Ben builds little piles

Sets of Five

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The "cycles" theme week came to be because I wanted to do a huge list of every cycle ever in Magic as one of my columns. The idea was good enough to warrant the dedication of an entire week to these five-of-a-kind cards. My original list spanned two weeks and two columns—and even then I missed a few. Presented today is a vital and ever-growing list of all the cycles in Magic, updated to include those few I didn't get the first time around, plus the new cycles of Onslaught. Updated material is marked with a double-asterisk (**).

—Ben


This article originally appeared on July 10 and July 17, 2002.

The letter H!ere we are, smack in the middle of Cycle Week. Some weeks ago, I called up Aaron and asked him if I could do an abnormally long article about the cycles of Magic. Coincidently, he had been thinking about making a cycle theme week for MagicTheGathering.com. My call just expedited the process, and I'm thankful that we've gotten to this topic sooner than later. Why's that, you ask? I love cycles!

Go back and read Mark's article from Monday about the aesthetics of cycles. There's just something really appealing about a set of five cards that have symmetry with one another. They are the cards that each of the colors share and compare, since each color has a variation on the theme. Indirectly you might argue whether Serra Angel, Sengir Vampire, or Shivan Dragon is the most powerful, but directly you can compare the uses of Perish in Sixth Edition versus Warthog (obviously Perish way out-powered Warthog. What were they thinking?).

Here's the definition I use: A cycle is a group of five related cards where each color is represented by one card in the cycle. They can be any type of card, including lands and artifacts. Each cycle contains a theme. Most are linked by gameplay mechanics, while some are linked by the color wheel and flavor.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is very important for cycles. If you flip over a Magic card, you'll see the five-color pentagon on back. Starting from the top and going clockwise, you have white, blue, black, red, and green. Accordingly, all cards on the below lists have been arranged in that order.

I've tried to make this list as complete as possible. One or two cycles might have slipped through the cracks. If they have, please contact me at bleiweiss1@cox.net so I can add them to this list for the future. As far as I know, this is the first attempt to catalog every cycle in Magic, and I hope that you enjoy the effort and the comments that go along with each.

Because this is such a huge comprehensive list, it will be presented in two parts. The first will cover the base sets and all expansions from Arabian Nights to Weatherlight, and next week we'll pick up with Tempest through the present. Remember, if you don't know what a card does, you can click the name to see an image of the card.

The Base Sets (Alpha/Beta/Unlimited/Revised/4th/5th/6th/7th):

1) Circle of Protection: White, Circle of Protection: Blue, Circle of Protection: Black, Circle of Protection: Red, Circle of Protection: Green
2) Conversion, Lifetap, Gloom, Red Elemental Blast, Lifeforce
3) Healing Salve, Ancestral Recall, Dark Ritual, Lightning Bolt, Giant Growth
4) Ivory Cup, Crystal Rod, Throne of Bone, Iron Star, Wooden Sphere
5) Karma, Blue Elemental Blast, Deathgrip, Flashfires, Tsunami
6) Mox Pearl, Mox Sapphire, Mox Jet, Mox Ruby, Mox Emerald
7) Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest
8) Purelace, Thoughtlace, Deathlace, Chaoslace, Lifelace
9) Scrubland, Plateau, Volcanic Island, Tropical Island, Bayou
10) Tundra, Savannah, Underground Sea, Badlands, Taiga
11) White Ward, Blue Ward, Black Ward, Red Ward, Green Ward
*6th) Light of Day, Chill, Perish, Flashfires, River Boa
*6th) Warmth, Insight, Dread of Night, Boil, Warthog
*7th) Sanctimony, Hibernation, Yawgmoth's Edict, Boil, Compost
*7th) Starlight, Baleful Stare, Bereavement, Disorder, Thoughtleech

  • Although there are each of the five colors of Magic represented in each cycle, that doesn't mean each of the colors has an equal number of cards which belong to cycles. White by and far has more cycle cards than any other color in Magic, due to the various ‘protection' type spells it is given. In this set, Circles of Protection and Wards put white ahead of the count for good.
  • Most cards in a cycle share the same rarity, but this set didn't clearly establish that. Ancestral Recall, Blue Elemental Blast, and Red Elemental Blast all were different rarities than the other four cards in their respective cycles.
  • The Boon cycle consists of cards which cost one mana and give you three of something in return. They established many integral themes for their colors from the get-go: White would prevent damage and gain life, blue would draw cards, black would give up resources for speed, red would deal direct damage, and green would make creatures bigger. Ancestral Recall was deemed too powerful and removed from Revised edition. Lightning Bolt was the next to go, appearing last in Fourth Edition. Dark Ritual left with Sixth Edition, leaving only Healing Salve and Giant Growth in the current base set.
  • Color hosing cards in the list usually come as two cycles at once. They are broken down by going clockwise or counterclockwise on the color wheel. For instance, for the Karma cycle, start at white and follow the wheel clockwise. The first enemy color hit is black. For blue, the first color hit is red, so Blue Elemental Blast joins this cycle.
  • The most reprinted cycle in Magic, of course, is the basic land cycle of Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest. The second-most reprinted cycle are the Circles of Protection, which have appeared in every base set so far, plus Ice Age and Tempest.
  • The two color hosing cycles from A/B/U remained the same until Sixth Edition, except that Pyroblast and Hydroblast were substituted for Red and Blue Elemental Blasts.
  • The dual lands, both allied and enemy colored, were rotated out in Fourth Edition. They were replaced in Fifth Edition by the allied color pain lands from Ice Age, and the ten lands from Fallen Empires (see Fallen Empires). The storage lands were rotated out of Classic, and the sacrifice lands went the way of the dodo by Seventh.
  • The Moxes were rotated out entirely by Revised, the only cycle in A/B/U to completely disappear. They were replaced several times in the base set, first by the Legend's Mana Batteries (Fourth Edition), and then by the Mirage Diamonds (Sixth Edition onwards).
  • The five Laces lasted mercifully only until Fourth edition, when they finally got the can.
  • The uncommon color hosers have rotated in both Sixth and Seventh Edition, with Boil being the only card to be carried over from one set to another. Portal cards Starlight and Baleful Stare were rotated into the base edition for the first time to complete their respective cycles.

Arabian Nights:

  • There were no white Djinns or Efreets, keeping Arabian Nights from having any complete cycles.

Antiquities:

  • While Antiquities did not contain any cycles per se, it did start the first mega-cycle in the history of Magic. A mega-cycle is a cycle of cards which extend over the course of several sets. While nearly every card in the set dealt with artifacts, Atog stood out as a fan favorite due to his big toothy grin and tournament playability. Over the course of the next few years, atogs would be introduced for each color. Odyssey would pay homage to this mega-cycle with a self-contained cycle of multi-colored atogs (see Odyssey).

Legends:

1) Cathedral of Serra, Seafarer's Quay, Unholy Citadel, Mountain Stronghold, Adventurer's Guildhouse
2) Chromium, Arcades Sabboth, Palladia-Mors, Nicol Bolas, Vaevictis Asmadi
3) Glyph of Life, Glyph of Delusion, Glyph of Doom, Glyph of Destruction, Glyph of Reincarnation
4) Great Wall, Undertow, Quagmire, Crevasse, Deadfall
5) Heaven's Gate, Sea Kings' Blessing, Touch of Darkness, Dwarven Song, Sylvan Paradise
6) Karakas, Tolaria, Urborg, Hammerheim, Pendelhaven
7) White Mana Battery, Blue Mana Battery, Black Mana Battery, Red Mana Battery, Green Mana Battery
**8) Angus MacKenzie, Bartel Runeaxe, Gwendolyn Di Corci, Halfdane, Jacques Le Vert (Thanks to Brad C. for pointing this one out first)

  • Of all the cycles in Magic, the hardest one to name would be the bands-with-others land cycle from Legends. Not only were the cards hardly used, but they all have long, involved names.
  • The Elder Dragon Legends were not only the first gold-colored cycle, but also the first true creature cycle in Magic.
  • All the "Summon Legend" cards fall into a regular pattern, which makes them a sort of "giant cycle".
  • The color-wash (Heaven's Gate) cycle emulates the previous Lace cycle from A/B/U (see Base Sets)
  • The Mana Battery cycle emulates the Mox cycle from A/B/U (See Base Sets).
  • The first Legendary Land cycle didn't correspond very well to the abilities of their colors. For instance, Karakas unsummons creatures, which is clearly a blue ability. Urborg removes first strike (more of a red or white ability), while Tolaria removes banding (definitely a white ability).
  • It's interesting to look at the Glyph cycle to see what abilities were being added to each color. White and black both continued their themes of life gain and creature kill, but red invoked massive power gain at the cost of self-destruction. Green delved into the normally black ability of reanimation, and blue added the ability to keep creatures tapped down to its repertoire.
  • There were no white Enchant World cards, so no cycle there.
  • ** The added Legends cycle at number eight are the Legends which refer to their Legendary Land homes in their flavor text.

Fallen Empires:

1) Balm of Restoration, Conch Horn, Implements of Sacrifice, Aeolipile, Elven Lyre
2) Icatian Store, Sand Silos, Bottomless Vault, Dwarven Hold, Hollow Trees
3) Ruins of Trokair, Svyelunite Temple, Ebon Stronghold, Dwarven Ruins, Havenwood Battleground

  • The Neo-Boon cycle correspond one for one to the originally boon cycle from A/B/U (see Base Sets). The Balm is Healing Salve, the Horn is Ancestral Recall, the Implements are Dark Ritual, the Aeolipile is Lightning Bolt, and the Lyre is Giant Growth.
  • This was the first go at storage lands. They would later be attempted again during Mercadian Masques (see Mercadian Masques). These must remain tapped each turn to get a counter, rendering them unusable for that turn. The Masques lands conversely can be untapped for mana each turn, and used to store mana if not used.

Ice Age:

1) Adarkar Wastes, Brushland, Underground River, Sulfurous Springs, Karplusan Forest
2) Circle of Protection: White, Circle of Protection: Blue, Circle of Protection: Black, Circle of Protection: Red, Circle of Protection: Green
3) Drought, Leshrac's Sigil, Hydroblast, Anarchy, Thoughleech
4) Glaciers, Reclamation, Flooded Woodlands, Ghostly Flame, Monsoon
5) Justice, Breath of Dreams, Stench of Evil, Pyroblast, Freyalise's Charm
6) Land Cap, Veldt, River Delta, Lava Tubes, Timberline Ridge
7) Merieke Ri Berit, Storm Spirit, Fiery Justice, Elemental Augury, Earthlink
8) Nacre Talisman, Lapis Lazuli Talisman, Onyx Talisman, Hematite Talisman, Malachite Talisman
9) White Scarab, Blue Scarab, Black Scarab, Red Scarab, Green Scarab

  • Wizards printed two cycles of allied color dual lands, the painlands and the stay-tapped lands (Veldt). They were an attempt to replace the same cycle from A/B/U (See Base Sets). The painlands have survived to present day. The others have not.
  • This set contains the first color-hosing cycles in an expansion set. There are three separate cycles: two uncommon cycles that go clockwise and counterclockwise on the color wheel, and a third rare cycle of gold cards. While it's obvious what four of the cards in the rare cycle are for, Ghostly Flame isn't straight forward. It was designed as a way for black and red to get around Circles of Protection, which are only contained in white (their enemy on the color wheel).
  • Normally you could easily look at five cards of a cycle and pick out which one belongs to which color based on the colors used in the artwork alone. The Talisman cycle might be the only cycle in Magic which doesn't really fit this bill. Onyx Talisman (the black one) looks mainly white in the art, while Hematite Talisman (the red one) doesn't have a single piece of red in the artwork, and in fact looks green!

Homelands:

1) Wizards' School, Aysen Abbey, An-Havva Township, Castle Sengir, Koskun Keep

  • The first attempt at tri-colored lands. These would be attempted again many years later in Planeshift with the Dragon Lair cycle (see Planeshift).

Alliances:

1) Energy Arc, Nature's Blessing, Lim-Dul's Vault, Lim-Dul's Paladin, Surge of Strength
2) Kjeldoran Outpost, Soldevi Excavations, Lake of the Dead, Balduvian Trading Post, Heart of Yavimaya
3) Royal Decree, Tidal Control, Dystopia, Omen of Fire, Nature's Wrath
4) Scars of the Veteran, Force of Will, Contagion, Pyrokinesis, Bounty of the Hunt
5) Wandering Mage, Phelddagrif, Winter's Night, Lord of Tresserhorn, Misfortune

  • The double-color hose cycle here was the first attempt at allowing each color to hose both their enemies at once. Similar cycles would be attempted in Mercadian Masques, though by then the power level was cranked way down (see Mercadian Masques).
  • The original Pitch cycle, named for their alternate costs of pitching a card, are one of the most popular cycles ever printed in Magic. AC cycles were repeated in Masques and Prophecy (see Mercadian Masques and Prophecy), but none have matched the level of love that people have for these original five.
  • Phelddagrif in this set could gain flying from white in exchange for giving the opponent two life, bounce itself for a blue allowing the opponent to draw a card, and trample from green while giving the opponent a 1/1 creature. The reincarnation of Phelddagrif, Questing Phelddagrif (see Planeshift), mixed those abilities up. The newer Grif gained flying for blue (more in line with the activation color), gained protection from red and black for the white ability (the two colors not represented by the card itself), and gained +1/+1 instead of trample for the green ability. Both the cards had the same penalties for activating abilities. The Questing Grif shows a clear evolution of the card, as each of the abilities corresponds more accurately to the color to which it is associated.

Mirage:

1) Civic Guildmage, Shaper Guildmage, Shadow Guildmage, Armorer Guildmage, Granger Guildmage
2) Flood Plains, Grasslands, Bad River, Rocky Tar Pit, Mountain Valley
3) Hazerider Drake, Radiant Essence, Haunting Apparation, Shauku's Minion, Windreaper Falcon
4) Ivory Charm, Sapphire Charm, Ebony Charm, Chaos Charm, Seedling Charm
5) Marble Diamond, Sky Diamond, Charcoal Diamond, Fire Diamond, Moss Diamond
6) Melesse Spirit, Suq'Ata Firewalker, Barbed-Back Wurm, Wildfire Emissary, Karoo Meerkat
7) Pearl Dragon, Mist Dragon, Catacomb Dragon, Volcanic Dragon, Canopy Dragon
8) Prismatic Boon, Vitalizing Cascade, Sealed Fate, Kaervek's Purge, Savage Twister
9) Shadowbane, Ether Well, Kaervek's Hex, Cinder Cloud, Tropical Storm
10) Unyaro Griffin, Cerulean Wyvern, Soul Rend, Sirocco, Decomposition
11) Wall of Resistance, Floodgate, Wall of Corpses, Blistering Barrier, Wall of Roots
12) Ward of Lights, Soar, Grave Servitude, Lightning Reflexes, Armor of Thorns
**13) Mangara's Equity, Mind Harness, Reign of Chaos, Reign of Terror, Roots of Life (Thanks to Vincent E. for pointing this one out first)

  • The original Guildmage cycle consisted of creatures which could be activated using colors of allied mana. These would be repeated twice more, once in Invasion and once in Apocalypse using enemy colors (See Invasion and Apocalypse). The abilities changed from set to set. A white gave a creature first strike in Mirage, tapped down a creature in Invasion, and a point of damage prevention in Apocalypse. Blue allowed to return a creature you control to the top of your deck in both allied guildmages, but gave a creature flying as an enemy color. Black gave a creature +1/+0, then made your opponent lose a life, and finally gave a creature -2/-0. Red pinged for a point of damage originally, moved to giving a creature first strike (gaining white's former ability), and finally ended up by giving a creature +2/+0. Green originally gave a creature +0/+1, then combined its ability with black's former activation to give a creature +1/+1, and ended in Apocalypse by allowing you to produce any color of mana.
  • There are four (!) color hosing cycles in the uncommon slots of this set. The ones beginning with Melesse Spirit and Unyaro Griffin go clockwise and counterclockwise along the color wheel. The gold cycle hoses the shared enemy color. The last cycle, beginning with Shadowbane, are cards which can be used against any color, but have an extra effect against an enemy color clockwise along the color wheel.
  • This set contains the first "Insta-chantment" cycle (Ward of Lights), enchantments which can be cast at the speed of an instant. These would be revisited during Masques block (see Mercadian Masques, Prophecy). The ones from this set were strictly inferior, since they went away at the end of turn.
  • The Charms were repeated twice more, once in Visions and once in Planeshift (see Visions, Planeshift). They were also very similar to the cycles of split cards from Invasion block, since they allowed you to use the same card for multiple different effects (see Invasion, Apocalypse).
  • This set began the mega-mega-cycle of Legendary Lands, with Teferi's Isle. It also contains Foratog of the Atog cycle.
  • Every now and again you'll get a card printed which encompasses the abilities of cards from an entire cycle. Prismatic Lace emulates the Lace cycle from Alpha pretty well (though it can't hit spells -- see Base Sets).

Visions:

1) Honorable Passage, Dream Tides, Desolation, Heat Wave, Elephant Grass
2) Hope Charm, Vision Charm, Funeral Charm, Hearth Charm, Emerald Charm
3) Karoo, Coral Atoll, Everglades, Dormant Volcano, Jungle Basin
4) Righteous War, Suleiman's Legacy, Firestorm Hellkite, Pygmy Hippo, Squandered Resources

  • If you look at the six abilities for each color between their charms in this set and the last, you can have a pretty good gauge of the abilities of each color in Magic. (see Mirage)
  • This set contains Chronatog of the mega Atog cycle.

Weatherlight:

**1) Briar Shield, Coils of the Medusa, Fire Whip, Kithkin Armor, Phantom Wings (Thanks to Paul C. for pointing this one out first)

  • Weatherlight also contains Necratog of the mega Atog cycle.

Tempest:

1) Armor Sliver, Mnemonic Sliver, Mindwhip Sliver, Barbed Sliver, Horned Sliver
2) Light of Day, Chill, Perish, Havoc, Choke
3) Pearl Medallion, Sapphire Medallion, Jet Medallion, Ruby Medallion, Emerald Medallion
4) Quickening Licid, Stinging Licid, Leeching Licid, Enraging Licid, Nurturing Licid
5) Salt Flats, Scabland, Caldera Lake, Skyshroud Forest, Pine Barrens
6) Selenia, Dark Angel; Soltari Guerrillas; Dracoplasm; Wood Sage; Vhati il-Dal
7) Talon Sliver, Winged Sliver, Clot Sliver, Heart Sliver, Muscle Sliver
8) Thalakos Lowlands, Vec Township, Rootwater Depths, Cinder Marsh, Mogg Hollows
9) Warmth, Insight, Dread of Night, Boil, Reap
**10) Circle of Protection: Black, Circle of Protection: Blue, Circle of Protection: Green, Circle of Protection: Red, Circle of Protection: White

  • This set contains, as a whole, the most powerful color hosers in all of Magic. After the ten from here we printed, Wizards began toning down color hosing cards, because they gave too many easy answers against opposing deck types.
  • Opposing color pain-lands appear here for the first time, replacing that cycle from A/B/U finally. These come into play tapped, while the later ones in Apocalypse do not (See Apocalypse, Base Sets).
  • The cards of the Medallion cycle are named directly after their corresponding colored Moxes (See Base Sets).
  • Flickering Ward encapsulated the entire Ward Cycle from Alpha. Auratog saw print here, finishing up the mega Atog Cycle which had been going since Antiquities.

Stronghold:

1) Calming Licid, Gliding Licid, Corrupting Licid, Convulsing Licid, Tempting Licid
2) Crystalline Sliver, Victual Sliver, Hibernation Sliver, Acidic Sliver, Spined Sliver
3) Wall of Essence, Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Wall of Razors, Wall of Blossoms

  • Volrath's Stronghold was the Legendary Land of this block which belonged to the Legendary Land mega-cycle.

Exodus:

1) Keeper of the Light, Keeper of the Dead, Keeper of the Mind, Keeper of the Flame, Keeper of the Beasts
2) Oath of Lieges, Oath of Scholars, Oath of Ghouls, Oath of Mages, Oath of Druids

Urza's Saga:

1) Absolute Grace, Douse, Bereavement, Disorder, Carpet of Flowers
2) Absolute Law, Hibernation, Yawgmoth's Edict, Scald, Spreading Algae
3) Brilliant Halo, Launch, Despondency, Fiery Mantle, Fortitude
4) Drifting Meadow, Remote Isle, Polluted Mire, Smoldering Crater, Slippery Karst
5) Rune of Protection: White, Rune of Protection: Blue, Rune of Protection: Black, Rune of Protection: Red, Rune of Protection: Green
6) Serra's Embrace, Zephid's Embrace, Vampiric Embrace, Shiv's Embrace, Gaea's Embrace
7) Serra's Hymn, Lilting Refrain, Vile Requiem, Torch Song, War Dance
8) Serra's Liturgy, Recantation, Discordant Dirge, Rumbling Crescendo, Midsummer Revel
9) Serra's Sanctum, Tolarian Academy, Phyrexian Tower, Shivan Gorge, Gaea's Cradle
Tolarian Academy
  • While three of the lands from this block's Legendary Land cycle produce mana based on how many of a certain permanent type you have in play, two do not. Given how abusive Tolarian Academy was, and the power level of Gaea's Cradle, one can only imagine if the black land produced a mana for each creature in the graveyard, or the red one for each land your opponent had in his graveyard!
  • The Growing Enchantment cycles from this set are based on the card Legacy's Allure from Tempest. Likewise, the cycle of Runes are legacies of the Circles of Protection.
  • This set begins the Voice cycle with Voice of Law and Voice of Grace.

Urza's Legacy:

1) Cessation, Slow Motion, Sleeper's Guile, Sluggishness, Rancor
2) Forbidding Watchtower, Faerie Conclave, Spawning Pool, Ghitu Encampment, Treetop Village
3) Radiant's Dragoons, Raven Familiar, Bone Shredder, Avalanche Riders, Multani's Acolyte/Yavimaya Granger
**4) Brink of Madness, Defense of the Heart, Impending Disaster, Planar Collapse, Second Chance (Thanks to Daniel H. for pointing this one out first)

  • It's unclear whether Yavimaya Granger or Multani's Acolyte completes the cycle of echo creatures which have a comes into play ability. The other four color's creatures are uncommon, while both green ones are common as well.
  • The Man-Land cycle are another of the most popular cycles ever in Magic history.

Urza's Destiny:

1) Archery Training, Private Research, Festering Wound, Incendiary, Momentum
2) Jasmine Seer, Brine Seer, Nightshade Seer, Cinder Seer, Ivy Seer
3) Scent of Jasmine, Scent of Brine, Scent of Nightshade, Scent of Cinder, Scent of Ivy
4) Scour, Quash, Eradicate, Sowing Salt, Splinter

  • The Remove-From-Game cycle (Scour) are all based on the card Lobotomy from Tempest.
  • The Seers and the Scents have the same exact abilities, color for color.
  • This set contains Yavimaya Hollow, the third land in the mega Legendary Land cycle. It also has Voice of Duty and Voice of Reason from the Voice mega cycle.

Mercadian Masques:

1) Alabaster Wall, Stinging Barrier, Wall of Distortion, Battle Rampart, Vine Trellis
2) Charmed Griffin, Indentured Djinn, Enslaved Horror, Hired Giant, Hunted Wumpus
3) Cho-Arrim Legate, Saprazzan Legate, Deepwood Legate, Kyren Legate, Rushwood Legate
4) Cho-Manno's Blessing, Buoyancy, Maggot Therapy, Flaming Sword, Tiger Claws
5) Fountain of Cho, Saprazzan Cove, Subterranean Hangar, Mercadian Bazaar, Rushwood Grove
6) Noble Purpose, Coastal Piracy, Larceny, Close Quarters, Briar Patch
7) Remote Farm, Saprazzan Skerry, Peat Bog, Sandstone Needle, Hickory Woodlot
8) Reverent Mantra, Unmask, Misdirection, Cave-In, Vine Dryad
9) Righteous Indignation, High Seas, Putrefaction, Magistrate's Veto, Snake Pit
10) Tooth of Ramos, Eye of Ramos, Skull of Ramos, Heart of Ramos, Horn of Ramos
11) Wishhmonger, Sailmonger, Scandalmonger, Warmonger, Squallmonger

Tiger Claws
  • The Insta-chantment cycle here are much better than their counterparts from Mirage. The white and red abilities are the exact same, making them 100% superior since they stick around. Buoyancy lost the +0/+1 given to Soar, while Tiger Claws traded +1/+1 and the ability to not block black creatures for trample. Black's went from +3/-1 to +2/-2, making it more suited for creature kill than for making really large flyers.
  • Also, the storage lands from Fallen Empires are upgraded here as well, with the cycle beginning with Fountain of Cho.
  • Pitch cards return from Alliances, although as rares instead of as uncommons. They are still very powerful.
  • Story Circle gives you a very versatile variant on the entire Circle of Protection cycle (see Base Set).

Nemesis:

1) Seal of Cleansing, Seal of Removal, Seal of Doom, Seal of Fire, Seal of Strength
2) Sivvi's Ruse, Submerge, Massacre, Mogg Salvage, Refreshing Rain
**3) Ancient Hydra, Defender en-Vec, Jolting Merfolk, Phyrexian Prowler, Woodripper (Thanks to dbuel for pointing this one out first)

  • The previous set contained creatures which could be played for free if your opponent had an enemy land type. This set has spells which can be played for free under the same condition (Sivvi's Ruse). The creatures follow clockwise on the color wheel, while the spells travel counterclockwise.
  • The seals correspond to Disenchant, Unsummon, Dark Banishing, Shock, and Giant Growth respectively. These are the staple spells which have effectively replaced the Boon cycle in the base set.
  • This set contains the fourth land in the mega Legendary Land cycle, Kor Haven. It also completes the Voice cycle with Voice of Truth.
  • **The fading creature cycle consists of creatures which can remove fading counters from themselves to achieve some sort of effect (damage, damage prevention, tapping, power/toughness boosting, and artifact destruction).

Prophecy:

1) Abolish, Foil, Outbreak, Flameshot, Snag
2) Avatar of Hope, Avatar of Will, Avatar of Woe, Avatar of Fury, Avatar of Might
3) Blessed Wind, Denying Wind, Plague Wind, Searing Wind, Vitalizing Wind
4) Flowering Field, Sunken Field, Noxious Field, Barbed Field, Verdant Field
5) Mageta the Lion; Alexi, Zephyr Mage; Greel, Mindraker; Latulla, Keldon Overseer; Jolrael, Empress of Beasts
6) Mageta's Boon, Alexi's Cloak, Greel's Caress, Latulla's Orders, Jolrael's Favor

  • The Winds (at nine mana) and the Avatars (at eight mana) clock in at the highest casting cost cycles in all of Magic.
  • Foil was given an additional cost in the Pitch-Land cycle, because it was too good otherwise.

Invasion:

1) Alabaster Leech, Sapphire Leech, Andradite Leech, Ruby Leech, Jade Leech
2) Angelic Shield, Sterling Grove, Seer's Vision, Smoldering Tar, Fires of Yavimaya
3) Ardent Soldier, Vodalian Serpent, Urborg Skeleton, Kavu Aggressor, Pincer Spider
4) Benalish Emissary, Tolarian Emissary, Urborg Emissary, Shivan Emissary, Verduran Emissary
5) Benalish Heralds, Vodalian Hypnotist, Trench Wurm, Firebrand Ranger, Treefolk Healer
6) Coastal Tower, Elfhame Palace, Salt Marsh, Urborg Volcano, Shivan Oasis
7) Dismantling Blow, Probe, Agonizing Demise, Savage Offensive, Vigorous Charge
8) Dromar, the Banisher; Treva, the Renewer; Rith, the Awakener; Crosis, the Purger; Darigaaz, the Igniter
9) Dromar's Attendant, Treva's Attendant, Rith's Attendant, Crosis' Attendant, Darigaaz's Attendant
10) Galina's Knight, Llanowar Knight, Vodalian Zombie, Shivan Zombie, Yaviamaya Barbarian
11) Glimmering Angel, Metathran Zombie, Firescreamer, Viashino Grappler, Llanowar Cavalry
12) Irrigation Ditch, Ancient Spring, Sulfur Vent, Geothermal Crevice, Tinder Farm
13) Orim's Touch, Prohibit, Hypnotic Cloud, Overload, Explosive Growth
14) Prison Barricade/Benalish Lancer, Faerie Squadron, Duskwalker, Pouncing Kavu, Llanowar Elite
15) Rampant Elephant, Tower Drake, Urborg Phantom, Hooded Kavu, Serpentine Kavu
16) Rout, Breaking Wave, Twilight's Call, Ghitu Fire, Saproling Symbiosis 17) Ruham Djinn, Zanam Djinn, Goham Djinn, Halam Djinn, Sulam Djinn
18) Seashell Cameo, Tigereye Cameo, Drake-Skull Cameo, Bloodstone Cameo, Troll-Horn Cameo
19) Shackles, Shimmering Wings, Mourning, Crown of Flames, Whip Silk
20) Spirit Weaver, Sky Weaver, Hate Weaver, Rage Weaver, Might Weaver
21) Stand/Deliver, Spite/Malice, Pain/Suffering, Assault/Battery, Wax/Wane
22) Strength of Unity, Worldly Counsel, Exotic Curse, Tribal Flames, Wandering Stream
23) Sunscape Apprentice, Stormscape Apprentice, Nightscape Apprentice, Thunderscape Apprentice, Thornscape Apparentice
24) Sunscape Master, Stormscape Master, Nightscape Master, Thunderscape Master, Thornscape Master
25) Wings of Hope, Armadillo Cloak, Recoil, Plague Spores, Frenzied Tilling
Llanowar Knight
  • Invasion block as a whole was designed as a block of symmetry, and it shows. Of the 330 non-basic land cards in Invasion alone, 125 of them (over a third of the set) belonged to various cycles!
  • The two casting cost creature cycle (Galina's Knight) are the first common color hoser cycle in Magic.
  • It's unclear whether Prison Barricade or Benalish Lancer finish off the self-colored kicker cycle for common creatures.
  • The enchantments which can return themselves borrow Crown of Flames and Shimmering Wings from Tempest, and Shackles from Exodus. This was the first time pre-existing cards were incorporated into a wholly new type of cycle.
  • This set finished off the mega Legendary Land cycle with Keldon Necropolis.

Planeshift:

1) Daring Leap, Gerrard's Command, Malicious Advice, Terminate, Hull Breach
2) Dromar's Cavern, Treva's Ruins, Rith's Grove, Crosis's Catacombs, Darigaaz's Caldera
3) Dromar's Charm, Treva's Charm, Rith's Charm, Crosis's Charm, Darigaaz's Charm
4) Ertai, the Corrupted; Questing Phelddagrif, Radiant Kavu, Phyrexian Tyranny, Destructive Flow
5) Planeswalker's Mirth, Planeswalker's Mischief, Planewalker's Scorn, Planeswalker's Fury, Planewalker's Favor
6) Pollen Remedy, Rushing River, Bog Down, Magma Burst, Falling Timber
7) Sawtooth Loon, Fleetfoot Panther, Marsh Crocodile, Razing Snidd, Sparkcaster
8) Silver Drake, Steel Leaf Paladin, Cavern Harpy, Lava Zombie, Horned Kavu
9) Sunscape Battlemage, Stormscape Battlemage, Nightscape Battlemage, Thunderscape Battlemage, Thornscape Battlemage
10) Sunscape Familiar, Stormscape Familiar, Nightscape Familiar, Thunderscape Familiar, Thornscape Familiar

  • The Charms and Lairs are named after their respective dragons from Invasion. They all involve the colors of their dragons as well (see Invasion).
  • The cycle beginning with Pollen Remedy are kicker spells which give you two of an effect in exchange for sacrificing a land. Primal Growth emulates this cycle by allowing you to sacrifice a creature for double its effect.
  • Voice of All takes all the cards from the Voice mega-cycle and combines them into one neat package.

Apocalypse:

1) Caves of Koilos, Battlefield Forge, Shivan Reef, Yavimaya Coast, Llanowar Wastes
2) Dega Disciple, Ceta Disciple, Necra Disciple, Raka Disciple, Ana Disciple
3) Dega Sanctuary, Ceta Sanctuary, Necra Sanctuary, Raka Sanctuary, Ana Sanctuary
4) Degavolver, Cetavolver, Necravolver, Rakavolver, Anavolver
5) Enlistment Officer, Tidal Courier, Grave Defiler, Goblin Ringleader, Sylvan Messenger
6) Lightning Angel, Fervent Charge, Overgrown Estate, Fungal Shambler, Guided Passage
7) Order/Chaos, Illusion/Reality, Night/Day, Fire/Ice, Life/Death
8) Putrid Warrior, Goblin Legionnaire, Razorfin Hunter, Gaea's Skyfolk, Llanowar Dead
9) Soul Link, Squee's Embrace, Quicksilver Dagger, Temporal Spring, Consume Strength

  • Many cycles in this block directly correspond to cycles in Invasion. They are the Disciple and Apprentice Cycles, the Split Card cycles, the two casting cost creature cycle, and the enemy color common gold card cycle (see Invasion).
  • The Wedge Cycle (beginning with Lightning Angel) is named after cards which have the casting cost of two allied colors plus their enemy color. They are the first cards in all of Magic to have this sort of casting cost.

Odyssey:

1) Abandoned Outpost, Seafloor Debris, Bog Wreckage, Ravaged Highlands, Timberland Ruins
2) Animal Boneyard, Chamber of Manipulation, Caustic Tar, Steam Vines, Squirrel Nest
3) Auramancer, Scrivener, Gravedigger, Anarchist, Cartographer
4) Aven Shrine, Cephalid Shrine, Cabal Shrine, Dwarven Shrine, Nantuko Shrine
5) Cantivore, Cognivore, Mortivore, Magnivore, Terravore
6) Iridescent Angel, Mystic Enforcer, Shadowmage Infiltrator, Vampiric Dragon, Decimate
7) Kirtar's Desire, Aboshan's Desire, Patriarch's Desire, Kamahl's Desire, Seton's Desire
8) Life Burst, Aether Burst, Mind Burst, Flame Burst, Muscle Burst
9) Nomad Stadium, Cephalid Coliseum, Cabal Pit, Barbarian Ring, Centaur Garden
10) Patrol Hound, Phantom Whelp, Filthy Cur, Mad Dog, Wild Mongrel
11) Phantatog, Thaumatog, Psychatog, Sarcatog, Lithatog
12) Sacred Rites, Rites of Refusal, Last Rites, Rites of Initiation, Rites of Spring
13) Skycloud Egg, Sungrass Egg, Darkwater Egg, Shadowblood Egg, Mossfire Egg
14) Skycloud Expanse, Sungrass Prairie, Darkwater Catacombs, Shadowblood Ridge, Mossfire Valley
15) Sphere of Truth, Sphere of Reason, Sphere of Grace, Sphere of Law, Sphere of Duty

Scrivener

Torment:

1) Teroh's Vanguard, Cephalid Sage, Gloomdrifter, Pardic Arsonist, Centaur Chieftain
2) Hypochondria, Compulsion, Mortiphobia, Pyromania, Narcissism
3) Spirit Flare, Deep Analysis, Crippling Fatigue, Flash of Defiance, Acorn Harvest
4) Vengeful Dreams, Turbulent Dreams, Insidious Dreams, Devastating Dreams, Nostalgic Dreams 5) Frantic Purification, Obsessive Search, Psychotic Haze, Fiery Temper, Basking Rootwalla
6) Strength of Isolation, Circular Logic, Strength of Lunacy, Violent Eruption, Arrogant Wurm

  • The first set which intentionally contained a skewed color balance, Torment contained several near-cycles of cards. They include four Tainted Lands and four Possessed creatures.
  • Contains both Zombie Trailblazer and Mortal Combat, which furthered their respective mega-cycles along.

Judgment:

1) Benevolent Bodyguard, Hapless Researcher, Cabal Trainee, Dwarven Scorcher, Krosan Wayfarer
2) Golden Wish, Cunning Wish, Death Wish, Burning Wish, Living Wish
3) Valor, Wonder, Filth, Anger, Brawn

**Onslaught:

1) Barren Moor, Forgotten Cave, Lonely Sandbar, Secluded Steppe, Tranquil Thicket
2) Bloodstained Mire, Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Windswept Heath, Wooded Foothills
3) Daru Encampment, Goblin Burrows, Riptide Laboratory, Unholy Grotto, Wirewood Lodge
4) Everglove Courier, Flamestick Courier, Frightshroud Courier, Ghosthelm Courier, Pearlspear Courier
5) Ancestor's Prophet/Catapult Master, Gravespawn Sovereign, Skirk Fire Marshall, Supreme Inquisitor, Voice of the Woods
6) Battlefield Medic, Information Dealer, Shepherd of Rot, Sparksmith, Wellwisher
7) Brightstone Ritual, Ixidor's Will, Profane Prayers, Unified Strike, Wirewood Pride
8) Doubtless One, Heedless One, Nameless One, Reckless One, Soulless One
9) Arcanis the Omnipotent; Jareth, Leonine Titan; Rorix Bladewing; Silvos, Rogue Elemental; Visara the Dreadful
10) Crown of Ascension, Crown of Awe, Crown of Fury, Crown of Suspicion, Crown of Vigor
11) Words of War, Words of Waste, Words of Wilding, Words of Wind, Words of Worship
12) Complicate, Death Pulse, Primal Boost, Slice and Dice, Sunfire Balm
13) Choking Tethers, Dirge of Dread, Krosan Tusker, Renewed Faith, Solar Blast
14) Chain of Acid, Chain of Plasma, Chain of Silence, Chain of Smog, Chain of Vapor
15) Fever Charm, Misery Charm, Piety Charm, Trickery Charm, Vitality Charm

  • Note that both Ancestor's Prophet and Catapult Master complete the tap-five-creatures cycle for white.
  • The Pit Fighter Legend cycle consists of the five legends who each cost six mana, three of which are color specific. Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, though he costs six mana, does not fit this cycle.
  • White tribal cycles involve Clerics (5,6,8) and Soldiers (3,4,5,7).
  • Blue tribal cycles involve Wizards only (3,4,5,6,7,8).
  • Green tribal cycles involve Elves only (3,4,5,6,7,8).
  • Red tribal cycles involve Goblins only (3,4,5,6,7,8).
  • Black tribal cycles involve Zombies (3,4,5,6,8) and Clerics (7).
  • In the uncommon cycle-to-get-an-effect cycle (more cycling cycles!), only Complicate doesn't follow the straight four-to-one ratio.

MEGA CYCLES:

1) Auratog, Chronatog, Necratog, Atog, Foratog
2) Kor Haven, Teferi's Isle, Volrath's Stronghold, Keldon Necropolis, Yavimaya Hollow
3) Master Apothecary; Patron Wizard; Zombie Trailblazer; Dwarven Bloodboiler; Seton, Krosan Protector
4) Test of Endurance, Battle of Wits, Mortal Combat, Chance Encounter, Epic Struggle
5) Voice of Truth, Voice of Reason, Voice of Grace, Voice of Law, Voice of Duty


Ben may be reached at bleiweiss1@cox.net.
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