MTG: Zendikar Rising First Look With Mark Rosewater At Comic-Con

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Zendikar Rising is the newest base set for Magic: the Gathering. In a panel at Comic-Con@Home, Mark Rosewater, lead designer for the game, went over the themes and ideas that went into the newest set. At the start of the panel he went over his journey to the current day in Magic. He started in 2003, and wanted to make the card-type “land” matter. The original Zendikar block was based around lands and the ‘Landfall’ mechanic.

That block was based around various themes of adventure, weather, Allies, lands, and treasure. The original Zendikar block was Zendikar, Worldwake, and Rise of the Eldrazi. Rise of the Eldrazi was mechanically different from the first two sets. It brought on the evil parasitic creatures known as the Eldrazi. They later returned in Battle For Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad blocks.

For the newest set, Rosewater wants to return to that “adventure-world” theme. The main goal was to recapture original Zendikar‘s feel. Sadly, there weren’t any mechanics or cards shown off during the panel. We did get some small knowledge about the set. It is a land themed set. Full art-basics are returning for this set. Rosewater was very adamant about also getting his idea for six special “dual-lands” in the set. So when it releases, it’ll have these six special lands that he’s been waiting to put in a set for a long time.

More From The Panel On Zendikar Rising

He was not very specific, but he teased, three planeswalkers, returning legendary cards, mechanics from the last two Zendikar sets, and brand new art.

The art that was shown off was absolutely gorgeous! It really shows off the “adventure” theme of Zendikar Rising. Now none of it had cards attached to them during the panel, but it’s a nice sneak peek into what’s in store.

What The Hell Is A Set Booster?

Rosewater went into the design of products over the years. They started making products toward Commander players because the format got popular. They made Collector Boosters because it was something that players wanted for special versions of cards. There are still going to be regular booster packs for draft and sealed formats. He went over how over half of the booster packs that are opened are just cracked and people put the cards in their collections. This new “set booster” is for the person who loves cracking packs. While normal booster packs are designed for draft and sealed in mind.

The “set booster” has slots. The first slot is art cards. If you remember back to Modern Horizons, it came with art cards that had information and were pretty cool looking. So those are returning with these. Certain art cards are going to have special “artist signature versions”.

Slot two is the land slot. The default for the Zendikar set booster is a full-art basic land. That will change from set to set. 15% of the time, instead of a normal land, you’ll get a foil version of the land.

Set Boosters For Zendikar Rising Continued

Slot 3-8 are commons and uncommons. They aren’t balanced by colors, but they’ll have a connection of playing well together, a similar mechanic, something flavorful, etc. In these six cards, you’r guaranteed to get 5 commons, and 1 uncommon. But you could get any number of uncommons in these slots also.

The “head turner” slot. Number 9 is an alternate version of a Magic card. It’s always a common or uncommon. It could be a showcase card or a cool new version that Rosewater couldn’t talk about yet. Slot 10-11 is a wild card slot. It could be rare, mythic, uncommon, or common.

Slot 12 is the rare/mythic rare slot. You’re guaranteed to get a rare/mythic in this slot. Slot 13 is the foil slot. You’re guaranteed to get a foil here as well. Slot 14 is the token/ad card that you get normally in a normal booster. This final slot could have a 25% chance at getting a card from “The list” as Rosewater put it. “The list” is a list of 300 cards from Magic’s past. These cards are reprints of cards from Magic’s past, but they have the Planeswalker symbol at the bottom like Mystery Booster cards.

This list will change over time, but they shouldn’t change too much.

Zendikar Rising Panel Wrap-Up

The set booster is going to cost a little bit more than a regular booster pack, but it contains up to 4 rares/mythic rare cards. The box for set boosters contains 30 packs instead of the regular 36 packs. These are designed to be more fun to open and have varying excitement levels.

The last part of the panel was a fun “Q&A” from Pop Figure Planeswalkers. The Eldrazi aren’t on the plane thanks to a question from Chandra.

Overall this was a fun panel from Mark Rosewater about Magic and Zendikar Rising. The art looks beautiful, and the set booster is an interesting idea for collectors and people who don’t normally buy packs to draft or play with. Magic has some interesting products coming down the pipeline and this is just the latest for it!

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