PAX Prime 2015 Recap

The Battle for Zendikar Preview Show kicked off with Wil Wheaton and Ashly Burch reintroducing us to the plane of Zendikar. The show ended with the reveal of a new cycle of dual lands as well as the inheritor of "Hidden Treasures" in Zendikar Expeditions.

These lands will enter the battlefield untapped if you control two basic lands and also feature basic land types.

Zendikar Expeditions is a special set of 45 premium cards. Appearing at approximately the same rate as a premium mythic rare, 25 will appear in Battle for Zendikar and another 20 will appear in "Sweat."

The Battle for Zendikar run includes full art editions of the new dual lands.

Zendikar Expeditions can be played in limited and also any constructed format for which they are legal. Since they are not part of Battle for Zendikar they are not Standard legal. They will be available on Magic Online but will not be redeemable. This is important because Zendikar Expeditions will include these cycles:

Back to the show. First, Doug Beyer was brought up to discuss the state of Zendikar. The Eldrazi were imprisoned 6,000 years ago but are back, scouring the plane and turning it to dust. It took three Planeswalkers to trap the Eldrazi before. Right now Gideon is leading the charge to take back the plane.

Graham Stark from Loading, Ready, Run made an appearance to beg Doug for an art book. Turns out one is coming. On January 5th, the Art of Magic the Gathering: Zendikar book will be released with 65,000 words of world building and back story, as well as art from both Zendikar based blocks.

We heard that Battle for Zendikar will be coming to Magic: Duels. No release date was provided.

Mark Rosewater then came to the stage to discuss the mechanical identity of the set. Using cards spoiled at the Battle for Zendikar event he described the battle between the ancient Eldrazi and the resilient Zendikari.

MaRo focused on these five elements for the Eldrazi: Ancient, Huge, Alien, Interconnected, and Voracious. Their mechanics reflect these attributes. Devoid makes cards with colored mana costs colorless as the Eldrazi predate the colors of Magic. Similar to Rise of the Eldrazi there will be giant common monsters ready to do battle.
Gone are the 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn. These creatures have leveled up into the 1/1 Eldrazi Scions.
Eldrazi now mess with the exile zone. Using the mechanic Ingest, Eldrazi can exile cards from the defending player's library. Then, using creatures with the Processor type, the Eldrazi can take cards from exile and place them in the graveyard to generate an effect.


MaRo also let slip that only a single Eldrazi titan has been seen on Zendikar and it is Ulamog. Where are the others?


On the other side of the battle there are Allies. Using the Rally mechanic, Allies now generate a bonus for your entire army - not just similarly typed creatures.


Landfall is back. Now we will see cards that generate a bonus effect if a specific land type is used. Converge is a new mechanic that rewards you for casting a spell with multiple colors of mana.


The land itself is fighting back. Zendikar is sentient and Awaken allows you to use lands to assault your adversaries.


Before Rosewater went on to reveal the new dual lands and Zendikar Expeditions, he showed off one cycle of full-art basic lands.

Rosewater said that while Landfall was the most popular mechanic from Zendikar, full-art lands scored higher on the survey as the most loved "mechanic."

The full panel can be viewed here:

Here are cards spoiled before the panel.

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Update8.31.15: The Battle of Zendikar Worldbuilding Panel has concluded (full panel added 9.2.15). Here's a rundown. (full panel added 9.2.15)

The panel began with a brief recap of Zendikar's history. The Eldrazi came and were imprisoned, then faded into myth. Here we see them as they appeared in the mythology of Zendikar's merfolk:



Gideon has enlisted the help of Jace and Nissa to help battle the Eldrazi threat. Also fighting the invading horde is Kiora. She left her native plane to bolster her chances in the fight. What she found was Thassa's Bident on Theros.



Ob Nixilis will do anything it takes to get off of Zendikar before the Eldrazi devour the realm itself.



We received confirmation that only Ulamog remains on Zendikar. Kozilek and Emrakul are nowhere to be found. Hard to misplace giant unknowable beings. I'm sure they'll turn up.



The panel then gave us amazing art, both finished product and concept, from Battle for Zendikar.



Both the Art of Magic: The Gathering - Zendikar and Magic: Duels will get a chance to showcase the story moving forward. The episodes of the narrative will be seen every week in Uncharted Realms.


Of course a panel would be complete without a teaser. It appears that the second set in Battle for Zendikar block will be known as Oath of the Gatewatch.

Four Planeswalkers - four of the Origins five - figure prominently in the resolution of this chapter. With the way those hedrons look, the ending may not be so bleak.


There was more to PAX than just the Battle for Zendikar Preview show. Here are some of the other happenings.

2015 World Championship
Updated 8.30.15

Seth Manfield won the 2015 Magic World Championship. After going 13-1 in the Swiss, it took him four games to beat Sam Black and then five games to defeat Owen Turtenwald on his way to the trophy.

Panels

Do you want to work at Wizards? Be a limited wizard? Do you dress like a wizard? Are you convinced Mark Rosewater is a Wizard? Good news then - there was a panel for you at PAX Prime and it was captured on video.

Brains Required, Suits Optional - How to Get a Job at Wizards


Voice for Vorthos


Live to Work


Limited Resources Live
Updates- Panels Added on 8.31.15


From Concept to Cosplay


Best Worlds in Gaming


Devign Time: Design & Development Q&A Panel


Updates- Panels Added on 9.1.15


Blogatog Live Hosted by Mark Rosewater


Play the Game, See the World
Arena of the Planeswalkers: Battle for Zendikar

We got an initial look at the first expansion for Arena of the Planeswalkers and it came complete with spoilers. Let's just say Ob Nixilis is back.

Eldrazi

A massive Eldrazi greeted visitors to the Annex, as well as passersby.


The Battle for Zendikar is coming. Order singles, booster packs and more at CoolStuffInc.com today!

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