The Mechanics of Dragon's Maze

Posted in Feature on April 8, 2013

By Staff

If you're new to Magic or looking for a refresher on the basic rules, check out the Learn to Play page.

The plane of Ravnica is home to ten ancient two-color guilds. Return to Ravnica showed off five of those guilds: the white-blue Azorius, the blue-red Izzet, the black-red Rakdos, the black-green Golgari, and the green-white Selesnya. Gatecrash featured the other five: the white-black Orzhov, the blue-black Dimir, the red-green Gruul, the red-white Boros, and the green-blue Simic. Now, for the first time, all ten guilds come together as they search for the solution to the magical enigma known as the Implicit Maze.

In addition to all ten guilds and all ten guild mechanics, Dragon's Maze brings back the popular split cards, this time with a brand-new twist.


Split Cards with Fuse

The Dragon's Maze set features a new twist on split cards. Split cards, which previously appeared in the original Ravnica block, feature two spells printed on the same card. Just like their predecessors, theDragon's Maze split cards give you the option of casting one half or the other. But with the new fuseability, you don't have to pick just one!

Toil & Trouble

Any time you could cast a split card with fuse, you can choose one half and cast it, just like any other split card. And if you're casting it from your hand (as you usually are), you have the additional option to cast both halves as a single spell by paying their combined cost. Instructions on the left half are processed first, then the instructions on the right, and targets for the two halves are chosen separately.

So if you have Toil & Trouble in your hand, you have three options: You can pay 2 ManaBlack Mana to cast Toil; you can pay 2 ManaRed Mana to cast Trouble; or you can pay 4 ManaBlack ManaRed Mana to cast Toil & Trouble as a single spell. If you're casting Toil & Trouble from somewhere else—say, because of Epic Experiment—you'll choose one half to cast as you would with any other split card.

Because the text on the left happens before the text on the right, if you target the same player with both halves of Toil & Trouble, that player will draw two cards and lose 2 life before the right half of the spell counts the cards in his or her hand. Alternatively, you could give yourself the cards (and life loss) from Toil and your opponent the damage from Trouble.

If you cast both halves of Toil & Trouble, it's a black and red spell. That means it's a multicolored spell, which might matter for cards such as Pyroconvergence. (Some split cards in the set are multicolored on both halves, so they're multicolored spells whether you fuse them or not.)


Gates and Dragon's Maze Booster Packs

Multicolored cards can put a strain on your mana, so Dragon's Maze reprints all ten common Guildgates—lands that can tap for either of two different colors of mana—from earlier in the block.

This time, though, they'll be showing up in booster packs in the slot that usually holds a basic land. That's right—Dragon's Maze boosters won't contain any basic lands. Instead, most Dragon's Mazeboosters will have one of the ten Guildgates, each featuring new art that's a "zoomed out" version of that Gate's art from earlier in the block.

Simic Guildgate

Why "most" boosters? Well, some boosters will instead feature one of the rare "shocklands"—such asSteam Vents or Godless Shrine—from earlier in the block. Occasionally you'll even find the mythic rare land Maze's End.

Maze's End

Whichever land you find, if you're playing Limited, it stays with the pack and either goes into your card pool (in Sealed Deck) or is drafted along with the other cards in the pack (in Draft). You won't set it aside like the basic lands in other boosters.

Simic Guildgate

Simic Guildgate enters the battlefield tapped and can tap for Green Mana or Blue Mana. It doesn't have the types Forest or Island, but it does have the land type Gate. Being a Gate—sort of like being a Zombie—doesn't mean anything on its own, but it's a marker that other cards— for example, the Gatecrash card Way of the Thief—look for.



A multicolored card is just what it sounds like: a card with more than one color. You're probably already familiar with "gold" cards, which are spells that require two or more different colors to cast:

Deputy of Acquittals

So-called "gold" cards are straightforward. Deputy of Acquittals is both white and blue, and you need one white mana and one blue mana to cast it. Anything that affects white spells or blue spells will affect it; anything that affects, say, "nonblue" spells won't affect it, because it is blue, even though it's also another color. "Gold" and "multicolored" aren't colors, but cards may refer to multicolored permanents or spells.

For example, Lobber Crew from Return to Ravnica has an ability that triggers whenever you cast a multicolored spell. That means any multicolored spells, including "gold" cards like Deputy of Acquittals as well as "hybrid" cards like Bioshift from Gatecrash.


Return to Ravnica Guild Mechanics

Dragon's Maze features the Return to Ravnica guild mechanics detain (Azorius), overload (Izzet), unleash (Rakdos), scavenge (Golgari), and populate (Selesnya).

For a refresher on those five mechanics, see the Return to Ravnica Mechanics Article .


Gatecrash Guild Mechanics

Dragon's Maze features the Gatecrash guild mechanics extort (Orzhov), cipher (Dimir), bloodrush (Gruul), battalion (Boros), and evolve (Simic).

For a refresher on those five mechanics, see the Gatecrash Mechanics Article .

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