Future Sight: First Impressions

23:52 Sun 22 Apr 2007. Updated: 21:46 26 Jun 2013
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The Prerelease tournaments for the next MTG set, Future Sight, were this weekend.

Future Sight is the third set in the Time Spiral block. Thematically, as the first two sets dealt with the past and with alternative presents, this set deals with cards from the (potential) future. Each of the three sets has “timeshifted” cards that look different from other cards—Time Spiral uses cards with the old card face, Planar Chaos with a kind of alternative currnet card face, and Future Sight with quite bizarre-looking “future” card face/layout. The casting cost for these cards is on the left, their card frame is quite different, and they use a lot more translucency in their design. They stand out from other cards more than the timeshifted cards from the first two sets. They’re also a lot hard for players to scan, given that the information on them is in quite different places.

It’s an interesting aesthetic experiment, both when considered for individual cards and for cards taken together. MTG shifted to the “new” card face around Mirrodin block, almost four years ago, and one of the biggest complaints was (and remains) how bad decks look when the old and new card faces are both present. The last three sets take this to extremes, and now there are four different card face styles mixed together in single block.

It’s interesting, but I really hope that that’s it, and that they’re going to stop screwing around with the card face and be consistent for the next decade at least.

As for the cards themselves, not that much stood out to me so far in Future Sight. There are lots of cards with bizarre abilities, such as the rather cool Seht’s Tiger, which gives players protection from a color, and a kind of “non-cycle cycle” of lands that are all different for the five allied color pairs. Perhaps Future Sight is meant to feel fractured and chaotic, but that feeling doesn’t make for a satisfying environment, especially in comparison to the Time Spiral set, which has a lot of craziness and a lot of new ideas in it too, but manages a certain coherence that the latter two sets, and especially Future Sight, lack.

The Prerelease was fun, but like the set itself a little bit of a letdown compared to the last two. And now the long wait for the next major set begins (major sets are released in the fall of each year)…

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