Core Set 2021 Leaks, Rumors and Teasers: Ugin, Grim Tutor, Birds of Paradise, Phasing, Dog Tribal and More (Updated)
In the wake of the June 1 banned and restricted announcement that has just been posted (check out our in-depth commentary and analysis!), it turns out that a mysterious source (or sources) knew about the upcoming changes well in advance – and even posted some card leaks on the upcoming Core Set 2021. Ahead of the official preview season starting only in just a few days (June 4, to be precise), we also have some fresh, exciting teasers from Mark Rosewater himself to tie all this in together, so read on (this will be a long one) if you want to find out more about what the new set could potentially hold and join in the speculation!
June 4: You can now check out all the official information as they come in the below post!
Core Set 2021 Leaks
Update June 4: More pictures have surfaced on reddit – as the tradition, they are poorly taken pictures but may confirm the leaks below.
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
While not a leak, sections of the card are being revealed by the WPN stores. The full card will be spoiled later today as part of the official preview schedule.
+1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature. It gains indestructible until end of turn.
-2: Whenever one or more nontoken creatures attack this turn, create that many 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens that are tapped and attacking.
-9: You get an emblem with “At the beginning of combat on your turn, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token, then put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.”
Basri’s Acolyte and Demonic Embrace
Chandra, Heart of Fire
+1: Discard your hand. Exile the top 3 cards of your library. You may play cards exiled this way until end of turn.
+1: Chandra, Heart of Fire deals 2 damage to any target.
-9: Search your graveyard and library for any amount of instant and/or sorcery spells, exile them, then shuffle your library. You may cast them this turn. Add 6 R.
About 8 days ago, a post on the main Magic: The Gathering subreddit surfaced by user Prid3 revealed what’s the come in the upcoming banned and restricted announcement, as well as several cards that would be included in Core Set 2021. Although unverifiable, the source became increasingly credible as it correctly predicted the very specific nerf to the Companion mechanic, as well as leaking the Triomes during the Ikoria spoiler season. Card leaks from the past few sets have been surprisingly accurate, such as the Narset and Godzilla leaks from Ikoria, so these cannot be completely dismissed.
Here are all the cards rumored to be in Core Set 2021, according to the post:
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Birds of Paradise
According to the source, Birds of Paradise will no longer be in Core Set 2021 due to being leaked early – but this may not be true as we have more information on this below…
Blue Card Draw Spell Similar to Accumulated Knowledge
Draw a card. Then draw another card for each copy of ~ in your graveyard.
Efficient Black Removal Spell
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with converted mana cost 3 or less.
White Defensive Creature with Card Drawing Abilities (Confirmed)
Whenever 2 or more creatures attack you or a planeswalker you control, you may draw a card.
Whenever an opponent casts a second spell each turn, you may draw a card
As long as it’s your turn, ~ has first strike.
You may look at the top card of your library at any time.
You may play the top card of your library if it’s a land card.
4RG: ~ Gets +X/+X where X is equal to the number of lands you control.
You can use ~’s ability any time you can play an instant.
+1: Draw a card, then discard a card.
-3: Target creature you don’t control phases out.
-10: Take 2 extra turns after this one.
Starting Loyalty: 5
Phasing is a very old mechanic that inspired cards like Flicker, and continues to be featured on cards like Yorion, Sky Nomad and Teferi’s Time Twist but without the specific wording. However, phasing did make an one-off appearance most recently in a Commander 2017 card, Teferi’s Protection with an updated reminder text, so this does not seem completely out of the question.
(While they’re phased out, they’re treated as though they don’t exist. They phase in before you untap during your untap step.)
As for the card itself, it looks to be very powerful considering it can be activated both on you and your opponent’s turn.
Whenever you cast a dog spell, create a 1/1 cat token.
Whenever you cast a cat spell, create a 1/1 dog token.
, : ~ deals damage to any target equal to the number of dogs you control and you gain life equal to the number of cats you control.
While this card is not on the original post, a cryptic comment on a different post was made from the same source. Core Set 2020 introduced some popular tribal synergies such as Vampires and Elementals, and further revealing information below shows that this is not completely out of the question…
Core Set 2021 Previews Begin June 4
Update June 4: The Core Set 2021 debut has been postponed until June 5 7 AM PT, and the MTG Arena patch that includes the implementation of the recent bans and companion changes have also been postponed.
It had already been revealed that Core Set 2021 spoilers will be starting on June 4, and it the official Magic: The Gathering Twitter account confirmed this today. Presumably an artwork from the new set has a small text revealing the date and time of Core Set 2021 debut stream on Twitch – June 4, at 7 AM PT. The same source has also stated that “Dog” is officially replacing “Hound” as a creature type update!
Mark Rosewater’s Core Set 2021 Teaser
At the same time, Mark Rosewater has posted his teasers for the new set in a traditional fashion, which ties together some of the leaks from above as well as more information that we can speculate on in the meantime:
A +1/+1 tribal lord for a creature type that’s never had one. (A creature type with over fifty cards already in print.)
This further confirms the support for the Dog creature type, and we’ve seen a test version of a card in the Mystery Booster set.
A character with a Vanguard card and a legendary creature card gets a second of the latter.
This could be any one of Barrin, Eladamri, Hanna, Karn, Maraxus, Mishra, Oracle, Orim, Rofellos, Selenia, Sidar Kondo, Sliver Queen, Starke, Tawnos, Titania, Urza, and Xantcha.
A card that uses a nonevergreen named ability over twenty years old.
This again confirms the possibility of phasing in the new Teferi card.
A nonevergreen enchantment subtype returns
Hondens have made their way into Historic Anthology 3, so there could be further support for new Shrines in Core Set 2021.
A popular character first introduced in flavor text.
Ghostfire was first printed in 2007 alluding to Ugin in the flavor text, who was then introduced in 2015 in the Fate Reforged expansion as Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, supporting the leak.
A French Vanilla mythic rare.
Baneslayer Angel has been printed in Core Set 2010 and 2011, which makes it a strong possibility (see above for leaked picture).
A popular aura that started as part of a cycle.
Rancor will be a very strong inclusion to augment the enchantment strategies currently available in Standard!
A card with a unique protection.
Though it could support Baneslayer Angel above as well, but it could be a reprint of something like Horizon Drake.
Two cards played in tournaments that have been reprinted over twenty times with at least five different pieces of art
The leak source above stated that Birds of Paradise was pulled from the set, but this quote from Mark Rosewater could mean that it is still in the set. He also mentions there’s two of them, so could it be something like Lightning Bolt? Personally, while both cards are iconic as a duet, I’m not too sure if it would have a net positive effect on the Standard and Historic metagame.
A card that’s never previously appeared in a premier set.
Confirmation for Grim Tutor.
A card that’s never been reprinted before which has a 2, 3, 5 and 6 all appear on the card.
Could we see the Level Up mechanic return in Core Set 2021? There will likely be cards that allude to Zendikar Rising in Core Set 2021 (similar to Theros in Core Set 2020), so cards like Horizon Drake or mechanics that originated in the original Zendikar set do not seem out of the question.
Massacre Wurm is also another one that has not been reprinted yet with 2, 3, 5, 6 on the card and supported by the leaked pictures above.
These were the notable ones that we could see being narrowed down significantly, but here’s the full post:
Check back here often, as we will be adding more information to this post as we found out more and the story unfolds!
Do you think Core Set 2021 will have enough cards to shake up the metagame? Would Birds of Paradise and Lightning Bolt be too powerful? What cards do you want to see, or you think will be in the set? Let us know what you think from the information we have so far, as we await the bans to take effect and countdown to the official spoiler season and on June 4.