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Magic the Gathering MTG Mercadian Masques booster box contains 36 booster packs with 15 cards each. Released in October, 1999, Mercadian Masques is the first set in the Masquerade block. It is notable for being the first set not protected by Wizards of the Coast's "Reprint Policy". Mercadian Masques is set on the plane of Mercadia, and was the first large expansion to use the new 6th Edition rules. This also was the first set to have an accompanying fat pack. The set contains 350 black-bordered cards (110 rare, 110 uncommon, 110 common, and 20 lands).
Unusually, Masques introduced no new keyword abilities to the game, although it did have several themes that were continued throughout its block. These included:
Rebels and Mercenaries: creatures able to search through their controller's library and "recruit" creatures of a specific type directly into play.
Spellshapers: creatures that had repeatable activated abilities that mimicked various classic spells, potentially turning otherwise useless cards into powerful effects. All of Masques's spellshapers required paying mana, tapping the creature and discarding a card to use their ability.
Masques also reintroduced spells with alternative casting costs, such as Invigorate and Gush. This mechanic had not been used since Visions.
Mercadian Masques has eight cycles:
Depletion lands: Remote Farm, Saprazzan Skerry, Peat Bog, Sandstone Needle, and Hickory Woodlot. These common lands came into play tapped with two depletion counters. Whenever each land is tapped for mana, a depletion counter is removed and the controller adds two mana of the appropriate color to his/her mana pool; when there are no depletion counters left, the land is sacrificed.
Storage lands: Fountain of Cho, Saprazzan Cove, Subterranean Hangar, Mercadian Bazaar, and Rushwood Grove. Each of these uncommon lands come into play tapped and can be tapped either to add one storage counter to it, or to remove any number of storage counters to add that amount of colored mana to its controller's mana pool. These lands are similar to another cycle of "storage lands" in the Fallen Empires expansion.
Instantments: Cho-Manno's Blessing, Buoyancy, Maggot Therapy, Flaming Sword, and Tiger Claws. Each of these common Aura enchantments has flash.
Mongers: Wishmonger, Sailmonger, Scandalmonger, Warmonger, and Squallmonger. Each of these uncommon 3/3 creatures has a cost of three colourless and one colored mana, depicted as strange-looking supernatural beings, have activated abilities costing 2 colourless mana that any player (not just the controller) can play.
Rishadan pirates vertical cycle: Rishadan Cutpurse, Rishadan Footpad, and Rishadan Brigand. When each of these blue pirates creatures comes into play, each of the controller's opponents is required to pay a certain amount of mana or sacrifice a permanent.
Flailing creatures vertical cycle: Flailing Soldier, Flailing Ogre, and Flailing Manticore. Each of these red creatures can be made either more or less powerful, by any player willing to pay the mana.
Unwilling creatures: Charmed Griffin, Indentured Djinn, Enslaved Horror, Hired Giant, and Hunted Wumpus. Each of these uncommon creatures is undercosted for its color and power/toughness, but grants a boon to your opponent when it comes into play.
Walls: Alabaster Wall, Stinging Barrier, Wall of Distortion, Battle Rampart, and Vine Trellis. Each of these common wall creatures has defender and a tap ability. "Vine Trellis" has seen the greatest amount of constructed play.