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6, Jun, 24

MTG Community Goes Wild On Speculation For Upcoming Universes Beyond Set!

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Magic players are a curious lot. For the past few years, complaints about the rapid pace of new releases have been commonplace. Jokes about a never-ending spoiler season, and legitimate concerns about a card pool spiraling out of control, have never been far from the Reddit front pages. And yet, as we sit on the cusp of the new Assassin’s Creed set, hundreds of Magic players are taking on an extra load of Universes Beyond: Final Fantasy speculation.

In a thread started by Wide_Championship319, titled ‘Final Fantasy Universes Beyond – What do you guys want?’ over 750 comments were left, expressing hopes, dreams, and doubts about the upcoming set. We likely won’t be getting any concrete information on the set until early next year. For now, that void can be filled with musings such as these.

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Spanning The Series

One of the biggest avenues of speculation was how the set will cover each of the games in the series. Final Fantasy is an absolutely massive series of games, spanning 16 mainline entries and countless spin-offs and smaller titles. As themikker put it, they want “Cards referencing all the games throughout history, from FF1 to FF16.” They also hope “That they explore the lore as in depth as they did Fallout.”

Fallout is a great point of comparison for the Final Fantasy set as a whole. Both are Magic products attempting to translate a beloved video game series into cardboard form. Final Fantasy is a much, much bigger series, however. In nearly every meaningful respect. This means that going deep on each game will be harder than with Fallout. That said, this is a full set release and not just Commander decks, so there’s hope yet.

Some players, unsurprisingly, are hoping to see their favorite non-mainline games get some representation too. “Literally anything from FF Tactics,” replied cosmosrules. “I know it probably won’t show up but I want it to.” Final Fantasy Tactics is a beloved spin-off released for the original Playstation back in 1997. If any of the series’ spin-offs make the cut, it’s likely this one. Given the sheer amount of ground to cover in the main games alone, however, this still may not be very likely.

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Building Character

Of course, the series is nothing without its iconic cast of characters. The Universes Beyond: Final Fantasy speculation in the thread quickly turned to this subject early on. CaptainMarcia had a particular interest in those that hail from the sixth entry in the series. “A good set of FFVI representatives. In particular, Terra, Celes, Locke, Edgar, Sabin, Shadow, and Kefka.” Given how popular Final Fantasy VI is to this day, such an opinion isn’t surprising.

Beyond FFVI, two games are bound to get an immense amount of representation in MTG’s Final Fantasy set. As charcharmunro noted, “I don’t THINK we’ll see equal rep, obviously. 7 and 14 will absolutely get far more love than the rest.” This sentiment was echoed by Jaebird0388, who added “My one fear is that Final Fantasy VII would dominate the cards because it’s the one game that’s been milked the most.”

It’s hard to argue with their logic. Final Fantasy VII is probably the most popular entry in the series, and the one responsible for it finally breaking out in the West. It has several spin-offs of its own and is currently being remade into a next-gen trilogy. Responding to a comment about the set featuring ‘8 different Lightning cards,’ Shambler9019 added “I think you mean 8 Cloud cards.” Cloud, of course, being Final Fantasy VII’s angsty protagonist.

These older entries in the series remain firm favorites today, but others in the thread were pining for the modern titles too. It’s a testament to the quality of the series that each title has its own group of dedicated supporters.

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A Sense Of Trepidation

Universes-Beyond-Final-Fantasy-Speculation-Worst-Fears

Plenty of other wacky ideas were bandied about in the thread as well. Players asked for legendary weapon cards, flip cards to represent multi-stage final bosses, and Chocobos with the Mount mechanic. All great ideas, all very flavorful and on-theme. Amid all the fun theorizing, however, there were some genuine concerns regarding the set. Specifically, the balance of the games involved.

As JESUSSAYSNO put it, “Honestly, I think the only way they can really fuck it up is if Wizards leans too hard into any given game, at the expense of popular elements of others.” This was a point echoed throughout the thread, and it’s a valid one. Final Fantasy is so big and sprawling that choosing what does and doesn’t make the cut will be a huge challenge for Magic’s designers. BKWhitty agreed, adding “As much as I love 7, 9, and 14, I really hope they don’t take up too much space in this set. Representation for all 16 main series games is important.”

This challenge is crucial for Wizards to overcome because, much like Lord of the Rings before it, Final Fantasy is an ideal fit for a Magic adaptation. So much of what the series does aligns with the mechanics of Magic in an elegant way. The entire Universes Beyond: Final Fantasy speculation thread is evidence of that. If they can get this one right, it could surpass even the staggering heights of Tales of Middle-earth. Clearly, the audience is hungry for the set. All that’s left to do now is sit back and hope Wizards can deliver.

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