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Up Close With MAGIC: THE GATHERING’s Must-Have SDCC Exclusives

Up Close With MAGIC: THE GATHERING’s Must-Have SDCC Exclusives

Fans flock to San Diego Comic-Con for nerd camaraderie, panels, parties, and if you’ve seen the lines, the exclusives. Nerds can spend hours in line for a game, toy, or collectible that can only be obtained for the few days the con is open. (We’ve seen overnight campers for Funkos.) And if you’re a trading card game geek, you’re probably clamoring to get your hands on Magic: The Gathering‘s SDCC exclusives (here are last year’s). We can’t hold your spot in line, but we can give you the best look at the gorgeous planeswalker cards and poster.

This year, MTG‘s “Gatewatch” are immortalized as Egyptian-themed foils. Publisher Wizards of the Coast typically takes the releases of Spring and transforms them into something fun for the summer — in this case, hieroglyphs and an immortal, evil dragon wizard.

First the box (click to enlarge each photo):

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Now open it up:

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Then the planeswalkers make an appearance:

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Now the hands-on. We begin with Gideon of the Trials:

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Liliana, Death’s Majesty:

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Chandra, Torch of Defiance:

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Jace, Unraveler of Secrets:

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And Nissa, Steward of Elements:

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And finally, the dragon wizard Nicol Bolas. This planeswalker card slightly breaks from the hieroglyph theme, but we understand — the card is so dang powerful it can’t be contained in stone.

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There’s also something special in this year’s SDCC exclusives. Each year, Wizards adds a non-card collectible that adds to the theme, and this might be the best one yet. Here, a Mondo, gold-leafed poster of Bolas, printed on MTG card stock. It’s as amazing as the card:

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The head designer of MTG, Mark Rosewater, told Nerdist that the heavy focus on Bolas was intentional. “This is Bolas finally being a badass,” said Rosewater. The last set of cards, Amonkhet, was all a build-up to the evil dragon’s return. In the current set, Hour of Devastation, Bolas is the one bringing the destruction that rocks th plane. Now we know why Bolas is one of the oldest and most powerful characters in MTG‘s almost 25-year history. “Now we understand.”

Big things are coming for MTG‘s 25th. Rosewater teased the dinosaurs, pirates, and Aztec-ian motifs of upcoming set Ixalan, the “illegal” craziness of Unstable, and a tour of the game’s most powerful cards that will be Iconic Masters. It’s going to be a good year to be a Magic: The Gathering player.

Images: Kyle Hill.

Editor’s note: A review copy of the SDCC 2017 cards were provided to Nerdist by Wizards of the Coast.

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