Ice Age (Magic: The Gathering)
|Size||383 cards (121 commons, 121 uncommons, 121 rares, 20 basic lands)|
|Mechanics||Allied color alliances, cantrips, Snow lands|
|Designers||Skaff Elias, Jim Lin, Dave Pettey and Chris Page|
|Development code||Ice Age|
|Released||June 10, 1996|
(144 functionally different)
|Mechanics||Allied color, cantrips, pitch spells, snow lands|
|Designers||Skaff Elias, Jim Lin, Dave Pettey and Chris Page|
|Released||July 21, 2006|
|Size||155 (40 rares, 55 uncommons, 60 commons)|
|Keywords||Cumulative Upkeep, Ripple, Recover|
|Mechanics||Snow Supertype, Pitch Cards|
|Designers||Bill Rose (lead), Aaron Forsythe, Devin Low, and Mark Rosewater|
|Developers||Randy Buehler Jr. (lead), Devin Low, Zvi Mowshowitz, and Michael Turian|
Ice Age is a block of three expansion sets in Magic: The Gathering, consisting of the Ice Age, Alliances and Coldsnap sets. It is also the titular first set in the block. The Ice Age set is the eleventh set and the sixth expansion set, released in June 1995. Set in the years from 450 to 2934 AR, the set describes a world set in perpetual winter due to the events in Antiquities. Ice Age was followed up June 1996 with Alliances, the fourteenth Magic: The Gathering set and eighth expansion set.; and on July 21, 2006 with Coldsnap. The time period between Alliances and Coldsnap was the longest period of time between the beginning and the completion of a full block in Magic. Originally, the set Homelands, released in October 1995, was the second set in the Ice Age block (with Alliances being the third set), but following the release of Coldsnap, Homelands was removed from the block in favor of Coldsnap.
The Brothers' War, referenced in the set Antiquities and the Urza block, has thrown Dominaria into a drastic climate change. The temperature has dropped sharply and a new Ice Age has begun. Most of society has been lost; all that remains are the soldier nation of Kjeldor, the barbarians of Balduvia, and the elvish society of Fyndhorn. These people must battle against the necromancer Lim-Dûl who has begun to conduct twisted experiments. Meanwhile, the wizard Zur the Enchanter trains new wizards to survive in the harsh environment.
The story follows the events of Ice Age, after the so-called goddess (actually a planeswalker) Freyalise had used her magic to end the Ice Age. As the lands grew warmer, conflicts began to erupt. The Balduvian Barbarians were under constant attacks from a vigilante group headed by a former Kjeldoran knight, General Varchild, and needed to turn to their former foes for help. The Soldevi alliance was breaking down amid fears that their unearthing of artifacts of the Brothers' War (as described in Antiquities) could restart that destructive conflict. And all the while, the wicked necromancer known as Lim-Dûl gathered forces to conquer the entire world.
Ice Age was the first "stand-alone" expansion; that is, it was the first set that could be played independently of other Magic: The Gathering products. It was the first expansion to reprint all five basic lands. Ice Age is also the first set that was printed for a certain period. Previous sets had a previously specified print run and were then sold while supplies lasted.
As Ice Age was the first "stand-alone" expansion set, the designers believed that some "staple" cards from the basic set and expansions should be in the set. Thus, the set was also the first expansion set (aside from the Arabian Nights Mountain misprint) to reprint cards. The set included about 8% reprints of old cards. Also, another 8% of the cards were functional reprints of already-printed cards; that is, aside from the name (and possibly the creature type), these cards were identical to cards in other sets.
Ice Age was the first Magic expansion that was released in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Alliances experimented with different levels of rarities of cards. There are 49 rares in the set, three of these being artifacts that are actually three times as common as the other rares, thus making them just as common as most uncommons. Alliances was the last set to have multiple cards (other than basic lands) with more than one artistic conception.
Alliances was the only set besides Chronicles to be sold in 12 card packs. Each pack included one rare card, three uncommon, and eight common cards.
The set is probably best known for the card "Force of Will" which allows a player to counter a spell without paying its mana cost by exiling another blue card from their hand.
Paul Pettengale reviewed Alliances for Arcane magazine, rating it an 8 out of 10 overall. Pettengale comments that "There are cards within the Alliances set which are really going to shake up the game of Magic, forcing players to reconsider some of the traditional cards combinations, defence tactics and aggressive routines, and because of this it's a highly refreshing release."
In the initial announcement, Randy Buehler said that Coldsnap was designed around the same time as Ice Age and Alliances but was never released because "internal politics" had "forced" Wizards to release Homelands instead. However, in the Ask Wizards section on November 10, 2005, a player pointed to several inconsistencies in Buehler's story and suggested that Coldsnap was in fact a newly designed set.Mark Rosewater confirmed in his February 6, 2006 column that the "from the vault" story was a "cute little cover" to make the announcement more interesting and expressed surprise that any players took the story at face value. He apologized for the confusion Wizards R&D had created and made it clear that the set is indeed a newly designed one.
Several mechanics were introduced in the Ice Age block. The most notable of these was permanents of the "Snow" supertype. Ice Age introduced basic snow-covered lands, and cards that had effects based on Snow permanents. 'Coldsnap followed that with creatures, artifacts and enchantments of the Snow supertype. Other mechanics introduced included cumulative upkeep and cantrips. Ice Age was also the first set to print single-colored legends.
Alliances did not introduce any new named mechanics, but did introduce a number of cards that could be cast by discarding one or more cards instead of paying a mana cost.
Besides expanding on the cumulative upkeep, pitch cards and snow permanents mechanics, Coldsnap introduced the Recover and Ripple mechanics.
Ice Age consists of 383 cards. Of these 121 each are common, uncommon, and rare. The remaining 20 cards are basic lands distributed solely in Starter Packs. There were 56 cards of each color, 25 multicolor cards, 45 artifacts, and 33 lands in Ice Age.
There are 199 cards in Alliances. Including alternate art, there are 31 cards of each color, 10 multicolor cards, 26 Artifacts, and 8 Lands.
Coldsnap contained 155 cards. Four theme decks were released, which included some cards that were reprints of older cards from both Ice Age and Alliances. The reprints kept the original artwork but used the new borders, updated Oracle wording and the original expansion symbols were given rarity colors.
Notable cards in Ice Age included Necropotence, Zuran Orb, and Jester's Cap
Notable cards in Alliances included Balduvian Horde, Force of Will, Lake of the Dead, Pillage, and Thawing Glaciers
Notable cards in Coldsnap included Counterbalance, Dark Depths,Rite of Flame, Braid of Fire, and Vanish Into Memory.
- ^ abRosewater, Mark (February 9, 2009). "Whatever Happened to Barry's Land?". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- ^ ab"Ice Age Card List". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- ^ ab"Alliances Card List". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on June 29, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- ^"Announcement: Coldsnap". Feature Article. Wizards of the Coast. October 24, 2005. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- ^Miller, John Jackson (2001), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, p. 520.
- ^Moursund, Beth (2002), The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic The Gathering, p. 720.
- ^Searle, Michael (September 1995), InQuest, The Ultimate Guide to Card Games, p. 104.
- ^Justice, Mark (1998), Magic The Gathering - Advanced Strategy Guide, p. 128.
- ^Wakefield, James (1997), Tournament Reports for Magic: The Gathering, p. 169.
- ^Baxter, George H. (1996), Alliances Revealed : A Review of the Alliances Edition of Magic: The Gathering, p. 129.
- ^ abc"Ice Age". Magic: The Gathering Official Encyclopedia. Thunder's Mouth Press. 1996. pp. 70–71. ISBN .
- ^ ab"Alliances". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- ^"Alliances". Crystal Keep. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- ^Rosewater, Mark (May 1996), "Insider Trading", The Duelist (#10), p. 10
- ^ abPettengale, Paul (July 1996). "Games Reviews". Arcane. Future Publishing (8): 60–61.
- ^Buehler, Randy (October 26, 2005). "Coldsnap Q&A". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- ^"Ask Wizards – November, 2005". November 1, 2005. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- ^Rosewater, Mark (February 6, 2006). "Back Issues". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- ^"Yurchick First at Last!". April 3, 2010.
- ^Rosewater, Mark (January 25, 2006). "You Make the Card #3 - Wrap-up".
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|Symbol description||three icicles|
|Design||Bill Rose (lead)|
|Development||Randy Buehler (lead)|
|Art direction||Jeremy Cranford|
|Release date||July 21, 2006|
|Themes and mechanics||Cantrips, Cumulative upkeep, Snow, Pitch cards, collectible commons|
|Keywords/ability words||Ripple, Recover|
|Set size|| 155 cards|
(60 commons, 55 uncommons, 40 rares)
|Ice Age block[note 1]|
|Magic: The GatheringChronology|
Coldsnap is the thirty-ninth Magicexpansion and was released in July 2006 as the third set and second small expansion of the Ice Age block, replacing the Homelands expansion as a member of the block. The prerelease events for this set were held on July 8–9, 2006.
Coldsnap contains 155 black-bordered cards (40 rare, 55 uncommon, and 60 commons). Its expansion symbol is a depiction of three icicles. When Coldsnap was initially announced, Wizards of the Coast claimed that the set was a "lost design file" only recently found. Because this statement was taken seriously, Mark Rosewater later had to clarify that it was a joke.
Coldsnap had the shortest-ever design, at six weeks.R&D made a conscious effort to hit on every standout theme in Ice Age and Alliances to give the set the necessary “retro” feel. This included cumulative upkeep, allied colors, pitch cards, old characters springing to life and land that doesn't tap for mana. The 'snow-covered' supertype changed to 'snow' and expanded its use to nonland permanents. The new Recover mechanic captured the feel of "graveyard order matters" without requiring meticulous tracking. Another new mechanic was Ripple.
Because most sealed tournaments would use only Coldsnap cards due to the rarity of Ice Age and Alliances booster packs, as a means of making frequently recurring commons more valuable, several common cards (the "kindle" and "surging" cycles) were printed that rewarded players for using multiple copies in their decks, making them more desirable.
Terisiare, the island continent that was home to the Brothers’ War and the Ice Age, is in a state of rebirth known as the Thaw. The icy shell that encased the continent is melting away. Most of the inhabitants of Terisiare rejoice as the ice gives way to warmth and the rebirth of the land. But, in this time of great change, there are some who see it as a time to angle for power: a secretive society of mages poised to shroud the continent with their icy brand of magic.
Coldsnap was sold in 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. The decks and the fat pack contained a random Pro Tour Players Card. The booster packs featured artwork from Adarkar Valkyrie, Rimescale Dragon and Allosaurus Rider. The prerelease card was a foilalternate artAllosaurus Rider. The release card was a Marit Lagetoken The fat pack contained Jeff Grubb's classic novel The Gathering Dark and a new original story by the same author included with the Coldsnap Player's Guide (Keeping the Cold).
Coldsnap is tournament legal in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Ice Age block tournament formats. It was also released on Magic Online on August 14, becoming the first expansion ever to be legal for Constructed tournament play on Magic Online before its paper version was. However, the Ice Age and Alliances reprints from the theme decks were not legal in Standard tournament play, and the reprints have not been added to Gatherer.
Coldsnap is the only expansion released that does not fit the Modern block schedule, creating some confusion. It was legal in the Extended format based on its release date, not on its association with the Ice Age block.
- Recover — allows a player to return cards with the ability to their hand by paying the card's Recover cost when a creature is put into their graveyard from the battlefield; however, if they do not pay the Recover cost the card is then exiled.
- Ripple — when a player plays a spell with ripple, they may reveal the top four cards of their library. If they do, they cast play all cards revealed this way that share a name with the spell without paying their mana costs.
The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Juggernaut.
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Artificer, Assassin, Aurochs, Avatar, Barbarian, Bear, Beast, Bird, Cat, Centaur, Cleric, Construct, Dragon, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Faerie, Gargoyle, Giant, Goblin, Griffin, Horror, Illusion, Knight, Leviathan, Lizard, Lord (later changed to Human), Minotaur, Mutant, Ooze, Orc, Rogue, Serpent, Shade, Shaman, Skeleton, Slug, Snake, Soldier, Specter, Sphinx, Spider, Spirit, Treefolk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wall, Warrior, Wizard, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie.
Coldsnap has ten cycles and a vertical cycle.
Coldsnap has one mirrored pair.
Like other theme decks, Coldsnap theme decks used cards available in its block. This created reprints of Ice Age and Alliances cards. These reprints were different from the originals in that they had expansion symbolrarity coloring (in addition to being slightly redesigned), have collector numbers, and were printed featuring the new card frame.
The preconstructed theme decks are:
- Dark Depths — Originally ignored for tournament play, the printing of Vampire Hexmage in Zendikar (and later Thespian's Stage in Gatecrash) caused its play value and price to skyrocket. The associated token, Marit Lage, was made available only as a promotional card, and eventually became one of the most valuable token cards ever printed.
- Ohran Viper - The initial chase rare of the set.
- Panglacial Wurm — The first creature that can be played directly from the library.
- Haakon, Stromgald Scourge - The first creature that can't be cast from your hand.
- Vanish into Memory - The third card to be designed through the Wizards of the Coast's "You Make the Card" promotion through their website, MTG.com
- Counterbalance - Perhaps the most powerful Blue enchantment ever printed, the combination of Counterbalance with deck manipulation cards such as Brainstorm and Sensei's Divining Top can be used to repeatedly counter your opponent's spells. The two-card combo of Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top is most commonly referred to as "CounterTop", and CounterTop decks have been been a Legacy staple for years, with the most recent archetype to use CounterTop to full advantage being Miracles, before its ban in 2017.
The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Coldsnap.
- Frozen Solid — was last seen in Scourge, possibly reprinted due to the card name and card flavor fitting the set.
- Snow-covered lands — were last seen in Ice Age.
Coldsnap has two functional reprints:
- ↑set symbol URL on Gatherer
- ↑Magic Arcana (October 24, 2005). "Announcement: Coldsnap". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (February 21, 2006). "Coldsnap Fact Sheet". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Brian David-Marshall (July 03, 2006). "An Arctic Blast From the Past". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Randy Buehler (October 26, 2005). "Coldsnap Q&A". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (August 30, 2010). "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (February 06, 2006). "Back Issues". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (February 06, 2006). "Coldsnap Q&A". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Aaron Forsythe (July 28, 2006). "Putting Nostalgia in the Cold". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (July 6, 2003). "Of Ice and Men". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (June 26, 2006). "There’s No Business Like Snow Business". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Aaron Forsythe (July 21, 2006). "Snow Big Deal". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Aaron Forsythe (June 30, 2006). "Coldsnap: A Fine Recovery". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Aaron Forsythe (July 07, 2006). "A Walk Through the Cold". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Mark Rosewater (July 10, 2006). "Feeling a Draft". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Rei Nakazawa (June 26, 2006). "Coming in from the Cold". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Doug Beyer (July 24, 2006). "The Italicized World of Coldsnap: Interviewing Cavotta and a Continent". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (May 22, 2006). "Coldsnap Fat Pack". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (July 03, 2006). "Coldsnap Prerelease Card Revealed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (July 13, 2006). "Coldsnap Release Promo Card Revealed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (June 29, 2006). "Jeff Grubb Returns in the Coldsnap Fat Pack!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (August 28, 2006). "The Martyr’s Talisman". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑Magic Arcana (July 11, 2006). "Coldsnap Theme Decks". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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