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MTG: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Review

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AFR Header

Welcome, adventurers, and gather round as I tell you a tale of Dungeons, Dragons, and Magic. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is finally upon us! This crossover set brings lots of new mechanics to the world of Magic, and in turn Magic is featuring a lot of new DnD characters in the cards, as well as all-new campaigns!

A Dungeon Master's Guide

First up, let’s talk about the characters! One of the coolest is the Drow Elf Drizz’t Do’Urden, the original main character of Dungeons and Dragons! Drizz’t is a White/Green card that can summon his panther companion, Guenhwyvar, and allows him to quite literally level up when another card dies! Drizz’t’s long-time travelling companion Bruenor Battlehammer and his sword Icingdeath also make an appearance. His other sword, Twinkle, unfortunately does not. Imagine having a sword called Icingdeath and it’s not the lamest name.

There are also a wealth of new characters in the set! Ellywick Tumblestrum, Hama Pashar, Nadaar and Varis are to be featured in The Wild Beyond The Witchlight, a new sourcebook releasing soon. Villains also make an appearance, with Acererak, Asmodeus and Lolth being very prominent.

Volo's Guide to Monsters

Forgotten Realms adds (and revives) a lot of creature types! Brand new to Magic consist of DnD specials like Bards, Gnolls, Halflings, Tieflings and Beholders. Citizen cards are in black border, previously only available on the test card Five Kids in a Trenchcoat, other than tokens. Ranger has continued to grow, after being revived in Modern Horizons 2. Finally, Hamster appears on the token card Boo, used by Minsk, Legendary Ranger.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything

The mechanics are where this new set really shines, though. Along with a lot of Dragons, Dungeons make an appearance as a brand new mechanic. Every player has access to the 3 Dungeon cards, based on some of the most historic dungeons in the series history. Dungeon of the Mad Mage, Lost Mine of Phandelver and Tomb of Annihilation can be “ventured into” by certain cards. Just like in DnD, they scale in “difficulty” with Tomb of Annihilation dealing nothing but negatives to yourself until you finish it!

Another mechanic, and possibly one of my favourites, is dice rolling! First featured in Silver Border with cards like Squirrel-Powered Scheme and Krark’s Other Thumb, it makes its way into Standard! Specifically, Blue/Red decks will utilise it, with cards like Wizard’s Spellbook, Goblin Morningstar and Farideh, Devil’s Chosen. There’s also a small amount of crossover into other colours; Lightfoot Rogue in black, Treasure Chest in colourless and Loathsome Troll in green use the mechanic effectively. Even White is allowed in for once, with Revivfy! Either way, you’re going to want to bring a D20 to any draft nights that might include Adventures in the Forgotten Realms!

Acquisitions Incorporated

There are also three separate kinds of treatment the cards can get! Other than foil, the first and most well-known is a classic Extended Art card. These can be some of the best rares and mythics in the set, such as The Book of Exalted Deeds, The Book of Vile Darkness or Vorpal Sword! Next is the showcase treatment, which this time is emblematic of the original art for Dungeons and Dragons books! These cards feature the most important characters and creatures in the set, in a style that can only be described as nostalgic. Owlbear, Baleful Beholder and Mimic make this set, as well as characters like Kalain, Reclusive Painter and Minsc, Beloved Ranger. Finally, and my personal favourite, are the 9 non-basic lands in the set. They are printed to look like the original DnD Dungeon Modules!

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is being sold in the same way as the majority of previous Magic sets: Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector’s Boosters, Bundles and Gift Packs. There are also 4 new Commander decks: Aura of Courage, Dungeons of Death, Draconic Rage and Planar Portal. Pick up a box today, and hope it’s not a mimic!