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27, Nov, 23

MTG Could Maybe Be Getting Another Battlebond Set!

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As many MTG players will know, one of the best bits of Magic: The Gathering is the myriad formats. Each offering a different way to play the game, the multitude of formats gives Magic practically infinite replayability. Despite the impressive feat, however, not every MTG format is the most played, and therefore, supported by Wizards.

Unfortunately for its die-hard fans, one of the least supported official formats around is Battlebond and Two-Headed Giant. One of few multiplayer formats in MTG, this four-player Limited and Constructed format is certainly unique. So much so, in fact, that it’s somewhat remarkable this format ever got its own set in the first place!

Despite Battlebond definitely being an oddity of a set and a format, there’s a chance it’s not a one-time thing. In fact, judging by recent comments by a lead MTG designer, Wizards might just be up to something. That’s our hope, at least, as we’d truly love to see Battlebond make its long-overdue return.

Battlebond: A Troubled History

The Crowd Goes Wild
The Crowd Goes Wild | Battlebond

Following its first appearance in 2018, there’s nary been a peep about Battlebond through Wizards’ official channels. This likely had something to do with the fact the set wasn’t all too popular. Sure, it might have contained a few spicy reprints like Doubling Season and Land Tax but these couldn’t sell a set on their own. 

Ultimately, Battlebond struggled to find a home within MTG due to its Two-Headed Giant structure. As much as this was very interesting, beyond an experimental first Draft or two, players weren’t enamored. Subsequently, much like many novelty Un-Sets, Battlebond quickly faded into obscurity once new sets took the spotlight.

While much of the MTG playing forgot about Battlebond, some MTG players remained fixated on this unusual set. Due to this, MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, has received a surprisingly large number of questions requesting the set’s return. Unfortunately for these hopeful players, Rosewater has previously dashed hopes of any potential return. 

Back in 2022, Mark Rosewater stated that Battlebond is the least likely of the novelty sets to return. When compared against Planechase, Archenemy, and Conspiracy, Battlebond was dead last in the rankings. Considering Archenemy and Conspiracy haven’t returned yet, things aren’t looking good for Battlebond fanatics. 

That being said, however, as we mentioned at the start of this article, there have been some recent murmurings. On Twitter, Principle MTG Designer Gavin Verhey has recently been questioning players about a potential sequel. Specifically, Verhey has been asking players where they might want such a set to be set story-wise. 

If you ask us, this is a pretty major detail to consider on a whim, so it might just reveal some future plans. 

Battlebond Is Finally Coming Back?!

Doubling Season
Doubling Season | Battlebond

Unfortunately, once again, for Battlebond fans, when taking to Twitter, Verhey didn’t outright confirm a sequel set. Instead, Verhey was questioning fans about where they might like to go, should a second set be greenlit. Specifically, Verhey asked if players would want it set on Valor’s Reach/Kylem, just like the first set. 

“Let’s say we did another Battlebond. 2HG limited, some mechanics return, some new cool ones… You get the idea. Would you want it to be set on Valor’s Reach/Kylem again, yes or no?”

Gavin Verhey

Offering four different answers in a poll, varying between a strong yes and no, players could easily convey their opinions. Doing so on quite a large scale, the majority of the 7500+ polled players voted for the “Strong Yes” option. Claiming 46% of the vote, the next most popular choice was “Slight Yes” at 33%. 

From Verhey’s vote, it’s rather clear that MTG players are keen for a return to Kylem. For better or worse, another Battlebond set may be players’ best chance at getting what they want. Currently, on the Rabiah Scale, Kylem sits at a 7, which means it’s unlikely to return in a premier set.

To understand this demand, Kylem is rather unique as far as planes go within MTG. Themed predominantly around sports, competition, and games, Kylem has massive stadiums and events galore. As if that wasn’t interesting enough already, Kylem was also ravaged by the Phyrexian invasion of the multiverse.

While Kylem is definitely an interesting place, there are a few other options for a potential Battlebond set. Many Twitter users, for instance, were keen to point out that Arcavios could be a potential setting. Thanks to the Strixhaven Stadium it might not even need to deviate hard from the sporty theme!

Hopes, Dreams, and a Lot of Speculation

Archfiend of Despair | Battlebond
Archfiend of Despair | Battlebond

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we must admit that there’s no guarantee a second Battlebond set is in the pipeline. As much as Verhey might be questioning players about a setting, this could just be a harmless question. There’s also no guarantee Verhey is even considering Battlebond 2: Electric Boogaloo. This could just be a question to gauge general interest in Kylem, for instance.

As much as we might naysay the potential for a future Battlebond set, we can’t deny that we’re still hopeful. Much like Un-Sets, the unique Draft environment of Battlebond was an absolute blast, so we’d love to see it again. Whether or not we’ll get that chance, ultimately remains to be seen. 

At the end of the day, even if a second Battlebond set is in the works, it’s evidently a long way away. Since Verhey is asking vision design-oriented questions, the set could easily be 2-3+ years from release. Thanks to this long lead time, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens in the future.

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