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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The pointed arch of a gate
Design Mark Rosewater (co-lead),
Mark Gottlieb (co-lead),
Joe Huber,
Dave Humpherys,
Ethan Fleischer[note 1]
Development Dave Humphreys (lead),
Zac Hill,
Mark Globus,
Mark Purvis,
Adam Lee,
Max McCall,
Gavin Verhey
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date February 1, 2013
Plane Ravnica
Themes and mechanics Gates, Ravnican guilds, Hybrid mana
Keywords/​ability words Battalion, Bloodrush, Cipher, Evolve, Extort
Set size 249 cards
(101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code GTC[1]
Development codename Line
Return to Ravnica block
Return to Ravnica Gatecrash Dragon's Maze
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Mirrodin Pure vs. New Phyrexia Gatecrash Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt

Gatecrash is the second set in the Return to Ravnica block. It is the sixtieth Magic expansion and was released on February 1, 2013.

Set details[ | ]

Gatecrash contains 249 cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. Like Return to Ravnica, the preceding expansion set, Gatecrash focused on the guild system and multicolor cards. The five guilds returning in Gatecrash were the Boros Legion, House Dimir, Gruul Clans, Orzhov Syndicate, and Simic Combine.[2][3] Despite being a large expansion, Gatecrash did not contain any basic lands (Return to Ravnica had some extra).[4] The set featured two planeswalkers; one, Gideon, Champion of Justice, was an established planeswalker,[5] whilst the other, Domri Rade was new.[6] The expansion symbol is a pointed arch of a gate.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

“  Fight for Your Guild  ”

Jace begins to piece together the greater mystery of the Implicit Maze. It's now a race to see who will unlock its secrets.[7][8][9][10][11]

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Gruul Ingenuity Adam Lee 2013-01-02 Ravnica Kal, Durri, Nikya, Janik, Massacre Girl
The Fathom Edict Brady Dommermuth 2013-01-09 Ravnica Zegana, Yaszen, Bogumil Bem
The Absolution of the Guildpact Adam Lee 2013-01-16 Ravnica Gorev Hadszak, Pel Javya
Persistence of Memory Adam Lee 2013-01-23 Ravnica Sarusin, Mirko Vosk
The Burying, Part 1 Adam Lee 2013-01-30 Ravnica Domri Rade, Lakkie, Whip, Sabast
The Greater Good Adam Lee 2013-02-06 Ravnica Gideon Jura, Aurelia
The Guild of Deals Adam Lee 2013-02-12 Ravnica Bosco, Jozica, Drovo
Experiment One Kelly Digges 2013-02-18 Ravnica Liana, Florin Ozbolt
Fblthp Matt Tabak 2013-12-25 Ravnica Fblthp, Parisha, Vadax Gor
The Burying, Part 2 Adam Lee 2013-03-06 Ravnica, Alara Domri Rade, Sabast, Maklo, Elishta, Hasal, Murgul, Nasri
Bilagru Will Come for You Ari Levitch 2013-03-13 Ravnica Symond Halm, Ilona, Lord Kazmyr, Bilagru, Zandra
The Hard Sell Kelly Digges 2013-03-19 Ravnica Bartek, Zifka, Imrich, Nico, Andra
Behind the Black Sun Adam Lee 2013-03-27 Ravnica Deathpact Angel

Marketing[ | ]

GTC Gideon and Aurelia

Gideon and Aurelia

MTG Gatecrash 6-card Booster Pack

Gatecrash 6-card booster

Gatecrash was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack. Like its predecessor the set also featured Booster Battle Packs, which contained two Gatecrash booster packs and two semi-randomized, guild-associated 22-card decks.[12] An early preview picture of the set shows Aurelia, the leader of the Boros Legion, adjacent to planeswalker Gideon Jura, mirroring the preview picture of the preceding Return to Ravnca, which featured Izzet League leader Niv-Mizzet and planeswalker Jace Beleren.[3]

The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Duskmantle Guildmage, Prime Speaker Zegana, Skarrg Guildmage, Vizkopa Guildmage, and Sunhome Guildmage.[13] The small booster featured artwork from Domri Rade.

Wizards of the Coast created a "Choose Your Guild" interactive quiz and Planeswalker Points Web page for the expansion, allowing Magic players to choose their guild. At the expansion's prerelease events on January 26–27, 2013, players chose their guild; a choice that affected gameplay, as, in addition to receiving five Gatecrash boosters, players received a guild-specific sticker, an acceptance letter from their guild leader,[14] a spindown life counter, a promotional prerelease card, an achievement/challenge card, and an additional guild-specific booster.[15][16] The launch party was on February 1–4, 2013, and the Game Day on February 23–24, 2013.

Promotional cards[ | ]

As was the case with Return to Ravnica, there were five promotional prerelease cards, with the card received dependent on the guild chosen. Another novel feature of the Gatecrash prerelease was the fact that the card could be played in decks at the prerelease itself, unlike previous promotional prerelease cards, were:[17]

These cards were also available in the intro packs as foils, albeit without the alternate art and prerelease date.[18][19]

Other alternate-art promotional cards were:

Tokens and emblem[ | ]

The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token or emblem card. Although there are advertising cards, there are no Tips & Tricks cards associated with Gatecrash[20]

  1. {W} 4/4 Angel creature token with flying produced by Urbis Protector
  2. {B} 1/1 Rat creature token produced by Ogre Slumlord
  3. {G} 3/3 Frog Lizard creature token produced by Rapid Hybridization
  4. {W/B} 1/1 Cleric creature token produced by Deathpact Angel
  5. {W/B} 1/1 Spirit creature token with flying produced by Beckon Apparition
  6. {U/B} 1/1 Horror creature token with flying produced by Call of the Nightwing
  7. {R/W} 1/1 Soldier creature token produced by Assemble the Legion and Sunhome Guildmage
    • The creature tokens produced by Assemble the Legion and Sunhome Guildmage have haste. The absence of "haste" on the printed token is attributed to additional flexibility, considerations as to the art aspect ratio, and the necessity of a one-turn relevant keyword, especially in light of its benefits.[21]
  8. Emblem for Domri Rade

The following named tokens were released with Return to Ravnica:

  1. {W} 2/2 Knight for Knight Watch
  2. {W} 1/1 Soldier for Murder Investigation
  3. {G} */* Ooze for Miming Slime, Mystic Genesis, and Ooze Flux

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Like the preceding set, Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash revisits five of the ten bicolored guilds of Ravnica. Each guild has its own keyword or ability word. The guilds returning in this expansion are:[22]

Guild Colors Crest Legendary guild members Keyword or ability word
House Dimir {U/B} {Dimir Logo} Lazav,
Mirko Vosk
"Grind" ("Target player reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal n land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into their graveyard.") and, more broadly, "Milling" subthemes[24][25]
"Graveyard matters" subtheme (viz., Consuming Aberration, Diluvian Primordial, Duskmantle Guildmage, Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, Sepulchral Primordial[26])
Saboteur subtheme
Gruul Clans {R/G} {Gruul Logo} Borborygmos,
Ruric Thar
"Number of lands you control" subtheme
Orzhov Syndicate {W/B} {Orzhov Logo} Obzedat,
Teysa Karlov
"Bleeding", or life gain and life loss, subtheme
Boros Legion {R/W} {Boros Logo} Aurelia,
Weenie token subtheme
Simic Combine {G/U} {Simic Logo} Zegana,
"+1/+1 counters matters" subtheme

To note: the Guilds are presented in the official {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} order, but they were originally displayed alphabetically by Wizard: Boros Legion, House Dimir, Gruul Clans, Orzhov Syndicate, Simic Combine.

The Simic mechanic evolve was inspired by a similarly named mechanic submitted by Ethan Fleisher for the Great Designer Search 2, and the Boros mechanic battalion was Shawn Main's "assault" mechanic, which was submitted for the same competition.[29] Main also designed the Orzhov extort mechanic; he is noted as being a contributor to the Gatecrash development team.[30]

Other themes and mechanics include:

Creature types[ | ]

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Primordials Luminate Primordial Diluvian Primordial Sepulchral Primordial Molten Primordial Sylvan Primordial
Each of these rare Avatar creatures costs {5}MM, has a combat-related ability, and has an "enters the battlefield" triggered ability, the effect of which scales up with the number of opponents.[33]
Denizens Court Street Denizen Sage's Row Denizen Shadow Alley Denizen Foundry Street Denizen Ivy Lane Denizen
Each of these common creatures has a triggered ability, which triggers whenever a creature of color enters the battlefield under your control.[33]
Land Auras Debtor's Pulpit Skygames Contaminated Ground Tin Street Market Verdant Haven
Each of these Auras enchants a land and grants that land an activated ability with a {T} in its cost or a triggered ability, which triggers when that land is tapped.[33]

Guild cycles[ | ]

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

Guild cycles in Gatecrash each comprise five members, one for each guild featured in the expansion. Along with many of the Return to Ravnica guild cycles, many of the Gatecrash guild cycles form Return to Ravnica block mega cycles

Cycle name Dimir
Multicolored {X} spells Mind Grind Clan Defiance Immortal Servitude Aurelia's Fury Nimbus Swimmer
Each of these rare multicolored spell cards has a cost including {X}. Notably, Aurelia's Fury is a mythic rare; Immortal Servitude has a hybrid mana cost; and Nimbus Swimmer is not merely any spell but a creature card.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Gatecrash:

Functional reprints[ | ]

Strictly better[ | ]

Strictly worse[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Enter the Infinite is a powerful combo enabler, including with Omniscience from only a few sets prior.
  • Thespian's Stage is notorious for its' combo with Dark Depths to instantly create the legendary Marit Lage, forming the backbone of a Legacy Lands-based combo deck and ensuring that Dark Depths remains banned in Modern.
  • Rapid Hybridization saw play in Devotion to Blue decks in Standard which could not play stronger removal in other colors, and sees play in the Commander format for similar reasons
  • Boros Charm is a strong spell for typical aggro decks but also Boros Burn decks in Modern, which focus on its direct damage mode.
  • Biovisionary and Hellkite Tyrant are alternate-win cards.
  • Blind Obedience and Crypt Ghast are two cards with Extort that see heavy play in the casual Commander format, and which also have resulted in numerous rules questions caused by the color symbols in their reminder text not being considered for the Commander format color identity rules.
  • Legion Loyalist was a strong card for Standard and Pioneer versions of Red Deck Wins, making it impossible to block your board of creatures and adding to the battlefield immediately
  • Boros Reckoner saw substantial play in Standard, where it was difficult to block and could resist damage-based removal, while Nightveil Specter from the same cycle saw play in Standard control decks and devotion decks, where its unique mana cost contributed to both blue and black devotion.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Balustrade Spy and Undercity Informer both use the grind mechanic, which was largely irrelevant in the history of Magic until the printing of the double-faced card lands in Zendikar Rising, which do not register as lands for the ability, allowing their controller to mill their entire library and easily win through a variety of combos. These two cards were banned from Pioneer in 2021 to prevent additional degenerate combos, but still see play in Pauper, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage variations of the deck
  • Burning-Tree Emissary is a Grizzly Bear that pays for itself and has seen play in aggressive Gruul decks in Standard, Modern, and Pioneer. It is so strong that it was suspended in the Historic format, which was overrun with red-green aggro decks that could dump almost their entire hand on turn 2 thanks to the Emissary.
  • Sylvan Primordial has had a minor impact on Pioneer but most notably has been banned in casual multiplayer formats like Commander and Oathbreaker, where its ability to destroy numerous permanent types from each player and be recurred easily with flicker effects made it too strong

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Intro packs[ | ]

Main article: Gatecrash/Intro packs

Gatecrash has five bicolored guild-centric intro packs.[18]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Dimir Dementia U B Consuming Abberation
Gruul Goliaths R G Rubblehulk
Orzhov Oppression W B Treasury Thrull
Boros Battalion W R Foundry Champion
Simic Synthesis U G Fathom Mage

Event decks[ | ]

Main article: Gatecrash/Event decks

Gatecrash has two event decks.[34]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Rally and Rout W R
Thrive and Thrash U R G

Gallery[ | ]

Notes[ | ]

  1. With contributions from Shawn Main, who designed the Battalion and Extort mechanics.

References[ | ]

  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (September 3, 2012). "Return on Investment, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Monty Ashley (July 16, 2012). "Announcing Gatecrash". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Dave Humpherys (January 7, 2013). "Developing Gatecrash". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Aaron Forsythe (January 2, 2013). "From the Director's Chair: 2012". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mike Flores (January 3, 2013). "Animal House". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Adam Lee (January 16, 2013). "The Absolution of the Guildpact". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. The Magic Creative Team (December 05, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Gatecrash: Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. The Magic Creative Team (December 12, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Gatecrash: Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Jeremy Jarvis (January 23, 2013). "The Art of Gatecrash". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Monty Ashley (January 11, 2013). "Gatecrash Art Gallery". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Trick Jarrett (January 10, 2013). "Gatecrash Booster Battle Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Monty Ashley (January 1, 2013). "Gatecrash Booster Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Monty Ashley (February 08, 2013). "Guild Letters". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Devon Rule. (July 16, 2012.) "SDCC Panel: Return to Ravnica and More!",
  16. Mike McArtor (January 21, 2013). "Gatecrash Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Monty Ashley (January 2, 2013). "Gatecrash Promo Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. a b Monty Ashley (January 3, 2013). "Gatecrash Intro Packs (and Fat Pack)". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Monty Ashley (January 25, 2013). "The Alternate Arts". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley (January 15, 2013). "Gatecrash Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (January 15, 2013). "It kind of bothers me that you keep printing tokens without the Haste rules text.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  22. Wizards of the Coast (December 31, 2012). "Gatecrash Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Marshall Sutcliffe (January 2, 2013). "The Ties That Bind". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Gottlieb (December 31, 2012). "Gatecrash Diaries". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Mark Rosewater (January 7, 2013). "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Adam Styborski (January 15, 2013). "Bouncing Back". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Mark Rosewater (January 14, 2013). "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 3". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. SeconDxSunRiisE (December 21, 2012). "[1]". MTG Salvation.
  29. Gavin Verhey (January 4, 2013). "Greetings and Extortions!". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Mark Rosewater (December 31, 2012). "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Sam Stoddard (October 26, 2012). "Return to Multiverse". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Monty Ashley (January 4, 2013). "The Gatecrash Guildgates". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. a b c Mark Rosewater (January 21, 2013). "Storming the Gatecrash, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Monty Ashley (January 14, 2013). "Gatecrash Event Decks". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]