Diminishing Returns
16, Apr, 23

MTG Designer Teases Potential Potion Brewing Mechanic

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Article at a Glance

Introduction

Potions are an essential part of fantasy as a genre. Whether they take the form of mind and body altering elixirs like in Dungeons and Dragons or health-restoring items that need to be chugged by the bucket load like in Final Fantasy.

Magic: the Gathering has featured a small number of potion cards throughout the years. Cards like Revitalize show them being to used to heal wounds, whilst cards like Whisper, Blood Liturgist depict far more sinister magical brews. All things considered, potions are not really a very big part of Magic’s lore. That could change in the future, as Magic’s chief designer has teased that a new mechanic based on preparing potions may appear in the game’s future.

Potions For Players

Sinister Concotion

Magic’s chief designer, Mark Rosewater, frequently answers questions from the MTG Community on Blogatog, his personal Tumblr blog.

On the 16th of April, the user strixheaven asked: “Hi Mark! Have you ever considered a mechanic that represents potion brewing: mixing and matching magical ingredients to make concoctions?”

Rosewater responded: “We’ve designed such a mechanic, but it hasn’t made it to print.” Rosewater’s response here is as interesting as it is cryptic…

“Not made it to print” could mean that the mechanic was designed, but ultimately scrapped before being put into the game. If this is the case then MTG players won’t be brewing up potions any time soon. Alternatively “not made it to print” could mean that the mechanic has been designed and is due to appear in an upcoming set that simply hasn’t been released yet. Some users on Rosewater’s Tumblr have suggested that 2023’s quarter three set Wilds of Eldraine may be where this mechanic debuts. Considering that MTG’s fairy tale plane would be the perfect place for witches to brew some diabolical concoctions in their cauldrons this would make sense. Perhaps the next time we visit Strixhaven, potions class will be on the curriculum. A few potions would certainly suit Witherbloom’s aesthetic of bubbling cauldrons and students searching through swamps for supplies.

Conclusion

If a potion brewing mechanic did exist, how would it be expressed through gameplay? Would players need to assemble different ingredients by using new types of tokens? Perhaps there would be a tribal element and players could somehow gather components by sacrificing Insects, Spiders, and Pests? Maybe potions would operate through the use of an alternative resource system like Energy counters in Kaladesh?

Whatever the case, Magic’s designers have a history of creatively demonstrating fantasy tropes through game mechanics. Whether we ever get a set based around the power of potions or this idea remains eternally unpublished we are likely to see no shortage of wacky new stuff in the future.

Read more: Wizards Insists Major MTG Story Is Better Than Players Believe!

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