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Alara Reborn

Alara Reborn
ARB logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description 5 shards united
Design Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Mark Gottlieb
Alexis Janson
Brian Tinsman
Development Matt Place (lead)
Dave Guskin
Alexis Janson
Erik Lauer
Mike Turian
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date April 30, 2009
Plane Alara
Themes and mechanics All multicolored set,
Hybrid mana
Keywords/​ability words Cascade, Cycling, Devour, Exalted, Unearth
Set size 145 cards
(60 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares)
Expansion code ARB[1]
Development codename Scissors
Alara block
Shards of Alara Conflux Alara Reborn
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic Alara Reborn Magic 2010

Alara Reborn is the third set in the Alara block and is the forty-ninth Magic expansion.[2] Prerelease events took place on April 25–26, 2009,[3] launch parties on April 30-May 3, 2009. The set went on sale on April 30, 2009, which was a day earlier than anticipated due to the May Day (May 1) holiday.

Set details[ | ]

Alara Reborn contains 145 black-bordered cards (60 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares). It is the first and so far only set in the history of Magic that consists entirely of multicolored cards (much like Legions consisting entirely of creatures).[4][5][6] As such the numbering of the cards is vastly different. Usually, a set has all single-colored cards alphabetically sorted and grouped together and in {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} order followed by multicolored cards in alphabetical order followed by colorless artifacts, followed by non-basic lands, followed by basic lands.

There are no lands or colorless artifacts in the set. The all-multicolor gimmick was revealed when Wizards of the Coast showed off a textless Ardent Plea with collector number #1.[7] So far this is the latest Standard-legal expansion release which doesn't include any planeswalker cards, with Iconic Masters being the latest overall. The expansion symbol of the set is a representation of the five converged shards.

In Alara Reborn instead, cards are ordered alphabetically and grouped by their multicolored mana cost as such:

  • {W}{U} #001-016
  • {U}{B} #017-032
  • {B}{R} #033-048
  • {R}{G} #049-064
  • {G}{W} #065-080
  • {W}{B} #081-085
  • {U}{R} #086-090
  • {B}{G} #091-095
  • {R}{W} #096-100
  • {G}{U} #101-105
  • {W}{U}{B} #106-110
  • {U}{B}{R} #111-114
  • {B}{R}{G} #115-119
  • {R}{G}{W} #120-124
  • {G}{W}{U} #125-129
  • {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} #130
  • {W/B}{U} #131-133
  • {U/R}{B} #134-136
  • {B/G}{R} #137-139
  • {R/W}{G} #140-142
  • {G/U}{W} #143-145

Flavor[ | ]

Main articles: Alara and Alara Unbroken
“  The birth of one world. The death of five.  ”

The violent plans orchestrated by Nicol Bolas have reached their cataclysmic zenith, as the five shards of Alara are now merged, with untold power and unspeakable chaos at every turn. In this unpredictable environment, where mythic beings can greatly affect the outcome, mere survival isn't enough. To live another day, one must battle with unflinching intensity to rise above the madness and master this now grotesquely unified plane. Amidst this overwhelming carnage, can Alara truly said to be reborn? [8]

Story Comics[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story

Honor Bound is a webcomic about Elspeth on Bant and how the effects of the Conflux can be seen as the evil from Grixis leaks in. It was published in three parts in April and May 2009.

Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Honor Bound, Part 1 Jenna Helland 2009-04-23 Alara Elspeth, Aran
Honor Bound, Part 2 Jenna Helland 2009-04-30 Alara Elspeth Aran
Honor Bound, Part 3 Jenna Helland 2009-05-07 Alara Elspeth, Aran, Galen

Savor the Flavor[ | ]

Main article: Savor the Flavor
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
An Etherium Tale Doug Beyer March 4, 2009 Esper and Bant Sharuum, Xorin, Crucius, Agatha, Callio, Travius, Jaria
Circumnavigation Doug Beyer March 25, 2009 Alara Dragonsoul Knight, Asha, Kresh, Rakka Mar, Zarratha, Sarkhan
The Face of War Jenna Helland April 15, 2009 Alara Thraximundar, Nicol Bolas, Breot, Sonara, Elspeth, Elleta, Lifris
The Day a Vedalken Exploded Doug Beyer May 6, 2009 Esper and the Maelstrom Keimon, Drathus, Nicol Bolas
Gold Records Doug Beyer May 20, 2009 Alara Revin Skoros, Ranalus, Haaach, Dollun Spinebreaker, Banath'thur, Sarrasa
A Different Kind of Origin Story Doug Beyer June 3, 2009 "Earth", Naya Eleni

Marketing[ | ]

ARB 6 card booster

6-card boosters from Alara Reborn

Alara all foil booster

The All-Foil Booster

Alara Reborn was sold in 16-card boosters,[9] 6-card boosters, five intro packs, and a fat pack.[10] The promotional card for the prerelease was Dragon Broodmother, which makes multicolored tokens;[11] whilst the launch party card was Knight of New Alara, which makes multicolored creatures more powerful.[12]

The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Slave of Bolas, Vedalken Heretic, and Knotvine Paladin, the small booster featured artwork from the fat pack packaging. An all-foil booster pack containing cards from Alara Reborn and the other two sets of the block was released on January 8, 2010.[13] This featured artwork from Slave of Bolas.

Regular boosters of Alara Reborn come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token from Alara Reborn. One face of the Alara Reborn bonus card has one of three different rules tips or is one of four different creature tokens. The other face has one of 13 advertisements for organized play programs, Alara Reborn, 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

Tokens[ | ]

The Alara Reborn tokens are:[14]

From Shards of Alara:

Mechanics[ | ]

Alara Reborn is the first set in which Hybrid mana appears alongside conventional mana symbols in costs, in this case, cards that have one centered color with a hybrid mana symbol of its two allied colors.[15] Though only two colors are required to play these cards, they are always of three colors.

The Cascade mechanic is introduced.[16][17][18] When a spell with Cascade is cast, its controller reveals cards from the top of their library until they find a nonland card that costs less than the card with Cascade. They may then play it without paying its mana cost. If that card also has cascade, this process repeats itself. This mechanic has been regarded as highly powerful and very popular.

Cycling also returned with a twist in the Sojourner cycle: Five creatures that do the same when put into a graveyard from play or when cycled. Some other cards have a cycling cost consisting of a Hybrid mana. Landcycling, Exalted, Devour, Unearth, all used previously within the block, return as well.

Cycles[ | ]

Most of Alara Reborn's cycles have cards of two or even three different types - sorceries, enchantments, and creatures, for example.

Alara Reborn has 14 cycles:

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Allied-colored equipments Shield of the Righteous Mask of Riddles Demonspine Whip Mage Slayer Behemoth Sledge
Each of these uncommon equipment artifacts costs nMN, where MN are allied colors and have an uncolored equip cost.
Borderposts Fieldmist Borderpost Mistvein Borderpost Veinfire Borderpost Firewild Borderpost Wildfield Borderpost
Each of these common artifacts costs {1}MN, has an alternative casting cost of "pay {1} and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand", comes into play tapped and has "{T}: Add M or N".[19]
Cascade commons Stormcaller's Boon Deny Reality Demonic Dread Violent Outburst Captured Sunlight
Each of these common spells costs nMN and has the new keyword Cascade.
Cascade uncommons Ardent Plea Kathari Remnant Bituminous Blast Bloodbraid Elf Enlisted Wurm
Each of these uncommon spells costs nMN and has the new keyword Cascade.
Cross-shard creatures Ethercaste Knight Etherium Abomination Kathari Bomber Godtracker of Jund Sigiled Behemoth
Each of these common creatures costs nMN, where MN are allied colors and is flavored to be a blend of the two shards' colors.
Dual-Landcyclers Sanctum Plowbeast Jhessian Zombies Igneous Pouncer Valley Rannet Pale Recluse
Each of these common creatures costs 4MN and has two landcycling abilities, each getting one of the basic land types of its color combination.
Hybrid-cyclers Glassdust Hulk Architects of Will Monstrous Carabid Deadshot Minotaur Sigil of the Nayan Gods
Each of these common spells costs nMN and cycles for M/N Hybrid.
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Enemy-colored commons Vectis Dominator Magefire Wings Putrid Leech Cerodon Yearling Winged Coatl
Each of these common spells costs nMN, where MN are enemy colors.
Cycle name {G/U}{W} {W/B}{U} {U/R}{B} {B/G}{R} {R/W}{G}
Hybrid-gold commons Crystallization Arsenal Thresher Sewn-Eye Drake Sangrite Backlash Trace of Abundance
Each of these common spells costs nHM, where M is the main color of a shard and H is the Hybrid of its two side colors.
Hybrid-gold uncommons Messenger Falcons Thopter Foundry Slave of Bolas Giant Ambush Beetle Marisi's Twinclaws
Each of these uncommon spells costs nHM, where M is the main color of a shard and H is the Hybrid of its two side colors.
Shard Blades Bant Sureblade Esper Stormblade Grixis Grimblade Jund Hackblade Naya Hushblade
Each of these common 2/1 creatures costs HM, where M is the main color of a shard and H is the Hybrid of its two side colors. Each of them has "As long as you control another multicolored permanent, this creature gets +1/+1 and has [ability word]"
Cycle name {G}{W}{U} {W}{U}{B} {U}{B}{R} {B}{R}{G} {R}{G}{W}
Mythic Legends Jenara, Asura of War Sen Triplets Thraximundar Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund Uril, the Miststalker
Each of these mythic rares is a legendary creature costing nMNO, where MNO are the colors of one shard.
Shard-colored uncommons Flurry of Wings Etherwrought Page Drastic Revelation Dragon Appeasement Gloryscale Viashino
Each of these uncommon spells costs nMNO, where MNO are the colors of one shard.
Sojourners Bant Sojourners Esper Sojourners Grixis Sojourners Jund Sojourners Naya Sojourners
Each of these common creatures costs nMNO, where MNO are the colors of one shard, has cycling {2}N, and has a triggered ability, when it is cycled or put into a graveyard from play. Each of them was illustrated by John Avon

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Bloodbraid Elf was the pillar of a Jund deck as a reasonable sized creature plus the cascade into an interactive piece. It was also used in various other decks (such as RG Elves, Cascade Swans, or Naya) and sometimes in Extended Zoo or even in Legacy. It was banned for five years between 2013 and 2018, between which the format sped up enough that the card's four mana cost was on par with other deck archetypes in the format.
  • Violent Outburst is the cascade spell of choice for the cascade-based combo decks that have existed in Modern and Legacy. With a mana value of three, the cost to building a deck with no one- or two-mana spells could be minimised and then used to cast 0-mana Suspend spells like Living End and Crashing Footfalls at instant speed. Notably, this gameplay made it too strong for Modern in 2024 and it was banned in March of that year.

Trivia[ | ]

  • Both reprints in Alara Reborn were originally printed in Planeshift, another set featuring planes being joined together due to the actions of an antagonistic force.

Intro packs[ | ]

The intro packs are:[20][21]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Legion Aloft W U Filigree Angel
Unnatural Schemes U B Lich Lord of Unx
Dead Ahead B R Deathbringer Thoctar
Rumbler R G Spellbreaker Behemoth
Eternal Siege W G Dauntless Escort

References[ | ]

  1. set symbol URL on Gatherer
  2. Magic Arcana (October 20, 2008). "Announcing Alara Reborn". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Tim Willoughby (April 20, 2009). "Alara Reborn Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (April 13, 2009). "Solid Gold". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (April 20, 2009). "Goldfingers". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Tom LaPille (April 24, 2009). "Hybridizing Gold". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (March 9, 2009). "Alara Reborn Preview Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Doug Beyer (April 13, 2009). "A New Age for Alara". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (March 30, 2009). "Alara Reborn Booster Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (March 12, 2009). "Alara Reborn Fat Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (April 21, 2009). "Alara Reborn Prerelease Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (April 27, 2009). "Alara Reborn Launch Party Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (September 29, 2009). "The All-Foil Booster". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana (April 20, 2009). "Alara Reborn Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Alexis Janson (May 04, 2009). "Alara Reborn – But Is It Art?". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Tom LaPille (April 17, 2009). "Information Cascade". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Tom LaPille (May 08, 2009). "Getting to Know Cascade". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (May 4, 2009). "Kind Acts of Randomness". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Magic Arcana (May 11, 2009). "Posts at the Border". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (March 23, 2009). "Alara Reborn Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana (April 02, 2009). "Alara Reborn Intro Pack Decklists". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]