San Diego Comic-Con gave us a load of new details about Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming parody set, Unfinity. On top of the retro futuristic sci-fi setting and shock land reprints we already knew about, a radical new mechanic is being introduced to the game: stickers.
Stickers are one of two major mechanics for Unfinity (the other being attractions, which we have not heard much of yet), and will allow you to modify everything from the name, abilities, and power-and-toughness of a card, right through to more esoteric things like its art and whether the characters in them are wearing hats.
It was revealed at lead designer Mark Rosewater’s SDCC panel that each pack of Unfinity will have 14 normal cards, and one sticker sheet as an additional game piece. While you’ll only be allowed to apply stickers to cards (and other objects) you own, they’re made with a soft, post-it note-like adhesive that makes them both easily re-peelable and less likely to damage your cards.
Some stickers can be played for free, while others (mainly ability and power-and-toughness stickers) may require you to pay a new resource called ‘Tickets’. Tickets work like Kaladesh’s energy in that, once generated, they don’t dissipate until they’re spent. For example, putting the shadow ability sticker on a permanent will require you to pay three stickers, while adding an ‘Urza’s’ to the name would be free.
In-game, stickers will work similarly to counters – for instance, putting a flying sticker on a creature will give it flying. However, unlike counters, stickers will remain attached to the permanent when it moves to exile or the graveyard – although they will fall off if the card returns to a hidden zone like the hand or the library. In a way, it’s like the mid-point between counters and Magic Arena’s digital-only perpetual mechanic.
As this is an Un-set, stickers can do things you’d never see in normal Magic. For instance, Animate Object allows you to place a power/toughness, name, art, and ability sticker on any object you own from outside the game and treat it as if it were a creature. Your phone, your card box, a lamp, the chair your opponent’s sat on, it’s all fair game.
The big shock of this announcement came when it was revealed that ‘most’ sticker cards will be legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander. We already knew this set would mix ‘Acorn’ (Un-set and casual play only) and ‘Eternal’ (Vintage, Legacy, and Commander legal) cards, but cards like Carnival Carnivore, which gives you a ticket and lets you put a sticker on a nonland permanent, will be making the unexpected move of bringing an Un-set mechanic to the wider game.
In total, there will be 48 sticker sheets in Unfinity. Each one will have three name stickers, three art stickers, two ability stickers, and two power/toughness stickers. Every card will be unique, and only the power-and-toughness stickers will appear on more than one card.
While in draft you will have access to any sticker sheet you pull, in constructed formats you will have to choose ten and then draw three random cards from those at the start of the game. This is meant to ensure there is a level of variation and randomness to the design that fits Un-sets’ chaotic themes, while also preventing them from becoming too dominant in Eternal formats.
At the panel, Rosewater also confirmed that it was the sticker sheets that were the cause of Unfinity’s delay from its former April 1 release date. According to him, the company that produced the adhesive to make the cards peelable and re-applicable went out of business, forcing them to push back production as they tried to find a new glue partner.
Unfinity launches on October 7.
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