Wizards of the Coast announced a new Un set for Magic the Gathering called Unsanctioned; this announcement came hard on the heels of the Magic the Gathering and My Little Pony crossover cards and has a lot of fans intrigued. It's completely unique from all other Un sets, or M:tG sets in general.
Un sets are non-standard sets designed for fun, and that means they won't be legal for play in most formats. Previous Un sets have been hilarious takes on the game and its long history. Unstable (2017), Unglued (1998), Unhinged (1998), and now Unsanctioned, all contain silver-bordered "joke" cards that reference Magic history, memes, and even pop culture.
Unlike the other Un sets, Unsanctioned will be pre-constructed decks instead of random boosters. Each of the five decks will be single color, 30-card decks containing many reprints of beloved cards from Unglued, Unstable, and Unhinged as well as 16 brand new cards. Each copy of Unsanctioned will contain five 30-card decks, 2 collectable six-sided dice, 10 double-sided tokens, and 10 full-art basics. While not the most expensive Magic the Gathering cards ever, the Un lands have been a fan favorite for their beautiful artwork and stunning looks.
The 16 new cards will have a "wrestling match kind of flavor," according to Gavin Verhey, the Senior Magic Designer who's also involved in all four of Magic's upcoming sets. He's also said that the single-colored decks are designed to be shuffled together to create a 60-card, two-player, two-color experience that changes with each play. "The jokes are top notch," says Mark Rosewater, head designer for Magic, "and one of the cards might be the name I’m proudest of in all silver border." The set will appear both in print and in online, most likely for both MtG: Arena and Magic Online.
All of this news is amazing for players who love non-traditional sets that don't appear in standard M:tG. Wizards has always given players tons of collectibles to fill hearts and empty wallets; this new Un set looks like a love letter to those who like Magic for its collectibility and almost 30-year history.
Unsanctioned might seem like a cash grab to some (especially after some of the high prices on Throne of Eldraine singles), but this set just seems to be filled with a lot of love for the silver-bordered. When the first two Un sets came out in 1998, it gave a lot of people joy to have these fantastic, meme-filled cards that added a lot of humor to the game. However, there were a lot of problems with playability in Unhinged and Unglued. That was fixed with Unstable, one of the highest-rated draft sets ever. Unsanctioned seems to follow in those footsteps to be yet another very playable (and replayable), two-player Magic the Gathering set.
There is a downside to this though. Like many others, this will most likely be a very limited print run. This will ensure that those who want to play with the cards will have to battle it out with people looking to just resell the expensive lands (a repeat of the Brawl deck fiasco). This shouldn't be too much of an issue online; perhaps these new Unsanctioned cards will even be part of another online freebie campaign for Magic Arena.
Magic the Gathering's Unsanctioned will release on Leap Day, February 29th, 2020 in paper and online.