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Urza's Saga Magic The Gathering Cards

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Urza's Saga is the 15th expert level set, a 350-card Magic: The Gathering expansion set that debuted in October 1998. It is widely regarded as one of the most powerful sets ever released.The expansion symbol features a pair of gears from an Urza machine.

Many players believed that the Urza block was another group of artifact sets like Antiquities because of Urza's association with artifacts and the fact that the block contained many powerful artifacts. This is also the official claim of Wizards of the Coast, even calling the Urza Block the Artifacts Cycle much like how Tempest Block was called the Rath Cycle. However, it was much closer to being an "enchantment-driven" block the same way that Mirrodin was created as an "artifact-driven" block than anything else.[citation needed] The block was initially intended to be enchantment driven in the design stages, but thematically from a storyline point of view Wizards maintains that this block is centered around artifacts. This can be seen according to Wizards of the Coast's "Card of the Day" for June 30, 2005, and in artifacts like Fluctuator and other cards like the devastating Tolarian Academy.

The Urza block ushered in an a new era of combo decks. With Urza's Saga released in the fall, the period before many of the banning and restrictions of many of the overpowered cards in the set is referred to as Combo Winter by both players and Wizards staff.[citation needed] Standard (Type-2) and Saga Block constructed decks were so fast that they could often win by turn three if not by turn one. There are several articles on the Wizards of the Coast website that discuss various tournaments in which players would mulligan down to half their starting hand size just for the perfect initial hand. Many games were simply decided by the flip of the coin to see who would go first.[citation needed] In all, Urza's Saga has had more cards banned from it than any other Block in the history of the game, with cards banned or restricted across all game formats in which the set has been legal for play. Urza's Legacy contains the first card to be 'emergency banned' before it made it to print (Memory Jar). This trend was later continued with Chrome Mox from Mirrodin and Mind's Desire from Scourge which were pre-emptively restricted. Mirrodin, which produced nine cards banned across the Block, Standard, Extended and Legacy formats, and two restricted in Vintage, is the only block that comes close to the sheer power and speed of Urza's Saga. Examination of the block shows, even with banned cards set aside, an astonishingly high number of constructed playable or near-degenerate cards.

Whereas other sets have all five colors of cards referencing the same story, Urza's Saga has each of the five colors showing a different part of the storyline.

Green cards detail the conflict on Argoth, which would lead to the events of the Ice Age expansion. Black cards reveal Urza's failed attack on Phyrexia itself. White cards document Urza's period of recuperation in Serra's Realm. Blue cards explain Urza's founding of an academy on Tolaria and his temporal experiments. Red cards show Urza's alliance with Shiv.

Shiv, Phyrexia, Tolaria, and Serra's Realm are some of the most iconic settings in Magic. Most of the story of this set is written in the book Planeswalker, though the battle of Argoth is from the end of The Brothers' War and the founding of Tolaria and alliance with Shiv are found in Time Streams.

Cycling cards allow a player to pay a small cost to discard that card and to draw another to replace it. In this expansion set, the cost for cycling is always two colorless mana. When the mechanic appeared again in the Onslaught expansion, the costs varied to fit the card.

Echo is a mechanic that requires the player to pay the casting cost for a permanent again on his/her next turn, or it must be sacrificed. Echo cards have lower mana costs than comparable non-echo cards, in exchange for the double payment.All are creatures in Saga and almost all cards with echo are green or red.

Free Spells were a mechanic exclusively featured in blue cards. A powerful group of cards are the Free Spells from this block. These spells allow the player to untap the same number of lands as the card's converted mana cost upon resolution, freeing land for other use. This was abused by decks that use lands that produce more than one mana, and Sapphire Medallion from Tempest. Doing this can produce great quantities of mana and the ability to utilize cards from the Scourge expansion with the Storm mechanic.

Urza's Saga had several "Sleeping" Enchantments, enchantments that would change into a creature when an opponent triggers a condition, usually by playing a certain type of spell.

Saga also contained a cycle of three Legendary Lands, which produced colored mana for each permanent of a given type controlled: enchantments for white, creatures for green, and artifacts for blue. These would prove to be popular cards and so powerful that all are banned in the Urza's Saga Constructed format.

The Rancors, got their name from an enchantment that would be released in Urza's Legacy. They are auras that return to your hand if destroyed or sacrificed. The embraces were a cycle of auras that could turn a regular 2/2 creature into a huge threat.

As a side note, the rules for the Trample ability were simplified in Urza's Saga.

* All cards are Mint/NM and in English unless otherwise specified.
Magic Card ImageAbsolute Grace
Magic Card ImageAbsolute Law
Magic Card ImageAbundance
Magic Card ImageAbyssal Horror
Magic Card ImageAcademy Researchers
Magic Card ImageAcidic Soil
Magic Card ImageAcridian
Magic Card ImageAlbino Troll
Magic Card ImageAnaconda
Magic Card ImageAngelic Chorus
Magic Card ImageAngelic Page
Magic Card ImageAnnul
Magic Card ImageAntagonism
Magic Card ImageArc Lightning
Magic Card ImageArcane Laboratory
Magic Card ImageArgothian Elder
Magic Card ImageArgothian Enchantress
Magic Card ImageArgothian Swine
Magic Card ImageArgothian Wurm
Magic Card ImageAttunement
Magic Card ImageBack to Basics
Magic Card ImageBarrin's Codex
Magic Card ImageBarrin, Master Wizard
Magic Card ImageBedlam
Magic Card ImageBefoul
Magic Card ImageBereavement
Magic Card ImageBlanchwood Armor
Magic Card ImageBlanchwood Treefolk
Magic Card ImageBlasted Landscape
Magic Card ImageBlood Vassal
Magic Card ImageBog Raiders
Magic Card ImageBrand
Magic Card ImageBravado
Magic Card ImageBreach
Magic Card ImageBrilliant Halo
Magic Card ImageBull Hippo
Magic Card ImageBulwark
Magic Card ImageCackling Fiend
Magic Card ImageCarpet of Flowers
Magic Card ImageCarrion Beetles
Magic Card ImageCatalog
Magic Card ImageCatastrophe
Magic Card ImageCathodion
Magic Card ImageCave Tiger
Magic Card ImageChild of Gaea
Magic Card ImageChimeric Staff
Magic Card ImageCitanul Centaurs
Magic Card ImageCitanul Flute
Magic Card ImageCitanul Hierophants
Magic Card ImageClaws of Gix
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