5 MTG Universes Beyond IPs For The Shes, Theys, And Gays

With Universes Beyond committing to a heavier release schedule, Chase Carroll highlights five IPs that could cast a wide net to create even more MTG players.

Jeweled Lotus
Jeweled Lotus, illustrated by Alayna Danner

It’s officially happening. The other day, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) announced that we will be seeing plenty of Universes Beyond in the future.

If y’all know me, then you know I waffle back and forth on this quite a lot. Sometimes I love UB; other times I hate it. Personally, I do think that UB is best done in small-form products like preconstructed Commander decks or Secret Lairs. While the announcement made was that we were getting more UB sets (and while I’m not a huge fan of that), I thought I’d help the folks at WotC out by spitballing some IPs for UB that will definitely catch the eyes of the shes, theys, and gays.

The Inspiration

I absolutely have to give credit where credit is due. I never really thought about this topic until Rachel Weeks posted a Tweet asking non-male Magic players what IPs would bring in a lot of new non-male Magic players.

As a nonbinary femme person myself, I thought this was a great question to ask. How could we create more spaces for those in that community? I pondered it for a moment and I replied to the Tweet myself (with a few of these ideas listed). However, since that Tweet, I’ve had a couple of other ideas bubble to the surface of my weird and scrunkly little brain.


Okay, I know that I really have to start out strong. Sanrio, the Japanese entertainment company behind Hello Kitty and many other kawaii characters, is my white whale. I genuinely mean it when I say that I would go feral and froth at the mouth if this were to come to fruition. I don’t foresee this product as having its own set; however, I think giving us an entire Secret Lair Superdrop dedicated to Sanrio-skinned cards would be absolutely incredible.

Sanrio’s most famous character, Hello Kitty.

Sanrio would also be the perfect IP to do a collaboration with, as they have already done tons of collaborations with other IPs in the past, like Naruto, My Hero Academia, and Animal Crossing (just to name a few out of the hundreds). Just imagine Badtz-maru as Jace, Kuromi as Liliana, and Pochacco as Chandra! Planeswalkers, legendary creatures, iconic commander cards like Sol Ring, Command Tower, and Lightning Greaves! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t buy this, because I know you would! I am doing rituals during each and every full moon to see this collab come to fruition. WotC, please, I am begging you.

Sailor Moon

Next up, we have the iconic and powerful Sailor Moon (who, yes, can beat Goku in a fight). As someone who is the demographic of this article, I can assure you that the shes, theys, and gays would live if we got a Sailor Moon UB set. I think this could work in numerous ways. Give us Commander precons, Secret Lairs, and an entire set dedicated to this incredible universe. Think of the aesthetic! We could get a Jeweled Lotus skinned as the iconic Silver Crystal, or Sakashima of a Thousand Faces as Tuxedo Mask?! I would eat it up!!

Jeweled Lotus Sakashima of a Thousand Faces

WotC could invite Naoko Takeuchi to do incredible special art treatments for the chase cards. Her work has dazzled me since I was a tiny tot, and to see it hit cards would be incredibly special. If WotC can get Ayami Kojima (Castlevania) and Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear), they can definitely get Sailor Moon and Naoko Takeuchi. Not only is there a lot of media to work with, but the rich universe, lore, and characters have touched thousands of people and would almost certainly be a smash hit for the folks at the Coast. 

Care Bears

Another IP I think would be amazing to see is Care Bears, specifically in the form of a Secret Lair. While the Care Bears are timeless, there really isn’t a deep lore to work with for a main set like Sailor Moon. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spin gold out of this! On the contrary, I think that the folks at WotC would have to be incredibly careful and delicate on how to carry this IP out.

Why? Well, Care Bears has gone through many ‘eras’. Each era features a very different art style. Choose the wrong era (yes, there are wrong eras), and people would not be inclined to adore it. With that being said, what are the right eras? Well, fictional WotC boardroom, I’m glad you asked! There are only two acceptable eras of Care Bears: 1982 and 2005. Allow me to explain how no other answer will do.

Care Bears, from the official Twitter page.

The 1982 Care Bears are gorgeous when depicted in art. They consist of beautiful and vivid watercolors. They would look stunning on a Magic card. The next-best era is 2005. This is the era I grew up in. The art of the Care Bears shrugged off the watercolors and detailed depictions of the 80s and turned into cute, bright, pudgy, sleek-lined cartoons.

Any other era is unacceptable. Seriously. After 1982, the cartoon Care Bears had those scary, uncanny valley 80s cartoon vibes. Everything past 2005 became oversimplified and lost a bit of the classic magic still left over from the 90s. I will die on this artistic hill. Anyway, Care Bears Secret Lair please!

Steven Universe

Okay, let’s pick something a bit more modern. We catered to the older generation; now let’s focus on the youths (as the young people say). Steven Universe is an IP near and dear to my heart. This series came out when I was in college and carried me through some incredibly difficult times, even through grad school. The show helps make tough topics digestible for younger audiences while making their older audience feel seen. It was truly a beautiful series.

Andradite Leech Thorn of Amethyst Pearl Medallion

With that being said, I think Steven Universe would make for an amazing Universes Beyond product, whether it be a set or Commander precons. I think there is a lot to work with here. One precon could be the humans of Beach City, another could be the Crystal Gems, and the final one could be the Diamonds / Homeworld. I’m getting excited just typing about it. It would be such an incredible IP to explore. The lore is there, the art is there, the public adoration is there. All we need to do is get Rebecca Sugar on the line (also, how cool would it be to see sketch variants of cards done by them?!).

Adventure Time

Speaking of Rebecca Sugar, let’s talk about Adventure Time. In my opinion, Adventure Time, and even Fionna and Cake, is an IP that has only gained strength and fans in the last decade. I remember seeing this show when I was in high school and remember adoring it. The older I grew, the more I was able to soak in the rich lore, unique setting, and personable characters. Adventure Time is that IP in every sense of the word. 

So how would it translate to Magic? Well, there are a number of ways. This IP has plenty to work with to create precons, a main set, and Secret Lairs. That’s a given; however, there is one tie-in I would be desperate to see: Card Wars.

Yup! Adventure Time had an episode dedicated to a Magic: The Gathering-type game and was hysterical to watch. The episode became so beloved that an actual game was developed by Cartoon Network. To my knowledge, it never really took off and became more of a novelty. Imagine having Card Wars pop up in this supposed set or Secret Lair. It could be the set’s super-special art treatment. Imagine being able to floop the pig just like Finn did. It would be magical.

Take Risks

If there is anything I aim to accomplish with this article, it would be for WotC to recognize that Magic has an incredibly diverse audience with a variety of interests. The output of Universes Beyond products is not slowing down anytime soon. Choosing to develop UB products that fall outside the typical bread-and-butter fandoms allows for an opportunity to “take risks” and to start catering towards the vast population of Magic players beyond what is considered to be the typical gamer stereotype.

I love Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Marvel; however, I would love to see WotC take risks with their IP selection and cater to a wider, more diverse audience. The IPs I listed have the potential to be smash hits and incredibly successful if the types of products and releases are executed properly, i.e. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, not Transformers. Give us Sanrio, give us Sailor Moon! I just know that if they took the chance, the payoff would be amazing. Happy speculating, deckbuilders!