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Magic’s Adventures in the Forgotten Realms

So after teasing it forever with cards like Bag of Holding, Magic finally did a D&D set, the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (but there are some Greyhawk stuff in there, too, like Tasha and Vecna).

Magic puts out so many cards each year and I don’t get into every set. I’ve been holding out for this one, skipping over the previous sets because I really wanted to mix D&D and Magic.

But the execution on this is not really what I wanted.

Here’s some stuff I love:

I’m not as into the spells that do something completely opposite to what they do in D&D, like Tasha’s Hideous Laughter or Ray of Frost.

The biggest weird thing, though, is how so many of the cards refer to the rules of D&D rather than to the setting.

Rolling dice? +2 Mace? The twelve PHB classes?

Many of these cards seem fun to play with, but they kinda break the mood. D&D is an interface to the game world, as is Magic. Using Magic as an interface to the D&D rules is like trying to put surgical gloves on top of boxing gloves.

Having abilities be named the same is great (like the aforementioned Cure Wounds or Magic Missile) because it makes those abilities feel more diegetic. Having cards that give you the feel of joining a party or crawling a dungeon is also cool. But these “meta” cards feel like you’re pretending to pretend, like you’re playing that you’re playing.

I dunno.

I don’t mind adding dice rolling to black-bordered Magic, that’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. It’s just that this set as whole doesn’t feel at all like “Magic visits the Forgotten Realms” and more like “Magic makes fun of D&D’s mechanics”.