From the Avengers to cyberpunk and gangsters, how has Magic changed so much over the years
“Magic The Gathering”, recognized as the world's first collectible card game (TCG), has been around for nearly three decades since it was released by Wizards of the Coast in 1993. During this period, countless exciting stories and legendary planeswalkers were created, making this game maintain its vigorous vitality.


In recent years, however, there have been sudden changes…


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1. New Capena: a modern city where gangsters fight


Magic's newest set, "New Capena: Rascals of Darkness," has just been released in recent days. Its theme "Black Street" undoubtedly points to a subject that almost everyone is very familiar with - gangs.


Those who ignite the spark and travel through different time and space are often called "planeswalkers", and the protagonist of the planeswalkers who came to "New Capena" this time is our old friend Elspeth.


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When we refer to the theme of gangster in reality, there is a movie that can never be avoided, and that is "The Godfather".

"New Capena" will of course not miss this famous scene in film history.


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New Capena and Deco- Punk


It is worth mentioning that the art style of "New Capena" comes from a field that we are both familiar with and unfamiliar with. Familiar because most of them must have seen there more or less, unfamiliar because of the name of the art style - Deco - Punk.


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As a kind of sci-fi category, Deco - Punk itself is a combination of Art Deco and Dieselpunk, which is a derivative category under diesel punk.


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Deco – Punk = Art Deco + Dieselpunk

The essence of Deco - Punk is to combine the brilliance of art deco and the darkness of diesel punk, based on futuristic retroism and art deco. A lot of dystopian and centralized elements are hidden.


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At the heart of the inevitable contradiction in Deco Punk is the question of class.

In the series "New Capena: Black Streets", the five families that control the city are:


Secret News Gang, Fu Ji Society, Music and Dance Party, Excellent Art League, and Diligence Federation.

Exploitation, conflict, fraud are the weather vane of the city.


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The punk element is different from the previous series. In recent years, the space-time settings are often more novel and unexpected. Some of them are too close to modern culture, while others have broadened the original boundaries in the product itself. But in any case, it has to start with War of the Spark in 2019...


2.A new development is started from War of the Spark: interlocking universe


If the War of the Spark series in 2019 is used as a metaphor for a long series of movies in the same year, then Avengers 4 is the best answer.


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In the story of War of the Spark, a total of 39 planeswalkers were assembled, and the Avengers 4 war in the universe of Magic the Gathering began.


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Wizards of the Coast also produced high-level CG promotional animations for this, which is extremely rare in the history of announcement of Magic the Gathering. In addition, all the planeswalkers cards have Japanese version. Among them, the planeswalker Liliana, one of the five main narrative characters in the series, is painted by the well-known Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano.


The end of War of the Spark not only means that this three-year final battle has come to an end. At the same time, it also heralds the end of the long-term story with the five planeswalkers of the Guardian Alliance as the main narrative characters for more than ten years.


Everything will enter a new chapter.



Endless sets of different paintings


After War of the Spark, Wizards of the Coast launched a variety of new planes, such as Ikoria with beasts, rock Nordic themed Kaldheim, magic school Strixhaven, Dungeons and Dragons themed Forgotten Realms, cyberpunk themed new Kamigawa, and today's gangster-themed New Capenna.


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They all have one feature in common, that is, each series must have a set of different art cards. Among them, the different paintings launched by the Ikoria series are more jaw-dropping. Magic the Gathering is linked with Godzilla!


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And different from the regular theme series cards, Wizards of the Coast has also launched different art cards that can be purchased directly – Secret Lair.


The art style of these items is more distinctive, and the linkage IP is becoming more and more distinctive, such as the American TV series The Walking Dead and Stranger Things.


This phenomenon continued until Wizards of The Coast's annual press conference in August 2021, and finally ushered in the climax of linkage.


From August 25, 2021, to August 24, 2021, Wizards of The Coast released a series of Wizards of The Coast brand products, including the linkage products of Fortress night, street overlord, Lord of the rings and Warhammer 40K, which will be launched in 2022. At the same time, Wizards of The Coast also confirmed that the highly anticipated Magic The Gathering animation series will be launched on Netflix by the end of 2022.


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There is no doubt that the operation and layout of this series seem to start from the "spark war" in 2019. Then who opened the door to the new world of Magic The Gathering?


I try to conduct some shallow research and discussion based on the results.

The following passage is purely a picture of music. There is no logical cause and effect. Everything just seems to form a theoretical closed loop….


3. Divergent thinking focusing on the linkage of the war of two cities


The war of two cities, as another track swept from the dark horse animation, once became the top animation in 2021 in the eyes of countless people.

The top music, the top animation production, and the original lol animation plot haunted by countless people have ignited the youth of many people.


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It was at this moment that Chris Cox, the president of Wizards of The Coast, entered the center of this "story".

In February this year, Hasbro announced that the board of directors had appointed Chris cocks as its CEO and board member, with effect from February 25, 2022.

Chris joined Hasbro in April 2016 and served as the president and chief operating officer of the digital game Department of its subsidiary Wizards of The Coast.


With Chris leading the team in Wizards of The Coast, the number of the team has almost doubled. In his work, he boldly shared the priceless ideas in his mind with customers and led the continuous growth of Wizards of The Coast's iconic brand Magic The Gathering for many years since 2018.


Chris launched " Magic The Gathering Arena" (MTGA) on PC and mobile terminals, which has played an important role in the successful expansion of the brand into the digital field.


Next, let's go back to the "spark war" in 2019, and then ask a question: where did the layout of this unprecedented war start?


In 2015, the tatachi Khan novel paved the way for nikopolas and ukin to be twins.

In 2016, karadesh paved the way for Nicole polas to plot in armanke,

This year coincided with Chris's first year at Wizards of The Coast.


However, in general, a Magic set is made 12-20 months in advance, so the Kaladesh set at this point in time actually completed most of the card design as early as 2015.


But then again, since the linkage between "Battle of Two Cities" and "Magic The Gathering" was decided by "slap on the forehead", Chris has been thinking of adding story focus cards to individual series for 16 years to hint at the follow-up. Is it reasonable to develop and then observe community responses and discussions, and use this as a starting point to arrange the subsequent layout? After all, the cost of doing so is not high, but the potential benefits are enormous.


To know that "Avengers 2" is a movie in 2015, the timeline is consistent.


2021 and 2022 financial report presentation:


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Overall, Wizards' revenue rose 9% to $263 million in the first quarter of 2022 on a profit of $106 million (more than 40% of total revenue).


Wizards quickly became the best-selling winter series of all time, making Kamigawa: Nizoki one of the top 3 best-selling series of all time. It generated more than $100 million in revenue and was Magic's fifth-ever billion-dollar franchise.


All the above data shows us the fact that the "Avengers-style layout" of "Magic The Gathering" and the IP linkage development idea in recent years can be said to be quite successful, among which Chris Cocks undoubtedly played the most important role, is a well-deserved hero.


As for the next "Magic the Gathering" layout, I believe many players have already had a glimpse. After three years of absence from "War of the Spark", the brand-new Fuxian has gradually entered the players' field of vision, that is, the new Phyrexian magic judge, Ellenon, who intends to let inorganic matter rule the entire multi-dimensional space and time.


The Phyrexians' notoriety in the multiverse is known to almost everyone, and I'm very curious about the subsequent story development.


The next "Dominaria United" series will be released in the third quarter of 2022, which will take players back to Dominaria, where it all started, where Magic The Gathering was born.


As one of the most important and fundamental stories in the history of "Magic The Gathering", "Battle of Brothers", which has influenced countless games, will be released in the fourth quarter of 2022, which is the most perfect for the 30th anniversary of "Magic The Gathering". commemorate.


It is expected that Chris Cocks, the president of Hasbro at the time, will continue to bring more novel and interesting developments to Magic The Gathering.


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