Mirrodin is the thirtieth expansion for Wizards Of The Coast's Magic: The Gathering, the first of the new Mirrodin Cycle, and the first non-core expansion to feature the new card style introduced in Eighth Edition. This set is drastically different from previous expansions, in that half of the cards in the set are artifacts. Most of the card art within the set shows bizarre combinations of man and metal... or goblin and metal, elf and metal, et cetera. It also takes place on a completely different plane/planet than all of the expansions preceding it, and introduces a brand new story arc into the game. The expansion symbol for this set is a sword that looks somewhat similar to the scimitar used for the Arabian Nights expansion.
Mirrodin also adds a brand-spankin'-new card type to MTG for the first time since Legends were added in the set bearing the same name. The type? Equipment. Equipment is a new type of artifact that is played as any other artifact, but functions like a creature enchantment- you pay the "Equip" cost listed on the card, and the ability listed on the card is added to the creature. You can only equip creatures when you could play a sorcery (although there are cards that give you a way around that restriction). You can also swap equipment between creatures at will, provided that you can pay the mana cost of equipping them and it is a legal time. Note also that you can only equip creatures that you control, and that when an equipped creature is put into the graveyard, the equipment stays in play, albeit not attached to any creature (until you repay the equip cost). Confused yet? If not, the new card mechanics will certainly do the trick for you...
Imprint- This artifact-specific ability allows you to remove a card from the game and imprint the card's ability onto the artifact. An example of this is Isochron Scepter, a two-mana uncommon whose card text reads as follows:
Imprint — When Isochron Scepter comes into play, you may remove an instant card with converted mana cost 2 or less in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact
2, (tap): You may copy the imprinted instant card and play the copy without paying its mana cost.
Basically, you now, after imprinting the card, have an artifact sitting on the board that can provide you with a source of perpetual Counterspells, Terrors, or any number of nasty little surprises.
Affinity- This one is a little bit easier. A card with affinity for something (artifacts, specific types of land, et cetera) costs one colorless mana less for each card you have in play that the card has affinity with.
Entwine- This reminds me a little bit of the kicker mechanic from the Invasion cycle... cards with entwine have two abilities, one of which you can use... and if you pay the added entwine cost, you can use both of them.
I think that this set is an interesting new direction for MTG, and will probably encourage me to keep on being a cardboard crack junkie.