Mirage

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Mirage
MIR logo.png
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
palm tree
Design team
Bill Rose (lead)
Charlie Cantina
Don Felice
Howard Kahlenberg
Joel Mick
Development team
Bill Rose (lead)
Mike Elliott
William Jockusch
Mark Rosewater
Art Director
Sue-Ann Harkey
Release date
October 8, 1996[1]
Themes and mechanics
Flanking, Phasing, Substance
Keywords and/or ability words
Set size
350 (110 Common 110 Uncommon 110 Rare 20 Land)
Expansion code
MIR[2]
Development codename
Sosumi
Mirage block sets
Mirage Visions Weatherlight
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Rivals Quick Start Set Mirage Introductory Two-Player Set

Mirage is the ninth Magic expansion and was released in October 1996 as the first set in the Mirage block.

Mirage booster

Set details[edit | edit source]

The set's rarity break down was 110 commons, 110 uncommons, 110 rares, and 20 basic lands. This expansion introduced Fifth Edition rules (5th Edition was released in March 1997). Mirage's expansion symbol is a palm tree, to symbolize the tropical aspects of Jamuraa. [3]

Mirage non-basic lands have a dull green text box, which it shares with Visions non-monocolor lands.

Design & development[edit | edit source]

The development of Mirage began with a group of playtesters, including Bill Rose, who independently created their own cards and mixed them in with the Alpha cards from 1992 through 1995. The set, which they initially called "the Menagerie", evolved over the years until it was finalized in October 1995. The African setting was devised by Sue Ann Harkey after the cards had been designed. [4] [5] Mirage was one of the first sets that was developed for Sealed Deck play. [6]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Mirage was released on November, 1 1996. The print run is estimated at 400 million cards. The cards were sold in 60-card starter decks and 15-card boosters. Each booster box contained 36 sealed packs, each starter box contained 12 starter decks. Each booster contained 15 cards: 11 commons, 3 uncommons, and 1 rare. [7] Mirage had two significant different printings: one dark print with a rough finish, and one light print with a smooth finish. The dark Mirage was printed in US, the light one in Belgium at Carta Mundi. [8]

This expansion began the first official block set with one large expansion being followed by two smaller expansions all tied together through card mechanics and setting. This model became the standard for the concept of "block rotation". Mirage introduced some changes to make the cards easier to read (including a slightly expanded text box and border, more visible power/toughness numbers) and reminder text.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Mirage stands apart from the rest of Magic for its tropical African-themed setting, outlining the three nations of Femeref, Zhalfir, and Suq'Ata. [9] The storyline begins with the disappearance of the planeswalker Teferi (who would later play a crucial role in the Weatherlight Saga and the Time Spiral block) and the three powerful spellcasters — Mangara, Jolrael, and Kaervek — who come looking for him, setting off the events that would lead to the Mirage War.

Magic Online[edit | edit source]

Mirage was retro-actively released on Magic Online on December 5, 2005. Release events began on December 7, 2005. [10]

Mechanics and themes[edit | edit source]

Mirage introduces the mechanics Flanking (a combat ability that gives blockers -1/-1 until end of turn) and Phasing (a confusing 'removed from play/Phased out' ability). [11] Flanking was frequently used to make 2/2 creatures for three mana worthwhile. Phasing was most often used as a drawback in this set, but it is now infamous for the complex rulings it inspired, especially when combined with comes-into-play effects that started appearing on many creatures in Visions.

Mirage included a large number of creatures with the Knight creature type, all with flanking and an activated ability, such as Cadaverous Knight and Teferi's Honor Guard. The set also included more multicolor cards than any set between Legends and Invasion, and the first enemy color cards for all pairs except black/green (which had received Dark Heart of the Wood in The Dark expansion).

Creature types[edit | edit source]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Ancestor (later changed to Cleric), Archer, Brushwagg, Cyclops, Efreet, Griffin, Hyena, Mantis (later changed to Insect), Martyr (later changed to Cleric), Meerkat (later changed to Mongoose), Minion, Nature Spirit (later changed to Elemental), Pirate, Rhino, Scout, Wildcat (later changed to Cat), Viashino, Wyvern (later changed to Drake),

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Atog,Basilisk, Centaur, Cleric, Cobra (later changed to Snake), Crocodile, Dragon, Dryad, Dwarf, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Faerie, Ghost (later changed to Spirit), Goblin, Guardian (later changed to Gargoyle), Griffin, Imp, Knight, Lion (later changed to Cat), Manticore, Merfolk, Minotaur, Nightstalker, Rat, Roc (later changed to Bird), Salamander, Serpent, Shade, Soldier, Specter, Spirit, Swarm (later changed to Insect), Tiger (later changed to Cat), Troll, Unicorn, Vampire, Wall, Wizard, Wraith, Wurm, Zombie.

Certain Mirage cards had additional creature types in Italian, Spanish, and German. Shauku, Endbringer counted as a vampire, Sidar Jabari as a knight. For the official version, this situation got cleared up by successive Oracle announcements and Grand Creature Type Updates. [12]

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Mirage has nine cycles:

Mirrored pair[edit | edit source]

Mirage has one mirrored pair:

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

Mirage advertisement.jpg

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Mirage.

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

  • Cadaverous Bloom — This card allowed a player to generate large amounts of mana, frequently used in conjunction with Drain Life and famously as a part of the Prosperous Bloom combo.
  • Celestial Dawn — Nicknamed "bleach" by players, this enchantment made a muticolored deck into monochrome white. Counterspells, direct damage, and all the other color specialities are then available to the white player.
  • Grinning Totem — Taking the Jester's Cap concept one step further, the Totem not only lets you look through your opponent's library and remove a card, but then, adding injury to insult, allows you to play that card as if it were in your own hand, possibly turning your opponent's most powerful spell against them.
  • Hammer of Bogardan — Before the Hammer, decks based on direct damage tended to run into late-game problems of plenty of mana but no spells to spend it on. Enter the Hammer, an infinitely-reusable damage spell.
  • Maro — This card was named after designer Mark Rosewater and quickly became a favorite for green creature-based decks. [14] Its concept would be revisited with Multani, Maro-Sorcerer in Urza's Legacy and Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer in Invasion. In 2005's Saviors of Kamigawa, a rare cycle of creatures based on hand size were printed with "Maro" in their names, such as Kagemaro, First to Suffer.
  • Political Trickery — This card is a weapon for blue counter / control decks against specialized lands.
  • Teeka's Dragon — Based on the artificial dragon made by a character named Teeka in the short story “Better Mousetrap” from the anthology called Distant Planes.
  • Tombstone Stairwell — This card inspired new deck types, this Enchant World makes the 1/1 creatures typical of a weenie deck more valuable in the graveyard than out. Decks built around the Stairwell are designed to swarm the opponent: first with regular creatures, and then, once the graveyard is nicely stocked, with Tombstone Zombies.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond — Though originally considered to be of little competitive use, this 'fixed' Mox-like mana producer became well known in the modern Legacy environment, due partly to its interaction with Infernal Tutor, which can be cast and responded to with the activation of LED. It sees play in combo decks such as Dredge and Ad Nauseum Tendrils, and is currently the most valuable card in the set.

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

The Mirage block theme decks were designed for MTGO, as these expansion sets were printed before theme decks were first printed in the Tempest block.

The pre-constructed theme decks are:

Theme deck name Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Burning Sky U R
Jungle Jam W R G
Night Terrors B
Ride Like the Wind W R

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://octgn.blogspot.de/2005/12/alpha-thru-ravnica-patch.html
  2. Wizards of the Coast. (2004-08-02.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  4. Bill Rose. (April 18, 2003.) "A Three-Year Mirage", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  5. Mark Rosewater. (April 14, 2003.) “Jamuraa, the Merrier”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mike Elliott. (April 18, 2003.) "Dawn of Development", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  7. Crystal Keep
  8. Magic Librarities (Mar 05, 2008) Question about different Mirage printings
  9. The Story of Jamuraa
  10. John Liu. (December 05, 2005.) "Mirage – A New Era for Magic Online", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  11. Brady Dommermuth. (June 01, 2009.) "Mechanically Inclined", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  12. Magic Arcana. (November 12, 2008.) "Shauku and Sidar", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  13. Magic Arcana. (April 18, 2003.) "Something old, something new", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  14. Mark Rosewater. ( December 02, 2002.) "There's Always Two Maro", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]

External links[edit | edit source]