Looking in the Mirrodin

Posted in Feature on March 21, 2011

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

Welcome to Mirrodin Week. Technically, I could have considered this Mirrodin Week but I've already spent quite a few articles talking about the design of Mirrodin (Someday My Imprints Will Come, Equip of the Iceberg, A Mind Is A Wonderful Thing To Waste, Bacon Bits, and Dear Diary, to name a few). So instead I wanted to use today's column to talk about the creation of Mirrodin, the plane as opposed to the expansion.

While I have designed a lot of sets, I haven't had my hand in the design of all that many worlds. I was very involved in the creation of the plane Rath (from Tempest) and had a hand in the idea of a merchant world which turned into Mercadian Masques (although I had no input on the actual construction of that world). Other than that, the only world that I had a hand in building was Mirrodin. How did that happen? Well, luckily I have a whole column to talk about it.

A quick aside before I do though. I have become somewhat of a cheerleader for the Phyrexians. That's mostly because they allowed me to finally bring poison back in a big way, and also because I'm a sucker for nostalgia and the Phyrexians have always been, for me, Magic's "big bad." From this a lot of people assume that I don't like the Mirrans. Not at all the case. I was the lead designer of Mirrodin, and as you will see today, I was very involved in the creation of the Mirrodin world. I have a soft spot in my heart for Mirrodin. I picked a side because I needed to pick a side for Pick a Side Week, but it wasn't an easy decision and I am quite sympathetic to the other side. Just something I wanted to get off my chest.

Putting the Pedal to the Metal

To tell this story I am going to use a format most often seen in movies. It is known as a "title plate structure" where each section of the story starts with a title plate (movie talk for a screen with just words on it, most often black with white writing). The most popular version of a title plate structure is to list characters and advance the story by following that character. This is how I want to tell the story of the creation of the world of Mirrodin.

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