Magic: The Gathering goes full Hellraiser with more Junji Ito art

Elesh Norn
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)
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In an October episode of WeeklyMTG (opens in new tab), the Twitch show where upcoming Magic: The Gathering cards debut, several upcoming artist collaborations were revealed. Most striking were the cards illustrated by Junji Ito, the horror mangaka behind Uzumaki, a book I devoured in a day and then did not sleep after. Even if you're not familiar with his work, you've probably seen the "It was made for me!" (opens in new tab) meme that one of his panels gave birth to. It's a distinctive style.

While those were designed for one of Magic's prestige "Secret Lair drops" that usually contain variants of existing cards, Ito has climbed back in that Magic-shaped hole and is one of the artists for next year's first Magic set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Which makes a kind of sense, given that the theme for this expansion goes full body horror. The story behind it has the biomechanical Phyrexians working to dominate the multiverse, remaking living beings by ripping them limb from limb then grafting them back together as metal monsters, under the command of Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines. She's a straight-up Hellraiser character if ever I saw one and a perfect subject for Junji Ito. 

More details about Phyrexia: All Will Be One were revealed during today's episode of WeeklyMTG (opens in new tab). As well as Ito's art, it contains some Geiger-esque Phyrexian Obliterators, 10 planeswalker heroes, warped versions of existing characters who have been corrupted, and land cards representing the remade machine hell of New Phyrexia.

For those who play Commander, two premade decks themed around Corrupting Influence (white/black/green) and Rebellion Rising (red/white) will be released, and come with a collector's booster pack to provide a sample the rest of the set. Players who like their cards extra shiny can check out a new card treatment called "oil slick raised foil", and there will be three Phyrexian Secret Lair drops closer to the set's release.

Phyrexia: All Will Be One (opens in new tab) is scheduled for digital release on February 7 and in paper form on February 10. The traditional prerelease events at game stores will run from February 3 to February 9 in Jumpstart and sealed-deck formats (some of which will be giving away a card from the Magic 30th Anniversary Edition that wasn't at all controversial, as was announced at the time). 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.