The Lorwyn block is a Magic: The Gathering expert-level block consisting of two sets: Lorwyn (October 2007) and Morningtide (February 2008).[1] A third set, codenamed "Jelly", was originally planned as part of the Lorwyn block, but partway into the design of Lorwyn, it was split into a two-set block. Jelly was revealed as Shadowmoor, the first set of the new two-set block. The two blocks were linked together and rotated through the official tournament formats as a single, four-expansion unit.[2] The primary theme of the Lorwyn block is tribalism.[3][4]

Set detailsEdit

LorwynEdit

Lorwyn
 
Elf ear/Leaf
ReleasedOctober 12, 2007
Size301 Cards (80 rare, 80 uncommon, 121 common, 20 basic lands)
KeywordsChampion, Evoke, Clash, Changeling, Hideaway
MechanicsPlaneswalker cardtype,
Tribal by Race
DesignersAaron Forsythe (lead), Mark Rosewater, Paul Sottosanti, Brady Dommermuth, Nate Heiss, Andrew Finch
DevelopersDevin Low (lead), Bill Rose, Matt Place, Henry Stern, Mike Turian, Doug Beyer
Development codePeanut
Expansion codeLRW
First set in the Lorwyn block
Lorwyn Morningtide
Masters Edition Morningtide
Time Spiral Block Shadowmoor Block

The designers of the set were Aaron Forsythe (lead designer), Mark Rosewater, Paul Sottosanti, Brady Dommermuth, Nate Heiss, and Andrew Finch; the developers of the set were Devin Low (lead developer), Bill Rose, Matt Place, Henry Stern, Mike Turian, and Doug Beyer.

Lorwyn is set in a more traditional fantasy world, inspired by Welsh folklore.[5] The plane is a pastoral world inhabited by several major races: boggarts (goblins), faeries, elves, giants, treefolk, merfolk, elementals (including the flamekin) and kithkin.

Five theme decks have been released as part of the set, one more than the standard four-per-expansion, which had been a long-time trend. The preconstructed theme decks are:[6] "Kithkin Militia" (White), "Merrow Riverways" (White/Blue), "Boggarts' Feast" (Black/Red), "Elvish Predation" (Black/Green), and "Elementals' Path" (White/Blue/Black/Red/Green).

MorningtideEdit

Morningtide
 
ReleasedFebruary 1, 2008
Size150 cards (50 rare, 40 uncommon, 60 common)
KeywordsProwl, Reinforce, and Kinship
MechanicsTribal by Class
DesignersPaul Sottosanti (lead), Aaron Forsythe, Erik Lauer, Mark Rosewater, Kenneth Nagle
DevelopersMike Turian (lead), Erik Lauer, Henry Stern, Noah Weil
Development codeButter
Expansion codeMOR
Second set in the Lorwyn block
Lorwyn Morningtide
Lorwyn Shadowmoor
Time Spiral Block Shadowmoor Block

As revealed in an advertisement in the trade publication ICv2 and later confirmed by Mark Rosewater in his column, Morningtide expanded upon Lorwyn’s flavor and theme by focusing on at least five classes (Soldiers, Shamans, Wizards, Warriors, and Rogues) as well as a few minor class-based tribes (Druids, Archers, Knights, Clerics, and Assassins) in addition to the eight races of Lorwyn (Kithkin, Merfolk, Faeries, Elementals [Flamekin and Greater], Goblins, Giants, Treefolk, and Elves).[7][8] Additionally, the three new mechanics keywords Prowl, Reinforce, and Kinship were introduced in this expansion.[7]

Four preconstructed theme decks were released as part of the set. The theme decks are "Battalion" (White/Blue), "Going Rogue" (Blue/Black), "Shamanism" (White/Black/Green), and "Warrior's Code" (Red/Green).[9]

TribalEdit

The block has a tribal theme, focusing heavily on creature subtypes, revolving around eight primary creature types.[10][11] Each of these appear in two or more colors, with one as the primary color:[12]

Creature type (Race) Tribe name Primary Color Secondary Color(s)
Goblins Boggarts Black Red
Elves Green Black
Merfolk Merrow Blue White
Kithkin White Green
Elementals Flamekin (in red)
Greater Elementals (in all five)
Red All other colors
Faeries Fae Blue Black
Giants Red White
Treefolk Green Black and White

MechanicsEdit

Lorwyn saw the release of an entirely new card type,[13] the Planeswalker.[14] This marked the first time that Wizards of the Coast added a new card type to the game since the initial Magic: The Gathering release Alpha, other than the type "Tribal". A single tribal card, Bound in Silence, was printed as a future-shifted card in Future Sight. Another significant creature type is the shapeshifter type, all of which have the ability "changeling". Creature cards with the changeling ability have all creature types. This plays into the tribal mechanics which grants bonuses to specific creature types. Though these changelings count as humans for the purposes of the rules, no humans are found in the world of Lorwyn, or are printed on the cards.[15] This set marked another fundamental change of the game, as this was the first set to have no humans since their introduction as a creature subtype in Mirrodin. (Although humans had been in all sets since the beginning of the game, they did not have their own subtype until Mirrodin, instead only having subtypes based on their classes.) However, several of the planeswalkers, although they have no creature type, are physically humans.

The Lorwyn block features the new keywords champion, clash, evoke, and hideway.[16][17] When a creature with Champion [a type] comes into play, it is sacrificed unless another creature of that type the player controls is removed from the game (that card is returned to play when the card with champion leaves). Clash involves two players revealing the top cards of the libraries. The person who reveals the card with the highest mana cost wins the clash and gets a bonus on the card played. If a creature is played by paying its Evoke cost, it is sacrificed when it comes into play. Hideaway, which appears on a cycle of rare lands, lets the player "hide" (exiling facedown) a card "away" for later.

The new mechanics introduced in Morningtide are prowl, kinship, and reinforce. Cards may be cast for their prowl cost if the player has dealt combat damage with a Rogue, often providing some additional effect. Kinship rewards players for revealing creatures that share creature types from the top of their libraries. Reinforce allows you to discard the card with Reinforce, plus a small mana cost, to put +1/+1 counters on creatures already on the battlefield. Morningtide also has a cycle of tribal equipment.

StorylineEdit

The Lorwyn plane is based on Welsh mythology. The plane itself resembles an idyllic land apparently locked in a midsummer state. There is no night, only perpetual daytime. Sun-dappled forests, babbling brooks, and flower-covered mountains abound throughout Lorwyn.

The inhabitants of the plane appear to be inspired by mythological creature from western Europe. Notably, the human race, while popular in other Magic sets, is completely absent. Hobbit-like beings called Kithkin take their place. Other races include the mermaid-like Merfolk, Ent-like beings called Treefolk, Faeries, Boggarts, Elementals, and Changelings. While most of the groups live in relative harmony, the Elf race is cold and aloof, considering themselves superior and engaging in genocidal hunts against Boggarts and Elementals.

Every three hundred years a planar event occurs, known as the Great Aurora. This transforms Lorwyn into Shadowmoor, a sinister version of the former, where night is ever present. Each race dons a negative personality and become unaware of their past selves. The Elves, however, become modest and earnest-hearted. Strangely enough, the Faerie race and their queen, Oona, are unaffected during one Great Aurora manifestation. This is where the conflict of story begins.

The protagonists include Rhys, a male elf who had received tutelage from a Treefolk sage and who was later exiled from his tribe; Ashling, a female fiery elemental who assists the heroes; the Vendilion Clique, triplet faeries siblings; and the mysterious Maralen, a female elf, who, despite attempting to control the chaos of the Aurora, doesn't appear who she seems to be.[18]

Notable cardsEdit

Notable cards in Lorwyn include Cryptic Command, Ponder and Thoughtseize.

Notable cards in Morningtide include Bitterblossom, Mutavault, Scapeshift and Vendilion Clique

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Announcing Morningtide". Magic Arcana. Wizards of the Coast. 2007-03-29. Archived from the original on April 5, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  2. ^ Rosewater, Mark (2007-07-16). "Two plus Two". Making Magic. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
  3. ^ Greenholdt, Joyce (February 2008), Scrye, The Guide to Collectible Games, p. 106.
  4. ^ ertaislament (2012-07-08), Lorwyn Block, retrieved 2013-10-04
  5. ^ Beyer, Doug (2008-11-26). "The needs of cards and beyond – Variety vs. Familiarity". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  6. ^ "Lorwyn Theme Decks". Magic Arcana. Wizards of the Coast. 2007-08-21. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
  7. ^ a b "ICv2 Morningtide Ad". Retrieved 2007-11-25.
  8. ^ Rosewater, Mark (2007-12-10). "What Do You Know, Part II". Making Magic. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  9. ^ "Morningtide Theme Decks". Magic Arcana. Wizards of the Coast. 2008-01-22. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  10. ^ Rosewater, Mark (2007-09-10). "A Lorwyn / Lorwyn Situation". Making Magic. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  11. ^ Nakazawa, Rei (2007-09-10). "Lorwyn Lore". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  12. ^ Rosewater, Mark (2007-09-17). "Lorwyn at all Costs". Making Magic. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  13. ^ "Lorwyn to Introduce New Card Type". TCGPlayer.com. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  14. ^ "It's Official - Planeswalker". TCGplayer.com. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
  15. ^ Forsythe, Aaron (2007-08-24). "Looking Back to the Future". Latest Developments. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
  16. ^ Gottlieb, Mark (2007-09-26). "Lorwyn Comprehensive Rules Changes". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  17. ^ Forsythe, Aaron (2007-05-18). "Scry and Keyword Actions". Latest Developments. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
  18. ^ "LORWYN / SHADOWMOOR". Magic: The Gathering.

External linksEdit