The Dark

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The Dark
TheDark Logo.jpg
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Crescent Moon
Design Jesper Myrfors
Steve Bishop
Glenn Elliott
Beverly Marshall Saling
Development Skaff Elias
Jim Lin
Chris Page
Dave Pettey
Art direction Sandra Everingham
Release date August 8, 1994
Plane Dominaria (Terisiare)
Themes and
mechanics
Tribal, first mood-based theme, graveyard as resource, exile, poison counters
Set size 119 (40 Common 1 Uncommon 78 Rare)
Expansion code DRK[1]
Non-block expansions
Legends The Dark Fallen Empires
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Legends The Dark Fallen Empires

The Dark is the fourth Magic expansion and was released on August 8, 1994. It is not considered to be part of any block.

The Dark booster

Set details[edit | edit source]

The Dark was printed on sheets of 121 cards and contains 119 unique cards total. The set's rarity breakdown is: 40 commons (40@C3), 1 Uncommon (1@C1), 78 Rares (35@U1, 43@U2). The Dark includes a goblin tribal theme, powerful abilities with intense colored mana and upkeep costs, and the return of Poison counters. The expansion symbol of the set is a thin crescent moon to evoke The Dark’s tone.[2] The Dark introduced the first multicolored noncreature card, the first common multicolored card, and the first enemy-pair multicolored card.

The Dark lands have a unique dark grey-purple colored text box, which was reprinted on the Chronicles version of Safe Haven.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

The Dark was sold in eight-card packs which included six commons and two uncommons. Cards were available from mid August 1994 through mid November 1994. The print run was announced by Wizards to be 62 million cards. The Dark was the first Magic expansion that was released in the Italian language (the Italian Legends was released later).

Storyline[edit | edit source]

The climax of the Brothers' War was the Sylex Blast, which lofted debris into the air blotting out the sun and creating The Dark. Without the sun the climate begins to cool, and an anti-magic religion comes to power, blaming the Sylex blast and its effects on all magic and its users. Persecution of these magic using wizards led to the creation of the fabled City of Shadows in the east and the Conclave of Mages in the west, where they hid themselves during this time.

Creature types[edit | edit source]

The Dark greatly expanded the concept of a "tribe," or a specific creature type (briefly touched upon in Legends with the kobold creature type). It contains six goblins, a card named "Goblin Rock Sled," two creatures with abilities that reference goblins, two Auras that can give a bonus to goblins, and a sorcery to destroy all goblins — Tivadar's Crusade. Despite this creature-type theme, most of the rest of the set used unusual, creature-specific creature types like other early expansions.

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion:

Original summon type Later creature type
Bandit later changed to Human Rogue
Brother later changed to Human Shaman
Cave People later changed to Human
Exorcist later changed to Human Cleric
Hunter later changed to Human Cleric
Miracle Worker later changed to Human Cleric
Mob later changed to Human
People of the Woods later changed to Human
Pikemen later changed to Human Soldier
Preacher later changed to Human Cleric
Robber later changed to Human Rogue
Scavenger Folk later changed to just Scavenger, then Human
Sister later changed to Human Shaman
Squire later changed to Human Soldier
Tracker later changed to Human
Uncle Istvan later changed to Human
Leech (Unchanged)
Lurker (Unchanged)
Nameless-Race (No creature type)
Whippoorwill later changed to Bird
Ball Lightning later changed to Elemental
Eel later changed to Fish
Shark later changed to Fish
Rock Sled later changed to Goblin
Eater later changed to Horror
Rag Man later changed to Minion
General later changed to Orc Warrior
Niall Silvain later changed to Ouphe
Viper later changed to Snake
Banshee later changed to Spirit
Fallen later changed to Zombie
Murk Dwellers later changed to Zombie

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Drake, Elf, Goblin, Hag, Imp, Knight, Leviathan, Merfolk, Monster, Rat, Ship (later changed to Spirit), Slug, Treefolk, Wall, Wizard, Wurm and Zombie.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

The Dark has no cycles.

The recurring cycle of color hosers is broken. Some green and blue cards support black and red, instead of hosing them. Metaphorically, in the Dark, White was abandoned by its allies Green and Blue.

Color hosers
White Black
Angry Mob (P/T depend on opponent's black) Nameless Race (P/T depend on opponent's white)
Exorcist (destroy black creatures) Inquisition (damage depending on opponent's white)
White Red
Tivadar's Crusade (destroy Goblins)
Knights of Thorn (protection from red)
Goblin Wizard (put Goblins into play,
give protection from white)
"Traitor colors"
Green for Black Blue for Red
Elves of Deep Shadow (black mana source)
Wormwood Treefolk (ability activated by black mana)
Dark Heart of the Wood (polychrome black/green card)
Electric Eel (ability activated by red mana)
Coal Golem (artifact; red mana source)

In later expansions, there will be cycles of allied colors cards. In the Dark, this cycle is broken. As stated above, White is betrayed by its Green and Blue allies.

Allied colors
Green & Red Red & Black Black & Blue
Scarwood Goblins (polychrome green/red card) Marsh Goblins (polychrome red/black card) Drowned (blue card, ability activated by black mana)

Mirorred pair[edit | edit source]

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

The Dark has one functional reprint:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Dark/Trivia
  • Although the multicolored cards in the Legends expansion did not, the three multicolored cards in The Dark have reminder text to remind the player that the card counts as two colors.[3]
  • Only one of the four lands printed in The Dark produces mana.

Misprints[edit | edit source]

The artist Dennis Detwiller is incorrectly credited as Denise Detwiler on the following cards:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. (August 02, 2004.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) “Ask Wizards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (October 11, 2002.) “Dark Goblins”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]

Promotional Content