Back in the olden days of Magic, we only had one type of foiling. It was regular, it was shiny, and we liked it. Nowadays, we have a million different card treatments and foil types, and while some might find it to be a bit much, I absolutely live for it.
I like to think of myself as a Magic magpie. I like shiny things. My attention span is limited greatly because of this, but that’s beside the point. With the release of Wilds of Eldraine, we receive yet another new foil printing, and I thought it would be fun to share with y’all some of my favorite foil treatments to date.
Let’s start with a foil treatment that took me a while to warm up to. In Streets of New Capenna, Magic players were gifted the gilded foil treatment. This type of foiling was incredibly interesting because, while the card itself is already foil, the ornate-looking borders on the card were gilded gold with a slightly raised frame.
Seeing it on the preview stream did not do this treatment justice. The moment I pulled one, I coveted it like a weird foil Gollum. The card was absolutely useless, not good by any long shot, but the foil treatment was lovely, and I kept it nonetheless.
The moment I heard we were getting textured foils in Magic, I almost passed out. I absolutely live for textured foils in card games. I’ve seen textured foils pop up in Pokémon before, but never did I expect to see them pop up in Magic. Our first introduction to them came in Double Masters 2022. The moment I brushed my grubby little fingers across a textured Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, I was in love.
To be quite honest, I expected this foiling to disappear after Double Masters 2022, since most new foil types are limited to a single set. However, we saw a return of this foiling in Commander Masters of all places! Suddenly we got popular commanders like Teysa Karlov; Azusa, Lost but Seeking; and Neheb, the Eternal in textured profile foils. Heck, we even got the white whale of all textured foils: Jeweled Lotus. Now, do I own one? No, but when I get my Christmas money, I’m snagging myself one of my chase cards for sure.
Next we have the halo foils, or as I like to call them, the swooshy foils. They look like those really cool spray paint dunk videos I used to watch all the time at 3AM on TikTok. Introduced in March of the Machine, these foils leaned a little more on the etched side. They were slightly matte but still held a vibrancy when shone in the light.
The confetti foiling on Enchanting Tales has created some mixed reviews within the Magic community. Some say it’s too gaudy; others say it’s lazy and doesn’t fit in the game. Me? I love it. It reminds me of those tacky little Lisa Frank holographic stickers I used to plaster to my folders in elementary school.
Maybe it’s the early 2000s nostalgia for me, but when I look at the confetti foils, I feel a weird spark of joy that I didn’t expect. I haven’t had the luxury of pulling one yet, but you bet I have one confetti foil Bitterblossom in my shopping cart. My finger is itching to pull the trigger.
Without a doubt, my favorite foil treatment of all time has to be the Galaxy foils from Unfinity. Unfinity was a lot of things for sure, and while it largely flopped, two great things came out of this set: the tokens and Galaxy foils.
Galaxy foils look whimsical and gorgeous. As someone who plays consistently on webcam, they pop gorgeously. When first previewed, people compared them to the Base Set 2 Pokémon foils. While I know nothing about that, I am on my knees begging for someone at Wizards of the Coast (WotC) to make this foil treatment return in a future set. I am not above bribing someone. I need it…biblically.
Just when I think they’ve pushed the envelope as far as it can go, WotC continues to find new and innovative ways to tweak their creative process. We’ve gone from only one type of foil to about seventeen different variations. It’s genuinely remarkable to think about how far we have come in terms of what a Magic card looks like. From Secret Lairs to new foil treatments, there is no limit to what a Magic card can look like nowadays, and I love it.
Let me know what your favorite foil treatment is and if you’re excited to snag some confetti ones in Wilds of Eldraine. Shine on, deckbuilders.