Bloomburrow: Mark Rosewater gives a glimpse at the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set

Bloomburrow, a new Magic: The Gathering set and setting, is due for release on August 2 (prerelease starts July 26) and, with it, Wizards of the Coast is promising players quite the experience.

"In Bloomburrow, the Valley is threatened by elemental forces raging out of control, and salvation falls on the shoulders of its smallest protectors," says the company via its Wizards Play Network website.  "Players will put their best paws forward, fighting alongside mice, frogs, bats, birds, and myriad other critters to restore the balance of peace—and prove bravery comes in all sizes."

But, whatever you do, don't call it the "furry set."

"Let's call it the animal set," says Magic: The Gathering head designer, Mark Rosewater.

Bloomburrow is an animal world where all of its inhabitants are anthropomorphic animals.  And that includes all those whom travel to the plane.

This can be seen in some of the artwork that's already been shown for the set, such as those pieces showing Jace Beleren and Ral Zarek -- both humans -- as a fox and an otter, respectively.

"Basically, the idea is we wanted to tap into a genre: anthropomorphic animals," comments Rosewater.  "There are a lot of different stories that have been told -- very popular ones in pop culture where, instead of humans, they're animals that act kind of like humans.  They have a humanoid shape, but they're still animals, but they wear clothes and they carry swords and things."


Taking place on this animal world, Bloomburrow will only be the second setting in Magic history where there will be no humans.  Only four sets and (technically) one plane before has had such a distinction: Lowryn/Shadowmoor.

"So what happened was we came up with this idea, we made ten two-color pairs, and each two-color pair is a different animal," mentions Rosewater.

These two-color pair animals include mice (red-white), rabbits (colors to be revealed), and others.

And one thing that WotC is doing within Bloomburrow is more-or-less keeping each animal in scale to the next.

"In a normal set a bear might be a 2/2, but in this set it's huge because the little mouse is what would normally be a human," Rosewater points out.  "It scales from the little mouse."

Also, with these ten key animal species taking the spotlight, Bloomburrow will have a typal theme to it.  That is, there will be cards within the set that cares about what kind of animal card one might be using.

"Basically, the way I describe it is, if you collect all the rabbits and put them into your deck, they'll play well together," Rosewater says as an example.  "The animals have sort of a motif to how they play and then if you put the same animals together, it will make a cohesive deck."

And, beyond the ten creature types that will dominate the set, Bloomburrow will also have some one-off animals such as (possibly) skunks, ferrets, and so on.

It's something Rosewater says they made sure to put into the set as a way to make as many people happy with Bloomburrow's animal offerings as possible.

"If your favorite animal isn't one of the ten, there still will be creature of some of the animals," he remarks.  "And there're giant animals that are the monsters, so those will appear as well."

Of course, along with the animal theming and factions, Bloomburrow will feature some new gameplay mechanics.  And, while no specific information is available as of yet, Rosewater did reveal just enough to make players waiting with baited breath to learn more.

"There's a brand new mechanic that we're doing that of the cutest mechanics we've made in a long time," he says.  "When we came up with it, we literally said awwww!"

In the end, though, Bloomburrow is all about the experience -- an experience that Wizards of the Coast is trying to make as enjoyable as possible.

"We are trying to make something fun and light and something that's really enjoyable for the whole family," comments Rosewater. "If you're a fan of any of those kind of things, this is right up your alley,"

Bloomburrow is already available for preorder.  Players can check with their local game stores for more information or simply order from an online vendor such as Amazon or Miniature Market (both of which are Magic Untapped partners):

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.