Aaron Forsythe (lead)|
Erik Lauer (lead)|
|Art direction||Jeremy Jarvis|
|Release date||July 17, 2009|
(101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, 20 basic lands)
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
Magic: The Gathering 2010 Core Set (a.k.a. Magic 2010 and M10) is a Core Set that was released on July 17, 2009. The worldwide Prerelease took place July 11–12, and Launch Parties took place July 17–19.
With Magic 2010 the naming convention for Core Sets was changed. Instead of listing the number of the edition, the set is instead named after the year after the product was released. Doing a core set every year precluded Wizards of the Coast from doing other fourth sets, like Eventide, Coldsnap and Unhinged, but would provide a much more structured and predictable release schedule of three expert-level expansions and one core set each year. To accommodate this much more rapid core set turnover, the format rotation policy was changed. There would be only one rotation date per year when the large Fall set was released.
The core set was getting a significant face-lift in an attempt to return it to some of its original resonant flavorful glory. Because of this, Magic 2010 was the first core set since Beta to feature new cards, some of which had a top-down design. Some new cards were answers to strong cards in the metagame. Magic 2010 was also the first core set with planeswalkers and mythic rares. There were no legendary cards in the set, unlike the previous core set. Core sets were now equal in size and make up as the first set of a block. Thus, Magic 2010 contained 249 cards (101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, 20 basic lands) instead of the approximately 300 cards of previous expansions.
This set was sold in new 6-card booster packs, as well as the standard 16-card boosters. The cards were also available in 5 different Intro packs  and a fat pack. There was no Magic 2010 2-Player Starter Set and there were no tournament packs. The regular boosters featured art from Captain of the Watch(with white background), Sphinx Ambassador(with blue background), Xathrid Demon(with black background), Kindled Fury(with red background) and Cudgel Troll(with green background). The 6-card booster featured Borderland Ranger.
Because the set contained new cards, a prerelease was held for the set, at which a promotional version of Vampire Nocturnuswas given out to players. The promotional card for the launch party was Ant Queen, also a new card. The Magic 2010 Game Day was held on August 14–16, 2009. At this event the DCI-Promo-Card was Naya Sojourners, and the Top 8 Finish reward was a full-art foil Mycoid Shepherd. Magic 2010 was the first set to feature a Buy-a-Box card, a foil alternate art card given away for purchasing a booster box at certain local stores. This was Honor of the Pure.
The regular boosters of Magic 2010 come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token from Magic 2010. One face of the Magic 2010 bonus card has one of fifteen different rules tips or is one of eight different creature tokens. The other face has one of 13 advertisements for organized play programs, Zendikar, Duels of the Planeswalkers for Xbox Live, Magic Online, fat packs, From the Vault: Exiled and Ultra Pro products  for Magic.
Tips & Tricks
The tips & tricks cards are:
- Assigning Combat Damage
- Planeswalker Cards
- Parts of the Turn
- Battlefield & Exile
- Damage & Lifelink
- Mana Pool
- Tokens & Counters
- Building a Deck
- Limited Formats
- The Stack
- Two-Card Combos
- Two-Card Combos
- Two-Card Combos
- Two-Card Combos
The Magic 2010 tokens are:
- */* Avatar creature produced by Ajani Goldmane
- 1/1 Soldier creature produced by Captain of the Watch
- 2/2 Zombie creature produced by Cemetery Reaper
- 1/1 Goblin creature produced by Siege-Gang Commander
- 3/3 Beast creature produced by Garruk Wildspeaker
- 1/1 Insect creature produced by Ant Queen
- 2/2 Wolf creature produced by Howl of the Night Pack and Master of the Wild Hunt
- 3/4 Gargoyle artifact creature produced by Gargoyle Castle
- Simultaneous Mulligan - Starting with the player who will take the first turn of the game and proceeding in turn order around the table, each player announces whether they will take a mulligan or not. Then everyone who said they would take a mulligan does so at the same time. (If no one's taking a mulligan, the game proceeds onward.) If any players took a mulligan, then just those players repeat the process to see if any of them will take a second mulligan: First, they announce yes or no, then all the yeses shuffle and redraw at the same time. This continues among the mulliganers until everyone's satisfied with their starting hands. Once you decide you're not taking a mulligan, your starting hand is locked in. You can't jump back into the mulligan process later.
- Battlefield - The in-play zone was renamed the "battlefield," which brings it in line with other flavorful zone names like "graveyard" and "library." Permanents "enter the battlefield" or are "put onto the battlefield" as opposed to "come into play" or "put into play."
- Cast, Play, and Activate - "Cast" is used as the verb used when referring to the act of playing spells or types of spells. "Play" is kept as the verb associated with lands (and with cards of unspecified types). Activated abilities are also no longer "played" but rather "activated."
- Exile - The phrase "remove from the game" is changed to "exile". The zone is now called the "exile zone" and cards in it are referred to as "exiled cards."
- Beginning of the End Step - The "end of turn step" is now called the "end step" and the phrase "at end of turn" is replaced with "at the beginning of the end step".
- Mana Pools and Mana Burn - Mana pools now empty at the end of each step and phase, which means mana can no longer be floated from the upkeep to the draw step, nor from the declare attackers step to the declare blockers step of combat. Mana burn is eliminated as a game concept. Mana left unspent at the end of steps or phases simply vanishes, with no accompanying loss of life.
- Token Ownership - The owner of a token is the player under whose control it entered the battlefield.
- Combat Damage No Longer Uses the Stack - There is no longer a time window between the assigning of damage and the damage being dealt in which activated abilities or instants could be played. Instead, damage is dealt as soon as the players have finished assigning it.
- Multiple blockers are assigned damage in succession - If a creature is blocked by multiple creatures, the attacking players numbers the blockers in the order the attacking creature will deal damage to them. A creature can only assign damage to a blocking creature with a higher number if all creatures with numbers below that creatures number have been assigned lethal damage.
- E.g.: A Trained Armodon (green, 3/3) is blocked by a Grizzly Bears and a Cylian Elf (both 2/2). The attacking player numbers the Bears as "Blocker #1" and the Elf as "Blocker #2". Now the defending player casts Shelter and gives the Bears protection from green. The attacking player now must assign 2 damage to the Bears and can only assign 1 point of damage to the Elf. Both 2/2s survive as the Bears damage is prevented by protection and the Elf is not dealt lethal damage. Meanwhile, the Armodon is dealt a total of 4 damage and is destroyed since the damage on it exceeds its toughness.
- Deathtouch - Deathtouch became a static ability. Creatures dealt damage by a source with deathtouch will be destroyed as a state-based effect at the same time lethal damage would kill them. As a side effect, multiple instances of deathtouch are not cumulative. In addition, deathtouch allows a double-blocked creature to ignore the new damage assignment rules and split its damage among any number of creatures it's in combat with however its controller wants to.
- Lifelink - Lifelink, like deathtouch, became a static ability. If a source with lifelink deals damage, its controller gains that much life as that damage is being dealt. This brings the timing much closer to spells like Consume Spirit and Lightning Helix. As a side effect, multiple instances of lifelink are no longer cumulative.
- Bands with Others - Bands with Others was changed to allow more creatures into the bands.
Reasons and reactions
Most of the changes implemented were explained by Wizards of the Coast as simplifying the game, making it easier to learn, and cleaning up some counter-intuitive game states, such as a creature dealing damage when it is no longer on the battlefield. The introduction of new terminology was also meant to lessen confusion and making certain things more explicit.
The announcement was met largely with mixed to negative reactions from the competitive player base, which felt that the game was dumbed down due to the removal of damage on the stack and to a lesser extent mana burn. It was also noted that certain cards such as Citadel of Pain became functionally useless due to some of the changes, and that other cards, such as Wishes, lost significant functionality.
Director of Magic R&D Aaron Forsythe admitted that the rules changes to Deathtouch were rushed as no quick solution was apparent to make the ability work after the rules change to the blocker assignment the same way as it did before. This led to another update of the Deathtouch rules with the release of Magic 2011.
Magic 2010 has 5 cycles.
|Lucky charms||Angel's Feather||Kraken's Eye||Demon's Horn||Dragon's Claw||Wurm's Tooth|
|Each artifact costing and hosting an ability that allows its controller to gain life whenever a spell of the appropriate color is played. (Reprinted from Darksteel)|
|Enemy-color hosers||Celestial Purge||Flashfreeze||Deathmark||Ignite Disorder||Mold Adder|
|Each of these uncommon spells hampers both of their enemy colors at a low mana cost. (Four of these are reprinted from color hoser cycles in other sets: Flashfreeze and Deathmark from Coldsnap, Celestial Purge and Ignite Disorder from Conflux.)|
|Planeswalkers||Ajani Goldmane||Jace Beleren||Liliana Vess||Chandra Nalaar||Garruk Wildspeaker|
|The original cycle of Planeswalkers from Lorwyn was reprinted as mythic rares.|
|Tribal Lords||Captain of the Watch
|Each of these rare creatures gives other creatures of their type +1/+1 and has an additional ability related to them.|
|Allied color check lands||Glacial Fortress||Drowned Catacomb||Dragonskull Summit||Rootbound Crag||Sunpetal Grove|
|Each of these rare dual lands comes into play tapped unless you control a land with one of the appropriate types.|
|Common Auras with enchant creature that give a mirrored bonus to the enchanted creature's power/toughness.|
|Uncommon Knights with a mana cost of MM, power/toughness of 2/2, first strike and protection from the other's color.|
|Rare sorceries with a mana cost of MM which result in a player drawing or discarding X cards.|
|Common sorceries with a mana cost of M which result in a player drawing or discarding 2 cards.|
|Common human soldier White creatures that give a bonus to other soldier creatures (+1 to toughness or +1 to power, respectively). Although their mana costs differ slightly, their stats are parallel: 2/3 and 3/2, respectively.|
- Baneslayer Angel, a very powerful creature that saw tournament play in Standard and Extended.
- Hive Mind is a piece of a combo deck in Modern that kills the opponent forcing them to cast one of the spell of the pact cycle from Future Sight, like Pact of Negation, when they are not able to pay their cost.
- Doom Blade, a versatile black removal first printed in Magic 2010.
For the first time, intro packs in a core set are two colored instead of the usual mono-colored decks.
|Intro pack name||Colors Included||Foil rare|
|We Are Legion||W||R||Lightwielder Paladin|
|Presence of Mind||U||B||Djinn of Wishes|
|Nature's Fury||W||G||Kalonian Behemoth|
Core set changes
- Nature's Spiral is a toned down version of Regrowth which was last seen in the core set Revised.
- The Lorwyn Planeswalkers were moved from rare to mythic rare.
- Righteousness, which had always been rare, was moved to uncommon.
- The cycle of Manlands, Muses (rare spirit creatures), Pain lands (both allied and enemy colored rare lands) and the Weavers (2/1 Wizard creatures that have abilities that help allied-color creatures) were not included in Magic 2010.
- The 11 legendary cards that were added to 10th Edition were not included in Magic 2010.
- With the removal of Story Circle, there are no white enchantments that grant protection from a color in the core set. Core sets had the Circle of Protection cycle for a long time.
- The instant Windstorm is an uncommon replacement for the rare sorcery Hurricane, the latter damages players also while the former does not.
- There are no cards with the fear keyword ability in the set. The similar keyword Intimidate was introduced into the Comprehensive Rules but was not printed on any cards until Zendikar 's release.
- The rare sorcery Day of Judgment in Zendikar provided a replacement for the rare sorcery Wrath of God, the latter prevented regeneration while the former does not.
- Glorious Anthem was removed in favor of adding Honor of the Pure which for less casting cost gives +1/+1 to white creatures you control instead of to all of your creatures. Honor of the Pure is reminiscent of Crusade which gave +1/+1 to all white creatures in play for a casting cost of .
- With the removal of Overgrowth, Magic 2010 is the first core set without a green "Enchantment - Aura Enchant Land" card that added extra mana when a land was tapped. Overgrowth is also in 9th and 10th edition, Fertile Ground is in 8th Edition, and Wild Growth is in all editions of the core set up to 7th Edition.
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- Magic Arcana (June 15, 2009). "Magic 2010 Fat Pack". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (June 09, 2009). "Magic 2010 Boosters". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (June 30, 2009). "Magic 2010 Promos". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (August 04, 2009). "Magic 2010 Game Day Promos". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (July 08, 2009). "Ultra•PRO Accessories". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe and Mark L. Gottlieb (June 10, 2009). "Magic 2010 Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (August 05, 2013). "Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 19, 2009). "Magic Lessons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe (June 28, 2010). "Magic 2011 Has Big Shoes to Fill". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (July 13, 2009). "Magic 2010 Intro Pack Decklists". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.