Let’s have a scry and see what the future holds
Top Predictions For Magic: The Gathering In 2021
Magic: The Gathering just came out of the most successful year in its history. A period filled with countless product releases, experimentation, controversies, and profit. How will Wizards of the Coast continue in 2021? These are EarlyGame’s top predictions!
The D&D Set Will Be a Multi-Platform Marketing Onslaught
This year we are promised a long-awaited crossover between Wizards’ two biggest properties - D&D and MTG.
Dungeons & Dragons is insanely popular. It is hands-down the biggest tabletop RPG, recognizable even by non-gamers due to features in mainstream shows like Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory and boasting its own thriving scene of players and content creators. D&D is also partnered with many third-party companies who make merch, video games, and accessories.
We predict that the marketing machine will go crazy on cross-promotions this time around. Yes, we’ll get the D&D Magic cards, but also the book, the portfolios, the sleeves, the miniatures, the shirts, the Neverwinter video game tie-in, and a million other products.
The year 2021 will be all about Hasbro telling us to “buy, buy, buy!”
Strixhaven Will Have a Surprisingly Deep Story
Magic’s story and characters have always been an essential addition to the card game and many players are very fond of the Multiverse and the events transpiring there. That being said, 2020 was a mini-dark age for Magic story, with a focus on one-shot sets like Ikoria and Theros Beyond Death, where the plot was straight-up neglected. Hell, Ikoria had a book who’s story contradicted the cards! People made their voices heard and by the looks of it, Wizards are paying attention. With the return of regular entries in the MTG Story website, we expect to see a rekindled focus on world-building all around.
All we know about Strixhaven, for now, is that it is a world containing a very important school for wizards. We can make Harry Potter jokes all we want (and trust us, we will!) but we actually predict that this magic plane will have a really cool story and we’ll meet some fascinating characters there. And please, Wizards, tell us what happened to Koth already!
Wizards Will Double Down on Premium Products
Wizards made a lot of money last year. But you know how corporations go - it’s never enough! In fact, they have already told shareholders they will be aiming at double the revenue in 2021 and that means only one thing - more product, and more fancy product at that.
The Secret Lairs and $100 packs, while hated by many, were a runaway success and made a crap ton of money, and Wizards will be serving us even more of them this year. Prepare for "Collector’s" everything, all-rare packs, Triple Masters, Collector’s Signature Spellbook: Karn and Legacy Masters! Sadly, we are only half-kidding with those ridiculous titles, since Wizards have clearly demonstrated that printing functionally unique cards and charging insane amounts for time-limited products is not beneath them. Yuck.
Some People Will Quit
The previous one leads us to our final prediction. We hate to end it on a negative note and be a Debbie Downer here, but we do predict that a small portion of the player base will quit Magic this year. Some of the reasons lie with Wizards’ leadership, but some are not even connected.
First off, the global pandemic is still shaking the world, and there are no events planned for the summer. This means that there will be no Magic Fests, big on-stage esports games, or even Friday Night Magic in many stores across the globe. This will lead to some people changing the virtual card game for proper video games like League of Legends, for example.
Second, Wizards have drawn a clear direction: take as much money from rich collectors and disregard game balance! If we continue to see flashy cards get banned right after release and valuable reprints locked in premium collector’s packs, some people will simply stop playing the game. Standard is bad as it is, but even some Commander players don’t agree with Wizards' stewardship of their format.
Third, simply put, other card games do things better right now. Pokémon is on the rise, and so is a relatively new game by the name of Flesh and Blood. Now, “Magic is dead” is an age-old meme that’s never true, and none of them will dethrone the king of card games, but they do have the potential to snatch a few disenfranchised Magic players and convert them to loyal fans, and we predict this is bound to happen in 2021.