Wizards of the Coast announced Mythic Odysseys of Theros, a new sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons, for release on June 2, 2020. D&D campaigns can now enter another plane of Magic: The Gathering with Mythic Odysseys of Theros. This book features a variety of new rules, races, gods, and monsters found in the plane of Theros. Players can now use satyrs or leonin as races, and the new rules introduce supernatural gifts as well as five signature artifacts wielded by the deities of Theros. It also has Magic: The Gathering-inspired subclasses like the College of Eloquence for Bards and Oath of Heroism for Paladins.
The Fourth Set of Archon Decks for ‘KeyForge’ Card Game
antasy Flight Games revealed Mass Mutation, the fourth set of Archon Decks for the KeyForge card game. Mass Mutation draws from a card pool of 422 cards with 250 cards being entirely new. The general theme of the set revolves around dark AEmber and mutation creating strange, new versions of old characters. There are also massive single creatures that encompass more than one card and the return of House Sanctum.
The Mass Mutation release has three product types attached to it. The first product type is the Mass Mutation Two-Player Starter Set which contains two ready-to-play 36-card decks. Each deck features a unique mix of cards, contains all the tokens needed for a two-player game, and will retail for $24.95.
The Mass Mutation Archon Deck and Deluxe Deck are both single decks which are the core of KeyForge products. Both products contains a unique pre-constructed 36-cards with new cards mixed in, and Archon Decks carry an MSRP of $9.95. The Deluxe Deck comes with tokens as well as the deck, and runs $14.95.
Fantasy Flight Games also will release Secrets of the Crucible, a sourcebook for the Genesys Roleplaying System, in Q2 2020 (see “‘KeyForge’ Universe Comes to ‘Genesys RPG’ System.”).
Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner told analysts in the earnings conference call Tuesday that the company’s Magic: The Gathering revenues increased 30% in 2019, behind “double-digit growth in tabletop play” and the first year of Magic: The Gathering Arena digital revenues, which grew “several-fold.” Magic sales growth contributed to Hasbro’s 6% increase in total gaming revenue to $1.53 billion for the year, up from $1.44 billion in 2018. Monopoly also had double-digit growth.
In fact, Hasbro gaming sales without franchise brands Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly were down 10% for the quarter, with Dungeons & Dragons and classic game sales increases unable to offset declines in sales of novelty games Pie Face and Speak Out.
D&D sales continue to be driven by video views; 150 million hours of D&D video content were viewed in 2019, up nearly 50% year on year. With those kinds of increases, it seems unlikely that the growth of D&D will flag any time soon.
The increase in total gaming revenues for the year was despite a decline of 7.7% in Q4, with Magic sales undoubtedly part of that decline due to the tough comparisons with the Ultimate Masters release in Q4 2018.
Despite tariff-related impacts on sales and earnings earlier in the year (see “Tariffs Hit Hasbro Sales, Earnings”), Hasbro ended the year with total revenues up 3% to $4.72 billion from $4.58 billion in 2018. Earnings more than doubled, from $220.4 million in 2018 to $520.5 million last year.
Wizards of the Coast has revealed decklists for the four new Magic: The Gathering 2020 Challenger Decks planned for release on April 3, 2020 (see “WotC Will Release new ‘Magic Challenger Decks'”). The contents of each deck is listed below with notes about cards that hold significant secondary market value (*$10 or more based on TCGPlayer market value at time of this article’s publication):
Main Deck: 3 Sarkhan the Masterless, 1 Ugin, the Ineffable, 3 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor, 4 Narset, Parter of Veils, 2 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, 1 Kenrith, the Returned King, 2 Fae of Wishes, 3 Deafening Clarion, 2 Drawn from Dreams, 2 Time Wipe, 4 Fires of Invention, 2 Banishing Light, 4 Omen of the Sea, 1 Steam Vents* (Market Price $12.89), 1 Temple of Enlightenment, 1 Temple of Epiphany, 1 Temple of Triumph, 4 Interplanar Beacon, 3 Swiftwater Cliffs, 3 Tranquil Cove, 4 Wind-Scarred Crag, 5 Island, 2 Mountain, 2 Plains
Sideboard: 1 Sarkhan the Masterless, 1 Time Wipe, 1 Mass Manipulation, 1 Ashiok, Dream Render, 2 Devout Decree, 1 Dovin, Hand of Control, 1 Dovin’s Veto, 2 Fry, 2 Revoke Existence, 3 Thirst for Meaning
Pre-Constructed Themed Boosters Let Players Skip Deck-Building, Shuffle Two Boosters, and Play
Wizards of the Coast just unveiled Jumpstart Booster Packs and Booster Boxes for Magic: The Gathering trading card game which will release on July 3, 2020. Jumpstart is a new way to play Magic: The Gathering that fuses the best parts of limited and constructed into a quick-to-play experience. Each pack contains 20 cards, all of which fit a specific deck construction theme, and each player can take two of these packs, shuffle them together, and play a game of Magic right out of the pack. There are 121 possible 20-card lists inside any given pack, and basic lands are included, some with new art.
This set introduces 37 new cards to Magic: The Gathering, has almost 500 reprints, and all of the cards in this set are legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander formats. One out of every three boosters has an extra rare card, and some packs have unique “Mythic Rare” themes. Boosters come with 20 cards and a Pack Summary card, and Booster Boxes come with 20 Jumpstart packs.
Ultra PRO announced Magic: The Gathering Mythic Edition Accessories, deck boxes and binders for Magic: The Gathering cards, for release in May 2020. Mythic Edition Alcove Flip for Magic: The Gathering and Mythic Edition Alcove Tower for Magic: The Gathering. These two products are a solid storage device for organizing and protecting Magic cards. They both hold 100+ double-sleeved cards, and have a magnetic locking mechanism. The Alcove Flip Box, which will retail for $24.99, is a little smaller, and its lid can be undone on both sides of the box for easy access to the deck. The Alcove Tower, which has a MSRP of $34.99, features a modular interior for storing dice, tokens, and other accessories.
Mythic Edition Alcove Vault for Magic: The Gathering. The Alcove Vault stores and protects up to three separate decks of cards in Deck Protector sleeves. Each compartment of this storage box can store up to 100 double-sleeved Magic cards and it will retail for $54.99.
Mythic Edition 4-Pocket, 9-Pocket, and 12-Pocket Zippered PRO-Binder for Magic: The Gathering. Each portfolio comes with archival safe pages. The 4-Pocket version can hold up to 160 sleeved cards, the 9-Pocket version holds up to 360 sleeved cards, and the 9-Pocket version holds up to 480 sleeved cards. The pages are designed to fit standard-sized TCG cards, and will retail $29.99, $39.99, and $49.99, respectively.
Included To Add Value To Factory-Sealed Booster Boxes
Wizards of the Coast revealed that it will include Box Toppers, cards inserted inside a factory-sealed box of Magic: The Gathering cards, for the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths set which is scheduled to come out April 24 (see “Details Revealed For ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths’ Product Line”). As retailers coordinate with their distributors to order Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, WotC “sweetened the pot” a little bit by adding Box Toppers back into the mix. The last round of the Box Toppers were included in the Ultimate Masters set back in 2018 which were a resounding success as far as the selling product (see “1,764 Booster Boxes Sold Over Holiday Weekend”). WotC also revealed that the Ikoria box toppers will be a little different than the Ultimate Masters ones, but also stated that they would “appeal to collectors, and any player that’s into fancy and shiny.”
The Box Toppers will come sealed inside a factory box of boosters in addition to the Buy-a-Box promos. These two bonus cards are intended to make entire sealed booster boxes more desirable for consumers to purchase, and also add extra value for retailers as they crack open product to sell loose boosters or set up drafts.
$25 of Each Direct Sale Set Benefits Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
Wizards of the Coast revealed Secret Lair: International Women’s Day, with $25 of each sale going to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, for release on March 8. The latest Secret Lair drop is an International Women’s Day set that benefits charity, similar to how WotC released the My Little Pony set last year (see “‘My Little Pony’ ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Card Set Will Be Sold To Raise Money For Extra Life Charity”). The set includes five legendary creature cards featuring women from Magic: The Gathering: a Foil Borderless Alt-Art Captain Sisay, a Foil Borderless Alt-Art Meren of Clan Nel Toth, a Foil Borderless Alt-Art Narset, Enlightened Master, a Foil Borderless Alt-Art Oona, Queen of the Fae, and a Foil Borderless Alt-Art Saskia the Unyielding. In addition, the borderless art for the cards are all provided by illustrators including Mila Pesic, Livia Prima, Cynthia Sheppard, Anna Steinbauer, and Magali Villeneuve.
These particular cards are often used as commanders because they have very powerful abilities, and will likely be valuable on the secondary market as Commander players tend to upgrade the aesthetic qualities of the cards in their decks. Secret Lair: International Women’s Day is priced at $49.99, and will only be available for 24 hours.
WotC’s last drop, Secret Lair Drop Series: Theros Stargazing, was released on February 14 (see “Wizards of the Coast Drops Five More ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Secret Lair’ Sets Featuring ‘Theros’ Gods”)
Wizards of the Coast has revealed the Ponies: Galloping, a card set for Magic: The Gathering, that will be sold to support Extra Life, an organization benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospitals.
This three-card crossover set will be sold between October 22 and November 5 through the Hasbro Pulse web site at a cost of $50.00, with $30.00 of each sale going to Extra Life. There also a $100 donation level, with $80 going to charity, for three Ultra PRO play mats that features the art from the cards.
Even at a raw cost of $50 per three-card set, purchase of this set is a worthwhile endeavor for retailers to explore on a couple of different levels. First and foremost, it benefits a worthy charity. Seattle Children’s Hospitals provides life-saving care for hundreds of children, and also engages in research into childhood disease.
In addition to supporting a charitable cause, the cards included in the set will more than likely become instant Commander staples, retain value on the secondary market, and inspire single sales of long-forgotten rares that synergize with the Ponies. The Princess Twilight Sparkle card is a fantastic choice as a Commander for a Horse-themed deck, and will likely create a single sales uptick in cards that summon pegasi, horses, alicorns, and unicorns. Rarity and Nightmare Moon/Princess Luna are simply an overall good multiplayer cards with great flavor mechanics. Make no mistake, these Ponies will be in demand.
Wizards of the Coast also recently released another limited edition set, Magic: The Gathering Deluxe Collection, that sold out almost instantly (see “Wizards of the Coast Will Sell ‘Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine Deluxe Collection’ Direct-to-Consumer”).
Wizards of the Coast announced via Twitter that it has shifted the next Banned and Restricted Announcement for Magic: The Gathering up to October 21 from November 18. This was an awkward move because the last Banned and Restricted Announcement was released only a few days ago on October 7, and no changes were made to any of the formats. The date change is essentially a tip-off that there is a format imbalance that needs to be addressed soon, and a ban is coming that will likely alter the course of single card sales because the metagame will shift in reaction to which card or cards are banned.
There are a few possible targets for the next ban announcement. The most probable targets are Field of Dead and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim which are both part of the “Golos” Standard decks that had claimed seven of the top eight spots at the most recent Star City Games Team Open tournament. WotC generally acts upon data-driven analysis, and with Mythic Championship V decklist submissions rolling in, they could have decided that these two cards are so over-powered and format-warping that banning one or both them in Standard is necessary.
Overall, these potential bans are fairly positive news for retailers selling singles. Field of the Dead and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim are rares from Core Set 2020, a set that has already run its initial sales cycle over the Summer into Fall. A ban won’t affect that set’s product sales all that much, especially because players and collectors have already moved onto Throne of Eldraine. Also, should the “Golos” decks become defunct as a result of a ban, it will open up single sales for some of the more lagging Mythic rares and rares from Throne of Eldraine as the second tier decks will start filling in the power vacuum left by the ban.