Wilds of Eldraine has already promised Magic: The Gathering players an enchanting return to the plane of knightly legends and fairy tales, but the popular trading card game’s upcoming set will also contain ample bait for anime fans.
As is becoming common for MTG’s major releases, an extra card with a set-specific art treatment will be packaged in every Wilds of Eldraine booster pack. This practice began with Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive, a collection of iconic sorceries and instants sporting a gilded scroll style. In universe, these cards represented a wealth of knowledge hoarded by the arcane professors of Strixhaven’s famed academy.
Eldraine’s inherently enchanting plane will appropriately be represented by a bonus sheet of Enchantment cards, according to information dropped by publisher Wizards of the Coast at the recent Pro Tour Barcelona. The team previewed eight of the planned 63 Enchanting Tales cards, all illustrated in a style reminiscent of Disney films from the 1940s and 50’s - Sleeping Beauty, the Sword in the Stone, etc. - and framed by a billowing smoke effect.
Previewed cards include both fan favourites and Commander staples in need of a reprint, and all five Mana colours have received at least one bit of representation. Already the list includes some incredibly powerful cards, such as the powerful and expensive Doubling Season, which was just included in the prohibitively expensive Commander Masters set. Luckily, Wilds of Eldraine boosters will sell for something much closer to ‘normal’ prices.
Here’s a list of the Enchanting Tales cards MTG has previewed so far:
- Greater Auramancy
- Smothering Tithe
- Rhystic Study
- Aggravated Assault
- Doubling Season
- Prismatic Omen
Some Enchanting Tales cards will be replaced with their Booster Fun alternate version - anime borderless artwork. Twenty cards among the 63 can be pulled with “Japanese artistic aesthetics” illustrated by Japanese artists. These cards will replace the card slot where the enchantment would normally show up, and thus can be found in draft, set or collector booster packs - the last will use a confetti foil treatment on the borderless anime artwork cards.
Wizards definitely knows their audience because all but one of the previewed anime cards feature a young-ish, doe-eyed woman in gorgeous clothing against fantastical settings (and one goose hydra). No shame or shade - MTG has dipped into the anime bucket before during Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and like that previous set, these Enchanting Tales illustrations are impressive. My personal favourite is the haughty figure on Smothering Tithe performing the infamous Noblewoman’s Laugh at her presumed adversary.
Wizards promises to unveil more entries into Wilds of Eldraine’s marquis reprint selection during the set’s preview season, which is scheduled to begin on August 15th. Players can get their hands on the full set when it launches in paper on September 8th following a weekend of prerelease sealed events at local game shops. Check out Dicebreaker’s coverage of the first details for the fairy tale set.