There was quite a lot going on during Magic: The Gathering's GP Vegas. Between three main events, countless side events, tons of on-site vendors and artists, and seemingly endless social play and trading, there was no way anyone could fit it all in. Even with all that, Magic's R&D Director, Aaron Forsythe, was able to take time out of his day to chat about what's coming up in the near future for the game.
In the interview, he compares Magic now from when he was a pro and also talks about Hour of Devastation, the sequel to Magic's Amonkhet set.
"For Hour we really wanted to amp up the story for Magic's IP and what was going on with that world and that meant we had to leave some stuff behind -- some mechanics people liked like Embalm," he says. "We don't like taking things away, but we had to then ratched it up some more and make the set feel like the stakes have been raised and that really bad things were happening to the pale and to our main characters."
Forsythe also commented on Magic's plans for its 25th anniversary celebration. This includes Masters 25, the game's 25th anniversary set, and Unstable, the third Un-set. Those two sets, however, aren't at the top of his list.
"For me, the big one is...we're making a set called Dominaria," he explains. "I was on the design team for that set along with Mark Rosewater and Richard Garfield and others. And that was where Magic's story started and we spent many, many sets there back in the beginning -- back when I was playing -- and that was just, kind of, the base-line experience you had with Magic."
Of course, that doesn't mean Forsythe isn't greatly looking forward to other upcoming sets. For instance, he calls Masters 25 to be a "cool retrospective of Magic [that has] all sorts of cards from throughout all of Magic from the very first Alpha set to stuff that hasn't even come out yet with the Ixalan block."
And as for why it took so long for Unstable to come out, Forsythe points out that it's something that Mark Rosewater has been working on for quite some time.
"We just needed to find the right time to release it," he says.
Magic: The Gathering has quite the year ahead of it with not only what's mentioned above to look forward to, but also the return to Core Sets, a Goblins vs Merfolk Duel Deck, and more. You can see the entire schedule on WotC's "Coming Soon" webpage.
And, as for those games of Magic that Forsythe played immediately after the interview, they really did happen. Fell free to speculate who won, but the game did go to game three.