(Note: We’re experiencing some shipping delays with Zendikar Rising and have temporarily paused our presale. For more information, see our blog post here.)
Zendikar Rising preview season has officially begun, and there’s plenty to be excited about. As we return to Zendikar for the third time, we get to experience many of our favorite things about the plane: land-based mechanics, full-art lands, and even Expeditions!
We’ll be updating this post through Zendikar Rising‘s release with the latest info on the set, including preview cards. For now, here’s what we know so far.
Zendikar Rising will be Magic‘s third visit to the plane of Zendikar. We first encountered this world of adventure and intrigue in 2009’s Zendikar — Magic‘s first set that revolved around lands. Zendikar is one of the most mana-rich lands in the Multiverse, and the set included several important milestones: land-based mechanics like landfall, the completion of the fetch land cycle introduced in Onslaught, and the inclusion of full-art basic lands in a major expansion set.
But the perilous world of Zendikar proved to be far deadlier than we realized. At the end of original Zendikar block, a monster race called the Eldrazi, who had been imprisoned on Zendikar, escaped from captivity and ravaged the plane. These colorless creatures are among the most fearsome in all of Magic‘s history, and it would take a super-team of Planeswalkers to eradicate them from Zendikar.
In 2015’s Battle for Zendikar, four Planeswalkers — Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar and Nissa Revane — join forces to fight the Eldrazi. They succeed in their quest and form the Gatewatch: a peacekeeping force sworn to defend the Multiverse. Thanks to their efforts, Zendikar can rebuild — but, as Wizards has hinted, the Eldrazi have left an indelible impression on the plane.
Zendikar Rising features products for all kinds of Magic players, including a new type of booster pack. Our presale has begun at CardKingdom.com, and we’ll be adding more products to our site through the set’s release on September 25th.
Zendikar Rising Draft Boosters offer a classic Magic: The Gathering experience. Use these 15-card packs for drafting or open them to see what surprises they contain! Available individually or in 36-pack booster boxes.
Bundles (Sold Out!)
Start building your Magic collection with a Bundle! These compact boxes include ten Zendikar Rising Draft Boosters, a special promo card, a spindown life counter, and enough basic lands to fill your decks. The box is useful for storing decks, too!
Kick-start your next deck with a Zendikar Rising Theme Booster! Get 35 cards from the new set, all centered around a theme. Available in white, blue, black, red, green, and party, as well as Sets of 6 for just $42.99.
If you enjoy collecting cards, try a Collector Booster! Collector Boosters are no ordinary booster packs — they include alternate-art and foil cards that you can use to personalize your decks. Available in 15-card packs of 12-pack booster boxes.
Zendikar Rising will also introduce a new kind of booster pack: Set Boosters. Rosewater breaks down the full contents in both the Comic-Con panel and this follow-up article, but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
- 1 art card from Zendikar Rising (81 total)
- 1 basic land card (can be foil)
- 6 commons and uncommons that are thematically related
- 1 showcase or other alt-art card
- 2 “wildcards” of any rarity
- 1 rare/mythic rare card
- 1 foil card
- 1 token, ad card, or a card from “The List”
“The List” is a collection of 300 cards from Magic‘s history that replace the token or ad card in 25% of Zendikar Rising Set Boosters. Like the contents of Mystery Booster, cards from “The List” will look just like their original printings, with the exception of a Planeswalker symbol in the lower left corner. Wizards has already shared three cards on “The List” — Muscle Sliver, Cloudgoat Ranger, and Pact of Negation — but we’ll have to wait to find out more!
Finally, there will be two new Commander decks coming with the release of Zendikar Rising. Like Ikoria‘s Commander decks, these 100-card precons will be mechanically linked to the set. Each deck features a brand-new legendary creature, two other new cards designed just for the set, and a host of popular and powerful reprints. If you’re looking for your first Commander deck, you can’t go wrong with one (or two!) of these.
Full-Art Basic Lands
It wouldn’t be Zendikar without full-art basic lands! Zendikar Rising features these fifteen basics:
You can find full-art lands in Zendikar Rising Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, and Bundles, and foil full-art lands are available in Collector Boosters.
Expedition Box Toppers
Zendikar Rising Draft Booster, Set Booster, and Collector Booster Boxes will also contain box toppers: sealed single-card packs containing collectible or exclusive cards. Zendikar Rising‘s box toppers will feature the return of Expedition lands: rare and sought-after lands with borderless treatments and alternate art.
You’ll find one non-foil box topper in each Draft Booster and Set Booster Box and TWO non-foil box toppers in each Collector Booster Box. Foil Expeditions are only available in Collector Booster Packs.
There are 30 Zendikar Rising Expeditions in all:
- Ancient Tomb
- Arid Mesa
- Blackcleave Cliffs
- Bloodstained Mire
- Bountiful Promenade
- Cavern of Souls
- Celestial Colonnade
- Copperline Gorge
- Creeping Tar Pit
- Darkslick Shores
- Flooded Strand
- Grove of the Burnwillows
- Horizon Canopy
- Luxury Suite
- Marsh Flats
- Misty Rainforest
- Morphic Pool
- Polluted Delta
- Prismatic Vista
- Razorverge Thicket
- Scalding Tarn
- Sea of Clouds
- Seachrome Coast
- Spire Garden
- Strip Mine
- Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
- Verdant Catacombs
- Windswept Heath
- Wooded Foothills
Of course, the Expeditions aren’t the only exciting cards awaiting us in Zendikar Rising! Check out the latest preview cards below.
The kor Akiri first appeared as one of the partner commanders in Commander 2016. This is their first appearance in a Zendikar set, and they’re an excellent fit for a red-white equipment-focused deck.
Angel of Destiny is one of the most fascinating card designs we’ve seen in Zendikar Rising so far. Crucially, it doesn’t have to deal combat damage to a player in order to wipe them out — it just has to attack. If you can make copies of this creature, you might be able to win big in Commander.
This hasn’t been a great year for aggressive one-mana creatures in Standard, but the tide may soon be changing. Zendikar Rising brings us a 1/2 on its own that can become a 5/3 flyer with the right support. Keep an eye on Archpriest of Iona in the coming months.
When you’re looking for a removal spell, flexibility is key. One mana isn’t much to ask for a spell that destroys a relatively small threat; four mana is a decent rate for a spell with near-universal applications.
Zendikar is restless, and sometimes the land needs to rise up and fight for itself. Crawling Barrens is a flexible, multipurpose card that may just allow you to claw (or crawl) your way back into a game.
The vampire Drana has played several different roles on Zendikar. In Rise of the Eldrazi, she was known for draining other creatures’ lifeblood; in Battle for Zendikar, she was one of the most aggressive attackers. Nowadays, she’s much more interested in bringing creatures back from the dead, and we’re totally here for it. We can’t wait to see what havoc Drana, the Last Bloodchief can wreak in Brawl and Commander.
In original Zendikar block, Jace, the Mind Sculptor became the first Planeswalker with four abilities. Zendikar Rising‘s Jace, Mirror Mage represents a new milestone: the first Planeswalker with kicker! With two copies of Jace on your side, you can churn through your deck and find the cards you need.
“Cowards can’t block Warriors” is one of the longest-standing in-jokes in Magic: The Gathering design. Thanks to Kargan Intimidator and a host of new cards for the warrior class, you may just get to see this scenario in Standard soon.
White creatures have been adept at rallying other copies of themselves since the days of Squadron Hawk. Legion Angel does this well, while foiling spells that remove all copies of a card from your deck.
Some dragons hoard treasure and trinkets; Leyline Tyrant hoards red mana. Use any unspent mana to fuel valuable spells later on — or deal tremendous amounts of damage to any opponent who dares destroy the Tyrant!
The angel Linvala has reappeared each time we’ve traveled back to Zendikar, and this time, she gets a new color! If you’re looking for a commander for a blue-white creature-based deck, Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate may fit the bill.
Lotus Cobra is the first reprint we’ve seen from a previous Zendikar set. This sneaky snake will allow you to generate tons of mana each turn; it’ll be a good accomplice for Uro in Standard, Historic, and Pioneer.
If you’re a fan of extra combat phases, do we have the card for you! Moraug is a great fit for a creature-focused Commander or Brawl deck, and that warrior subtype might prove to be relevant, too.
Nahiri Planeswalker cards have been focused on equipment in the past, and Heir of the Ancients is no exception. With three loyalty abilities you can activate the turn she enters play, Nahiri can find your best equipment cards, generate creatures to carry them, and control the board so you can get through the red zone.
Nissa of Shadowed Boughs is the third Planeswalker to join the squad on Zendikar. Like Jace, she has a keyword ability — landfall — that allows her to gain additional loyalty, as well as two activated abilities. While Nissa hasn’t always been mono-green, this is the first time the color black has appeared in her mana cost.
In his Comic-Con Online panel, Mark Rosewater hinted that a legendary creature would return with a new color identity in Zendikar Rising. Turns out it’s Omnath! This beloved elemental is back and ready to helm your next Commander deck.
Ondu Inversion (Card Kingdom Preview)
Thanks to Wizards of the Coast for sending us a free preview card for Zendikar Rising! Ondu Inversion is a modal double-faced card that can provide mana or destroy everything in your path.
Cleric Tribal, anyone? Whether he’s commanding the team or providing backup, Orah seems like a great fit for a class-focused Brawl or Commander deck.
Roiling Vortex is an interesting new take on the classic red enchantment Sulfuric Vortex. While it deals less damage to players each turn, Roiling Vortex will punish any opponent who casts a spell without paying its mana cost.
If you enjoyed playing with Hedron Crab in original Zendikar block, Ruin Crab will be right up your alley. Zendikar Rising has plenty of aggressive creatures, by the looks of things, so Ruin Crab‘s extra point of toughness may be relevant.
Move over, Death’s Shadow! Scourge of the Skyclaves benefits the most when both players’ life totals go down, so it’ll be right at home in formats like Modern, where it’s common to take damage from lands.
Sea Gate Stormcaller has caused quite a stir in the competitive community and might be the most polarizing card we’ve seen all preview season. It has a decent enough floor, but we’re excited to test it out and see how high the ceiling goes.
Skyclave Apparition is the latest “conditional exile” effect that white has received in recent years, and it’s a powerful one. It’s also a spirit, which makes it a potential inclusion in tribal Spirits decks.
So long, Ugin! This instant will send Planeswalkers packing, even if your permanents gain protective abilities like hexproof.
Black and Green seem to have a +1/+1 counters theme in Zendikar Rising, and Swarm Shambler will fit right in. This unsuspecting fungus can grow out of control, and if it dies, you’ll still get an insect token for your trouble.
Abandon all hope, all ye who enter. Taborax has the potential to be a truly terrifying creature, and it seems like an excellent addition to an Aristocrats-style deck.
Need to fill out your party? You will soon with Tajuru Paragon! Between its static and kicker abilities, you should be able to add at least two classes to your party in no time.
In Oath of the Gatewatch, General Tazri was one of the strongest supporters of the ally creature type. These days, she’s still fighting for her allies, but she’s also working to bring a diverse party together. If you play your cards right, she’ll also cost just a single white mana, which is great when you’re dealing with potential commander taxes.
Sometimes, you need more mana sources to cast your spells; sometimes, you have all the mana you need and nothing to do with it. Valakut Awakening splits the difference and is one of the best examples of a modal card that will help make decks more consistent.
This tricky creature basically has ninjutsu, but for rogues! Put Zareth San into play and it’ll bring the best card in your opponent’s graveyard along with it.