|Symbol description||The Sword of Kaldra|
Mark Rosewater (lead),|
Randy Buehler (lead),|
|Art direction||Jeremy Cranford|
|Release date||October 2, 2003|
|Themes and mechanics||Artifacts, artifact lands, and Equipment|
Affinity (for artifacts),|
(110 commons, 88 uncommons, 88 rares, 20 basic lands)
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
- 1 Set details
- 2 Themes and mechanics
- 3 Cycles
- 4 Reprinted cards
- 5 Card comparison
- 6 Notable cards
- 7 Preconstructed decks
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Starting with the Mirrodin block, WotC took 44 cards out of the large expansion and added 22 cards to each of the two small expansions. Mirrodin therefore contained 306 black-bordered cards (88 rares, 88 uncommons, 110 commons, and 20 basic lands), which is 22 rares and 22 commons less than Onslaught. Mirrodin features a heavy artifact theme. Its expansion symbol is a small image of Sword of Kaldra, a card from the set. Mirrodin introduced a new artifact subtype in Equipment with the accompanying keyword equip, representing armor, swords, and other utensils which can be attached to a creature to enhance that creature. Unlike Auras, the equipment stays on the battlefield even if the creature it's attached to dies. The set is also noted for many allusions to famous artifacts and related mechanics from previous blocks, such as Chrome Mox or Clockwork creatures. The set also featured Solemn Simulacrum, Jens Thoren's invitational card. Mirrodin was the first expansion set to feature the new card face which had debuted in Eighth Edition. The high number of artifacts revealed the inherent flaw of the new card frame: they were very hard to distinguish from white cards.
Mirrodin was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. The booster packs featured artwork from Mindslaver, Icy Manipulator and Worldslayer. The Prerelease card was a foil Sword of Kaldra. This was the first Prerelease promo card to feature alternate art and the first that wasn't a creature. The set was accompanied by a novel by Will McDermott. A */* Demon token with flying for Promise of Power and a 1/1 Pentavite token with flying for Pentavus were offered as Magic Player Reward.
Flavor and storyline
The setting for Mirrodin is a plane by the same name, an artificial world created by the planeswalker Karn, and named after the Mirari by Memnarch. Mirrodin's environments and inhabitants mix organic and metallic. Mirrodin is orbited by four satellites, which are called suns and moons interchangeably, that correspond to red, black, white and blue magic. Green was notably absent. Glissa Sunseeker, the finest hunter and perhaps the most skilled warrior of the elves, begins her story to find out why the monstrous "levelers" seek to destroy her. It is this search for answers that will begin to uncover the mysteries within Mirrodin.
Mirrodin is infamous for an imbalanced power level due to the set not restricting most of its cards to a certain color and the introduction of the affinity mechanic and artifact lands which synergized with each other. The set contained many cards which were banned or restricted in several competitive formats, such as Disciple of the Vault, the artifact land cycle, and Thirst for Knowledge.
Themes and mechanics
- Artifacts, including artifacts with colored activation costs, artifact lands, and Equipment.
- Affinity — Makes cards cheaper to cast by for each permanent controlled by its caster of a certain type specified (usually artifacts).
- Imprint — This ability found on artifacts like Chrome Mox allows you to exile a card and "imprint" attributes of that card onto the artifact, such as colors or abilities.
- Entwine — Appears on modal spells and represents an extra cost; paying that cost allows you to use both effects instead of only one, such as on Tooth and Nail.
- Equipment — An artifact subtype that has the equip keyword ability. By paying the equip cost, it becomes attached to a creature you control. If that creature leaves the battlefield, the Equipment becomes unattached and remains on the battlefield. Paying the equip cost also allows the Equipment to be moved from one creature to another.
Mirrodin introduced the race/class model and the creature type Human. Other introduced types were Drone, Myr, Rogue, Shaman, Slith, and Vedalken in this expansion. The set featured all eight major tribes from the previous Onslaught block.
The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:
Mirrodin has 11 cycles:
|Artifact lands||Ancient Den||Seat of the Synod||Vault of Whispers||Great Furnace||Tree of Tales|
|Each of these common cards, representing an important location in each of Mirrodin's different regions, counted as both artifacts and lands, and could be tapped for one mana of a given color. Each was illustrated by Rob Alexander. Artifact lands reduced the cost of spells with affinity for artifacts, and proved to be so powerful they were eventually banned in Mirrodin Block Constructed tournaments. Darksteel would later add a sixth artifact land to this cycle, Darksteel Citadel.|
|Entwine spells||Blinding Beam||Dream's Grip||Wail of the Nim||Incite War||Journey of Discovery|
|Each of these modal common spells has entwine|
|Golems||Titanium Golem||Cobalt Golem||Pewter Golem||Hematite Golem||Malachite Golem|
|Each of these common artifact creatures has a color-specific ability. Each was illustrated by Paolo Parente.|
|Mana Myr||Gold Myr||Silver Myr||Leaden Myr||Iron Myr||Copper Myr|
|Each of these common Myr artifact creatures costs to cast and has an ability in which they produce colored mana. They represent different areas of Mirrodin and the mana they produce is appropriately colored to match their environment. Each is illustrated by Kev Walker.|
|Rare color artifacts||Leonin Sun Standard||Proteus Staff||Altar of Shadows||Bosh, Iron Golem||Tangleroot|
|Each of these rare artifacts is tied to one of the five colors.|
|Replicas||Soldier Replica||Wizard Replica||Nim Replica||Goblin Replica||Elf Replica|
|Each of these common artifact creatures costs and has an ability with the cost of being sacrificed and a certain amount of partially colored mana, and an effect, which is typical for the mana used. Each of them has a creature type from the tribes of the Onslaught block. They were each illustrated by Carl Critchlow.|
|Shards||Pearl Shard||Crystal Shard||Skeleton Shard||Granite Shard||Heartwood Shard|
|Each of these uncommon artifacts costs and has an activated ability which cost or one mana of a given color to activate, and produce different color-oriented effects. Each represents a piece of another world found by each of Mirrodin's races. They were each illustrated by Doug Chaffee.|
|Sliths||Slith Ascendant||Slith Strider||Slith Bloodletter||Slith Firewalker||Slith Predator|
|Each of these uncommon 1/1 Slith creatures has a mana cost containing two colored mana of the same type and the ability "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it". They were each illustrated by Justin Sweet.|
|Spellbombs||Sunbeam Spellbomb||Æther Spellbomb||Necrogen Spellbomb||Pyrite Spellbomb||Lifespark Spellbomb|
|Each of these common artifacts costs and has two activated abilities which require to sacrifice them. One is the same for each of them: ", Sacrifice this: Draw a card". They were each illustrated by Jim Nelson.|
|Talismans||Talisman of Progress||Talisman of Dominance||Talisman of Indulgence||Talisman of Impulse||Talisman of Unity|
|Each of these uncommon artifacts costs to cast. Each had the same abilities as an allied-color pain land. Each was illustrated by Mike Dringenberg.|
|Kaldra Equipment||Sword of Kaldra (Mirrodin)||Shield of Kaldra (Darksteel)||Helm of Kaldra (Fifth Dawn)|
|Each expansion symbol in the Mirrodin block is represented in the Kaldra artifacts.|
|Towers||Tower of Eons (Mirrodin)||Tower of Fortunes (Mirrodin)||Tower of Murmurs (Mirrodin)||Tower of Calamities (Scars of Mirrodin)||Tower of Champions (Mirrodin)|
|Each of these rare artifacts costs to cast and have an ", :" ability. Each of these artifacts are affiliated with a certain color; green, white, blue, and black, respectively. Scars of Mirrodin would later add a fifth card to this cycle to represent a red affiliation: Tower of Calamities.|
- Annul was first printed in Urza's Saga. In Mirrodin its focus reversed, with countering artifacts becoming the primary value, with countering enchantments as a side benefit.
- Arrest was last seen in Mercadian Masques. It changed rarity from uncommon to common. It's the only reprint not to mention artifacts.
- Atog was first printed in Antiquities and last seen in 5th Edition.
- Bottle Gnomes was first printed in Tempest.
- Brown Ouphe was first printed in Ice Age. The reason for its reprinting was because of "interesting interactions in a set full of artifacts."
- Cathodion was first printed in Urza's Saga.
- Chromatic Sphere was first printed in Invasion.
- Creeping Mold was first printed in Visions and last seen in Kaladesh.
- Detonate was first printed in Antiquities and last seen in 5th Edition. Detonate had a new role in Mirrodin block: destroying artifact lands for just .
- Dragon Blood was first printed in Urza's Saga.
- Icy Manipulator was first printed in Alpha and last seen in Ice Age. Along with Chrome Mox and Gilded Lotus, Icy Manipulator provided a "Greatest Artifact Hits of Magic" feel.
- Ornithopter was first printed in Antiquities and last seen in Aether Revolt
- Shatter was first printed in Alpha and last seen in Eighth Edition.
- Stalking Stones was first printed in Tempest.
- Terror was first printed in Alpha and last seen in Beatdown.
- Triskelion was first printed in Antiquities and last seen in Fourth Edition.
- Yotian Soldier was first printed in Antiquities and last seen in Fourth Edition.
Mirrodin has four functional reprints:
- Dross Prowler is a functional reprint of Razortooth Rats from Weatherlight, save for creature type.
- Lumengrid Warden is a functional reprint of Straw Soldiers from Portal Three Kingdoms and Talas Merchant from Portal Second Age, save for creature types.
- Neurok Spy is a functional reprint of Bouncing Beebles from Urza's Saga, save for creature type.
- Viridian Shaman is a functional reprint of Uktabi Orangutan from Visions, save for creature type.
- Mass Hysteria is the colorshifted version of Concordant Crossroads- except that Concordant Crossroads is a World Enchantment - from Legends.
- Rule of Law is the colorshifted version of Arcane Laboratory last seen in Seventh Edition.
- Lumengrid Warden is an upgrade of Vodalian Soldiers, with an additional point of toughness.
- Predator's Strike is an upgrade of Fanatical Fever, granting an additional toughness boost and at half the cost.
- Tel-Jilad Chosen is an upgrade of Argothian Pixies from Antiquities. The former specifically says it has "Protection from Artifacts", the latter has almost full protection but not quite.
- Chimney Imp — Arguably one of the worst creatures ever printed.
- Mindslaver — Rules had to be added to the Comprehensive Rules for controlling another player's turn due to this card's effect.
- Chalice of the Void — A staple of Legacy prison decks.
- Disciple of the Vault — A staple of Standard and Legacy affinity decks; this card rapidly decreases the opponent's life total when used correctly.
- Platinum Angel — It had good synergies with cards like Shield of Kaldra.
- Reiver Demon — Great for mass removal and as a finisher, even if the meta was full of artifacts
- Helm of Kaldra — First instance of a card referring to a card that had not been released yet (the other two parts of the Kaldra mega-cycle).
Mirrodin has two monocolored and two bicolored theme decks.
|Bait and Bludgeon||U||B|
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