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Scars of Mirrodin

Scars of Mirrodin
SOM logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description A corroding hexplate
Design Mark Rosewater (lead),
Mark Gottlieb,
Alexis Janson,
Erik Lauer,
Matt Place,
Mark Globus,
Nate Heiss
Development Mike Turian (lead),
Aaron Forsythe,
Mark Purvis,
Erik Lauer,
Matt Place
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date October 1, 2010
Plane Mirrodin
Themes and mechanics Artifacts, Poison counters, -1/-1 counters
Keywords/​ability words Infect, Proliferate, Imprint, Metalcraft
Set size 249
(20 basic lands, 101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code SOM[1]
Development codename Lights[2]
Scars of Mirrodin block
Scars of Mirrodin Mirrodin Besieged New Phyrexia
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret Scars of Mirrodin Magic Online Deck Series

Scars of Mirrodin is the first set in the Scars of Mirrodin block. It is the 53rd Magic expansion and was released on October 1, 2010.[3]

Set details[ | ]

Scars of Mirrodin contains 249 cards (101 Common, 60 Uncommon, 53 Rare, 15 Mythic, 20 Basic Lands), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The expansion symbol of the set is a corroding hexplate from the Glimmervoid.

Scars of Mirrodin returns to the plane of Mirrodin, previously the setting of the block and the set of the same name.[4][5] As Mirrodin is an artificial plane, the number of artifacts and cards relating to that permanent type is larger than in other sets and mechanically reflects the themes already explored in the previous sets.[6]

The set describes the conflict between two major factions - one being Mirrodin, and the other being the invading forces of Phyrexia. Cards aligned with these two factions are watermarked, as previously seen with the guild aligned cards in Ravnica block. The two factions are also mechanically separated, with the Phyrexians dealing largely with poison counters, Infect and Proliferate, as well as sacrifice or leaves play effects, while the native Mirrans use mechanics already introduced or similar to those of the original Mirrodin set - Imprint, Indestructible, charge counters the new Metalcraft mechanic, as well as Mana Myr and Spellbombs.[7] Only 40 cards of the set have the Phyrexian symbol on them. All other cards except Basic Lands and Planeswalker cards have a Mirran watermark.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

“  The corrosion begins  ”

The metal plane of Mirrodin shines under the light of five suns ... but it's now tarnished by the deadly scourge known as Phyrexia. Besides the Mirran-Phyrexian conflict, the story also revolves around several planeswalkers. Elspeth Tirel (as a new card of the same name, Elspeth Tirel) returns while a new planeswalker by the name of Koth is introduced, a Vulshok native to Mirrodin (appearing as Koth of the Hammer). Venser (appearing as Venser, the Sojourner) and Tezzeret are also involved in the storyline.

Being set on Mirrodin, the expansion features themes and settings already known from that plane, such as Leonin (Cats), Vampires, Loxodon (Elephants), Elves,[8] and the Human tribes of Vulshok, Sylvok, Auriok, Moriok and Neurok.[9] Artifact creatures such as Golems and Myr also return.

Storyline[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story

Gathering Forces is a webcomic about Elspeth, Koth and Venser. It was published in three parts in September 2010.

Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Phyrexia and the Vaultlord Doug Beyer 2010-09-08 Mirrodin Karn, Geth
Gathering Forces, Part 1 Jenna Helland 2010-09-16 Dominaria Elspeth, Koth, Ajani Goldmane
Gathering Forces, Part 2 Jenna Helland 2010-09-23 Dominaria Elspeth, Koth
Gathering Forces, Part 3 Jenna Helland 2010-09-30 Dominaria, Mirrodin Venser, Elspeth, Koth
A Tale of Two Clone Shells Doug Beyer 2010-12-01 Mirrodin Trennet, Politus, Sarja

Marketing[ | ]

Scars of Mirrodin' was sold in 16-card booster packs (the 16th card being a marketing card), 6-card boosters, 5 intro packs and a fat pack.[10] The regular boosters featured art from Elspeth Tirel, Venser, the Sojourner, Koth of the Hammer, Etched Champion and Platinum Emperion.[11] The 6-card booster featured Tainted Strike. The Mirrodin block was accompanied by only one novel: Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn, written by Robert B. Wintermute.[12]

The set was previewed by a scavenger hunt (Assault on Mirrodin) at PAX.[13]

The prerelease was on September 25–26, 2010, the launch party on October 1–3, and the release on Magic online was on October 18, 2010.[14] The promotional card given to participants at the Prerelease tournaments was Wurmcoil Engine, a powerful artifact creature.[15] The Launch party event promotional card was Steel Hellkite.[16] The Buy-a-Box promo was Memoricide. The Game Day promo was a full-art Memnite, the Top 8 Finish a full-art foil Tempered Steel.[17]

Regular boosters of Scars of Mirrodin come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token from Scars of Mirrodin or a poison counter token. One face of the Scars of Mirrodin bonus card has one of five different rules tips or is one of 9 different creature tokens or a poison counter token. The other face has one of [..] advertisements for organized play programs,, Duels of the Planeswalkers for Xbox Live and the PC, Magic Online,, Scars of Mirrodin Intro Packs, and Wizards Play Network.

Tips & Tricks[ | ]

The tips & tricks cards are

Tokens[ | ]

The Scars of Mirrodin tokens in numerical order are:[18]

  1. {W} 2/2 Cat produced by Kemba, Kha Regent
  2. {W} 1/1 Soldier produced by Elspeth Tirel
  3. {R} 1/1 Goblin produced by Kuldotha Rebirth
  4. {G} 1/1 Insect with infect, produced by Trigon of Infestation and Carrion Call
  5. {G} 2/2 Wolf produced by Sword of Body and Mind
  6. {C} 3/3 Golem Artifact produced by Golem Foundry and Precursor Golem
  7. {C} 1/1 Myr Artifact produced by Myrsmith, Myr Battlesphere, and Origin Spellbomb
  8. {C} 3/3 Wurm with deathtouch, produced by Wurmcoil Engine
  9. {C} 3/3 Wurm with lifelink, produced by Wurmcoil Engine

Mechanics[ | ]

As usual, Scars of Mirrodin features several new mechanics.[19][20]

Infect is a new keyword that causes creatures to deal damage to other creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters, similar to Wither. However, in addition to this, cards with Infect deal damage to players in the form of poison counters. The poison mechanic was introduced in Legends but has never been strongly supported. The mechanic resurfaced in Time Spiral block with a reprint of Swamp Mosquito and the Poisonous keyword (which does not appear in Scars of Mirrodin).[21] Poison counters would be a major theme of the entire block.

A new keyword action in Proliferate works in combination with Infect.[22] When a player proliferates, he or she chooses any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, and puts another counter of a kind it has on it. E.g. a player proliferates and chooses an opponent with a poison counter, a creature with a -1/-1 counter, a Planeswalker with loyalty counters, and an artifact with a charge counter. Every one of these entities gets another of these respective counters.

The ability word Metalcraft gives a card a bonus if its controller controls three or more artifacts.[23] Scars of Mirrodin features a new Mox named Mox Opal that has Metalcraft. The Indestructible mechanic returns with new "Darksteel"-themed cards, as does the Imprint mechanic from Mirrodin.

The only returning keyword from the original Mirrodin block was imprint, this keyword allows a player to "imprint" some card on the artifact (removing that card from the game). That artifact's effect depends on the card imprinted (for example you can imprint a creature on Semblance Anvil to reduce the costs of spells that share a card type with that card).

Cycles[ | ]

Scars of Mirrodin has 10 Cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Mana Myr Gold Myr Silver Myr Leaden Myr Iron Myr Copper Myr
Each of these common myr artifact creatures costs {2} and has a mana ability in which they tap, and which produces a color-appropriate mana. Each represents a zone of Mirrodin corresponding to the color. Each is illustrated by Alan Pollack. Reprinted from Mirrodin.[24]
Smiths Myrsmith Riddlesmith Painsmith Embersmith Lifesmith
Each of these creatures is a human artificer and creates an effect when their controllers cast an artifact spell.[25]
Replicas Auriok Replica Neurok Replica Moriok Replica Vulshok Replica Sylvok Replica
Artifact creatures that can be sacrificed after paying a form of colored mana to get a color-specific effect.
Color-aligned Artifact creatures Glint Hawk Idol Soliton[26] Vector Asp Saberclaw Golem Wall of Tanglecord
A cycle of creatures who have a colorless cost, but an activated ability including one mana of one of the five colors. The white card breaks the cycle a little since it is not permanently an artifact creature.
Spellbombs Origin Spellbomb Flight Spellbomb Nihil Spellbomb Panic Spellbomb Horizon Spellbomb
These Artifacts can be tapped and sacrificed to create an effect. Its owner can pay one mana of a specific color to draw a card when these artifacts are put in the graveyard.[27]
Trigons Trigon of Mending Trigon of Thought Trigon of Corruption Trigon of Rage Trigon of Infestation
A series of artifacts that enter the battlefield with three charge counters on them, have an ability that costs two colored mana and tapping the artifact to add another charge counter and an ability related to that color which can be used with a colorless activation of {2}, {T} and removing a counter.[28]
Vanilla creatures Loxodon Wayfarer Plated Seastrider Moriok Reaver Scoria Elemental Alpha Tyrranax
There is 1 vanilla common creature of each color.
Metalcraft creatures Ghalma's Warden Vedalken Certarch Bleak Coven Vampires Blade-Tribe Berserkers Carapace Forger
A cycle of common creatures with Metalcraft and no other abilities. Each represents a different Mirran race.
One-mana spells Seize the Initiative Vault Skyward Tainted Strike Assault Strobe Withstand Death
A cycle of common one-mana spells targeting a creature, granting it an until-end-of-turn bonus.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Fast lands Seachrome Coast Darkslick Shores Blackcleave Cliffs Copperline Gorge Razorverge Thicket
A new set of allied taplands was introduced, with the twist that these could enter the battlefield untapped if they were played during the first few turns of the game.[29]

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 is 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.[30]

Reprinted cards[ | ]

11 cards were reprinted from previous sets. Eight of these had appeared previously in Mirrodin, including the cycle of Myrs. Bloodshot Trainee and Disperse were the only reprints that did not appear in the first Mirrodin block.

Functional reprint[ | ]

Colorshifted[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • The so-called Fast land cycle of lands (such as Darkslick Shores) have seen large amounts of play in Standard, Pioneer, and Modern, where they are some of the best mana-fixing lands for aggro or combo decks that seek to end the game early.
  • Golem's Heart is functionally similar to the Darksteel Lucky charms but was strangely enough created/predicted in its entirety, including name, by MTGSalvation user luminum_can.
  • Molten-Tail Masticore is a near-functional reprint of the original Masticore, sharing casting cost, power/toughness, type, and two of its abilities. However, since Masticore is on the Reserved List, it could not be reprinted and another damage ability replaced the damage ability.
  • Prototype Portal is functionally very similar to the Mirrodin card Soul Foundry but replaces creatures with artifacts. This makes Prototype Portal the second card to specifically produce non-creature Tokens after Imperial Mask from Future Sight.
  • Tower of Calamities completes a cycle started in Mirrodin which had four cards with the word Tower in their name.[31] All of them cost {4} and have an activated ability for the cost of {8}, {T} generating a usually color-aligned effect. The respective colors are also used heavily in the artwork. They are Tower of Champions (green), Tower of Eons (white), Tower of Fortunes (blue) and Tower of Murmurs (black). Tower of Calamities adds a red-aligned effect.
  • Venser, the Sojourner is the only multicolored card in the set. It also marks the return of Venser after his original appearance (pre-ascension), as Venser, Shaper Savant in Future Sight.
  • Sword of Body and Mind is the first continuation of the "Sword of X and Y" Mega cycle first started in Darksteel.
  • Steady Progress's flavor text is memetic, especially with the leadup to the "New Phyrexia's Invasion of the Multiverse" storyline. Given the storyline in this set, the Vedalken quoted already sounded woefully ignorant even then.
  • Steel Hellkite is a powerful artifact creature that is often ramped into in Vintage MUD decks, as it is particularly effective at destroying the opponent's Moxen and other mana rocks. It is also heavily played in the casual Commander format for similar purposes.
  • Wurmcoil Engine is one of the most powerful artifact creatures in the game, easily stabilizing against aggressive decks and attacking effectively even through removal. It was played fairly by control decks in Standard but was also a great creature to search up with Birthing Pod, and it has been ramped into formats like Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage, where it can also be put into play with Tinker.
  • Asceticism is a reference to Troll Ascetic from the original Mirrodin set; both have or give hexproof.
  • Memnite is one of only a few creatures in the game to cost no mana and is often used in artifact combo decks and in creature decks that seek to flood the board with small creatures.
  • Platinum Emperion is a powerful artifact creature that serves as a reference to Platinum Angel, similarly preventing the player from losing the game by preventing them from even losing life. It is currently the only card in the game to prevent a life total from changing as a static effect.
  • Tempered Steel formed the basis of an eponymous aggro deck in Standard built around artifact creatures and other payoffs like Steel Overseer.
  • Nihil Spellbomb is a powerful graveyard hate spell that can replace itself and works especially well in artifact decks, seeing play in Modern, Legacy, and Pauper sideboards.
  • Liquimetal Coating is a seemingly innocuous artifact that began seeing substantial play in Modern after the printing of Karn, the Great Creator. The new Planeswalker enables a play pattern of fetching the artifact out of the sideboard, using it to turn an opponent's land into an artifact, and then using Karn's ability to turn that land into a creature with 0 toughness to destroy it.
  • Leonin Arbiter has been played in numerous "hatebear" and tax decks in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage, where its ability can slow down opponents seeking to tutor powerful combo pieces. It is particularly effective at disabling the opponent's mana base, as it can prevent them from using fetchlands and removes the downside from lands like Ghost Quarter.
  • Grand Architect was the face of numerous Standard decks that combined it with other blue creatures to ramp out large artifacts and/or attack aggressively.
  • Revoke Existence is a simple but strong variant of Disenchant that has seen sideboard play in every format where it is legal.
  • Galvanic Blast is among the strongest burn spells ever printed, at times being stronger than Lightning Bolt in artifact decks. It is a staple in red artifact decks in Modern and Pauper, especially those with a focus on direct damage.
  • Accorder's Shield is a free Equipment with a minor effect. Its main use has been in combo decks that combine it with cards like Sram, Senior Artificer to chain cheap Equipment together.
  • Ratchet Bomb is a versatile answer used by numerous midrange decks across Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage. It is particularly strong against decks that have lots of free artifacts or tokens, which can destroy the turn it comes into play.
  • Glimmerpost combined with the previously printed Cloudpost in "8post" decks to create massive amounts of mana in both Modern, Pauper, and Legacy, resulting in Cloudpost being banned in Modern in 2011 and Pauper in 2013.
  • Kuldotha Rebirth is one of the most efficient token-producing spells in the game, especially in artifact decks, and has led to an eponymous aggro deck in Pauper.
  • Spikeshot Elder is a reference to Mirrodin's Spikeshot Goblin, which has a similar ability and flavor text.
  • Mimic Vat is a powerful value engine that was played heavily across many different types of Standard decks that could abuse creatures with valuable abilities.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Mox Opal is yet another installment of the famous Moxen (zero-mana artifacts producing all colors of mana). After nearly a decade of high-level play, it was banned in Modern in January 2020, as it would only continue being powerful regardless of shell.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Scars of Mirrodin features five intro packs, four of which are bicolored and one monocolored.[32]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Myr of Mirrodin W Sunblast Angel
Deadspread U B Carnifex Demon
Relic Breaker R G Hoard-Smelter Dragon
Metalcraft U R Argent Sphinx
Phyrexian Poison B G Putrefax

References[ | ]

  1. Product info
  2. Mark Rosewater (December 3, 2012). "The Six-Year Plan". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast (March 18, 2010). "Announcing Scars of Mirrodin". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (August 30, 2010). "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Alexis Janson (October 11, 2010). "Running In Circles". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (September 13, 2010). "Something Wicked This Way Comes, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Doug Beyer (October 06, 2010). "Spreading the Infection". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Doug Beyer (December 08, 2010). "The Nonhuman Cultures of Mirrodin". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Doug Beyer (November 17, 2010). "The Human Cultures of Mirrodin". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Monty Ashley (September 13, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Fat Pack". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Monty Ashley (September 07, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Boosters". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Monty Ashley (April 25, 2011). "Mirrodin Book Releases". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Monty Ashley (September 09, 2010). "The PAX Party Puzzle". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (October 5, 2010). "Magic Online Scars of Mirrodin Release Events". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Tim Willoughby (September 20, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Monty Ashley (September 30, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Launch Party Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Monty Ashley (October 06, 2010). "Game Day Excitement". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Monty Ashley (September 15, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Wizards of the Coast (September, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley (September 23, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Introductory Videos". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (September 06, 2010). "Something Wicked This Way Comes, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater (September 20, 2010). "Something Wicked This Way Comes, Part 3". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Tom LaPille (October 22, 2010). "Crafting a Metal World". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Tom LaPille (September 10, 2010). "Myr Mortals". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Monty Ashley (November 22, 2010). "Meet the Smiths". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Monty Ashley (October 13, 2010). "The Origin of Soliton". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Monty Ashley (October 20, 2010). "The Latest Spellbombs". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Doug Beyer (March 16, 2011). "Six Secrets Behind the Sets". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Tom LaPille (September 17, 2010). "The Promised Land". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Monty Ashley (September 22, 2010). "The Fifth Tower". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Monty Ashley (September 22, 2010). "The Fifth Tower". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Monty Ashley (September 28, 2010). "Scars of Mirrodin Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]