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Magic Origins
ORI logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Planeswalker symbol breaking through the horizon.
Design Shawn Main (lead)
Mark Gottlieb
Ari Levitch
Nik Davidson
Ian Duke
Development Sam Stoddard (lead)
Dave Humpherys
Ian Duke
Dan Emmons
Ethan Fleischer
Ari Levitch
With contributions from
Matt Tabak
and advice from
Mark Rosewater
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date July 17, 2015
Plane Alara
Themes and mechanics Double-faced cards
Keywords/​ability words Menace, Prowess, Renown, Scry, Spell Mastery
Set size 272 cards
(101 commons, 80 uncommons, 55 rares, 16 mythic rares, 20 basic lands)
+16 sample deck cards
(7 commons, 4 uncommons, 5 rares)
Expansion code ORI[1]
Development codename Magic 2016
Core sets
Magic 2015 Magic Origins Core Set 2019
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Modern Masters 2015 Magic Origins From the Vault: Angels

Magic Origins is the seventeenth Magic core set. At the time of its release, it was thought to be marketed as the last core set. It was grouped as a two-set block with Dragons of Tarkir for Standard rotation under the Two-Block Paradigm.[2] It was released on July 17, 2015. The set was strongly integrated with its digital counterpart Magic Duels: Origins.

Set details[ | ]

Magic Origins was announced February 8, 2015 during Pro Tour Fate Reforged.[3] The set contains 272 cards, which is 3 more than the current default for large sets (101 Commons, 80 Uncommons, 55 Rares, 16 Mythic Rares, 20 Basic Land[4]). An additional 16 cards appear in the sample decks [5] (7 Common, 4 Uncommon, 5 Rare). As a first since Alpha, this Core Set features two new mechanics. R&D considers Magic Origins not to be the "last core set", but a "new beginning" relating to the start of the Two-Block Paradigm and a new treatment of the storyline. The latter involves telling coherent, in-depth stories about the characters and carrying those out over story arcs across multiple sets. To enable this storytelling, there are more new cards in this set than in previous Core Sets. More than ever, Magic Origins is strongly integrated with its digital counterpart, Magic Duels. We see the main characters depicted before and after their planeswalker's spark ignites. The design of the cards and mechanics mirrors this for the players, as a kind of "leveling up" to their full potential. This is achieved by double-faced cards with one side featuring a legendary creature, and the other side featuring its planeswalker incarnation.[6] The basic lands feature basic land art from all the planes which are included in the set. Some are recreations of original artworks from those sets, showing the passage of time.

With Magic Origins, Wizards of the Coast experimented with a new mulligan rule: any player whose opening hand has fewer cards than their starting hand size may scry 1.[7] After Pro Tour Vancouver, it was positively evaluated and implemented everywhere else.

Storyline[ | ]

“  Ignite your Spark  ”

The set tells the origin stories of several planeswalkers - Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar, Liliana Vess and Nissa Revane - who became the lead characters in The Gatewatch and the Bolas Arc. We see these characters' home worlds, learn about the joys and crises of their early lives, and discover how they became the multiverse-traveling planeswalkers we know today.[8][9][10][11] These are nicknamed the "Origins Five" in contrast to the original "Lorwyn Five", with Ajani and Garruk replaced by Gideon and Nissa respectively.

Planeswalker Plane of birth First walk
Gideon Jura Theros Alara (Bant)
Jace Beleren Vryn Ravnica
Liliana Vess Dominaria Innistrad
Chandra Nalaar Kaladesh Regatha
Nissa Revane Zendikar Lorwyn

With ten planes to visit, there was more worldbuilding work than for a normal set. Seven planes were previously visited by premier sets, of which only one (Nissa on Zendikar) was explicitly linked as a planeswalker's home. Kaladesh was first created here, while Vryn and Regatha had no normal cards associated with them until this set - both had a plane card in Planechase 2012. Kaladesh would later be explored in its own eponymous set.

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Chandra's Origin: Fire Logic Doug Beyer 2015-06-10 Kaladesh, Regatha Chandra Nalaar, Pia Nalaar, Kiran Nalaar, Dhiren Baral, Oviya Pashiri
Liliana's Origin: The Fourth Pact James Wyatt 2015-06-17 Dominaria, Innistrad, Kothophed's homeplane Liliana Vess, Josu Vess, Raven Man, Ana, Nicol Bolas, Kothophed
Jace’s Origin: Absent Minds Kelly Digges 2015-06-24 Vryn, Ravnica Jace Beleren, Ranna Beleren, Gav Beleren, Tuck, Caden, Jillet, Alhammarret, Emmara Tandris
Gideon’s Origin: Kytheon Iora of Akros Ari Levitch 2015-07-01 Theros, Bant Gideon Jura, Hixus, Ristos, Drasus, Olexo, Epikos, Zenon, Heliod, Erebos, Moukir
Nissa’s Origin: Home Kimberly J. Kreines & Adam Lee 2015-07-08 Zendikar, Lorwyn Nissa Revane, Numa, Meroe, Mazik, Galed, Dwynen

Marketing[ | ]

Magic Origins was sold in booster packs, Intro packs, a fat pack, a clash pack, the Magic Origins Deck Builder's Toolkit and a Land Station.[12] The boosters feature artwork corresponding to the five planeswalker characters: Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Liliana, Heretical Healer, Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh and Nissa, Vastwood Seer. Prerelease events were held on July 11–12, 2015, Launch Weekend on July 17–19, 2015, and Game Day on August 8–9, 2015. Starting the Monday of each week after the Prerelease, there were five consecutive Planeswalker theme weeks in WUBRG order on Local stores around the world received some unique posters and items to put up to represent these theme weeks.[13]

Prerelease[ | ]

Players were asked to appear at the prerelease with clothes in the color of the favorite planeswalker.[13] Magic Origins prerelease packs allowed players to learn the origin of their favorite Planeswalker. There were five prerelease packs, one for each planeswalker's color. Each came with a 7-card seeded booster pack that corresponded with that color. When registering for the Prerelease tournament, each player chose one. The seeded booster pack assisted players in building a deck by providing a starting point in their chosen color. Each seeded booster pack contained a stamped premium promo card, which players could include in their tournament decks. The prerelease pack further contained 6 regular booster packs, 1 story booklet, and 1 Spindown life counter.

Promotional cards[ | ]

Tokens / Emblems / Checklist[ | ]

ORI Checklist

Magic Origins checklist card

ORI Spindown life counter

Magic Origins life counters

The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token creature card, an emblem or a checklist card, with advertisements on the back side:[16]

  1. {W} 4/4 Angel with flying for Sigil of the Empty Throne
  2. {W} 2/2 Knight with vigilance for Gideon's Phalanx and Knightly Valor
  3. {W} 1/1 Soldier for Murder Investigation
  4. {B} 5/5 Demon with flying for Priest of the Blood Rite
  5. {B} 2/2 Zombie for Undead Servant and Liliana, Heretical Healer
  6. {R} 1/1 Goblin for Dragon Fodder
  7. {G} 2/2 Elemental for Zendikar's Roil
  8. {G} 1/1 Elf Warrior for Dwynen's Elite
  9. {G} 4/4 Legendary Elemental named "Ashaya, the Awoken World" for Nissa, Sage Animist
  10. {C} 1/1 Thopter with flying for Aspiring Aeronaut, Foundry of the Consuls, Ghirapur Gearcrafter, Hangarback Walker, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Thopter Engineer, Thopter Spy Network and Whirler Rogue
  11. {C} 1/1 Thopter with flying
  12. Emblem for Jace, Telepath Unbound
  13. Emblem for Liliana, Defiant Necromancer
  14. Emblem for Chandra, Roaring Flame

Sample decks[ | ]

The Magic Origins Core Set comes with five thirty-card sample decks. Each sample deck has several cards numbered 273 and higher that do not appear in Magic Origins booster packs. They include classics like Serra Angel, Sengir Vampire, and Mahamoti Djinn. These 16 cards are legal for tournament play in any format that includes the Magic Origins core set.[17] The Magic Origins Deck Builder's Toolkit also contains these cards.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Double-faced cards / transform return with this set, showcasing the five planeswalkers. As for Innistrad and Dark Ascension a special checklist card is provided to facilitate play with the double-face cards.[18]

Magic Origins features the new evergreen keyword ability Menace, as a replacement for Intimidate. Menace stands for This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures. The mechanic has existed since Goblin War Drums from Fallen Empires and will be primary in black and secondary in red.[19]

Prowess (primary blue and secondary red) and Scry are promoted to evergreen status, while protection loses that status, and Intimidate and landwalk are retired entirely.

A new keyword ability is Renown (primary white and secondary green) - Renown N1 (Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player if it isn't renowned, put N +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes renowned.)[20]

A new ability word is Spell mastery - if there are two or more instant or sorcery cards in your graveyard, [effect].

Magic Origins features ten limited archetypes, each linked to one of the featured planes:[11][21]

Cycles[ | ]

Magic Origins has nine cycles, one of which contains seven cards.

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Gatewatch Flipwalkers Kytheon, Hero of Akros // Gideon, Battle-Forged Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound Liliana, Heretical Healer // Liliana, Defiant Necromancer Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh // Chandra, Roaring Flame Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist
Five double-faced mythic creatures that transform into a planeswalker when a certain condition is met that represents the event that caused that character's planeswalker's spark to ignite.[22] These 5 flipwalkers eventually become the first 5 members of the Gatewatch and the protagonists of the Bolas Arc.
Mentors Hixus, Prison Warden Alhammarret, High Arbiter Kothophed, Soul Hoarder Pia and Kiran Nalaar Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen
Five rare legendary creatures linked to the planeswalkers in their youth.[23]
Same named Cleric of the Forward Order Faerie Miscreant Undead Servant Infectious Bloodlust Timberpack Wolf
Five common cards that get stronger when having cards with the same name on the field, graveyard, or library.[24]
Common spell mastery Kytheon's Tactics Calculated Dismissal / Send to Sleep Dark Dabbling / Unholy Hunger Fiery Impulse Nissa's Pilgrimage
Seven common spell mastery cards with small effects, showing the Planeswalkers casting magic on their home world.
Uncommon spell mastery Swift Reckoning Psychic Rebuttal Necromantic Summons Ravaging Blaze Gather the Pack
Five uncommon spell mastery cards with small effects, showing the Planeswalkers casting magic on the plane they traveled to.
Rare spell mastery Gideon's Phalanx Talent of the Telepath Dark Petition Exquisite Firecraft Animist's Awakening
Five rare spell mastery cards with larger splashier effects, showing the Planeswalkers at the height of their current power.
Pivotal moments Tragic Arrogance Clash of Wills Demonic Pact Chandra's Ignition Nissa's Revelation
Five uncommon, rare, or mythic cards depicting the big story moment for the planeswalker's narrative arc.[25]
Home planes Valor in Akros Sphinx's Tutelage Shadows of the Past Ghirapur Aether Grid Zendikar's Roil
Five uncommon build-around enchantments that represent the characters' home planes.
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Enemy colored painlands Caves of Koilos Shivan Reef Llanowar Wastes Battlefield Forge Yavimaya Coast
Five rare dual lands with "{T}: Add {C}. {T}: Add M or N. [This] deals 1 damage to you." Here, M and N are enemy colors of mana.(reprinted from Magic 2015[26])

Card comparisons[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Nearly the entire cycle of "flipwalkers" has had an impact on competitive constructed play.
  • The minor artifact theming overrepresented the set in larger formats, along with some other combo-centric effects:
    • Hangarback Walker has become a crucial part of numerous artifact-focused decks in Modern, primarily decks built around Hardened Scales.
    • Chief of the Foundry is a valuable lord for MUD aggro decks in Vintage which can easily be cast with Mishra's Workshop.
    • Caustic Caterpillar has seen play in numerous creature toolbox decks in Standard, Modern, and Pioneer as main against artifacts and enchantments.
    • Ghirapur Aethergrid is a powerful payoff for artifact decks in multiple formats, especially Modern and Legacy.
    • Dark Petition is a tutor that can potentially be close to Demonic Tutor if you have spell mastery enabled, and see play in combo decks like Pioneer Lotus Field and Legacy Storm that can both cast lots of spells and generate large amounts of mana in a single turn.
    • Day's Undoing is a unique wheel effect that costs the same as the original Timetwister. Although it has a major downside, Legacy control decks have been able to mitigate it by playing at instant speed or with Narset, Parter of Veils.
    • Vryn Wingmare is a strong hate-bear effect for tax-style decks from Standard to Vintage.
    • Scab-Clan Berserker had a short run as a Legacy and Vintage playable in Moon Stompy decks.
  • Demonic Pact is an alternate-loss card. It was in Standard with Harmless Offering, a deck that put pilot Chris Botelho on the map by making a Grand Prix Top 8.
  • Pia and Kiran Nalaar is a versatile card used in several tournament decks. It represents Chandra's parents.
  • Tragic Arrogance was a staple board-wipe in Standard that had multiple green creature decks and few control decks and the ability to control most of the outcome.
  • Languish is a cheap but limited board-wipe that has seen play in numerous control decks in Standard and Pioneer.
  • Shaman of the Pack and Dwynen's Elite are a key payoff and enabler, respectively, for Elf decks in Pioneer.
  • Faerie Miscreant is a source of major card advantage for Faeries decks in Pauper.
  • Enthralling Victor is a new flavor treatment for stealing effects and generated memes on various aspects of the card, the least risqué of which were that the man depicted was not a champion but was merely named "Victor".

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Intro packs[ | ]

The intro packs are:[27]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Brave the Battle W G Hixus, Prison Warden
Take to the Sky W U Alhammarret, High Arbiter
Demonic Deals B R Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
Assemble Victory U R Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Hunting Pack B G Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen

Clash pack[ | ]

Magic Origins comes with a clash pack which contains two ready-to-play, 60-card decks. The cards can combine into a single 60-card Standard deck perfect for FNM. The pack contains 6 premium cards with alternative art.[27]

Clash pack
deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Armed W G
Dangerous W B G

Core set changes[ | ]

Main article: Magic Origins/Changes

References[ | ]

  1. Information below the text box
  2. Mark Rosewater (August 25, 2014). "Metamorphosis". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast (February 8, 2015). "Announcing Magic Origins". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Blake Rasmussen (June 29, 2015). "Origins Basic Lands". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (July 8, 2015). "Magic Origins Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (March 6, 2015). "PAX Panel Streaming Live". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Helene Bergeot (June 29, 2015). "Changes Starting with Pro Tour Magic Origins". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. ICV2 (February 9 2015) M: TG--Magic Origins’ Core Set
  9. Doug Beyer (February 27, 2015). "What's the Story with Magic Origins?". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Jenna Helland (June 3, 2015). "Magic Origins: A New Era". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. a b Mark Rosewater (June 22, 2015). "The Species of Origins, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Blake Rasmussen (June 22, 2015). "Origins Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. a b Gavin Verhey (June 17, 2015). "Magic Origins Prerelease Themes and Theme Weeks". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Blake Rasmussen (June 23, 2015). "Origins Promo Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Gavin Verhey (July 6, 2015). "Magic Origins Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Blake Rasmussen (July 1, 2015). "Tokens of Origins". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Blake Rasmussen (June 8, 2015). "Magic Orgins Sample Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Matt Tabak (June 22, 2015). "Magic Origins Mechanics Article". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Shawn Main (June 23, 2015). "Igniting the Spark". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (June 29, 2015). "The Species of Origins, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Sam Stoddard (July 10, 2015). "Developing Double-Sided Planeswalkers". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Mark Rosewater (September 06, 2015). "Why was Dwynen chosen over Ashaya in Origins as part of the "mentor cycle"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  24. Marshall Sutcliffe (June 24, 2015). "Strength in Numbers". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Sam Stoddard (July 3, 2015). "Developing Origins". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Blake Rasmussen (June 25, 2015). "The Origins of Pain". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. a b Blake Rasmussen (July 9, 2015). "Magic Origins Clash Pack and Intro Pack Decklists". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]