|Symbol description||Erlenmeyer flask|
|Design||Mark Rosewater (lead)|
Mike Elliott (lead)|
|Art direction||Ron Spears|
|Release date||June 7, 1999|
|Cycling from play creatures, Growing creature enchantments, Leaves play creatures, Reveal spells|
|Set size||143 (55 Common 44 Uncommon 44 Rare)|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Set details[edit | edit source]
Urza's Destiny contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 commons). Its expansion symbol is an Erlenmeyer flask, meant to symbolize Urza’s continued experiments in finding a means to defeat Phyrexia. Urza's Destiny was the first and only set after Arabian Nights which has a solo designer, Mark Rosewater. It was the first Expert-level, tournament legal set to be printed under the then-new 6th Edition rules changes; the most notable change seen on cards is the use of the word "Creature" on the type line as opposed to "Summon". In this the set was also following the footsteps of Portal Second Age.
Due to an error some boosters contain DCI and Arena promotional foils in the uncommon slot. The foil cards that appear this way are Duress, Stroke of Genius, Gaea's Cradle, Thran Quarry, Rewind, Skittering Skirge, Pouncing Jaguar, Serra Avatar, Karn Silver Golem, and Lightning Bolt.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Emperor Crocodile and in four preconstructed theme decks. The Official Urza's Destiny Game Guide is the guide to the cards in the set. It was written by Will McDermott, editor of The Duelist at the time. The set was also accompanied by Bloodlines, the final novel in the Artifacts Cycle. The prerelease card was a foil False Prophet.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
With the Weatherlight completed, Urza now works on a eugenics program to create a perfect crew for it, as well as engineering a race of soldiers to fight the Phyrexian invasion. One of his geneticists, Gatha, defects, and uses his knowledge to improve the Keldon race. Meanwhile, the Phyrexians create the plane of Rath as a staging ground for the invasion.
Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]
The "reveal" cards come in two types: creatures (Seers) and spells (Scents). When you use a Seer ability or a Scent spell, you show your opponents any number of cards of the specified color that are currently in your hand. The number of cards revealed determines the power of the effect.
Urza's Destiny also has a strong theme of graveyard effects. Many creatures and a few enchantments have special abilities that trigger when the permanent is put into a graveyard (e.g. When Aura Thief goes to the graveyard, you gain control of all enchantments).
The set also further develops the cycling theme introduced in the previous two sets with "cycling from play" creatures. These creatures, such as Brass Secretary and Yavimaya Elder, do not have cycling as a keyword, but instead have the activated ability ", sacrifice this creature: Draw a card." This ability is similar to cycling, but is used while the creature is in play rather than in your hand.
Creature types[edit | edit source]
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Barbarian, Beast, Beeble, Bird, Cleric, Crocodile, Dragon, Drake, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Griffin, Horror, Hound, Illusion, Imp, Insect, Knight, Minion, Ogre, Rat, Skeleton, Soldier, Spider, Townsfolk (later changed to Human), Wall, Wizard.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
- Growing creature enchantments: Each of these uncommon Aura enchantments gains a counter at the beginning of each of your upkeeps, making it more powerful the longer it stays in play — Archery Training, Private Research, Festering Wound, Incendiary, and Momentum. These cards were inspired by the Tempest card Legacy's Allure.
- Lobotomy spells: Each of these uncommon instants or sorceries removes a permanent of a certain type from the game, then also removes all other copies of the card in its controller's graveyard, hand, and library from the game — Scour, Quash, Eradicate, Sowing Salt, and Splinter. This cycle was based on the Tempest card Lobotomy. Each of these cards were reprinted in Betrayers of Kamigawa.
- Scents: Each of these common instants or sorceries have effects that are proportional to the number of cards of their color you reveal from your hand — Scent of Jasmine, Scent of Brine, Scent of Nightshade, Scent of Cinder, and Scent of Ivy.
- Seers: Each of these uncommon 1/1 Wizard creatures have an activated ability costing M that mimics the Scent cycle — Jasmine Seer, Brine Seer, Nightshade Seer, Cinder Seer, and Ivy Seer.
Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]
- Enchanted bonus creatures: These blue creatures gain an ability as long as they are enchanted: (in order of rarity) — Fledgling Osprey, Metathran Elite and Rayne, Academy Chancellor. Thran Golem is similar to this cycle, but is an artifact.
Mega-mega cycles[edit | edit source]
- Voices: Voice of Duty and Voice of Reason are the third and fourth card of this cycle started by Voice of Law and Voice of Grace from Urza's Saga. It would get completed in Nemesis with Voice of Truth and ultimately referenced in Planeshift with Voice of All.
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Academy Rector — Played a large part in Replenish-decks.
- Carnival of Souls — Notable as being one of the worst cards ever.
- Donate — This card and Illusions of Grandeur were integral pieces of the Trix decks.
- Elvish Piper — Became one of the games most well-known "Timmy"-cards.
- Metalworker — Produced tons of mana in the many artifact-decks of the day.
- Mask of Law and Grace — Its name and abilities are a reference to Voice of Law and Voice of Grace from Urza's Saga. It would go on to form a parrallel pair with Shield of Duty and Reason from Apocalypse.
- Masticore — A 4/4 artifact creature for with a drawback of discarding a card each upkeep is a very strong creature, especially with the ": Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature" ability.
- Opalescence — A finisher for the Replenish-deck.
- Opposition — Spawned multiple prison-decks most notably "Squirrel-prison".
- Phyrexian Negator — An essential part to many black suicide-decks.
- Plow Under — Used in green control decks.
- Powder Keg — With Nevinyrral's Disk leaving Standard after 5th Edition, this became the board-sweeper of choice.
- Replenish — Is an integral part to a combo deck with the same name.
- Treachery — Was used in many blue control decks like Draw-Go.
- Yawgmoth's Bargain — A strong variation on Necropotence
Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]
The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Urza's Destiny.
Functional reprints[edit | edit source]
Urza's Destiny has one functional reprint:
Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]
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.
- Wizards of the Coast. (April 7, 2011.) "Magic Online Urza's Destiny Release Event News", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (April 29, 2013.) "Third Time's the Charm", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast. (April 19, 2002.) "Inspired enchantments", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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