MTG Wiki
Mirrodin Besieged

Mirrodin Besieged
MBS logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description An overlap of Mirran and Phyrexian symbols
Design Mark Gottlieb (lead),
Gregory Marques,
Ken Nagle,
Mark Rosewater,
Mike Turian
Development Erik Lauer (lead),
Ryan Dhuse,
Tom LaPille,
Mike Turian
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date February 4, 2011
Plane Mirrodin
Themes and mechanics Infect, Proliferate, Imprint, Metalcraft
Keywords/​ability words Battle cry, Living weapon, Metalcraft, Imprint, Infect, Proliferate
Set size 155
(10 basic lands, 60 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares)
Expansion code MBS[1]
Development codename Camera[2]
Scars of Mirrodin block
Scars of Mirrodin Mirrodin Besieged New Phyrexia
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Masters Edition IV Mirrodin Besieged Deck Builder's Toolkit 2011

Mirrodin Besieged is the second set in the Scars of Mirrodin block. It is the 54th Magic expansion and was released on February 4, 2011.[3]

Set details[ | ]

Mirran symbol

Mirran Watermark


Phyrexian Watermark

Mirrodin Besieged contains 155 cards (60 Common, 40 Uncommon, 35 Rare, 10 Mythic, 10 Basic Lands), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The 10 basic lands, unusual for a small set, were added for flavor reasons. WotC asked the same artists who created the four-land panoramas for Scars of Mirrodin to extend these by two additional pieces to show how Mirrodin's lands have changed as Phyrexia's influence has spread.[4] The expansion symbol of the set is an overlap of the Mirran and Phyrexian symbols. Nearly every card in the set has a symbol of its allegiance in its text box.[5] The set features several cards that are Phyrexian versions of previous cards.[6]

Like all Mirrodin sets, Mirrodin Besieged contains many artifacts.[7] The set continues the story of Scars of Mirrodin as the Phyrexian Invasion lays waste to the Mirran countryside and its people. The set itself is split strongly between the two camps.[8] For example, the prerelease and release parties featured a special type of booster that contained only cards from one faction or the other, requiring the players to choose between them for their deck-building. Intro packs were also separated between the factions.

Further, although in Scars of Mirrodin the Phyrexian faction was limited to the colors blue, black, and green, the faction also has red and white cards in this set. The number of cards per faction is evenly distributed, with 72 cards each.

Mirrodin Besieged slowed the limited format down.[9] The expansion also made a change to the draft format. In all previous draft formats the group of players started with the first set in a block, but starting with Mirrodin Besieged, the first pack to be opened is of the most recently released set.[10] The number of packs does not change however, so the draft format for Mirrodin Besieged was one booster of Mirrodin Besieged followed by two packs of Scars of Mirrodin.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

“  A world divided  ”

The Phyrexian assault on the metallic plane of Mirrodin intensifies.[11] The Mirran resistance rallies to survive and overcome. Both sides bring the full might of their arsenals to bear.[12][13][14][15][16][17] The silver golem Karn has retreated to Mirrodin's Core, being worshipped as the new Father of Machines. When Phyrexia grows upon Mirrodin, Karn is trapped in his mind, battling between himself and the role the Phyrexians are trying to force upon him.[18]

Storyline[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story

Scarred is a webcomic about Elspeth, Koth and Venser. It was published in three parts in January 2011.

Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Scarred, Part 1 Doug Beyer 2011-01-06 Mirrodin Koth, Venser, Elspeth
Scarred, Part 2 Doug Beyer 2011-01-13 Mirrodin Koth, Venser, Elspeth, Malach
Scarred, Part 3 Doug Beyer 2011-01-17 Mirrodin Koth, Venser, Elspeth
WAR! Doug Beyer 2011-01-20 New Phyrexia Thrun, Koth, Elspeth, Venser
Phyrexia: The Strong and the Scattered Doug Beyer 2011-01-26 New Phyrexia Koth, Elspeth, Venser, Glissa Sunseeker, Vorinclex, Tezzeret, Sheoldred

Marketing[ | ]


Mirrodin Besieged faction packs

Mirrodin Besieged was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, four intro packs [19] and a fat pack. The fat pack's content was changed removing the brief introduction of the expansion's respective novel. The number of boosters increased from 8 to 9 and the land pack contained 80 lands, 40 from Scars of Mirrodin and 40 from Mirrodin Besieged. Two deck boxes were added. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Mirran Crusader, Phyrexian Crusader, and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas.[20] The small booster featured artwork from Glissa, the Traitor.

The set also introduced a new sort of theme deck called an event deck.[21][22] These decks feature a 60 card main deck and 15 card sideboard, including 7 rares but no mythic rares. Mirrodin Besieged features two event decks: a Mono-red event deck for the Mirran side of the conflict, and a blue-black deck for the Phyrexians. These decks were released three weeks after the release of the set.

The prerelease was January 29–30, 2011, the launch party on February 4–7, 2011, the Magic Online release on February 21, 2011.[23][24][25] The Game Day was held on March 5–6, 2011. Starting with Mirrodin Besieged prereleases featured gimmicks. This one was to "Pick a Side" and introduced "prerelease packs"', which are boosters that are especially composed and packaged for prerelease events. In Mirrodin Besieged they were called "faction packs". Cards with Mirran watermarks appeared only in Mirran boosters, and cards with Phyrexian watermarks appeared only in Phyrexian boosters. There was also one basic land in each booster. Foil cards would show up at about the same frequency as they did in regular boosters and didn't follow the rules about what booster they could show up in (both Mirran and Phyrexian foils could show up in either booster).[26]

Two cards were previewed at the Scars of Mirrodin Game Day and given away as prizes: Peace Strider and Pierce Strider.[27] Mirran Crusader and Phyrexian Crusader were previewed at Worlds 2010.[28] Two prerelease cards were available at the Prerelease tournaments: Glissa, the Traitor for the Phyrexian faction, and Hero of Bladehold for the Mirran faction. The Release card was Thopter Assembly.[29] The promotional card at the Game Day event was a full-art Treasure Mage, while a full-art foil Black Sun's Zenith was given to the top-8 participants. The Buy-a-Box was Mirran Crusader.

Regular boosters of Mirrodin Besieged come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card", a creature token from Mirrodin Besieged, or a poison counter. These bonus cards display on their reverse side one of 14 advertisements for organized play programs, other Magic products such as fat packs and intro packs, the Magic books library, Magic Online, UltraPro products, or various Wizards-run, Magic-related websites (such as

Tips & Tricks[ | ]

The tips & tricks cards are

Tokens[ | ]

The Mirrodin Besieged tokens in numerical order are:[30]

  1. {B} 0/0 Germ brought into play with any Equipment that is also a Living Weapon.
  2. {B} 2/2 Zombie produced by Nested Ghoul.
  3. {C} 9/9 Golem Artifact produced by Titan Forge.
  4. {C} */* Horror Artifact produced by Phyrexian Rebirth.
  5. {C} 1/1 Thopter Artifact with flying produced by Thopter Assembly.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Mirrodin Besieged has a theme of Mirrored Pairs, with cards from the Phyrexian and Mirran factions mirroring each other. Such a mirror is showcased with cards such as Peace Strider and Pierce Strider or Mirran Crusader and Phyrexian Crusader. Some cards mimic cards from the previous Mirrodin block, but with Phyrexian influence, e.g. Viridian Corrupter mimics Viridian Shaman, Blightsteel Colossus mimics Darksteel Colossus and Inkmoth Nexus mimics Blinkmoth Nexus, thus representing Phyrexia spreading its influence over the plane and co-opting its inhabitants.

The mechanics Metalcraft, Imprint, Proliferate and Infect return from the previous set.[31] Two new keyword mechanics are featured, one for each faction.[32] The Mirran keyword is Battle Cry, which gives every other creature that attacks when the creature with Battle Cry attacks a +1/+0 bonus.[33][34] The Phyrexian mechanic is Living Weapon, a new keyword for Equipment. All equipment with Living Weapon gives a power/toughness bonus, but upon entering play they put a 0/0 black Germ creature token into play and attach the equipment to it.[35][36]

A new term in the rules is "poisoned". A player is poisoned if they have any poison counters.

Cycles[ | ]

Mirrodin Besieged has 3 cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Zeniths White Sun's Zenith Blue Sun's Zenith Black Sun's Zenith Red Sun's Zenith Green Sun's Zenith
A cycle of rare spells with X in their costs named for the colored suns of Mirrodin. They shuffle themselves back into the library after being used and thus strongly resemble the cycle of Beacons from Fifth Dawn. The cycle spans both factions. The art of each card features the corresponding artifact land from Mirrodin.[4] The theme continues in the Twilight cycle in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, which are also X-spells.
Color-aligned Artifact creatures Bladed Sentinel Gust-Skimmer Dross Ripper Spin Engine Tangle Hulk
Like Scars of Mirrodin before it, Mirrodin Besieged contains a cycle of common artifact creatures with an activated ability including a colored cost. The activation cost varies, unlike the previous cycle.
  • The set also contains a set of basic lands, two of each color, which is uncharacteristic for a small set in a block. Their purpose lies in their flavor, showing the growing Phyrexian corruption of the Mirran landscape.

Mega-mega cycles[ | ]

For each of the visits to Mirrodin in Fifth Dawn, Mirrodin Besieged, and Phyrexia: All Will Be One, a cycle of instants or sorceries has been printed that depict the moons at their dawn, peak, and setting, with a mechanical link to the next cycle. The Zenith cycle, the moons at their peak, are all X spells that shuffle themselves into their owner's library. The Twilight cycle from All Will Be One also are X spells, and the Beacons from Fifth Dawn also shuffle themselves into their owner's library.

Pairs[ | ]

Mirrodin Besieged has 4 mirrored pairs.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Hero of Bladehold
Hero of Oxid Ridge
Mythic rare human knights cost {2}MM, and have battle cry and an ability that triggers when they attack.
Mirran Crusader
Phyrexian Crusader
Rare knights cost {1}MM, have protection from the primary colors of the opposing faction, and have a variant of first strike.
Koth's Courier
Glissa's Courier
Common creatures cost {1}MM, and are 2/3s with an opposing landwalk ability.
Peace Strider
Pierce Strider
Uncommon artifact creatures cost {4}, and are 3/3s with an enters the battlefield ability that deals damage or gains life.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Functional reprint[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • As in Scars of Mirrodin, the majority of the set's cards are monocolored or colorless artifacts. The only multicolored spells in the set are Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and Glissa, the Traitor. Their colors combine black with blue and green respectively, the two colors more closely aligned with Phyrexia in the block.
  • Consecrated Sphinx - A large flying creature which promised even larger card-advantage. 6 points of toughness also meant that the card was immune to Dismember which was printed in the next set.
  • Go for the Throat - An inversion of Doom Blade concerning Terror, which saw widespread application in Standard due to the large range of targets it could hit and continues to see heavy play in Pioneer.
  • Inkmoth Nexus - The backbone of almost every Poison-based strategy since its printing. It's a threatening creature that can be deadly quickly if pumped into power. It also dodges a large amount of removal due to being a land during the opponent's turn and can attack as early as turn 2.
  • Sword of Feast and Famine - A staple piece of equipment used in the "Caw-Blade" deck that dominated Standard and ultimately resulted in the banning of Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mindsculptor. In an article explaining the bannings of Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, Director of R&D Aaron Forsythe mentioned "We underestimated the impact of Sword of Feast and Famine on the environment, especially when combined with Stoneforge."[37]
  • Ichor Wellspring is a powerful source of card advantage for artifact decks in Pauper, which can easily be sacrificed for additional value.
  • Blightsteel Colossus is a powerful upgrade to Darksteel Colossus and can easily end the game in a single attack, making it a great target for cheating into play in formats like Legacy and Vintage. It has also been abused for its large mana cost by decks like Calibrated Blast in Modern.
  • Hero of Bladehold can contribute a significant amount of power to the battlefield with only a single card and serves as a strong top-end threat in Standard decks built around tokens. It was also useful for decks seeking to abuse Birthing Pod, as it left behind value even after being sacrificed.
  • Signal Pest functions like a one mana anthem effect, and has seen heavy play in Modern decks built around flooding the creature with small, weak creatures like with Kuldotha Rebirth.
  • Phyrexian Crusader has found consistent success in Infect and Yawgmoth decks in Modern, where it dodges most of the efficient removal in the format and presents an effective clock for most decks, especially out of the sideboard.
  • Treasure Mage is a reference to Trinket Mage, a three mana 2/2 blue creature that can grab an artifact of a specific mana value. This reference would continue with Trophy Mage and Tribute Mage.
  • Thrun, the Last Troll is a legendary version of Troll Ascetic, which was also referenced with the last set's Asceticism.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Green Sun's Zenith is a powerful tutor for creatures that are especially attractive for creature toolbox decks that can be used to tutor the best creature for any specific situation. It proved too powerful for Modern and was banned early in the format's existence, particularly because it was able to tutor for Dryad Arbor, and so its floor was as a one-mana mana-dork.
  • Phyrexian Revoker is a creature version of Pithing Needle that has seen substantial play, especially in formats like Vintage where it can prevent the opponent from using its powerful artifacts. It was preemptively banned in Historic Brawl as it could shut off the opponent's Planeswalker commanders.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Intro packs[ | ]

Mirrodin Besieged has four bicolored intro packs.[19]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Doom Inevitable U B Psychosis Crawler
Path of Blight W G Phyrexian Hydra
Mirromancy U R Galvanoth
Battle Cries W R Victory's Herald

Event decks[ | ]

Event decks were introduced in Mirrodin Besieged; Mirrodin Besieged has two event decks.[38]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Infect and Defile U B
Into the Breach R

References[ | ]

  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (December 3, 2012). "The Six-Year Plan". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Monty Ashley (August 3, 2010). "Announcing Mirrodin Besieged". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Doug Beyer (March 16, 2011). "Six Secrets Behind the Sets". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (January 17, 2011). "Under Besiege, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (January 24, 2011). "Under Besiege, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Tom LaPille (January 21, 2011). "Development Under Siege". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Zac Hill (February 07, 2011). "Developing a Battle Plan". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Tom LaPille (February 4, 2011). "A Better, Creepier World". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (October 19, 2010). "Pack Order in Booster Drafts to Change". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Doug Beyer (January 17, 2011). "WAR!". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Monty Ashley (December 14, 2010). "Mirrodin Besieged Art Gallery". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Doug Beyer (January 26, 2011). "Phyrexia: The Strong and the Scattered". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Doug Beyer (February 9, 2011). "Public Displays of Aggression". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Doug Beyer (February 23, 2011). "Why the Mirrans Will Endure". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Doug Beyer (March 2, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged in Paint and Pixel". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Doug Beyer (March 23, 2011). "A World Sculpted from Metal". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Jenna Helland (January 19, 2011). "Corrupted Conscience". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. a b Monty Ashley (January 27, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley (January 11, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Boosters". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Matt Tabak (August 23, 2010). "Grab-and-Go Event Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Monty Ashley (November 16, 2010). "Event Decks: More Info". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Wizards of the Coast (March 04, 2011). "War Comes to Magic Online!". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Wizards of the Coast (February 15, 2011). "Magic Online Mirrodin Besieged Release Events!". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Wizards of the Coast (February 8, 2011). "Magic Online Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease News". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Monty Ashley (October 12, 2010). "Faction Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Monty Ashley (October 06, 2010). "Game Day Excitement". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Monty Ashley (December 13, 2010). "Sights From Worlds". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Monty Ashley (January 04, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Promo Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Monty Ashley (January 19, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Wizards of the Coast (January 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Monty Ashley (January 26, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Videos". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Tom LaPille (January 28, 2011). "What is it Good For?". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Tom LaPille (February 11, 2011). "The Heroes Who Cried Battle". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater (March 7, 2011). "What Do You Do for a Living Weapon?". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Doug Beyer (March 09, 2011). "Germ Warfare: The Flavor of Living Weapon". Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Aaron Forsythe (June 20, 2011). "Standard Bannings Explained". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Monty Ashley (February 16, 2011). "Mirrodin Besieged Event Deck Decklists". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]