These New Magic: The Gathering Cards Are Nuts, Literally

We're heading into the 25th anniversary of Magic: The Gathering, and Wizards of the Coast are kicking off the celebrations in style with Unstable, one of the strangest expansions Magic has seen in years. We have an exclusive look at some of the craziness within.

Image: Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast. Squirrel Dealer art by Bram Sels.

Unstable is an homage to the legendary Unhinged and Unglued "unofficial" expansions to Magic, sets full of cards that were loopy and often gamebreaking - literally, they were banned from tournaments so fans couldn't abuse the mechanics - and asked players to adapt to weird and wonderful rules. "Unstable has been an idea percolating in the innards of WOTC for several years now," Wizards of the Coast's Senior Director of Global Brand Strategy & Marketing, Mark Purvis, told us over email. "There was a string of panels that we would do at various conventions around the country where literally every Q&A would have a fan asking about another 'Un' set, and this happened for a couple of years, so we knew there was a very devoted group within the Magic community that really wanted to see another silver-bordered set. As we head in to the year where we're celebrating our 25th anniversary, it felt like the perfect time to unveil Unstable to help kick off the festivities."

Unstable carries on the tradition of delightful insanity the past "Un" sets established, with over 200 cards based on everything from groups of spy-fi knockoffs to goofy cyborgs, from idiotic goblins (it wouldn't be Magic without them, really) to... squirrels. Squirrels, like the ones you'll encounter in three brand new cards we are proud to debut below. But they were at first a controversial inclusion in the set, according to Purvis. "Squirrel cards are polarising within Magic - people either love them, or have a black, mirthless heart," he continued. "There is a fairly ridiculous amount of debate internally about whether a squirrel would be able to take down a human-sized opponent within the game, but I think recent well-publicised real-life squirrel attacks help illustrate how intimidating they can be when they are riled. Plus, Unstable is a world populated by factions of mad scientists, and it's not unusual for squirrels on this plane to be enhanced with humanlike intelligence and/or augmented strength and cuteness." Check out just three of the amazing squirrel cards of Unstable below!

Magic: The Gathering's Unstable set is available from December 8.


    So Magics answer to Harthstone is to take Harstone's worst feature (randomized card effects) and turn it into a set?

      Hahaha not quite it is an "un set" none of the cards are legal for any play out side of the block it is released in. I think its just a break from the seriousness and competitive nature of Magic.

        Technically, the lands are legal in tournament play, and one of the cards is a reprint of a future sight card (steamflogger boss, due to being the origin of riggers and contraptions, originally a semi-joke based on future sight's concept of having cards of the future), so you can use it in regular games if, for some reason, you want a 4 CMC 3/3 goblin with a useless ability (unless wizards decides to make riggers and contraptions an active mechanic)

          Uh righto, I knew the lands were playable did't realize that Steamflogger Boss was a reprint thats kind of funny.

    Are these cards made from hard shelled fruits or seeds? Have the mental faculties of inanimate objects left them and they are now mad and crazy? No? Then they are not "literally" nuts. /englishPedantry

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