Magic: The Gathering is moving into the future, and the future includes making the game a friendlier place for new faces. Part of the reason players love Magic is thanks to its complexity - the game frequently creates gameplay situations that are complicated, unique, and require a lot of puzzle-solving to navigate correctly. While that's certainly a feature and not a bug, it is also one of the most intimidating aspects of the game. With Magic: The Gathering Arena making waves in the digital card game space and the paper version of the game showing no signs of slowing down, Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic, now realizes there's a need for more introductory-level products.
Enter the new Core Set 2019 Planeswalker Decks. Designed for newer players, each deck features a famous planeswalker from Magic lore as its chase card, with the rest of the deck constructed to best use the planeswalker and the color they represent. Chris Tulach, associate brand manager of Magic, outlined why this product is so important:
"Core Set 2019 afforded us the opportunity to look at the onboarding process for a new player as they try out various products. Previously Welcome Decks were built using cards from a variety of recent sets, which made the continuity of experience from Welcome Deck to Planeswalker Deck a little less ideal. We couldn't do that that with other sets, because they have to appeal to many different types of Magic players, where the Core Sets can focus in on the newer players while still offering interesting content for experienced players."
Each of the Core Set 2019 Planeswalker Decks explores the identity of the color they represent. For blue, that might mean a focus on being cunning or clever, while black will focus on greatness at any cost. For us here at Screen Rant, however, we're lucky enough to be bringing fans an exclusive look at what red has to offer, and it's a familiar face with a fondness for the dragons that will be featured prominently in the Core Set 2019 narrative:
And here's a closer look at the beautiful artwork of the card, done by Yongiae Choi:
Sarkhan, Dragonsoul is exactly the kind of flashy card that red mages love. He can clean up smaller creatures on board as soon as he is cast, he can burn opponent's faces when need be, and his ultimate summons a horde of dragons down upon his enemies. In short, Sarkhan, Dragonsoul is awesome, and the exact kind of card that newer players love to cast.
Of course, Sarkhan, Dragonsoul won't be alone. He'll also have some friends to help him:
Sarkhan's Whelp, besides being a cute, Magic: The Gathering-style homage to How to Train Your Dragon, is a reward for keeping Sarkhan, Dragonsoul in play. It also helps players learn about how to create card synergy in their decks, something that intro decks have previously struggled to capture as efficiently and satisfyingly as this card.
The new Core Set 2019 Planeswalker Decks are also a chance to put some characters back in the spotlight. Sarkhan, the main character of the Khans of Tarkir block storyline, has been absent since then, and getting a glimpse into his character once more is a nice bonus. Nic Kelman, the principal narrative designer behind Magic, mentioned that their might be room for more Sarkhan content in the future:
"Sarkhan himself, though...is also worth mentioning as a character who has a lot of potential we possibly haven't seen fully explored yet. It would be great to explore dimensionalizing him and his wants in the future."
Is that a hint or just wishful thinking? Time will tell, although Sarkhan, Dragonsoul certainly looks pretty important at first glance.
Fans looking to pick up Sarkhan, Dragonsoul early will also have the chance to do so if they attend Magic's Grand Prix Vegas, which happens this weekend on June 15-17. If fans aren't in attendance there, the 2019 Core Set Planeswalker Decks will be available at local gaming stores' Core Set 2019 Open Houses, which run on June 30-July 1.