Core Set 2020

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Core Set 2020
Core Set 2020.png
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description "M20"
Design Yoni Skolnik (lead)[1]
Andrew Brown
Mclane Crowell
Melissa DeTora
Peter Lee
Max McCall
Development Same as design
Art direction Keven Smith
Release date July 12, 2019
Themes and
Chandra Nalaar, Elementals, wedges, color hate, leylines
Keywords and/
or ability words
Evergreen (including Protection again[2])
Set size 280 cards (112 Commons, 80 Uncommons, 53 Rares, 15 Mythic Rares, 20 Basic Lands)
+1 Buy-a-Box promo
+20 Planeswalker deck exclusives
+43 introductory product cards
Expansion code M20[3]
Core sets
Core Set 2019 Core Set 2020 Core Set 2021
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Signature Spellbook: Gideon Core Set 2020 Commander 2019

Core Set 2020, also known as Core 2020, is the 19th Magic core set. It was released on July 12, 2019.[4]

Set details[edit | edit source]

Core Set 2020 Booster box.jpg

Core Set 2020 features a mix of new and reprinted cards. The set contains 280 cards (20 basic land, 112 common, 80 uncommon, 53 rare, and 15 mythic rare) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. 1:45 cards are foil, instead of the usual 1:67.[5] A unique Buy-a-Box promotional card numbered #281/280 is also considered to be part of the set. 63 additional cards are found in the set's planeswalker decks (#282/280 to #301/280) and Spellslinger Starter Kit (#302/280 to #344/280).[6] Core Set 2020 introduced full-art tokens.[7]

Chandra Nalaar is the face of Core Set 2020 card set, and is represented by three different planeswalker cards in different rarities and depicting several facets in her life.[8][9] A fourth planeswalker card is included in the Chandra Planeswalker Deck.[6]

Rules change[edit | edit source]

Starting with tabletop Core Set 2020 Preleases on July 5, the London mulligan will be used for all play.[6] It will become officially reflected in the Comprehensive Rules with the M20 rules updates on July 12.[10] To take this mulligan, a player shuffles the cards in their hand back into their library, draws a new hand of cards equal to their starting hand size, then puts a number of those cards equal to the number of times that player has taken a mulligan on the bottom of their library in any order.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Core Set 2020 has a small flavor theme focusing on the life of Chandra Nalaar.[9][11] There are no Story Spotlights, and there was no story support for the set.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Core Set 2020 is sold in 16-card boosters (one card being a marketing card), mono-colored theme boosters, five welcome decks, five planeswalker decks, the Core 2020 bundle, a Deck Builder's Toolkit, a Spellslinger Starter Kit and a Land Station. The bundle for the first time contains a alternate art foil promo card and an oversized spindown life counter.[12] It also contains 20 foil lands.[5] The boosters feature key art from three planeswalkers (Ajani, Mu Yanling and Sorin Markov) that is also featured on the Planeswalker decks and Welcome decks.

Like with its predecessor, the Welcome decks, Planeswalker decks and Deck Builder's Toolkit are strongly integrated, which allows for an easier transition between the products.[11][13] The Spellslinger Starter Kit is now also part of the line up.[14] Throughout the product line the colors have a central theme: {W} Lifegain, {U} Flying, {B} Vampires, {R} Direct damage and {G} Big Monsters/Pump.

Events[edit | edit source]

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Promo pack
Premium promo pack

Tokens and emblems[edit | edit source]

Core 2020 comes with 10 tokens and 2 emblems. Token and emblems appear in the marketing card slot.[7]

  1. {W} 2/2 Cat Soldier creature named Ajani's Pridemate with "Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on Ajani's Pridemate," for Ajani, Strength of the Pride.
  2. {W} 1/1 Soldier creature, for Ancestral Blade, Ironroot Warlord, Raise the Alarm, and Skyknight Vanguard.
  3. {W} 1/1 Spirit creature with flying, for Bishop of Wings, Hanged Executioner, and Kykar, Wind's Fury.
  4. {U} 4/4 Elemental Bird creature with flying, for Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer.
  5. {B} 5/5 Demon creature with flying, for Bloodsoaked Altar.
  6. {B} 2/2 Zombie creature, for Boneclad Necromancer, Field of the Dead, and Undead Servant.
  7. {R} 1/1 Elemental creature, for Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, Mask of Immolation and Scampering Scorcher.
  8. {G} 2/2 Wolf creature, for Ferocious Pup, Howling Giant, Nightpack Ambusher, Wolfkin Bond, and Wolfrider's Saddle.
  9. {C} 3/3 Golem artifact creature, for Cavalier of Dawn, Master Splicer, and Masterful Replication.
  10. {C} Treasure, for Rapacious Dragon.
  11. Emblem for Chandra, Awakened Inferno
  12. Emblem for Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

To improve draft, Core Set 2020 is built around three-color "wedges" (a color and its two enemies).[11]

The set features the following limited archetypes, which focus on the ally-colored pairs within each wedge:

The enemy colored signposts connecting the two archetypes which they are part of:

There are also mono-colored signposts, which connect the three archetypes they are part of:

There are no new, or non-evergreen returning, mechanics in the set. Protection returns back to evergreen on a probationary status.[2][21]

Ancestral Blade, Mask of Immolation and Wolfrider's Saddle are Equipment that create a token upon entering the battlefield and attach directly to it, in an implementation of the Living weapon mechanic.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Core Set 2020 has twenty cycles, including one double cycle and one vertical cycle.

Cycle name Description and notes {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Core set planeswalkers Five mythic monocolor planeswalkers.[22] Ajani, Strength of the Pride Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord Chandra, Awakened Inferno Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
Cavaliers Five mythic Elemental Knight creatures, each costing {2}MMM. Each has a powerful enters the battlefield and leaves the battlefield trigger, as well as another ability.[22] Cavalier of Dawn Cavalier of Gales Cavalier of Night Cavalier of Flame Cavalier of Thorns
Iconic legends Five rare monocolored iconic legendary creatures, each costing at least MMM.[22] Sephara, Sky's Blade Atemsis, All-Seeing Vilis, Broker of Blood Drakuseth, Maw of Flames Gargos, Vicious Watcher
Leylines Five rare enchantments, each of which cost {2}MM, and can start the game on the battlefield if they are in a player's opening hand.[22][6] Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Anticipation Leyline of the Void Leyline of Combustion Leyline of Abundance
Double spells Five rare instants and sorceries, each of which have an effect that happens twice and have an alliterative name.[22] Brought Back Drawn from Dreams Scheming Symmetry Repeated Reverberation Shared Summons
Enemy color hosers Five uncommon instants and sorceries, each of which punish an opponent for playing their enemy colors.[22] Devout Decree ({B}{R}) Aether Gust ({R}{G}) Noxious Grasp ({G}{W}) Fry ({W}{U}) Veil of Summer ({U}{B})
Protection creatures Five creatures, each of which have protection from one of their enemy colors. Four are uncommon and one is rare.[22] Apostle of Purifying Light ({B}) Cerulean Drake ({R}) Blightbeetle ({G}) Unchained Berserker ({W}) Shifting Ceratops ({U})
Colored artifacts Five uncommon monocolored artifacts.[22] Ancestral Blade Portal of Sanctuary Bloodsoaked Altar Mask of Immolation Wolfrider's Saddle
"Care about" spells Five common spells that get more powerful when played with multiple copies of the same card. Two are reprints from Magic Origins.[22] Battalion Foot Soldier Faerie Miscreant Undead Servant Pack Mastiff Growth Cycle
Cycle name Description and notes {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Allied signposts Five uncommon allied color spells, each of which supports one wedge draft archetype.[22] Empyrean Eagle Tomebound Lich Ogre Siegebreaker Creeping Trailblazer Ironroot Warlord
Cycle name Description and notes {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Crossover signposts Five uncommon enemy colored spells, each of which supports two wedge draft archetypes.[22] Corpse Knight Lightning Stormkin Moldervine Reclamation Skyknight Vanguard Risen Reef
Temples Five rare enemy colored scry lands, reprinted from the Theros block.[22] Temple of Silence Temple of Epiphany Temple of Malady Temple of Triumph Temple of Mystery
Cycle name Description and notes {W}{B}{G} {U}{R}{W} {B}{G}{U} {R}{W}{B} {G}{U}{R}
Wedge legends Five mythic rare wedge colored legendary creatures, some supporting a draft theme.[23] Kethis, the Hidden Hand Kykar, Wind's Fury Yarok, the Desecrated Kaalia, Zenith Seeker Omnath, Locus of the Roil

Dual cycle[edit | edit source]

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W} {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Life-gain taplands Tranquil Cove Dismal Backwater Bloodfell Caves Rugged Highlands Blossoming Sands Scoured Barrens Swiftwater Cliffs Jungle Hollow Wind-Scarred Crag Thornwood Falls
Description and notes: Ten common lands that enter the battlefield tapped, gain the controller one life, and can tap for 2 different colors of mana. Reprinted from Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged.[22][24]

Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Description and notes
Chandra Depicting Chandra Nalaar in various stages of her life. Chandra, Novice Pyromancer Chandra, Acolyte of Flame Chandra, Awakened Inferno

Precon only[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Description and notes {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Planeswalkers Five planeswalker variants with simpler abilities, each of which cost {4}MM and is included in the Planeswalker decks for M20. Ajani, Inspiring Leader Mu Yanling, Celestial Wind Sorin, Vampire Lord Chandra, Flame's Fury Vivien, Nature's Avenger
Planeswalkers' Tutor Five rare Spells, each of which cost {3}MM,everyone of those has an effect and also tutors for the specific planeswalker. Goldmane Griffin Yanling's Harbinger Sorin's Guide Chandra's Flame Wave Ethereal Elk
"3 off" creatures Five uncommon creatures that appear in 3 copies in the Planeswalker deck. Twinblade Paladin Waterkin Shaman Thirsting Bloodlord Pyroclastic Elemental Gnarlback Rhino
"4 off" creatures Five common creature that appear in 4 copies in the Planeswalker deck. Savannah Sage Celestial Messenger Savage Gorger Wildfire Elemental Vivien's Crocodile
Welcome Deck Rares Five rare creatures that are only included in the Welcome Decks and Planeswalker Decks. Serra's Guardian Riddlemaster Sphinx Gravewaker Shivan Dragon Aggressive Mammoth

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Misprint[edit | edit source]

Some copies of Corpse Knight are printed as 2/3 instead of 2/2.[25]

Changes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Core Set 2020/Changes

Card comparisons[edit | edit source]

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Welcome decks[edit | edit source]

Core Set 2020 features five Welcome Decks.[26][5]

deck name
Colors included Iconic card
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
White deck W Serra's Guardian
Blue deck U Riddlemaster Sphinx
Black deck B Gravewaker
Red deck R Shivan Dragon
Green deck G Aggressive Mammoth

Spellslinger Starter Kit[edit | edit source]

The Spellslinger Starter Kit comes with two Standard-legal 60-card decks, designed to create an interactive learning experience for two.[5]

Planeswalker decks[edit | edit source]

Core 2020 features five planeswalker decks, that come with only one booster and are designed to integrate with the welcome decks.[5][16]

deck name
Colors included Planeswalker
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Ajani W Ajani, Inspiring Leader
Yanling U Mu Yanling, Celestial Wind
Sorin B Sorin, Vampire Lord
Chandra R Chandra, Flame's Fury
Vivien G Vivien, Nature's Avenger

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (June, 2019). "Core Set 2020 Credits".
  2. a b Mark Rosewater (June 18, 2019). "Did R&D change their mind on protection being removed from evergreen?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Printed on the cards
  4. Blake Rasmussen (February 21, 2019). "Announcing Core Set 2020 and Commander (2019 Edition)". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b c d e M20: 15 Changes Every Retailer Should Know. Wizards Play Network (June 13, 2019).
  6. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (June 25, 2019). "Core Set 2020 RElease Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. a b Chris Gleeson (June 20, 2019). "The Tokens of Core Set 2020". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. James Whitbrook (June 11, 2019). "Get to Know Magic's Most Famous Fire Mage in These Brand New Cards".
  9. a b Magic: The Gathering (June 11, 2019). "Chandra is the only Planeswalker in M20 getting an uncommon and rare card - she's the face of the set and her journey is all over M20.". Twitter.
  10. Ian Duke (June 3, 2019). "The London Mulligan". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. a b c Mark Rosewater (June 17, 2019). "Core to the Point". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. WPN info
  13. WPN (June 26, 2019). "Getting New Players Into Magic is Easier Than Ever". Wizards Play Network.
  14. WPN (June 26, 2019). "Mark Heggen: R&D's Plan to Make New Magic Players". Wizards Play Network.
  15. 5 "Firsts" Coming With M20. Wizards Play Network (April 29, 2019).
  16. a b Chris Gleeson (June 17, 2019). "Core Set 2020 Promos and Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Nelson Brown (March 12, 2019). "Introducing the New Wizards Play Network". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Wizards of the Coast (June 17, 2019). "Magic Promo Pack Info".
  19. Wizards of the Coast (April 22, 2019). "Japanese Alternate-Art Planeswalkers". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. 2019 Convention Promo - Nightpack Ambusher. Reddit (July 20, 2019).
  21. Mark Rosewater (June 18, 2019). "Protection is back? i mean, i love that, but how come?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  22. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mark Rosewater (June 24, 2019). "Core Than Meets The Eye". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Gavin Verhey (June 18, 2019). "When Core and Commander Combine". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Andrew Brown (June 21, 2019). "Fire It Up". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Wizards of the Coast (July 5, 2019). "The MTGM20 card Corpse Knight has a print error in some regional printings.". Twitter.
  26. Gavin Verhey (2019-02-05). "State of Product Design 2018". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]