Mark Rosewater, the Head Designer for Magic the Gathering, has announced that the Lorwyn block, which debuts in October, will deviate from the standard three-set blocks that Magic fans are familiar with. Lorwyn and its successor Morningtide, which is due out in February (see 'Morningtide Will Follow Lorwyn'), will form a mini-block, instead of the three-set block previously announced, and will be followed by another two-release mini-block with sets code-named 'Jelly' and 'Doughnut.'
The Lorwyn block and its successor will each have their own distinct themes, mechanics, and look. Henceforth the typical MTG block will consist of a large set (with tournament packs) and a small set, rather than a large set and two smaller 'expansion' sets.
This will result in something of a schedule change for MTG fans, who have gotten used to the release of large set in October. Though Lorwyn, which is due out this October, is a large set, the next large set, code-named 'Jelly,' will be released in May/June of 2008, rather than in October.
The Lorwyn block and its successor, though different and distinct, will also in Rosewater's words 'be synergistic and interconnected.' For Limited Tournaments the Lorwyn and 'Jelly' blocks will be treated like two distinct blocks, but for Constructed Tournaments the two mini-blocks will be considered as one uber-block. Thus the Lorwyn mini-block and the Jelly mini-block will rotate out of formats at the same time. For example Time Spiral will rotate out of Standard when 'Rock,' the block after Lorwyn and 'Jelly' rotates in -- and the two mini-blocks, Lorwyn/Morningtide and Jelly/Doughnut will all be together in the same Block Constructed format.