Hythonia the Cruel
12, Jan, 24

Intriguing New MTG Oracle Deck Revealed!

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Article at a Glance

Part of what makes MTG a rather brilliant game is in its innate ability to appeal to a wide range of players. For some, a lot of the enjoyment comes out of a love for competition. MTG is a rather complicated game with a plethora of cards to choose from across a multitude of different formats, rewarding players for optimizing their decks as well as their ability to sequence their cards in a way that gives them the best chance to win.

For others, the world of MTG goes far beyond even using the cards for gameplay purposes. Many people enjoy the collectible aspect of the game. After all, the artwork and lore associated with every card and character can be rather enticing. With the rise in crossovers, fans of products and franchises even beyond MTG have become more immersed in what our beloved game has to offer.

In a recent unexpected announcement, a rather unique product was revealed that may appeal to lovers of MTG artwork, lore, and spirituality alike. This new product is labeled as a Magic the Gathering Oracle Deck and is set to be released by Penguin Random House on May 21, 2024. From the same team that helped create the Dungeons and Dragons Tarot Deck, this upcoming MTG Oracle Deck is designed to show off the beautiful world of MTG in a creative manner. As we take a closer look at what this product has to offer, it’s important to start by going over exactly what an Oracle deck is and where MTG fits in.

What is an Oracle Deck?

Penguin Random House
Thassa's Oracle

No, the Oracle deck has nothing to with Thassa’s Oracle. Oracle decks, this time around, are actually something completely outside of MTG.

The purpose behind an Oracle Deck is to gain spiritual insight into a variety of different circumstances. Each deck contains a large subset of cards that users can pull from in different situations in an attempt to gain foretold knowledge. Either by shuffling the cards and drawing a small number at random or by making distinct spreads designed for interpretation, as a “tool of self-reflection” these cards have a very similar function to Tarot cards.

For those unfamiliar, Tarot cards are often used as a form of cartomancy, which refers to the utilization of cards for fortune-telling and to try to gain divine insight. The idea is to come up with questions that could relate to past, present, or future, then draw cards and make interpretations connecting the meaning of each card to your specific scenario.

Read More: MTG Players Disappointed With New Lackluster Secret Lair Cards

Oracle Decks vs. Tarot Decks

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byu/AceOfSpades713 from discussion
inmagicTCG

While the Dungeons and Dragons Tarot Deck and the MTG Oracle Deck likely have some similarities, there are also some key differences that largely have to do with minor differences between Tarot Decks and Oracle Decks. While Oracle Decks can serve a similar purpose as Tarot Decks, they generally don’t follow the same set of strict guidelines that typical Tarot decks utilize.

Most modern-day Tarot decks draw lineage from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, which has a distinct 78 card structure made up of Major and Minor Arcana cards. Oracle Decks can follow a wider range of guidelines, and as such, give much more room for inspiration from the artists/creators themselves.

“Regardless of an artist’s interpretation of a card… the card’s meaning generally stays the same from tarot deck to tarot deck.”

SOPHIE SAINT THOMAS

This is likely where the biggest distinction lies. The new MTG product is designed to be an Oracle Deck that doesn’t strictly follow the structure of Tarot decks, as most people are familiar with. For instance, the MTG Oracle deck uses 52 cards, not 78, each with new and unique illustrations drawing from the lore of MTG.

Notably, these cards don’t appear to be actual MTG cards, but instead Oracle cards each with an MTG skin. These cards are designed for interpretation just like Tarot cards, so if you’re a fan of this form of visualization, the MTG Oracle Deck could be right up your alley.

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Inspiration from Theros

Hythonia the Cruel

For this MTG Oracle Deck in particular, a lot of the inspiration seems to have been drawn from original Theros block. In many ways, this seems like a decent choice for an overlap between Oracle cards and MTG. Theros is a set that showcases the power of the Gods and the roles that Gods, along with various mythical Creatures, can play in the MTG universe. Cards like Anger of the Gods, for example, portray the immense power of these beings, and given the elements of divinity associated with Oracle cards, Theros seems like the perfect set to highlight.

According to the description of the product, the 52 Oracle cards will each depict something taken directly from MTG lore, be it a character, Creature, object, etc. For characters, Hythonia is guaranteed to make an appearance. Other popular Theros-themed Creature types, such as Pegasus, Chimera, and Siren, will have cards focused on them as well.

“Both Theros and oracle cards hold belief as a powerful tool that we can use to create our reality, and with this deck you’ll be inspired to explore new realms of meaning.”

Penguin Random House

To help users draw clues from the cards they select, The MTG Oracle Deck will also come complete with a guidebook to introduce readers to Oracle cards, which can help people familiarize themselves with what Oracle cards are and how to use them. There will even be descriptions of each card image, likely helping users relate the fantasy-driven artwork to the real world.

Read More: These Absurdly Expensive MTG Cards Desperately Need a 2024 Reprint!

Strange Inclusions?

Comment
byu/AceOfSpades713 from discussion
inmagicTCG

From the perspective of players familiar with MTG lore, there are some rather interesting card choices that will be depicted on the Oracle cards. We already mentioned Hythonia, which as so_zetta_byte points out above, is a bit of a weird character to highlight in the description of the MTG Oracle Deck when describing Theros as a whole. After all, Elpseth is literally on the cover of the MTG Oracle Deck box, and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion is an iconic Theros Planeswalker that played a pivotal role in Standard at the time.

That being said, Hythonia could be a neat card to feature in an Oracle deck given its naturally evil nature as a legendary Gorgon, and it at least has direct ties to Theros. Jace, the Planeswalker, on the other hand, has minimal ties to Theros period. Theros is filled with beloved characters, including a variety of God cards, so seeing specifically Jace singled out in the description of the Theros-themed MTG Oracle Deck is rather confusing.

The MTG Oracle Deck is yet another addition in the massive line of products that show off the MTG universe. While it may be a bit overwhelming, it’s at least nice to see MTG become more mainstream over time. For fans of cartomancy and MTG, the MTG Oracle Deck could be an intriguing item to add to your arsenal.

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