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Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
Forgotten Realms logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Dragon head in d20
Design Andrew Veen (lead)[1]
Ben Petrisor
James Wyatt
Jules Robins
Mark Gottlieb
Morrigan Robbins
Development Jules Robins (lead)
Andrew Veen
Taymoor Rehman
Adam Prosak
Ben Petrisor
Kazu Negri
Ken Nagle
Max McCall
Dave Humpherys
Ben Hayes
Bryan Hawley
Mark Gottlieb
Aaron Forsythe
Ethan Fleischer
Zac Elsik
Andrew Brown
Corey Bowen
Art direction Zack Stella
Release date July 23, 2021
Plane Forgotten Realms
Themes and mechanics Dungeons, Dragons, Flavor words, Dice rolling (d20), Class enchantments
Keywords/​ability words Venture into the dungeon, Pack tactics
Set size 281 + 121
Expansion code AFR[2]
Development codename Zebra
Forgotten Realms Standard
Zendikar Rising Kaldheim Strixhaven: School of Mages
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Modern Horizons 2 Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander Decks

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is a Dungeons & Dragons crossover Magic: The Gathering set which replaced the core set of the 2021-2022 standard rotation.[3][4] It is the 88th Magic expansion and was released on July 23, 2021.[5][6] The name of the set is often abbreviated to Adventures in the Forgotten Realms or Forgotten Realms.

Set details[ | ]

AFR Bundle

Bundle featuring Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar

This set contains 281 regular cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 60 rares, 20 mythic rares, 20 basic lands) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. Alternate card frames have another card number than the original version. Borderless cards are numbered #282-298, and showcase cards are numbered #299-358. Extended artwork cards are numbered #359-395. The Buy-a-Box card is #396 and the Bundle promo is #397. The FNM-treatment cards from the Universal promo pack are numbered #398-402.

The visuals of the cards tell a story and many favorite D&D characters are mentioned in the flavor text. As a first, the basic lands of this set feature flavor text. These are structured as descriptions presented by a Dungeon Master.[6] Showcase cards have a "classic rulebook frame treatment", pulled from the look and feel of illustrations in the the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.[7] Nine showcase lands look like the classic covers of old module sourcebooks.[8][9]

Development[ | ]

Mark Rosewater had worked on a Dungeons & Dragons TCG as early as 2016.[10] Before that, the D&D Spellfire CCG had been created by TSR, Inc.. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is a true collaboration between the two Hasbro teams.[11] The D&D team worked with the Magic team on every aspect of the set, similar to how the Magic team worked with the D&D team on D&D Mythic Odysseys of Theros and D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica. The D&D team provided extensive feedback on both the visuals and lore of The Forgotten Realms.

Marketing[ | ]

AFR Collector Booster

Collector booster featuring a Beholder

AFR Set Booster

Set Booster featuring a Mind flayer

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is sold in regular 16-card Draft Boosters (one card being a marketing card), Theme Boosters (five monocolored and 1 "Dungeon Theme Booster"), Collector Boosters, Set Boosters, the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Bundle, and four Commander decks. The set also features revamped Welcome Boosters.[12] The Draft Boosters feature artwork from Drizzt Do'Urden. There are three different set boosters, featuring art of Grand Master of Flowers, True Polymorph and Iymrith, Desert Doom. The Theme Boosters feature art from Dungeon Map (Dungeon), Nadaar, Selfless Paladin ({W}), You Find the Villains’ Lair ({U}), Acererak the Archlich ({B}), Delina, Wild Mage ({R}) and Owlbear ({G}). The Collector Boosters feature art of Baleful Beholder. The Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Gift Edition Bundle was released on August 6, 2021.[13] With the release of Forgotten Realms, 48 cards were rotated into The List.

Events[ | ]

Promotional cards[ | ]

Tiamat Ampersand card

Ampersand card

Tokens, emblems and dungeons[ | ]

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms features 22 tokens, emblems, and dungeons.[18]

  1. {W} 3/3 Angel creature with flying, for The Book of Exalted Deeds.
  2. {W} Icingdeath, Frost Tongue, a legendary Equipment artifact with "Equipped creature gets +2/+0", "Whenever equipped creature attacks, tap target creature defending player controls" and equip {2}, for Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant.
  3. {U} */* Dog Illusion creature with "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to twice the number of cards in your hand", for Mordenkainen.
  4. {U} 1/1 Faerie Dragon creature with flying, for Feywild Trickster.
  5. {B} The Atropal, a 4/4 legendary God Horror creature with deathtouch, for Tomb of Annihilation.
  6. {B} 1/1 Skeleton creature, for Dungeon of the Mad Mage, Death-Priest of Myrkul, and Skeletal Swarming.
  7. {B} 2/1 Spider creature with menace and reach, for Drider and Lolth, Spider Queen.
  8. {B} Vecna, a 8/8 legendary Zombie God creature with indestructible and all triggered abilities of the exiled cards, for The Book of Vile Darkness.
  9. {B} 2/2 Zombie creature, for Acererak the Archlich, The Book of Vile Darkness and Wight.
  10. {R} Boo, a 1/1 legendary Hamster creature with trample and haste, for Minsc, Beloved Ranger.
  11. {R} 1/1 Devil creature with "When this creature dies, it deals 1 damage to any target", for Zariel, Archduke of Avernus.
  12. {R} 1/1 Goblin creature, for Battle Cry Goblin, Den of the Bugbear, Goblin Morningstar, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Swarming Goblins, and You See a Pair of Goblins.
  13. {G} Guenhwyvar, a 4/1 legendary Cat creature with trample, for Drizzt Do'Urden.
  14. {G} 2/2 Wolf creature, for Elturgard Ranger, Ranger Class and Varis, Silverymoon Ranger.
  15. {C} Treasure artifact, for Deadly Dispute, Dungeon of the Mad Mage, Forsworn Paladin, Grim Bounty, Herald of Hadar, Hoarding Ogre, Hoard Robber, Improvised Weaponry, Instrument of the Bards, Kalain, Reclusive Painter, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Old Gnawbone, Plundering Barbarian, Prosperous Innkeeper, Shambling Ghast, Skullport Merchant, Spiked Pit Trap, Thieves' Tools, Treasure Chest, Treasure Vault, Unexpected Windfall, Xorn, and You Find a Cursed Idol.
  16. Emblem for Ellywick Tumblestrum.
  17. Emblem for Lolth, Spider Queen.
  18. Emblem for Mordenkainen.
  19. Emblem for Zariel, Archduke of Avernus.
  20. Dungeon of the Mad Mage is the backside of token #12.
  21. Lost Mine of Phandelver is the backside of token #6.
  22. Tomb of Annihilation is the backside of token #5.

Storyline[ | ]

The Forgotten Realms is a campaign setting for the D&D fantasy role-playing game.[19] Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as "The Realms", the planet Toril is shared by humans, dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, and other peoples and creatures. Technologically, the world of the Forgotten Realms resembles the pre-industrial Earth of the 13th or 14th century. However, the presence of magic provides an additional element of power to societies. There are several nation-states and many independent cities, with loose alliances being formed for defense or conquest. Forgotten Realms centers on Faerûn, a sub-continent in the northern hemisphere of Toril.[20]

The Forgotten Realms are not considered to be canonically part of Magic's Multiverse.[21][22] Some cards "play up the feel of an adventuring party together, taking on one big foe," such as Drizzt Do'Urden and some of his friends battling Frost giants in the north of Faerûn in the cards' art and flavor text.[19]

Some iconic D&D characters, that have traveled the various D&D planes of existence, are featured as Planeswalker cards.[19] However, this doesn't mean that these characters have a planeswalker's spark in the same way that planar travel works in Magic's lore. According to Wizards of the Coast, they wanted to make these characters as cool as they could possibly be, and as Planeswalkers were a regular part of new Magic sets - the Planeswalker card type in their opinion would make a great fit.[23]

A D&D campaign for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms by Will Hindmarch was released in chapters via Magic Story. D&D character sheets are provided for Chandra, Liliana, Kaya, Yanggu, and Narset, but as with most D&D adventures they could be played by any characters, and do not represent the Magic characters canonically traveling to the Forgotten Realms. Within the campaign, Ravnica exists as a plane in the D&D multiverse that a few characters have traveled to, but again, this coexistence is simply a creative way to blend Magic and D&D for a short adventure and does not reflect the multiverse of the primary Magic story (or the standard Forgotten Realms setting). There are five episodes of the campaign:

  1. In Scarlet Flames[24]
  2. The Hidden Page[25]
  3. A Verdant Tomb[26]
  4. Deepest Night[27]
  5. From Cyan Depths[28]

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms has no Story Spotlights, but a series of cards represent the adventures of a party composed by Ellywick, Hama, Nadaar and Varis.[29]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

AFR Dungeons

The three dungeons that were released

Cards throughout Adventures in the Forgotten Realms directly reference the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, but also some aspects of role-playing games in general.

The set introduces the Dungeon card type.[30] Dungeons don't go in your deck. Rather, they start outside the game and are played in the command zone.

Dungeons are connected to the venture into the dungeon mechanic.[31] This can be the effect of a spell, an activated ability, or a triggered ability. If you venture into the dungeon while you don't have any dungeons in the command zone, you put the dungeon of your choice into the command zone and put a venture marker on the first room, at the top. Every time you enter a room, including the first room, its room ability triggers. These abilities all read "When you enter this room, [the effect printed in the room]." When you complete a dungeon certain cards receive a bonus.

A new mechanic is pack tactics, an ability word that causes an effect whenever creatures attack with total power 6 or greater.

Aside from pack tactics, the set adopts a very loose approach to ability words, which are used to represent themed actions or monster abilities instead of grouping similarly functioning cards. These are called flavor words.[30]

Dice rolling is used for the first time in a black-bordered set, always in the template "Roll a d20".

Limited archetypes[ | ]

AFR Bundle D20

AFR Bundle d20

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms features the following limited archetypes:

Card types[ | ]

The set introduces a new enchantment type: Class.

The set introduces the Bard, Beholder, Gnoll, Halfling, Hamster, and Tiefling creature types. Citizen appears for the first time as a printed black-bordered creature type (previously only appearing on tokens).

The Bahamut, Mordenkainen, Lolth, Zariel and Ellywick planeswalker types are introduced.

A curiosity occurring in this set in regards to creature types is that the class takes precedent over race in terms of color. For example, Orcs are majority Black and Red in Magic, but three of four Orcs printed in this set are a Blue Orc Rogue (Guild Thief), a Green Orc Ranger (Intrepid Outlander) and a White Orc Knight (Devoted Paladin). Smaller, humanoid, flightless Dragons appear as Dragonborn, holding classes as White Knights or Green Bards. Other oddly colored races appear also.

Cycles[ | ]

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms has six cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Planeswalkers Grand Master of Flowers Mordenkainen Lolth, Spider Queen Zariel, Archduke of Avernus Ellywick Tumblestrum
Five mythic rare planeswalkers.
Legendary dragons Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant Iymrith, Desert Doom Ebondeath, Dracolich Inferno of the Star Mounts Old Gnawbone
Five mythic rare legendary Dragons.
Fast manlands Cave of the Frost Dragon Hall of Storm Giants Hive of the Eye Tyrant Den of the Bugbear Lair of the Hydra
Five rare lands that enter the battlefield tapped if the player controls two or more other lands. Each of them can turn into creatures until end of turn.
Color hosers Divine Smite ({B}) Ray of Frost ({R}) Ray of Enfeeblement ({W}) Burning Hands ({G}) Hunter's Mark ({U})
Five uncommon instant-speed spells that get more effective when targeting a permanent of a specific color. Unusual for a hoser cycle as the references do not follow a wheel; the red targets an allied color while white and black target each other.
Chromatic dragons White Dragon Blue Dragon Black Dragon Red Dragon Green Dragon
Five uncommon Dragons with a Breath flavor word representing a triggered ability.

Multicolored cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W/U} {U/B} {B/R} {R/G} {G/W} {W/B} {U/R} {B/G} {R/W} {G/U}
Gold legends Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker Krydle of Baldur's Gate Kalain, Reclusive Painter Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll Trelasarra, Moon Dancer Barrowin of Clan Undurr Farideh, Devil's Chosen Shessra, Death's Whisper Bruenor Battlehammer Gretchen Titchwillow
Ten uncommon gold legendary creature spells. Each is a signpost for a draft archetype.

Vertical cycles[ | ]

Cycle name
Dragonborn Nadaar, Selfless Paladin Wandering Troubadour Jaded Sell-Sword
Three humanoid Dragons without flying.
Gnomes Oswald Fiddlebender Feywild Trickster Clever Conjurer
Three non-artifact Gnomes.

Pairs[ | ]

Mirrored pair Description
The Book of Exalted Deeds ({W}) The Book of Vile Darkness ({B}) Two mythic rare legendary artifacts with MMM mana cost. Each of them has a life-related token creation triggered ability and activated ability. Each shares the name with a sourcebook published by Wizards of the Coast for D&D, and both are also powerful magic items often found across D&D's publication history.
Demilich ({U}) Flameskull ({R}) Two mythic rare skeletons that could come back after death or play other cards.
Instrument of the Bards ({G}) The Blackstaff of Waterdeep ({U}) Two rare legendary artifacts with M mana cost, an activated ability and an effect applicable in the beginning phase.
Skullport Merchant ({B}) Prosperous Innkeeper ({G}) Two uncommon Citizens that create a treasure when they enter the battlefield and have a creature-related ability.
Trickster's Talisman ({U}) Reaper's Talisman ({B}) Two uncommon Equipments with equip {2} costing M.
Dueling Rapier ({R}) Paladin’s Shield ({W}) Two common Equipments with flash that attach themselves to a creature when they enter the battlefield. One gives +2/+0 and the other +0/+2.
Air-Cult Elemental ({U}) Earth-Cult Elemental ({R}) Two common Elementals costing 4MM and having a removal effect upon entering the battlefield. In D&D the elemental cults are tied to the Elemental Evil.
Armory Veteran ({R}) Dwarfhold Champion ({W}) Two common creatures with mana cost 1M and a static ability as long as they are equipped.
Veteran Dungeoneer ({W}) Clattering Skeletons ({B}) Two common creatures with mana cost 3M, mirrored stats, and triggered abilities which venture into the dungeon once in the creature's life cycle.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Functional reprints[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • The Book of Exalted Deeds references Platinum Angel's anti-losing text, giving an Angel that text for {W}{W}{W}. Angels are not usually known for being cheap and resilient; however, in this Standard rotation, Faceless Haven allowed players a temporary Angel that would live on the board as a Land — the most resilient card type — for the rest of the game. Hence Wizards banned the Book for the preview-queue Standard 2022, since the only reasonable answer was Field of Ruin which had rotated. They emphasized that this would not be the case post-rotation, due to Field of Ruin being reprinted in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Standard 2022's Best-of-One nature, much like Nexus of Fate in 2019-2020.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms features four Commander decks that are released as a regular part of a set's product line, each containing 17 new cards.[33].[15]

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Aura of Courage W U G Galea, Kindler of Hope
Dungeons of Death W U B Sefris of the Hidden Ways
Draconic Rage R G Vrondiss, Rage of Ancients
Planar Portal B R Prosper, Tome-Bound

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (September 17, 2020). "Who were the lead designers of Kaldheim, Strixhaven and Forgotten Realms". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Information below the text box
  3. Blake Rasmussen (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar Debut and Announcement Day Recap". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (July 5, 2021). "D&D-esign, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (March 18, 2021). "Strixhaven News + More". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. a b c Adam Styborski (May 6, 2021). "Welcome to the Summer of Legend". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Clayton Kroh (June 29, 2021). "Behind the Scnes of Booster Fun for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Charlie Hall (June 24, 2021). "D&D’s Magic: The Gathering crossover is the nerdiest thing that Wizards has ever done".
  9. Max McCall (June 29, 2021). "Collecting Adventures in the Forgotten Realms". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (February 24, 2016). "Other than Star Wars and Duel Masters, what other properties did you help with?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. Christian Hoffer (September 1, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering Announces Dungeons & Dragons Set for 2021".
  12. WPN (June 15, 2021). "3 Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Bonuses that Will Kickstart Your Metrics in the U.S.". Wizards Play Network.
  13. Max McCall (June 29, 2021). "Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Product Overview". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Gavin Verhey (July 12, 2021). "Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. a b WPN (April 5, 2021). "Reach WPN Premium by June 7, Get These Perks". Wizards Play Network.
  17. WPN (June 21, 2021). "Love Your Local Game Store Promotion Continues July 23 in the U.S.". Wizards Play Network.
  18. Kendall Pepple (July 12, 2021). "The Tokens of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. a b c All Things Drizzt (Video). Dungeons & Dragons. YouTube (May 20, 2021).
  20. Wizards of the Coast (March 18, 2021). "Strixhaven News + More". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Wizards of the Coast (February 25, 2021). "Magic's Voyages to the Universes Beyond". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater (May 7, 2021). "Where does Adventures in the Forgotten realms fit in with the current lore?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  23. Magic: The Gathering (May 20, 2021). "To get it out of the way: This doesn't mean that these characters have a Planeswalker Spark.". Twitter.
  24. Will Hindmarch (June 30, 2021). "In Scarlet Flames". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Will Hindmarch (July 7, 2021). "The Hidden Page". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Will Hindmarch (July 14, 2021). "A Verdant Tomb". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Will Hindmarch (July 21, 2021). "Deepest Night". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Will Hindmarch (July 28, 2021). "From Cyan Depths". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Mark Rosewater (July 12, 2021). "Who are the characters in you meet at a tavern...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  30. a b Matt Tabak (June 24, 2021). "Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater (July 12, 2021). "D&D-esign, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Jess Dunks (July 15, 2021). "Oracle Changes". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. The Future of Commander Preconstructed Decks! (Video). Good Morning Magic. YouTube (May 14, 2021).

External links[ | ]