A Primer for Magic's "D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms" Prerelease

Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons have both being at the forefront of their respective gaming categories and developed by Wizards of the Coast for over two decades. Now, we're finally getting the crossover event many have dreamed of!  Magic and D&D players alike are in love with the flavor and fun mechanics oozing from the new Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set. To prepare you for your adventure, we're going to go over everything you need to know, including our prerelease event schedule, the set mechanics, limited archetypes and preorders!


An Epic Prerelease Adventure

Our featured thematic Prerelease event will be Friday, July 16th at 6:30 PM, capped at 40 players due to WotC's recently announced product shortage. You won't want to miss it, so register today! Costumes are welcome, and in fact encouraged! There will be thematic activities for players to participate in between rounds, and treasure to be found! We'll also be unveiling the store's new prize wall this night, so keep saving up those prize tickets from our in-store events and look forward to that.

We'll also have a Prerelease event Saturday, July 17th at 5:30 PM, as well as a 2HG Prerelease Sunday, July 18th at 4:00 PM. Entry 

Now that you know when you can join a prerelease event, you likely want to know what to expect from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Let's take a look at the mechanics!



As with every new set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms introduces a range of new mechanics. One might expect them to be thematically tied, and you wouldn't be wrong! WotC captured both the dungeons and dragons part of the brand's namesake, and even include rolling dice! Read on below to find out more.



There are three Dungeon cards that represent three actual classic D&D dungeons long time players will recognize. You'll never need more than one of each, and they start outside the game. For tournaments, this usually means they're part of your sideboard, but not in this case! How do you enters the dungeon? By a new keyword mechanic, "Venture into the dungeon."

When a card tells you to "Venture into the dungeon", if you don't have a Dungeon in the Command Zone, you'll pick a dungeon you're not currently in and put it in there. You'll immediately enter the first room the top of the Dungeon card. Each ability on the Dungeon cards are triggered abilities that go on the stack and resolve as any other trigger would. Each time you venture into the dungeon, you'll pick which room you want to go to next. You can't go backwards, so choose wisely! And then, once you enter the final room and it's ability completely resolves, you remove that Dungeon from the game and are considered to have "Completed a dungeon." 

Some cards care about completing a dungeon, such as Gloom Stalker:

You may be waiting to complete a dungeon with it's last room ability on the stack and then venture into the dungeon again in response. In that case, you'll complete the dungeon while waiting for it's ability to resolve and enter a new dungeon with it's first room ability on the stack, which will resolve first. 


Flavor Words

To capture the flavor of the players making decisions when playing Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards have introduced a multitude of modal spells in this set. Each of the modes on these cards has flavorful text italicized in front of the effects on the card. These have no bearings on rules or interactions and are simply for flavor to help players envision their actions.

Roll a D20

It wouldn't be D&D without dice rolling, so that's here, too! 

Many cards in the set have a table within the rules text. The effect your spell or ability will have will be determined by what you roll on a D20. Each prerelease kit comes with a D20, so don't fret! If you don't have a D20, attending a prerelease will earn you your first!

A Special Note: A D20 die is different from a 20-sided Spindown die that you often see at Magic tables for life tracking. Spindown die are weighted differently, and the numbers not randomized. Because of this and per the actual Comprehensive Rules as of this set, when a game mechanic has a player roll a D20, it must be a D20 and not a spindown die.


New Enchantment Subtype — Class

A new subtype for Enchantments has been added to the set with the Class subtype! These look a lot like Sagas, but work a bit differently. Each Class has three Levels on the card, and you start at Level 1. If a Class has a static or triggered ability at Level 1, it will go on the stack the same as any other permanent when it enters the battlefield. From there, you can activate ability at any time you could cast a Sorcery (during your main phase and when no spells are on the stack) to progress to Level 2 and eventually Level 3. As you Level a Class, it'll still retain the abilities of it's previous levels.


The Limited Archetypes

In most modern Magic sets, limited archetypes can be easily determined by looking at what WotC calls "signpost" Uncommons. That is, multicolor Uncommons that are designed specifically for a set's intended archetypes. In a set where Azorius Flying is a theme, it might be an Uncommon Creature that gets better when you play more Flying creatures, for example. However, things are a bit different for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Rather than focusing on archetypes and having respective signposts, limited decks will be built around focusing in on the themes of the set.


Pack Tactics, Equipment & More — Selesnya, Gruul, Boros

A large number of limited games are won off of the back of creature-based decks, and in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the option of aggressive creature decks persists. Gruul will do what Gruul does best, utilizing high power on board to push through and put opponents in a bind. Any Gruul deck will likely depend on high power creatures to trigger Pack Tactics for bonuses. Meanwhile, Boros will be looking at Equipment and need to find a balance between creatures, removal and equipment. Selesnya offers a somewhat shallow lifegain theme, but is still viable as a creature-based deck to to into combat with.


Treasure & Synergy Focus — Dimir & Rakdos

While the other themes are looking to focus in on a mass amount of cards with related themes, the treasure theme belongs to the two color pairs that are easily the most synergistic in the set. There are ample ways to generate treasure in the set which makes using them for splashing other colors an interesting choice, but within Blue, Black and Red you'll find many great payoffs. Many of the themes in the set are very specific and don't necessarily play off of other cards that share their theme, but that is not true with treasure.



Venture into the Dungeon — White, Blue and Black

Your most important and key cards for heading into a dungeon and building for this will be found here. A venturing deck will often look like a control deck, managing the board while it gains incremental advantage over the game by dungeon crawling. If you're in Orzhov, it could be more aggressive with large creatures and perhaps even equipment, but control looks to be the best strategy when building a deck that focuses on the advantage venturing into a dungeon provides.



Preoders are Available! 

So, adventurer, what do you think? Are you excited to battle with classic monsters, delve deep into dungeons, find treasure and roll the dice of chance? We certainly are! 

Set Booster Boxes will be available for the weekend of the pre-release starting July 16th and can be preordered in-store, along with the rest of the product line that will release the following weekend on July 23rd. The full release will include Draft booster and Collector booster boxes and packs, Commander decks, Bundles and Theme booster packs.

We're looking forward to seeing you here at Gamers Grove for a very special prerelease, and can't wait to adventure together into the Forgotten Realms!

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