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Urza's Destiny

Urza's Destiny
Urzasdestiny logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Erlenmeyer flask
Design Mark Rosewater (lead)
Development Mike Elliott (lead)
William Jockusch
Charlie Keldono
Paul Peterson
Bill Rose
Henry Stern
Art direction Ron Spears
Release date June 7, 1999
Plane Dominaria
Themes and mechanics Cycling from play creatures, Growing enchantment Auras, Leaves play creatures, Reveal spells
Set size 143 cards
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
Expansion code UDS[1]
Development codename Chimichanga
Urza's block
Urza's Saga Urza's Legacy Urza's Destiny
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Portal Three Kingdoms Urza's Destiny Starter 1999

Urza's Destiny is the seventeenth Magic expansion and was released in June 1999 as the third set and second small expansion in the Urza block.

Set details[ | ]

Urza's Destiny contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 commons). Its expansion symbol is an Erlenmeyer flask, meant to symbolize Urza's continued experiments in finding a means to defeat Phyrexia.[2] Urza's Destiny was the first and only set after Arabian Nights which has a solo designer, Mark Rosewater. It was the first Expert-level, tournament legal set to be printed under the then-new 6th Edition rules changes; the most notable change seen on cards is the use of the word "Creature" on the type line as opposed to "Summon". In this the set was also following the footsteps of Portal Second Age.

Due to an error some boosters contain DCI and Arena promotional foils in the uncommon slot. The foil cards that appear this way are Duress, Stroke of Genius, Gaea's Cradle, Thran Quarry, Rewind, Skittering Skirge, Pouncing Jaguar, Serra Avatar, Karn Silver Golem, and Lightning Bolt.

Urza's Destiny was released on Magic Online on April 11, 2011.[3]

Marketing[ | ]

The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Emperor Crocodile and in four preconstructed theme decks. The Official Urza's Destiny Game Guide is the guide to the cards in the set. It was written by Will McDermott, editor of The Duelist at the time. The set was also accompanied by Bloodlines, the final novel in the Artifacts Cycle. The prerelease card was a foil False Prophet.

Storyline[ | ]

With the Weatherlight completed, Urza now works on a eugenics program to create a perfect crew for it, as well as engineering a race of soldiers to fight the Phyrexian invasion. One of his geneticists, Gatha, defects, and uses his knowledge to improve the Keldon race. Meanwhile, the Phyrexians create the plane of Rath as a staging ground for the invasion.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

The "reveal" cards come in two types: creatures (Seers) and spells (Scents). When you use a Seer ability or a Scent spell, you show your opponents any number of cards of the specified color that are currently in your hand. The number of cards revealed determines the power of the effect.

Urza's Destiny also has a strong theme of graveyard effects. Many creatures and a few enchantments have special abilities that trigger when the permanent is put into a graveyard (e.g. When Aura Thief goes to the graveyard, you gain control of all enchantments).

The set also further develops the cycling theme introduced in the previous two sets with "cycling from play" creatures. These creatures, such as Brass Secretary and Yavimaya Elder, do not have cycling as a keyword, but instead have the activated ability "{2}, sacrifice this creature: Draw a card." This ability is similar to cycling, but is used while the creature is in play rather than in your hand.[4]

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Golem.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Barbarian, Beast, Beeble, Bird, Cleric, Crocodile, Dragon, Drake, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Griffin, Horror, Hound, Illusion, Imp, Insect, Knight, Minion, Ogre, Rat, Skeleton, Soldier, Spider, Townsfolk (later changed to Human), Wall, Wizard.

Cycles[ | ]

Urza's Destiny has four cycles and a vertical cycle:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Growing creature enchantments Archery Training Private Research Festering Wound Incendiary Momentum
Each of these uncommon Aura enchantments gains a counter at the beginning of each of your upkeeps, making it more powerful the longer it stays in play. These cards were inspired by the Tempest card Legacy's Allure.[5]
Lobotomy spells Scour Quash Eradicate Sowing Salt Splinter
Each of these uncommon instants or sorceries removes a permanent of a certain type from the game, then also removes all other copies of the card in its controller's graveyard, hand, and library from the game. This cycle was based on the Tempest card Lobotomy. Each of these cards were reprinted in Betrayers of Kamigawa.
Scents Scent of Jasmine Scent of Brine Scent of Nightshade Scent of Cinder Scent of Ivy
Each of these common instants or sorceries have effects that are proportional to the number of cards of their color you reveal from your hand.
Seers Jasmine Seer Brine Seer Nightshade Seer Cinder Seer Ivy Seer
Each of these uncommon 1/1 Wizard creatures have an activated ability costing {2}M that mimics the Scent cycle.

Vertical cycle[ | ]

Cycle name
Enchanted bonus creatures Fledgling Osprey Metathran Elite Rayne, Academy Chancellor
These blue creatures gain an ability as long as they are enchanted: (in order of rarity). Thran Golem is similar to this cycle, but is an artifact.

Mega-mega cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Legendary lands Kor Haven (Nemesis) Teferi's Isle (Mirage) Volrath's Stronghold (Stronghold) Keldon Necropolis (Invasion) Yavimaya Hollow (Urza's Destiny)
Yavimaya Hollow is the third card in this mega-mega cycle of lands representing notable locations from the Weatherlight Saga storyline.
Voices Voice of Truth (Nemesis) Voice of Reason (Urza's Destiny) Voice of Grace (Urza's Saga) Voice of Law (Urza's Saga) Voice of Duty (Urza's Destiny)
Voice of Reason and Voice of Duty is the third and fourth card in this mega-mega cycle. These are uncommon white 2/2 Angels that has a mana cost of {3}{W} and have protection from a different color. Voice of All, who has protection from a color chosen as it enters the battlefield, would be released in Planeshift as an homage to the mega-mega cycle.

Notable cards[ | ]

Banned and Restricted cards[ | ]

  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary can generate an absurd amount of mana. It rotated in and out of the Commander banlist as they moved around the banned-as-commander rule.
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain is a strong variation on Necropotence, as the cards are drawn immediately. It was banned throughout all of Legacy's lifetime and was only unrestricted in Vintage in 2018.
  • Metalworker can produce tons of mana in the many artifact-decks of the day. It was banned in Legacy from inception until June 2009, and banned in Commander until September 2014.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Urza's Destiny.

Functional reprints[ | ]

Urza's Destiny has one functional reprint:

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Assassin B
Enchanter W U
Battle Surge U R
Fiendish Nature B G

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast (April 7, 2011). "Magic Online Urza's Destiny Release Event News". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2013). "Third Time's the Charm". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (April 19, 2002). "Inspired enchantments". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]