Wizards of the Coast has a Valentine's Day gift for those who love the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game as the company makes a series of small announcement in regards to things to come after the April release of the set Dominaria.
Coming June 8 will be a new stand-alone set known as Battlebond. Like the two previously-released Conspiracy sets, Battlebond will be focused on Limited formats (ie: Sealed Deck or Booster Draft). Unlike the Conspiracy sets, however, Battlebond will also be focused on the multiplayer Two-Headed Giant style of play.
"Some sets, like Oath of the Gatewatch, have dabbled with [Two-Headed Giant] in the past, but Battlebond takes that to the next level," explains Lead Set Designer Gavin Verhey. "The new mechanics in Battlebond are unlike anything we've ever done in Magic, and they really elevate the promise of Two-Headed Giant to its full potential."
Verhey says the set, which will take place in the never-before-seen plane of Kylem, will be comprised of 254 total unique cards in total with 85 of them being completely new and all of the cards immediately being legal in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. As for the reprints, Verhey says that a number of them will feature "spiffy new artwork."
Also coming out on June 8 will be a second Commander Anthology. Like the original, Commander Anthology: Volume II, will consist of four yet-identified previously released 100-card decks and will also include 13 premium foil commanders. The MSRP for Commander Anthology: Volume II is $164.99.
One week later, WotC will release Signature Spellbook: Jace on June 15. Being described as a spiritual successor of the popular From The Vault series, this will be a nine-card boxed set based around Planeswalker Jace Beleren and will include one premium foil and eight other cards that "fit the Planeswalker's identity." Future Signature Spellbook releases will be themed around other Planeswalkers. WotC lists the MSRP of Signature Spellbook: Jace at $19.99.
The week after that, on June 22, WotC will release a pair of Planeswalker Decks specific for the Chinese market featuring new Planeswalkers that were created particularly for China. The two 60-card decks were designed by a team of Chinese artists, writers, and folklorists and are rooted in Chinese aesthetics and mythology. The Global Series Jiang Yanggu & Mu Yanling will also get an English-language variant for outside of China and carry a MSRP of $29.99.
After a very busy June, WotC will be back at it again in August with a series of new Commander decks for 2018. Scheduled for release on Aug. 10, WotC says players will "call on powerful planeswalkers and deploy their signature strategies." There will be four new decks in total with a dozen premium foil commanders across them.
Finally, an official Magic: The Gathering life counter app is on its way. Expected to come out sometime in 2018 as a free app on iOS and Android, the app will not only assist players as they keep track of life totals, but will also help users create, manage, and track their own home tournaments. News and social features will also be included in the app.
Wizards of the Coast says players can expect a larger set of announcements a little later this year before Core Set 2019 comes out on July 13.