Helloeveryone. I'm here to tell you some exciting news. Very exciting. You might want to sit down. Oh, you're reading the Internet and thus probably already sitting down. Okay. Well, if you wouldn't mind, this is so exciting, perhaps you all could stand up so that you can then sit down to hear this news. Don't worry, it's worth it. Everyone stood and sat? Good. Here's the news. On July 21st, we are going to be releasing Coldsnap, the legendary “lost” Ice Age expansion.

What? How is it legendary if you've never heard of it? There's a good answer to that. Because we used all the resources at our disposal to squelch any and all knowledge of the product. We actually have a combination of tools at our disposal. For example, there are different solutions that can be mixed into the addictive ink that can cause limited amnesia. We have day-to-day access to a time machine. Oh yeah, and our network of shadowy conspirators is at an all-time high.

We don't go around erasing pieces of knowledge from the public consciousness all that often (yes, yes I know there are many others; if any of you had any knowledge of what I'm talking about, I'd be getting a flood of letters) so you know that this is something pretty good. I guess the big question is how exactly is this thing that we gave hope on so many years ago actually surfacing? Good question. It's an interesting story actually.

To be honest, I'm not supposed to be telling you any of this, but we just got a new shipment of amnesia ink in, so I'm feeling a little reckless. Anyway, the story starts of all places a mile below the surface of our former office building. You know, in the R&D Secret Lab. Oh, but before I get to that, let me fill you in on a little background.

Every organization has its great artifact of relevance. The Holy Grail. The Ark of the Covenant. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about. For Magic, that item is the Holy File Cabinet of Garfield. Inside it is every cool Magic-related thing you could imagine: unreleased cards, incriminating photos, details on the other five colors of Magic, the DNA to clone Richard and, of course, scores of lost expansions. The most famous being (cue music) – The Lost Ice Age Expansion. The existence of the Holy File Cabinet of Garfield has long been a great debate point in R&D. Now, I've always believed it existed, but then I'm not what you would call a skeptical man.

This leads us back to our story. About a year ago, R&D first got embroiled in what we now call the Mutant War. You see, one of our experimental power plant kind of, well, mutated some local wildlife and a little underground war broke out. The ramifications of this event, incidentally, is the real reason we had to move across the street. But I digress. One day during a firefight, I found myself trapped in an elevator shaft with a squirrelfolk monk. Or maybe it was a ninja... It was dark. Anyway, between laser blasts, we started talking and one thing led to another and before you know it he admits to knowing the location of the Holy File Cabinet of Garfield.

To make a long story short, it only took the sacrifice of three R&D interns and one contract employee to secure it. We decided to put it in a place of honor – the Danger Room, a conference room that used to be Richard's old office. For some reason, the chipmunkfolk and the animated daisies feel it's sacred. After over ten years, R&D once again has in their possession, the lost Ice Age expansion. (And some very incriminating photos – hello, job security.)

We quickly realized that it seemed wrong to keep such a find to ourselves. How could we not share it with all of you? The lie that Homelands is officially part of the Ice Age block needs to finally be put to rest. (By the way, in the file cabinet, we also found the real Homelands expansion. It turns out the thing we released was a creation of our competitors to drive us out of business.) And so, we called a meeting (well, after we made a new clone of Richard – we call him Little Ricky) and I was given the great honor of telling you all the exciting news. Here it goes.

I am proud to announce that after ten years, we found an old card file in a file cabinet in Richard's office that we're going to release. (wink, wink) And we're going to be releasing this “lost” Ice Age set this summer.

That's the announcement. All that's left is the boring Q&A.

Q. How many cards will be in the set?
A. 155 -- 65 commons, 50 uncommons, and 40 rares.

Q. Will there be foils?
A. Yes. While this is a lost design file (wink, wink), everything past design will be handled using modern day technology. This means modern development, modern templating, modern typesetting, etc. Everything will be state of the art. Except for the old design. I mean, it's not as though we put together a design team of modern designers using modern design technology to imitate and improve upon the designs of the Ice Age block. How could we do that? We found the design in a file cabinet. Of course, I could comment that hypothetically, you know if I was hypothetically on the design team along with Aaron Forsythe, Devin Low, and Bill Rose, who hypothetically would have lead the design, it would have hypothetically rocked. Hypothetically. Anyway, what's not at all hypothetical is that the card wordings will all be updated to work with current Magic rules (no "interrupts") and we will include such niceties as expansion symbols color-coded by rarity, collector numbers, and foils.

Q. Will the set be legal in Standard?
A. There are two answers. The simple one, yes. And the complex one, also yes. The second requires a thorough understanding of how time travel interacts with the time/space continuum. As I don't have space here, let's just go with the simple answer. The set becomes legal for Standard Constructed tournaments on August 20th and it rotates out a little over two years later, in conjunction with the Snap, Crackle, Pop block leaving Standard. (It will also be legal in Extended, Legacy, Vintage, and Ice Age Block Constructed, of course.)

Q. Will Coldsnap be released on Magic Online?
A. Yes, expect to see it in mid-August.

Q. Is this the "Snap" set that I already heard you guys were working on?
A. No, that would be “Snap” as in “Snap, Crackle, Pop” the codenames for the 2006-2007 block. Coldsnap is a completely different animal. Just to confuse members of R&D, though, I started referring to Pop as Cold Pop. (I mean who wouldn't like a Cold Pop?)

Q. Will there be theme decks?
A. Yes. Boosters, theme decks, a Fat Pack – we're pulling out all the stops. And as this is the third set in the Ice Age block (you know, the “lost” one), the theme decks will include a few cards from the first two sets of the block. For those cards we will be updating them to the new card frames (since Coldsnap uses the new card frames), but we will be keeping their original art.

Q. Will the Ice Age and Alliances cards in the Theme decks be Standard/Extended/whatever legal?
A. No. There's only so much chaos we're willing to create. Only cards that appear in Coldsnap itself become part of Standard. The Ice Age and Alliances cards that appear in the theme decks are still considered part of those original sets.

Q. Will there be a prerelease?
A. Yes -- the prerelease will be on July 8-9. In addition, there will also be release events held at stores all over the world on July 22-23.

Q. Is this why the Dissension release date is a month earlier than it "normally" would be?
A. Yes.

Q. What languages will it be available in?
A. Boosters and theme decks will be in all the regular Magic languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. The fat pack will be English only.

For more information about Coldsnap and all other Magical topics, keep your browser pointed to magicthegathering.com.