Weekly MTG Offers Clues for Zendikar Rising

Mark Rosewater joins the show to give hints about upcoming cards in next set.

Blake Rasmussen and Steve Sunu were joined by Mark Rosewater on today’s Weekly MTG stream to tease the viewers with clues for Zendikar Rising.

Rosewater was the lead vision designer for Zendikar Rising, a role he has held for previous sets like Ixalan, War of the Spark, and Throne of Eldraine. The lead vision designer basically makes the blue print of the set and helps pick themes, cycles, and mechanics for a set. Rosewater had three different categories of hints for the new set, starting with random tidbits on specific cards.

Things you can expect

  • A white creature that can make an opponent lose the game simply by attacking no matter how much life they have (not infect)
  • A multicolor creature that lets you repeatedly reanimate permanents out of your opponent’s graveyard for no mana cost
  • Three creatures with five creature types exactly (not changeling)
  • An artifact granting +2+2 to a subset of creatures that first appeared in Alpha
  • X being used for a variable it’s never been used for before
  • A 6/6 artifact creature that costs 3 and a 7/5 artifact creature that can cost 3
  • The return of four mana symbols that have each only been used on two cards before
  • Lands that come with a choice you’ve never had before
  • Targeted enchantment removal in black
  • A red/white creature with a line of rules text that starts with “whenever” and ends with “draw a card.”
  • A card with three different activated abilities that all copy something

The next category was sections of rules text appearing on cards in Zendikar Rising.

Rules text snippets

  • Three plus
  • Different converted mana costs X or less
  • Equal to 20 minus
  • Cowards can’t block Warriors
  • Don’t lose unspent red mana
  • Twice the number of equipment
  • If it’s the third time

The last category of hints comes in the form of a list new creature types for creature cards (some have appeared on tokens before).

New creature type lines

  • Mouse
  • Leviathan Crab
  • Shapeshifter Rogue
  • Demon Cleric
  • Wurm Horror
  • Hydra Horror
  • Cat Horror
  • Angel Wizard

After Rosewater wrapped up the teasers he fielded questions from the Twitch chat. He said a few words about the planeswalkers that were previewed yesterday: Jace, Mirror Mage and Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients. With Jace, they wanted to play into the illusions and less the mind magic of the character and that kicker was one of two returning mechanics in Zendikar Rising. As for Nahiri, it is the first time the character has had a card in a Zendikar set.

Rosewater called Zendikar Rising a love letter to the original Zendikar set. On top of the two returning mechanics, he said the design team got to do something he’s wanted to do for eight years. The team found a new take on a theme players love and the set brings back some old favorites, including reprints from Zendikar. He also mentioned there will be a four-color legendary creature.

The trio talked about set boosters as well, allowing Rosewater to elaborate on how they came to be. He said they got data a few years ago showing that a majority of players who open packs don’t play any limited with them. With that information they wanted to maximize a pack for the most fun one could experience opening a pack. Zendikar Rising will be the first attempt of set boosters and they will be open to feedback.

For those want more information on Zendikar Rising, the official preview stream will be Tuesday at 11 am ET/8 am PT on twitch.tv/magic to go over the story, lore, and preview some cards.