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Set symbol
CSP symbol.png
Symbol description
three icicles
Design team
Bill Rose (lead)
Mark Rosewater
Aaron Forsythe
Devin Low
Development team
Randy Buehler (lead)
Mike Turian
Devin Low
Zvi Mowshowitz
Art Director
Jeremy Cranford
Release date
July 21, 2006
Themes and mechanics
Cumulative upkeep,
Pitch cards,
collectible commons
Keywords and/or ability words
Set size
(60 commons, 55 uncommons, 40 rares)
Expansion code
Development codename
Ice Age block sets
Ice Age Alliances Coldsnap
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Dissension Coldsnap Time Spiral

Coldsnap is the thirty-ninth Magic expansion and was released in July 2006 as the third set and second small expansion of the Ice Age block, replacing the Homelands expansion as a member of the block. [1] The prerelease events for this set were held on July 8-9, 2006.[2] [3]

Set details[edit | edit source]

Coldsnap contains 155 black-bordered cards (40 rare, 55 uncommon, and 60 commons). Its expansion symbol is a depiction of three icicles. [4] When Coldsnap was initially announced, Wizards of the Coast claimed that the set was a "lost design file" only recently found. [5] [6] Because this statement was taken seriously, Mark Rosewater later had to announce that it was a joke. [7] [8]

R&D made a conscious effort to hit on every standout theme in Ice Age and Alliances to give the set the necessary “retro” feel. [9] This included cumulative upkeep, allied colors, pitch cards, old characters springing to life and land that doesn't tap for mana. [10] The 'snow-covered' supertype changed to 'snow' and expanded its use to nonland permanents. [11] [12]. The new Recover mechanic captured the feel of "graveyard order matters" without requiring meticulous tracking. [13] Another new mechanic was Ripple. [14]

Because most sealed tournaments would use only Coldsnap cards due to the rarity of Ice Age and Alliances booster packs, as a means of making frequently recurring commons more valuable, several common cards (the "kindle" and "surging" cycles) were printed that rewarded players for using multiple copies in their decks, making them more collectible. [15]

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Terisiare, the island continent that was home to the Brothers’ War and the Ice Age, is in a state of rebirth known as the Thaw. [16] [17] [18] The icy shell that encased the continent is melting away. Most of the inhabitants of Terisiare rejoice as the ice gives way to warmth and the rebirth of the land. But, in this time of great change, there are some who see it as a time to angle for power: a secretive society of mages poised to shroud the continent with their icy brand of magic.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Promotional Coldsnap LED icecube given for demo'ing Magic at the 2006 Comic-Con in San Diego.

Coldsnap was sold in 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack [19]. The decks and the fat pack contained a random Pro Tour Players Card. The booster packs featured artwork from Adarkar Valkyrie, Rimescale Dragon and Allosaurus Rider. The prerelease card was a foil alternate art Allosaurus Rider. [20] The release card was a Marit Lage token [21] The fat pack contained Jeff Grubb's classic novel The Gathering Dark and a new original story by the same author included with the Coldsnap Player's Guide. [22]

Tournament impact[edit | edit source]

Coldsnap is tournament legal in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Ice Age block tournament formats. It was also released on Magic Online on August 14, becoming the first expansion ever to be legal for Constructed tournament play on Magic Online before its paper version was. However, the Ice Age and Alliances reprints from the theme decks were not legal in Standard tournament play, and the reprints have not been added to Gatherer.

Coldsnap is the only expansion released that does not fit the Modern block schedule, creating some confusion. It was legal in the Extended format based on its release date, not on its association with the Ice Age block.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

  • Recover — allows a player to return cards with the keyworded ability to their hand by paying the card's Recover cost when a creature goes into their graveyard from play. However, if they do not pay the Recover cost then the card is instead removed from the game.
  • Ripple — when a player plays a spell with ripple, the triggered ability then lets a player reveal four cards from the top of his or her library and play all cards revealed with the same name as the card with the triggered the ability without paying their mana cost.

Creature types[edit | edit source]

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

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Artificer, Assassin, Aurochs, Avatar, Barbarian, Bear, Beast, Bird, Cat, Centaur, Cleric, Construct, Dragon, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Faerie, Gargoyle, Giant, Goblin, Griffin, Horror, Illusion, Knight, Leviathan, Lizard, Lord (later changed to Human), Minotaur, Mutant, Ooze, Orc, Rogue, Serpent, Shade, Shaman, Skeleton, Slug, Snake, Soldier, Specter, Sphinx, Spider, Spirit, Treefolk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wall, Warrior, Wizard, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Coldsnap has ten cycles and a vertical cycle.

Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]

Mirrored pair[edit | edit source]

Coldsnap has one mirrored pair:

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

Like other theme decks, Coldsnap theme decks used cards available in its block. This created reprints of Ice Age and Alliances cards. These reprints were different from the originals in that they had expansion symbol rarity coloring (in addition to being slightly redesigned), have collector numbers, and were printed featuring the new card frame. [24]

The preconstructed theme decks are:

Theme deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Aurochs Stampede
Beyond the Grave
Kjeldoran Cunning

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Coldsnap.

  • Frozen Solid — was last seen in Scourge, possibly reprinted due to the card name or card flavor fitting the set.
  • Snow-covered lands cycle — were last seen in Ice Age.

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Coldsnap has two functional reprints:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Magic Arcana. (October 24, 2005.) "Announcement: Coldsnap", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Magic Arcana. (February 21, 2006.) "Coldsnap Fact Sheet", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brian David-Marshall. (July 03, 2006.) "An Arctic Blast From the Past", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Randy Buehler. (October 26, 2005.) "Coldsnap Q&A", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (August 30, 2010.) "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (February 06, 2006.) "Back Issues", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (February 06, 2006.) "Coldsnap Q&A", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Aaron Forsythe. (July 28, 2006.) "Putting Nostalgia in the Cold", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (July 6, 2003.) "Of Ice and Men", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater. (June 26, 2006.) "There’s No Business Like Snow Business", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Aaron Forsythe. (July 21, 2006.) "Snow Big Deal", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Aaron Forsythe. (June 30, 2006.) "Coldsnap: A Fine Recovery", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Aaron Forsythe. (July 07, 2006.) "A Walk Through the Cold", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Mark Rosewater. (July 13, 2003.) "Feeling a Draft", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Rei Nakazawa. (June 26, 2006.) "Coming in from the Cold", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Wizards of the Coast. (June, 2006.) "Lore From Terisiare", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Doug Beyer. (July 24, 2006.) "The Italicized World of Coldsnap: Interviewing Cavotta and a Continent", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Magic Arcana. (May 22, 2006.) "Coldsnap Fat Pack", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana. (July 03, 2006.) "Coldsnap Prerelease Card Revealed", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana. (July 13, 2006.) "Coldsnap Release Promo Card Revealed", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana. (June 29, 2006.) "Jeff Grubb Returns in the Coldsnap Fat Pack!", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Magic Arcana. (August 28, 2006.) "The Martyr’s Talisman", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Magic Arcana. (July 11, 2006.) "Coldsnap Theme Decks", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]

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