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MTG Universes Beyond complete guide

Universes Beyond products bring characters from beyond the Magic the Gathering world into the game with unique cards and new art reprints.

MTG Universes Beyond Assassin's creed art: Ezio Auditore de Firenze, an Italian man in a white cape with a pair of hidden blades

MTG Universes Beyond products contain Magic the Gathering cards starring characters from outside the Magic universe. IPs as varied as The Walking Dead, Warhammer 40k, and Assassin’s Creed feature on Universes Beyond cards. This guide has information about every Universes Beyond set released so far, what’s coming up, and answers common questions about them, like what Magic formats the cards are legal in.

If you want to know all the Magic the Gathering products coming up in the future, check out our guide to the MTG release schedule. If you want to look back in time, we have a comprehensive guide to all the MTG sets ever produced.

Here’s our complete MTG Universes Beyond guide:

MTG Universes beyond logo

What is Magic Universes Beyond?

Magic Universes Beyond is a collection of product releases that use characters, places, events, settings, text, and art, from intellectual properties beyond the Magic universe. Wizards of the Coast has released many different products under the Universes Beyond label.

Universes Beyond cards have a unique holofoil label that marks them as part of the programme. Not every release that you might expect to be part of Universes Beyond gets the label – two whole sets featuring Dungeons and Dragons art have not received the label.

Wizards also made products using outside IP before Universes Beyond existed, such as Godzilla-themed cards printed as box-toppers for the set Ikoria.

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The cards in a Universes Beyond release might be:

  • Reprints of existing cards using art and flavor text from another IP.
  • Printings of new, mechanically unique cards.

Universes Beyond cards have been released in many different ways:

  • As MTG Secret Lairs
  • As MTG Commander precons
  • As bonus cards inserted into regular Magic booster packs alongside regular Magic cards
  • As complete Magic sets sold in booster packs, that are legal in one or more constructed formats, and which can be drafted
  • As auxiliary products, such as Ravnica: Clue edition

MTG Universes Beyond, Ian Malcolm Chaotician

Are Universes Beyond cards legal?

Which MTG formats a Universes Beyond card is legal in depends on what the card is, and how it was printed. If it is a reprint of an existing Magic card where the only difference is unique art, it is treated exactly the same as the basic Magic card.

The legality of Magic cards that get their first printing in a Universes Beyond set depends on how they were released. As a baseline, all Magic cards are legal in Legacy, Vintage, or Commander, unless they have been explicitly banned. Check the MTG Commander banlist to find out if a particular card is legal for your deck.

When unique Universes Beyond cards have appeared as bonus cards in regular MTG boosters, they are not considered part of that set, and have a unique set symbol. They will only be legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander.

Several Universes Beyond sets are legal in additional constructed formats. Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth is legal in Modern, as will the upcoming Assassin’s Creed set.

Upcoming MTG Universes Beyond products

These Upcoming MTG Universes Beyond products are still to release – though some aren’t far away!

MTG Universes Beyond Assassin's creed card Ezio Auditore de Firenze

Magic the Gathering: Assassin’s Creed

Product Release
Starter Kit New cards July 5 2024
Beyond Boosters New cards July 5 2024
Secret Lair: Lethal Legends Reprints July 29 2024
Secret Lair: Da Vinci’s Designs Reprints July 29 2024

Brand new cards printed in the MTG Assassin’s Creed set will be legal in Mordern, and will be accompanied by two Secret Lairs with reskinned reprints of old classics.

Magic the Gathering: Final Fantasy

Not much is known about the MTG Final Fantasy Universes Beyond set, except that it will release in 2024.

Released MTG Universes Beyond products

MTG Universes Beyond - Fallout art, a Brotherhood of Steel human in a suit of huge power armor

MTG Fallout

Product Release
Scrappy Survivors New cards March 8, 2024
Hail, Caesar New cards March 8, 2024
Mutant Mayhem New cards March 8, 2024
Science! New cards March 8, 2024
Collector boosters New cards March 8, 2024
Secret Lair x fallout: Vault Boy Reprints April 8 2024
Secret Lair x Fallout: S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Reprints April 8 2024
Secret Lair x Fallout: Points of Interest Reprints April 8 2024

There are four MTG Fallout-themed Commander decks, featuring a mixture of brand new cards and reprints of existing MTG cards with Fallout art. Collector boosters were also available, featuring alternate art variants of the main cards.

Three MTG Fallout Secret Lairs were also released, with unique art reprints of existing MTG cards. These had a nasty surprise in them – the Secret Lairs were advertised as containing a bonus, unannounced card. When people got their packs, it turned out that the choice of card was randomised – some people landed a $50 card, and others got an (admittedly pretty) piece of junk.

MTG Universes Beyond - Ravnica Clue Edition

MTG Clue

Product Release
Ravnica: Clue Edition New cards February 23 2024

The MTG Clue product was a strange one. Ravnica: Clue Edition is a multiplayer variant of Magic the Gathering which uses some of the concepts from the classic board game Clue (aka Cluedo outside North America).

Each pack of Ravnica: Clue edition contains eight Ravnica: Clue Edition Edition boosters. Players take two of these and shuffle them up to make a deck. Players also receive some evidence cards. When players deal damage they can ask their opponent about the evidence they’re holding. As well as being the last player standing, you can win the game by correctly working out the murderer, location, and weapon.

Most of the cards in this set are reprints from old Ravnica sets, but some are unique cards. They’re set in the world of Ravnica but inspired by the characters and artefacts in the board game Clue.

MTG Universes Beyond Jurassic World - Ellie and Alan

MTG Jurassic World

Product Release
Secret Lair x Jurassic World: Life Breaks Free Reprints November 20 2023
Secret Lair x Jurassic World: Dr. Ian Malcom Reprints November 20 2023
Lost Caverns of Ixalan boosters New cards November 17 2023

Original MTG Jurassic World cards were printed into booster packs of Lost Caverns of Ixalan, with one card in every Collector booster, and one in every 12 set boosters. Two Jurassic World Secret Lairs were also printed, featuring Jurassic World art variants of classic Magic cards.

Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond: The Tardis on an alien planet

MTG Doctor Who

Product Release
Blast from the Past New cards October 13 2023
Timey-Wimey New cards October 13 2023
Masters of Evil New cards October 13 2023
Paradox Power New cards October 13 2023
Collector boosters New cards October 13 2023
Secret Lair x Doctor Who: Regeneration Reprints December 11 2023

The MTG Doctor Who Universes Beyond set released in October 13 2023, with four Commander decks. These contain a mixture of unique cards, and reprints of existing cards with new art. They were accompanied by Collector Boosters  which featured alternate art variants of cards from the Commander decks, but no additional cards.

Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond: Gandalf fighting the Balrog

MTG Lord of the Rings

Released in summer 2023, MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth was Magic’s first full Universes Beyond set, featuring not just four Commander decks, but also a whole batch of new cards in draft boosters. This set is coming to MTG Arena as an MTG Alchemy set, but won’t be in Standard – instead going straight to Modern.

MTG Lord of the Rings is designed to be drafted, and features all your fave Lord of the Rings characters, many of them depicted in an enormous 18-card collage. Wizards expected MTG Lord of the Rings to sell better than the regular Standard set – and it was right. It became the second most successful set ever printed.

Part of that success was the hunt for the One of One Ring card, a serialized variant with unique art. When it was found it started a bidding war, ultimately selling to MTG superfan Post Mallone for an estimate $2 million.

MTG Brothers War Transformers cards - artwork of a transformer standing on a broken machine, giving a thumbs up

MTG Transformers

MTG Transformers cards were released in November 2022, appearing in the set and collector boosters for MTG The Brothers’ War – a first for Universes Beyond cards. These featured 15 of the titular Transformers, all of which could switch between a creature form and an MTG vehicle form. There were also rare Shattered Glass variants for the cards, featuring artwork from a parallel universe where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good. These are found only in The Brothers’ War collector boosters.

Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond: artwork of Inquisitor Greyfax

MTG Warhammer 40k

The first real big-hitters for Universes Beyond were the MTG Warhammer 40k Commander decks, which came out in October 2022. There was one for the Tyranids, Necrons, all the Warhammer 40k Imperium of Man factions, and all the Warhammer 40k Chaos factions, each featuring powerful and flavourful cards, which went down a treat with fans.

Also included in the release were three Warhammer Secret Lairs, themed around Warhammer 40k Orks, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and Blood Bowl.

MTG Fortnite

Released in July 2022, the MTG Fortnite cards are all existing Magic cards reskinned with Fortnite flavour and names. Smuggler’s Copter became Battle Bus, while Wrath of God was Shrinking Storm.

These 12 cards were split across two Secret Lairs, one with seven regular cards and one, Fortnite: Lands and Locations, just featuring Fortnite versions of the five basic MTG lands.

MTG Street Fighter

MTG Street Fighter was part of the February 2022 Secret Lair superdrop. It consisted of eight Street Fighter characters depicted on unique, original Magic cards. Their Universes Within reprints (more on that below) are each Dominarian characters that appeared in Phyrexia: All Will Be One.

MTG Arcane

Found in the Dec-Nov 2021 Secretversary Secret Lair, the Arcane Universes Beyond cards are reskinned reprints of regular Magic cards, such as a Duress featuring Jinx and a Round Two featuring Vi. There were two Arcane Secret Lairs in this drop, one again just containing Arcane-themed basic lands.

MTG Stranger Things

The October 2021 Superdrop had MTG Stranger Things UB cards, showing Eleven and the gang, the Mindflayer, Hopkin’s Laborary, and the Upside-down. The Universes Within versions of these cards showed up in Streets of New Capenna set boosters in 2022.

MTG The Walking Dead

Technically the very first MTG Universes Beyond product, and the first unique third-party IP cards printed, MTG The Walking Dead cards were highly controversial when they first appeared. Released in their very own Secret Lair in October 2020, the Walking Dead cards came out before the Universes Beyond term was coined and was grandfathered in, becoming part of the product line retroactively.

Wizards flip-flopped a little on whether this batch of cards would get Universes Within versions, eventually deciding they would – though we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of them so far.

Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond: The Doctor holding out a bag of jellybeans.

What is Universes Within?

Wizards has promised to make MTG-universe versions of all mechanically unique Universes Beyond cards produced in Secret Lairs (though not those made for Commander decks, sets, and other products). These have been dubbed ‘Universes Within’ cards.

Why does Universes Within exist? When Universes Beyond first showed up, it was controversial with a subsection of MTG fans, as many players didn’t like to use cards with characters from outside the MTG universe.

There was also a big concern that, if a Universes Beyond card was powerful enough to see play in eternal formats, the price could escalate forever (as it could never be reprinted without a licensing deal).

Magic: The Gathering universes beyond artwork of godzilla.

Non-UB MTG cards featuring 3rd party IPs

The Innistrad: Crimson Vow box toppers featuring cards reskinned to show characters and locations from Dracula, and the Ikoria box toppers reskinned to show Godzilla monsters are not considered Universes Beyond products, even though they fit the bill. The Godzilla lands that dropped in a 2020 Secret Lair aren’t, either. See, we told you it was tough to keep up!