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==Features==
 
==Features==
   
Like Portal, Portal Second Age was specifically designed for easing new players into the game. It featured the same simplified rules set that Portal used, having no [[artifacts]] or [[enchantments]] in it, adding sword and shield symbols to the creature cards' power and toughness to denote which number was which, and writing rules text in bold type and seperating it from the [[Flavor Text]] with a thick line to show that they were seperate. The set also did not have any [[instants]] or [[interrupts]], instead having a few [[sorceries]] that could be played at times that sorceries normally could not, such as <c>Mystic Denial</c>, which could only be played in response to a creature or sorcery spell, and <c>Just Fate</c>, which could only be played during an opponent's [[declare attackers]] step. All such cards have since received errata to make them actual instants.
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Like Portal, Portal Second Age was specifically designed for easing new players into the game. It featured the same simplified rules set that Portal used, having no [[artifacts]] or [[enchantments]] in it, adding sword and shield symbols to the creature cards' power and toughness to denote which number was which, and writing rules text in bold type and separating it from the [[Flavor Text]] with a thick line to show that they were separate. The set also did not have any [[instants]] or [[interrupts]], instead having a few [[sorceries]] that could be played at times that sorceries normally could not, such as <c>Mystic Denial</c>, which could only be played in response to a creature or sorcery spell, and <c>Just Fate</c>, which could only be played during an opponent's [[declare attackers]] step. All such cards have since received errata to make them actual instants.
   
 
However, there were two significant differences between Portal Second Age and the original Portal set. Firstly, Portal Second Age used the proper Magic terminology of Library, Graveyard and Blocking, rather than using the Portal terms Deck, Discard Pile and Intercepting. This was done to make the transition from Portal Second Age up to an advanced or expert-level expansion as easy as possible, as it had been found that players going from Portal upwards were often confused by the use of different terms. Secondly, the [[creature]] cards in Second Age all had creature types, whereas in Portal all creature cards just had a type line saying "Summon Creature." Portal Second Age is particularly notable for being the first set to say "Creature -" on the type line instead of [[Summon]], a practice that would later be adopted as standard.
 
However, there were two significant differences between Portal Second Age and the original Portal set. Firstly, Portal Second Age used the proper Magic terminology of Library, Graveyard and Blocking, rather than using the Portal terms Deck, Discard Pile and Intercepting. This was done to make the transition from Portal Second Age up to an advanced or expert-level expansion as easy as possible, as it had been found that players going from Portal upwards were often confused by the use of different terms. Secondly, the [[creature]] cards in Second Age all had creature types, whereas in Portal all creature cards just had a type line saying "Summon Creature." Portal Second Age is particularly notable for being the first set to say "Creature -" on the type line instead of [[Summon]], a practice that would later be adopted as standard.
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Unlike Portal, Portal Second Age had its own storyline. It was set on the [[Dominaria]]n island of [[Caliman]] and focused on the conflicts between the five different peoples (one for each color) that lived on it: the [[White]]-aligned kingdom of [[Alaborn]], [[the Talas]] merchant/pirates, the [[Goblins]] and other [[mountain]]-dwellers, the [[Elves]] of [[Norwood]] [[forest]] and the [[Dakmor]] [[Nightstalkers]], with the main focus being on the increasing nightstalker attacks on the Alaborn due to the influence of the sorceress [[Tojira]]. The story was told exclusively through the cards and was deliberately open-ended, with the idea being that players could construct decks around the different tribes and play out the story in-game.
 
Unlike Portal, Portal Second Age had its own storyline. It was set on the [[Dominaria]]n island of [[Caliman]] and focused on the conflicts between the five different peoples (one for each color) that lived on it: the [[White]]-aligned kingdom of [[Alaborn]], [[the Talas]] merchant/pirates, the [[Goblins]] and other [[mountain]]-dwellers, the [[Elves]] of [[Norwood]] [[forest]] and the [[Dakmor]] [[Nightstalkers]], with the main focus being on the increasing nightstalker attacks on the Alaborn due to the influence of the sorceress [[Tojira]]. The story was told exclusively through the cards and was deliberately open-ended, with the idea being that players could construct decks around the different tribes and play out the story in-game.
   
The flavor of the set is probably its most controversial aspect. The main point of contention is the Alaborn use of firearms, as seen on cards such as <c>Alaborn Musketeer</c> and <c>Alaborn Zealot</c>. This was badly received by players as it was seen as too real-world and grated with the traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy setting, particulary as the story took place on Dominaria, where guns had never been depicted before. Since the set was released, other cards have shown advanced technology, such as [[Urza]]'s Titan engines, but it is generally made clear that such devices are magical in nature.
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The flavor of the set is probably its most controversial aspect. The main point of contention is the Alaborn use of firearms, as seen on cards such as <c>Alaborn Musketeer</c> and <c>Alaborn Zealot</c>. This was badly received by players as it was seen as too real-world and grated with the traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy setting, particularly as the story took place on Dominaria, where guns had never been depicted before. Since the set was released, other cards have shown advanced technology, such as [[Urza]]'s Titan engines, but it is generally made clear that such devices are magical in nature.
   
 
==Notable Cards==
 
==Notable Cards==

Revision as of 05:13, 10 August 2006

Portal Second Age was a starter-level set released in 1998 as a follow-up to Portal. As with its predecessor, Portal Second Age was not legal in any officially sactioned format at the time of its release, but was made legal for Vintage and Legacy tournaments on 20th October 2005.

Features

Like Portal, Portal Second Age was specifically designed for easing new players into the game. It featured the same simplified rules set that Portal used, having no artifacts or enchantments in it, adding sword and shield symbols to the creature cards' power and toughness to denote which number was which, and writing rules text in bold type and separating it from the Flavor Text with a thick line to show that they were separate. The set also did not have any instants or interrupts, instead having a few sorceries that could be played at times that sorceries normally could not, such as Mystic Denial, which could only be played in response to a creature or sorcery spell, and Just Fate, which could only be played during an opponent's declare attackers step. All such cards have since received errata to make them actual instants.

However, there were two significant differences between Portal Second Age and the original Portal set. Firstly, Portal Second Age used the proper Magic terminology of Library, Graveyard and Blocking, rather than using the Portal terms Deck, Discard Pile and Intercepting. This was done to make the transition from Portal Second Age up to an advanced or expert-level expansion as easy as possible, as it had been found that players going from Portal upwards were often confused by the use of different terms. Secondly, the creature cards in Second Age all had creature types, whereas in Portal all creature cards just had a type line saying "Summon Creature." Portal Second Age is particularly notable for being the first set to say "Creature -" on the type line instead of Summon, a practice that would later be adopted as standard.

Storyline

Unlike Portal, Portal Second Age had its own storyline. It was set on the Dominarian island of Caliman and focused on the conflicts between the five different peoples (one for each color) that lived on it: the White-aligned kingdom of Alaborn, the Talas merchant/pirates, the Goblins and other mountain-dwellers, the Elves of Norwood forest and the Dakmor Nightstalkers, with the main focus being on the increasing nightstalker attacks on the Alaborn due to the influence of the sorceress Tojira. The story was told exclusively through the cards and was deliberately open-ended, with the idea being that players could construct decks around the different tribes and play out the story in-game.

The flavor of the set is probably its most controversial aspect. The main point of contention is the Alaborn use of firearms, as seen on cards such as Alaborn Musketeer and Alaborn Zealot. This was badly received by players as it was seen as too real-world and grated with the traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy setting, particularly as the story took place on Dominaria, where guns had never been depicted before. Since the set was released, other cards have shown advanced technology, such as Urza's Titan engines, but it is generally made clear that such devices are magical in nature.

Notable Cards

Although Portal Second Age was designed to be simple and included lots of reprints of cards from the previous Portal set, it also produced several noteworthy cards:

  • Angel of Mercy was first printed in the set. It has since been reprinted in Invasion and in two core sets.
  • Bee Sting is one of very few Green direct-damage spells. Its high cost reflects how bad Green is at removal effects.
  • Brimstone Dragon is one of the most valuable cards in the set as it has only ever been printed in Portal Second Age. It was in contention for reprint in Tenth Edition, but lost out to Shivan Hellkite in a public vote, placing only tenth out of eleven cards.
  • Dakmor Sorceress is another very popular card in the set. As there were no legendary cards in the set, the sorceress probably represents Tojira, the Swamp Queen.
  • Portal Second Age had a theme of Goblin tribal cards, as is seen on Goblin Matron, Goblin General and Goblin War Strike. This was probably included to teach new players about the significance of the creature types on cards.
  • Goblin Raider, a core set staple, was first printed in Portal Second Age.
  • Lone Wolf was first printed in the set, but has gone on to be reprinted multiple times. Its ability is known as supertrample and was designed as a way of bringing a trample-like effect into the set without actually using the keyword. The other card in the set with this ability was Deathcoil Wurm.
  • Ogre Taskmaster was first printed in the set and has since been reprinted four times.
  • Prowling Nightstalker is unusual as its ability mimics fear, but it has not received errata to give it the keyword ability. The reason it can only be blocked by black creatures rather than by black and/or artifact creatures is that there were no artifacts in the set, so the proper text for fear would not have made sense to a new player.
  • Ravenous Rats, a classic black card, was first printed in the set.
  • Wildfire was first printed in Portal Second Age and was quickly reprinted in Urza's Saga. It has since seen play in 'vore decks after being reprinted in Ninth Edition.

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