Last updated on June 18, 2022
Stet, Draconic Proofreader | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak
With three Un-sets already under their belt (Unglued, Unhinged, and Unstable), WotC decided to make another Un-product based on reprints from the three previous Un-sets, some new cards requested by the community, and cards that didn’t make the previous products. The result was Unsanctioned, a product that doesn’t come in booster packs, but in a sealed box with five 30-card preconstructed decks.
Unsanctioned features 16 new Un-cards and 80 reprints from previous Un-sets. Let’s see what this different set has to offer!
Acornelia, Fashionable Filcher | Illustration by Bram Sels
|Number of Cards||96|
|Rarities||40 commons, 22 uncommons, 30 rares, 4 mythic rares, 10 basic lands|
|Main Mechanics||Acorn counters, Augment, Dice roll, Host creatures|
|Secondary Mechanics||Silver-border matters, Knightlifelink|
|Previews start||January 28, 2020|
|Paper release date||March 4, 2020|
Pippa, Duchess of Dice | Illustration by Simon Dominic
Unsanctioned is a silver-bordered set, but it’s also a full experience composed of 80 reprints from different Un-sets plus 16 new cards. It comes in a box with five mono-colored decks of 30 cards each.
All you have to do to play is mix two decks to make a 2-colored 60-card deck. There isn’t really a pattern with the cards or power level since there are various cards from three different Un-sets and these are fun joke products.
There isn’t a cohesive theme in Unsanctioned. There are a lot of reprints so there are tons of one-of mechanics in the decks.
We have infinite power (∞) from Infinity Elemental, host and augment creatures, and lots of dice rolling. Some cards are “compilations from different mechanics” that already existed in MTG and made sense on a single card, like Old Fogey and Blast from the Past.
As is now a trademark of Un-sets, the decks from Unsanctioned have gorgeous full-art basic lands, which you can use to pimp out your various decks.
The left part of the card says “when this creature enters the battlefield” and then you execute the ETB effect on the right. Dirty Rat forces an opponent to discard a card when it enters, while Stinging Scorpion gives a creature an opponent controls -1/-1 until the end of the turn. The special thing about host creatures is that they can be augmented.
There are only a few creatures with the augment mechanic in this set. Augment creatures like Half-Squirrel, Half- have to be played over a host creature.
The augment mechanic lets you pay its cost to reveal it and augment target host as a sorcery. Augment does two things to a host creature. First, the power and toughness of the augment creature is added to the power and toughness of the host creature. Second, the host creature’s ETB effect is replaced by whatever effect the augment card has.
You can combine different host and augment creatures for great effect. Once they’re combined, the augment and host creatures are considered the same card, so effects that bounce or kill the augmented host creature applies to both cards.
Let’s see this combination of cards in an example:
Here’s Mer Man, a host creature. It’s a 3/3 human fish that lets you draw a card when it enters the battlefield.
It’s common for details in the art of your cards to matter in Un-sets, and here we have some cards to exemplify. Goblin Haberdasher cares about cards having hats in the art, while Acornelia, Fashionable Filcher cares about squirrels in the art.
Un-sets are famous for having cards that care about certain human movements and card manipulation. Pointy Finger of Doom cares about spinning a card in a certain way. Slaying Mantis requires you to throw a card from a certain distance at the table, and whatever creature it touches starts a “fight” between both creatures. Boomstacker asks you to play a sort of “Jenga Game,” making a tower of dice on top of the card and you have to manipulate the card without causing the tower to fall.
Unsanctioned has a few cards that care about dice rolling. Before it became the real deal in Forgotten Realms there were already lots of cards with dice rolling in unsets.
Krark’s Other Thumb provides a buff for dice rolling cards, allowing you to roll two dice instead and choosing the result. Painiac rolls a die when it attacks and gets +X/0 where X is the result of the die. Elvish Impersonator is a */*, where * is the result of the dice rolled when it enters the battlefield.
If all players in a given game of Commander, where silver-bordered cards aren’t inherently legal, agree to use these cards then it’s fair game. The cards made for this set had this in mind, to make new legendary creatures with silver borders and cards to strengthen your Un-commanders and/or Un-cubes.
A 2/2 that taps to sometimes counter a spell can be very powerful in the right situations. Flavor Judge only asks that the flavor between the interactions doesn’t make sense. Seeing as Magic has different sets and sometimes a rat has to crew a submarine to attack into an animated Mountain, the chances of this card succeeding is very high.
Frankie Peanuts is here to get cooperation from your friends, to gather useful information, or to establish politics. The thing is, the other players should stick with their word until the end of turn. But people are clever and sometimes they’ll find a way around it.
I’m sure you can find useful ways to explore Staying Power. Just bring a pencil and paper to the table to write everything that’s going on.
Syr Cadian, Knight Owl
Syr Cadian, Knight Owl can be a nice Orzhov () lifelink/knights-themed commander since these themes occur in both colors.
This Izzet () commander cares about wordy spells, which are spells with four or more lines of text. Alexander Clamilton is bound to have more support since more complex cards are being printed all the time.
B.O.B. (Bevy of Beebles)
A new Un–planeswalker that unfortunately can’t be your commander (but look, we’re already playing with silver-bordered cards, so why not?). B.O.B. (Bevy of Beebles) creates a lot of Beeble tokens, and its loyalty is attached to the Beebles you have. It either makes your Beebles unblockable or draws some cards.
Carnivorous Death Parrot
Chicken à la King
A fun bird lord for your Azorius () birds tribal deck. Make sure to put some cards that care about dice rolling to strike those sixes if you’re using Chicken à la King.
Acornelia, Fashionable Filcher
If you like squirrels, Acornelia, Fashionable Filcher is the commander for you. This Golgari () legend makes an acorn counter every time you cast a squirrel, when they enter the battlefield, or when they die. These acorn counters are like energy, and you can spend them to kill enemies or buff your own. Modern Horizons 2 has some great squirrels to add to this deck and Unstable has even more.
Duh is good removal at instant speed for a single black mana. Lots of creatures have reminder text these days. Unfortunately most of the mythics and more wordy cards don’t have reminder text when it doesn’t fit the text box, so there’s that.
This 1-drop can increase your dice rolls if you’re in the market for that. Snickering Squirrel is also a squirrel for decks that care about it. For your squirrel tribal dice rolling matters build, which is perfectly doable in Un-sets.
Blast from the Past
Look, there are lots of different stuff Blast from the Past can do, from dealing two damage, to sometimes making a 1/1. The thing is that you can combine madness with cycling, draw some cards, buyback it and kick it with enough mana, all at the same time.
Stet Draconic Proofreader
This Boros () commander is a 6-mana dragon that can deal four damage to any target when it attacks. Stet, Draconic Proofreader’s white ability helps to make sure that the damage will resolve. Again, pen and paper will be useful here.
A 1/1 is fragile, but you’ll complete one of the lines and have a 10/10 trampler if B-I-N-G-O doesn’t die. It’s not the worst for two mana.
Pippa, Duchess of Dice
The Simic () commander from this collection, Pippa, Duchess of Dice cares about rolling dice. Its green ability allows you to roll a dice which becomes a creature with the power/toughness equal to the value rolled. The blue ability allows you to reroll a die.
Pair Pippa with lots of cards that care about dice rolling and you can really just go to town.
Surgeon General Commander
Surgeon ~General~ Commander is a 5-color commander related to all transformation types in MTG. You can use the mutate creatures from Ikoria or the host and augment creatures from this set and Unstable.
Timmy, Power Gamer
Paying eight mana and putting any creature directly into play must have some value, right? If you can untap with Timmy, Power Gamer you can drop two or more creatures at the same turn, which is a power move indeed.
Who // What // When // Where // Why
No matter which colors you’re playing, Who // What // When // Where // Why is very flexible. And it has all five modes if you’re playing all colors.
This card is old, though, and I’m sure an equally flexible card must exist by today’s standard in a tri-colored Charm that’s black-bordered.
Sword of Dungeons & Dragons
Unsanctioned Card Gallery
Unsanctioned isn’t a part of the main MTG product line, and the only way to get your hands on this product is to buy the box with all the cards. Sorry, there are no Unsanctioned draft or set boosters.
The Unsanctioned box was designed for a group of friends to have an “Un-set experience” with the precon decks. This product wasn’t meant to be drafted or collected.
The Unsanctioned box contains:
- 5 30-card decks
- 2 six-sided dice
- 10 double-sided tokens
- 10 full-art basic lands (5 regular, 5 premium)
- 1 reusable storage box
- Combine two of the 30-card decks into a two-colored super-deck! Mix and match the decks into new deranged, delirious, and downright preposterous combinations.
- The rules are unhinged, the stadium is unstable, and things are about to come unglued. Unsanctioned is mayhem-filled Magic: The Gathering, ready to play right out of the box.
- Unsanctioned includes 160 Magic cards, including 10 full-art basic land cards—5 foil and 5 non-foil— with gorgeous illustrations, printed here for the first time.
- Unlike most Magic: The Gathering sets, Unsanctioned is filled with special silver-bordered cards that get to do things other Magic cards don’t, like give a creature “infinity” power.
- Unsanctioned is filled with cards from Magic’s “Un” sets, like Unglued, Unhinged, and Unstable, plus seventeen cards that join the “Un” family for the first time. Unheard of!
Sword of Dungeons & Dragons | Illustration by Chris Rahn
Unsanctioned games are wild and crazy, very different from your typical MTG experience with Standard sets. Expect some weird stuff like dice, dexterity, and even the way you talk and behave to interfere with the game.
Be on the lookout for sneaky cards that were on the battlefield the whole time because its controller had hidden it. Or maybe a swing of the game because lucky or unlucky dice were rolled. The goal is usually to have a good laugh during the game instead of being a spike and winning the most games.
What were your good experiences with Unsanctioned? Did you battle against your friends with Un-decks? What about the new Commander decks made possible thanks to the new legendary creatures? Please let me know in the comments below or in the Draftsim Discord.
That’s all from me for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!
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