Magic The Gathering: Zendikar Expansion Event

Zendikar Ad
I recently started playing the Magic The Gathering card game. I have some friends that are trying to teach me the ropes but I love learning new games on my own through trial and error and online examples. This past weekend, I was invited to the local Zendikar Expansion Pre-Release Tournament on 09/26. I have only played a couple of times so I felt kind of intimidated. My friend Jason told me to come along and just play to have fun, so I did.

When I showed up for the tournament, it cost $25 to register and you were given 6 booster packs to build your own playing deck of 40 cards. I was lucky to have some friends give me pointers on color choices, what to keep, what to set aside, etc. There’s a lot to learn but that’s what draws people. I can see how the game can get addictive the more you play.

Since I was a big time newbie to the game, I prepared myself mentally to get pwned. I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly most of my opponents were and offered little tips on what I did wrong (after I did it of course). Trial by fire is the best way to learn, I always say. One of the bad side effects of my newbage was how slow each round went since my opponent had to explain what they were doing or some of the game mechanics to me. For two of the five rounds we were the last to finish while people everyone else stood around waiting. As you guessed it, I didn’t win a single round or game for the whole tournament but I still had a good time. I played the tournament mainly to learn how to play and hang out with friends.

Keep reading if you want to see the new features in Zendikar.

Zendikar Features

I did some research before the Pre-Release and here is a list of the new mechanics with descriptions and youtube videos created by Magic the Gathering to demo each element with examples.


Ally is a new creature type. Allies are good at teamwork, so nearly every Ally has an ability that does something good when it enters the battlefield, as well as whenever another ally enters the battlefield under your control. For example, if you already control three such Allies and you put a fourth one onto the battlefield, the abilities of all four Allies will trigger! you choose the order those abilities will resolve.


Landfall abilities on your artifacts, creatures, and enchantments do something whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control.


Intimidate is a new keyword ability seen on creatures that are particularly difficult to block. If a creature with intimidate is attacking, it can be blocked by creatures that share a color with it. It can also be blocked by artifact creatures, regardless of what color they are. But that’s it! No other creatures can block it.


Trap is a new subtype that appears on instants. Although the subtype Trap has no specific rules meaning, each Trap has an alternative cost you can pay to cast it if a certain condition has been met.


“Quests” is the nickname for a set of _Zendikar_ enchantments that reward you for certain achievements while playing the game. Not all quests have the word “quest” in their names. Each quest has two abilities. The first ability triggers whenever a certain condition happens and puts a quest counter on the enchantment as a result. The second ability works only if there are a certain number of quest counters on the enchantment. Once there are enough counters on a quest for its second ability to work, there’s usually no particular need to add more counters to it with its first ability, though you are free to do so.


Kicker is an ability originally seen in the _Invasion_(TM) block. It represents an additional cost, and may appear on any type of card that can be cast as a spell.

For more information about the new Zendikar Expansion check out the Zendikar section of the MTG site.

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