|The Sword of Kaldra|
|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Randy Buehler (lead),|
|October 2, 2003|
Themes and mechanics
|Artifacts, Artifact lands and Equipment|
Keywords and/or ability words
|Affinity (for artifacts),|
(20 basic lands, 110 commons, 88 uncommons, 88 rares)
Development code name
|Mirrodin block sets|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
 Set details
Starting with the Mirrodin block, WotC took 44 cards out of the large expansion and added 22 cards to each of the two small expansions. Mirrodin therefore contained 306 black-bordered cards (88 rare, 88 uncommon, 110 common, and 20 basic lands), which is 22 rares and 22 commons less than Onslaught. . Mirrodin features a heavy artifact theme. Its expansion symbol is a small image of Sword of Kaldra, a card from the set.  Mirrodin set introduced a new artifact subtype in Equipment with the accompanying keyword Equip, armor, swords and other utensils which can be attached to a creature to enhance that creature. Unlike Auras, the equipment stays on the battlefield even if the creature is put in the graveyard. The set and block is also noted for many allusions to famous artifacts and related mechanics from previous blocks, such as Chrome Mox or Clockwork creatures. The set also featured Solemn Simulacrum, Jens Thoren's invitational card.  Mirrodin was the first expansion set to feature the new card face which had debuted in Eighth Edition. The high number of artifacts revealed the inherent flaw of the new border: they were very hard to distinguish from white cards. 
Mirrodin was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. The booster packs featured artwork from Mindslaver, Icy Manipulator and Worldslayer. The prerelease card was a foil Sword of Kaldra. This was the first prerelease card to feature alternate art and the first that wasn't a creature. The set was accompanied by a novel by Will McDermott.
 Flavor and storyline
The setting for Mirrodin is a plane by the same name, an artificial world created by the planeswalker Karn, and named after the Mirari by Memnarch. Mirrodin's environments and inhabitants mix organic and metallic.  Mirrodin is orbited by four satellites, which are called suns and moons interchangeably, that correspond to red, black, white and blue magic. Green was notably absent. Glissa Sunseeker, the finest hunter and perhaps the most skilled warrior of the elves, begins her story to find out why the monstrous "levelers" seek to destroy her. It is this search for answers that will begin to uncover the mysteries within Mirrodin.
 Tournament impact
Mirrodin is infamous for an imbalanced power level due to the set not restricting most of its cards to a certain color and the introduction of the Affinity mechanic and Artifact lands which enhanced each other. The set contained many cards which were banned or restricted in all major tournament formats such as Disciple of the Vault, the Artifact lands or Thirst for Knowledge.
 Themes and mechanics
- Artifacts, including artifacts with colored activation costs, Artifact lands and Equipment.   
- Affinity — A card becomes cheaper by for each permanent of a certain type specified (usually artifacts).
- Imprint — This ability found on artifacts allows you to remove a card from the game and "imprint" attributes of the removed card onto your artifact such as Chrome Mox. 
- Entwine — Appears on modal spells and presents an extra cost; pay that cost to use both effects instead of only one, as on Tooth and Nail.
- Equipment: an artifact subtype that has the "equip" keyword ability. By paying the equip cost, it attaches to a creature you control. If that creature leaves play, the Equipment becomes unattached and remains in play. Paying the equip cost also allows the Equipment to be moved from one creature to another.  
 Creature types
The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:
Mirrodin has 11 Cycles:
- Artifact lands: Ancient Den, Seat of the Synod, Vault of Whispers, Great Furnace and Tree of Tales — Each of these common cards, representing an important location in each of Mirrodin's different regions, counted as both artifacts and lands, and could be tapped for one mana of a given color.  Each was illustrated by Rob Alexander. Artifact lands reduced the cost of spells with Affinity, and proved to be so powerful they were eventually banned in Mirrodin block tournaments. Darksteel would later add a sixth artifact land to this cycle, Darksteel Citadel.
- Entwine spells: Each of these modal common spells has Entwine — Blinding Beam, Dream's Grip, Incite War, Journey of Discovery and Wail of the Nim.
- Golems: Titanium Golem, Cobalt Golem, Pewter Golem, Hematite Golem, and Malachite Golem — Each of these common artifact creatures has a color-specific ability. Each was illustrated by Paolo Parente.
- Mana Myr: Copper Myr, Gold Myr, Iron Myr, Leaden Myr, and Silver Myr — Each of these common myr artifact creatures costs and has a mana ability in which they tap, and which produce a color-appropriate mana. which does not leave the field at end of turn. Each represents a zone of Mirrodin corresponding to the color. Each is illustrated by Kev Walker.
- Rare color artifacts: Each of these rare artifacts is tied to one of the five colors. — Leonin Sun Standard, Proteus Staff, Altar of Shadows, Bosh, Iron Golem, and Tangleroot
- Replicas: Each of these common artifact creatures costs and has an ability with the cost of being sacrificed and a certain amount of partialy colored mana, and an effect, which is typical for the mana used. Each of them has a creature type from the tribes of the Onslaught block and was illustrated by Carl Critchlow — Soldier Replica, Wizard Replica, Nim Replica, Goblin Replica and Elf Replica.
- Shards: Crystal Shard, Granite Shard, Heartwood Shard, Pearl Shard, and Skeleton Shard — Each of these uncommon artifacts cost and had an activated ability which cost or one mana of a given color, and which produced a color-appropriate effect. Each represented a piece of another world found by each of Mirrodin's races. Each was illustrated by Doug Chaffee.
- Sliths: Each of these uncommon 1/1 Slith creatures has a mana cost containing two colored mana of the same type and the ability "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it". Each of them was illustrated by Justin Sweet — Slith Ascendant, Slith Strider, Slith Bloodletter, Slith Firewalker and Slith Predator.
- Spellbombs: Each of these common artifacts costs and has two activated abilities which require to sacrifice them. One is the same for each of them: ", sacrifice this: Draw a card.". They were all illustraded by Jim Nelson — Sunbeam Spellbomb, Æther Spellbomb, Necrogen Spellbomb, Pyrite Spellbomb, and Lifespark Spellbomb.
- Talismans: Talisman of Progress, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Indulgence, Talisman of Impulse and Talisman of Unity — Each of these uncommon artifacts cost to cast. Each had the same abilities as an allied-color painland. Each was illustrated by Mike Dringenberg.
- Towers: Tower of Champions, Tower of Eons, Tower of Fortunes and Tower of Murmurs — Each of these rare artifacts cost to cast and have an , ability. Each of these artifacts are affiliated with a certain color; Green, White, Blue, and Black, respectively. Scars of Mirrodin would later add a fifth Red Tower to this cycle: Tower of Calamities.
 Reprinted cards
- Annul — was first printed in Urza's Saga. In Mirrodin its focus reversed, with countering artifacts becoming the primary value, with countering enchantments as a side benefit. 
- Arrest — was last seen in Mercadian Masques. It changed rarity from an uncommon to a common. The only reprint not to mention artifacts 
- Atog — first printed in Antiquities, last seen in 5th Edition.
- Bottle Gnomes — first printed in Tempest.
- Brown Ouphe — first printed in Ice Age, "interesting interactions in a set full of artifacts. So it was included in the set for play reasons." 
- Cathodion — first printed in Urza's Saga.
- Chromatic Sphere — first printed in Invasion.
- Creeping Mold — first printed in Visions, last seen in 8th Edition.
- Detonate — first printed in Antiquities, last seen in 5th Edition. Detonate had a new role in Mirrodin block: Destroying artifact lands for just . 
- Dragon Blood — first printed in Urza's Saga.
- Icy Manipulator — firat printed in Alpha, last seen in Ice Age. Along with Chrome Mox and Gilded Lotus, Icy Manipulator provided a "Greatest Artifact Hits of Magic" feel. 
- Ornithopter — first printed in Antiquities, last seen in 6th Edition
- Shatter — first printed in Alpha, last seen in 8th Edition.
- Stalking Stones — first printed in Tempest.
- Terror — first printed in Alpha, last seen in Beatdown.
- Triskelion — first printed in Antiquities, last seen in 4th Edition.
- Yotian Soldier — first printed in Antiquities, last seen in 4th Edition.
 Functional reprints
Mirrodin has 4 functional reprints:
- Dross Prowler is a functional reprint of Razortooth Rats from Weatherlight, save for creature type.
- Lumengrid Warden is a functional reprint of Straw Soldiers from Portal Three Kingdoms and Talas Merchant from Portal Second Age, save for creature types.
- Neurok Spy is a functional reprint of Bouncing Beebles from Urza's Saga, save for creature type.
- Viridian Shaman is a functional reprint of Uktabi Orangutan from Visions, save for creature type.
 Strictly better
- Tel-Jilad Chosen is an upgrade of Argothian Pixies from Antiquities. The former specifically says it has "Protection from Artifacts", the latter has almost full protection but not quite.
 Notable cards
- Chimney Imp — Arguably one of the worst creatures ever printed
- Mindslaver — Rules had to be added to the Comprehensive Rules for controlling another player's turn thanks to this card. 
- Chalice of the Void — A staple of Legacy prison decks
- Disciple of the Vault — A staple of Standard and Legacy affinity decks, this card rapidly decreases the opponent's life total.
 Preconstructed decks
Mirrodin has two monocolored and two bicolored theme decks.
|Theme deck name|
|Bait and Bludgeon||■||■|
|Mirrodin block preconstructed theme decks|
|Mirrodin theme decks: Bait and Bludgeon () | Little Bashers () | Sacrificial Bam () | Wicked Big ()|
|Darksteel theme decks: Master Blaster () | Mind Swarm () | Swarm & Slam () | Transference ()|
|Fifth Dawn theme decks: Nuts and Bolts () | Special Forces () | Stampede () | Sunburst ()|
|Related pages: Mirrodin block/Preconstructed theme decks • Mirrodin block theme decks|
- Wizards of the Coast. "Mirrodin Frequently Asked Questions", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (August 12, 2002.) "Codename of the Game", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- September 1, 2003. "Mirrodin Fact Sheet", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brian David-Marshall. (September 18, 2003.) "Mirrodin Prerelease Primer", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Randy Buehler. (June 20, 2003.) "The Size of Sets", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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- Randy Buehler. (September 05, 2003.) "When Artifacts Aren't Spells", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Randy Buehler. (September 12, 2003.) "White and Artifacts", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Randy Buehler. (October 03, 2003.) "Artifacts and Color", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 01, 2003.) "Someday My Imprints Will Come", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 08, 2003.) "Equip of the Iceberg", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Paul Barclay. (September 02, 2003.) "Rules for Equipment", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) "Change For the Better", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 06, 2003.) "Come Together", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 22, 2003.) "Bacon Bits", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Devin Low. (March 21, 2008.) "Reincarnation", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast. (December 18, 2003.) "Flavorful Reprints of Mirrodin", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 15, 2003.) "A Mind Is A Wonderful Thing To Waste", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.