with contributions from
Barry "Bit" Reich
|Same as design|
Themes and mechanics
Keywords and/or ability words
|378 (121 Common 121 Uncommon 121 Rare 15 Land)|
|Revised Edition||4th Edition||5th Edition|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
|Fallen Empires||4th Edition||Ice Age|
Set details[edit | edit source]
Fifty-one cards were removed from the Revised Edition and 122 cards from previous expansions (Legends and The Dark) were added. Fourth Edition was the first set to have its basic lands printed on a seperate print sheet. This freed up room on the other card sheets to include more spells. Fourth Edition cards have white borders in the American printing while foreign printings have black borders when no prior edition was released on that market. The set has no expansion symbol.
- A copyright notice '©' now appeared on the bottom of the cards (copyright date 1995). The copyright was now attributed to Wizards of the Coast, and not to the artist anymore.
- The beveled border missing from Revised was restored. The colors were also much brighter.
- A new white mana symbol () was introduced. 
- The tap symbol changed to a curved arrow symbol, with a black rectangle representing the tapping card behind it. 
- An Alternate Fourth Edition run was printed by the United States Playing Card Corporation in Cincinnati. Due to a dispute between the two companies, the cards were never officially published. 
Marketing[edit | edit source]
Cards were available from May 3, 1995 well past the end of the run in April 1997. The print run is estimated at 500 million cards. The cards were sold in 60-card starter decks and 15-card boosters. Fourth Edition was the first set with booster packs made of foil wrappers and the first with artwork on the wrappers (Brass Man, Hurloon Minotaur, Mana Vault, Mesa Pegasus and Spirit Link). The boosters didn't contain basic lands anymore. Starters included an extra rare card, up from 2 to 3 from previous releases and uncommons were reduced to 9 from the previous 13. The package of the starter decks now displayed the five mana symbols, instead of the five colored stones. The set was supplemented with a special Gift Box. The 4th Edition Gift Box included two starter decks, 30 glass counters, a flannel bag for storing the counters, an illustrated rulebook and a card collectors' checklist.
Fourth Edition was published in English, French, German, Italian, and as a first for a Magic set in Japanese, traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese (primarily for the Brazilian market).
Rules changes[edit | edit source]
- The rules concerning fast effects and the batch were solidified, as well as those for phases, activation costs, targets and damage prevention. 
Cycles[edit | edit source]
4th Edition has 5 cycles.
- Circles of protection: Each of these common white enchantments has a mana cost of and the ability to prevent the all damage from a source of a given color for — Circle of Protection: White, Circle of Protection: Blue, Circle of Protection: Black, Circle of Protection: Red, and Circle of Protection: Green.
- Laces: Each of these rare instants permanently changes the color of a permanent — Purelace, Thoughtlace, Deathlace, Chaoslace, and Lifelace.
- Lucky charms: Each of these uncommon artifacts has a triggered ability that allows the controller pay to gain 1 life when a spell of a given color resolves — Ivory Cup, Crystal Rod, Throne of Bone, Iron Star, and Wooden Sphere.
- Mana Batteries: Uncommon artifacts with a casting cost of and the two activated abilities ", : Put a charge counter on [this]" and ", Remove any number of charge counters from [this]: Add M to your mana pool, then add an additional M to your mana pool for each charge counter removed this way," where M is a specific color of mana. — White Mana Battery, Blue Mana Battery, Black Mana Battery, Red Mana Battery, and Green Mana Battery.
- Wards: Uncommon white Auras with enchant creature that grant protection from a color — White Ward, Blue Ward, Black Ward, Red Ward and Green Ward.
Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]
4th Edition has 22 mirrored pairs.
- Ankh of Mishra and Dingus Egg are both rare artifacts that deal damage when a land enters or leaves play.
- Air Elemental and Earth Elemental are both uncommon Elementals with a mana cost of MM and a power of 4.
- Castle and Orcish Oriflamme are both uncommon enchantments that conditionally affect its owner's creature's power or toughness.
- Crusade and Bad Moon are both rare enchantments with a converted mana cost of 2 and an effect to give all creatures of its color +1/+1.
- White Knight and Black Knight are both uncommon Knights with a mana cost of MM, power/toughness of 2/2, first strike and protection from the other's color.
- Blue Elemental Blast and Red Elemental Blast are both common instants (formerly interrupts) with a mana cost of M and with a modal ability to either destroy a permanent of the other's color or counter a spell of the other's color.
- Deathgrip and Lifeforce are each uncommon enchantments with an activated ability to counter a spell of the other's color for MM.
- Earthquake and Hurricane are both sorceries that have a mana cost of M and deal damage to all non-flying or flying creatures and each player.
- Feedback and Wanderlust are both uncommon Auras that deal 1 damage to the controller of the enchanted permanent during each of their upkeeps.
- Water Elemental and Fire Elemental are both uncommon Elementals with a mana cost of 3MM and a power/toughness of 5/4.
- Holy Strength and Unholy Strength are both common Auras with enchant creature that give a mirrored bonus to the enchanted creature's power/toughness.
- Living Lands and Kormus Bell are both rare cards that turned lands of a particular type into 1/1 creatures.
- Lord of Atlantis and Goblin King are both rare Lords that give +1/+1 and landwalk of its color to its creature type.
- Manabarbs and Power Surge are both rare red enchantments that deal damage to a player based on the number of lands he or she does or does not tap.
- Mons's Goblin Raiders and Merfolk of the Pearl Trident are both 1/1 common creatures with creature types that are affected by their respective Lords (e.g. Goblin King and Lord of Atlantis).
- Serra Angel and Sengir Vampire are both uncommon 4/4 flying creatures with a mana cost of MM and a combat-related ability.
- Tsunami and Flashfires are both uncommon sorceries that have a mana cost of M and destroy lands of a particular enemy type.
- Wall of Bone and Wall of Brambles are both Walls with regeneration and a mana cost of M and a combined power/toughness of 5.
- Wall of Water and Wall of Fire are both 0/5 Walls illustrated by Richard Thomas with a silouetted figure behind a wall and the activated ability "M: [this] gets +1/+0 until end of turn."
Cards added to 4th Edition[edit | edit source]
Changes in rarity[edit | edit source]
Cards removed from Revised Edition[edit | edit source]
- The dual lands left the core set.
Misprints[edit | edit source]
- Gaea's Liege — The card name is misspelled as "Gaea's Leige" once in the text box.
- Segovian Leviathan — The quotation in the flavor text is from Job 41:1, not Job 40:25 (although it is Job 40:25 in the original Hebrew). This error was corrected in 5th Edition.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wizards of the Coast. (2004-08-02.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (February 6, 2003.) “White mana symbol”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (July 12, 2004.) “The Changing Tap Symbol”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- The Wizards Cupboard: 4th Edition alternate starter deck
- Mark Rosewater. (June 20, 2016.) “25 More Random Things About Magic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Adam Conus, Tom Wylie, Jim Lin, and Rich Redman. (August 17, 2009.) “Fourth Edition FAQ and General Rulings Summary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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