Last updated on March 14, 2024

Eye of Ugin (Zendikar Expeditions) - Illustration by James Paick

Eye of Ugin (Zendikar Expeditions) | Illustration by James Paick

Worldwake is a small set in the original Zendikar block, released in early February 2010 following the successful Zendikar set. The land-based set was a huge success, in large part thanks to the Zendikar fetch lands like Scalding Tarn, but also because it had cool mechanics and themes. Landfall is a very beloved mechanic after all. So how do you follow this huge hit? By releasing two broken cards cards iconic to this day, that would impact Constructed MTG forever.

This is the set that sold a bazillion booster boxes due to its main chase cards: Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. The interesting part is, these cards were initially underestimated, at least when Jund was the best deck. But then they became the most sought-after cards in MTG for a little while. There’s more to it than this set though, and there are more than two broken cards in this story, so stay with me and let’s see what else Worldwake has to offer.

Worldwake Basic Information

Bojuka Brigand - Illustration by Johann Bodin

Bojuka Brigand | Illustration by Johann Bodin

Set Details

Set SymbolWorldwake set symbol
Set CodeWWK
Number of Cards145
Rarities60 commons, 40 uncommons, 35 rares, 10 mythic rares
MechanicsAlly, Landfall, Multikicker, Traps

Important Dates

Previews startJanuary, 2010
Full gallery availableFebruary, 2010
Prerelease weekFebruary, 2010
Paper release dateFebruary 5, 2010
Launch partyFebruary 5–7, 2010
Release on Magic OnlineFebruary, 2010

About the Set: The Story

Death's Shadow - Illustration by Howard Lyon

Death's Shadow | Illustration by Howard Lyon

Worldwake is a small set, and in the old block structure, it was like a pivotal story moment between the events of the first set and the last. Worldwake’s story is set between Zendikar and Rise of the Eldrazi sets.

Many, many years ago, three planeswalkers, Nahiri, Sorin and Ugin, sealed the Eldrazi on Zendikar by using a Hedron Network. Ugin’s respect and interest over the Eldrazi’s true nature and purpose led him to believe it was better to neutralize them than to attempt to destroy them. This magic could only be undone by three planeswalkers standing on the Eye of Ugin.

Flash forward a few generations, and here we have Chandra, Jace and Sarkhan Vol standing at the Eye of Ugin, which causes the ancient magic to be undone, slowly releasing the powerful Eldrazi back into the plane of Zendikar. Meanwhile, Zendikar’s land itself is coming alive to fight these forces. The lands are becoming wild and aggressive. This story sets up the events of Rise of the Eldrazi, when the three Eldrazi Titans roam the plane of Zendikar once again.

Worldwake Mechanics

Ally

Ally is a creature type that’s treated as a typal mechanic. Whenever you play an ally creature, every ally you control will get their own ally trigger. For example, Hada Freeblade is a 0/1, but when it enters the battlefield, it’ll get a +1/+1 counter from its own ally ability. Later, when I cast Halimar Excavator, Hada Freeblade will get another counter, while the Excavator mills a player for two, and so on.

Landfall

Returning from Zendikar, landfall is a mechanic that gives you a benefit when a land enters the battlefield under your control. In Worldwake, landfall is present on creatures, artifacts, instants and sorceries. Landfall on instants and sorceries only cares if a land entered before the resolution of that spell. On permanents, you’ll get the benefit each time a land comes into play. So, Searing Blaze can deal 1 or 3 damage based on landfall, but not more than that. Avenger of Zendikar will put a +1/+1 counter on your plant creatures each time a land comes into play.

Multikicker

As the saying goes: “Every mechanic is just kicker or a kicker variant”. Here we have multikicker, which is literally a kicker variant. The catch with multikicker is that you can pay the kicker cost as many times as you have mana available. Everflowing Chalice is a good example, allowing you to cast the card for , , , and so on. The more mana you pay, the more mana you’ll get when tapping the Chalice.

Quests

Already introduced in Zendikar, quests are enchantments that gain counters based on certain conditions, and once you reach a set number of counters, the quest is active and you get a huge benefit. An example is Quest for Ula's Temple, a card that’ll check each turn if the top card of your library is a creature, and if it is you’ll get a quest counter. If there’s three or more counters, you can put big creatures onto the battlefield for free. Unlike traps, ”quest” is not an enchantment subtype.

Traps

Traps are a type of instant card that can be cast at a reduced cost whenever a game condition is met, triggering the trap. Cards like Refraction Trap only trigger on your opponent’s action, while cards like Stone Idol Trap care about creatures attacking, whether yours or theirs.

Worldwake Card Gallery

White

Blue

Black

Red

Green

Multicolor

Colorless

Lands

Notable Cards

The Cycle of Manlands

Rare dual lands usually see Constructed play, and these ones can turn themselves into creatures. There’s one for each allied color pair, and they’ve all seen Constructed play across many formats. Celestial Colonnade is still a good win condition in control decks, while the other ones aren’t that exciting nowadays. Raging Ravine saw a great deal of play up until the 2019-2021 power creep. Also, new manlands were printed in sets like Battle for Zendikar and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, so these cards have a little competition now.

Stoneforge Mystic

A white staple creature across many formats, Stoneforge Mystic can get any equipment from your library into your hand and put it into play later. This ties nicely with living weapon equipment with high mana values, like Batterskull and Kaldra Compleat.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

It’s fair to say that Jace, the Mind Sculptor isn’t the best planeswalker ever anymore. It's still the face of this set and one of the most dominant Constructed cards ever. Jace still sees play in a variety of formats like Modern, Legacy and Vintage. The card can give you insane amounts of card selection, a bounce ability and even be your win condition.

Death’s Shadow

Death's Shadow sees a lot of play in formats like Modern and Legacy, being a very cheap and efficient threat. Combined with ways to pay life for benefits, like shock lands, you can have a 3/3 or bigger creature reliably on the battlefield for 1 mana. It’ll be an even bigger creature in aggressive mirror matches once your life total is low enough.

Searing Blaze

Burn decks usually appreciate a spell that can both kill your opponent’s creature and deal damage to them at the same time, and thus Searing Blaze sees a lot of play in these decks.

Avenger of Zendikar

Avenger of Zendikar is also a premier ramp creature, as a 5/5 that’ll give you at least 5-6 bodies. You buff all your plants as you continue to play lands, making this card an army in a can. It’s great with blink effects and fetch lands too.

Arbor Elf

Arbor Elf is a twist on the traditional mana dork, allowing you to untap a land. That of course gets better if you have enchantments that buff said land’s mana production.

Terastodon

One of the premium creatures to ramp into, Terastodon is a 9/9 that comes with three Beast Within effects. You can set your opponent back by destroying their lands, or give yourself a beast and two for them, and you can get rid of problematic permanents like planeswalkers or enchantments too.

Lodestone Golem

Lodestone Golem sees play in Vintage, as it’s easily ramped by fast mana provided by lands like Mishra's Workshop Your artifact spells are unaffected once it hits play, but your opponents’ spells will all be taxed. It’s currently restricted in Vintage for this reason.

Eye of Ugin

Eye of Ugin is currently the most expensive card from Worldwake, and banned in Modern. The cost reduction it offers is really strong in decks filled with cheap Eldrazi, which is also a commonly played typal deck in EDH.

Amulet of Vigor

Another card from WWK that produced its own archetype, Amulet of Vigor sees play in Modern/Legacy decks. The idea here is to nullify the downside of lands coming into play tapped, like the bouncelands (Simic Growth Chamber, thus generating more mana than usual. Combining this with effects that allow you to play more than one land yields good results, and it’s not rare to play a 6-drop on turn 3 with this strategy.

Basilisk Collar

Giving deathtouch and lifelink at a low mana cost is very interesting, and this equipment generates a lot of unique combos. In Modern, there’s the Walking Ballista + Heliod, Sun-Crowned combo, and slapping this card onto a pinger gives you a machine gun. The versatility of the card is awesome at giving deathtouch and lifelink to colors like red and blue that don’t have easy access to those effects, and both mechanics combine well with combat mechanics.

Everflowing Chalice

Everflowing Chalice used to be a mana rock staple in EDH, due to its consistency and flexibility. 2 mana gives you 1 back, 4 mana gives you 2 back, and so on. The mana rock competition is fierce though, but it’s a safe inclusion in decks that can proliferate or in big mana decks.

Bojuka Bog

Graveyard hate on a land is very useful. Bojuka Bog sees some play in EDH, Pauper, and in decks with a land toolbox, being available as a tutor target with cards like Crop Rotation.

Available Products

Worldwake Booster Pack

Worldwake Booster Pack

Back then we didn’t have Set Boosters, Play Boosters or Collector Boosters, so here’s your regular Worldwake booster pack, with a rare, three uncommons, 10 commons and a land.

Worldwake Fat Pack

Worldwake Fat Pack

Worldwake was also sold in fat packs (now known as bundles). These contained eight regular booster packs, plus a spindown life counter and 40 basic lands. It’s also got a Worldwake Player's Guide with Jace art.

Worldwake Booster Box

Worldwake Booster Box

This is your best bet to get a Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Eye of Ugin, although these cards were reprinted enough to drop in price over time. Worldwake Booster Boxes contain 36 Worldwake booster packs.

Worldwake Intro Decks

Worldwake has five intro decks:

Wrap-Up

Searing Blaze - Illustration by James Paick

Searing Blaze | Illustration by James Paick

As Aaron Forsythe would later regret, the set has too much cool stuff happening to be overshadowed by two pushed cards and tournament dominance. The Limited format slowed things down, since triple Zendikar Draft was considered a very fast format. The theme is well executed too, showing the perils of the plane of Zendikar, with the lands coming alive and unable to distinguish friend from foe.

On the power side of cards, it’s hard to fault the set because it has so many cards banned and restricted from competitive formats. Worldwake can be called many things but irrelevant and innocuous. What’s your favorite memory from Worldwake? Were you playing Magic in the Cawblade era? Let me know in the comments section below, or leave us a tweet at Draftsim Twitter.

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