Welcome to the Summer of Legend

Posted in News on May 6, 2021

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Epic. Grandiose. Multidimensional.

At home. In store. On screen.

Your choice. Your fun. Your way.

The next few months will be some of the biggest ever in Wizards of the Coast history, and we're sharing a season-long set of experiences you don't want to miss. It's the Summer of Legend, and it has something for everyone—and then even more.

Summer of Legend logo/calendar

From groundbreaking Magic: The Gathering and MTG Arena releases and more opportunities for loving your local game store to the launch of DARK ALLIANCE and beyond, there's never been a season quite like the Summer of Legend—all unfolding through the next three months.

Gather your friends. Choose your weapon. Pick your party.

The Summer of Legend begins now.

It's Your Role to Play

You can't start a legend without an adventure, and you'll have plenty of opportunity to set out on one in the coming months.

Dark Alliance logo

DARK ALLIANCE releases June 22, and you won't need to build your own character sheet to jump straight into the action. Pick your platform—PC, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5, Xbox One Consoles, or Xbox Series X/S—then battle with real-time combat and dynamic co-op gameplay, pitting Drizzt Do'Urden and his legendary companions, Catti-brie, Bruenor, and Wulfgar, against some of the most iconic monsters from the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Learn more about DARK ALLIANCE and preorder today.

Prepare the Newest Spells

There's plenty of Magic leading the way in the Summer of Legend, starting with Modern Horizons 2.

MH2 Logo

MH2 Set Symbol

We told you our second direct-to-Modern release would be epic by including fan-favorite enemy fetch lands. They're here, included as rares ready for you to open, draft, and play when the set releases worldwide on June 18.

Arid MesaMarsh FlatsMisty Rainforest

Scalding TarnVerdant Catacombs

But there's so much more to share, too. Here's what's on the horizon:

  • May 20: Weekly MTG reveals
  • May 24: Previews begin
  • June 2: Full Card Image Galleries
  • June 3: Available on Magic Online
  • June 11–13: Webcam Prerelease play through SpellTable beta
  • June 11–17: Prerelease Week, including in-store play (where available)
  • June 18: Worldwide release

And, as we shared earlier, Modern Horizons 2 features more ways to collect and explore Modern's newest cards. In addition to the Draft Boosters you love, you'll also find Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Bundles, plus Prerelease Packs for tabletop head-to-head battles.

MH2 Draft Booster display

MH2 Set Booster display

MH2 Collector Booster display

MH2 Bundle

MH2 Prerelease Pack

Given a wider range of products, like our Standard set releases this year, you may be wondering if there are also special card frames and treatments as well. Short answer: yep!

Long answer: oh, absolutely, and we're thrilled to show some to you today. First, we're literally extending how cool some of your favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite) cards are with extended-art variants.

Extended-art Arid MesaExtended-art Marsh FlatsExtended-art Misty Rainforest

Extended-art Scalding TarnExtended-art Verdant Catacombs

Plus, with Time Spiral Remastered leading the way, we were confident that the retro frame treatment would be a big hit. Thanks to Modern Horizons 2, you don't have to wait long for even more of your favorites to return to the past.

Retro frame Arid MesaRetro frame Marsh FlatsRetro frame Misty Rainforest

Retro frame Scalding TarnRetro frame Verdant Catacombs

In fact, the Buy-a-Box promotional card for Modern Horizons 2 not only adds to Modern's repertoire but also features a retro frame treatment—this time, a new-to-Modern Legacy powerhouse originally from Conspiracy: Take the Crown: Sanctum Prelate.

BAB Sanctum Prelate

Modern Horizons 2 continues the precedent from Modern Horizons of adding powerful existing cards to the Modern format. In fact, there's one of 42 new-to-Modern reprints from Magic's past in each Draft and Set Booster!

But there's one common request we've heard since the beginning of the format. For those of you who have felt like you're out on an island alone, casting out messages in bottles to someday reach us: we got them—and you'll just need to get to your second Island first to enjoy it.

Counterspell

One of Magic's most iconic spells—all the way from its initial 1993 release in Limited Edition Alpha—is joining Modern this summer. "Two untapped Islands" is already a dangerous amount of mana for an opponent to have, and those of you wishing for the original way to say "no" will have it in Modern.

We even added a cooler borderless version that can appear in the same spot instead to show off in its format debut.

Borderless Counterspell

Modern Horizons 2 also continues the theme of adding entirely new—and sometimes entirely wild—cards to Magic and Modern. Take, for example, a card so far apart from the original Counterspell, it's something that can only exist in the Magic we have today. Meet Urza's Saga—the card.

Urza's Saga

It's an enchantment. It's a land. It's a Saga. It helps you with artifacts. It combines the themes and flavors of the original Urza's Saga release in a package that adds another card with a set "named after" it. Magic is always moving forward, evolving with new rules, mechanics, and cards—in new combinations of all those things.

Explaining how all these things came together may require sketching things out—which we have covered, too.

Sketch Frame Urza's Saga

For Modern Horizons 2, we wanted to add a special frame treatment that speaks to what goes into making Magic come to life. Sketch cards feature a unique frame treatment and the artist's sketch of the card artwork showing the whimsy and work-in-progress effort that goes on behind the scenes.

Plus, for select sketch frame cards, instead of flavor text, we've taken lines from the art description sent to artists when creating each card's artwork. You'll see what we mean when previews begin on May 24.

Modern Horizons 2 is just the first of our Summer of Legend Magic releases. There's another which is a legendary achievement itself.

AFR logo

AFR set symbol

AFR Draft Booster display key artwork

After celebrating a set that leans entirely into the very deepest ends of Magic, we'll finally enjoy a moment over 25 years in the making. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is Magic's take on the most popular Dungeons & Dragons setting, bringing the characters and experiences of the world's greatest roleplaying game to life in the world's greatest card game on MTG Arena July 8 and in local game stores worldwide on July 23.

  • June 29: Previews begin
  • July 8: Available on MTG Arena and Magic Online
  • July 16–18: Webcam Prerelease play through SpellTable beta
  • July 16–22: Prerelease Week, including in-store play (where available)
  • July 23: Worldwide release

Ready to set out? Let's show you a little more today.

AFR Plains 265AFR Island 269AFR Swamp 273

AFR Mountain 277AFR Forest 281

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms brings the storytelling and roleplaying of Dungeons & Dragons to Magic through every card, including the basic lands. Each one—there are four of each basic land in the set—features a prompt for an adventure. At Prerelease events and while building your favorite decks, you can build your own adventure starting with the most fundamental of Magic cards.

Portable HolePower Word KillProsperous Innkeeper

Fans of Dungeons & Dragons will recognize plenty of items, abilities, spells, and campaign tropes packed into Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Fans of Magic will see how the rules and tools of their favorite game translate the mechanics and feel of the adventures you find in Dungeons & Dragons.

And that includes the most epic of friends—and foes—you can face on a journey.

Tiamat

The Queen of Dragons herself, Tiamat, is among the most iconic (and evil) representatives in half of the name Dungeons & Dragons. (You'll have to wait to see how we handled the other half.) Dragons have been a mainstay of Magic since the days of Shivan Dragon, and you can count on Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to show off plenty from their range of colors in Dungeons & Dragons.

It just wouldn't be "& Dragons" without the Dragons—and we're treating them just right.

Borderless Tiamat

Dragons' artwork can rule over the entire card, exactly as Tiamat would demand it. There's another way you'll face encounters with some of the classic monsters of Dungeons & Dragons, as Adventures in the Forgotten Realms packs even more beautiful frame treatments. Check out Baleful Beholder:

Classic Rulebook Baleful Beholder

While we're keeping the text a reward for the adventure of preview season, the art and style here is what we're calling the classic rulebook frame treatment. Pulled from the look and feel of the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, this classic rulebook style appears on a range of familiar foes.

Let's take a quick look at some of the products where you'll find these treasures and monsters.

AFR Draft Booster display

AFR Set Booster display

AFR Collector Booster display

AFR Bundle

AFR Prerelease Pack

There is also a Theme Booster for each color—plus a sixth we're excited to share more about later.

Finally, we couldn't explore the multiplayer fun of Dungeons & Dragons without a special nod to multiplayer Magic with four new Commander decks alongside the release of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Created to line up alongside Strixhaven's Commander decks, these are powerful decks for current Commander players ready to form a party for an unforgettable journey:

  • Aura of Courage
  • Dungeons of Death
  • Draconic Rage
  • Planar Portal

We do have one more card to show you, though: our Buy-a-Box promotional card for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is one that will make heads roll for sure.

Main Set Vorpal SwordExtended-art Vorpal SwordBuy-a-Box Vorpal Sword

There's much more in store for the cards of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, but you'll have to wait until we kick off all the reveals—beginning June 29—to see even more.

Secret Lair general logo

Between these two Magic releases, we have one more release—something exciting and different to enjoy from Secret Lair. You can expect more details on this treat soon, but rest assured, Secret Lair's next superdrop will be totally refreshing!

Love Your Local Game Store with Legendary Play

You love your local game store. We love your local game store. And together, the Summer of Legend will be even more legendary as we look ahead to gathering to play once again.

As we've already done in Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Africa, we're reopening sanctioned Magic play for the United States on May 28.

While exactly when and how will vary store by store per their local guidelines, it means a return to visiting your local game store for that Tuesday night draft, battling at Friday Night Magic, and discovering new cards and combos at an in-store Prerelease event.

In addition to in-store play, remote Prerelease events through SpellTable beta will continue to be available for everyone to play at home as well!

Wherever and however you play, we're sharing even more reasons to love your local game store.

Foil retro frame Fabled Passage

Beginning June 18, or when sanctioned play returns to local stores near you, purchase $50 USD or greater of sealed Magic product to find this promo in your hands! Whether you're picking up an online order curbside, shopping the latest releases in store, or sitting down to draft with friends after grabbing a Draft Booster box, you can receive your promotional copy of a foil retro frame Fabled Passage at participating WPN stores around the world.

And the bonuses aren't stopping there.

As more opportunities to play arrive, we'll have five more foil retro frame promotional cards available through in-store play. (You'll have to wait to see which fan-favorite cards will be available.)

But there's one more special way to celebrate play coming to your local game store.

Mystery Booster Convention Edition

Later this year, we'll be sharing a highly limited amount of Mystery Booster Convention Edition exclusively with WPN stores. These boosters are meant for Draft and in-store play for a welcome-back experience you can only find there.

We're already at work planning more legendary opportunities. You can expect more reasons to love your game store as 2021 continues.

Take Adventure with You Anywhere

The Summer of Legend isn't only packed with tabletop experiences but goes beyond to your favorite mobile, tablet, and PC devices, too. Wherever you want to play, you can bring legendary experiences with you thanks to Magic: The Gathering Arena.

MTG Arena mobile now available graphic

With so many new cards joining the format, the Summer of Legend will be Historic throughout thanks to Historic Anthology 5. Releasing on May 27, it adds 25 new cards to the Historic format—including some that are completely legendary.

MTGA Vorinclex, Voice of HungerMTGA Whirler Rogue

There's even more in store on MTG Arena, and you won't have to wait to join in:

  • The May Arena Open kicks off Saturday, May 8, and features the return of Sealed Deck as the format. Receive special Will and Rowan card sleeves, win cash prizes, and earn qualification to the Strixhaven Championship with this weekend's event!
  • Kicking off May 13, the Strixhaven College Cup lets you celebrate your favorite colleges and prove your loyalty by battling for points and prizes through the end of the month.
  • Beginning June 4 and running through early July, Jumpstart returns to MTG Arena. If you missed the excitement last summer or wanted to relive the experience again, your second chance is on the way.
  • July 31 and August 1 feature the next Arena Open. Your chance to earn up to $2,000 in prizes returns to Standard after the release of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.

And there's one more MTG Arena moment you should know about.

In July, we're running a short but exciting event called Mirror, Mirror. Imagine a world where Oko, Thief of Crowns was printed with balanced abilities and became just another great Historic card. What if Teferi, Time Raveler was printed where he was more of a friend than foe to the format?

In Mirror, Mirror, you'll explore this other universe of decks featuring rebalanced versions of some of Historic's iconic banned cards. This legendary event won't stay around for long, but you'll just have to wait and see what's inside later this year.

The Journey Begins Now

The Summer of Legend is here. Gather your friends, choose your weapons, and pick a party for your next adventure with tabletop experiences, in-store play, and digital adventures wherever you are.

Where does your legend await?

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