MTG Wiki
Dragon's Maze

Dragon's Maze
DGM logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description An overlap of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash expansion symbols
Design Alexis Janson (lead),
Mark Rosewater,
Erik Lauer,
Aaron Forsythe,
Shawn Main,
Dan Emmons
Development Zac Hill (lead),
Erik Lauer,
Mark Globus,
Mark Gottlieb,
Masami Ibamoto,
Sam Stoddard
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date May 3, 2013
Plane Ravnica
Themes and mechanics Gates, Ravnican guilds
Keywords/​ability words Guild keywords (see below),
Set size 156 cards
(70 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 11 mythic rares)
Expansion code DGM[1]
Development codename Sinker
Return to Ravnica block
Return to Ravnica Gatecrash Dragon's Maze
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt Dragon's Maze Modern Masters

Dragon's Maze is the third set in the Return to Ravnica block. It is the 61st Magic expansion and was released on May 3, 2013.

Set details[ | ]

Dragon's Maze was the only small set in the block. It contains 156 cards (70 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 11 mythic rares), including randomly inserted premium versions[2] of all cards in the set. The set focused on the guild system, featuring all of the ten guilds from Ravnica, and multicolor cards.[3] Dragon's Maze and its boosters did not contain any basic lands; however, as a first in Magic history, the set contained same-block reprints (the non-basic guild gates). Besides these guild gates, boosters could contain shock lands with Return to Ravnica or Gatecrash expansion symbols, and the mythic rare Maze's End. The frequency at which these cards are found in booster packs is the same as any other card at their respective rarities.[4]

Dragon's Maze featured Izzet planeswalker Ral Zarek and, as a throwback to the original Ravnica block, guild champions (maze runners). The expansion symbol is an overlap of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash expansion symbols.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

DGM Ral Zarek

Ral Zarek

“  Ten Guilds, One Destination!  ”

The Implicit Maze is a system of mana paths or leylines through the guildgates and districts of Ravnica that has manifested after the Guildpact was destroyed. On the instruction of Niv-Mizzet and using Jace Beleren's notes, it was discovered by Ral Zarek. The maze was created by Azor I to be revealed in case the Guildpact dissolved. In this way, the founder of the Azorius Senate tried to foster an atmosphere of peaceful collaboration. At the end of the maze in the Forum of Azor lies great power. For it to be solved, all the guilds of Ravnica must participate at once. Niv-Mizzet has announced that each guild will send one champion as its delegate in the running of the maze. At an appointed time, the champions meet at the Transguild Promenade and embark on a race through the twists and turns of the maze. The one who triumphs gains the power behind it for their guild. Others fall to its dangers.

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Ruric Thar Jennifer Clarke Wilkes 2013-04-03 Ravnica Ruric Thar, Squelch
Teysa Karlov Adam Lee 2013-04-10 Ravnica Teysa Karlov, the Obzedat, Slubnik, Tajic
Barrin's Tall Tale Adam Lee 2013-04-17 Ravnica Barrin Grevik, Jace Beleren, Nila Grevik, Scrump
Expectations Nik Davidson 2013-04-24 Ravnica Oana Vitellius I, Johvann III, Petri, Tarem, Otho Vitellius II
The Pursuit, Part 1 Ari Levitch 2013-05-01 Ravnica Madarrak, Castan, Yzaak, Niv-Mizzet, Pelener, Erno Zslod
Life in the Ring Sam Stoddard 2013-05-08 Ravnica Rinni, Nikori, Ginoria, Lunicia, Silar, Minyuli
The Pursuit, Part 2 Ari Levitch 2013-05-14 Ravnica Madarrak, Castan, Erno Zslod, Johrum, Yzaak
The One Hundred Steps Adam Lee 2013-05-22 Ravnica Jek, Vinni, Halok
Last Day Colin Kawakami 2013-06-05 Ravnica Liric, Skrygix, Mareena
Paper Trail Nik Davidson 2013-06-12 Ravnica Kuba, Ruslan, Alena, Kelen Jek, Trifon, Stanisil
Battle for the Ninth Adam Lee 2013-06-19 Ravnica Gideon Jura, Anza, Dars Gostok, Jazek, Tajic, Aurelia

Marketing[ | ]

DGM Spanish Implicit Maze

The "Implicit Maze" at a DGM prerelease in Spain.[5]

DGM 6 card booster

Dragon's Maze 6-card booster

Dragon's Maze was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, one event deck and a fat pack. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Emmara Tandris, Melek, Izzet Paragon and Tajic, Blade of the Legion.[6] The small booster featured artwork from Ral Zarek.

Prerelease[ | ]

In the prerelease Sealed Deck format, each player chose a guild. That player would receive a "Guild Prerelease Pack" of the chosen guild, which contained four Dragon's Maze booster packs, one guild-specific booster pack, and one "secret ally" booster pack.[7][8][9] The "secret ally" booster pack contained cards of a guild that shared one mana color with the chosen guild.

The draft format for Dragon's Maze reverted to the regular format of drafting the three sets in a block (i.e., in reverse order of their release; here, Dragon's Maze/Gatecrash/Return to Ravnica).[10]

Each participant received a guild symbol button, or "guild mark", to indicate their guild affiliation. In the "Implicit Maze" prerelease event, when a player won a match during the tournament, their guild progressed through the Implicit Maze. Each member of the first guild to complete the Implicit Maze would receive a "Champion of the Maze" achievement code card, which he or she could redeem on the Planeswalker Points webpage for a badge and an achievement. Additionally, members of each other guild to complete the Implicit Maze after the first would receive "Maze Runner" achievement code cards to redeem.[11]

Promotional cards[ | ]

On April 27–28, 2013, each prerelease participant received a promotional alternate-art Maze's End, which couldn't be played in the sealed deck. This is in contrast to the sealed events of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash prereleases.[4][8] In addition to this, a foil Plains was awarded to every player that participated in the prerelease's "Implicit Maze", making this the only basic land to feature the Dragon's Maze's expansion symbol.[12]

Other promotional cards were:[13]

Tokens[ | ]

The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token creature card or an advertisement card. The only Dragon's Maze token card is:

  1. {G/W} */* Elemental creature token with "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of creatures you control." produced by Voice of Resurgence

Critical reception[ | ]

Dragon's Maze received mixed reception, but it was largely panned by Magic writers and professional players. Several favorite elements were considered to be "missing" from the set.[15] However, a few cards in the set were notably regarded as powerful and potentially tournament-playable. These include Notion Thief, a innocuous card draw hoser, and Voice of Resurgence, a competitively costed threat against control decks.[16][17][18]

Limited "bombs" for Dragon's Maze included Ral Zarek, Lavinia of the Tenth, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, and Dragonshift. These proved potent at the expansion's prerelease events.[19]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Like the preceding sets, Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze features the bicolored guilds of Ravnica. Each guild has its own keyword or ability word.[20][21]

Guild Azorius
Keyword Detain Cipher Unleash Bloodrush Populate Extort Overload Scavenge Battalion Evolve

The expansion also features two cycles of split cards and a new mechanic exclusive to these cards called Fuse.[22][23] Fuse allows players to play both halves of a split card with the keyword ability as one spell by paying both halves' mana costs. Split cards with Fuse also have a new card layout, with the boxes containing the name and type line forming arrows that point medially, towards to midline of the card. In addition to this, each split card with Fuse has a separate text box containing the Fuse mechanic and its reminder text that spans the bottom of both halves.

Other themes and mechanics include:

  • In addition to the reprinting of the ten Gate nonbasic lands, Dragon's Maze features Maze's End, a nonbasic land that works synergistically with Gates. Not only can it search for Gate cards and put them onto the battlefield, but Maze's End can also win players the game if they have 10 or more differently named Gates under their control.

Creature types[ | ]

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles[ | ]

Whereas Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash have 5-card guild cycles that, if and when considered together, form 10-card guild mega cycles, Dragon's Maze has 10-card guild cycles, with one card per guild, as well as 5-card cycles, with one card per color.

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Gatekeepers Sunspire Gatekeepers Opal Lake Gatekeepers Ubul Sar Gatekeepers Smelt-Ward Gatekeepers Saruli Gatekeepers
Each of these common 2/4 Soldier creatures cost {3}M and an "enter the battlefield" triggered ability that triggers if its controller controls two Gates when it comes into play.[21]
Maze Elementals Maze Sentinel Maze Glider Maze Abomination Maze Rusher Maze Behemoth
Each of these common Elemental creatures cost {5}M and has two static abilities, one of which is an on-color combat keyword and another that confers that combat word to multicolor creatures its controller controls.[25][26]
Fuse spells (rare) Ready // Willing
Beck // Call
Breaking // Entering
Catch // Release
Flesh // Blood
Each of these rare split cards has two differently multicolored halves, with each half sharing one color with the other half, and the Fuse mechanic. Each guild is represented only once and each Return to Ravnica guild is paired with a Gatecrash guild.

Guild cycles[ | ]

Cycle name Azorius
Mythic Rare Spells Council of the Absolute (Dragon's Maze) Reap Intellect (Dragon's Maze) Master of Cruelties (Dragon's Maze) Savageborn Hydra (Dragon's Maze) Voice of Resurgence (Dragon's Maze) Blood Baron of Vizkopa (Dragon's Maze) Ral Zarek (Dragon's Maze) Deadbridge Chant (Dragon's Maze) Legion's Initiative (Dragon's Maze) Progenitor Mimic (Dragon's Maze)
Each of the ten mythic rare cards has a color combination representing each guild of Ravnica.
Lieutenants Jelenn Sphinx Haunter of Nightveil Carnage Gladiator Feral Animist Bronzebeak Moa Maw of the Obzedat Fluxcharger Korozda Gorgon Blaze Commando Species Gorger
Each of these uncommon creatures has an ability or abilities that "lend themselves to certain styles of play".[27] According to writer Zac Hill, the "Lieutenants" were designed to encourage drafters to pursue a specific strategy rather than just picking generally powerful cards. While Hill did not name the cards in the cycle, there is little doubt about which of the one or two uncommon creatures for a particular color pair is part of the cycle.
Maze Runners Lavinia of the Tenth Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch Ruric Thar, the Unbowed Emmara Tandris[28] Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts Melek, Izzet Paragon Varolz, the Scar-Striped Tajic, Blade of the Legion Vorel of the Hull Clade
Each of these rare legendary creatures represents the "Maze Runner" of its respective guild.
Fuse spells (uncommon) Protect // Serve Far // Away Toil // Trouble Armed // Dangerous Alive // Well Profit // Loss Turn // Burn Down // Dirty Wear // Tear Give // Take
Each of these uncommon split cards has two monocolored halves, with each half of a different color from the other, and the Fuse mechanic.
Cluestones' Azorius Cluestone Dimir Cluestone Rakdos Cluestone Gruul Cluestone Selesnya Cluestone Orzhov Cluestone Izzet Cluestone Golgari Cluestone Boros Cluestone Simic Cluestone
Each of these common artifacts costs {3}, has one mana ability that taps for either of its guild's respective colors, and has one activated ability costing one of each of its guild's respective colors, {T}, and its sacrifice to draw a card.

Each Cluestone is illustrated by Raoul Vitale.[29]
Gates Azorius Guildgate Dimir Guildgate Rakdos Guildgate Gruul Guildgate Selesnya Guildgate Orzhov Guildgate Izzet Guildgate Golgari Guildgate Boros Guildgate Simic Guildgate
Each of these common nonbasic lands with the Gate subtype enters the battlefield tapped and can be tapped for one mana of its respective guild's colors.
Common Guild Mechanics Lyev Decree Hidden Strings Rakdos Drake Rubblebelt Maaka Wake the Reflections Tithe Drinker Weapon Surge Thrashing Mossdog Boros Mastiff Battering Krasis
Each of these commons has the associated guild's mechanic. They are the only commons in the set that use the guild mechanics. The cycle is loose in that there is not an even distribution across colors and a single card in the cycle is gold.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets:

Note about shock lands[ | ]

As the shock lands that appear in Dragon's Maze boosters feature a Return to Ravnica or Gatecrash expansion symbol, they are technically not reprints.[31]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Voice of Resurgence was considered one of the only valuable cards in the set and quickly saw dominant play in Standard and Modern, and is still heavily played in Pioneer.
    • It also had a late-stage art swap with Emmara Tandris, the mazerunner for Selesnya. Part of this is due to the rarity of effect and the runners all being rare otherwise, which led to Emmara becoming a 5/7, and her later incarnation Emmara, Soul of the Accord would be a 2/2 as originally planned.[32]
  • Wear // Tear is a versatile removal spell that is played in sideboards in multiple formats.
  • Notion Thief is a strong answer to decks that seek to draw numerous cards, even seeing play in Legacy where it can answer an opposing Brainstorm.
  • Ruric Thar, the Unbowed has been played in Modern and Pioneer sideboards against decks that cast numerous non-creature spells, essentially locking them out of the game
  • Maze's End is an alternate-win card.
  • Master of Cruelties has a unique effect, reducing an opponent's life to 1 in a single swing.
  • Sire of Insanity was used as an attempted counter to Sphinx's Revelation, undoing all their card advantage if it could be snuck out.
  • Possibility Storm forces players to cast random spells out of their library and can be turned into a single-sided lock piece with cards like Drannith Magistrate and Teferi, Time Raveler.
  • Aetherling is a reference to Morphling and has seen play in both Standard control decks as a finisher but also Legacy Reanimator decks thanks to its ability to avoid removal.
  • Advent of the Wurm is an efficiently stated creature with flash, becoming a staple in green-white decks in Standard.
  • Hidden Strings is a key part of the eponymous Lotus Field deck in Pioneer, where it can be used to untap Lotus Field.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Intro packs[ | ]

Dragon's Maze has five bicolored guild-centric intro packs.[33][34]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Azorius Authority W U Lavinia of the Tenth
Rakdos Revelry B R Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
Gruul Siege R G Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Orzhov Power W B Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
Simic Domination U G Vorel of the Hull Clade

Event deck[ | ]

Dragon's Maze is the first expansion set to feature only one event deck.[35]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Strength of Selesnya W B G

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Dragon's Maze product information pageWizards of the Coast
  2. Trick Jarrett (May 14, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Foiling". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Trick Jarrett (November 12, 2012). "Announcing Dragon's Maze". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Monty Ashley (January 28, 2013). "The Dragon's Maze Prerelease". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. rebellion_es. "The battle has begun in Rebellion!!". Twitter. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  6. Trick Jarrett (April 09, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Boosters & Fat Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Trick Jarrett (March 26, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Prerelease". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. a b Wizards of the Coast (April 23, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Prerelease, Release Events, and Wide Beta Spotlight". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Gavin Verhey (April 23, 2013). "Building Dragon's Maze Sealed". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. San Diego Comic-Con Panel 2012 (3:54-4:22) by wizardsmtg, YouTube, July 15, 2012.
  11. Mike McArtor (April 22, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2013). "The promo Plains from the DGM prerelease has the DGM expansion symbol.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  13. Trick Jarrett (April 11, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Promos & Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (April 08, 2013 "Buy a Box Promotion"
  15. Mark Rosewater (May 13, 2013). "Absence". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Daniel Tack (April 23, 2013). "Dragon's Maze: Evaluating Azorius". Forbes. Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  17. Brian Kallenbach (April 17, 2013). "Dragon's Maze, Spoilers to Date". Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  18. Craig Wescoe (April 25, 2013). "Financial Predictions for Dragon's Maze". Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  19. Justin Ouellette (April 26, 2013). "A Beginner's Guide to the Dragon's Maze Prerelease". Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  20. Wizards of the Coast (April 8, 2013). "The Mechanics of Dragon's Maze". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. a b Wizards of the Coast (April 22, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Frequently Asked Questions". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater (April 15, 2013). "A Maze-ing Grace, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Alexis Janson (April 08, 2013). "Fusing Passion and Purpose". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Sam Stoddard (October 26, 2012). "Return to Multiverse". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Marshall Sutcliffe (April 17, 2013). "Totally Not Lost". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Trick Jarrett (May 13, 2013). "A-Maze-ing Cycle". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Zac Hill (May 1, 2013). "Crafting the Maze". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater (November 02, 2017). "Why was Emmara so underpowered when compared to the other champions?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  29. Trick Jarrett (April 16, 2013). "The Cluestones". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Trick Jarrett (April 17, 2013). "Zoomed Guildgates". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater (April 08, 2013). "A Maze-ing Grace, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Mark Rosewater (2013-08-18). "I would just like to say that I'm very happy that you are taking the time to look up Emmara's story and to write it down for us.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  33. Trick Jarrett (April 12, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Trick Jarrett (April 24, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Intro Pack Decklists". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Trick Jarrett (April 15, 2013). "Dragon's Maze Event Deck". Wizards of the Coast.