players interested in learning how to play Magic without being overwhelmed by some of the trickier elements introduced by your typical expansion. The set will hit store shelves on July 12th, but digital boosters and bundles will be available for pre-order on Magic‘s digital platform Magic: the Gathering Arena beginning on June 13th. Preorders will include what io9 describes as a “mythic rare Planeswalker card for Chandra,” which might describe Chandra, the Awakened Inferno, below.
However, Ingvarsson’s statement indicates that there are four Chandra cards in Core Set 2020, even though only three were shown. This means that the preorder bonus on Arena might refer to a buy-a-box promo Chandra card yet to be revealed.
For more on the creative design of these Chandra cards, including larger versions and commentary on their respective artworks, visit the reveal at io9.
Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.