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Know Before You Go – What to know before you draft Unfinity

If you’ve been watching Game Talk Network’s MTG Rundown, you know that some folks have very strong opinions about Magic: the Gathering’s latest set: Infinity.  Opinions in the community are very strong and very polarized, and have been ever since WotC announced the set.  For the first time in MTG history, an Un-set is being printed with black border, eternal-legal cards.  Don’t worry – you’re not going to have to worry about checking the color of your shirt during a Legacy game.  The more zany Unfinity cards have acorn stamps to indicate that they are not eternal legal.  If you don’t see an acorn at the bottom of the card, however, that card is a-okay for eternal formats so far as Wizards is concerned.

This article isn’t about that.  Or the amazing art on the basic lands, or the jewels of the set: the full art space-themed shock lands.  I’m going to step away from the controversy and focus on everything you need to know going into an Unfinity draft.

Unfinity tip No. 1: Play as written.

In Un-sets, cards sometimes tell you to do weird things.  Make animal noises, throw your cards in the air and see how they land, ask a friend who their favorite planeswalker is, and dozens of other bizarre prompts.  That’s kind of the point.  Un-sets are supposed to offer a completely unique Magic experience.  If the card says you do something, you do that thing.

Unfinity tip No. 2: Words matter.

Players of traditional MTG know all too well that two cards are the same if they have the same name.  One Counterspell is mechanically the same as another Counterspell, regardless of language.  In Un-sets, any variation in the name of a card makes it a different card, even language differences.  German Ambassador Blorpityblorpboop is different from Italian Ambassador Blorpityblorpboop, and so on.  Pay attention to this especially with fill in the blank cards like _________-o-Saurus.  These cards ask you to choose a name sticker, and give you different effects based on the name you pick.  Which leads us to…

Unfinity tip No. 3: Stickers will be put on your cards.

One of the most controversial features of Unfinity is the sticker mechanic.  Players must literally put stickers on their cards as part of certain effects.  Fortunately, the rules say you can only sticker cards you own.  Even if you cast another player’s card (like from graveyard), you cannot sticker it.  You don’t own the card, you just control it.

Each pack of Unfinity has a sticker sheet, which makes things screwy for a draft.  Sticker sheets are NOT drafted.  Players remove the sticker sheet when cracking the pack, as you would with a token.  Then, during deck building, each player selects three sticker sheets from all of the ones pulled from the pod’s packs.

Unfinity tip No. 4: Attractions are weird.

Unfinity introduces a new feature called Attractions.  Certain cards will direct you to open or visit an attraction.  Think of this as an iteration of the Venture mechanic from AFR.  The attraction has a bonus of some sort, like scrying or getting prize stickers.  You also roll a die for each attraction you have open at the beginning of your first main phase of each of your turns.  Check the number you roll against the colored pips on the side of the card.  If there’s a colored pip with the number you rolled, you do whatever the attraction tells you to do.

Attractions live in their own deck, called the Attraction Deck.  They are drafted like normal cards, but if you do not draft at least three attractions, you cannot use the attraction mechanic in your draft deck.  In constructed play, the Attraction Deck is singleton – you can only have one of a given attraction – but like most things in draft and sealed, if you pull it you can use it.  You can have multiples of the same attraction in draft.

Attractions are artifacts and can be removed, but unless they are exiled they go to a special graveyard called the Junkpile.

Unfinity tip No. 5: Tickets are Energy

Sometimes cards will have a little ticket symbol on them.  Tickets are used to give cards or effects different bonuses.  If you have a certain number, you can do something, or maybe you can use it as an alternate casting cost.  One important thing tickets do is pay the sticker cost for power/toughness stickers.  Some cards will let you modify their power and toughness this way, so be sure you keep track of how many tickets you have.  The counters go on the player, not a particular card, so bring an extra spindown or two.

Unfinity tip No. 6: Hats require intent

Mark Rosewater has a strange idea of fun, and apparently that idea is hats.  One of the subthemes of Unfinity is hats.  Cards will tell you to do specific things if the art has a hat in it, or if your opponent is wearing a hat, and so on.  Wizards was careful to point out in their mechanics reveal that hats require intent.  And hats are not part of another garment.  Hoodies don’t count.  A tissue box balanced precariously on your head doesn’t count.  Wigs and headbands, oddly, DO count as hats for the purposes of rules.  Good luck to the first judge who gets called because someone was accused of wearing a toupee.

If you’re looking for a completely new spin on Magic: The Gathering, you might enjoy dabbling in Unfinity with a draft or two.  The set officially releases on October 7, 2022.  Check with the staff at your friendly local game store to see if they’re running draft or even constructed Unfinity events today!

About the Author
Silver has been playing Magic: The Gathering and other trading card games off and on since 1999, and is a lifelong roleplayer. They believe in Rule 0 and The Rule of Cool, and that the gaming table should be a safe space for everyone.

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