The Best Transformers Are Joining The Most Popular Card Game

Magic the Gathering is adding Optimus Prime and many other popular Transformers.

By Jason Collins | Published

Optimus Prime and other autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron, otherwise known as the Transformers, are coming to the world of Magic: The Gathering as the new collectible cards. The crossover between the two franchises was revealed at Hasbro’s PulseCon event, with Wizards of the Coast that the cards will be featured in the upcoming Universes Beyond card set that exists within The Brother’s War expansion.

Optimus Prime, which is set to reprise his role as the giant robot hero in the seventh Transformers film, will appear in Magic: The Gathering alongside Starscream, Soundwave, Flamewar, Slicer, and Goldbug, a more mature version of everyone’s favorite Autobot Bumblebee. According to IGN, these are just some of the names since a total of 15 cards were announced, with each available in two different styles — one from the G1 era and the other that was just recently created.

magic the gathering

One type of Magic: The Gathering Transformers cards will depict the characters in their G1-era style from the 1980s. The other type is a reimagined classic design from the most recent Shattered Glass comic book series, in which Autobots are evil, and Decepticons are good — which is something that has been debated ever since the franchise started expanding following its initial success. All cards are also double-sided, showing the characters in their vehicular mode and others in their robot mode.

The new Magic: The Gathering card will be spread randomly throughout The Brother’s War set boosters and collector boosters, with a distinguishing feature — a special Universes Beyond frames and holo-stamps — that would separate them from the rest of the set. Additionally, given their unique playing mechanics, the Transformers cards are only playable in Vintage, Legacy, or Commander formats despite their appearance in standard sets.

But adding Transformers to Magic: The Gathering wasn’t easy. The iconic robot heroes from our childhood are both vehicles and creatures, and in Magic: The Gathering, players crew their vehicles with their creatures. However, nobody actually drives Autobots and Decepticons, so the Hasbro and Wizard of the Coast teams had to devise additional gaming mechanics to circumvent those rules. So, the Living Metal mechanic was conceptualized so that it plays into the fact that the characters are also vehicles and creatures at the same time.

Another interesting point about the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set is that it’s randomized over standard sets and not a separate release like the previous Universes Beyond expansion, which featured Fortnite and Street Fighter crossovers. It was one of the rare crossovers in which Fortnite is the actual guest and not the other way around. As it turns out, the number of fan-favorite Transformers characters is so vast that the company couldn’t account for all of them within a single set release.

Regarding the future of Transformers x Magic: The Gathering crossovers, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast couldn’t confirm whether the versions of these Transformers cards would be produced for the Standard format of Magic: The Gathering, but it would seem that Wizards of the Coast are open to that idea.