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Set Information
Set symbol
Design Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Mark Gottlieb
Brandon Bozzi
Mark Rosewater
Development Matt Place (lead)
Mark Rosewater
Brian Schneider
Steve Warner
Art direction Jeremy Cranford
Release date May 5, 2006
Plane Ravnica
Themes and mechanics Guild System, Hybrid mana, Multicolored cards, Split cards
Keywords/​ability words Forecast, Hellbent, Graft
Set size 180 cards
(60 commons, 60 uncommons, 60 rares)
Expansion code DIS[1]
Development codename Delete
Ravnica block
Ravnica: City of Guilds Guildpact Dissension
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Guildpact Dissension Coldsnap
For other uses, see Dissension (disambiguation).

Dissension is the thirty-eighth Magic: The Gathering expansion, and was released in May 2006 as the third and final set of the Ravnica block.

Set details[ | ]

Dissension contains 180 black-bordered cards (60 rare, 60 uncommon, and 60 commons) — 15 more than normal for a small set to make room for a reappearance of the popular split card mechanic from Invasion and Apocalypse.[2] The prerelease events for this set were held on April 22–23, 2006.[3][4] Its expansion symbol is meant to be a variation on the wrought-ironwork shown in the Guildpact symbol, but broken to reflect the disintegration of the Guildpact spell. Like the Guildpact symbol, it has three “branches” to evoke its three guilds.[5] Dissension expanded on the Ravnica block themes of multicolor and hybrid, adding the last three new guilds to the environment (The Azorius Senate (white/blue), the Cult of Rakdos (black/red) and the Simic Combine (green/blue).[6][7]

Marketing[ | ]

Dissension was sold in 15-card boosters, three preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack.[8] The decks and the fat pack contained a Pro Tour Player Cards. The booster packs featured artwork from Isperia the Inscrutable, Lyzolda, the Blood Witch, and Cytoplast Root-Kin. The prerelease card was the foil alternate art Avatar of Discord.[9] The release card was Azorius Guildmage.[10] The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name by Cory Herndon. The Magic Online release featured four new pieces of art commissioned for the tokens.[11]

Storyline[ | ]

Main article: Dissension (novel)

The streets of Ravnica run red with blood. Guild fights guild and horrifying monsters ravage the city, destroying all who stand in their way. But as Ravnica crumbles, a method emerges from the madness, and it becomes clear that the city's chaos was calculated.[12] Something must be done. And unfortunately for Kos, being dead doesn't mean you don't have a job to do. The Guildpact's spell is finally broken when he publicly arrests Szadek, exposing him and House Dimir to the public.

Savor the Flavor[ | ]

Main article: Savor the Flavor
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
The Hussar's Last Mission Doug Beyer April 12, 2006 Ravnica Modar Bejiri, Augustin IV, Ashmane
Life is Beautiful Rei Nakazawa April 12, 2006 Ravnica Raiche Belas, ZV29K, Matty, Gats, Warrik, Momir Vig
The Merrytown Massacre Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar April 19, 2006 Ravnica Emil, Jonik, Vatek, Orik, Yeep, Ruk, Bart, Piggy, Uzric, Belko
Makin' the Law, Makin' the Law Matt Cavotta May 3, 2006 Ravnica Igort Uriklatz, Tuudgrit

Mechanics and themes[ | ]

Odds and Ends

Split card: Odds and Ends

Dissension continued the guild model and introduced the final three two-color guilds, two with a new keyword and one with an ability word. The guilds and associated mechanics are as follows:

Guild Colors Guild symbol Legendary guild members Keyword or ability word
Azorius Senate {W/U}
Ravnica block Azorius Senate crest
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV[13]
Isperia the Inscrutable
Forecast is an activated ability that can only be used when the card is in their hand and only during their upkeep.[14][15]
Cult of Rakdos {B/R}
Ravnica block Cult of Rakdos crest
Rakdos the Defiler
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Hellbent can be many things but the most common thing is that it is active when the controller has no cards in their hand.
Simic Combine {G/U}
Ravnica block Simic Combine crest
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
Experiment Kraj
Graft works by allowing a creature with graft to move a +1/+1 counter from itself onto another creature that just entered the battlefield.[16]

To note: the Guilds are presented in the official {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} order, but they were originally displayed in a different order by Wizard: Azorius Senate, Simic Combine, Cult of Rakdos.

  • Split cards: there are 10 gold split cards representing combinations of the guilds of Ravnica. The allied color guilds are represented on uncommon split cards, whereas the enemy color guilds are represented on rare split cards.[17][18]
  • Protection: Dissension expanded on the protection ability by introducing "protection from monocolored" and "protection from multicolored".

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Construct.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Advisor, Archer, Assassin, Avatar, Basilisk, Beast, Berserker, Bird, Cat, Centaur, Cleric, Demon, Devil, Djinn, Dragon, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Faerie, Frog, Gargoyle, Goblin, Golem, Griffin, Horror, Hydra, Imp, Knight, Leviathan, Lizard, Mutant, Ogre, Ooze, Pegasus, Plant, Rat, Rogue, Scout, Shade, Shaman, Snake, Soldier, Sphinx, Spirit, Soldier, Thrull, Troll, Vedalken, Viashino, Warrior, Wizard, Worm, Zombie.

Cycles[ | ]

For cycles that are part of the guild mega cycles, see Ravnica block#Mega cycles.

Dissension has three cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Eidolons Aurora Eidolon Enigma Eidolon Entropic Eidolon Sandstorm Eidolon Verdant Eidolon
Each of these 2/2 spirits with a converted mana cost of {4} can be sacrificed for an effect and may be returned from the graveyard to your hand whenever you play a multicolored card.
Cycle name {G/W}{W/U} {W/U}{U/B} {U/B}{B/R} {B/R}{R/G} {R/G}{G/W}
Uncommon split cards Supply/Demand Trial/Error Rise/Fall Hit/Run Pure/Simple
Each of these split cards is centered around one color and each side represents an allied-colored Guild of that color.
Cycle name {R/W}{W/B} {G/U}{U/R} {W/B}{B/G} {U/R}{R/W} {B/G}{G/U}
Rare split cards Hide/Seek Research/Development Crime/Punishment Odds/Ends Bound/Determined
Each of these split cards is centered around one color and each side represents an enemy-colored Guild of that color.[19]

Pairs[ | ]

Dissension has two mirrored pairs.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Guardian of the Guildpact
Enemy of the Guildpact
Spirits, one white and one black, with protection from a color quality. The Guardian had protection from monocolored spells and permanents, while the Enemy had protection from multicolored.
Vision Skeins
Delirium Skeins
Instant and sorcery, respectively, which affect the hand size of all players equally. Vision Skeins causes all players to draw two cards, while Delirium Skeins forces all players to discard three. Both are also mirrored in the artwork being the same scene but seen from two different angles and in two different moments. Vision Skeins is the "before" moment and Delirium Skeins is the "after" moment.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets.

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Utopia Sprawl has seen extensive play in Modern, especially in conjunctions with fetchlands and shocklands which make its Forest restriction less significant. It has been combined effectively with Arbor Elf since the beginning of the format to make four mana as early as turn two.
  • Ghost Quarter has been played from Standard to Vintage, where it provides hate in the land base for non-basic lands. It combines especially well with cards like Leonin Arbiter which prevent the opponent from using the land search given to them.
  • Protean Hulk has been used infamously with Flash as soon as its errata was removed, as the card allowed for the Hulk to be put into play and sacrificed before the first player even gets a main phase to win the game. This powerful interaction leads to Flash being quickly banned and restricted in Legacy and Vintage respectively.
  • Demonfire - used in many formats including legacy until obsoleted by the notably more consistent Conflux card Banefire
  • Research/Development - Used in some Vintage decks to have access to utility cards in sideboard.
  • Simic Sky Swallower - used in Legacy deck Ichorid and Vintage Oath decks due to evasion and shroud.
  • Spell Snare - Counterspell commonly used in Legacy and Extended decks
  • Transguild Courier - both the first artifact card to have a color, and the first artifact card to have all colors.[20]
  • Trygon Predator - anti-artifact/enchantment creature sometimes used in Legacy sideboards.
  • Vigean Intuition: This instant mimicked the ability of Wood Sage, an older blue/green card from Tempest.
  • Ravnica Dual lands: Blood Crypt, Breeding Pool, and Hallowed Fountain.
  • Rakdos Augermage, Terry Soh's invitational card.
  • Azorius First-Wing introduces protection from enchantments.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

In Dissension, there were three guilds so there are just three theme decks instead of the standard four. The preconstructed theme decks are:

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Azorius Ascendant W U
Rakdos Bloodsport B R
Simic Mutology U G

External links[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (December 8, 2013). "Cube Drafts and Ravnica Drafts Return!". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Aaron Forsythe (May 08, 2006). "Dissension Design Documented". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (October 25, 2005). "Dissension Fact Sheet". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brian David-Marshall (April 17, 2006). "Advice and Dissension: A Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (April 10, 2006). "Seeds of Dissension". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Aaron Forsythe (May 01, 2006). "Design Diary: Dissension". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana (February 22, 2006). "Dissension Product Shots". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (April 18, 2006). "Dissension Prerelease Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (May 01, 2006). "Dissension Release Tournament Promo Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (May 25, 2006). "Dissension Token Art". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Rei Nakazawa (April 10, 2006). "Dissension in the Ranks". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Mark Rosewater (May 12, 2006). "On the Flipside". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Aaron Forsythe (April 14, 2006). "Clouds in the Forecast". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Aaron Forsythe (May 05, 2006). "Azorius B.I.G.". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Aaron Forsythe (June 02, 2006). "Simic Engineering". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Mark Rosewater (April 17, 2006). "Split (Odds &) Ends". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Aaron Forsythe (April 28, 2006). "The Truth about Split Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Mark Rosewater (April 24, 2006). "In The Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (April 25, 2006). "The Gold Artifact". Wizards of the Coast.