Throughout Magic: the Gathering’s almost 30-year history, players and Planeswalkers alike have been all over Magic’s seemingly endless multiverse. In the past year alone, MTG has been to the demon-filled 1920s, the neon-soaked future, and even a wedding! Next month, Magic: the Gathering will even be going to space in Unfinity. Despite the nearly limitless possibilities for where MTG can go, however, many players often want to look back. Especially since the future can be filled with scary new mechanics threatening the game’s sanctity. For better or worse, MTG fans may be getting their wish, as it appears the return to a fan favorite plane, Lorwyn is, quite literally, on the cards!
One of the Best
Launched all the way back in 2007, Lorwyn and its mechanics are often a point of contentious debate. Alongside the introduction of Planeswalkers in MTG, Lorwyn also focused heavily on the fan-favorite tribal mechanic. While they helped to create a thoroughly enjoyable set, it wasn’t just its mechanics that made Lorwyn special. Alongside its mechanics, Lorwyn was also heavily praised for its theming and art at the time. While it may not have had an official soundtrack, Lorwyn did feature an accompanying novel, for instance.
Despite not playing the set at launch, Lorwyn’s defining features were recently highlighted by YouTuber Spice8Rack. In an extensive two-hour video detailing “the forgotten brilliance of Lorwyn,” Spice8Rack explained exactly what made Lorwyn special to players. Towards the end of the video, Spice8Rack set the MTG community alight by highlighting how a return to Lorwyn appears more likely than ever. This is thanks partly to Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, which “represents a blueprint for how to revitalize an old plane.” Following this blueprint, Spice8Rack suggests that a return to Lorwyn is almost inevitable as Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has proven that unpopular planes and mechanics don’t need to stay unpopular.
While they make an undeniably compelling case, it’s not only Spice8Rack campaigning for Lorwyn’s return. Alongside the plane’s scores of fans, MTG’s Vice President of Design, Aaron Forsythe, also appears for Lorwyn’s long-overdue return. Speaking to Spice8Rack, Forsythe stated that “every time that we sit down to plan out another year’s worth of sets, Lorwyn and Alara are both… on the list of things to consider.” While this isn’t an absolute confirmation that Lorwyn 2: Electric Boogaloo is in the works, it’s clear that Wizards is thinking about it.
Those Wizards Are up to Something
Alongside Aaron Forsythe, the head honcho of MTG designers, Mark Rosewater, also added more fuel to the speculative fire. Following on from Spice8Rack’s video, Mark Rosewater posted to Twitter and Tumblr to ask fans, “what would you expect to see if we returned to Lorwyn?” As one of the most talked about return trips MTG could embark upon; this question inundated Rosewater with countless responses. With over 1000 replies on Twitter alone in less than 24 hours, it’s safe to say players are interested in this possibility.
Across the litany of responses Rosewater received, players reiterated Spice8Rack’s thoroughly explained points. Predominantly, players noted the artwork and themes of Lorwyn were what resonated, more so than its revolutionary mechanics. Scryfall’s April King, for instance, stated that “the artwork of Lorwyn had a look that I miss dearly, and I hope we get it back. Eldraine didn’t quite hit in the same way.” While Eldraine will return to MTG in 2023, Lorwyn’s whimsical fantasy clearly has its own place in players’ hearts.
While the most vocal support was towards Lorwyn’s aesthetic design, there were also those hoping to see the return of their favorite mechanics. Unfortunately, however, as much as people may request it, the Tribal mechanic is off the table. On their blog, Mark Rosewater has previously explained that Wizards have “decided to basically retire” the Tribal mechanic. This is because “it added too many expectations without enough mechanical payoff.” Rosewater noted that “if we label one Goblin-themed spell a Goblin, players want us to theme every Globin-themed spell a Goblin,” which may ultimately cause more problems.
A While to Wait
Unfortunately for fans excited by the possibility of Lorwyn’s return, it’ll still be a while away. Magic: the Gathering’s development cycle alone, for instance, is roughly two and a half years, so the earliest Lorwyn could return is April 2025. That is, however, only if Wizards of the Coast put aside any other plans to start work right away. While existing plans may already be in place, the enthusiasm around Lorwyn’s potential return might demand an expedited release. Ultimately, fans will have to wait and see what the future holds as Wizards likely won’t reveal anything until Wizards Presents 2023 or even 2024.