Llanowar Elves
28, Jun, 24

Newly Announced MTG Core Set Will Be Legal for Five Years

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It turns out that 2024’s already jam-packed release calendar was missing a major set. This much became clear following a recent flurry of reveals and online leaks. With Duskmourn confirmed to launch in September, there was a suspiciously large void at the end of 2024. Now, at long last, Wizards has filled that gap with a new major set; Foundations.

Dubbed “the new Foundation for Magic players,” this new MTG set is a massive deal, to say the least. Not only is it brand new, and releasing surprisingly soon, but it’s also something that MTG players have been clamoring for. At long last, it seems like Core Sets are returning with a new new-player-focused twist.

MTG Foundations

MTG Foundations

Announced by Wizards of the Coast at MagicCon: Amsterdam, Foundations aptly “set the foundation for Magic’s next era.” To do this, cards from Foundations will be Standard-legal, and playable “through 2029.” Notably, this surprisingly long legality period doesn’t follow the usual three-year cadence of Standard’s current rotation.

For better or worse, it’s incredibly unlikely that Wizards is going to change Standard to a five-year rotation anytime soon. Instead, Foundations are going to be exactly that, the new foundations of MTG that new sets can build upon. Since Foundations doesn’t follow Standard’s rotation, hopefully, this will provide some interesting development opportunities.

So far, we’ve only seen a sneak peek at MTG Foundations, and we likely won’t know more until later in the year. For now, thankfully Wizards of the Coast has at least confirmed the set’s release date. MTG Foundations is due to launch on the 15th of November, 2024.

As you may have seen recently, Jumpstart 2025 was recently leaked to share the same release date. Unfortunately for Jumpstart fans, it appears these products are one and the same. For better or worse, MTG Foundations is the new new-player-focused product, so Jumpstart may be well and truly dead.

A Mix of New and Old

Llanowar Elves

Like every MTG set, MTG Foundations will include a mix of cards both new and old. So far, only five cards have been revealed during the MagicCon: Amsterdam Preview Panel. Despite this meager amount of reveals, Foundations is already looking seriously spicy and undoubtedly format-warping.

For starters, as you can see above, Llanowar Elves is coming back to Standard! Beyond simply returning, this classic mana dork is going to be legal in the format for five whole years! Given this card’s utility, it’s safe to say it will be a foundational upgrade to countless decks once reprinted.

Day of Judgment

As if one iconic reprint wasn’t enough, Foundations is also returning Day of Judgement to standard after a 13-year absence! While arguably outclassed by cards like Sunfall, this iconic wrath spell will undoubtedly spice up the meta. At worst, this card is four more Wraths for the meme-y Oops All Wraths deck.

Omniscience

Continuing the tantalizing reprints, Wizards also debuted the return of Omniscience! As the core of several Pioneer, Timeless, and Legacy decks, Omniscience is undoubtedly a major, potentially format-warping reprint. With enough ramp or reanimation, this card could become an incredibly scary threat over the next five years.

Anthem of Champions

Moving into the new cards, Wizards revealed the aptly named Anthem of Champions. Offering a clean +1/+1 buff to all creatures, this enchantment will work wonders if go-wide Selesnya decks. For two mana, this card should be seriously compelling in both Standard and Commander decks.

Nine-Lives Familiar

Last, but by no means least, we have Nine-Lives Familiar. Coming into play with revival counters, Nine-Lives Familiar lives up to their name by basically having nine lives. Whether you need a chump blocker or a sacrifice target, this card is undeniably interesting.

MTG Foundations will also include five as-yet-unseen Planeswalkers. How exciting!

Setting the Stage

Even from the few spoilers that we’ve seen so far, the goal of MTG Foundations is clear. With iconic cards and staple effects, this set will literally lay the groundwork for future premier sets. For better or worse, this is likely to completely warp Standard, for a short while at least.

While it’s unclear how many cards Foundations will contain, what we’ve seen so far showcases an elevation in utility and power. As much as they are iconic, the reprint of Llanowar Elves isn’t to be taken lightly, especially given the card’s lifespan. We can only hope that the Foundations set will provide a base that keeps classic archetypes relevant in Standard, even after rotation.

As much as rotation is often a welcome change to mix up Magic’s premier format, it doesn’t affect all decks equally. Mono-green decks, for example, are often hit especially hard by rotation when threats or ramp disappear without replacement. Once Foundations is released, hopefully, rotation won’t be quite as devastating to these more volatile archetypes.

Given the demand for Core Sets to return, Foundations will hopefully be a welcome base that massively benefits the format. In theory, this new base could cause the format to stagnate somewhat over the years, but hopefully, that won’t happen. Ultimately, we’re just going to have to wait and see what the set brings in the future.

For now, MTG Foundations isn’t set to release until November 2024, so it’ll be a long while before we see more spoilers. Thankfully, with Bloomburrow and Duskmourn: House of Horror releasing in the interim, there should be plenty for Standard players to enjoy.

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