Plains | Secret Lair
2, Apr, 24

MTG Designer Seemingly Confirms Future Bonus Sheet Theme

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Bonus sheets have the potential to be an insane boon to a premier MTG set. Offering a smorgasbord of tantalizing, and much-needed, reprints with stunning new art, there’s undeniably a lot to love. Sure, they can warp an MTG set’s Limited environment, but most of the time a bonus sheet adds oodles of both fun and flavor.

With Outlaws of Thunder Junction being the next premier set, there’s a lot of talk about bonus sheets right now. Offering the expected suite of fantastic reprints with new flavor, the Breaking News bonus sheet has it all. As exciting as these reprints are, some MTG players are already looking toward the future.

Thankfully, this future isn’t entirely shrouded in mystery, following recent comments by MTG’s Lead Designer. While there’s a chance the reveal isn’t genuine, it seems Mark Rosewater has just confirmed an upcoming bonus sheet theme. For now, there’s no telling when this new bonus sheet will appear in MTG, but it nonetheless seems like a doozy.

Land Ho

Tennis Concept Art

According to Mark Rosewater, “A land bonus sheet is a when, not an if.” Even considering that Rosewater’s when/if questions should usually be taken with a grain of salt, this nonetheless seems concrete. While an upcoming land-based bonus sheet has seemingly been effectively confirmed, there’s no telling when it may arrive just yet.

Looking ahead to the MTG release calendar, the most obvious place a land-based bonus sheet could appear is Tennis, the death race set. As a plane-hopping “Travelogue Set” this currently unnamed set seems like the perfect opportunity for a bonus sheet. Since we know it’s confirmed there’s a non-zero chance we could see the prophesied land-based bonus sheet here.

While Tennis may seem like the perfect opportunity to show off the multiverse, there are plenty more bonus sheet themes. Thanks to the set’s death race theme, we wouldn’t be surprised if the set had a vehicle-based bonus sheet instead. Alternatively, Wizards could copy March of the Machine and show off creatures in their planar frames once again.

Ultimately, we don’t know when a land-based bonus sheet could appear. While there could be some good opportunities coming up, MTG has a long future ahead of it. As a result, it could be a good few years before we see this bonus sheet getting printed.

Once the prophesied land bonus sheet actually does get printed, it’ll be very interesting to see how it affects the MTG set’s Limited environment. By, presumably, appearing in every pack, the set’s Draft environment would have no end of fixing. Potentially, this bonus sheet could replace the basic land slot in packs, but that could cause more problems than it would solve.

Reprint Reconnaissance

Boseiju, Who Endures & Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

At the end of the day, even if it might warp limited more than usual, a land bonus sheet is nonetheless exciting. After all, countless lands are in dire need of a reprint since they’re always in extreme demand. From Standard to Vintage, no format can escape the immense cost of MTG’s best lands.

Sadly for Vintage and high-power Commander players, many of the best lands in MTG are part of the Reserved List. Thanks to this, there’s basically no chance that they’ll ever get reprinted outside of another 30th Anniversary Edition. Sadly, this means no Mishra’s Workshop, Gaea’s Cradle, or Underground Sea reprints.

Thankfully, while Vintage may be out of luck, every other format has plenty of expensive land in need of a reprint. Standard is arguably the most reprint-needing format out of the bunch, as this rotating format is too expensive right now. Thanks to Boseiju, Who Endures at $38 and Spara’s Headquarters at $14, playing Standard isn’t cheap.

While it’s not uncommon to see a Standard deck with a $200+ mana base, it’s hardly the most expensive format. That honor, instead, goes to Modern, which makes prolific use of Fetch Lands like Polluted Delta. At $28 a pop, costs can unsurprisingly add up quickly, especially thanks to other staples like the $38 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Since Pioneer suffers from many of the same problems, it’s clear that something needs to be done. Unfortunately, solving MTG’s problem of high-priced lands isn’t an easy fix. Since they’re played in so many decks, an insane volume of reprints would be required to have prices fall. While Bonus Sheets have achieved this in the past, land is used on a completely different level altogether…

A Case of the Afternoon Sillies 

Brims Barone, Midway Mobster | Unfinity
Brims Barone, Midway Mobster | Unfinity

Sadly, as much as a land-based bonus sheet has a lot of potential, there is a catch to Rosewater’s recent confirmation. In case you couldn’t tell from all the ridiculous posts across social media, yesterday was April Fools Day. With MTG Arena getting into the spirit of things, MTG had already put on its fetching novelty hat. Alongside this, Mark Rosewater was getting into the jovial spirit too!

Throughout April 1st, Rosewater answered their usual questions on Blogatog in a less than serious manner. Flat out confirming details such as the third chapter of the Metronome arc being “officially called Noah’s Arc,” it’s clear Rosewater was being facetious. While fun, this does make the reveal of a future Land bonus sheet somewhat dubious, since it too was posted on April 1st.

Despite the date of this answer from Rosewater, it seems this answer may be genuine, given what surrounds it. Prior to confirming the future land bonus sheet Rosewater also sensibly discussed Thunder Junctions mechanics, as well as the timescale since the Phyrexian invasion. Due to this, it seems that the Bonus Sheet confirmation may have been one of the last few genuine reveals before April Fools Day began properly.

Sadly, without additional confirmation from Rosewater now that April Fools Day has passed, there’s no telling what’s real for sure. Given that a land-based bonus sheet could contain plenty of fantastic cards, we certainly hope it is the real deal. Ultimately, we’ll just have to wait and see to find out what the future holds.

Read More: MTG Head Designer Confirms Masterpieces Are a Thing of the Past

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