Marvel's Avengers
14, Jul, 22

Could Marvel Be MTG’s Next Crossover?

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After debuting in 2020, Wizards of the Coast has slowly been ramping up the frequency of its crossover products. First appearing in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and later the Secret Lair x The Walking Dead drop, these crossover products are not without controversy. They do, however, tend to be reasonably successful. This led WotC to create the Universes Beyond series last year. This is the new home for all Wizards’ crossover products and is denoted by a unique triangular security seal. 

After ironing out the kinks of controversy, Wizards of the Coast have been leaning into their out-of-universe crossover products. As well as a variety of new Secret Lairs released throughout 2021 and 2022, WotC is also releasing an entire crossover set in 2023. While these Universes Beyond products are only playable in Eternal formats, Wizards has also released crossover products in Standard. The set, Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, is non-canonical. However, it shows Wizards’ commitment to Magic’s expanded universe. 

With an entire Universes Beyond set already planned for 2023, it would be no surprise to learn that WotC is already planning another. Whether or not they are, we have a suggestion on what it should be; Marvel. 

Avengers Assemble

The Avengers
The Avengers | Via: Marvel

As one of the biggest franchises in the world for the past fourteen years, Marvel, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would be an excellent crossover for Magic: the Gathering. Not only would this hypothetical crossover have the potential to boost the game’s popularity massively, but it could also be an incredibly enjoyable, collectible set. For Wizards, this is a no-brainer decision, as it would accomplish everything they’re after from the Universes Beyond series.

Given the vast opportunity, we’ve got no doubts that a Marvel crossover gets frequently suggested in Universes Beyond meetings. Recently, we have also seen the design implications of such a set be considered by none other than Mark Rosewater. Speaking on Blogatog, Rosewater recently answered many fan questions addressing potential design choices. Allowing ourselves to be hopeful, this could be seen as laying the groundwork for a future set.

Admittedly, the questions themselves weren’t confirming that a Marvel crossover is in the cards. Instead, Rosewater merely addressed those posing design questions around the creature types for superheroes. Marvel’s X-Men, for instance, are Mutants known as homo superior in the comics rather than homo sapiens. This throws up an interesting question about what their creature type would be. Answering that exciting question, Rosewater stated that “they would most likely be Mutant Human because human is what they are a mutant of.”

Alongside Mutants, Marvel’s universe also features Inhumans and Mutates, characters who develop powers after exposure to outside stimuli. Mutates, for instance, are characters such as Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man. This, once again, poses an interesting question about the hypothetical set’s creature types. As Rosewater pointed out in another question, “that word [Mutant] has specific meaning in Marvel.” Rosewater then posited that for Spider-Man, he wouldn’t be a Human Spider Mutant but just a “Human Spider.” 

What Would a Marvel Crossover Set Look Like? 

Lolth, Spider Queen
Lolth, Spider Queen | Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms

Thanks to Magic: The Gathering’s roster of planeswalkers and legendary creatures, there would be no shortage of possibilities for crossovers in the same vein as Ikoria’s Godzilla Series Monsters. This would make creating a Secret Lair x Marvel drops an absolute breeze and an easy avenue for reprints. Alternatively, Wizards could follow in the footsteps of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth and create a whole new draft set. This would allow Wizards to create bespoke cards that better represent Marvel’s wide range of characters. 

To make that possibility even more compelling, Magic: the Gathering already features several mechanics that would be perfect for a Marvel set. Double-Faced cards, for example, would be a fitting core mechanic for the set. With Marvel superheroes often having a mild-mannered secret identity, this mechanic, last seen in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, is a natural fit. Double-Faced cards could also be used for characters to show before and after they get their powers. This could be similar to the Double-Faced Planeswalkers in Magic: Origins.

With Mutants being a core part of Marvel comics and maybe the MCU in the future, we’d also welcome the return of Mutate. Appearing only in Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths, this mechanic allows creatures to be placed over or under other non-human creatures to stack their effects. Admittedly, the flavor of this mechanic doesn’t exactly fit the themes of Marvel’s comics and cinematic universe. Nevertheless, the mechanic is literally called Mutate, so I’m still going with it. 

How Likely Is It Really?

Birgi, God of Storytelling
Birgi, God of Storytelling | Kaldheim

Unfortunately, at best, the actual likelihood of this crossover coming to fruition is unlikely. Marvel and its owner Disney, are nothing if not protective of its franchise rights and distribution. While this would be a massive opportunity for Wizards of the Coast, Disney would have little to gain themselves unless promised the lion’s share of the profits. This may make a crossover deal untenable for Wizards of the Coast, even considering the promise of new players.

Due to this financial aspect, it’s less likely that Wizard of the Coast would design a Marvel crossover draft set. Instead, a Secret Lair x Marvel drop, or series, is a plausible crossover. Either way, Wizards of the Coast has not confirmed anything thus far. Thankfully, in the meantime, we still have plenty of Universes Beyond products to look forward to. 

If anything is going to be announced it’ll likely be during Magic Showcase 2022 later this year. There’s also the chance for a surprise reveal during Mark Rosewater’s upcoming San Diego Comic-Con Magic panel. This Comic-Con panel is set to take place on Saturday, the 23rd of July, and might be one you don’t want to miss!

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