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JUD logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Balance scale
Design Brian Tinsman (lead),
Mike Elliott,
Richard Garfield,
Bill Rose,
Mark Rosewater
Development Randy Buehler (co-lead),
William Jockusch (co-lead),
Mike Elliott,
Joe Hauck,
Worth Wollpert
With contributions from:
Paul Barclay,
Mike Donais,
and Brian Schneider.
Art direction Jeremy Cranford & Dana Knutson
Release date May 27, 2002
Plane Dominaria (Otaria)
Themes and mechanics Advocates, "Graveyard matters", Incarnations, Nightmares, Phantoms, Punisher, Wishes
Keywords/​ability words Flashback, Threshold
Set size 143 cards
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
Expansion code JUD[1]
Development codename Carbon
Odyssey block
Odyssey Torment Judgment
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Torment Judgment Onslaught
For other uses, see Judgment (disambiguation).

Judgment is the third and final set, and second small expansion, in the Odyssey block. It is the 26th Magic expansion and was released on May 27, 2002.[2]

Set details[ | ]

Judgment featured 143 black-bordered cards (55 commons, 44 uncommons and 44 rares). Its expansion symbol represents a set of scales (a traditional symbol of justice).[3] Judgment is a green- and white-heavy set that balances out the bias towards black that was created by the preceding set, Torment.[4] There are 16 black cards, 33 green and white, 27 red and blue, 3 nonbasic lands, and 4 multicolored cards. In addition to there being more green and white cards and fewer black cards, all of the multicolored cards are green–white and all of the lands are associated with green and white.[4] As a reversal of Torment, there are numerous cards that refer to black or Swamps, green or Forests, and white and Plains. In addition to this, there being more green and/or white cards, the general level of power of green and/or white cards was comparably more powerful than those of other-colored cards. The set also featured Sylvan Safekeeper, Olle Råde's invitational card.[5] Judgment was the first expansion to be simultaneously released on Magic Online in addition to regular card form.

Marketing[ | ]

The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which featured the artwork from Phantom Nishoba, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack.[6] At the Judgment prerelease a foil תהילה (Glory printed in Hebrew text) was handed out. This was the last prerelease card with a language gimmick. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name. The prerelease was May 18, 2002.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

Main article: Judgment (novel)

Judgment follows the story of Kamahl, who, in keeping truth to his promise made to a dying Chainer, keeps the Mirari safe from others and himself.[7][8] Several characters, including Laquatus and Eesha, attempt to obtain the potent orb for themselves and Kamahl's sister and mentor, Jeska and Balthor, endeavor to separate the Mirari from Kamahl for fear of the corrupting influence that the orb has on Kamahl.

Ultimately, after substantial politics and war, the influence of the Mirari on individuals is diminished. A majority of the characters are killed, and the Mirari, attached to Kamahl's sword, is implanted through the corpse of Laquatus and into the Krosan Forest, thereby channeling the powerful magic into the land and allowing both the fauna and flora to grow larger and wilder.

Tokens[ | ]

A 1/1 Bird token with flying for Battle Screech and a 1/1 Cat token with haste for Firecat Blitz appeared on Magic Online.[9]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Judgment continued keyword mechanics Flashback and Threshold and the Nightmare mechanic [10] introduced in Odyssey and Torment, respectively.

Judgment also featured several themes and mechanics, specifically:

  • Advocates: creatures with activated abilities that return cards from an opponent's graveyard to their hand for a beneficial effect to you or a detrimental effect to an opponent. There are 5 Advocates, but they only appear in white and green.[11]
  • Incarnations: creatures that have static abilities that are active as long as they are in a graveyard. Some of these have an additional condition of their controllers controlling a basic land of a specific type.[12] Each Incarnation's form and material is based on a creature type that's appropriate to their ability and color.[13]
  • Phantoms: */0 Spirit creatures that come into play with a fixed number of +1/+1 counters and prevent damage that would be dealt to them at the cost of removing a +1/+1 counter from them.[14] This ability, in addition to aggressive costing, provided a host of durable and resilient creatures that were inordinately powerful and difficult to deal with.[15]
  • Wishes: instant or sorcery spells inspired by the Arabian Nights's Ring of Ma'rûf that can bring cards from outside the game, including sideboards, into the game.[16] In competitive Magic, Wishes had such an impact that the paradigm of choosing sideboards changed from using numerous copies of spells to including only one copy of a spell, to have many more and diverse options to deal with a given game state.
    • Burning Wish, which was notably featured in Long.dec,[17] was deemed too cheap and powerful, in that it could subvert the (1-card) restrictions of competitive Magic, and was consequently banned in Vintage (Type 1) from January 2004[18] till September 2012.[19]

Creature types[ | ]

The creature types Gorgon and Incarnation were introduced in Judgment.

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

The creature type Wolf was used in this expansion at the time of printing but was later changed to Werewolf.

Cycles[ | ]

Judgement features three cycles.[20]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
1-CMC sacrificial creatures Benevolent Bodyguard Hapless Researcher Cabal Trainee Dwarven Scorcher Krosan Wayfarer
Each of these common, one-CMC 1/1 creatures has an activated ability involving sacrificing itself.[21]
Incarnations (uncommon) Valor Wonder Filth Anger Brawn
Each of these uncommon creatures costing {3}M has an in-color keyword ability. In addition to this, each has a static ability that is "on" as long as these creature cards are in a controller's graveyard and they control a land of a specific basic land type, other creatures that the player controls have that keyword ability.[note 1]
Wishes Golden Wish Cunning Wish Death Wish Burning Wish Living Wish
Each of these rare non-permanent spells allows its controller to choose a card that they own from outside the game (including cards in one's sideboard, in the context of tournaments, and cards in your collection) and put that card into that player's hand.[22] [note 2]

Vertical cycle[ | ]

Cycle name
Gorgers Spellgorger Barbarian Soulgorger Orgg Worldgorger Dragon
Each of these red Nightmares has an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability and a leaves-the-battlefield triggered ability; when each of these enters the battlefield, its controller loses a resource/resources until the Gorger leaves play.
Wormfangs Wormfang Drake
Wormfang Newt
Wormfang Turtle
Wormfang Crab
Wormfang Behemoth
Wormfang Manta
Each of these blue Nightmares has an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability and a leaves-the-battlefield triggered ability; when each of these enters the battlefield, its controller loses a resource/resources until the Wormfang leaves play.

Mega cycles[ | ]

Pairs[ | ]

Judgment has one mirrored pair.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Defy Gravity
Canopy Claws
1-CMC instants that either grant or remove flying from a target creature until end of turn. In addition to this, both of these instants have a Flashback cost of C.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Strictly better[ | ]

Notable Cards[ | ]

  • Sylvan Safekeeper - The card for 1996 Magic Invitational winner Olle Råde. The reason for the card’s long delay was that R&D had lost contact with Råde after his initial card designs were rejected. Many years later, Råde bumped into Mark Rosewater at a Magic event and asked if he could still create his card.[23]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Main article: Judgment/Theme decks

Judgment has four theme decks, two of which are monocolored and two of which are bicolored. As the set is green-/white-heavy and in contradistinction with the black-heavy Torment, fittingly, no theme decks contain black and there is a predominance of green/white theme decks.

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Inundation W
Painflow G
Spectral Slam W G
Air Razers U R

Notes[ | ]

  1. Although Incarnations, Genesis and Glory are not members of this cycle.
  2. Before rules changes regarding exile in Magic 2010, it was possible to return cards exiled in the course of a game to their owner's hand.

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (June 11, 2003). "Eighth Edition Rollout: Judgment". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Judgment Frequently Answered Questions — Wizards of the Coast
  5. Magic Arcana (June 10, 2002). "Five Years in the Making". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana (April 29, 2002). "Judgment product images". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Rei Nakazawa (April 29, 2002). "Final Judgment". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Will McDermott (May 13, 2002). "Snap (Shots of) Judgment". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (July 30, 2002). "Unseen tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (January 7, 2002). "A Nightmare to Remember". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (May 23, 2002). "Seeing Double". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (May 13, 2002). "Through the Riftstone". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (June 05, 2002). "Incarnations". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater (May 6, 2002). "Phantom of the Soap Opera". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Rick Rust. (2002.) After Judgment Has Passed: White Answers and White Weenie",
  16. Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2002). "Wishes Come True". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Randy Buehler (December 19, 2003). "Classic Developments". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Wizards of the Coast (December 1, 2003). "Banned & Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Wizards of the Coast (September 20, 2012). "September 20, 2012, DCI Banned & Restricted List Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Ben Bleiweiss (July 17, 2002). "Sets of Five, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana (May 24, 2002). ""C" Creatures". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Randy Buehler (May 03, 2002). "Wishing Made Easy". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]