Magic: The Gathering's Roadmap For 2021, Zendikar Rising Revealed

The debut for Zendikar Rising, the newest upcoming set for Magic: The Gathering, has hit Twitch.tv and as such, it brought with it a whole slew of new information regarding the future of the beloved trading card game by Wizards of the Coast. Hang on to your hats, folks – it's about to get epic.

The artwork for an all-new iteration of animist Planeswalker Nissa Revane from Zendikar Rising, a new expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Yongjae Choi.
The artwork for an all-new iteration of animist Planeswalker Nissa Revane from Zendikar Rising, a new expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Yongjae Choi.

Zendikar Rising's New Cards

Some of the new cards from the upcoming set were revealed in its debut today. We will be seeing all-new double-faced dual lands!

Riverglide Pathway and its alternate side, Lavaglide Pathway, a new double-faced card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
Riverglide Pathway and its alternate side, Lavaglide Pathway, a new double-faced card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

Furthermore, we are slated to revisit some old friends – one, in particular, with a lot of arms. Let's face it – Omnath, Locus of Creation probably has enough arms for four whole hugs!

Both versions of Omnath, Locus of Creation, a new card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
Both versions of Omnath, Locus of Creation, a new card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

We also saw a version of Linvala (the newly-instated Shield of Sea Gate) that references the "party" mechanic. What this mechanic actually entails is presently beyond us at the time of writing, but, as they say, ain't no party like a Linvala party.

Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate, a new card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate, a new card from Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

What's On "The List"?

As you may have recalled from Magic: The Gathering Head Designer Mark Rosewater's panel at SDCC@Home, Set Boosters, a new type of booster pack as part of Magic's "booster fun" initiative, will have a ton of reprinted cards from Magic's history in them. This curated list of approximately 300 cards has been only partly unveiled so far, showcasing Cloudgoat Ranger, Muscle Sliver, and Pact of Negation to start with. Today, we get a crack at three more newly-reprinted cards from "The List" – Simian Spirit Guide, Slimefoot, The Stowaway, and Food Chain, Prossh Commander players, in particular, will likely rejoice at this addition due to its general scarcity in this day and age!

Food Chain, a newly-revealed reprinted card from "The List", to be inserted randomly in Set Boosters of Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming set for Magic: The Gathering.
Food Chain, a newly-revealed reprinted card from "The List", to be inserted randomly in Set Boosters of Zendikar Rising, the next upcoming set for Magic: The Gathering.

Let's Look Ahead!

Some of the biggest news today came from what we will see in 2021, starting with the Winter set and going all the way into the Fall. The next set after Zendikar Rising will be our first official in-depth look at the plane of existence called Kaldheim, through the aptly-named set, Kaldheim. We can likely discern that Kaldheim is a Norse-themed set and that Angrath, a notable Planeswalker from recent sets past, is a resident of the plane. We also know that Angrath has a family there, so perhaps we will see a more subdued, loving version of the character in the blurbs and storyline snippets we will likely receive regarding the setting.

After Kaldheim, we visit Strixhaven, a setting known for its prestigious magical university. As Harry Potter-esque as that sounds, it's likely to be a fun setting that ought to appeal to many new students of a more mundane variety of schooling. We admittedly do not know much yet, but that's because it's half a year away from release, in the Spring of 2021.

Following this… Well, I've honestly Forgotten. It's escaped the Realms of my understanding… Oh, oh wait, no, it's coming back to me. In the Summer of 2021, we will be seeing our first full-on Magic: The Gathering tie-in with Dungeons & Dragons! The Summer 2021 set, entitled Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, will likely take place in Feyrune, the major setting for the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms campaigns. Again, we do not know much yet, but prospects look fantastic. We are eagerly anticipating the idea of a five-color Tiamat card, for example. Will that prediction come to fruition? Time will tell!

Finally, in the Autumn of 2021, we will be seeing not one, but two new sets taking place on Innistrad, the original gothic/eldritch-horror plane of existence. We don't have exact specs on these sets yet but what we can say is that they're each focused on Vampires and Werewolves, respectively.

The release timeline for Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering expansion sets for 2021.
The release timeline for Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering expansion sets for 2021.

But wait: there's more! 2021 will also see us through with a Modern Horizons sequel and… a revisiting of Time Spiral?

Let's Look… A-back?

Time Spiral Remastered is another new set for Magic: The Gathering that is to be revisited in 2021. At the time of writing, it seems likely that this remastered set will actually be in-paper as opposed to digital-only, unlike Amonkhet Remastered, which was only released on Arena. That being said, we do know that there will be a re-envisioning of the nostalgic, "special" rarity from the original Time Spiral expansion, featuring a number of cards printed for the first time in the old Magic border frame, such as Relentless Rats, Chalice of the Void, and Path to Exile. Spiffy!

The reprint of Path to Exile in the original Magic: The Gathering frame for Time Spiral Remastered.
The reprint of Path to Exile in the original Magic: The Gathering frame for Time Spiral Remastered.

But Wait… Even More!

Finally, but certainly not least of all, Magic: The Gathering: Arena is slated to come to mobile devices soon. More details will be announced as they arise. We are dying of anticipation!

Oh yeah, and a Secret Lair tie-in with AMC's hit zombie-drama The Walking Dead. Didn't see that coming!
Oh yeah, and a Secret Lair tie-in with AMC's hit zombie-drama The Walking Dead. Didn't see that coming!

Whew! All of this news is enough for a good long time. However, the news does not rest and no doubt there will be more in due time. Maybe even a few days? DailyMTG has already mentioned that we have a preview coming on September 9th. Be excited! And, if you have any thoughts on these new tidbits of information, let us know in the comments below!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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