The Red Zone

Posted in Arcana on October 24, 2002

By Wizards of the Coast


Pro Tour winner Marco Blume and the Red Zone playmat.

The phrase "Red Zone" has almost become vernacular for Magic players, referring to attacking with creatures. But what is the Red Zone?

When Magic was being aired on ESPN2, the people in charge wanted a playmat that would make the card layout easy to understand on television. The solution came to be known as the Red Zone, a mat that marks off where each players' lands and non-lands should go, as well as a large red central area for spells on the stack, and - more importantly - for combat.

After the ESPN stint was over, the Red Zone remained a staple of the finals and feature match area. You can see it in pictures of all the coverage of PT-level events on the Sideboard.

An overview of the Red Zone playmat:

The playmat was not quite as elegant when it was conceived, however. This drawing shows the first idea for a playmat for use on camera, and it includes many extraneous zones like the "Hand Zone" and the "Artifact & Enchantment" zone. Much too confusing!

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