Beverly Marshall Saling
|August 8, 1994|
Themes and mechanics
|Tribal, first mood-based theme, graveyard as resource, exile, poison counters|
Keywords and/or ability words
|119 (40 Common 1 Uncommon 78 Rare)|
|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.
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. 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: Ball Lightning (later changed to Elemental), Bandit (later changed to Human Rogue), Banshee (later changed to Spirit), Brother (later changed to Human Shaman), Cave People (later changed to Human), Eater (later changed to Horror), Eel (later changed to Fish), Exorcist (later changed to Human Cleric), Fallen (later changed to Zombie), General (later changed to Orc Warrior), Hunter (later changed to Human Cleric), Leech, Lurker, Miracle Worker (later changed to Human Cleric), Mob (later changed to Human), Murk Dwellers (later changed to Zombie), Nameless-Race, Niall Silvain (later changed to Ouphe), People of the Woods (later changed to Human), Pikemen (later changed to Human Soldier), Preacher (later changed to Human Cleric), Rag Man (later changed to Minion), Robber (later changed to Human Rogue), Rock Sled (later changed to Goblin), Scavenger Folk (later changed to just Scavenger then Human), Shark (later changed to Fish), Sister (later changed to Human Shaman), Squire (later changed to Human Soldier), Tracker (later changed to Human), Uncle Istvan (later changed to Human), Viper (later changed to Snake), and Whippoorwill (later changed to Bird).
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.
Mirorred pair[edit | edit source]
- Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust not only have names related names to the Book of Common Prayer, but are both uncommon sorceries with a mana cost of 1MM that exile two permanents of a certain type.
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Ball Lightning is a favorite red creature. It inspired many hasty disposable creatures, including Skizzik, Blistering Firecat, Spark Elemental and Lightning Serpent. Before receiving errata, Ball Lightning only had to be sacrificed "at the end of the turn during which it was summoned" instead of at the end of any turn, allowing some loopholes around its intended impermanence before errata was issued to fix it.
- Maze of Ith is a powerful land with a reusable single-creature Fog effect that slowed many games down significantly.
- Tormod's Crypt is one of the best sideboard cards against decks that use the graveyard as a resource.
- Blood Moon is a Modern sideboard staple first printed in The Dark.
Functional reprints[edit | edit source]
The Dark has one functional reprint:
- Goblin Hero is a functional reprint of Gray Ogre from Revised and Raging Bull from Legends, save for creature type.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Many cards in this set blatantly conflict today's ideas of a color pie. Erosion is blue land destruction. Fire and Brimstone is white direct damage. Fissure is red targeted creature destruction. Holy Light is white toughness reduction. Mana Vortex is blue mass land destruction. Merfolk Assassin offers blue repeatable creature destruction. Mind Bomb is blue direct damage or discard. Preacher offers white repeatable creature control. Witch Hunter is both white direct damage and repeatable bounce. Word of Binding is black creature tapping.
- 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.
- 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]
- Wizards of the Coast. (August 02, 2004.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) “Ask Wizards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 11, 2002.) “Dark Goblins”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]
- Official The Dark Information Product Page — Magic: The Gathering (old)
- Official The Dark Information Product Page (new)
- The Dark checklist