The Planeswalker’s Apprentice – A New Set Releases

Serj sat nervous at his oaken desk, spell satchel sitting to the side. His mentor told him to halt all studies earlier in the day and he began to grow impatient. What would the master stop his learning for? What could be so important?

The Planeswalker stepped from his chambers and into the room, gliding across the floor as if no walking was nessisary. He tossed a newly written tome to the desk. The thud of it’s weight was expected by Serj but surprised him nonetheless.

“You have more to learn Apprentice.”

Welcome back. As many of you may have known, the Fate Reforged set is soon to release which means more spells have been added to Magic: The Gathering’s already extensive arsenal. this is an exciting time for all players involved whether they be veterans of days long past or fresh shufflers like yourself. It’s also a good time for starting players to accumulate new cards to add to their decks in fun ways. Let’s take a look at all the things you should do when a new set is released.


Spoiler Season

Spoiler Season is the official beginning of the set and usually starts a several weeks before the set is released for sale to the public. During Spoiler Season cards are leaked out to the fans in various medias, mostly via internet sites. Posts on Reddit or Twitter are frequent about cards that are being printed. The best site I’ve seen for spoilers is Mythic Spoiler. This site takes leaked cards from all sites and posts them quickly for all players to view. It even posts partial information on cards as its leaked during the times when Wizards likes to tease bits of information out about certain cards.

As a newer player during Spoiler Season, your main emphasis should be to research cards that will make your deck better. As potential cards are leaked take each one and think about it. Can this card improve my current deck? What would this card do for my deck if I put it in it? What cards should I take out if I choose to try this new card? Make a mental note of the cards you may be interested in or write them down.

Prerelease Events

This is where the fun happens. A week before the new set is released for sale to the general public, Prerelease Events occur. This is your opportunity to get those cards you were looking for during Spoiler Season and have some goodhearted competitive fun doing it.

Each Prerelease Event plays out differently depending on the store. Most of the ones I have encountered host some form of draft format where players open these new packs, pick a card and pass them to the next player, repeating the cycle until enough cards are taken to make a 40 card deck. This is harder than it sounds but keep in mind, the cards you were looking at during spoiler season are going to be opened and passed around the table. It’s a great opportunity for you to pick those cards for the event and add them to your playing deck after the event.

The competition will be fierce at the event and you will learn alot about how the new cards interact with one another . Winning is not all important and you should just enjoy the event for what it’s worth, a chance for you to take a look at the new cards at work in a fun environment and get some potential cards for your deck.

You also will receive a promo card for being there, usually a foil rare with some type of alternate art. If this card is not something you would like to keep or be able to use, the Prerelease Event is a great place to trade those promo cards off for cards you can use for your deck. Typically the value of these cards fade after the hype of the event is over so trading them immediately gives you the best value.

Keep in mind, this will be the last time for you to pick up cards from the new set until the following week when packs and singles are allowed to be sold. Each store is forbidden to sell singles or packs from the new set until Prerelease week is over and major retailers won’t be putting packs on their shelves till then as well so make the most of this week in regards to attending events and trading.

Official Release

Eventually the set will be officially released, booster packs can be purchased and cards will soon begin to flood the market. Card values will typically go down for many cards that were overhyped during Spoiler Season and some cards that flew under the radar will begin to raise in price as players see first hand how they interact during game play. During this time you should be finishing off picking up the cards you needed and getting some playtesting done of your own. Are the cards you first thought to be good as good as you envisioned? Did you get enough copies? Are there cards you are seeing during playtesting that would had been better choices? Playing first hand with new cards is the absolute best way to make sure your assumptions were right on your new additions.

Granted, the Spoiler Season and Prerelease Events for Fate Reforged are over, (because I wasn’t on the ball and posted an article earlier) but a new set is always in the wings. You will have the opportunity to properly prepare next time.

Aiokii has attended many Prerelease events, his most memorable being game three of the finals and drawing nothing but land, only to cast  Merciless Eviction on a full opponent’s board and going on to win, his opponent then drawing no creatures. If you would like to contact the Aiokii by Twitter or Facebook or message or post in the comments below. Don’t be scare to subscribe either, as your fate may depend on it.

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