The Year of the Rat features eight selected cards from the card pool of various rats published in Magic: The Gathering sets over the years. The reprints will feature new Chinese zodiac-themed artwork available just in time for the Lunar New Year, which happens to also be the Year of the Rat according to the 12-year zodiac animal cycle. The rats included in this set are Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni, Pack Rat, Marrow-Gnawer, and five copies of Rat Colony. This set also comes with an Arena code for Rat-themed online card sleeves (not available in China, Hong Kong, Macao, or Vietnam), and will sell directly to consumers at $39.99.
Wizards of the Coast has adopted a drop-marketing strategy for its direct sale sets over the last few months, as outlined by ICv2 columnist Scott Thorne (see "Rolling For Initiative -- WotC and Drop Marketing"). This strategy is designed to create excitement around the drop release as well as the Magic: The Gathering brand by allowing players to customize the general aesthetic of their decks. Although this product is not available for retail sale, the "buzz" it generates online keeps the brand fresh in the public eye which should help boost the sales of related retail products (Commander/EDH decks) and single cards.