A record six years after the Rebellion Movie Booster, Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica [Side Story] is finally getting an English edition release! Based on the mobile game first available in Japan in 2017 and later licensed for the west in 2019, this Booster originally debuted in Japanese edition in 2018 and fans have been eagerly awaited since. Madoka fans, rejoice!
While the Booster, overall, is like spring water to a castaway sailor for the Madoka card pool, designers went the extra mile and made sure the original cast of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is featured with older cards that reference specific names remaining playable (albeit perhaps not competitively). Among these, we can find the excellent finisher Offering a Hand, Madoka, and the advance summon A New Story, Sayaka. The latter can also bond to Sayaka's Wish, the healing event counter from the very first Madoka set, which is a nice touch.
As for the new generation of Magical Girls, they make up for what they lack in charisma with some good, old-fashioned raw power: Throne of the Strongest, Tsuruno, reminiscent of the once universally feared Golden Darkness, is both a finisher and a healer, which makes it a lot less "all-in" than most endgame plans. "Battle in Sync" Momoko & Kaede & Rena performs the "Standby Effect" on reverse, which is especially potent in a set with so many draw phase changers (think "Magical Girls' Tea Party" Mami or The Only Hope, Homura). The list goes on...
There is also a mechanical subtheme shared by a number of cards between levels zero and two: "Memories of Hatred" Felicia for example will gain power if all characters in your front stage are of the same level, and As Long as We Are Together, Homura allows you to manipulate the levels of your characters. Such synergies are far from central to the set, but still worth keeping in mind when brewing.
With the anime Booster already confirmed for release in April 2021, things are looking good for Madoka as a whole. But are these releases also meant to give hope to Monogatari and Cinderella Girls players, among others, who have also been waiting for their favorite series to be brought up to speed with the Japanese Edition of Weiß Schwarz? It's hard to say for sure, but the Madoka announcement certainly took everyone by surprise, and we're not against being surprised some more!
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica [Side Story] officially releases on 26 February 2021. Singles and sealed products are up for sale right here on Cardmarket.