During Mark Rosewater’s recent 2022 Comicon panel, Magic: the Gathering’s design lead debuted a brand new mechanic; Stickers. If you thought that regular ol’ counters and tokens were boring, Stickers are an all-new kind of flare for MTG. Appearing in Magic’s latest comedy Un- set, Unfinity, Stickers aren’t just a novelty for the Limited Draft environment, as they’re also Commander legal.
Stick It to Ya
In November, Wizards announced that Unfinity would feature an “additional play object” in every booster pack. We now know that the play object is a Sticker Sheet, thanks to Rosewater’s recent panel. Found as the fifteenth card in a pack, Sticker Sheets contain several types of Stickers that can be used during a game. Each Sticker Sheet contains three name Stickers, three art Stickers, two ability Stickers, and two power/toughness Stickers.
As Rosewater explains in a Blogatog post that accompanied the panel, “the way you Sticker cards is that there are cards that tell you to play a Sticker on a card as an effect.” For example, Angelic Harold allows you to put a name Sticker on a nonland permanent you own. Other cards such as Carnival Carnivore do not specify which Sticker to place on a nonland permanent.
As you may have noticed, Carnival Carnivore also features another new mechanic; Tickets. Typically found on cards with Sticker abilities, Tickets are a new counter, similar to Energy. You’re not forced to spend Tickets given by cards. However, you cannot play ability or power/toughness Stickers without them. On the Sticker Sheet Urza’s Dark Cannonball, the Shadow ability Sticker costs three Tickets to stick.
Once applied, Stickers will remain on the chosen permanent so long as it’s in any public zone. This includes the battlefield, graveyard, and library. Once a Stickered card is returned to a non-public zone, such as the hand or library, the Sticker is returned to the Sticker Sheet. Once a Sticker is returned to the sheet, you can use it again. It’s important to note that while a card can be stickered multiple times, power/toughness Stickers do not stack. Instead, only the top most power/toughness Sticker determines the card’s stats. Additionally, it is currently unclear how Pithing Needle affects renamed cards.
Stick It Where Now?
While it’s potentially the strangest mechanic to be introduced to Magic: the Gathering, Stickers may be the perfect fit for a Un- set. As cards such as Goblin Haberdasher have demonstrated in the past, Un- sets are no stranger to having art matter. Wizards has opened the door to all kinds of wild synergies in casual games by allowing you to modify your nonland permanents. For example, in Unfinity, Hats matter, so Happy Dead Squirrel’s hat Sticker should allow for some interesting synergies and combos. Alongside the art matter’s effectiveness, Stickers will obviously also allow you to accessorize your cards in-game adorably.
In Commander and Magic’s other Eternal formats, the art and name Stickers will be less effective, as, until now, art matter cards have been exclusive to Un- sets. However, ability stickers and power/toughness stickers will have utility in any number of decks. Happy Dead Squirrel, for example, also features an Infect Sticker for three Tickets. This will allow for some exciting synergies in Commander, so long as there’s an effective way to generate tickets and stick Stickers.
In constructed formats, however, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the Stickers you need for your deck. As Rosewater explains, “in Constructed, you bring ten unique sticker sheets and randomly pick three before the start of each game.” With forty-eight Sticker Sheets to choose from, there should be plenty of variety. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll randomly get the Sticker Sheets you need. Across the forty-eight Sticker Sheets, only power/toughness Stickers are repeated. In digital matches, there will be an online tool to “let you randomly pick any three Sticker Sheets.”
Will Stickers Stick?
It is unclear if Stickers will ever be used in a Standard-legal set. We’d wager that due to the complexity of this mechanic, it’ll only appear again in a Un- set if it’s well-received this time around. Previously, Un- set mechanics such as Dice Rolling have been implemented into Standard sets. Therefore, it’s not out of the question that Stickers could be used in a Standard set.
Unfinity’s Sticker Sheet was also the reason for the set’s recent delay. According to Rosewater, the original company making the glue for the Sticker Sheets went out of business. This left WotC scrambling to find a replacement at short notice.
Finding a suitable replacement was no small feat as Wizards specifically wanted a glue that could work like Post-It Notes. Primarily, the glue needed to be reusable while also not damaging cards. Thankfully, this production hiccup has been solved, so we’ll be sticking Stickers to our cards before we know it. Currently, however, it is unclear just how long these Stickers will last. Thankfully, players without Stickers can write on slips of paper as a proxy replacement.