We recommend you have a look through the Scars of Mirrodin Frequently Asked Questions document before you head out to a pre-release or release / launch party event in order to appear like the smartest player there - it may even make your games more effective.
The Scars of Mirrodin set contains 249 cards (101 common, 60 uncommon, 53 rare, 15 mythic rare, and 20 basic land).
Prerelease events: September 25-26, 2010
Launch Parties: October 1-3, 2010
The Scars of Mirrodin set becomes legal for sanctioned Constructed play on its official release date: Friday, October 1, 2010.
Scars of Mirrodin FAQ
Returning Theme: -1/-1 Counters
Many cards in the Scars of Mirrodin set put -1/-1 counters on creatures or care about -1/-1 counters in other ways. Infect appears only on cards from the Phyrexian faction.
Returning Theme: Poison Counters
A player who has ten or more poison counters loses the game. This is a state-based action. No Scars of Mirrodin cards enable a player to lose poison counters. (Only one card in the entire game -- the Homelands_(TM) card Leeches -- allows this to happen.) Unless you're playing a format in which Leeches is legal, once a player gets a poison counter, he or she will have it for the rest of the game.
New Keyword Ability: Infect
Infect is an ability that changes the nature of damage dealt to players and creatures. Only cards from the Phyrexian faction have infect. Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Returning Ability Word: Imprint
Though originally printed in the Mirrodin block as a keyword, imprint is now an ability word. It appears in italics at the beginning of abilities, calling attention to permanents that exile other cards and then use the exiled cards' characteristics to define their other abilities. (An ability word has no rules meaning.) Imprint appears only on cards from the Mirran faction.
New Ability Word: Metalcraft
Metalcraft is an ability word. It appears in italics at the beginning of abilities that improve if you control three or more artifacts. (An ability word has no rules meaning.) Metalcraft appears only on cards from the Mirran faction.
New Keyword Action: Proliferate
Proliferate is a keyword action that appears on Phyrexian cards. It allows you to add another counter to each player and/or permanent that already has one.
Emblems and the Command Zone
An emblem is a new type of object that exists in the command zone. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized objects, such as nontraditional _Magic_ cards (vanguard, plane, and scheme cards). Like all objects in the command zone, emblems aren't permanents and can't be destroyed.
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five Spellbombs, a variation of a cycle originally seen in the _Mirrodin(R)_ set. The second ability triggers when the Spellbomb is put into a graveyard from the battlefield for any reason, not just as a result of sacrificing it to activate its first ability.
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five Smiths, each of which is a creature with an ability that triggers whenever you cast an artifact spell. Whenever you cast an artifact spell, the ability of each Smith you control triggers. You can put the abilities on the stack in any order, keeping in mind that the one you put on the stack last will resolve first. All of the abilities will resolve before the artifact spell does.
Cycle: Scars of Mirrodin Tap Lands
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five lands that produce two colors of mana and enter the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
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