Magic: The Gathering’s Time Spiral Remastered is great news for fans of the card game
Wizards of the Coast is releasing a totally brand-new kind of card set for Magic: The Event on March 19 called Time Spiral Remastered. It’s a reprint of chosen cards from 3 associated sets that came out 15 years earlier. The reasons Wizards is releasing this set are as complex as the video game itself, however it’s a sign of things to come for the initial collectible card video game — and an excellent sign of the ongoing health of its neighborhood.
Magic is continuously progressing. Get out of the stream of brand-new releases for simply a month or more and it’s simple for the newest trends and techniques to pass you by. The video game’s momentum originates from the several sets of cards launched each year. They assist to form the total meta-narrative of the video game’s universe, however most notably they assist to plant brand-new mechanical seeds within the gameplay itself.
Every brand-new set of cards that comes out is, in its own method, a discreetly various video game than the last. Plop down a box of boosters from the current set, the Viking-themed Kaldheim, and you’ll have a really various story and mechanical experience than if you were preparing cards from the steampunk-ish Kaladesh. However specific techniques and cards tend to fall in and out of favor with the neighborhood. At the same time, certain sets and even individual cards get banned from Magic’s various formats of play.
What you end up with is a fluid and active marketplace — both for the cards themselves, and for the techniques surrounding how to play them — that occasionally needs to be refreshed. To go back to the sowing seeds analogy, every once in a while Wizards needs to fertilize that soil with specific types of cards.
Time Spiral Remastered is a curated set of cards that intends to do just that. It’s drawn from a single “block” of cards — three sets that date back to 2006 titled Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight. As Wizards’ Mark Rosewater explains, a total of 626 cards were whittled down to just 289 cards. But the set also contains an additional 121 “timeshifted” cards pulled in from across the history of Magic: The Gathering. You’ll find one in each pack, marked with a special purple icon.
Together, these 410 cards have been assembled to create a single, satisfying experience when drafted (played using fresh cards randomly pulled from new packs) — and to put a little nitrogen back into the soil of the Magic neighborhood. Time Spiral Remastered has the potential to help fill gaps in popular or emerging techniques across multiple formats.
What has diehard Magic fans so excited is that this won’t be the last set of remastered cards reprinted. According to Rosewater, there are at least five other candidates on the drawing board. It’s a sign that Wizards of the Coast is willing to slow down and listen to its biggest fans, adjusting the game’s meta layer by reprinting older cards and getting them back into circulation. But Wizards is also interested in having some fun, letting players new and old get a chance to play with a streamlined set of cards from Magic’s heyday.
The first opportunity to play with Time Spiral Remastered cards will come next week, where they’ll be available at retail. Unfortunately, in-store play is still off the table due to the global pandemic. Instead, fans will need to pick up booster packs (ideally at their friendly local game store) and bring them home. Wizards will then be hosting a launch party using SpellTable, a new platform for playing with physical cards remotely.
After the launch weekend, collectors and serious players will want to keep an eye out for guidance from Wizards on which cards from Time Spiral Remastered will be “legal” across Magic’s many formats of play. After that, the next mainline set of cards, entitled Strixhaven, will come out in late April.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.