Shards of Alara
Shards of Alara is set 1 of 3 in the Shards of Alara block. The other 2 are Conflux and Alara Reborn. This page discusses the Set.
The set contain 249 cards and was released on October the 3rd, 2008.
 Setting & Story
Shards of Alara is Magic's first visit to the planes of Alara. Once whole, Alara was shattered into 5 Shards, each their own Plane, cutting each shard off of two colours of mana. Each Shard consists of a Main colour and its Allied Colours. The Block covers the story of the Shards reforming into Alara once more. The absence of certain kinds of mana from each shard has influenced how the Shard has developed and the Magic available.
Bant consists of Green, White and Blue, cut off from Black and Red mana. In their absence, a society without chaos and depravation has emerged, leading to a world of honour, duty and respect. Despite this, wars still occur but are resolved by one-on-one combat, where a single champion of one nation fights another. These champions are supported by their comrades in spirit, leading to Bant's Exalted mechanic.
 Tribes of Bant
Esper consists of White, Blue and Black, free of Green and Red mana. This has cut the Shard off from any natural influences and is a world of artifice lacking passion or chaos. Esper mages control the environment to such a degree as to be able to manipulate the winds of the atmosphere. Esper's mechanic is Artifacts, and introduces Artifacts and Artifact Creatures with coloured mana costs. Also, every creature from Esper is an Artifact Creature.
 Tribes of Esper
Grixis consists of Blue, Black and Red mana, devoid of Green and White. Here, necromancy is the currency of the Plane. Skeletons and Zombies run amok among the Horrors of this world. The mechanic here is Unearth, an ability giving many creatures of Grixis one last fleeting look at 'life'.
 Tribes of Grixis
Jund consists of Black, Red and Green, missing White and Blue mana. Without these providing law and order, this is a primordial realm where survival of the fittest is the only rule. Dragons are the top end of the food chain, preying on everything from Goblins to Lizards. This gives rise to the Devour mechanic, where the more creatures eaten makes for a bigger creature.
 Tribes of Jund
Naya consists of Red, Green and White, without Black and Blue. This world is ruled by Beast-Gods, revered by the Elves who reside here. The theme here is bigger is better! Without death and mind magic, this Plane, fuelled by Green mana, has grown rampant. The mechanic is 5-Power matters, where creatures with 5 or more power can help grant each other more and more abilities.