Sets of Five, Part II

Posted in Feature on July 17, 2002

By Ben Bleiweiss

Last week, I started cataloging all the cycles in Magic. The first installment covered the base sets plus all the expansions through Weatherlight; this time I'll look at Tempest through Judgment. Each set is followed by a few notes.

If you don't know what a card does, you can view it by clicking on the card name.

As I said last week, I've tried to make this list as complete as possible. One or two cycles might have slipped through the cracks. If they have, please contact me at so I can add them to this list for the future. As far as I know, this is the first attempt to catalog every cycle in Magic, and I hope that you enjoy the effort and the comments that go along with each.


1) Armor Sliver, Mnemonic Sliver, Mindwhip Sliver, Barbed Sliver, Horned Sliver
2) Light of Day, Chill, Perish, Havoc, Choke
3) Pearl Medallion, Sapphire Medallion, Jet Medallion, Ruby Medallion, Emerald Medallion
4) Quickening Licid, Stinging Licid, Leeching Licid, Enraging Licid, Nurturing Licid
5) Salt Flats, Scabland, Caldera Lake, Skyshroud Forest, Pine Barrens
6) Selenia, Dark Angel; Soltari Guerrillas; Dracoplasm; Wood Sage; Vhati il-Dal
7) Talon Sliver, Winged Sliver, Clot Sliver, Heart Sliver, Muscle Sliver
8) Thalakos Lowlands, Vec Township, Rootwater Depths, Cinder Marsh, Mogg Hollows
9) Warmth, Insight, Dread of Night, Boil, Reap

Light of Day
  • This set contains, as a whole, the most powerful color hosers in all of Magic. After the ten from here we printed, Wizards began toning down color hosing cards, because they gave too many easy answers against opposing deck types.
  • Opposing color pain-lands appear here for the first time, replacing that cycle from A/B/U finally. These come into play tapped, while the later ones in Apocalypse do not (See Apocalypse, Base Sets).
  • The cards of the Medallion cycle are named directly after their corresponding colored Moxes (See Base Sets).
  • Flickering Ward encapsulated the entire Ward Cycle from Alpha. Auratog saw print here, finishing up the mega Atog Cycle which had been going since Antiquities.


1) Calming Licid, Gliding Licid, Corrupting Licid, Convulsing Licid, Tempting Licid
2) Crystalline Sliver, Victual Sliver, Hibernation Sliver, Acidic Sliver, Spined Sliver
3) Wall of Essence, Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Wall of Razors, Wall of Blossoms

  • Volrath's Stronghold was the Legendary Land of this block which belonged to the Legendary Land mega-cycle.


1) Keeper of the Light, Keeper of the Dead, Keeper of the Mind, Keeper of the Flame, Keeper of the Beasts
2) Oath of Lieges, Oath of Scholars, Oath of Ghouls, Oath of Mages, Oath of Druids

Urza's Saga:

1) Absolute Grace, Douse, Bereavement, Disorder, Carpet of Flowers
2) Absolute Law, Hibernation, Yawgmoth's Edict, Scald, Spreading Algae
3) Brilliant Halo, Launch, Despondency, Fiery Mantle, Fortitude
4) Drifting Meadow, Remote Isle, Polluted Mire, Smoldering Crater, Slippery Karst
5) Rune of Protection: White, Rune of Protection: Blue, Rune of Protection: Black, Rune of Protection: Red, Rune of Protection: Green
6) Serra's Embrace, Zephid's Embrace, Vampiric Embrace, Shiv's Embrace, Gaea's Embrace
7) Serra's Hymn, Lilting Refrain, Vile Requiem, Torch Song, War Dance
8) Serra's Liturgy, Recantation, Discordant Dirge, Rumbling Crescendo, Midsummer Revel
9) Serra's Sanctum, Tolarian Academy, Phyrexian Tower, Shivan Gorge, Gaea's Cradle
Tolarian Academy
  • While three of the lands from this block's Legendary Land cycle produce mana based on how many of a certain permanent type you have in play, two do not. Given how abusive Tolarian Academy was, and the power level of Gaea's Cradle, one can only imagine if the black land produced a mana for each creature in the graveyard, or the red one for each land your opponent had in his graveyard!
  • The Growing Enchantment cycles from this set are based on the card Legacy's Allure from Tempest. Likewise, the cycle of Runes are legacies of the Circles of Protection.
  • This set begins the Voice cycle with Voice of Law and Voice of Grace.

Urza's Legacy:

1) Cessation, Slow Motion, Sleeper's Guile, Sluggishness, Rancor
2) Forbidding Watchtower, Faerie Conclave, Spawning Pool, Ghitu Encampment, Treetop Village
3) Radiant's Dragoons, Raven Familiar, Bone Shredder, Avalanche Riders, Multani's Acolyte/Yavimaya Granger

  • It's unclear whether Yavimaya Granger or Multani's Acolyte completes the cycle of echo creatures which have a comes into play ability. The other four color's creatures are uncommon, while both green ones are common as well.
  • The Man-Land cycle are another of the most popular cycles ever in Magic history.

Urza's Destiny:

1) Archery Training, Private Research, Festering Wound, Incendiary, Momentum
2) Jasmine Seer, Brine Seer, Nightshade Seer, Cinder Seer, Ivy Seer
3) Scent of Jasmine, Scent of Brine, Scent of Nightshade, Scent of Cinder, Scent of Ivy
4) Scour, Quash, Eradicate, Sowing Salt, Splinter

  • The Remove-From-Game cycle (Scour) are all based on the card Lobotomy from Tempest.
  • The Seers and the Scents have the same exact abilities, color for color.
  • This set contains Yavimaya Hollow, the third land in the mega Legendary Land cycle. It also has Voice of Duty and Voice of Reason from the Voice mega cycle.

Mercadian Masques:

1) Alabaster Wall, Stinging Barrier, Wall of Distortion, Battle Rampart, Vine Trellis
2) Charmed Griffin, Indentured Djinn, Enslaved Horror, Hired Giant, Hunted Wumpus
3) Cho-Arrim Legate, Saprazzan Legate, Deepwood Legate, Kyren Legate, Rushwood Legate
4) Cho-Manno's Blessing, Buoyancy, Maggot Therapy, Flaming Sword, Tiger Claws
5) Fountain of Cho, Saprazzan Cove, Subterranean Hangar, Mercadian Bazaar, Rushwood Grove
6) Noble Purpose, Coastal Piracy, Larceny, Close Quarters, Briar Patch
7) Remote Farm, Saprazzan Skerry, Peat Bog, Sandstone Needle, Hickory Woodlot
8) Reverent Mantra, Unmask, Misdirection, Cave-In, Vine Dryad
9) Righteous Indignation, High Seas, Putrefaction, Magistrate's Veto, Snake Pit
10) Tooth of Ramos, Eye of Ramos, Skull of Ramos, Heart of Ramos, Horn of Ramos
11) Wishhmonger, Sailmonger, Scandalmonger, Warmonger, Squallmonger

Tiger Claws
  • The Insta-chantment cycle here are much better than their counterparts from Mirage. The white and red abilities are the exact same, making them 100% superior since they stick around. Buoyancy lost the +0/+1 given to Soar, while Tiger Claws traded +1/+1 and the ability to not block black creatures for trample. Black's went from +3/-1 to +2/-2, making it more suited for creature kill than for making really large flyers.
  • Also, the storage lands from Fallen Empires are upgraded here as well, with the cycle beginning with Fountain of Cho.
  • Pitch cards return from Alliances, although as rares instead of as uncommons. They are still very powerful.
  • Story Circle gives you a very versatile variant on the entire Circle of Protection cycle (see Base Set).


1) Seal of Cleansing, Seal of Removal, Seal of Doom, Seal of Fire, Seal of Strength
2) Sivvi's Ruse, Submerge, Massacre, Mogg Salvage, Refreshing Rain

  • The previous set contained creatures which could be played for free if your opponent had an enemy land type. This set has spells which can be played for free under the same condition (Sivvi's Ruse). The creatures follow clockwise on the color wheel, while the spells travel counterclockwise.
  • The seals correspond to Disenchant, Unsummon, Dark Banishing, Shock, and Giant Growth respectively. These are the staple spells which have effectively replaced the Boon cycle in the base set.
  • This set contains the fourth land in the mega Legendary Land cycle, Kor Haven. It also completes the Voice cycle with Voice of Truth.


1) Abolish, Foil, Outbreak, Flameshot, Snag
2) Avatar of Hope, Avatar of Will, Avatar of Woe, Avatar of Fury, Avatar of Might
3) Blessed Wind, Denying Wind, Plague Wind, Searing Wind, Vitalizing Wind
4) Flowering Field, Sunken Field, Noxious Field, Barbed Field, Verdant Field
5) Mageta the Lion; Alexi, Zephyr Mage; Greel, Mindraker; Latulla, Keldon Overseer; Jolrael, Empress of Beasts 6) Mageta's Boon, Alexi's Cloak, Greel's Caress, Latulla's Orders, Jolrael's Favor

  • The Winds (at nine mana) and the Avatars (at eight mana) clock in at the highest casting cost cycles in all of Magic.
  • Foil was given an additional cost in the Pitch-Land cycle, because it was too good otherwise.


1) Alabaster Leech, Sapphire Leech, Andradite Leech, Ruby Leech, Jade Leech
2) Angelic Shield, Sterling Grove, Seer's Vision, Smoldering Tar, Fires of Yavimaya
3) Ardent Soldier, Vodalian Serpent, Urborg Skeleton, Kavu Aggressor, Pincer Spider
4) Benalish Emissary, Tolarian Emissary, Urborg Emissary, Shivan Emissary, Verduran Emissary
5) Benalish Heralds, Vodalian Hypnotist, Trench Wurm, Firebrand Ranger, Treefolk Healer
6) Coastal Tower, Elfhame Palace, Salt Marsh, Urborg Volcano, Shivan Oasis
7) Dismantling Blow, Probe, Agonizing Demise, Savage Offensive, Vigorous Charge
8) Dromar, the Banisher; Treva, the Renewer; Rith, the Awakener; Crosis, the Purger; Darigaaz, the Igniter
9) Dromar's Attendant, Treva's Attendant, Rith's Attendant, Crosis' Attendant, Darigaaz's Attendant
10) Galina's Knight, Llanowar Knight, Vodalian Zombie, Shivan Zombie, Yaviamaya Barbarian
11) Glimmering Angel, Metathran Zombie, Firescreamer, Viashino Grappler, Llanowar Cavalry
12) Irrigation Ditch, Ancient Spring, Sulfur Vent, Geothermal Crevice, Tinder Farm
13) Orim's Touch, Prohibit, Hypnotic Cloud, Overload, Explosive Growth
14) Prison Barricade/Benalish Knight, Faerie Squadron, Duskwalker, Pouncing Kavu, Llanowar Elite
15) Rampant Elephant, Tower Drake, Urborg Phantom, Hooded Kavu, Serpentine Kavu
16) Rout, Breaking Wave, Twilight's Call, Ghitu Fire, Saproling Symbiosis 17) Ruham Djinn, Zanam Djinn, Goham Djinn, Halam Djinn, Sulam Djinn
18) Seashell Cameo, Tigereye Cameo, Drake-Skull Cameo, Bloodstone Cameo, Troll-Horn Cameo
19) Shackles, Shimmering Wings, Mourning, Crown of Flames, Whip Silk
20) Spirit Weaver, Sky Weaver, Hate Weaver, Rage Weaver, Might Weaver
21) Stand/Deliver, Spite/Malice, Pain/Suffering, Assault/Battery, Wax/Wane
22) Strength of Unity, Worldly Counsel, Exotic Curse, Tribal Flames, Wandering Stream
23) Sunscape Apprentice, Stormscape Apprentice, Nightscape Apprentice, Thunderscape Apprentice, Thornscape Apparentice
24) Sunscape Master, Stormscape Master, Nightscape Master, Thunderscape Master, Thornscape Master
25) Wings of Hope, Armadillo Cloak, Recoil, Plague Spores, Frenzied Tilling
Llanowar Knight
  • Invasion block as a whole was designed as a block of symmetry, and it shows. Of the 330 non-basic land cards in Invasion alone, 125 of them (over a third of the set) belonged to various cycles!
  • The two casting cost creature cycle (Galina's Knight) are the first common color hoser cycle in Magic.
  • It's unclear whether Prison Barricade or Benalish Knight finish off the self-colored kicker cycle for common creatures.
  • The enchantments which can return themselves borrow Crown of Flames and Shimmering Wings from Tempest, and Shackles from Exodus. This was the first time pre-existing cards were incorporated into a wholly new type of cycle.
  • This set finished off the mega Legendary Land cycle with Keldon Necropolis.


1) Daring Leap, Gerrard's Command, Malicious Advice, Terminate, Hull Breach
2) Dromar's Cavern, Treva's Ruins, Rith's Grove, Crosis's Catacombs, Darigaaz's Caldera
3) Dromar's Charm, Treva's Charm, Rith's Charm, Crosis's Charm, Darigaaz's Charm
4) Ertai, the Corrupted; Questing Phelddagrif, Radiant Kavu, Phyrexian Tyranny, Destructive Flow
5) Planeswalker's Mirth, Planeswalker's Mischief, Planewalker's Scorn, Planeswalker's Fury, Planewalker's Favor
6) Pollen Remedy, Rushing River, Bog Down, Magma Burst, Falling Timber
7) Sawtooth Loon, Fleetfoot Panther, Marsh Crocodile, Razing Snidd, Sparkcaster
8) Silver Drake, Steel Leaf Paladin, Cavern Harpy, Lava Zombie, Horned Kavu
9) Sunscape Battlemage, Stormscape Battlemage, Nightscape Battlemage, Thunderscape Battlemage, Thornscape Battlemage
10) Sunscape Familiar, Stormscape Familiar, Nightscape Familiar, Thunderscape Familiar, Thornscape Familiar

  • The Charms and Lairs are named after their respective dragons from Invasion. They all involve the colors of their dragons as well (see Invasion).
  • The cycle beginning with Pollen Remedy are kicker spells which give you two of an effect in exchange for sacrificing a land. Primal Growth emulates this cycle by allowing you to sacrifice a creature for double its effect.
  • Voice of All takes all the cards from the Voice mega-cycle and combines them into one neat package.


1) Caves of Koilos, Battlefield Forge, Shivan Reef, Yavimaya Coast, Llanowar Wastes
2) Dega Disciple, Ceta Disciple, Necra Disciple, Raka Disciple, Ana Disciple
3) Dega Sanctuary, Ceta Sanctuary, Necra Sanctuary, Raka Sanctuary, Ana Sanctuary
4) Degavolver, Cetavolver, Necravolver, Rakavolver, Anavolver
5) Enlistment Officer, Tidal Courier, Grave Defiler, Goblin Ringleader, Sylvan Messenger
6) Lightning Angel, Fervent Charge, Overgrown Estate, Fungal Shambler, Guided Passage
7) Order/Chaos, Illusion/Reality, Night/Day, Fire/Ice, Life/Death
8) Putrid Warrior, Goblin Legionnaire, Razorfin Hunter, Gaea's Skyfolk, Llanowar Dead
9) Soul Link, Squee's Embrace, Quicksilver Dagger, Temporal Spring, Consume Strength

  • Many cycles in this block directly correspond to cycles in Invasion. They are the Disciple and Apprentice Cycles, the Split Card cycles, the two casting cost creature cycle, and the enemy color common gold card cycle (see Invasion).
  • The Wedge Cycle (beginning with Lightning Angel) is named after cards which have the casting cost of two allied colors plus their enemy color. They are the first cards in all of Magic to have this sort of casting cost.


1) Abandoned Outpost, Seafloor Debris, Bog Wreckage, Ravaged Highlands, Timberland Ruins
2) Animal Boneyard, Chamber of Manipulation, Caustic Tar, Steam Vines, Squirrel Nest
3) Auramancer, Scrivener, Gravedigger, Anarchist, Cartographer
4) Aven Shrine, Cephalid Shrine, Cabal Shrine, Dwarven Shrine, Nantuko Shrine
5) Cantivore, Cognivore, Mortivore, Magnivore, Terravore
6) Iridescent Angel, Mystic Enforcer, Shadowmage Infiltrator, Vampiric Dragon, Decimate
7) Kirtar's Desire, Aboshan's Desire, Patriarch's Desire, Kamahl's Desire, Seton's Desire
8) Life Burst, Aether Burst, Mind Burst, Flame Burst, Muscle Burst
9) Nomad Stadium, Cephalid Coliseum, Cabal Pit, Barbarian Ring, Centaur Garden
10) Patrol Hound, Phantom Whelp, Filthy Cur, Mad Dog, Wild Mongrel
11) Phantatog, Thaumatog, Psychatog, Sarcatog, Lithatog
12) Sacred Rites, Rites of Refusal, Last Rites, Rites of Initiation, Rites of Spring
13) Skycloud Egg, Sungrass Egg, Darkwater Egg, Shadowblood Egg, Mossfire Egg
14) Skycloud Expanse, Sungrass Prairie, Darkwater Catacombs, Shadowblood Ridge, Mossfire Valley
15) Sphere of Truth, Sphere of Reason, Sphere of Grace, Sphere of Law, Sphere of Duty



1) Teroh's Vanguard, Cephalid Sage, Gloomdrifter, Pardic Arsonist, Centaur Chieftain
2) Hypochondria, Compulsion, Mortiphobia, Pyromania, Narcissism
3) Spirit Flare, Deep Analysis, Crippling Fatigue, Flash of Defiance, Acorn Harvest
4) Vengeful Dreams, Turbulent Dreams, Insidious Dreams, Devastating Dreams, Nostalgic Dreams 5) Frantic Purification, Obsessive Search, Psychotic Haze, Fiery Temper, Basking Rootwalla
6) Strength of Isolation, Circular Logic, Strength of Lunacy, Violent Eruption, Arrogant Wurm

  • The first set which intentionally contained a skewed color balance, Torment contained several near-cycles of cards. They include four Tainted Lands and four Possessed creatures.
  • Contains both Zombie Trailblazer and Mortal Combat, which furthered their respective mega-cycles along.


1) Benevolent Bodyguard, Hapless Researcher, Cabal Trainee, Dwarven Scorcher, Krosan Wayfarer
2) Golden Wish, Cunning Wish, Death Wish, Burning Wish, Living Wish
3) Valor, Wonder, Filth, Anger, Brawn


1) Auratog, Chronatog, Necratog, Atog, Foratog
2) Kor Haven, Teferi's Isle, Volrath's Stronghold, Keldon Necropolis, Yavimaya Hollow
3) Master Apothecary; Patron Wizard; Zombie Trailblazer; Dwarven Bloodboiler; Seton, Krosan Protector
4) Test of Endurance, Battle of Wits, Mortal Combat, Chance Encounter, Epic Struggle
5) Voice of Truth, Voice of Reason, Voice of Grace, Voice of Law, Voice of Duty

Ben may be reached at

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