Oath of the Gatewatch

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Oath of the Gatewatch
OGW Logo.png
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
Hedrons or the blades floating above Kozilek's head
Design team
Ethan Fleischer (lead)
Graeme Hopkins
Ari Levitch
Ken Nagle
Adam Prosak
Mark Rosewater
Development team
Ian Duke (lead)
Dave Humpherys
Jackie Lee
Adam Prosak
Gavin Verhey
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
January 22, 2016
Themes and mechanics
Colorless matters, teaming up, planeswalker matters.
Keywords and/or ability words
Cohort, Devoid, Landfall, Support, Surge
Set size
184 + 2
70 commons, 60 uncommons, 42 rares, 12 mythics + 2 regular art Wastes
Expansion code
OGW[1][2]
Development codename
Sweat
Battle for Zendikar block sets
Battle for Zendikar Oath of the Gatewatch (none)
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Legendary Cube Oath of the Gatewatch Duel Decks: Blessed vs. Cursed

Oath of the Gatewatch is the 69th Magic expansion, and the second and last in the Battle for Zendikar block. It was released in January 22, 2016.[3][4] Oath of the Gatewatch is a small expansion. [5]

Set details[edit | edit source]

Oath of the Gatewatch contains 184 cards, but there are only 183 functionally different cards. However, because of the full-art and regular versions of the Wastes (twice), collectors view this as a 186 card set. Small sets are now enlarged to facilitate the new draft structure (2 boosters of the second set / 1 of the first set).[6][7][8] The set includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. The expansion symbol of the set seems to be a stylized representation of Kozilek's brood, but it also has similarities with hedrons, usual for Zendikar sets. The set features two Planeswalker cards Chandra, Flamecaller and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar.[9]

Oath of the Gatewatch is all about teamwork. It's designed to support Two-Headed Giant better than most any set in Magic history.[10] The name Fall of the Eldrazi was considered for Oath of the Gatewatch.[11]

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Four planeswalkers (Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar and Nissa Revane) join forces in their battle against the Eldrazi titans Ulamog and Kozilek and the demonic planeswalker Ob Nixilis. They become the Gatewatch, a team with a lasting commitment to protect the people of the Multiverse from threats that no one else can handle. The six cards that represent the pivotal moments in the storyline are: Kozilek's Return, Remorseless Punishment, Call the Gatewatch, Bonds of Mortality, Fall of the Titans and Zendikar Resurgent. [12][13]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

The colorless mana symbol

Oath of the Gatewatch is sold in 16-card boosters (the 16th card being a marketing card), five intro packs and a fat pack.[14] The series of clash packs is discontinued. This is the first small set to feature four different pieces of art on the boosters. These depict the four members of the Gatewatch as featured on the partial Oath-cycle: Gideon, Jace, Chandra and Nissa.[15]

The set features the full-art lands from Battle for Zendikar (complete with the original expansion symbol).[16] The Oath of the Gatewatch fat packs also have full art basic lands. Like the other non-full-art basics, non-full-art Wastes are featured in the intro packs.[17]

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.[18] 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. 25 Expedition cards appeared with Battle for Zendikar (the 5 new battle lands, 10 shock lands and 10 fetch lands[19]) and 20 more cards in Oath of the Gatewatch (10 filter lands and 10 assorted lands with resonant flavor for Zendikar[20]).

Prerelease[edit | edit source]

OGW Prerelease pack

Two-Headed Giant was central to the prerelease experience.[21] Prerelease events took place on January 16–17, 2016. The Prerelease format was be Sealed (4 Oath of the Gatewatch/2 Battle for Zendikar). Each pair of players received two prerelease packs that they could use after the event as a take-home deck box. Inside each Prerelease box, there are four Oath of the Gatewatch booster packs and two Battle for Zendikar booster packs, a spindown life counter, and a randomized, date-stamped premium promo card, drawn from any rare or mythic rare in the set.

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Tokens[edit | edit source]

  1. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion for Abstruse Interference, Birthing Hulk, Scion Summoner, Sifter of Skulls, Vile Redeemer, and Warping Wail[23]
  2. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion
  3. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion
  4. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion reprint from Battle for Zendikar with {C}
  5. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion reprint from Battle for Zendikar with {C}
  6. {C} 1/1 Eldrazi Scion reprint from Battle for Zendikar with {C}
  7. {W} 3/3 Angel with Flying for Linvala, the Preserver
  8. {B} 2/2 Zombie for Drana's Chosen, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Null Caller
  9. {R} 3/1 Elemental with Haste for Chandra, Flamecaller (The token card has no Haste keyword however.)
  10. {G} X/X Elemental for Seed Guardian
  11. {G} 0/1 Plant for Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

The following named tokens were released with Battle for Zendikar:

  1. {W} 2/2 Knight Ally for Allied Reinforcements
  2. {W} 1/1 Kor Ally for Captain's Claws and Oath of Gideon
  3. {U} 8/8 Octopus for Crush of Tentacles

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

Wastes (left produced by Kozilek, right by Ulamog)

The set introduces the colorless mana symbol {C}. It is used for cards that depict Kozilek's brood lineage of Eldrazi.[24][25] With Wastes, the set also introduces the first typeless basic lands.[26] Wastes are twice as common as a normal common in boosters.[27] The colorless mana symbol is found, together with generic mana symbols, in the mana cost of some spells, such as Eldrazi Mimic (unlike generic mana costs, it cannot be paid with colored mana), and also replaces numbered colorless mana symbols such as {1} in abilities that produce mana in Oracle text for all cards (for example, Ashnod's Altar now produces {C}{C} rather than {2}).

There are three new named mechanics:[28]

To express the theme of "Planeswalkers forming a team" with game mechanics, R&D also created cards that encourage the player to use multiple planeswalker cards.[29]

Landfall is reused, but in a very minor capacity. It only appears on Embodiment of Fury and Embodiment of Insight, originally envisioned as a cycle. Likewise, white and blue each have an uncommon creature (Wall of Resurgence, Cyclone Sire) that essentially has the awaken mechanic. Technically the mechanic only works on instants and sorceries, so it had to be spelled out in the rules text. [30]

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Oath of the Gatewatch has three complete cycles and two partial cycles:

Mega cycle[edit | edit source]

Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

Common to Uncommon[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

The allied color taplands are functional reprints of the taplands which appeared in Invasion and were reprinted in 8th Edition. The reason behind this was that the original cycle mentions locations in Dominaria, and the more generic name meant that these cards could be reprinted in any set.[37]

Using different subtypes

Card comparisons[edit | edit source]

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Oath of the Gatewatch has five intro packs.[14][38] There are no clash packs or event decks.

Intro pack name Colors included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Desperate Stand W B Munda's Vanguard
Twisted Reality U Deepfathom Skulker
Vicious Cycle B G Dread Defiler
Surge of Resistance U R Tyrant of Valakut
Concerted Effort W G Gladehart Cavalry

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Modern Eldrazi Decks[edit | edit source]

Thought-Knot Seer, Eldrazi Displacer, World Breaker, Eldrazi Mimic, Matter Reshaper, Endless One and Reality Smasher are seven powerful cards with the Eldrazi creature type. Combined with previous cards from Battle for Zendikar (Eldrazi Skyspawner, Drowner of Hope, Eldrazi Obligator and Wasteland Strangler) as well as the two Eldrazi tribal lands (Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple) these cards created were the foundation for a strong deck archetype. This archetype dominated the Modern metagame at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch and led to the event known as "Eldrazi Winter" which ended with the ban of the Eye of Ugin.

Even with Eye of Ugin's ban, the majority of these cards are still played in the Tier 1 modern deck: Bant Eldrazi and the original Colourless/Mono-Black Eldrazi deck continues to provide strong results in the Legacy format due to the legality and availability of various colorless mana cards such as City of Traitors, Mishra's Factory, and Ancient Tomb in addition to Eye of Ugin not being banned.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Printed on the card frame.
  2. http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/oath-gatewatch-info
  3. Wizards of the Coast. (September 1, 2015.) “Announcing Oath of the Gatewatch”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Michael Yichao. (January 7, 2016.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Approaches!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Matt Tabak. (January 13, 2016.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Release Notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (September 02, 2015.) "What are reasons behind changing the Draft format?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  7. Sam Stoddard. (December 4, 2015.) “Double Small-Set Drafting”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (September 07, 2015.) "Is 184 the new default size of small sets?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (December 5, 2015.) "What decided which plaeswalkers got cards in BFZ?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  10. Sam Stoddard. (January 15, 2016 .) “Developing for Friends”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater. (February 23, 2016.) "Was the lost third set called Fall of the Eldrazi?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  12. The Magic Creative Team. (January 27, 2016.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Story Events”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. The Magic Creative Team. (March 2, 2016.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Story Summary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. a b Blake Rasmussen. (December 28, 2015 .) “The Packaging of Oath of the Gatewatch”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Blake Rasmussen. (December 10, 2015.) “Best of 2015 and Holiday Treats”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Mark Rosewater. (October 14, 2015.) "Will Oath of the Gatewatch also have full art basic lands?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  17. Mark Rosewater. (December 28, 2015.) "Non-full-art Wastes will be in the intro packs.", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  18. Dan Barrett. (August 26, 2015.) “Battle for Zendikar: Your First Look”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Blake Rasmussen. (September 17, 2015.) “All the Expeditions (first batch)”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Blake Rasmussen. (December 24, 2015.) “Never a Wasted Holiday”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Gavin Verhey. (January 12, 2016.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Prerelease Primer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Blake Rasmussen. (December 29, 2015.) “The Promos of Oath of the Gatewatch”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Blake Rasmussen. (January 11, 2016.) “The Jan. 11, 2016 Update”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater. (December 28, 2015 .) “A Solemn Oath, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Sam Stoddard. (January 8, 2016.) “Getting Colorless to Work”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Take a look at the other Wastes you'll find in #MTGOGW!
  27. Mark Rosewater. (December 25, 2015.) "Will Wastes occupy the basic land slot or a common slot in OGW boosters?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  28. Matt Tabak. (December 28, 2015.) “Oath of the Gatewatch Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Ethan Fleischer. (December 28, 2015.) “A First Time for Everything”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Mark Rosewater. (February 1, 2016.) “Odds and Ends: Oath of the Gatewatch, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater. (January 4, 2016.) “A Solemn Oath, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Jacob Van Lunen. (December 31, 2015.) “Oath of Jace”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Ian Duke. (January 5, 2016.) “Developing Oath of the Gatewatch”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Brian David-Marshall. (January 1, 2016.) “Oath of Nissa”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater. (December 31, 2015.) “Gatewatch Me Work, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Mark Rosewater. (February 8, 2016.) “Odds and Ends: Oath of the Gatewatch, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Blake Rasmussen. (January 4, 2016.) “You can't always go hame”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Blake Rasmussen. (January 13, 2016.) “The January 13, 2016 Update”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Adam Styborski. (December 31, 2015.) “Allied Command(er)”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Chas Andres. (January 5, 2016.) “Fall of the Titans”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  41. Bruce Richard. (January 5, 2016.) “Hedron Alignment”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  42. Mark Rosewater. (January 17, 2016.) "Hedron Alignment is my favourite card from Oath!", Blogatog, Tumblr.