MTG Wiki
Fifth Dawn

Fifth Dawn
5DN logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The Helm of Kaldra
Design Mark Rosewater (lead),
Randy Buehler,
Aaron Forsythe,
Gregory Marques
Development Brian Schneider (lead),
Brandon Bozzi,
Randy Buehler,
Mike Donais,
Mike Elliott,
Devin Low,
Henry Stern,
Worth Wollpert
Art direction Jeremy Cranford
Release date June 4, 2004
Plane Mirrodin
Themes and mechanics Beacons, "Cogs", "Prismatic"
Keywords/​ability words Scry, Sunburst
Set size 165 cards
(55 commons, 55 uncommons, 55 rares)
Expansion code 5DN[1]
Development codename Tomato[2]
Mirrodin block
Mirrodin Darksteel Fifth Dawn
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Darksteel Fifth Dawn Champions of Kamigawa
For other uses, see Fifth Dawn (disambiguation).

Fifth Dawn is the third set in the Mirrodin block. It is the thirty-second Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released on June 4, 2004.[3] The prerelease was May 22–23, 2004.[4]

Set details[ | ]

Fifth Dawn contains 165 black-bordered cards (55 rare, 55 uncommon, and 55 commons). Like its predecessors Mirrodin and Darksteel, the set has a high artifact count (65). However, the set also has a distinct five-color matters theme. The set introduced a darker frame on artifact cards to help distinguish from white cards, a problem that had occurred since the introduction of the Eighth Edition card frame.[5] Fifth Dawn's expansion symbol is a small image of the Helm of Kaldra, one of the three Kaldra artifacts.[6]

Marketing[ | ]

Fifth Dawn was sold in 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. The booster packs featured artwork from Etched Oracle, Fist of Suns, and Bringer of the Red Dawn.[7] The prerelease card was a foil alternate art Helm of Kaldra. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name, written by Cory Herndon.

Tokens[ | ]

A 1/1 Myr Token for Myr Incubator[8] and a 3/3 Beast Token for Bringer of the Green Dawn were offered as Magic Player Reward. A 2/2 colorless Pincher creature token for Summoning Station was created for a Player Reward as well, but in the end, was only used on Magic Online.[9]

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

Main article: The Fifth Dawn

Glissa, Bosh and Slobad journey deep within Mirrodin's core to confront the insidious Memnarch. With them is the Kaldra avatar—an immensely powerful being of energy summoned when Kaldra's sword, shield, and helm were brought together. But what was supposed to be the world's salvation turns out to be a vile trick. Memnarch seizes the avatar with a single spell and turns it on Glissa and her companions. Kaldra's avatar relentlessly pursues Glissa into the Tangle, destroying everything in its way. Finally, at the Radix, Glissa's destiny becomes clear. As rage and despair overcome her, Glissa's body calls forth a great column of green mana from Mirrodin's core, annihilating the avatar in the process. Now that mana hangs overhead in a glowing sphere—the green sun at last, Mirrodin's fifth dawn.[10]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Fifth Dawn had a "Machine Feel", with "Cogs", "Engines", "Batteries", "Spouts", and "Stations".[11][12][13] "Cogs" are {0} and {1}-cost artifacts with small effects (e.g. Ornithopter, Razorgrass Screen).[14] "Engines" turn one resource into another (e.g. Blasting Station, Clock of Omens); "Batteries" build up resources over time (e.g. Gemstone Array); "Spouts" are artifacts that allow you to turn a resource into some effect that will either win you the game or help you control the board (e.g. Avarice Totem, Goblin Cannon). "Stations" formed the "Great Machine" which together can produce infinite creatures, deal infinite damage, and mill infinite cards — Blasting Station, Grinding Station, Salvaging Station, and Summoning Station. The artwork of the stations forms a mural.[15]

The set sported several cards that were perfectly suited for the casual prismatic format (five-color matters). Some cards got a bonus for different colored mana spent on them, other cards that were specifically to be cast for {W}{U}{B}{R}{G}.[16][17]

Fifth Dawn introduced two new abilities:

  • Sunburst — An artifact with sunburst enters the Battlefield with counters on it based on the number of colors of mana you used to pay its cost. The more colors of mana you have in your deck, the better your sunburst cards become. Artifact creatures enter the battlefield with +1/+1 counters while non-creature artifacts gain charge counters instead.[18][19] Cards with the Sunburst ability all share a visual cue - Mirrodin's five suns somewhere in the art.[20]
  • Scry — Some Fifth Dawn instants and sorceries let you look at the top two cards of your library and then decide where you want to put them. You can put both cards on either the top or bottom of your library in any order, or you can put one card on the top and one on the bottom. In Fifth Dawn, the mechanic only lets the caster look at the top two cards. At a later revision in Future Sight, the template of Scry was changed so several cards specified with the ability would be viewed.[21]

Creature types[ | ]

The creature types Bringer, Pincher and (retroactively) Rigger was introduced in this expansion.

The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:

Cycles[ | ]

Fifth Dawn has three cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Beacons Beacon of Immortality Beacon of Tomorrows Beacon of Unrest Beacon of Destruction Beacon of Creation
Each of these rare sorceries or instants is shuffled back your library after being played. They represent the dawning of the moons, with the green Beacon's flavor text explicitly referring to it being recent.
Bringers Bringer of the White Dawn Bringer of the Blue Dawn Bringer of the Black Dawn Bringer of the Red Dawn Bringer of the Green Dawn
Each of these rare creatures has a mana cost of {7}MM, but can be played for {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} instead of the mana cost. Each has trample and powerful ability that may be played at the beginning of the owner's upkeep.
Color-aligned equipment Healer's Headdress Neurok Stealthsuit Cranial Plating Sparring Collar Horned Helm
Each of these common equipment artifacts have "MM: Attach [card name] to target creature you control" where M is a specific color of mana. These abilities work just like the equip ability, except that they can be played any time their controller could play an instant.

Mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name
Kaldra Equipment Sword of Kaldra (Mirrodin) Shield of Kaldra (Darksteel) Helm of Kaldra (Fifth Dawn)
Each expansion symbol in the Mirrodin block is represented in the Kaldra artifacts.

Mega-mega cycles[ | ]

For each of the visits to Mirrodin in this set, Mirrodin Besieged, and Phyrexia: All Will Be One, a cycle of instants or sorceries has been printed that depicts the suns at their dawn, peak, and sunset, with a mechanical link to the next cycle. Here, the Beacon cycle shows when each sun dawns and the spells shuffle themselves into their owner's library. The Zenith cycle in the Mirrodin Besieged also shuffles themselves into their owner's library.

Pairs[ | ]

Fifth Dawn has one mirrored pair.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Stand Firm
Lose Hope
Instants, have a cost of M, are illustrated by Matt Cavotta, an effect of gaining or losing 1/1 until end of turn and Scry 2 [22]

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Functional reprints[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Cranial Plating was the final piece of the puzzle that made Affinity a broken deck, with its power still present today. It made the many innocuous artifact creatures individual threats, and its power only increased as more cheap artifacts were printed. It was banned in Pauper during its debut as a Magic Online format in 2009.
  • Krark-Clan Ironworks was an engine without a shell until 2017 when a complex loop including Scrap Trawler created the successor to the Second Sunrise combo deck that was banned after the first Modern tournament. The loop also exploited rules regarding mana abilities, making it even more difficult to interact, but piloting it was difficult enough to keep out of the general populace. After enough players mastered it, it was banned in January 2019.

Mechanical oddities[ | ]

Callbacks[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Fifth Dawn has three bicolored and one pentachromatic theme decks.

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Nuts and Bolts W U
Special Forces U B
Stampede R G
Sunburst W U B R G

External links[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (August 12, 2002). "Codename of the Game". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Paul Barclay, David DeLaney, and Jeff Jordan. (2004.) "Fifth Dawn Frequently Asked Questions", Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brian David-Marshall (May 17, 2004). "Fifth Dawn Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Randy Buehler (October 31, 2003). "A Scary Card Frame Story". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (May 12, 2004). "Fifth Dawn Booster Package Art". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana (November 17, 2003). "Upcoming Magic Rewards tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (June 01, 2004). "Pincher token art". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Rei Nakazawa (May 3, 2004). "The Breaking Fifth Dawn". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Aaron Forsythe (May 21, 2004). "The Keystone of Fifth Dawn". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (May 24, 2004). "Cog Wild". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Aaron Forsythe (May 28, 2004). "Deus Ex Machina". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana (June 15, 2004). "X-Cogs". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Wizards of the Coast (May 31, 2004). "The Stations Mural". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Mark Rosewater (May 3, 2004). "Dawn of a New Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Doug Beyer (July 26, 2004). "Prismatic in the Fifth Dawn Era". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (May 10, 2004). "Here Comes the Sunburst". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Scott Wills (June 7, 2004). "Fifth Dawn: Impacts of the New Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (June 08, 2004). "The suns of Sunburst". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (May 17, 2004). "Scry Me a River". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana (May 24, 2004). "Before and After Art". Wizards of the Coast.