On Dominaria Previews and Moving Forward

Posted in News on March 12, 2018

By Aaron Forsythe

Last week, we had an unfortunate leak of information relating to Dominaria. It was a lot information, and, in response, we released a statement that outlined a bit about what happened and how we'd be handling preview content moving forward. However, after some careful thought and feedback from the community, we're going to go a slightly different direction than previously stated.

After we posted Blake's message, the response was immediate and kind of surprising. Many people were excited about how great the set looks—and it is great—but we heard an equally loud contingent who were saddened by the information and were trying to avoid the Release Notes cards until full, official images were shown. For many people, myself included, preview season is exciting, and no matter what leaks might happen, it doesn't officially start for them until that first card appears on DailyMTG, at an event, or on a stream.

So we regrouped, recognizing that we could still preserve the experience for those fans by slowing our roll and going back to something more like normal preview timelines. In the past we've tried two different ways of dealing with leaks: "full speed ahead" or "pretend it didn't happen." We've certainly learned that pretending it didn't happen doesn't work, but we've also heard the feedback that the full-speed-ahead approach is too much for many fans who enjoy unwrapping a new set and a new (old) world bit by bit. This is especially true for a set so many are holding dear to their hearts already.

There's also the matter of a split focus—there are a lot of other things going on in Magic right now! Our teams here are great at what they do, but talking about multiple products at once is difficult and can be confusing. If we put out an article about drafting or art, are we talking about Masters 25, the set that is releasing this Friday, or are we talking about Dominaria, the set we're suddenly forced to discuss early?

So we're going to take the middle ground; here's what we're going to be doing instead, with the realization that, yes, this is developing quickly and we might have to shift things here or there as we work this out.

  • We're going to kick off our Dominaria talk (intentionally) on Wednesday, March 21. We're going to have a bunch of content that day to start things right, including the mechanics and rules articles that we originally said would be up today.
  • With the kickoff of Dominaria content moved to March 21, we're also going to wait to share the first Martha Wells Magic Story article until that day.
  • We will still be giving out preview cards to content creators in the community. We've already had requests from people asking to preview specific cards that are listed in the Release Notes, so we know people are still excited to be the first ones to talk about the art and flavor.
  • We're moving the Magic Online release of Masters 25 up to this Wednesday, March 14.
  • We will still have episodes of Access Magic featuring Richard Garfield and Mark Rosewater, episodes of the Magic Story Podcast featuring Ethan Fleischer and Kelly Digges, and videos from Nate Holt and Shawn Kornhauser.

Our confidence in this plan is rooted in the belief that Dominaria is so, so good. Fans have already reacted very positively to it, and we expect the reaction to the art, flavor text, and the look of the cards to go over just as well, if not better!

I'm sure some of you were looking forward to the floodgates being thrown open this morning, so I'll leave you with one last bit of preview content before we return to our regularly scheduled programming for a few more days. Here is a Saga card, the most innovative mechanic in Dominaria, in all its mind-blowing glory!

Phyrexian Scriptures

That is one amazing-looking card. Please hold your questions, and hold tight in general—we'll be back on March 21 with the Dominaria hype train in full gear. In the meantime, we're looking forward to Masters 25, a set that kicks off the nostalgia train that will run right on through Dominaria and the rest of 2018 in its own big way.

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