This puzzle is a mashup of two card games: Set and Magic the Gathering. The former is clued by the puzzle title; the latter is discoverable by searching some images or text from the last group of 4 cards.

Those last 4 cards are all real MTG cards, with titles redacted:

The color underlining tells you to take the first word from each title, to get the clue phrase WHITE OF THE BLACK. (The colors imply that “White” and “Black” should be treated differently than “of the”; that will come in handy later). Solvers hopefully then should notice that for the 8 main pages of cards in this puzzle, the first 4 appear on white backgrounds and the last 4 appear on black backgrounds; this will also come into play later.

The rest of the puzzle involves 8 groups of 12 cards each. These cards are stripped down versions of MTG cards, with the red herring art implying that the image part doesn't matter. Similar to how cards in Set have 4 features, each with 3 possibilities, these MTG cards only have 4 pieces of information; while they have more than 3 possibilities in MTG, not all are used in this puzzle, and within each group of 12 presented in this puzzle, only 3 distinct values appear:

- Color: white (W), blue (U), black (B), red (R), green (G), or hybrid colors (e.g., UG)
- Mana value (1-3, shown as the # of mana symbols)
- Expansion set symbol: Amonkhet (AKH), Guilds of Ravnica (GRN), Throne of Eldraine (ELD), Kaladesh (KLD), or Ixalan (XLN)
- Artist: Adam Paquette, Deruchenko Alexander, Kev Walker, Magali Villeneuve, Winona Nelson

This allows the solver to play a game of Set with the cards and identify a specific set of 3 cards that form a valid set, listed below. Recall that in the game Set, a valid set is one where for each feature, the 3 cards either each cover 1 of the possible values or all have the same value. In these MTG sets, each valid set differs across 3 of the 4 features and then has 1 feature all with the same value.

Page | Valid Set (Color / Mana Value / Expansion / Artist) | Shared Value | ||
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | W / 1 / KLD / KW | W / 2 / XLN / AP | W / 3 / ELD / DA | Color = White |

2 | UR / 3 / AKH / MV | UG / 3 / GRN / WN | B / 3 / XLN / AP | Mana value = 3 |

3 | U / 1 / AKH / DA | GR / 2 / AKH / MV | W / 3 / AKH / WN | Expansion = AKH |

4 | WR / 1 / GRN / MV | W / 2 / ELD / MV | R / 3 / XLN / MV | Artist = Magali Villeneuve |

5 | UR / 1 / GRN / KW | UR / 2 / KLD / AP | UR / 3 / AKH / MV | Color = blue/red |

6 | U / 2 / XLN / KW | GR / 2 / KLD / DA | WG / 2 / ELD / WN | Mana value = 2 |

7 | R / 1 / GRN / AP | UB / 2 / GRN / KW | G / 3 / GRN / WN | Expansion = GRN |

8 | UG / 1 / AKH / DA | WR / 2 / GRN / DA | B / 3 / XLN / DA | Artist = Deruchenko Alexander |

The first 4 values (from the cards presented with white backgrounds) allow solvers to look up a single MTG card, perhaps through something like the Gatherer wiki. There is only one card from Amonkhet with art by Magali Villeneuve, mana value 3, and white: Start. (Note that it is a split card with Finish, but the “white” color refers to the Start side.) Similarly, the next set of 4 values (from the 4 groups of cards with black backgrounds) uniquely clue Expansion.

Subbing in “Start” and “Expansion” for “white” and “black” respectively in the WHITE OF THE BLACK cluephrase, solvers can then get **START OF THE EXPANSION**, which is the full answer.