Labyrinth: Concepts, Themes, Mechanics

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Mechanics | Concepts, Themes, Mechanics


Not really a story for this set. Might work on one later. :/

I like the idea of a Labyrinth that is haunted and/or occupied by something unknown. There is a gothic horror element and an insanity theme.


We'll say the entire plane is a hollow world, a giant network of caves and tunnels, both natural and man-made.

White White gets spirits as it's main tribe.

White does not have card drawing, but it does have many cards with Balance-esque effects.

Plains are long stretches of empty cave chamber.

Blue Blue gets the fae and illusions as it's main tribe.

Blues card drawing is as usually mana dependent. Blue also has a lot of cantrips.

Islands are mostly flooded chambers with stalagmites rising out of them.


Black gets horrors and nightmares, as they are wonderfully thematic creatures for a horror-genre based set.

Black's card drawing requires payment of life, or sacrifice of creatures or other permanents. Black also features many discard effects, and hand reducing effects.

Swamps are, in the caves, large pools of stagnant water and/or tar pits.


Red gets dwarves, as I like dwarves and it makes sense that they'd live in a massive underground cave system. These dwarves are scholars of a sort, but I imagine them to be more like the Duergar from Shadowmoor. See Duergar Cave-Guard, Duergar Hedge-Mage, Duergar Assailant, Duergar Mine-Captain for an idea of what I'm talking about.

Dwarven (Dwarrow) clans are: Leadfoot; Ironhand; Silvertongue;

Red has a few cantrips, and card drawing that requires discarding, or at the cost of one's hand.

Mountains are massive stalagmites and stalactites.


Green's card drawing is conditional, in some cases it is based on the number of lands you possess (see: Woodland Lore), in other cases the number of creature cards in your graveyard (see: Nature's Resurgence).



Card drawing, dredge, and erode all help you succeed in milling your opponent and represent the loss of sanity the inhabitants, including the planeswalkers, are suffering from.

Graveyard Matters

Hand Matters


Erode (This deals damage to players in the form of putting the top card of that player's library into his or her graveyard.)

Allows players to aggressively mill an opponent with their creatures, rather than focusing on an opponents life total. Primarily found on blue and black creatures. Makes a small appearance in red.

Note: I didn't create this mechanic. I'm 'borrowing' it from Mr. Orange aka Evan Erwin, from

Dredge X (If you would draw a card, instead you may put exactly X cards from the top of your library into your graveyard. If you do, return this card from your graveyard to your hand. Otherwise, draw a card.)

Originally from Ravinca Block, dredge is a recursion mechanic keyword allowing you to mill yourself to get your cards back. Green is able to return creatures and lands, black is able to return creatures, blue is able to return instants and sorceries, white is able to return enchantments. There is no dredge in red.

Hellbent (~ gets [effect] as long as you have no cards in hand.)

Also, originally from the Ravinca Block, Hellbent is an ability word that rewards you for having no hand. Primarily in red and black, also appears in green and white.


Never keyworded, this mechanic has been around since Magic's beginning an encompasses a large range of effects. From Library of Alexandria and Ensnaring Bridge to Okina Nightwatch and Psychosis Crawler, 'wisdom' effects are everywhere. Appears primarily in green and blue.


While perhaps not a keyword, it is nonetheless a mechanic. Enables players to keep a full hand and tempo.

Updated on 27 Apr 2012 by DrugsForRobots