Magic: The Gathering has started rolling out a new set, and along with new cards and mechanics coming in Zendikar Rising, they also laid out their plans for 2021. In those plans: an official in-game crossover with Dungeons and Dragons.
Magic’s story bounces across multiple “planes” – worlds of the multiverse with different themes, stories, characters and in-game mechanics. The four releases scheduled for 2021 are winter’s Kaldheim, a viking themed set; spring’s Strixhaven, a set built around an elite multiversal university; Adventures in the Forgotten Realms coming out in the Summer; and a dual set focusing on the werewolves and vampires of Innistrad in fall of 2021.
Additionally, details on Zendikar Rising started to hit. The set, which releases on September 17th, returns to the wild plane full of shifting and living lands, and as such, it brings some familiar game mechanics back around that idea.
Landfall, an ability that triggers whenever a land enters the battlefield, is back, as are kickers – where a spellcaster can pay extra mana to trigger an additional effect.
The set also includes modal dual face lands, cards that let the player choose between two modes on one card for a permanent effect.
And as a tease for the D&D crossover, Zendikar Rising also introduces Parties: cards that gain power or abilities if a player has a Cleric, a Rogue, a Warrior and a Wizard in play.
Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering are both owned by Hasbro, and this isn’t the first time the two have crossed over. D&D has released two campaigns set in Magic worlds – “Mythic Odysseys in Theros,” set on the Greek myth-themed world; and “Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica,” set in the steampunk megacity Ravnica. And while it was never legal to use in regular games, Magic did release one card in an unsanctioned set that referenced the popular RPG: the Sword of Dungeons & Dragons, a ridiculous looking and ridiculously overpowered artifact.
Wizards of the Coast also announced the pending arrival of Magic Arena‘s mobile app during their Zendikar Rising announcement stream. Arena is the online version of Magic, which lets players capture a similar experience to the tabletop version, only from safe, socially distanced venues. It’s become by necessity massively popular over the last six months, and a mobile version is due out before the end of 2020. So at least 2020 has that going for it.