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Magic: The Gathering’s Assassin’s Creed crossover slaps Leonardo da Vinci on a card

Da Vinki?

Promotional artwork for Magic: The Gathering's Assassin's Creed crossover
Image credit: Alex Negrea/Wizards of the Coast/Ubisoft

It took Magic: The Gathering less than three years from the start of the Universes Beyond crossover project to print a real-life person on a card. Well, at least the version of one that appears in the Assassin’s Creed video game series. Leonardo da Vinci and Cleopatra will join several of the wrist-blade wielding protagonists on MTG cards inside a strange booster product coming later this year.

This partnership with video game publisher Ubisoft was first announced at Gen Con 2023 during a massive panel where Wizards of the Coast outlined its plans through the next four years. As part of the Universes Beyond imprint (which handles all crossovers, from the massive Tales of Middle-earth set to Secret Lair alternate art featuring Jeff Goldblum), Assassin’s Creed will appear in special 7-card Beyond Boosters specifically designed for collecting and not limited play.

Beyond Boosters are a new type of randomised packs being printed for the first time with this product. MTG publisher Wizards of the Coast implied that Beyond Boosters might reappear in future Universes Beyond releases if Assassin’s Creed proves successful. The popular trading card game’s last outing with small, promotional boosters - March of the Machines: Aftermath - was a critical and financial flop for several reasons.

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Each Assassin’s Creed Beyond Booster will include the following:

  • 1 Basic land card
  • 3 Uncommon cards
  • 1 Rare or mythic rare card
  • 1 Traditional foil uncommon, rare, or mythic rare card
  • 1 Showcase uncommon, rare, or mythic rare card

The crossover doesn’t have any common-rarity cards and can only be collected via the boosters. Altaïr, Ezio, Eivor ad Bayek (unconfirmed so far, but come on) will muck about with some new cards featuring classic iconography, assassination gear and moments from the video game franchise’s story, along with a few historical faces translated into MTG’s competitive mechanics. So far, only Leonardo da Vinci and Cleopatra have been teased, but we can all hold out hope that Karl Marx made the cut.

Scene cards will return from Tales of Middle-earth and compose one multi-card portrait when enough of the Scene Showcase treatments are arranged together. Other figures will be printed in a memory corridor style that breaks from rooftops and alleyways and instead poses characters in the milky sci-fi expanse of the Animus. Serialised versions of the historical figures will be printed in batches of 500, each opting for the language that the real-life person spoke (Italian for ol’ Leo, while Cleopatra will use the written Egyptian of the time).

Images: Various artists/Wizards of the Coast/Ubisoft

Wizards of the Coast is hoping to capture some Assassin’s Creed fans and convert them into cardboard collectors, so it makes sense that this crossover will also contain a two-deck starter kit helmed by a moderately powered version of Ezio and Eivor. These decks are light on rare and expensive cards in order to keep the price - and complexity - low for newcomers learning how to play Magic: The Gathering.

Magic: The Gathering - Assassin’s Creed will launch globally on July 5th in retail and hobby shops. There’s no prerelease event or Commander decks for this one, just the Beyond Boosters for lovers of tall perches and wagons of hay to crack open.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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