|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Henry Stern (lead),|
|October 2, 2009|
Themes and mechanics
Keywords and/or ability words
|249 (101 Common 60 Uncommon 53 Rare 15 Mythic 20 Lands)|
Development code name
|Zendikar block sets|
|Zendikar||Worldwake||Rise of the Eldrazi|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
|Masters Edition III||Zendikar||Garruk vs. Liliana|
Zendikar is the fiftieth Magic expansion and was released in October 2009 as the first set in the Zendikar block. Prerelease events were held September 26-27, 2009. Release events were held October 2-4, 2009. Zendikar Game Day was held October 31, 2009.
The plane of Zendikar has been alluded to within the planeswalker novel of The Purifying Fire. It is a plane of adventure, many treasures, and potent mana supplies, but mana on this plane works differently than in the rest of the multiverse.
Zendikar is based on the plane of the same name which had not been featured previously in Magic. The plane is littered with large, floating polyhedron-shaped stones called Hedrons, prominently featured in the artwork. Little is known of these Hedrons as not even the people native to the plane know about their purpose. The floating stones however are also an indicator of the fact that gravity is different on Zendikar than on other planes.
Zendikar is populated by Goblins, Elves and Vampires among others. Zendikar is also the home plane of the Kor and as such they are predominately featured as the race for white in the set. It is revealed that their appearance on Rath and other planes is due to abductions from Zendikar.
Zendikar features special full art basic lands similar to those that appeared in Unglued and Unhinged. The lands will have a regular name box but the large mana symbol in the text box as well as the typeline are conflated into one at the bottom of the card. The box is the normal height of the type-box but dents outwards for the mana symbol in the middle. To the left of the symbol are the words "Basic Land" while on the right is the type of the land and the expansion symbol. These special lands appear in booster packs and fat packs. Intro packs on the other hand will have normal styled lands as they have appeared in the majority of large expansions. There are four individual arts and both sets of lands feature the same artwork. Full art basic lands function the same way as any other basic lands, since each land with a basic land type intrinsically has the mana ability associated with that type. (Zendikar intro packs contain basic land cards with normal card frames. The collector numbers of those cards contain the letter "a.")
The promotional cards given to participants at the Pre-release are Rampaging Baloths, highlighting landfall, with alternate artwork and the Celestine Reef plane card for use with the Planechase set. The promotional card for the release party was Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, which rewards you for playing multiple mountains. The promotional cards given to Game Day Event participants was a full-art Nissa's Chosen, winners received a foil full-art Emeria Angel.
As a promotion to further the theme of the set, Wizards randomly inserted Vintage legal cards into Zendikar boosters replacing the Basic land slot. These cards are not reprints but from the old printrun and therefore do not violate the Reserved List as they were already existing copies of the cards. Inserted were among others Power Nine-members, Dual lands and other cards with high monetary value on the secondary market, including some that are not on the reserved list, e.g. Sol Ring. Inserted cards are mostly from Beta, Unlimited, Antiquities some of them are signed. However, despite appearing in the boosters, the cards are not legal in limited play, nor did they become legal in Standard or Extended.
Boosters of Zendikar come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token from Zendikar. One face of the Zendikar bonus card has one of five different rules tips or is one of eleven different creature tokens. The other face has one of 13 advertisements for organized play programs, Worldwake, Duels of the Planeswalkers for Xbox Live, Magic Online, fat packs, A Planeswalker's Guide to Alara and Ultra Pro products for Magic.
Tips & Tricks
The tips & tricks cards are
- Rules Tip: Landfall
- Rules Tip: Kicker
- Rules Tip: "Quests"
- Rules Tip: Allies / Intimidate
- Rules Tip: Traps
The Zendikar tokens in numerical order are:
- 4/4 Angel with flying produced by Luminarch Ascension
- 1/1 Bird with flying produced by Emeria Angel
- 1/1 Kor Soldier produced by Conqueror's Pledge
- 2/2 Illusion produced by Summoner's Bane
- 1/1 Merfolk produced by Lullmage Mentor
- */* Vampire produced by Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
- 5/5 Zombie Giant produced by Quest for the Gravelord
- 7/1 Elemental with trample and haste produced by Zektar Shrine Expedition and Elemental Appeal
- 4/4 Beast produced by Baloth Cage Trap and Rampaging Baloths
- 1/1 Snake produced by Cobra Trap
- 2/2 Wolf produced by Turntimber Ranger
The set features three new Planeswalkers in Sorin Markov, Chandra Ablaze and Nissa Revane and a new subtype for Instant called "Trap". Trap cards have alternate costs if specific events happen, like an opponent putting two creatures onto the battlefield in the same turn. There are also cards representing small Quests. These are enchantments that gain Quest counters in specific events. After building up counters on them they yield a rewards.
The keyword Kicker returns. It also features the new keyword Intimidate which functions like and replaces fear as it makes a creature with intimidate unblockable except for artifact creatures and creatures that share a color with the intimidating creature.
Another new mechanic is centered around the new creature type Ally. A group of creatures with that type have abilities that trigger upon them or another Ally entering play and are either dependent on or beneficial to Allies in play the same player controls.
Bloodied is a vampires theme in the set, where the creature will be boosted if the opponent is at 10 life or below, thematically generating the concept of a hunter encouraged by wounded prey.
|“||Deadly Perils, Priceless Treasures.||”|
Zendikar has 13 cycles:
- Expeditions: Each of these common enchantments bear the word "Expedition" in its name, gains a quest counter from Landfall and have an activated ability for removing three counters and sacrificing the Expedition — Sunspring Expedition, Ior Ruin Expedition, Soul Stair Expedition, Zektar Shrine Expedition, and Khalni Heart Expedition.
- Quests: Each of these uncommon enchantments bear the word "Quest" in its name, gain quest counters from specific events and a certain number of counters can be removed and the enchantment can be sacrificed for an effect. — Quest for the Holy Relic, Quest for Ancient Secrets, Quest for the Gravelord, Quest for Pure Flame and Quest for the Gemblades.
- Ascension: Each of these rare enchantments gain quest counters should specific events occur and another ability is enabled after a threshold of counters is reached. All of them also have "Ascension" in the name. — Luminarch Ascension, Archmage Ascension, Bloodchief Ascension Pyromancer Ascension, and Beastmaster Ascension.
- Common kicker instants: Each of these common instants have a kicker cost. — Bold Defense, Into the Roil, Vampire's Bite, Burst Lightning, and Vines of Vastwood.
- Strong kicker cycle: Each of these rare cards has a big effect that becomes a giant effect for a big colorless kicker-cost. — Conqueror's Pledge, Rite of Replication, Sadistic Sacrament, Elemental Appeal, and Gigantiform.
- Landfall pump creatures: Each of these common creatures gain +2/+2 as their Landfall ability. — Steppe Lynx, Windrider Eel, Hagra Crocodile, Plated Geopede, and Territorial Baloth. There is also an equipment that has the same function as this cycle Adventuring Gear.
- One mana spell lands: Each of these common lands enters the battlefield tapped, taps for an appropriate colored mana, and then has a one mana spell effect in that color as an "enters the battlefield" trigger. — Kabira Crossroads, Soaring Seacliff, Piranha Marsh, Teetering Peaks, and Turntimber Grove.
- Refuge land cycle: Five lands that enter the battlefield tapped and tap for one of two allied colors. They are functional reprints of taplands except they additionally gain 1 life when they enter the battlefield. — Sejiri Refuge, Jwar Isle Refuge, Akoum Refuge, Kazandu Refuge, and Graypelt Refuge.
- Rare spell lands: Each of these lands enters the battlefield tapped and taps for one mana of a color. They also have an additional ability and each is named after a specific place on Zendikar, though they are not legendary. Emeria, the Sky Ruin, Magosi, the Waterveil, Crypt of Agadeem, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, and Oran-Rief, the Vastwood.
- Enemy color fetch lands: Each of these rare lands can be sacrificed along with a payment of 1 life to search for one of two basic land types. — Marsh Flats, Verdant Catacombs, Misty Rainforest, Scalding Tarn, and Arid Mesa.
- Common "growing" Allies: Each of these common creatures have "When this card or another Ally comes into play under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature." — Makindi Shieldmate, Umara Raptor, Nimana Sell-Sword, Tuktuk Grunts, and Oran-Rief Survivalist.
- Uncommon Allies: Each of these uncommon creatures have an Ally-based ability — Kazandu Blademaster, Seascape Aerialist, Hagra Diabolist, Murasa Pyromancer, and Tajuru Archer.
- Rare Allies: Each of these Rare Ally creatures has a powerful Ally ability. — Kabira Evangel, Sea Gate Loremaster, Bala Ged Thief, Kazuul Warlord, and Turntimber Ranger
The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Zendikar:
- Cancel, first printed in Time Spiral, was last seen in Magic 2010.
- Demolish, first printed in Odyssey, was last seen in 10th Edition.
- Harrow, first printed in Tempest, was last seen in Invasion.
- Mind Sludge, first printed in Torment, was last seen in 8th Edition.
- River Boa, first printed in Visions, was last seen in 6th Edition.
Zendikar has 5 functional reprints:
- Greenweaver Druid is a functional reprint of Fyndhorn Elder from Ice Age.
- Molten Ravager is a functional reprint of Storm Shaman from Alliances, save for creature type.
- Pillarfield Ox is a functional reprint of Foot Soldiers from 9th Edition, save for creature type.
- Reckless Scholar is a functional reprint of Cephalid Looter from Odyssey, save for creature type.
- Shatterskull Giant is a functional reprint of Lowland Giant from Tempest.
- Living Tsunami is almost a functional reprint of Waterspout Djinn from Visions except that the latter requires an untapped island to be returned to your hand, while the former says any land. The creature types also differ.
- Paralyzing Grasp is almost a functional reprint of Glimmerdust Nap from Lorwyn except the latter says "Enchant Tapped Creature", while the former says "Enchant Creature".
|Intro pack name||Foil rare|
|Kor Armory||□||Armament Master|
|Rise of the Vampires||■||Malakir Bloodwitch|
|Unstable Terrain||■||■||Sphinx of Jwar Isle|
|Pumped Up||■||■||Hellkite Charger|
|The Adventurers||■||■||Turntimber Ranger|