Neave Blacktalon (Danitha Capashen, Paragon)
16, Jan, 23

MTG Players’ Universes Beyond Fears Won’t Be Coming True

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Since the first Universes Beyond product was launched back in 2020, the entire product line has been deeply controversial. This, however,  is for more than just starting off on the wrong mechanically unique foot. In recent years, Universes Beyond has grown to signify all that is wrong with Magic in many players’ eyes, Universes Beyond has grown to signify all that is wrong with Magic. Both are diluting the game’s iconic brand and adding to the overwhelming release calendar Universes Beyond isn’t entirely beloved. That being said, as more Universes Beyond products have been released, MTG players have been steadily warming up to the sub-brand. Despite the growing support for Universes Beyond, however, recently, MTG players have been concerned with what the future might hold.

Change Is Coming

Change of Plans
Change of Plans | Streets of New Capenna Commander

Prior to MTG players being enamored with Phyrexia: All Will Be One leaks and spoilers, the community was still embroiled in heated debate. This was thanks to Lead Designer Mark Rosewater, who continued to reveal compelling details about Magic’s future throughout the holidays. One such detail was that MTG would soon be changing forever. While Mark Rosewater didn’t reveal any specifics, it was confirmed that the impending changes would affect both story and gameplay. Following this tantalizing reveal, wild speculation gripped the MTG community, however, players weren’t entirely excited by the prospect of change. Subsequently, several MTG players spoke out about the impending changes, despite there being no word about what they actually are. 

While Wizards is keeping their cards close to their chests, players do have a vague understanding of what’s in store. Thanks to box art for March of the Machine, it appears that Realmbeaker succeeds in forcibly merging planes together in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. As you might imagine, should this happen, MTG’s expansive multiverse would be forever changed. For better or worse, however, there’s no telling how this story event might impact gameplay. Despite the threat of gameplay changes, however, across social media, many players raised an unexpected concern. Namely, that March of the Machine’s plane merging shenanigans could make Universes Beyond MTG cards cannon. 

Despite the product line’s name literally being Universes Beyond, this wild suggestion has remarkably become a growing concern. Following the release of Commander decks, Transformers cards, and the upcoming Draft set, Universes Beyond is certainly expanding quickly. So much so that players are anticipating the worst for the future. Thankfully, despite the growing concerns, Mark Rosewater has revealed there’s nothing to be worried about. 

Universes Beyond Stays Beyond in MTG

Factured Identity
Factured Identity | Doctor Who Commander Decks

Ending the baseless speculation, Mark Rosewater recently took to their blog, Blogatog, to deliver an emphatic statement. “There are no current plans to make Universes Beyond canon.” While this helped diffuse the community’s concern, players weren’t entirely happy with Rosewater’s response. For instance, Tumblr users, such as Wildcardgamez, highlighted that Rosewater’s wording leaves plenty of wiggle room for the future. “But it never will be canon, right? Mark, why did you word it that way.” Rebutting this concern, others noted that Rosewater ultimately can’t perfectly predict the future, even as MTG’s lead designer. 

Thanks to the slight uncertainty their statement allowed for, Rosewater would soon receive another Universes Beyond-themed question. Looking for concrete clarity to clear up any lingering doubts, Amateurauteur explicitly asked about March of the Machine’s implications.

“‘There are no current plans to make Universes Beyond canon.’ This means that this will NOT be a consequence of the changes to Magic in March of the Machine, correct?” 

Amateurauteur

In response, Mark Rosewater simply stated, “correct.” Despite this wild theory briefly taking the MTG community by storm, players rejoiced its dismissal across social media, players rejoiced its dismissal. On Reddit, for instance, u/cleofrom9to5 commented, “this was an ungodly stupid idea that so many people spent time freaking out about. Glad Maro shot is down point blank.” Similarly, even Universes Beyond detractors, like u/AnuraSmells, stated this revelation wasn’t a surprise. “I really dislike the Universes Beyond stuff and this was painfully obvious. People really need to calm down a little with the doom.” 

Following the Universes Beyond speculation being shot down, some MTG players decided to engage in a mild amount of tomfoolery. For instance, Reddit user u/blackscales18 restarted the rumor mill by stating their “wild theory” for March of the Machine is “the abolishing of Standard.” Alternatively, u/Frank_the_Mighty took the comedic approach, suggesting “the Phyrexians invade the Un-iverse. Space Beleren will save Jace, and then they’ll kiss. That’s why they’re black-bordered.” 

March of the Mystery

March of the Machine Concept Art
March of the Machine Concept Art

Ultimately, outside of what we can glean from the set’s box art, there’s no telling what’s in store for March of the Machine. Hell, we don’t even know if there’s going to be more to the set than just Realmbeaker causing planar chaos. Whatever’s in store, we’ve still waiting a while to find out more information. After all, the set doesn’t launch until April 21st, 2023. Before then, players can look forward to First Look Livestreams and plenty of teases, but those are still a while away. Thankfully, there’s still plenty to look forward to until then, as Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s spoiler season is just days away from starting. 

Read More: The History of MTG Phyrexia

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