Last updated on May 15, 2024

Eternal Witness - Illustration by Terese Nielsen

Eternal Witness | Illustration by Terese Nielsen

The last MTG set from the Mirrodin block, Fifth Dawn, was released in 2004. While it didn’t bring tons of powerful cards like its predecessor sets, Mirrodin and Darksteel, it has some hidden gems worth exploring. Some of them are key in decks across popular formats, like Steelshaper's Gift in the Modern metagame.

Let’s go through each of this set’s mechanics, notable cards, and more!

Fifth Dawn Basic Information

Trinket Mage - Illustration by Mark A. Nelson

Trinket Mage | Illustration by Mark A. Nelson

Set Details

Set SymbolFifth Dawn set symbol
Set Code5DN
Number of Cards165
Rarities55 commons, 55 uncommons, 55 rares
MechanicsScry, Sunburst

Important Dates

Prerelease week22-May-04
Paper release date4-Jun-04
Launch Party4-Jun-04

About the Set: The Story

In a tumultuous journey across Mirrodin, Glissa, alongside her companions Slobad and Bruenna, faces a series of trials and betrayals in their fight against the tyrant Memnarch. Amidst the chaos caused by the birth of a green sun, mutations plague the land, and alliances fracture as the Viridian elves accuse Glissa of their brethren's disappearance. Her own sister, Lyese, holds her responsible for their parents’ deaths, adding a personal layer of conflict. As they attempt to rally allies against Memnarch, they encounter the decapitated head of Geth, a former ally turned informant, revealing Yert's vampiric transformation and Memnarch's insidious plans.

The narrative intensifies as Glissa, Bruenna, and Lyese embark on a perilous journey to Taj-nar, facing relentless attacks and revelations of betrayal within their ranks. Despite moments of triumph, like Glissa's acquisition of the Miracore, their victories are short-lived as Memnarch's forces relentlessly pursue them. Meanwhile, Slobad, once a trusted ally, is ensnared in Memnarch's grasp, his body mutilated and his mind harnessed to mechanize Mirrodin itself. The final confrontation unfolds as Glissa, empowered by the Miracore, faces off against Memnarch within Mirrodin's core, culminating in a cataclysmic explosion that eradicates all life on the plane. Amidst the devastation, hope lingers as Karn, the world's creator, offers Slobad and Glissa a choice between returning to their home planes or awaiting his guidance, signaling a new beginning beyond Mirrodin's shattered realm.

Fifth Dawn Mechanics


With scry, players can peek at the top X cards of their library and then rearrange them as they wish, either putting them back in any order or moving them to the bottom. For instance, a card with scry 2 allows players to decide the fate of two cards: keep one on top, shift one to the bottom, reorder both on top or send both to the bottom. The ability was then popularized in sets like Magic 2011 and Theros and became an evergreen keyword in Magic Origins.


Sunburst is a keyword ability that increases in value depending on the different colored sources you use to cast a spell. For example, if a spell requires 2 mana to be cast, like Pentad Prism, the artifact gets two charge counters if you use two different colors to cast it. What you can do later with these charge counters is then explained on the card.


First introduced in Mirrodin, affinity is a keyword ability that reduces the generic mana cost of a spell or permanent for each permanent you control of a specific type. For instance, Into Thin Air costs less for each artifact you control.


Like affinity, entwine is another keyword that was released in Mirrodin. It allows players to pay an additional cost when casting a spell to use multiple effects within a card, like Rude Awakening.


Summoner's Egg is the only card with imprint in Fifth Dawn (also from Mirrodin). When a permanent with imprint enters the battlefield, its controller can exile a card from their hand, imprinting it onto the permanent. The imprinted card can then trigger various effects depending on the card with imprint states.


Introduced in Darksteel, modular makes its return in Fifth Dawn in the form of Arcbound Wanderer. This ability allows +1/+1 counters on a creature to be moved to another artifact creature when it dies.

Fifth Dawn Card Gallery







Notable Cards


These instant or sorcery spells provide an effect representative of the color they belong to, and each has the ability to shuffle the card into its owner’s library as part of its resolution.


One for each color, bringers are 9-mana 5/5 creatures with trample that have a triggered ability at the beginning of their controller's upkeep. While 9 mana may seem a lot, each can be cast by paying its alternative cost of instead.


These colored-aligned 2-mana artifacts have a special ability of their own and an alternative equip cost that can be used at instant speed by paying 2 of the same mana.

Helm of Kaldra

The Kaldra equipment cycle is now complete with the introduction of Helm of Kaldra. Along with Sword of Kaldra from Mirrodin and Shield of Kaldra from Darksteel, they can “combine” to make a 4/4 creature token known as Kaldra, with each of these pieces of equipment attached to it.


Top Cards

Available Products

Fifth Dawn offers four 60-card theme decks aimed at beginner players.

Fifth Dawn Preconstructed Decks

Fifth Dawn Booster Pack

Fifth Dawn Booster Pack

Inside every Fifth Dawn booster pack, you'll discover a total of 15 cards, consisting of 1 rare card, 3 uncommon cards, and 11 common cards. Additionally, there's the chance of finding premium foil cards inserted randomly within the pack.

Fifth Dawn Fat Pack

The bundle comprises a player's guide featuring images of every card within the set, six booster packs, each containing 15 cards, two premium cards, an exclusive life counter, and The Fifth Dawn novel.

Fifth Dawn Booster Box

Fifth Dawn Booster Box

Every Fifth Dawn booster box is securely factory-sealed and contains 36 packs, each containing 15 cards.

Wrap Up

Krark-Clan Engineers - Illustration by Pete Venters

Krark-Clan Engineers | Illustration by Pete Venters

The last set of the Mirrodin block brought some fun cards to brew with, and some powerful ones, too.

My favorite from the set has to be Eternal Witness, as it enables some key synergies in many formats, with my preferred one being Cube.

Which was yours? Do you miss playing with an artifact-heavy theme set? Let us know in the comments or in the Draftsim Discord!

It's been a pleasure bringing you this information. If you would like to know more about Magic history, remember to follow us on social media so you never miss a thing.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your Magic to your heart's content!

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