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Winner of the 2009 Origins Award for Best Collectible Card Game Expansion of the Year, Shards of Alara is set 1 of 3 in the Alara block and contains 249 Cards (15 mythic, 53 rare, 60 uncommon, 101 common, 20 basic lands)
Shards of Alara is best known for introducing the Mythic rarity into Magic. More rare than your typical rare, Mythics are some of the most powerful cards printed in the set.
Alara was whole once. But that was millennia ago. Where once there was a plane, now there are five: the Shards.
The plane of Alara was a world rich with mana, a world in balance...until the Sundering. In a cataclysm of unimaginable proportions, Alara was rent asunder into five separate worlds, each a refraction of the others.
The cause of this cataclysm has been lost to time. Some ancient lore of the Shards suggest a being of godlike power forcibly split Alara to seize its mana for himself. Some believe it was caused by the titanic battle for the fate of Alara, waged by the archangel Asha and the demon Malfegor. But for most, only the dimmest cultural memories remain of a richer world that existed before their own.
Whatever the cause of the splitting, one thing is clear: The Shards have become very different places in the time since the Sundering. Each plane was all but severed from two of the five colors of mana. The Shard of Bant, for example, lost almost all its black and red mana, maintaining only white, blue, and green.
This mana imbalance caused the Shards to evolve in wildly distinct directions over the course of thousands of years. Now only hints of a common ancestor plane remain on the five worlds, and their environments and denizens could hardly differ more.
Kresh the Bloodbraided
Mayael the Anima
Prince of Thralls
Rafiq of the Many
Sedris, the Traitor King
Sharuum the Hegemon
Tezzeret the Seeker