Kenessos, Priest of Thassa
17, Jun, 24

MTG Designer Reveals Much-Requested Mechanic Won't Return Soon

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Following the release of the release of Outlaws of Thunder Junction, batches have been the talk of the MTG-playing town. Inspired by the aptly named Outlaws batch players have recently been pitching no end of new suggestions. Between Heroes, Fiends, Mages, and Undead, it’s clear that MTG players want more batches sooner rather than later.

Out of all the suggestions from players, Sea Creatures is undoubtedly the most popular. Bringing together Krakens, Leviathans, Octopuses, and Serpents, this unofficial grouping has been waiting literal years to become a proper batch. Recently, this would-be batch has received so much support from players that it’s seemed like an inevitable sure thing.

Unfortunately for MTG players who are eager to build a Sea Creature typal deck, this batch is apparently far from guaranteed.

No Motion in the Ocean

Charix, the Raging Isle

Thanks to the heightened demand from players, Lead MTG Designer, Mark Rosewater, has been answering countless questions about batches recently. The more of these questions that were asked and answered, the more inevitable future batches appeared to be. While it is highly likely that Magic’s future will include new batches, MTG players may have been getting ahead of themselves somewhat.

To reset expectations, Tumblr user Chaosascendant-blog recently asked the all-important question that should have been asked weeks ago. Continuing the long tradition on Blogatog, Chaosascendant-blog simply asked “If/When” players would get the long-awaited Sea Creatures batch. Sadly, Mark Rosewater’s response to this question might not be the one players were expecting.

Responding to this clear-cut question, Mark Rosewater simply stated “If, but small if.” Contrary to the expectations of players, this means that the seemingly guaranteed Sea Creature batch may not exist for a long time. Considering the immense amount of support behind this batch, you might be wondering what gives.

Unfortunately for anyone after the juicy details, Rosewater didn’t divulge exactly why the chances were so low. That being said, there are some obvious explanations behind this excitement-ruining reveal.

The Deep Blue Sea

Lava Serpent

To put it bluntly, batches need to be supported. In theory, the much-requested Sea Creature batch is decently supported already, but that’s not enough. Sure, there might be 138 Krakens, Leviathans, Octopuses, and Serpents already, but Wizards needs to make new cards. For a batch to be justified, it really needs to be a rather large part of a major set.

With this in mind, MTG players will likely be waiting until an underwater-themed premier set for the Sea Creature batch. Looking at the MTG release calendar, no such set has been announced, so we’ll be waiting until 2026, at least. This two-year wait may seem like a long time, but Sea Creatures are sadly not guaranteed even after that.

For better or worse, Sea Creatures, and most aquatic life, are very blue by nature. Sadly, this makes creating an MTG plane themed around this concept incredibly difficult. While black and green can work as secondary colors, red and white aquatic life is very rarely seen. They may be a snake, but Lava Serpent just wouldn’t work underwater.

Ultimately, creating an entire underwater MTG set seems practically impossible if you want every color equally supported. Since this is a requirement for premier sets, this may mean an underwater set is off the table. With this in mind, it’s little surprise that Rosewater states the Sea Creature batch is just an if, not a when.

Thankfully, while hope for Sea Creatures seems slim, there are workarounds Wizards can utilize. An underwater-themed set, for example, doesn’t necessarily need to be set entirely underwater. Alternatively, Wizards could create this batch in a supplemental set like Modern Horizons 4, if that ever gets made.

A Long Wait Ahead

Leviathan

At the end of the day, this latest statement from Rosewater delivers a cold, hard, yet often forgotten, truth to MTG players. As much as Rosewater may listen to play requests and occasionally make them a reality, set development takes time. Typically a premier MTG set will be in development for roughly two and a half years, so requests hardly materialize quickly.

Mercifully, while there are some fundamental problems with creating the Sea Creature batch, it’s not off the table entirely. Potentially, Wizards could create this batch as a one-off in the near-ish future to appear players. Until then, this archetype is still technically rather well supported.

Even if it’s not an official batch, there are currently a handful of cards in MTG that support Sea Creature typal. Most recently, Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep gave this archetype a new color combination to explore. While new cards and Commanders for this archetype aren’t exactly common, new support is hardly impossible.

Ultimately, while the long-waited Sea Creature batch may require additional waiting, batches aren’t off the table entirely. As a valuable tool within Wizards design toolbox, we’ll surely see another batch before too long. Given the desire from players for seemingly anything to become a batch, hopefully, whatever gets made will go down well.

Read More: Broken MH3 Draw Engine Expected to Receive Necessary Errata!

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