A new wodge of 274 cards hits Magic: The Gathering Arena today with the launch of Core Set 2021. As ever, the annual Core set brings a mix of new and reprinted cards to build a base for the year's expansions - and this year it brings an awful lot of cats and dogs. One card even has a cat and a dog who are best friends. Core Set 2021 doesn't officially launch in cardboard form until July 3rd, so it's a bit of a sneaky peeky for the digital version.
Core Set 2021 will officially hit tables on July 3rd, though folks can hold a bit in advance through prerelease events that will start tomorrow and run until launch. See the Core 2021 card list for everything, including the impressive number of new Cat and Dog-type cards. Also, Phasing is back on two cards? Haven't heard that word in a while.
Magic: The Gathering Arena is available free-to-play (monetised the obvious way) from the Epic Games Store or through a standalone installer on its site. Epic is the only place to get the new MacOS edition, released today.
The Magiclords at Wizards Of The Coast say that "was the fastest way we could get a native, full-featured macOS client to our players." Mysterious. They explain, "We have an existing partnership with the Epic Games Store and are working with them to support our macOS release to ensure that players will have the same experience on macOS as they do on Windows sooner rather than later." They don't plan to release a standalone Mac version either. Accounts and multiplayer work cross-OS, obvs.
Next month, MTG Arena will launch a new way to play with Jumpstart, a mode which gives you two 20-card half-decks to smash together into one. With 46 themed Jumpstart packs in total, it'll be able to spit out a good number of random decks that ssshould be playable.
I've not played Magic competitively in this millennium but my mind still sometimes wanders to old decks, turning over mana curves and combos with a great deal of satisfaction like I'm admiring a box of beautiful old wood-handled tools, the varnish worn by use but the edges still sharp. God, what a game. And to still be not only played but actively expanded and refreshed after 27 years! Dead impressive.