Battle for Zendikar

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Battle for Zendikar
BFZ logo.png
 
Set symbol
Design team
Mark Rosewater (lead)
Ian Duke
Dan Emmons
Ethan Fleischer
Dave Guskin
Ari Levitch
Development team
Erik Lauer (lead)
Tim Aten
Kelly Digges
Ian Duke
Ben Hayes
Shawn Main
Yoni Skolnik

with contributions from
Matt Tabak

Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
October 2, 2015
Themes and mechanics
Allies, Elementals, Colorless matters, Exile interaction.
Keywords and/or ability words
Awaken, Converge, Devoid, Ingest, Landfall, Rally
Set size
274 + 25
101 Commons, 80 Uncommons, 53 Rares, 15 Mythic Rares, 25 Basic Land + 25 full art versions of the Basic Lands
Expansion code
BFZ[1][2]
Development codename
Blood
Battle for Zendikar block sets
Battle for Zendikar Oath of the Gatewatch (none)
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi Battle for Zendikar Zendikar Expeditions

Battle for Zendikar is the 68th Magic expansion, and the first in the Battle for Zendikar block. It was released October 2, 2015.[3][4][5] Battle for Zendikar is a large expansion, and the Battle for Zendikar block is the first block of the Two-Block Paradigm.

Set details[edit | edit source]

The set contains 274 cards (25 basic lands,[6] 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. There are 25 basic lands, instead of the usual 20, and the set also features special full art versions similar to those that appeared in Zendikar.[7][8] The full-art versions appear in booster packs and fat packs, but not in intro packs. The expansion symbol of the set is a broken hedron. While allies represented adventuring parties in the last Zendikar block, they now represent the united army against the Eldrazi. This is also a battle between the colored against the colorless faction.[9] The Eldrazi interact with the exile zone.

Because of the demise of the core sets, R&D experimented with same art reprints in expansion sets (e.g. Felidar Sovereign).[10] As a promotion to further the theme of the set, WotC randomly inserted Expedition cards into Battle for Zendikar boosters.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Battle for Zendikar returns the storyline to Zendikar, a plane of adventure, many treasures, and potent mana supplies. The plane is littered with large, floating polyhedron-shaped stones called Hedrons, that were created by Nahiri, the Kor Lithomancer. Together with Ugin and Sorin Markov she used them to trap the horrendous Eldrazi on the plane. Thousands of years later, the meeting of Sarkhan Vol, Chandra Nalaar and Jace Beleren in the Eye of Ugin chamber unintentionally loosened the bonds that kept the Eldrazi in torpor. The Eldrazi were finally released by the elf Nissa Revane, thinking that they would leave Zendikar far behind them. She was wrong. Two years after the initial destruction, at least Ulamog is still around.[11] [12]

Now, Gideon Jura takes the lead of a group of planeswalkers in facing the Eldrazi alongside the residents of Zendikar. Meanwhile, the trapped planeswalker-turned-demon Ob Nixilis is desperate for a way off of the plane. The five cards that represent the pivotal moments in the storyline are Gruesome Slaughter, Nissa's Renewal, Ugin's Insight, Outnumber and Aligned Hedron Network.[13][14][15]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

BFZ booster box, featuring Gideon Jura

Battle for Zendikar is sold in 16-card boosters (one card being a marketing card), five intro packs, one event deck and a fat pack. The boosters feature art from Ob Nixilis Reignited, Kiora, Master of the Depths, Ulamog's Despoiler, Veteran Warleader and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.[16]

Zendikar Expeditions[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Expeditions are all premium foil cards with a special Zendikari frame and a separate expansion symbol. Thus, they are not part of the set.[17] Zendikar Expeditions include all new art set on Zendikar and appear slightly more often than premium mythic rares. These cards are playable in limited and formats where they're already legal. There are 25 Expedition cards appearing with Battle for Zendikar (the 5 new dual lands, 10 shock lands and 10 fetch lands[18]) and 20 more cards in Oath of the Gatewatch.

Main article: Zendikar Expeditions

Prerelease[edit | edit source]

BFZ themed prerelease deck box

At the prerelease (September 26–27, 2015) each player received a special hedron-themed Prerelease pack that they could use after the event as a take-home deck box.[19] Inside each Prerelease box, there were six regular Battle for Zendikar Booster packs along with a randomized, date-stamped premium promo card, a spindown life counter, a deckbuilding guide and a story insert.[20] Starting with this prerelease, seeded booster packs were no longer used.[21] This prerelease was the first to use the "Vancouver" mulligan rule.[22]

Instead of getting a specific set Prerelease card or one of a small subset of Prerelease cards, starting with Battle for Zendikar players receive a random Prerelease card in their boxes that can be one of any rare or mythic rare in the set.[23]

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Tokens and emblems[edit | edit source]

For this set, the ratio between token cards and other marketing cards was shifted heavily in favor of tokens. The new ratio is approximately 9:10 for tokens. Tokens’ rarity is based upon the rarity of the cards that make them. [25]

  1. {C} 10/10 Eldrazi for Desolation Twin[26]
  2. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion for Adverse Conditions, Blight Herder, Blisterpod, Brood Butcher, Brood Monitor, Call the Scions, Carrier Thrall, Catacomb Sifter, Drowner of Hope, Eldrazi Skyspawner, Eyeless Watcher, From Beyond, Grave Birthing, Incubator Drone, Spawning Bed and Void Attendant
  3. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion
  4. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion
  5. {W} 2/2 Knight Ally for Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
  6. {W} 1/1 Kor Ally for Retreat to Emeria and Unified Front
  7. {U} 8/8 Octopus for Kiora, Master of the Depths
  8. {R} 5/5 Dragon with flying for Dragonmaster Outcast
  9. {R} 3/1 Elemental with Trample and Haste for Akoum Stonewaker
  10. {G} 1/1 Plant for Grovetender Druids
  11. {R/G} 5/5 Elemental for Omnath, Locus of Rage
  12. Emblem for Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
  13. Emblem for Ob Nixilis Reignited
  14. Emblem for Kiora, Master of the Depths

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

Eldrazi,[27] Colorless matters,[28][29] colorless instants, allies and landfall make a return from the Zendikar block. Landfall now sometimes is land specific.[30]

There are at five new named mechanics:[31]

A remarkable mechanic is featured on Void Winnower, which cares about "even converted mana cost".[34][35]

Card types[edit | edit source]

Battle for Zendikar introduces the creature types Scion and Processor.

  • Eldrazi Scions are very similar to Eldrazi Spawn, but are 1/1 instead of 0/1. They're created by Eldrazi-themed spells in a variety of ways and all have the ability "Sacrifice this creature: Add {C} to your mana pool."
  • Processor is an additional creature type for some Eldrazi. Each one has an ability that requires you to put your opponent's exiled cards into their graveyard for some effect.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Battle for Zendikar has six cycles:

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

Common to Uncommon[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Colorshifted[edit | edit source]

Card comparisons[edit | edit source]

Many Battle for Zendikar cards are strictly better, and a handful are strictly worse, than previous cards. Of particular note, Endless One is the simplest and most cost-efficient example of a design previously seen on more than 100 other cards.

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Intro packs[edit | edit source]

Battle for Zendikar has five intro packs (three bicolored and two colorless):[39]

Intro pack name Colors included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Rallying Cry W R Hero of Goma Fada
Swarming Instinct U G Drowner of Hope
Call of Blood W B Defiant Bloodlord
Eldrazi Assault B R Barrage Tyrant
Zendikar's Rage R G Oran-Rief Hydra

Event deck[edit | edit source]

Battle for Zendikar has one event deck.

Event deck name Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Ultimate Sacrifice B G

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Printed on the card frame.
  2. http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/battle-zendikar-info
  3. Wizards of the Coast Twitter (@wizards_magic) (March 6, 2015). Battle for Zendikar Announced.
  4. Wizards of the Coast. (March 6, 2015.) “PAX Panel Streaming Live”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast. (March 9, 2015 .) “Announcing Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Blake Rasmussen. (September 14, 2015.) “The Basic Lands of Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. a b Mark Rosewater. (August 31, 2012.) "Any chance for new full art lands in Battle for Zendikar or the other 5 fetches?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  8. Michael Yichao. (October 5, 2015.) “Sketches: Battle for Zendikar Basic Land Art”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (October 12, 2015.) “Battle Plans”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Doug Beyer. (September 14, 2015.) "Is there a reason why Felidar Sovereign doesn't get new art?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
  11. Adam Lee. (June 25, 2014 .) “Nissa, Worldwaker”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Doug Beyer. (June 16, 2014.) “Checking in on the Planeswalkers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Michael Yichao. (September 30, 2015.) “Interviewing Maro on Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Ant Tessitore (October 1, 2015). Snacks with Kelly Digges. Gatheringmagic.com
  15. Magic Creative Team. (October 7, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar Story Events”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Blake Rasmussen. (September 1, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar Packaging”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Dan Barrett. (August 26, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar: Your First Look”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Blake Rasmussen. (September 17, 2015.) “All the Expeditions”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Gavin Verhey. (September 21, 2015 .) “Battle for Zendikar Prerelease Primer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Wizards Play Network. Battle for Zendikar Prerelease.
  21. Mark Rosewater. (July 28, 2015.) "When do BFZ spoiler weeks start?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  22. Aaron Forsythe. (August 20, 2015.) “New Mulligan Rule Starting with Battle for Zendikar Prereleases”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Gavin Verhey. (September 1, 2015.) “Branded Play”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Blake Rasmussen. (September 7, 2015.) “The Promos of Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Mark Rosewater. (October 18, 2015.) "Are some tokens rarer than others?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  26. Blake Rasmussen. (September 16, 2015.) “The Tokens of Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Sam Stoddard. (September 11, 2015.) “Challenges of Revisiting Sets”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater. (September 7, 2015.) “Preparing for Battle, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Mark Rosewater. (September 14, 2015.) “Preparing for Battle, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Matt Tabak. (August 31, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Wizards of the Coast. (September 23, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar Release Notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Sam Stoddard. (October 23, 2015.) “Developing Devoid”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Ian Duke. (September 7, 2015.) “Converging on Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Adam Styborski. (September 10, 2015.) “Void Where Prohibited”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Blake Rasmussen. (September 10, 2015.) “Even Odder”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Mark Rosewater. (September 28, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikards, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Mark Rosewater. (September 21, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikards, Part One”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Blake Rasmussen. (September 15, 2015.) “Retreat!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Blake Rasmussen. (September 24, 2015 .) “Battle for Zendikar Event Deck and Intro Packs”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.