The Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond brand is a potentially endless well of pop culture crossovers. With Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings coming up in the MTG 2023 release schedule, plenty of fans are speculating – some with eagerness, some with dread – about what big IPs will be turned into Magic cards next. I’ve got six words for you, Wizards of the Coast: Buffy the Vampire Slayer MTG set.
Buffy is one of the best horror series and one of the best TV series of all time, so turning it into an MTG set seems like a no-brainer. It also helps that Magic’s lead designer, Mark Rosewater, clearly has some strong opinions about where Buffy and her friends slot into the MTG colors pie. His passion and Magic know-how mean this is a series ripe for adapting.
Mark Rosewater is a very busy man, so I doubt he’ll whip up a full list of Buffy MTG cards anytime soon. That’s why I’ve done some of the hard work for him. I present, for the scrutiny of Buffy buffs and tabletop fans everywhere, the MTG color combinations I’d choose for the core characters in Buffy’s Scooby Gang.
Buffy Summers – Green/Red
Rosewater is already adamant Buffy is a green character, and I mostly agree with him. Fate gives Buffy enhanced instincts and powerful abilities, and she eventually grows to embrace her destiny. Plus, she’s a natural enemy to black, the colour of the undead.
I’d argue Buffy’s initial reluctance to pursue her destiny in favour of personal freedom adds red as a secondary colour. Empathy and personal relationships are hugely important to her, and she’s not afraid to take spontaneous action in the name of heroism.
Willow Rosenberg – Blue
No colour sums Willow up better than blue. Even before she learns magic, her intelligence and affinity for technology are almost supernatural. Simply being smart doesn’t make a blue, character, though; it’s Willow’s near-insatiable thirst for knowledge that plants her in this mana pool. She wants to know everything there is to know about magic, and this pushes her to become one of the most powerful witches around.
Blue also reflects Willow’s flaws, as well as the parts of her that can be dangerous. Magic eventually becomes a risky addiction for her, and her dark alter ego is often completely unfeeling.
Xander Harris – Red
Xander is the jokester of the group, which leans into red’s love of trickery. Red is the colour of loyalty, passion, and lust – all emotions Xander embodies at one point or another in the series.
He’s devoted to his friends, but he often lets his own emotions cloud his judgement. Xander can be insecure and childish, with his own feelings becoming his worst enemy at times.
Rupert Giles – White/Red
White seems like the obvious choice for Rupert Giles; Rosewater even says the Watcher’s Council are members of the white mana club. Giles values duty, discipline, and justice, and he watches over the Scooby Gang like a (very) patient father, often playing the voice of reason among the flurry of adolescent hormones. He’s also a big old technophobe, so artifact destruction seems right up his alley.
Despite this, I don’t believe Giles is all white. He eventually defies the Watcher’s Council, and he once shunned his destiny to live an adventurous life as Ripper. From what little we see of Ripper in the TV show, we know he can be aggressive, passionate, and impulsive – all of which push Giles into red mana territory.
Angel – White/Black
As a vampire with a soul, Angel is torn between two opposing worlds. It makes sense for him to embody two opposing colours.
White represents Angel’s love of justice and peace, as well as the discipline it takes to keep him from turning back into a monster. However, he’s still a vampire, and black is their natural territory. When he turns into Angelus, black takes over, sowing betrayal and destruction wherever Angelus stands.
Spike – Black/Red
Spike is an immortal undead, and this immediately signs him up for black mana. It helps that Spike’s personality revolves around many of black’s core values. As well as his literal life-sucking powers, he’s often selfish and cynical. He spends a lot of the early seasons looking to kill another slayer, which is plenty ambitious.
He gets something of a redemption arc later on, though, and I think that deserves a secondary colour. Red suits Spike well: he’s got charisma up to his ears, and his love for Buffy eventually pushes him to do more selfless deeds.