Kellan, the Kid
28, Feb, 24

MTG Players Baffled by Suspiciously Quiet 2024 Release Calendar

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Article at a Glance

For better or worse, 2024 has been an exceptionally busy year for MTG so far. It’s not even March and already we’ve had two set releases, three Secret Lair drops, and four First Looks! As if all this wasn’t too much to handle already, the next few months are completely loaded with new content!

Outside of May, every single month in 2024 up until August has its own MTG set. While this might not seem so bad on the surface, each set has a spoiler season and series of announcements. On top of this, players would quite like some quiet time post-release to sit down and enjoy their new cards.

Unfortunately for MTG players looking to enjoy their hobby, it’s very rare that Magic’s relentless spoiler season ever stops. With this in mind, some players have been understandably baffled by 2024’s release calendar. Sure, the next few months are absolutely jam-packed with content, but after that, it’s surprisingly quiet. What’s going on there..?

Damning Density

Vraska - Outlaws at Thunder Junction

Looking at the 2024 release calendar as a whole, there are currently nine major products scheduled to be released. As we mentioned before, these sets are coming out roughly once a month until August. This in itself is quite an oddity, since typically nothing releases in August outside of a Secret Lair drop.

For 2024, Wizards of the Coast is flipping the script somewhat, as the Q3 set is launching much earlier than expected. Usually, this set will launch anywhere from mid to late September, however, Bloomburrow isn’t following that trend. Currently, Bloomburrow is scheduled to launch on August 2nd, a whole month earlier than expected.

According to MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, this change has been made “to give more space between the premier sets in the second half of the year.” Since these sets are usually just two months apart, this seems like a welcome change. That being said, this shift may have a worse effect on the first half of the year as it becomes even more congested.

While this congestion hasn’t stopped MTG from making money hand over fist, this relentless release schedule is a real problem. For many players, even die-hard veterans, it’s simply too much to keep up with. Unfortunately, not keeping up is easier said than done, as taking a break usually means getting left behind.

Thankfully, while the first half of 2024 is busier than ever before, MTG players may finally get a long-overdue break. That will be the case, at least, so long as nothing else gets announced to fill out the year’s calendar. Wizards of the Coast totally wouldn’t be hiding something up their sleeves… would they?

Quiet Times Ahead?

Bloomburrow Unnamed Art

Following the release of Bloomburrow, the 2024 release calendar becomes suspiciously quiet. Outside of Pioneer Masters of MTG Arena, the only major set being released is Duskmourn: House of Horror. Currently, this set is slated for a Q4 release, which typically means mid-November, around the 15th if we’re to guess.

Unless something gets changed, this leaves a massive 105-day gap between major MTG releases. While some players may welcome this potential pause to play some games, a break of this length would be unprecedented. Not only has MTG been releasing sets every three months for decades, but set count has soared in recent years.

With the usual release calendar in mind, it definitely seems like something is missing from the 2024 calendar. If the gulf in dates didn’t show this enough already, we’re also simply missing a major set this year. Right now, only five Draftable MTG sets have been confirmed for 2024, which is one less than usual.

Beyond past precedent, moving forward, Hasbro has confirmed a change to MTG’s release calendar. In 2025, each year will contain six major tentpole sets, two of which will be major Universes Beyond releases. In case you’re not familiar with the parlance, a tentpole set is Draftable and features supplemental products like Commander decks.

What Are We Missing?

The Thirteenth Doctor | Doctor Who Commander Decks
The Thirteenth Doctor | Doctor Who Commander Decks

Given that there is a suspicious gap in the release calendar, some MTG players started to wonder what’s missing. Unfortunately, outside of the assumption that another Draftable set will be released, there’s no telling what is in store. As usual, that all-important detail of missing facts hasn’t stopped players from speculating about what 2024 may have in store.

Considering they’ve been a staple since 2022, it seems like another Universes Beyond Commander set will be released. Past precedent indicates that such a set would be released sometime in October. While this expected release date fits into the content calendar’s gap, it’s strange we haven’t heard anything yet.

Since Universes Beyond sets are such a big deal, usually they’re announced much earlier than usual. This has been the case for Warhammer, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Final Fantasy, and Marvel too. The only set to buck this trend has been Fallout, which was only announced six months before its release date.

Thanks to Fallout bucking the trend, it’s possible that new Universes Beyond Commander decks could be announced rather soon. Considering Wizards just hosted The Preview Panel at MagicCon: Chicago, it seems unlikely we’ll be getting back-to-back announcements. That being said, something is still surely missing from the 2024 calendar, so there must be an announcement soon.

Looking ahead, the most likely time for a new announcement is in exactly four months. On this date of June 28th, Wizards will kick off MagicCon: Amsterdam. During this convention, it seems likely we’ll be getting another Preview Panel of some kind to show off future sets. While this would be a great opportunity to reveal the back half of 2024, admittedly, it would be cutting it rather close.

What Will the Future Hold?

Magus of the Future
Magus of the Future | Future Sight

Ultimately, while sets like Triple Masters or Conspiracy 3 could fill out the 2024 calendar, there’s no guarantee of what’s coming. Technically, there’s a non-zero chance that nothing will be announced and MTG players will finally get a break. At the end of the day, we’re just going to have to wait and see what does or doesn’t get revealed.

Thankfully, while MagicCon: Amsterdam is a long way away, the wait until then shouldn’t feel that long. For better or worse, the first half of 2024 is still absolutely stacked with content, so the year definitely isn’t going to feel quiet.

Read More: Major MTG Errata Announced for Bloomburrow

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