Broken Cycles

Posted in Arcana on May 18, 2015

By Michael Yichao

Yichao is a writer of words for plays, television, theme parks, and—most recently—Magic: The Gathering. He loves Cube Draft and corgis.

Cycles! Throughout Magic's history, there have been many cycles—a set of cards found in all five colors, connected by a theme. Modern Masters 2015 Edition features many cards that were a part of a cycle—but most of these cycles are incomplete in this set. How well do you know the cycles of Magic?

Here are 10 questions to test your cyclical knowledge. (That's two cycles' worth!)

  1. Primeval Titan is missing all of his brethren. (He's so lonely.) Can you name the other four? (4 points)
  2. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is the white Praetor of New Phyrexia. What is the name of the Praetor with the smallest converted mana cost? (1 point)
  3. Cranial Plating was a part of a cycle of two-mana artifacts from Fifth Dawn. What were the names of the other artifacts? (4 points)
  4. Spectral Procession is a part of a cycle of instants and sorceries with three hybrid mana. What is the name of the GREEN one? (1 point)
  5. Wilt-Leaf Liege is the white-green hybrid Liege. Creakwood Liege is the black-green hybrid Liege. What is the name of the white-black hybrid Liege? (1 point)
  6. Nobilis of War is part of a cycle of hybrid Spirit Avatars from Eventide. Can you name the other four? (8 points, because their names are ridiculous.)
  7. Cryptic and Profane Command are part of a cycle of Commands that had you "choose two." What is the name of the one with the highest mana cost? (1 point)
  8. Leyline of Sanctity was a part of a cycle of Leylines printed in Magic 2011. There was another cycle of Leylines printed earlier, in Dissension. However, one of the colors only has ONE Leyline instead of two. Which one? (1 point)
  9. Celestial Purge was a part of a cycle of enemy color "hate cards" in Magic 2010. Which card from that cycle was ONLY printed in M10? (2 points)
  10. Name Guile's four friends in its cycle. (4 points)

Primeval Titan | Art by Aleksi Briclot


  1. Sun, Frost, Grave, Inferno
  2. Urabrask the Hidden
  3. Healer's Headdress, Horned Helm, Neurok Stealthsuit, Sparring Collar
  4. Tower Above
  5. Deathbringer Liege
  6. Dominus of Fealty, Divinity of Pride, Deity of Scars, Overbeing of Myth
  7. Austere Command
  8. Leyline of the Void: it was reprinted while the other colors got new cards.
  9. Mold Adder
  10. Dread, Hostility, Purity, Vigor

How'd you do?

26 points — Cyclical Champion! Either you have an encyclopedic knowledge of cycles, or you cheated with Google and Gatherer. Well done either way!

18-25 — Cycle Scientist! It's okay, I can't keep all the names of those Eventide Spirit Avatars straight either.

9-18 — Cycle Sicko! Not bad! A few Giants' names might've escaped, and who remembers "Tower Above" was a Magic card anyway?

3-9 — Cycle Challenged. Maybe it's time to brush up on your cycles….

0-2 — Cycle Clueless. It's okay, I have a bad memory for names of things too.

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