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Dragon's Maze

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Dragon's Maze
DGM logo.png
Set symbol
DGM symbol.jpg
Symbol description
An overlap of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash expansion symbols
Design team
Alexis Janson (lead),
Mark Rosewater,
Erik Lauer,
Aaron Forsythe,
Shawn Main,
Dan Emmons
Development team
Zac Hill (lead),
Erik Lauer,
Mark Globus,
Mark Gottlieb,
Masami Ibamoto,
Sam Stoddard
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
May 3, 2013
Themes and mechanics
Gates,
Guilds
Keywords and/or ability words
Guild keywords (see below),
Fuse
Set size
156 cards
(70 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 11 mythic rares)
Expansion code
DGM
Development codename
Sinker
Return to Ravnica block sets
Return to Ravnica Gatecrash Dragon's Maze
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt Dragon's Maze Modern Masters

Dragon's Maze is the third set in the Return to Ravnica block. It is the 61st Magic expansion and was released on May 3, 2013.

Set details[edit]

Dragon's Maze is the only small set in the block. It contains 156 cards (70 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 11 mythic rares), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The set on the guild system, featuring all of the ten guilds from Ravnica, and multicolor cards. [1] Dragon's Maze and its boosters do not contain any basic lands; however, as a first in Magic history, the set contains same-set reprints (the non-basic guild gates). Besides these guild gates, boosters may contain shocklands with Return to Ravnica or Gatecrash expansion symbols, and the mythic rare Maze's End. The frequency at which these cards are found in booster packs are at the same as any other card at their respective rarities. [2]

Dragon's Maze features Izzet planeswalker Ral Zarek and, as a throwback to the original Ravnica block, guild champions (maze runners). The expansion symbol is an overlap of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash expansion symbols.

Flavor and storyline[edit]

Ten Guilds, One Destination!

The Implicit Maze is a system of mana paths or leylines through the guildgates and districts of Plane that has manifested after the Guildpact was destroyed. On instruction of Niv-Mizzet and using Jace Beleren's notes, it was discovered by Ral Zarek. The maze was created by Azor I to be revealed in case the Guildpact dissolved. In this way, the founder of the Azorius Senate tried to foster an atmosphere of peaceful collaboration. At the end of the maze in the Forum of Azor lies great power. In order for it to be solved, all the guilds of Ravnica must participate at once. Niv-Mizzet has announced that each guild will has send one champion as its delegate in the running of the maze. At an appointed time, the champions meet at the Transguild Promenade, and embark on a race through the twists and turns of the maze. The one who triumphs, gains the power behind it for his or her guild. Others fall to its dangers.

Marketing[edit]

The "Implicit Maze" at a DGM prerelease in Spain.[3]
Dragon's Maze 6-card booster

Dragon's Maze was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, one event deck and a fat pack. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Emmara Tandris, Melek, Izzet Paragon and Tajic, Blade of the Legion. [4] The small booster featured artwork from Ral Zarek.

Prerelease[edit]

In the prerelease Sealed Deck format, each player chose a guild. That player would receive a "Guild Prerelease Pack" of the chosen guild, which contained four Dragon's Maze booster packs, one guild-specific booster pack, and one "secret ally" booster pack. [5] [6] The "secret ally" booster pack contained cards of a guild that shared one mana color with the chosen guild.

The draft format for Dragon's Maze reverted to the regular format of drafting the three sets in a block (i.e., in reverse order of their release; here, Dragon's Maze/Gatecrash/Return to Ravnica).[7]

Each participant received a guild symbol button, or "guild mark", to indicate his or her guild affiliation. In the "Implicit Maze" prerelease event, when a player won a match during the tournament, his or her guild progressed through the Implicit Maze. Each member of the first guild to complete the Implicit Maze would receive a "Champion of the Maze" achievement code card, which he or she could redeem on the Planeswalker Points webpage for a badge and an achievement. Additionally, members of each other guild to complete the Implicit Maze after the first would receive "Maze Runner" achievement code cards to redeem. [8]

Promotional cards[edit]

On April 27–28, 2013, each prerelease participant received a promotional alternate-art Maze's End, which couldn't be played in the sealed deck. This is in contrast to the sealed events of the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash prereleases. [5] [2] In addition to this, foil Plains was awarded to every player that participated in the prerelease's "Implicit Maze".

Other promotional cards were: [9]

Token cards[edit]

The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token creature card or an advertisement card. The only Dragon's Maze token card is:

  1. Manag.gifManaw.gif */* Elemental creature token with "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of creatures you control." produced by Voice of Resurgence

Critical reception[edit]

Dragon's Maze received mixed reception, but it was by and large panned by Magic writers and/or professional and/or competitive players. Several favorite elements weere considered to be "missing" from the set. [11] However, a few cards in the set were notably regarded as powerful and potentially tournament-playable. These include Notion Thief, a innocuous card draw hoser; Voice of Resurgence, a competitively costed threat against control decks[12][13][14]

Limited "bombs" for Dragon's Maze included Ral Zarek, Lavinia of the Tenth, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, and Dragonshift and proved potent at the expansion's prerelease events.[15]

Themes and mechanics[edit]

See also: Return to Ravnica#Themes and mechanics and Gatecrash#Themes and mechanics.

Like the preceding sets, Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze features the bicolored guilds of Ravnica. Each guild has its own keyword or ability word. [16] [17]

The expansion also features two cycles of split cards and a new mechanic exclusive to these cards called Fuse. [18] [19] Fuse allows players to play both halves of a split card with the keyword ability as one spell by paying both halves' mana costs. Split cards with Fuse also have a new card layout, with the boxes containing the name and type line forming arrows that point medially, towards to midline of the card. In addition to this, each split card with Fuse has a separate text box containing the Fuse mechanic and its reminder text that spans the bottom of both halves.

Other themes and mechanics include:

  • In addition to the reprinting of the ten Gate nonbasic lands, Dragon's Maze features Maze's End, a nonbasic land that works synergistically with Gates. Not only can it search for Gate cards and puts them onto the battlefield, Maze's End can win players the game if they have 10 or more differently named Gates under their control.

Creature types[edit]

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles[edit]

Whereas Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash have 5-card guild cycles that, if and when considered together, form 10-card guild mega cycles, Dragon's Maze has 10-card guild cycles, with one card per guild, as well as 5-card cycles, with one card per color.

Cycle name Description and notes White card(s) Blue card(s) Black card(s) Red card(s) Green card(s)
Gatekeepers
Each of these common 2/4 Soldier creatures cost Mana3.gifC and an "enter the battlefield" triggered ability that triggers if its controller controls two Gates when it comes into play. [17]
Sunspire Gatekeepers Opal Lake Gatekeepers Ubul Sar Gatekeepers Smelt-Ward Gatekeepers Saruli Gatekeepers
Maze Elementals
Each of these common Elemental creatures cost Mana5.gifC and has two static abilities, one of which is a on-color combat keyword and another that confers that combat word to multicolor creatures its controller controls. [21]
Maze Sentinel Maze Glider Maze Abomination Maze Rusher Maze Behemoth
Fuse spells (rare)
Each of these rare split cards has two differently multicolored halves, with each half sharing one color with the other half, and the Fuse mechanic.

Regarding the combination of the guilds on these cards, as various that satisfy the aforementioned design criterion are permissible, each guild is represented only once and each Return to Ravnica guild is paired with a Gatecrash guild
Ready/Willing

(Managw.gif/Manawb.gif)
Beck/Call

(Managu.gif/Manawu.gif)
Breaking/Entering

(Manaub.gif/Manabr.gif)
Catch/Release

(Manaur.gif/Manarw.gif)
Flesh/Blood

(Manabg.gif/Manarg.gif)

Guild cycles[edit]

Cycle name
Azorius card(s)

Manawu.gif
Boros card(s)

Manarw.gif
Dimir card(s)

Manaub.gif
Golgari card(s)

Manabg.gif
Gruul card(s)

Manarg.gif
Izzet card(s)

Manaur.gif
Orzhov card(s)

Manawb.gif
Rakdos card(s)

Manabr.gif
Selesnya card(s)

Managw.gif
Simic card(s)

Managu.gif
"Lieutenants" Jelenn Sphinx Blaze Commando Haunter of Nightveil Korozda Gorgon Feral Animist Fluxcharger Maw of the Obzedat Carnage Gladiator Bronzebeak Moa Species Gorger
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon creatures has an ability or abilities that "lend themselves to certain styles of play".[22] According to DailyMTG.com writer Zac Hill, the "Lieutenants" were designed to encourage drafters to pursue a specific strategy rather than just picking generally powerful cards. While Hill did not name the cards in the cycle, there is little doubt about which of the one or two uncommon creatures for a particular color pair is part of the cycle.
"Maze Runners" Lavinia of the Tenth Tajic, Blade of the Legion Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker Varolz, the Scar-Striped Ruric Thar, the Unbowed Melek, Izzet Paragon Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch Emmara Tandris Vorel of the Hull Clade
Description and notes: Each of these rare legendary creatures represents the "Maze Runner" of its respective guild.
Fuse spells (uncommon) Protect/Serve Wear/Tear Far/Away Down/Dirty Armed/Dangerous Turn/Burn Profit/Loss Toil/Trouble Alive/Well Give/Take
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon split cards has two monocolored halves, with each half of a different color from the other, and the Fuse mechanic.
Cluestones Azorius Cluestone Boros Cluestone Dimir Cluestone Golgari Cluestone Gruul Cluestone Izzet Cluestone Orzhov Cluestone Rakdos Cluestone Selesnya Cluestone Simic Cluestone
Description and notes: Each of these common artifacts costs Mana3.gif, has one mana ability that taps for either of its guild's respective colors, and has one activated ability costing one of each of its guild's respective colors, Tap.gif, and its sacrifice to draw a card.

Each Cluestone is illustrated by Raoul Vitale.
Guildgates Azorius Guildgate Boros Guildgate Dimir Guildgate Golgari Guildgate Gruul Guildgate Izzet Guildgate Orzhov Guildgate Rakdos Guildgate Selesnya Guildgate Simic Guildgate
Description and notes: Each of these common nonbasic lands with the Gate subtype enters the battlefield tapped and can be tapped for one mana of its respective guild's colors.

Reprinted cards[edit]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Dragon's Maze:

Note about shocklands[edit]

As the shocklands that appear in Dragon's Maze boosters feature a Return to Ravnica or Gatecrash expansion symbol, they are technically not reprints. [23]

Strictly better/worse[edit]

The following is a list of cards from Gatecrash that are strictly better/worse than their predecessors:

Preconstructed decks[edit]

Intro packs[edit]

Dragon's Maze has five bicolored guild-centric intro packs.[24]

Intro pack name
Colors included
Foil rare
White Blue Black Red Green
Azorius Authority Lavinia of the Tenth
Orzhov Power Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
Rakdos Revelry Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
Gruul Siege Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Simic Domination Vorel of the Hull Clade

Event deck[edit]

Dragon's Maze has one event deck and is the first expansion set to feature only one event deck.[25].

Event deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Strength of Selesnya

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Trick Jarrett. (November 12, 2012.) "Announcing Dragon's Maze", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Monty Ashley. (January 28, 2013.) "The Dragon's Maze Prerelease", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. rebellion_es. The battle has begun in Rebellion!!. Twitter. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  4. Trick Jarrett. (April 09, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Boosters & Fat Packs", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wizards of the Coast. (April 23, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Prerelease, Release Events, and Wide Beta Spotlight", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Gavin Verhey. (April 23, 2013.) "Building Dragon's Maze Sealed", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. San Diego Comic-Con Panel 2012 (3:54-4:22) by wizardsmtg, YouTube, July 15, 2012.
  8. Mike McArtor. (April 22, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Prerelease Primer", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Trick Jarrett. (April 11, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Promos & Tokens", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast. ( April 08, 2013.) "Buy a Box Promotion", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater. (May 13, 2013.) "Absence", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Tack, Daniel (April 23, 2013). Dragon's Maze: Evaluating Azorius. Forbes. Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  13. Kallenbach, Brian (April 17, 2013). Dragon's Maze, Spoilers to Date. Taipow.com. Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  14. Wescoe, Craig (April 25, 2013). Financial Predictions for Dragon's Maze. TCGPlayer.com. Retrieved on April 26, 2013.
  15. Ouellette, Justin (April 26, 2013). A Beginner's Guide to the Dragon's Maze Prerelease. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  16. Wizards of the Coast. (April 8, 2013.) "The Mechanics of Dragon's Maze", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Wizards of the Coast. (April 22, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Frequently Asked Questions", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater. (April 15, 2013.) "A Maze-ing Grace, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Alexis Janson. (April 08, 2013.) "Fusing Passion and Purpose", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Sam Stoddard. (October 26, 2012.) "Return to Multiverse", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Marshall Sutcliffe. (April 17, 2013.) "Totally Not Lost", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Zac Hill. (May 1, 2013.) "Crafting the Maze", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Mark Rosewater. (April 08, 2013.) "A Maze-ing Grace, Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Trick Jarrett. (April 24, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Intro Pack Decklists", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Trick Jarrett. (April 15, 2013.) "Dragon's Maze Event Deck", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit]

Guilds of Ravnica
Azorius Logo.png Dimir Logo.png Rakdos Logo.png Gruul Logo.png Selesnya Logo.png Orzhov Logo.png Izzet Logo.png Golgari Logo.png Boros Logo.png Simic Logo.png
Azorius
Manaw.gifManau.gif
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Orzhov
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Izzet
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Golgari
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Paruns | Guildmasters | Maze runners | Guildpact
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