Reviewing the ComicCon Panel

The much anticipated Magic: The Gathering panel at San Diego Comic Con was held tonight. During the panel questions were answered, prizes were handed out and a few of Magic's future sets and products were discussed. From Innistrad to From The Vault - Legends and Ajani vs Nicol Bolas to Dark Ascension. Those of us who weren't able to attend the panel got their news via a handful of twitter accounts providing live updates from the event; thanks to @wizards_magic, @dailymtg, and @Top8Games for keeping us informed!

The panel started off by talking about FTV: Legends, revealing the previously seen new art for Kresh the Bloodbraided, and Sun Quan, Lord of Wu, and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker were all shown. This is the first official confirmation of Kiki-Jiki since his art was spotted on Wizards' website, and it's the first reveal of Sun Quan, meaning that we should look forward to more Horsemanship in Commander.

After From the Vault, they briefly mentioned that there is an alternate art for Lightning Helix in Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas. Given Ajani's colors, this card was commonly believed to be in the deck but this is also the first confirmation of it.

And then to, Innistrad. Clearly it was the centerpiece of the panel. Mark Rosewater declared that the theme of the set is themed 'Classic Horror'. He went on to say there are tribal and graveyard mechanics in the set, and mentioned a few of the tribes in the set. Vampires will be in the set, of course, making an impression in Black and Red and returning to them after their surge in Zendikar and their absence from Mirrodin. Zombies will be expanding out of Black into Blue. Werewolves will be rearing their heads in Green and Red after being solely restricted to Black in the past. Other unnamed tribes will be in the block, ones that fit the 'classic horror' tropes that MaRo mentioned. One such unnamed tribe is that of 'Spirit' which was revealed in the handful of cards spoiled from Innistrad in Duels 2012.

A new Liliana Vess was confirmed to be in the set, alongside another unnamed 'familiar' planeswalker. One likely guess is that of Zendikar's Sorin in a new form, but I am not convinced that this would make sense given that that would make Black quite powerful in limited as it might play host to the two Planeswalkers in the set. The other two top guesses would be the Duels 2012 planeswalkers: Kiora Atua and Ral Zarek. Who will it be? Only Wizards knows.

The panel concluded with the announcement of the second set in Innistrad block, previously only known by its code name 'Rattle', Dark Ascension. 'Command the Night' is the supplied tagline, accompanied by an image of Sorin.

Innistrad's second set - Dark Ascension
Innistrad's second set - Dark Ascension
Images courtesy of @Top8Games

During the Q and A portion of the panel, people got gifts for asking questions, which included: exclusive Black Lotus sleeves that only R&D own; an invite to attend Worlds, a booster box of Italian Legends, a booster pack of Beta (which was opened and held a rare Island), a booster pack of Arabian Nights (was opened, owner found Library of Alexandria), and an original art of an unrevealed Innistrad card 'Creepy Doll'. Mark Rosewater shares that the card 'Creepy Doll' was inspired by a song of the same name by geek musician Jonathan Coulton.

One of the most notable questions asked was about the Modern format. Modern was the unofficial Mirrodin-forward format that debuted at this year's Community Cup. Aaron Forsythe answered, 'We are going to move forward with Modern very soon."