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For the cosmological phenomenon, see Shard of the Twelve Worlds.

A shard, or arc, is a series of three colors in an unbroken chain on the color pie.[1] The middle color in a shard is its primary color, allied to both of the shard's other colors.


Prior to the official naming, Invasion block was the first multicoloured set with some three-coloured themes. Invasion and Planeshift were headlined by shard-colored Dragons as a reward for stretching the allied-colour drafting. There were three cycles with the dragon's names, with four other cycles with [word]-Scape (Sun, Storm, Night, Thunder and Thorn) as a name for the shards. These names did not stick, and three-colour spells were not developed further for many years.

The official term "shards" was established in the 2008 expansion Shards of Alara.[2] It depicts the plane of Alara divided into five shards, each having only three of the five colors of mana. Each shard has its own flavor and gameplay mechanic related to its place in the color pie.[3]


Bant ({G}{W}{U}) features the Exalted keyword. Primary color is white.


Esper ({W}{U}{B}) features a colored artifacts theme. Primary color is blue.


Grixis ({U}{B}{R}) features the Unearth keyword. Primary color is black.


Jund ({B}{R}{G}) features the Devour keyword. Primary color is red.


Naya ({R}{G}{W}) features a 5-power matters theme. Primary color is green.


  1. Mark Rosewater (2011 November 06). "On Wedge". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (2016 November 7). "A Few More Words from R&D". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (2008 September 08). "Between a Rock and a Shard Place". Wizards of the Coast.