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Four-set blocks now possible

Explosions! Gladiators! The remnants of the Invasion! And we may be going back...
Explosions! Gladiators! The remnants of the Invasion! And we may be going back...
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With the upcoming changes to Magic's block system, some interesting new possibilities for block structures have opened up, even as the three-set model becomes effectively closed-off for use (unless the schedule is altered for that block to allow for at least five sets in one year!). Specifically, instead of the "new normal" concept of two blocks of two sets each in a year - one starting in the fall and the other in the spring - lots of blog readers are asking Mark Rosewater and Doug Beyer about a single epic-length four-set block taking up an entire year's releases. And both of them seem to think it's both a possibility and a good idea.

When mangryel asked Rosewater, "with the new block formula of two two-part blocks per year, is it possible that we have a year with one enormous four-part block, or maybe that the two blocks shared a story or something like that?" he responded:

That is a possibility but it would have to be a big enough story to merit it.

Meanwhile, when stalydan asked Beyer, "Since the core sets will stop, does that mean we could possibly get something like Lorwyn/Shadowmoor again where the blocks are linked flavour wise but mechanically fairly different?" the reply was:

It’s a whole new — I was going to say world but that’s ambiguous — paradigm! We have a lot of options opened up to us, including the possibility of connecting or relating six-month blocks to each other somehow. But the goal is to have the spring set come in with the same sense of anticipation and sense of discovery as the fall set, which in most cases will mean going someplace entirely distinct.

So whatever might deserve this kind of treatment? Here are a few possibilities:

  • The return to Dominaria block. Even after the Time Spiral Crisis seemed to neatly bring the first-ever plane with a continuing storyline's time on stage to a close, the current consensus is that going back yet again is inevitable. By now it's been so long, and the resonance of Dominaria's stories are still so important, that the playerbase would expect nothing less than a double-sized block to contain it all.
  • Multiversal faction war. If the Phyrexians, Eldrazi, and Bolas's forces are all nebulous but credible threats that will all one day come to cause trouble on one plane or another, the idea of having all three of them brawl it out, villain versus villain versus villain, is an obvious one. If this ever happens, it'd probably take four sets to bring it all to us.
  • Third Ravnica block. Let's face it - not only is Ravnica too popular not to get a third outing, fitting all ten guilds into three sets is hard enough; getting them into two would be almost impossible.