|The Sword of Kaldra|
|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Randy Buehler (lead),|
|October 2, 2003|
Themes and mechanics
|Artifacts and artifact lands,|
Keywords and/or ability words
|Affinity (for artifacts),|
(20 basic lands, 110 commons, 88 uncommons, 88 rares)
Development code name
|Mirrodin block sets|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Mirrodin is set on the plane of the same name and features a heavy artifact theme and a large quantity of these in set as well as all other colors interacting with the permanent type. The set also introduced a new artifact subtype in Equipment with the accompanying keyword Equip, armor, swords and other utensils which can be attached to a creature to enhance that creature. Unlike Auras, the equipment stays on the battlefield even if the creature is put in the graveyard.
The set and block is also noted for many allusions to famous artifacts and related mechanics from previous blocks, such as Chrome Mox or Clockwork creatures. The set also featured Solemn Simulacrum, Jens Thoren's invitational card.
It is also infamous for an imbalanced power level due to the set not restricting most of its cards to a certain color and the introduction of the Affinity mechanic and Artifact lands which enhanced each other. The set contained many cards which were banned or restricted in all major tournament formats such as Disciple of the Vault, the aforementioned Artifact lands or Thirst for Knowledge and also setting up the sets following it in Mirrodin block which did pretty much the same.
Set size article:
- Randy Buehler. (June 20, 2003.) "The Size of Sets", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
Themes and mechanics
- Affinity — A card becomes cheaper by for each permanent of a certain type specified (usually artifacts).
- Imprint — This ability found on artifacts allows you to remove a card from the game and "imprint" attributes of the removed card onto your artifact such as Chrome Mox.
- Entwine — Appears on modal spells and presents an extra cost; pay that cost to use both effects instead of only one, as on Tooth and Nail.
The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:
Mirrodin has 11 Cycles:
- Artifact lands: Ancient Den, Seat of the Synod, Vault of Whispers, Great Furnace and Tree of Tales — Each of these common cards, representing an important location in each of Mirrodin's different regions, counted as both artifacts and lands, and could be tapped for one mana of a given color. Each was illustrated by Rob Alexander. Artifact lands reduced the cost of spells with Affinity, and proved to be so powerful they were eventually banned in Mirrodin block tournaments. Darksteel would later add a sixth artifact land to this cycle, Darksteel Citadel.
- Entwine spells: Each of these modal common spells has Entwine — Blinding Beam, Dream's Grip, Incite War, Journey of Discovery and Wail of the Nim.
- Golems: Titanium Golem, Cobalt Golem, Pewter Golem, Hematite Golem, and Malachite Golem — Each of these common artifact creatures has a color-specific ability. Each was illustrated by Paolo Parente.
- Mana Myr: Copper Myr, Gold Myr, Iron Myr, Leaden Myr, and Silver Myr — Each of these common myr artifact creatures costs and has a mana ability in which they tap, and which produce a color-appropriate mana. which does not leave the field at end of turn. Each represents a zone of Mirrodin corresponding to the color. Each is illustrated by Kev Walker.
- Rare color artifacts: Each of these rare artifacts is tied to one of the five colors. — Leonin Sun Standard, Proteus Staff, Altar of Shadows, Bosh, Iron Golem, and Tangleroot
- Replicas: Each of these common artifact creatures costs and has an ability with the cost of being sacrificed and a certain amount of partialy colored mana, and an effect, which is typical for the mana used. Each of them has a creature type from the tribes of the Onslaught block and was illustrated by Carl Critchlow — Soldier Replica, Wizard Replica, Nim Replica, Goblin Replica and Elf Replica.
- Shards: Crystal Shard, Granite Shard, Heartwood Shard, Pearl Shard, and Skeleton Shard — Each of these uncommon artifacts cost and had an activated ability which cost or one mana of a given color, and which produced a color-appropriate effect. Each represented a piece of another world found by each of Mirrodin's races. Each was illustrated by Doug Chaffee.
- Sliths: Each of these uncommon 1/1 Slith creatures has a mana cost containing two colored mana of the same type and the ability "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it". Each of them was illustrated by Justin Sweet — Slith Ascendant, Slith Strider, Slith Bloodletter, Slith Firewalker and Slith Predator.
- Spellbombs: Each of these common artifacts costs and has two activated abilities which require to sacrifice them. One is the same for each of them: ", sacrifice this: Draw a card.". They were all illustraded by Jim Nelson — Sunbeam Spellbomb, Æther Spellbomb, Necrogen Spellbomb, Pyrite Spellbomb, and Lifespark Spellbomb.
- Talismans: Talisman of Progress, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Indulgence, Talisman of Impulse and Talisman of Unity — Each of these uncommon artifacts cost to cast. Each had the same abilities as an allied-color painland. Each was illustrated by Mike Dringenberg.
- Towers: Tower of Champions, Tower of Eons, Tower of Fortunes and Tower of Murmurs — Each of these rare artifacts cost to cast and have an , ability. Each of these artifacts are affiliated with a certain color; Green, White, Blue, and Black, respectively. Scars of Mirrodin would later add a fifth Red Tower to this cycle: Tower of Calamities.
|Card||Introduced in||Featured in||Notes|
|Annul||Urza's Saga||On Annul, Devin Low wrote, "In Urza's Saga, Annul served mostly to counter the block's many powerful enchantments like Vile Requiem, Hidden Spider, and Opal Archangel, with a little bit of artifact countering on the side. In Mirrodin, the focus is reversed, with countering artifacts becoming the primary value, with countering enchantments as a side benefit".|
|Arrest||Mercadian Masques||On Arrest, Devin Low wrote, "Mirrodin has only one repeat that doesn't say "artifact" anywhere on the card (including the implied fear reminder text). This is very much the "Use the simplest version of a staple" philosophy of expert-level repeats. Arrest had already played well in Masques, much like the oft-repeated Pacifism, and was a good choice to fill the simple Pacifism role in a set with many creatures with dangerous activated abilities".|
|Atog||Antiquities||Revised Edition, 5th Edition||On Atog, Mark Rosewater wrote, "Like the [Brown] Ouphe, Atog's stock rises in Mirrodin. One thing that surprises me is how much this guy is getting dissed in players' Mirrodin set reviews (yes, I do read many of these). I think a number of you are missing the fact that half of the set is artifacts. We even moved Atog from common to uncommon because he was too strong in limited. If you're playing red in Mirrodin limited, you're crazy not to play him. To quote myself: "In a world made of metal, the Atog is king".".|
|Bottle Gnomes||Tempest||On Bottle Gnomes, Devin Low wrote, "Classic, beloved, and powerful against Tempest's high-profile red weenie and burn decks".|
|Brown Ouphe||Ice Age||Brown Ouphe was said to have "interesting interactions in a set full of artifacts. So it was included in the set for play reasons".Mark Rosewater said, of Brown Ouphe, "In Ice Age, Brown Ouphe sucked. Many of you might not have been playing back in 1995 but I was and I'll tell you that the Brown Ouphe stunk up the place. Nonetheless, I've always liked him. So, I was overjoyed I realized that I could bring him back in Mirrodin. When half the cards are artifacts, the Ouphe gets a little better".|
|Cathodion||Urza's Saga||On Cathodion, Devin Lo wrote, "Bizarre and very much an artifact. He's bigger than any color could get for this cost at that time. Like his predecessor Su-Chi, Cathodion's ability was costed as a drawback for its mana burn danger, but clever mages found ways to turn it into an advantage. A host of new "Sacrifice an artifact:" abilities in the block gave him plenty of new combo potential".|
|Creeping Mold||Visions||6th Edition, 7th Edition||On Creeping Mold, Devin Low wrote, "In Visions, Creeping Mold was the first example of a straight Disenchant effect in green for less mana than Desert Twister. It also provided a nice land destruction complement to Ice Storm. Finally, Creeping Mold also had the advantage of being usable on lands if no Disenchant targets presented themselves. In Mirrodin block, it served all these purposes, pairing up with Reap and Sow instead of Ice Storm, as well as sharing Shatter's huge power-up in a world of artifact targets".|
|Detonate||Antiquities||5th Edition||On Detonate, Devin Low wrote, "A flavorful combination of burn and artifact destruction, Detonate had a new role in Mirrodin block: Destroying artifact lands for just ".|
|Dragon Blood||Urza's Saga||On Dragon Blood, Devin Low wrote, "A definite artifact feel and good interaction with Mirrodin block's +1/+1 counter theme made this a good fit".|
|Icy Manipulator||Limited Edition||Ice Age||On Icy Manipulator, Devin Low wrote, "Along with Chrome Mox and Gilded Lotus, Icy Manipulator provided a "Greatest Artifact Hits of Magic" feel".Moreover, Mark Rosewater wrote, "To make sure it was relevant we made sure to include a number of artifacts (e.g., Blinkmoth Urn, Farsight Mask) that turn off when tapped".|
|Ornithopter||Antiquities||Revised Edition, 4th Edition, 5th Edition, 6th Edition||On Ornithopter, Devin Low wrote, "This humble whirring fellow is another of Magic's most famous artifacts as the first card that cost zero mana to play, breaking the fundamental rules of mana-for-effect. The designers also knew he'd be good with two of our major block themes: both Equipment and affinity for artifacts. Unfortunately, the department did not foresee just how good this little 0/2 would be with Equipment and the overpowered affinity for artifacts, and the whole affinity mechanic proceeded to annoy people in Standard, Block Constructed, and Extended for years. (Oops.)"Ornithopter, often alongside Phyrexian Walker and, more recently, Memnite has been a keystone of Affinity decks. Ornithopters are a fundamental engineering design, and artificers invariably design and construct them.|
|Shatter||Limited Edition||Unlimited Edition, Revised Edition, 4th Edition, Ice Age, 5th Edition, Tempest, 6th Edition, 7th Edition, 8th Edition||On Shatter, Devin Low wrote, "Shatter fits the "Use the simplest version of a staple" philosophy of expert-level reprints, just like Stone Rain. And like Stone Rain, Shatter was also reprinted in Ice Age and Tempest".|
|Stalking Stones||Tempest||On Stalking Stones, Devin Low wrote, "Mirrodin was already breaking new ground in combining types with artifact lands like Vault of Whispers. (Again: Oops.) Stalking Stones represented an interesting earlier venture in this direction that players had enjoyed, and that had been powerful in Erik Lauer and Randy Buehler's mono-blue control decks".|
|Terror||Limited Edition||Unlimited Edition, Revised Edition, 4th Edition, 5th Edition, 6th Edition||On Terror, Devin Low wrote, "Terror leads you down a similar path as Dross Prowler: Since Terror doesn't hit artifact creatures, it's got to be way worse than it is in core set drafts, right? Smart players figured out that while Terror is indeed weaker in Mirrodin than it is in 10th Edition, Terror in Mirrodin is still a pretty good card! Dross Prowler decreases a lot in value if your opponent has half artifact creatures and half fleshy ones, since he can't get through. But while Dross Prowler is weak against that lineup, Terror is still pretty good, since it can still kill half of the opponent's creatures. Taking down Somber Hoverguards, Spikeshot Goblins, and Fangren Hunters made Terror still well worth its cost".|
|Triskelion||Antiquities||4th Edition||On Triskelion, Devin Low wrote, "A classic, powerful artifact creature and a great fit with the +1/+1 counter theme of the block".|
|Yotian Soldier||Antiquities||4th Edition|
|Dross Prowler||Functional reprint of Razortooth Rats (Weatherlight); of Dross Prowler, Devin Low wrote, "On the flip side, fear creatures like Razortooth Rats are usually reliably unblockable, but with all the artifact creatures of Mirrodin, fear decreased a lot in value. Perceptive players picked up this quickly, learning that a 2B 2/1 fear is a very different Zombie in Mirrodin than in other sets".Mark Rosewater, on the other hand, wrote, "This card is a repeat but with a new name and creature type. This card first appeared in Weatherlight as Razortooth Rats. Back then, this card was a beating. But while [Brown] Ouphe and Atog improve, fear does not. When half the creatures are artifacts and everyone has some, fear is actually quite bad. I think it’s important to repeat a card or two whose stock has dropped. This demonstrates how card value has a lot to do with environment. Why the name and creature type change? Because the core set needs more simple Zombies. We learned this during 8th Edition development. We had a Zombie Lord (Lord of the Undead) and not enough simple Zombies to go around. So, not only could we get an interesting repeat but we could fill a hole for 9th Edition".|
|Lumengrid Warden||Functional reprint of Straw Soldiers (Portal Three Kingdoms) and Talas Merchant (Portal Second Age)|
|Neurok Spy||Functional reprint of Bouncing Beebles (Urza's Saga)|
|Viridian Shaman||Functional reprint of Uktabi Orangutan (Visions)|
|Mass Hysteria||Red colorshifted version of Concordant Crossroads (Legends), without the World supertype|
|Tel-Jilad Chosen||Upgrade from Argothian Pixies (Antiquities)|
|Mirrodin block preconstructed theme decks|
|Mirrodin theme decks: Bait and Bludgeon () | Little Bashers () | Sacrificial Bam () | Wicked Big ()|
|Darksteel theme decks: Master Blaster () | Mind Swarm () | Swarm & Slam () | Transference ()|
|Fifth Dawn theme decks: Nuts and Bolts () | Special Forces () | Stampede () | Sunburst ()|
|Related pages: Mirrodin block/Preconstructed theme decks • Mirrodin block theme decks|
Mirrodin has two monocolored and two bicolored theme decks.
|Theme deck name|
|Bait and Bludgeon||■||■|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 September 1, 2003. "Mirrodin Fact Sheet", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Wizards of the Coast. "Mirrodin Frequently Asked Questions", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (August 12, 2002.) "Codename of the Game", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Devin Low. (March 21, 2008.) "Reincarnation", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Mark Rosewater. (September 22, 2003.) "Bacon Bits", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Wizards of the Coast. (December 18, 2003.) "Flavorful Reprints of Mirrodin", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mike Flores. (November 15, 2012.) "Modern Mixed Bag", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.