Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Become the Oracle of Theros Using the New Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck

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It’s May 21st, which means you can now add a Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck to your card collection. This deck is based entirely in Theros, which makes sense given that plane’s roots in Greek Mythology. Just to clarify: these are not usable in a Magic: The Gathering deck, unless Unglued rules have really changed in the past few years. This also is not a Tarot deck—oracle cards function on their own rules. This one includes 52 cards, all with new art. That alone makes it a fun item for collectors. Let’s dive in.

Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck Box
Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck Box

Since Oracle cards work differently from Tarot cards, I thought it would be fun to do a quick reading for my favorite Magic: The Gathering character, Liliana Vess. As a bonus, Liliana is not present in this deck since Theros really isn’t her domain. And what question did she ask? Well, she wanted to know about her relationship prospects. I know that doesn’t sound like her at all, but back in my pre-release days it was an inside joke to say she was going to Jace’s Sweet Sixteen. So this is for all of you, who were wrong, because she and Jace would be terrible together.

Card Detail Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck
Card Detail Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck

I didn’t actually ask if she had a future with Jace, or Chandra, who we also saw some sparks with. Like Tarot, you don’t want to ask a yes or no question. For the purpose of this example, I used one of the three card spreads outlined in the included guidebook. I didn’t use the “relationship” spread, though, since Liliana is (to my knowledge) not currently partnered. Instead I used “Overcoming Obstacles” since, well, she’s kind of a walking red flag. Here’s a photo of the results before we get started:

Liliana Vess Sample Reading
Liliana Vess Sample Reading

Now, my quick interpretation:

The Main Concern – Mental Reflections (Niko)

Liliana’s main concern when it comes to relationships is the woman in the mirror. She needs someone with the same focus she has. And she’ll need to shift her focus if she wants to find love. This is confirmed with our next card.

What’s in the Way – Being Unstoppable (Minotaur)

Liliana is probably one of the more ambitious planeswalkers in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse. You don’t end up with so many deals with demons otherwise, right? Her fears and power grabs are keeping her from making the connections she would need to stop living a solo life.

The Solution or Key – Nature (Nylea)

So what does everyone’s favorite necromancer do? She’ll need to reconnect and ground herself. Maybe this even points to righting or acknowledging a past wrong? Yes, I’m referring to her history with Garruk, here. She’s not exactly been a friend to the natural world, and Innistrad encourages this. Could her shot at love be on another plane?

Cards from the Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck
Cards from the Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck

And there we have it! A quick example of interpreting a reading using this deck. For this reading, I did use both the upright and inverted meanings of the cards—it is just how I prefer to read. To me, there is no right or wrong way to go about this type of divinatory practice. So don’t let that stop you if this looks like something you’d like to pick up!

Box Detail Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck
Box Detail Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck

As for the cards themselves, this is a well made deck. The cards have a bit of grip to them; they aren’t slippery. If you’ve ever tried to shuffle your Magic: The Gathering deck with new, glossy sleeves you’ll appreciate the difference. The box also contains a ribbon to pull to aid lifting the cards out, and the box itself opens like a book. This is fairly standard these days, but I definitely have decks without these quality of life improvements, so it is worth noting. And again, the art is gorgeous. This will definitely appeal more to fans of the game, but I think even people unfamiliar with Magic: The Gathering or Theros in particular could still appreciate this deck. The theme is consistent and the guidebook is clear. 

Full Details Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck
Full Details Magic: The Gathering Oracle Deck

If you’re ready to ask your own questions, this deck is available now. You can buy it here, or check with your favorite local game/book/magic stores to see if they have a copy in store. Just remember—no mulligans in this format!

Images courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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