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The Dark
This page is about the expansion set. For the short story, see The Dark (story). For other uses, see The Dark (disambiguation).

The Dark
TheDark Logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Crescent Moon
Design Jesper Myrfors
Steve Bishop
Glenn Elliott
Beverly Marshall Saling
Development Skaff Elias
Jim Lin
Chris Page
Dave Pettey
Art direction Sandra Everingham
Release date August 8, 1994
Plane Dominaria (Terisiare)[1]
Themes and mechanics Tribal, first mood-based theme, graveyard as resource, exile, poison counters
Set size 119 cards
(40 commons, 44 uncommons, 35 rares)
Expansion code DRK[2]
Early non-block expansions
Legends The Dark Fallen Empires
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Legends The Dark Fallen Empires

The Dark is the fourth Magic expansion and was released on August 8, 1994. It is not part of any block.

The Dark booster

The Dark booster

Set details[ | ]

The Dark was printed on sheets of 121 cards and contains 119 unique cards. The set's rarity breakdown is: 41 commons (1@C1, 40@C3) and 78 uncommons (35@U1, 43@U2). The C1 card and U2 cards are together considered the uncommons of the set, and the U1 cards are considered the "rares".

The Dark includes a goblin tribal theme, powerful abilities with intense colored mana and upkeep costs, and the return of Poison counters. The expansion symbol of the set is a thin crescent moon to evoke The Dark’s tone.[3] The Dark introduced the first multicolored noncreature card, the first common multicolored card, and the first enemy-pair multicolored card.

Each of the lands in The Dark has a unique dark grey-purple-colored text box, which was reprinted on the Chronicles version of Safe Haven.

Marketing[ | ]

The Dark was sold in eight-card booster packs which included six commons and two uncommons. Cards were available from mid-August 1994 through mid-November 1994. Wizards announced the print run to be 62 million cards.[4][5] The Dark was the first Magic expansion that was released in the Italian language (the Italian Legends was released later).

Storyline[ | ]

The expansion was introduced with a short story describing the ominous and powerful nature of the dark magic from which the set took its name.[6]

In the flavor text of the set's cards, another story was told: The climax of the Brothers' War was the Sylex Blast, which lofted debris into the air blotting out the sun and creating The Dark. Without the sun the climate begins to cool, and an anti-magic religion comes to power, blaming the Sylex blast and its effects on all magic and its users. Persecution of these magic-using wizards led to the creation of the fabled City of Shadows in the east and the Conclave of Mages in the west, where they hid themselves during this time.

Creature types[ | ]

The Dark greatly expanded the concept of a tribe, or a specific creature type (briefly touched upon in Legends with the kobold creature type). It contains six goblins, a card named Goblin Rock Sled, two creatures with abilities that reference goblins, two Auras that can give a bonus to goblins, and a sorcery to destroy all goblins — Tivadar's Crusade. Despite this creature-type theme, most of the rest of the set used unusual, creature-specific creature types like other early expansions.

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion:

Original summon type Later creature type
Bandit Human Rogue
Brother Human Shaman
Cave People Human
Exorcist Human Cleric
Hunter Human Cleric
Miracle Worker Human Cleric
Mob Human
People of the Woods Human
Pikemen Human Soldier
Preacher Human Cleric
Robber Human Rogue
Scavenger Folk Scavenger, then Human
Sister Human Shaman
Squire Human Soldier
Tracker Human
Uncle Istvan Human
Leech (Unchanged)
Lurker Beast
Nameless-Race (No creature type)
Whippoorwill Bird
Ball Lightning Elemental
Eel Fish
Shark Fish, then back to Shark
Rock Sled Goblin
Eater Horror
Rag Man Minion
General Orc Warrior
Niall Silvain Ouphe
Viper Snake
Banshee Spirit
Fallen Zombie
Murk Dwellers Zombie

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Drake, Elf, Goblin, Hag, Imp, Knight, Leviathan, Merfolk, Monster, Rat, Ship (later changed to Spirit), Slug, Treefolk, Wall, Wizard, Wurm and Zombie.

Cycles[ | ]

The Dark has no cycles.

The recurring cycle of color hosers is broken. Some green and blue cards support black and red, instead of hosing them. Metaphorically, in the Dark, White was abandoned by its allies Green and Blue.

Color hosers
White Black
Angry Mob (P/T depend on opponent's black) Nameless Race (P/T depend on opponent's white)
Exorcist (destroy black creatures) Inquisition (damage depending on opponent's white)
White Red
Tivadar's Crusade (destroy Goblins)
Knights of Thorn (protection from red)
Goblin Wizard (put Goblins onto the battlefield, give protection from white)
"Traitor colors"
Green for Black Blue for Red
Elves of Deep Shadow (black mana source)
Wormwood Treefolk (ability activated by black mana)
Dark Heart of the Wood (polychrome black/green card)
Electric Eel (ability activated by red mana)

In later expansions, there will be cycles of allied color cards. In the Dark, this cycle is broken. As stated above, White is betrayed by its Green and Blue allies.

Allied colors
Green & Red Red & Black Black & Blue
Scarwood Goblins (polychrome green/red card) Marsh Goblins (polychrome red/black card) Drowned (blue card, ability activated by black mana)

Pairs[ | ]

The Dark has one mirrored pair

Mirrored Pairs Description
Ashes to Ashes
Dust to Dust
Both have names related to the Book of Common Prayer, and are both uncommon sorceries with a mana cost of 1MM that exile two permanents of a certain type.

Notable cards[ | ]

Functional reprints[ | ]

The Dark has one functional reprint:

Trivia[ | ]

Main article: The Dark/Trivia

Misprints[ | ]

The artist Dennis Detwiller is incorrectly credited as Denise Detwiler on the following cards:

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. "Dominian FAQ (archived)".
  2. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. John Tynes (April 1995). ""An Expansion Timeline"". The Duelist: A Special Preview Edition. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Beth Moursund (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering, Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN-10 1-56025-443-2.
  6. Ice, Kathy, Beverly Marshall Saling, & Rick Saling Marshall. (1994). "The Dark". The Duelist. Issue 2, Summer 1994.
  7. Magic Arcana (October 11, 2002). "Dark Goblins". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]