Magic: The Gathering

Shards of Alara block

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The Shards of Alara block is the fifteenth block.

It was released in ????-???? and consists of the following sets.



Much of the Alara Block focuses on multicolored spells, specifically triple-colored spells, along with some dual-colored spells.


There were a few mechanics introduced in the block, along with some mechanics from previous sets. Some mechanics revolved around the five Shards of Alara, the five worlds Alara was split into.


Reminder Text: Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Rules/Tips: If you have multiple creatures with Exalted, each of those creatures gives a lone attacker that many +1/+1 bonuses. For example, if you controlled four creatures, and they all had Exalted, and one of them attacked, that one attacker would get +4/+4 until end of turn. It doesn't matter which creature you control is attacking, and as long as one creature you control has Exalted, any creature can get the bonus. Exalted was also featured on some enchantment cards.

Story: The mechanic came from the Bant shard, and it was based on the belief of "The power of the army in the individual". A similar quote was expressed by Wizards of the Coast.

Colored Artifacts

Rules/Tips: Although not a mechanic, it was fairly new in Magic. But, there were already cards like Sarcomite Myr and Reaper King from previous sets that were colored artifacts, but this was the first time the idea was greatly expanded on. All artifacts and artifact creatures in the block were monocolored or multicolored, and a majority were either white, blue, or black. However, some in the Alara Reborn set were red or green. It was also in Alara Reborn that there were multicolored equipment cards, such as Shield of Righteousness. Many artifacts in the block cared about how many artifacts were in play, and many others affected artifacts.

Story: The new theme came from the Esper shard, and was based on the belief that anything equipped with the magical alloy Etherium could be perfect. This led to artifact creatures. A popular Esper theme was Sphinxes, that were either monoblue or white, blue, and black. There were also vedalkens and humans.


Reminder Text: By paying this creature's unearth cost, return it from your graveyard to play. It has haste. Exile it at end of turn or at any time it would leave play. Unearth only as a sorcery.

Rules/Tips: A new mechanic, it could raise your creatures from the grave for a turn. Most unearth costs were relatively cheap, most of the time only costing three mana. But with the powerful Sedris, the Traitor King, all of your creatures in your graveyard have unearth.

Story: The theme came from the Grixis shard, and was based on raising minions from the grave for a final attack. Grixis was blue, black, and red aligned, and most cards showed this. Cards like Fire-Field Ogre had blue, black, and red mana symbols in their mana costs as well as in their unearth cost. A popular Grixis card was Sedris, the Traitor King.


Reminder Text: As this creature enters the battlefield, sacrifice any number of creatures. This creature enters the battlefield with that many +1/+1 counters on it.

Rules/Tips: Not a new mechanic, but it fit well with the "food chain" theme of the Jund shard.

Story: On the shard of Jund, bad things happen, most of the time when you get eaten. The devour mechanic shows this very well.

Powerful Creatures

Rules/Tips: Not a mechanic, but on the Naya shard of Alara, many cards cared about creatures with power 5 or greater. Many creatures were also power 5 or greater. (Card: Godsire) There were also elves and humans on the Naya shard, and they too affected big creatures.

Story: Naya is a lush jungle habitat with lots of Gargantuans, or giant gods, that elves and humans worship. The leonin of Naya, however, believe them to be dumb beasts. This is depicted in the Shards of Alara block novel, Alara Unbroken, when Ajani says it himself.


Introduced in previous sets, this affected how many types of basic lands you had in play. If you were playing with a five-colored deck, this would be a good keyword to take advantage of.


Reminder Text: When you cast this spell, you may flip cards from the top of your library until you flip over a nonland spell that costs less than the converted mana cost of this spell. You may cast it without paying it's mana cost. Put the rest of the flipped cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.

Rules/Tips: Introduced in Alara Reborn, it was a powerful keyword that would give you a bonus spell "without knowing what it is".

Ice AgeMirageTempestUrza'sMasques
RavnicaTime SpiralLorwynShadowmoorShards of Alara
ZendikarScars of MirrodinInnistradReturn to RavnicaTheros
Khans of TarkirBattle for ZendikarShadows over InnistradKaladesh

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