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SYFY WIRE Magic: The Gathering

Exclusive: Magic: The Gathering invites gamers to Base Camp with this Zendikar Rising card reveal

By Jacob Oller
Magic: the Gathering Base Camp art

Magic: The Gathering pulled out all the stops last week for its deep-dive into its newest expansion set, Zendikar Rising, offering up a detailed look into the long-running card game's future alongside sneak peeks at upcoming geeky collaborations (like one with The Walking Dead). But the set was still the star of the show. Wizards of the Coast showed off a few new gameplay mechanics, Planeswalkers, and more - but they didn't reveal everything. Now SYFY WIRE has a card of its own to show off and it's one that bridges a few of the set's key elements.

Zendikar, as was reiterated in the set's cinematic trailer, is a land rich with powerful mana. And "land" is very literal there. "The original Zendikar was conceived as a 'lands matter' set, and Zendikar Rising continues that proud tradition by bringing back landfall," wrote Magic's Matt Tabak. Landfall, an ability that does something extra whenever a player's land enters the battlefield, is just one of the new mechanics coming along with the set, but it's one - as well as the Party mechanic - that's most important to SYFY WIRE's card. Why? Because it's a land!

SYFY WIRE can exclusively reveal Base Camp, a new colorless land, and its high-def art by Jokubas Uogintas.

Take a look:

Players will note that, aside from getting a single colorless mana for tapping Base Camp, they can get a mana of any color if they look to play a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, or Wizard (or activate one's abilities). If that sounds like Dungeons & Dragons, that's because it's supposed to.

"All of us had played Dungeons & Dragons where we had a motley crew of different characters roaming through an adventure," Magic designer Mark Rosewater wrote. "Original Zendikar had hit this trope with Allies, but maybe there was a way to execute the idea differently."

Gathering a party is just as beneficial in Magic as D&D now, and Base Camp makes it all easier - especially for a multicolor deck that might need some flexibility. Add in the new Landfall cards that reward playing more lands and Base Camp is a double whammy of Zendikar goodness. Combining it all into one card makes it a staple players have seen in different iterations over different sets.

“One of the beautiful things about a land theme is that all you have to do to make it relevant for your land mechanics is make it a land," Mark Rosewater, Head Designer, Magic: The Gathering told SYFY WIRE over email. "Base Camp started because we wanted a card to help color fix decks playing the party theme, which tends to push you into more colors, so we used a card design we've used many times before where the card taps for colored mana only if you're using it for the theme we care about. The fact that this was a land allowed us easily to bridge the gap between the two biggest themes of our set.”

Magic: the Gathering's Zendikar Rising hits its online game Arena on Sept.17 and hard copy cards on Sept. 25.