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Zendikar Rising

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Zendikar Rising
ZNR logo.png
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description a skyclave
Design Mark Rosewater (lead)
Andrew Veen
Erik Lauer
Tom Ross
George Fan
Mark Heggen
Development Erik Lauer (co-lead)[1]
Andrew Brown (co-lead)
Melissa DeTora
Ian Duke
Michael Majors
Jules Robins
Jiachen Tao
Reggie Valk
Art direction Keven Smith
Release date September 25, 2020
Themes and mechanics Lands, class tribal, Party, modal double-faced cards, two-brid mana, ETB-attach Equipment
Keywords/​ability words Kicker, Landfall
Set size 280 cards
(101 commons, 80 uncommons, 64 rares, 20 mythic rares, 15 basic lands)
+9 borderless cards
+24 showcase cards
+66 extended art cards
+5 regular frame lands
+1 Buy-a-Box promo
+1 Bundle promo
+5 dark-frame promos
Expansion code ZNR[2]
Development codename Diving
Forgotten Realms Standard
Zendikar Rising Kaldheim Strixhaven: School of Mages
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Secret Lair Drop Series: April Fools Zendikar Rising Zendikar Rising
Expeditions
Expansion symbol

Zendikar Rising is the 85th Magic expansion. It was released on September 25, 2020.[3][4][5][6]

Set details[edit | edit source]

“  Adventure Awaits  ”

As Mark Rosewater announced "we return to a Zendikar without Eldrazi and revisit the adventure world players fell in love with."[7] It is a "land set" in the sense of the sets of the first Zendikar block, and all about adventure, exploration and reward.

Zendikar Rising contains 280 regular cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 64 rares, 20 mythic rares, 15 basic lands) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. Cards with alternate card frames have another card number than the original version. Like all previous Zendikar sets, Zendikar Rising features full-art basic lands (#266-280).[8] Borderless planeswalkers are numbered #281-283, borderless pathways are #284-289, showcase cards are numbered #290-313, extended artwork cards are numbered #314-379, and regular frame lands are numbered #380-384. The (non-exclusive)[9] Buy-a-Box is #385, and the Bundle promo is numbered #386. Finally there are the FNM-treatment cards from the Universal promo pack numbered #387-391. Both regular and foil versions of the cards above #280 may be found in the Collector Boosters.

The Showcase cards are connected to Landfall mechanic. The card frame is themed around Zendikar’s hedrons, and the art style is intended to imitate bright-colored Travel Posters. The set features no new planeswalkers. The returning planeswalkers are Jace, Nissa, and Nahiri.[8] Starting with Zendikar Rising, the mythic rares are changing their rate of drop. In the past, 1 in every 8 rares was a mythic rare. That is changed so that 1 in every 7.4 rares will be a mythic rare.[10] Equivalently, this is an increased chance, from 37 in 296 packs previously, to 40 in 296 packs now. Draft boosters have a dedicated MDFC slot.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Zendikar is a dangerous world of lethal risks where brave adventurers delve into ancient ruins in search of priceless rewards.[11] The storyline features no Eldrazi but we see the ruin they have caused. From the perspective of its inhabitants, it is a hostile place that seems to be actively trying to kill the creatures that have the audacity to live there. The danger is unrelenting: precarious terrain, cunning predators, natural disasters on a massive scale, and the still continuing Roil — the unpredictable ripples of change that wash through the land — all present a constant challenge to survival. Nahiri has returned to Zendikar, and is willing to do anything to get rid of the Roil. Nissa has also returned home, but for reasons of her own.

The cards that represent the Story Spotlights in Zendikar Rising are:

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Set Booster
Adventure gear given out to content creators

Zendikar Rising is sold in regular 16-card Draft Boosters (one card being a marketing card), Theme Boosters, Collector Boosters, Set Boosters, the Zendikar Rising bundle, and two Commander decks.[12] A special Gift Edition of the Bundle will release in November 2020. The set is accompanied by a new Welcome Booster. The Draft Boosters feature artwork from Jace, Nahiri and Nissa. The Theme Boosters feature art from Adventure Awaits (Party), Archpriest of Iona ({W}), Field Research ({U}), Blackbloom Rogue ({B}), Teeterpeak Ambusher ({R}), and Murasa Brute ({G}). The Collector Boosters feature art of Omnath, Locus of Creation. The Set Boosters feature art from Needleverge Pathway.

As part of the advertisement campaign for the set, content creators were provided with adventure gear (a water bottle, a bandanna, and a face mask).

The release of Secret Lair Drop Series: Showcase: Zendikar Revisited was timed to coincide with the release of Zendikar Rising.

Set boosters and the List[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Rising introduced Set Boosters.[10] These are targeted to players that are not interested in Draft or Limited, and sell for a slightly higher price than Draft Boosters. Each pack comes with fourteen objects, twelve of which are Magic cards.

One of the objects in the Set Booster is an Art card.[8] Art cards were last seen with Modern Horizons.

In 25% of the Set Boosters, cards of "The List" can be found instead of a marketing card.[10] The List is a changing catalogue of 300 cards from older sets. These are not Standard legal. In addition, in 5% of the Set Boosters, the marketing card is replaced by a minigame card.[13]

Expeditions[edit | edit source]

Similar to the original Zendikar Priceless Treasures and Zendikar Expeditions of the second block, Zendikar Rising has its own version of bonus cards from outside the set. There are 30 Expeditions in total, all of which are lands. These include all 10 fetch lands. Unlike those earlier cards, these will not randomly appear in booster packs. Instead, they will only be available as Box toppers (non-foil with a high-gloss treatment) and in Collector Boosters (foil).

Events[edit | edit source]

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Tokens[edit | edit source]

The sixteenth card in the Draft Boosters is either a token with advertisements on the backside, or a helper card with a standard card back. The Collector Boosters contain a foil double-faced token. In total, Zendikar Rising comes with twelve tokens.[17]

  1. {W} 4/4 Angel Warrior creature with flying, for Emeria's Call.
  2. {W} 1/1 Cat creature, for Attended Healer.
  3. {W} 2/2 Cat Beast creature, for Felidar Retreat.
  4. {W} 1/1 Kor Warrior creature, for Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients and Squad Commander.
  5. {U} 2/2 Drake creature with flying, for Roost of Drakes.
  6. {U} */* Illusion creature, for Inscription of Insight and Skyclave Apparition.
  7. {G} 1/1 Insect creature, for Iridescent Hornbeetle, Scute Swarm and Swarm Shambler.
  8. {G} 0/1 Plant creature, for Phylath, World Sculptor.
  9. {B/G} */* Hydra creature, for Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager.
  10. {C} 1/1 Construct artifact creature for Myriad Construct.
  11. {C} 0/1 Goblin Construct artifact creature with "This creature can't block" and "At the beginning of your upkeep, this creature deals 1 damage to you," for Relic Robber.
  12. Copy, for Lithoform Engine, Jace, Mirror Mage, Scute Swarm, Skyclave Relic and Verazol, the Split Current.

The Zendikar Rising Commander Decks also come with 10 double-faced tokens each. In total, there are eleven different token faces, all using the ZNC set code and set symbol.

  1. {W} 1/1 Bird creature with flying, for Emeria Angel
  2. {W} 1/1 Kor Ally creature, for Retreat to Emeria
  3. {B} 1/1 Faerie Rogue creature with flying, for Notorious Throng
  4. {B} 0/0 Germ creature, for Bonehoard and Scytheclaw
  5. {B} 1/1 Goblin Rogue creature, for Marsh Flitter
  6. {B} 1/1 Rat creature, for Ogre Slumlord
  7. {G} 4/4 Beast creature, for Rampaging Baloths
  8. {G} 2/2 Elemental creature, for Zendikar's Roil
  9. {G} 1/1 Saproling creature, for Sporemound
  10. {R/G} 5/5 Elemental creature, for Omnath, Locus of Rage
  11. {C} 1/1 Thopter artifact creature with flying, for Whirler Rogue

Oona, Queen of the Fae creates {U/B} 1/1 Faerie Rogue creature with flying, which aren't provided with the deck.

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

A new mechanic in Zendikar Rising takes a popular theme that players like and twists it in a new way: party, a batching mechanic which resembles the ally tribal strategy of previous Zendikar visits.[8] (Allies themselves do not appear in the set.) A party looks for one of each of Clerics, Rogues, Warriors and Wizards among creatures you control, then scales an effect on the size of the party.[18][19]

The second new mechanic is modal double-faced cards (MDFCs). Like previous double-faced cards, modal double-faced cards have two faces, one on each side. However, when you play a modal double-faced card, you choose the face you're playing: they don't transform. Each draft booster contains a modal double-faced card. The set also introduces helper cards: similar to the checklist cards of past sets, they can be used to replace an unsleeved card. In lieu of the abandoned block model, R&D has found a new way to tie together the three non-core premier sets in a single Magic "year" (aka the fall, winter, and spring sets—using northern hemisphere seasons): they share a common mechanic. For Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim and Strixhaven: School of Mages that is MDFCs.[20]

There are two returning mechanics, both of which have appeared in a Zendikar set before.[20] The first of these is kicker, a keyword ability that allows you to pay an extra cost for a bonus effect. Kicker was first featured in the Invasion block, later appeared in the original Zendikar set, and was last seen in the Dominaria expansion. The second returning mechanic is landfall, an ability word for abilities that trigger on lands entering the battlefield under your control. All cards with landfall in the set receive an alternate showcase treatment.

The set also sees the return of "two-brid mana", first featured in Shadowmoor, on Tazri, Beacon of Unity. Similar to regular hybrid mana, two-brid mana symbols can be paid with two mana of any color or one mana of a specific color.

All Equipment in the set attach itself to target creature you control when it enters the battlefield.

Card types[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Rising has a class tribal theme, centered on Clerics, Rogues, Warriors, and Wizards. Each class has an associated mechanic for Limited.[21] Each color in the set showcases the four classes in varying proportions: with any two-color combination, you can have a full party with cards from only Zendikar Rising.[22]

It's noted that Green is present in all four classes as their tertiary colors.

Party type Primary Secondary Tertiary None Mechanic
Cleric {W} {B} {U}{G} {R} Life gain
Warrior {R} {W} {B}{G} {U} "Snap-on" equipment (one free attachment)[23]
Wizard {U} {R} {W}{G} {B} Caring about instants, sorceries, and other Wizards
Rogue {B} {U} {R}{G} {W} Caring about eight or more cards in an opponent's graveyard[23]

Canyon Jerboa is the first non-token creature to feature the Mouse creature type. Tazri, Beacon of Unity is the only card to reference the Zendikar-specific Ally creature class.

Limited archetypes[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Rising features the following limited archetypes:

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Rising features at twelve cycles, including two partial cycles, a mega cycle and a vertical cycle.

Cycle Name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Mythic Creatures Angel of Destiny Sea Gate Stormcaller Scourge of the Skyclaves Leyline Tyrant Ancient Greenwarden
Five mythic rare creatures with keyword abilities as well as spelled-out abilities.
Mythic Legendaries Tazri, Beacon of Unity Jace, Mirror Mage Drana, the Last Bloodchief Moraug, Fury of Akoum Ashaya, Soul of the Wild
Four mythic rare legendary creatures and one mythic rare planeswalker, each having a converted mana cost of three or more.

Class cycles[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Cleric Wizard Rogue Warrior
Relics Relic Vial Relic Amulet Relic Golem Relic Axe
Four uncommon artifacts, one for each of the party class types, that either reference their respective class or (for Relic Golem) synergizes with the draft subtheme of that class (i.e. mill).
Expeditioners Expedition Healer ({W}) Expedition Diviner ({U}) Expedition Skulker ({B}) Expedition Champion ({R})
Four common creatures, one for each of the party class types, that get stronger if you control another creature of the same type.

Modal double-faced cycles[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Side {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Mythic sorceries {dfc-front} Emeria's Call Sea Gate Restoration Agadeem’s Awakening Shatterskull Smashing Turntimber Symbiosis
{dfc-back} Emeria, Shattered Skyclave Sea Gate, Reborn Agadeem, the Undercrypt Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass Turntimber, Serpentine Wood
Five mythic rare modal double-faced sorceries, each with a land on the back side that enters the battlefield tapped unless you pay 3 life.
Rares {dfc-front} Ondu Inversion Glasspool Mimic Hagra Mauling Valakut Awakening Kazandu Mammoth
{dfc-back} Ondu Skyruins Glasspool Shore Hagra Broodpit Valakut Stoneforge Kazandu Valley
Five rare modal double-faced cards, each with a tapland on the back side.
Uncommon creatures {dfc-front} Skyclave Cleric Umara Wizard Blackbloom Rogue Akoum Warrior Tangled Florahedron
{dfc-back} Skyclave Basilica Umara Skyfalls Blackbloom Bog Akoum Teeth Tangled Vale
Five uncommon modal double-faced creatures, each with a tapland on the back side.
Uncommon spells {dfc-front} Kabira Takedown Beyeen Veil Malakir Rebirth Kazuul's Fury Bala Ged Recovery
{dfc-back} Kabira Plateau Beyeen Coast Malakir Mire Kazuul's Cliffs Bala Ged Sanctuary
{dfc-front} Makindi Stampede Silundi Vision Pelakka Predation Song-Mad Treachery Khalni Ambush
{dfc-back} Makindi Mesas Silundi Isle Pelakka Caverns Song-Mad Ruins Khalni Territory
{dfc-front} Sejiri Shelter Jwari Disruption Zof Consumption Spikefield Hazard Vastwood Fortification
{dfc-back} Sejiri Glacier Jwari Ruins Zof Bloodbog Spikefield Cave Vastwood Thicket
Fifteen uncommon modal double-faced instants or sorceries, each with a tapland on the back side.

Double cycles[edit | edit source]

Cycle name {W/U} {U/B} {B/R} {R/G} {G/W} {W/B} {U/R} {B/G} {R/W} {G/U}
Gold legends Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate Zareth San, the Trickster Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats Phylath, World Sculptor Yasharn, Implacable Earth Orah, Skyclave Hierophant Kaza, Roil Chaser Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager Akiri, Fearless Voyager Verazol, the Split Current
Ten rare dual-colored legendary creatures, each loosely supporting a draft archetype.
Gold signposts Spoils of Adventure Soaring Thought-Thief Ravager's Mace Brushfire Elemental Murasa Rootgrazer Cleric of Life's Bond Umara Mystic Moss-Pit Skeleton Kargan Warleader Lullmage's Familiar
Ten uncommon dual-colored spells, each a signpost for a draft archetype.

Mega cycles[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Side {W/U} {U/B} {B/R} {R/G} {G/W} {W/B} {U/R} {B/G} {R/W} {G/U}
Pathways {dfc-front} Clearwater Pathway Cragcrown Pathway Branchloft Pathway Brightclimb Pathway Riverglide Pathway Needleverge Pathway
{dfc-back} Murkwater Pathway Timbercrown Pathway Boulderloft Pathway Grimclimb Pathway Lavaglide Pathway Pillarverge Pathway
Six rare modal double-faced lands, each side of which enters untapped and taps for a single color of mana. The other four are flagged for Kaldheim.[24][20][25]

Vertical cycles[edit | edit source]

Cycle name
Multiclass creatures Tajuru Paragon Veteran Adventurer Stonework Packbeast
Each of these three creatures has a characteristic-defining ability which makes them also a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard. They can therefore fill any position in your party.

Pairs[edit | edit source]

Mirrored pair Description
Sure-Footed Infiltrator ({U}) Shadow Stinger ({B}) Two uncommon Rogue creatures. Each has an activated ability which taps another Rogue you control to gain an evasion ability, and a saboteur-style triggered ability.
Territorial Scythecat ({G}) Prowling Felidar ({W}) Two common Cat creatures. Each has a landfall ability that gives it a +1/+1 counter, and another keyword ability.
Hagra Constrictor ({B}) Gnarlid Colony ({G}) Two common creatures, each of which enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters and gives creatures you control with +1/+1 counters a keyword ability.

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

The following cards have been reprinted:

Mythic Rare to Rare[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Zendikar Rising introduces Commander decks that are released as a regular part of a set's product line.[26]

Theme
deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Land's Wrath W R G Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor
Sneak Attack U B Anowon, the Ruin Thief

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (September, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Credits". Magicthegathering.com.
  2. WPN Product info
  3. Magic Announcement Stream (Video). Magic: the Gathering. YouTube (September 4, 2019).
  4. Mark Rosewater (June 25, 2020). "Having trouble keeping track of which new and awesome products are launching when.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. a b c d WPN (July 13, 2020). "Zendikar Rising: All the Dates & Info You Need". Wizards Play Network.
  6. Blake Rasmussen (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar Debut and Announcement Day Recap". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (September 04, 2019). "I missed the announcement of the sets for next year.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. a b c d Magic: The Gathering Panel with Mark Rosewater | Comic-Con@Home 2020 (Video). YouTube.
  9. Mark Rosewater (September 16, 2020). "Where did the decision to not do an exclusive Buy-a-Box promo for Zendikar Rising come from?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. a b c Mark Rosewater (July 25, 2020). "Set Boosters". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Ari Zirulnik and James Wyatt (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar: Thing Have Changed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Ari Zirulnik (September 2, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Product Overview". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Annie Sardelis (September 14, 2020). "Magic Minigames". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Gavin Verhey (September 15, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Prerelease Primer". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  15. WPN (August 31, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Prerelease: 7 Things You Need to Know". Wizards Play Network.
  16. WPN (September 2, 2020). "Sneak Peek: Zendikar Rising Marketing Kit". Wizards Play Network.
  17. Kendall Pepple (September 8, 2020). "The Tokens of Zendikar Rising". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar Rising to the Challenge". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Matt Tabak (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Mechanics". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. a b c Mark Rosewater (September 7, 2020). "Zendikar Rising to the Challenge, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Eli Shiffrin (September 10, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater (September 2, 2020). "Please say a lot of the color pairs are getting a Type they're missing?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  23. a b c Mark Rosewater (September 21, 2020). "More Zendikar Rising Stars". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater (September 1, 2020). "Why is there six new pathways, as opposed to the usual cycle of 5 dual lands?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  25. Mark Rosewater (September 11, 2020). "Will they still be "X Pathway // Y Pathway"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  26. Gavin Verhey (October 30, 2019). "Big Things Are Coming for Commander in 2020". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]