Mark Rosewater’s Tumblr question-and-answer blog is fertile territory for the Magic rumors community. He drops hints about upcoming Magic sets, and even ones that haven’t been designed yet but stand a strong chance of existing, periodically. Recently, after discussing sets (such as the Onslaught block) whose cards were popular but whose storyline and creative elements were much less so, he was asked by user hargismb, “And can you give the reverse – a set whose creative elements outstripped its mechanics’ popularity? (Crud, is the set I am thinking of ‘Homelands’?!?)” His response was:
Players like the setting of Mirage much more than the liked the mechanics. Note that they liked the mechanics but they loved the world.
Mirage and Visions were, of course, set on the Dominarian continent Jamuraa, a place that resembles a fantasy version of Africa, and had civilizations like the Suq’ata, who were based on Morocco, and the Zhalfirins, who resembled both the Zulus and the ancient Ghanaians. This was an early and refreshing departure from the early expansions like Ice Age, which took place in the Scandinavia-like region of Terisaire. Given the popularity of Jamuraa as a background setting, kelmasterp asked, “Is there a chance that Magic will return to an African Fantasy themed world?” Mark replied,
There very much is a chance that we could create a new African inspired world.
Considering an ancient-Egypt-like world is on the “short list” of setting inspirations for future Magic sets, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine characters and nations based on other historical African civilizations on that plane.
Based on the recent hubbub about Modern Masters, some readers also wanted answers on whether the all-reprint set would stand alone or get follow-ups down the road. When iiyama88 asked, “If Modern Masters has a good response from the players, would a Modern Masters 2 be possible?” Rosewater’s response was:
Anytime something is successful, a follow-up is always a possibility.
That might sound enigmatic and like a non-answer, but the reality is there’s barely an “if” involved. There are plenty of stories of Modern Masters selling out even priced high above the MSRP, so clearly the demand is high enough for a Modern Masters 2 a few years down the road, although it would have to be a significant amount of time, considering that Modern Masters only stopped at Alara Reborn and there have only been four blocks between Zendikar and now.