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Magic: The Gathering's Bloomburrow set will turn planeswalkers into furries

Jace Beleren and Ral Zarek get the fursona treatment in an upcoming set dripping with Redwall flavour.

Artwork from Magic: The Gathering's Bloomburrow set, featuring Jace Beleren as a fox
Image credit: Justin Gerard/Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering dropped a deluge of information at MagicCon Chicago over the weekend, including more information about the popular trading card game’s upcoming 2024 set releases.

Among them was a deeper look into the hearth fantasy world of Bloomburrow, where there are no humanoids, only anthropomorphic animals wielding swords and sorcery against the looming threat of the Great-Night Owl and the Calamity Beasts. These massive elemental predators (at least, massive to inhabitants of the Valley) will force the animalfolk to band together, along with the help of at least two planeswalkers sporting a bit more fur than normal.

Preview artwork showed Ravnica native Ral Zarek and Vryn-born Jace Beleren, who we last saw compleated by Phyrexian oil, traipsing about the Valley as an otter and a fox, respectively. It seems that anyone who visits this plane via the Omenpaths gets a complimentary fursona upon entry.

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But these returning characters will only support the main cast - a motley crew of adventurers led by the mousefolk Mabel, Heir to Cragflame, all of whom set out to investigate the tragic fate of a nearby village and become swept up in a quest to prevent the destruction of all their homes.

Bloomburrow cards will feature full-art lands that depict the Valley’s many landscapes across four seasons, and famed Pokémon artist Mitsuhiro Arita will illustrate at least one card depicting Lumra, Bellow of the Woods - one of the monstrous Calamity Beasts.

Mabel and her crew, which include a massive badger bruiser, a rabbit archer, a frog augur and a bat mystic, give off incredible Redwall vibes steeped in the beloved novel series by Brian Jacques. Wizards of the Coast carefully tiptoe around mentioning the books by name, but the Valley’s portrayal of peaceful animals (all of them prey creatures such as mice, toads and hares) threatened by imperious predators talks plenty loud enough.

Images: Wizards of the Coast/various artists

While we don’t know much about Bloomburrow’s official mechanics, the official preview on MTG’s website shows the four preconstructed Commander decks and offers a few hints. The Red/Green Mana Animated Army deck lists “make trash and do smash” as its tactics, which does match the racoon wizard on the front. Family Matter, a Blue/Red/White deck suggests players “make offspring and go wide”, suggesting a board absolutely bursting with eager kiddos.

Peace Offering will be a classic “group hug” deck in Green/White/Blue, which gives all of your opponents benefits such as card draw, +1/+1 counters or tokens while remaining mostly non-threatening. Finally, the Black/Green Squirreled Away deck will feature plenty of Squirrel creatures (obviously) along with something called Hoard Tokens.

Bloomburrow will launch its physical tabletop version on August 2nd, following a prerelease event beginning on July 26th. Magic Arena players will get fuzzy a bit earlier, as the set hits the digital platform on July 30th. Official previews for the set will begin on July 9th.

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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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