The boons are a cycle of five cards that originally appeared in the Alpha printing of Magic, each with an effect relating to the number three (3), and one in each color. In general, a "boon" is a blessing or benefit; a thing that is helpful.
List[edit | edit source]
In color wheel order by color,
Power level[edit | edit source]
The power level of the cards in this cycle varies wildly, as has R&D's willingness to reprint them. Ancestral Recall is part of the Power Nine, the most broken and monetarily expensive cards in the game, while Healing Salve and similar effects are generally considered to be unplayable.
Only two of the boons have been reprinted in a core set since Eighth Edition: Giant Growth (last printed in War of the Spark) and Lightning Bolt (last printed in Magic 2011). The latter has been replaced by Incinerate and Shock in a number of core sets. The other three cards have not been reprinted: Ancestral Recall is on the Reserved List and banned in most formats for being too powerful, Healing Salve is seen as too weak, and Dark Ritual is seen as no longer being in black's wedge of the color pie and as being too powerful.
Variations[edit | edit source]
The concept of boons has been revisited many times; most notably, in various standalone expansions, each color would get a card in a cycle that has themes reminiscent of the original Alpha boons, although there continues be debate over the relative value of these effects.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater (November 02, 2015). "Are there ever cycles in different rarities?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (May 21, 2017). "I wanted to ask trivia about the weakest of the boon cycle: Healing Salve!". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (March 22, 2019). "What would be an effect in blue that would fit with the boon cycle (3 for 1)?". Blogatog. Tumblr.