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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The Sword of Kaldra
Design Mark Rosewater (lead),
Bill Rose,
Brian Tinsman,
Mike Elliott,
Tyler Bielman
Development Randy Buehler (lead),
Brian Schneider,
Henry Stern,
Elaine Chase,
Brandon Bozzi,
Brian Tinsman
Art direction Jeremy Cranford
Release date October 2, 2003
Plane Mirrodin
Themes and mechanics Artifacts, artifact lands, and Equipment
Keywords/​ability words Affinity (for artifacts), Imprint, Entwine[1]
Set size 306 cards
(110 commons, 88 uncommons, 88 rares, 20 basic lands)
Expansion code MRD[2]
Development codename Bacon[3]
Mirrodin block
Mirrodin Darksteel Fifth Dawn
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Eighth Edition Mirrodin Darksteel
For other uses, see Mirrodin (disambiguation).

Mirrodin is the first set in the Mirrodin block. It is the 30th Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released on October 2, 2003. The prerelease was September 20–21, 2003 [4][5]

Set details[]

Starting with the Mirrodin block, WotC took 44 cards out of the large expansion and added 22 cards to each of the two small expansions. Mirrodin therefore contained 306 black-bordered cards (88 rares, 88 uncommons, 110 commons, and 20 basic lands), which is 22 rares and 22 commons less than Onslaught.[6] Mirrodin features a heavy artifact theme. Its expansion symbol is a small image of Sword of Kaldra, a card from the set.[7] Mirrodin introduced a new artifact subtype in Equipment with the accompanying keyword equip, representing armor, swords, and other utensils which can be attached to a creature to enhance that creature. Unlike Auras, the equipment stays on the battlefield even if the creature it's attached to dies. The set is also noted for many allusions to famous artifacts and related mechanics from previous blocks, such as Chrome Mox or Clockwork creatures. The set also featured Solemn Simulacrum, Jens Thoren's invitational card.[8] Mirrodin was the first expansion set to feature the new card face which had debuted in Eighth Edition. The high number of artifacts revealed the inherent flaw of the new card frame: they were very hard to distinguish from white cards.[9]


Mirrodin was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack.[10] The booster packs featured artwork from Mindslaver, Icy Manipulator and Worldslayer. The Prerelease card was a foil Sword of Kaldra. This was the first Prerelease promo card to feature alternate art and the first that wasn't a creature.[11] The set was accompanied by a novel by Will McDermott. A */* Demon token with flying for Promise of Power[12] and a 1/1 Pentavite token with flying for Pentavus[13] were offered as Magic Player Reward.

Flavor and storyline[]

Main article: The Moons of Mirrodin

The setting for Mirrodin is a plane by the same name, an artificial world created by the planeswalker Karn, and named after the Mirari by Memnarch. Mirrodin's environments and inhabitants mix organic and metallic.[14] Mirrodin is orbited by four satellites, which are called suns and moons interchangeably, that correspond to red, black, white and blue magic. Green was notably absent. Glissa Sunseeker, the finest hunter and perhaps the most skilled warrior of the elves, begins her story to find out why the monstrous "levelers" seek to destroy her. It is this search for answers that will begin to uncover the mysteries within Mirrodin.

Tournament impact[]

Mirrodin is infamous for an imbalanced power level due to the set not restricting most of its cards to a certain color and the introduction of the affinity mechanic and artifact lands which synergized with each other. The set contained many cards which were banned or restricted in several competitive formats, such as Disciple of the Vault, the artifact land cycle, and Thirst for Knowledge.

Themes and mechanics[]

  • Artifacts, including artifacts with colored activation costs, artifact lands, and Equipment.[15][16][17]
  • Affinity — Makes cards cheaper to cast by {1} for each permanent controlled by its caster of a certain type specified (usually artifacts).
  • Imprint — This ability found on artifacts like Chrome Mox allows you to exile a card and "imprint" attributes of that card onto the artifact, such as colors or abilities.[18]
  • Entwine — Appears on modal spells and represents an extra cost; paying that cost allows you to use both effects instead of only one, such as on Tooth and Nail.
  • Equipment — An artifact subtype that has the equip keyword ability. By paying the equip cost, it becomes attached to a creature you control. If that creature leaves the battlefield, the Equipment becomes unattached and remains on the battlefield. Paying the equip cost also allows the Equipment to be moved from one creature to another.[19][20]

Creature types[]

Mirrodin introduced the race/class model and the creature type Human.[21] Other introduced types were Drone, Myr, Rogue, Shaman, Slith, and Vedalken in this expansion. The set featured all eight major tribes from the previous Onslaught block.[22]

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


Mirrodin has 11 cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Artifact lands Ancient Den Seat of the Synod Vault of Whispers Great Furnace Tree of Tales
Each of these common cards, representing an important location in each of Mirrodin's different regions, counted as both artifacts and lands, and could be tapped for one mana of a given color.[23] Each was illustrated by Rob Alexander. Artifact lands reduced the cost of spells with affinity for artifacts, and proved to be so powerful they were eventually banned in Mirrodin Block Constructed tournaments. Darksteel would later add a sixth artifact land to this cycle, Darksteel Citadel.
Entwine spells Blinding Beam Dream's Grip Wail of the Nim Incite War Journey of Discovery
Each of these modal common spells has entwine
Golems Titanium Golem Cobalt Golem Pewter Golem Hematite Golem Malachite Golem
Each of these common artifact creatures has a color-specific ability. Each was illustrated by Paolo Parente.
Mana Myr Gold Myr Silver Myr Leaden Myr Iron Myr Copper Myr
Each of these common Myr artifact creatures costs {2} to cast and has an ability in which they produce colored mana. They represent different areas of Mirrodin and the mana they produce is appropriately colored to match their environment. Each is illustrated by Kev Walker.
Rare color artifacts Leonin Sun Standard Proteus Staff Altar of Shadows Bosh, Iron Golem Tangleroot
Each of these rare artifacts is tied to one of the five colors.
Replicas Soldier Replica Wizard Replica Nim Replica Goblin Replica Elf Replica
Each of these common artifact creatures costs {3} and has an ability with the cost of being sacrificed and a certain amount of partially colored mana, and an effect, which is typical for the mana used. Each of them has a creature type from the tribes of the Onslaught block. They were each illustrated by Carl Critchlow.
Shards Pearl Shard Crystal Shard Skeleton Shard Granite Shard Heartwood Shard
Each of these uncommon artifacts costs {3} and has an activated ability which cost {3} or one mana of a given color to activate, and produce different color-oriented effects. Each represents a piece of another world found by each of Mirrodin's races. They were each illustrated by Doug Chaffee.
Sliths Slith Ascendant Slith Strider Slith Bloodletter Slith Firewalker Slith Predator
Each of these uncommon 1/1 Slith creatures has a mana cost containing two colored mana of the same type and the ability "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it". They were each illustrated by Justin Sweet.
Spellbombs Sunbeam Spellbomb Æther Spellbomb Necrogen Spellbomb Pyrite Spellbomb Lifespark Spellbomb
Each of these common artifacts costs {1} and has two activated abilities which require to sacrifice them. One is the same for each of them: "{1}, Sacrifice this: Draw a card". They were each illustrated by Jim Nelson.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Talismans Talisman of Progress Talisman of Dominance Talisman of Indulgence Talisman of Impulse Talisman of Unity
Each of these uncommon artifacts costs {2} to cast. Each had the same abilities as an allied-color pain land. Each was illustrated by Mike Dringenberg.[24]

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[]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Towers Tower of Eons (Mirrodin) Tower of Fortunes (Mirrodin) Tower of Murmurs (Mirrodin) Tower of Calamities (Scars of Mirrodin) Tower of Champions (Mirrodin)
Each of these rare artifacts costs {4} to cast and have an "{8}, {T}:" ability. Each of these artifacts are affiliated with a certain color; green, white, blue, and black, respectively. Scars of Mirrodin would later add a fifth card to this cycle to represent a red affiliation: Tower of Calamities.[25]

Reprinted cards[]

Mirrodin reprinted 17 cards from previous sets.[26]

Functional reprints[]

Mirrodin has four functional reprints:

Card comparison[]


Strictly better[]

Notable cards[]

Preconstructed decks[]

Main article: Mirrodin/Theme decks

Mirrodin has two monocolored and two bicolored theme decks.

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Bait and Bludgeon U B
Little Bashers W
Sacrificial Bam B R
Wicked Big G


  1. Wizards of the Coast (September 23, 2003). "Mirrodin Frequently Asked Questions". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (August 12, 2002). "Codename of the Game". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (September 1, 2003). "Mirrodin Fact Sheet". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Brian David-Marshall (September 18, 2003). "Mirrodin Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Randy Buehler (June 20, 2003). "The Size of Sets". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Randy Buehler (September 26, 2003). "Post-Development Digest". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (November 10, 2003). "Make No Mistake". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (August 14, 2003). "Mirrodin product images". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (September 22, 2003). "Mirrodin Prerelease card". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (September 24, 2003). "The new look of tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (November 17, 2003). "Upcoming Magic Rewards tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Rei Nakazawa (September 09, 2003). "Mirrodin Image". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Randy Buehler (September 05, 2003). "When Artifacts Aren't Spells". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Randy Buehler (September 12, 2003). "White and Artifacts". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Randy Buehler (October 03, 2003). "Artifacts and Color". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (September 01, 2003). "Someday My Imprints Will Come". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Mark Rosewater (September 08, 2003). "Equip of the Iceberg". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Paul Barclay (September 02, 2003). "Rules for Equipment". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2004). "Change For the Better". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana (November 11, 2003). "Tribes in Mirrodin". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Mark Rosewater (October 06, 2003). "Come Together". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Magic Arcana (April 29, 2004). "The Burden of a Talisman". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Monty Ashley (September 22, 2010). "The Fifth Tower". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Mark Rosewater (September 22, 2003). "Bacon Bits". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. a b c d Devin Low (March 21, 2008). "Reincarnation". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Magic Arcana (January 06, 2004). "What's Annul annulling?". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Wizards of the Coast (December 18, 2003). "Flavorful Reprints of Mirrodin". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Monty Ashley (March 24, 2011). "Yotian Soldiers". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater (September 15, 2003). "A Mind Is A Wonderful Thing To Waste". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]