Planeswalkers can now summon Street Fighter characters in Magic: The Gathering, this year’s Magic Showcase reveals. Wizards of the Coast streamed the announcement on Tuesday and shared concept art of Chun-Li mid-Hyakuretsukyaku, much to the delight of fans. The Street Fighter cards will be included in a special Secret Lair drop along with Ryu, Ken, and other series mainstays.
While most of Magic: The Gathering employs runes, spellcasting, and elvish trickery, the Street Fighter cards offer more standard fighting techniques. Chun-Li’s in particular features the “Multikicker” ability, a conspicuously more mechanical method of inflicting damage. The crossover is one of many planned releases announced by Wizards of the Coast. The company has other medleys in place, including but not limited to: Fortnite, Lord of the Rings decks, a Warhammer 40,000 Commander set, and a Dungeons & Dragons reveal entitled “Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.” All decks are part of the upcoming “Universes Beyond” line of franchise crossovers, with more scheduled to arrive next year.
Magic: The Gathering and Street Fighter share one distinctive trait: they’re both beloved classics. Street Fighter provided the foundation for many of the fighting games we know and love today, while Magic: The Gathering is the first trading card game ever developed. Later franchises like Yu-Gi-Oh! were heavily inspired by Magic’s complex combat system, while similar fantasy tabletops like Dungeons & Dragons (also created by Wizards of the Coast) served as contemporaries.
Though Dungeons & Dragons came second, Magic: The Gathering is ultimately the simpler and more straightforward game, with rules that can be easily picked up by tabletop veterans and newbies both. On a character level, Street Fighter folks will be a bit different. Magic: The Gathering was created by mathematician Richard Garfield in 1993, which would later be leveraged into other collectible card games like Keyforge, Netrunner, BattleTech(CCG), Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, Star Wars Trading Card Game, The Great Dalmuti, Artifact, and the board game RoboRally.
Anyone unfamiliar with Magic: The Gathering need only remember how Yu-Gi-Oh! works. In Magic, Planeswalkers battle it out using cards. The game begins with each player equipped with a deck. Participants draw cards every turn and use them to inflict damage on other players; you win when your opponents’ life total drops from 20 to 0. This can be done by casting spells, deploying artifacts, and summoning monsters etched into individual cards. This is where Street Fighter characters could come in and execute techniques in place of beasts. Planeswalkers may either build a deck at random during the start of the game — dubbed “limited” — or assemble one ahead of time — dubbed “constructed.” Each limited deck has a minimum of 40 cards, while the constructed deck has 60.
Magic: The Gathering can be played in person using physical cards or over the Internet via Magic: The Gathering Online, Magic: The Gathering Arena, and other related digital iterations. It functions best with two or more players. Decks are sold worldwide, and can be augmented using expansion packs. Street Fighter will fit right in here.
Like Street Fighter, Magic: The Gathering has become so popular, competitions are in place to determine the best players; pro Planeswalkers compete in an organized tournament system called the DCI — or Duelists’ Convocation International — a committee overseeing competitive play that is officially sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast.