Magic the Gathering and Marvel Speculation
So, last week, early on, Wizards of the Coast announced one or more sets of Magic the Gathering coming out with the Marvel IP on it. It’s not to 2025, so we don’t know what is going to be coming for sure. But how it was written or implied, it sounds like it might be multiple sets. So time to speculate as to what Magic the Gathering and Marvel might be planning. I am extremely excited for this set, two things that I like, and we’ll see how well they work together.
Multiple Magic the Gathering Sets
So let’s start if this is something that they are doing to do through 2025. If it is, kind of like Lord of the Rings, how many sets might there be? I think that it could be only Marvel throughout 2025 whereas Lord of the Rings had Doctor Who in the Universe Beyond part of the game as well. But Marvel has enough that Magic the Gathering doesn’t really need to look outside of them for a while. So what sets might they be?
I think for the most part that this is pretty straight forward. We’ve gotten the Avengers in the movies and generally with other games, Marvel United and Marvel Champions, that has been the starting point. So creating a set around the Avengers and probably around New York City, for some locations, makes a lot of sense.
Magic the Gathering would have enough right there with the heroes to make a complete set. But it is common to have villains as well. When we look at the Doctor Who commander sets, we have Missy a villainous character. And then in Lord of the Rings we have Mordor. So for the Avengers, I’m thinking you go with the biggest threat thus far in the movies, Thanos. People like Thanos as a bad guy and it is something familiar.
Then at the end of the year have an X-Men set come out. Again, it’s a nice set of heroes that mainly don’t overlap with the Avengers. There is of course Wolverine who spends his time floating between. But let’s face it, people would be fine with Wolverine showing up more than once.
And again you have an easy villain or anti-hero with Magneto that can be a bad guy. Put him together with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in a set deck, or just with synergies and I think that’d be a lot of fun. They provide a good bad deck or potential meta to play around with for heroes versus villains.
Finally, let’s lean into the villains. While I think it’s likely only two sets come out, this would be a late summer commander drop. Kind of like the Doctor Who sandwiched between Lord of the Rings that Magic the Gathering did this year. A more limited run of products with basically commander decks and a collectors box.
And with villains, I think it’s easy enough to see a series of solid villains that would make commander decks. If we are using Thanos as the villain for the Avengers set and Magento, who would the rest be?
Avengers Commander Decks
Tony Stark/Iron Man: This one I like because you could play around with equipment, building up the best armor for Iron Man. And keep it limited with characters. This is one about building up strong characters that can deal damage without attacking and can avoid defenders with the tap of the right card. You’d probably have Pepper Potts (Rescue), James Rhodes (War Machine) or Riri Williams (Ironheart) to be the other commanders.
Captain America: Another fairly obvious choice, though, I think his deck, like the movies, would be a bit of a catch all. It’d be more of an Avengers deck with lots of characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Ant-Man, and others showing up. He would be about getting the battlefield full and then casting buffs on the team as “Avengers Assemble”.
Thanos: Already mentioned the need for a villain deck. Thanos is the choice for that with the Black Order supporting him. Ebony Maw and Proxima Midnight likely being your other options to use as a commander. Thanos should be a five colored deck which is hard to pull off. And he should have an infinity gauntlet. If he gets everything it’s game over or if you’re playing multiplayer, he’s the focus of everyone.
Young Avengers: I think it is smart not to just stick to the movie teams, but build up some that are more unique as well. And yes, I know the Young Avengers members have been introduced in the MCU. But this is going to be more of a straight forward deck of heroes that has a bit more of a street level. I think I would want them to play around with synergies in this one, tap Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) get a boost to another character and chain them together.
Villain Commander Decks
Hydra: This one would be a whole group with two possible commanders, probably three. But I can think of two easily with Red Skull or Arnim Zola as the likely two commanders you’d use. Probably a Baron Stucker as a third one. And with Hydra it’s all about getting foot soldiers out, so I’m thinking a token heavy deck. And it’s about when the tokens die, good things happen for them and probably more tokens are made.
Kang: Another one that seems pretty likely and I think could be a complex but fun deck. And you might ask, who are the other possible commanders. More Kang. Kang the Conqueror, Immortus, He Who Reamins, Victor Timely, Scarlet Centurian, Rama-Tut and that’s most of them introduced in the comics. But I like the idea of just pulling random characters from the Council of Kangs. And then it’s about finding cards and manipulating decks.
Apocalypse: Now, all the villains won’t be just Avengers villains but X-Men as well. Apocalypse seems like a good option with Mister Sinister and Nimrod as the other commanders. He’s going to be a the destruction character. With his deck it’s just about wiping everyone else out and good luck standing against him that way.
Galactus: Finally we have Galactus. Galactus is a huge villains and I expect the Fantastic Four to get in there somewhere. I could also pick Victor von Doom (Doctor Doom as well). But I like my idea for Galactus. He, once he’s on the battlefield can’t be removed. So you need to take down your opponent fast. Because, if you don’t, he just swings through with trample and is doing a lot of damage. So you can block, but it’ll be only so effective and eventually he’ll eat up your life.
Finally, I want to bring up showcase cards. If you’re not up on Magic the Gathering, you might be wondering what these cards are. Well, they are the same cards as in the main set, just with alternate artwork, often with a border, done in a unique style. For Lord of the Rings it was very abstract. For Doctor Who, it is very cartoon like.
I realize I have an opinion on this for Marvel. I want it to be comic book cover style showcase cards. Everything else can be done in a more classic style of Magic the Gathering. But it’d be nice to really have a comic book nod, and doing covers I think would be a great option. Because I think one of the questions people rightfully have is how do you combine Magic the Gathering and Marvel.
Final Thoughts on Marvel Magic the Gathering
I’m very excited for this set. I like what Magic the Gathering has been doing with the Universe Beyond sets. The regular sets are fine, if I find a good deal on a box, I pick it up, but the Universe Beyond has been drawing me in. And while I’m less interested in the upcoming ones in 2024, that’s probably a good thing.
Is there something that you’d like to see from the set or sets? Is there a hero that you think needs to make it who is a deeper cut, or a villain that you’d like to see get a commander deck?