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Birds of Paradise Through MTG’s History

Birds of Paradise Through MTG's History


Birds of Paradise, a creature type in the popular card game Magic the Gathering (MTG), have been a cornerstone in the game’s multiverse. Their unique ability to tap for any type of single mana has made them invaluable, influencing deck strategies and the competitive scene for decades. This article delves into the origins, impact, and legacy of this iconic card.

Key Takeaways: Birds of Paradise in MTG

  • Birds of Paradise first appeared in the 1996 MTG expansion Alpha.
  • Its ability to tap for any color mana has made it a staple in various formats.
  • The card has seen widespread play on digital platforms like MTG: Arena.
  • Its versatility has made it a key component in Commander formats.
  • Over time, the card’s artwork and versions have evolved, adding to its allure.
  • Birds of Paradise have significantly impacted the MTG metagame.
  • Various strategies and combos have been developed around this card.
  • The legacy of Birds of Paradise continues to influence modern deck archetypes.

What Are Birds of Paradise?

Evolution of Birds of Paradise Artwork

Birds of Paradise are a creature type found in the popular card game Magic the Gathering (MTG). They are a flying bird commonly found in different forests in the multiverse of MTG. These unique creatures are incredibly powerful and can provide immense value to a wide range of strategies.

Birds of Paradise are one-mana creatures that have been forever imprinted on the MTG game and scene. When played, their basic creature form allows them to tap for any type of single mana. This provides access to any colours of mana a player needs to cast their spells, and can enable a player to field more powerful spells sooner than their opponents. This utility has made them invaluable to all sorts of decks, which has cemented their place in the annals of Magic.

The Origins of Birds of Paradise in MTG

Birds of Paradise is a longstanding card in the Magic: The Gathering (MTG) franchise, first appearing in the 1996 expansion Alpha. Originating from Alpha, the card has gone through several iterations over the past two decades.

Birds of Paradise is a creature with a mana ability, allowing it to tap for any color mana. This immediately made the card incredibly useful to the player, be it in its original printing or in subsequent reprintings. The mana ability of Birds of Paradise allows it to fit into any deck regardless of color, making it a near-ubiquitous presence in Standard, Modern, and Legacy formats. It’s versatility and flexibility has made it a staple in many archetypes, making it one of the most recognizable creatures in Magic: The Gathering.

The Rise of Birds of Paradise in the Arena

The recent explosion of Birds of Paradise in the game of Magic: The Gathering (MTG) can be attributed to its widespread play across several digital platforms. Most notably, the impact of Birds of Paradise can be seen on MTG: Arena where its flexibility and wide range of effects make it a formidable tool to have in any deck’s arsenal.

It offers players a powerful, unique range of options. Its ability to tap for one mana of any color allows players to quickly and easily cast spells that previously could not be played with the designated manacurve of a particular deck. This versatility has proven time and again to be critical in certain matchups; for instance, gaining access to the right colors at the right time can be the difference between a match victory or loss. Additionally, the ability to easily search out these creatures makes Birds of Paradise even more of a force to be reckoned with; decks with a plus-one in terms of creatures are far more resilient than those without.

Birds of Paradise in Commander Formats

Birds of Paradise in Commander Formats

Commander, originally known as ‘Elder Dragon Highlander’, or EDH, is a format of Magic: the Gathering dedicated to 100 card decks featuring a legendary creature as the commander. It’s becoming increasingly popular amongst MTG players, and Birds of Paradise provides an important role in Commanders.

The bird’s combination of power and utility makes it valuable in just about any commander deck. It can be used to ramp out powerful creatures and spells ahead of tempo, or it can be used to set up a powerful combo that can win the game. Birds of Paradise can also disrupt opponents’ game plans by stopping them from casting their commander. When playing with Birds of Paradise in Commander, make sure you consider the impact it will have the state of the game. Going for the early game advantage or setting up the perfect combo can be the key to victory.

How Birds of Paradise Have Changed Over Time

Throughout the history of Magic: The Gathering, it has been a staple card in many decks. The original artwork featured a cartoon-like creature that had long legs, bright feathers, and a beak. Since then, there have been many collaborations and revisions to the artwork, giving the card more unique and detailed illustrations.

The card itself has also changed over time, with more versions being released in various versions of the game. With the release of Core Set 2021, Birds of Paradise became a dual-colored creature for the first time, allowing more flexibility and creativity in deck-building. This new version has found its way into many different decks, proving to be a powerful tool for a variety of strategies.

How Birds of Paradise Have Impacted the MTG Meta

Birds of Paradise have left their mark on the Magic: The Gathering metagame in a big way. This versatile one-drop creature has made its presence known in decks of all colors. With its ability to tap for mana of any color, Birds of Paradise has been a valuable component of many competitive strategies.

By serving as a perfect mana accelerator, it enables players to cast big spells quickly and gain board presence in a few turns. Its ability to provide an early game mana advantage helps players get ahead of their opponents and play more powerful spells early in the game. Additionally, by being able to produce a colored mana, Birds of Paradise allows decks of all colors to work effectively with a myriad of powerful spells. As such, it has become a staple in decks of all colors, from Standard to Commander.

Birds of Paradise’s Role in Decks of All Colors

Birds of Paradise have become an integral part of many decks in Magic: The Gathering, regardless of color identity. It provides an early ramp that can give a player an advantage, as well as an essential mana fixer. Its unique color identity allows it to find a home in any deck, from Mono-Green Stompy to five color Commander builds.

The inclusion of Birds of Paradise in many decks is hard to dispute. Its low CMC of 0 and its Wildcard ability to provide any color of mana means its power level is often far above its casting cost. Its ability to produce a large amount of mana makes it invaluable in decks centred around big mana spells, and it can even be used in the late game as a mana sink. While it doesn’t have any other abilities to protect itself, it can still gain a small advantage as a blocker if need be.

Evolution of Artwork

Evolution Artwork

Since its first edition in the Stronghold set, it has been a staple of MtG’s multicolored decks. With each new edition, the artwork of this iconic card fortunately continues to gain in detail and become even more vibrant and eye-catching. The earliest versions of this card featured a rather basic colored drawing, while others were overlaid with a backdrop of a tropical forest or jungle.

Birds of Paradise has continued to feature more detailed artwork for the past several years, making it one of the most sought after cards for collectors. The most recent version of the card is a gorgeous painting of a lush, colorful jungle scene populated by a flock of avian creatures. The rich background palette and dynamic line work make this card a visual treat for any MtG fan! From the original simple drawing to the vibrant, detailed pieces of later prints, the evolution of this card’s artwork has been a great source of admiration and entertainment.

Different Versions

Throughout the history of Magic: The Gathering, there have been a variety of different versions of Birds of Paradise. Both standard and non-standard versions have been released, spanning several sets, including Alpha, Mirage Chronicles, Unstable, and even the original Y W B B strip set. Each one varies in power level and cost, often depending on unique circumstances at the time.

The Core Set 2020 Planeswalker Decks introduced a new version of Birds of Paradise called Order of Midnight, which Kickstarter lauded as a fantastic addition to the Birds of Paradise family. With a CMC of 1 and flying as well as the typical mana cost of 1G, it offers an excellent option for both aggro and control decks alike. Other popular versions of Birds of Paradise, from Standard and Modern legal sets, include Noble Hierarch and voice of Resurgence. Many players have found creative ways to use them in combination with other cards, allowing decks to shine in unique and powerful ways.

How Birds of Paradise Have Shaped the Competitive Scene

Birds of Paradise is a key component of the competitive Magic: The Gathering (MTG) scene, both in the Arena and tabletop formats. Its inclusion in decks of all colors has proven to be a powerful advantage, granting players a greater range of options when it comes to attacking and defending. The card’s ability to tap for mana of any color makes it one of the most versatile and important creatures in MTG, allowing for creative combinations to be made with minimal cost to the user.

The influence of it stretches beyond being a powerful creature. It has inspired several highly competitive decks, such as Mono Green Pummle and Mono White Control, that have had great success in both international and local tournaments. It also has a notable presence in the Commander format, with decks like Abzan Auras and U/G Planeswalkers being built with this card as the main engine. These decks have established a presence on the competitive scene, and Birds of Paradise is a major factor in their success.

How Birds of Paradise Have Influenced the MTG Lore

What Are Birds of Paradise?

Since their introduction in 1997, Birds of Paradise has become an iconic creature in Magic: The Gathering, appearing in countless card artworks, stories and strategies. They have appeared alongside other powerful creatures, such as:

• Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca
• Kefnet the Mindful
• Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
• Teferi, Temporal Archmage

These powerful creatures have all been influenced by the iconic status of the Birds of Paradise, and the bird’s presence often sets the tone for stories and strategies. For example, in Magic Origins, Birds of Paradise were instrumental in the story of Kiora Atua’s mission to protect the fragile wildlife of Zendikar. In Commander, the bird is a staple of the Golgari Swarm Archetype, and its low casting cost makes it a solid pick in many green-based ramp strategies.

Moreover, Birds of Paradise has influenced magic in more subtle ways. Its colorshifted version, Phelddagrif, has become an iconic creature in its own right, appearing in many players’ casual Commander decks and challenging them to use the bird’s unique “party” ability. Lastly, it’s also worth noting that the card art of the Birds of Paradise has remained largely unchanged over the years, which speaks to its impact on Magic: The Gathering culture.

Different Strategies

When it comes to strategies that make use of Birds of Paradise, there are a number of different options to consider. Aggro decks featuring the card can take advantage of its acceleration to get creatures into play quickly, while control decks can use the mana acceleration to play larger spells earlier than usual. A versatile card like this can also be used in combo decks to generate the mana necessary for a particular combo.

When it comes to getting the most out of Birds of Paradise, it pays to understand how the card interacts with the rest of your deck. After all, it’s one thing to be able to get mana quickly, but it won’t do anything if you don’t have cards in your hand that you can use the mana on. Building your deck around Birds of Paradise can ensure that you are never missing out on opportunities for accelerated mana. Additionally, remember that your life total can be used to enable Birds of Paradise in certain situations. Burning through your own life to play Birds of Paradise can be a strong play in certain scenarios.

Pros and Cons of Playing with Birds of Paradise

The advantages of utilizing Birds of Paradise in competitive MTG strategies are many. For one, its mana-providing ability is arguably the quickest and most efficient in the game. This reduces the necessity of lands and allows players to build their decks with more cards and greater flexibility in the metagame. In addition, Birds of Paradise allows players to access a much wider range of colors and strategies, allowing them to adapt and take advantage of whatever new tricks their opponents may be trying.

On the other hand, using Birds of Paradise comes with certain drawbacks. Firstly, due to its one-mana activation cost, the card is rather fragile and can easily be removed or silenced. Furthermore, its low toughness means that it’s vulnerable to even weak spot removal such as Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. Moreover, explosive openings involving Birds of Paradise can be punished by opponents playing cards such as Blood Moon in order to disrupt its mana-generating ability. As a result, when making use of this card, one should make sure to build their deck in a way that minimizes these weaknesses.

Popular Combos Featuring Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise is a powerful and flexible creature in Magic: The Gathering, and as such it has some popular combos. These combos involve other cards that create synergies with the iconic Birds of Paradise, and they make for some explosive plays.

One of the most popular combos is Birds of Paradise with Mana Reflection. Mana Reflection causes your Birds of Paradise to untap and tap again, which can produce an enormous amount of mana in just a few turns. This combo is popular in both competitive and casual play, as it allows you to ramp up quickly and have a much higher mana base than your opponents.

Additionally, Birds of Paradise has some other interesting combinations. One of the most popular is Birds of Paradise with Lim-Dul’s Vault. This interaction lets you draw an extra card each turn, which allows you to churn through your deck much faster. Similarly, Creatures of the Night can be used with Birds of Paradise to generate more mana and cards. Finally, Kudoltha Forgemaster with Birds of Paradise can quickly fill your board with threats.

Common Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions

When it comes to Birds of Paradise, there are plenty of misconceptions floating around. For example, some players incorrectly believe the card is only relevant in Green decks or they think it’s a weak card due to its low stats. Neither is true!

To be sure, Birds of Paradise is an incredibly versatile card that can be used in any color deck. With its mana-producing ability, it can provide ramp and speed up the game in some cases. Furthermore, its 1/1 frame is deceiving since it can be used in many clever ways to surprise opponents. For instance, many players surprise their opponents by exiling it with Heliod, Sun-Crowned. The exiling plays around removal and increases the power of the Heliod blow-out play.

In addition, while it’s less popular in competitive formats, Bird of Paradise can be splashable in decks of varying colours, allowing for high-level play. For example, it’s a common inclusion in Azorius Control decks as a way to cast powerful spells for a single mana early in the game. Ultimately, Birds of Paradise isn’t just a Green commons that sits on the sidelines – it’s a powerful card that deserves more attention.

How to Counter Birds of Paradise Strategies

If you’re looking for ways to stop a Birds of Paradise strategy, then there are a few options available to you. One of the most effective is to use cards that are effective against creatures with flying. Cards with the reach or flying-blocker type abilities are great choices for taking out Birds of Paradise. Additionally, non-creature spells that offer direct damage or damage-based removal are a good way of dealing with this creature type.

Another good way to counter Birds of Paradise is to use cards that have flash effects. These cards can be used before the Birds of Paradise even enter the battlefield, so they can be extremely effective against surprise plays. Also, cards with enter the battlefield effects can be great choices for dealing with Birds of Paradise that have already entered the battlefield. Cards like Brimaz, King of Oreskos or Siege Rhino offer a great way to remove only the Birds of Paradise and keep your other creatures safe.

Popular Cards That Interact with Birds of Paradise

When considering the popular cards that interact with Birds of Paradise, there are many that stand out. One of the most iconic of these cards is Birds of Paradise itself, which is a one-mana creature that produces two mana of any color when it enters the battlefield. Additionally, the infamous Birthing Pod allows you to sacrifice Birds of Paradise in order to find another creature with a higher converted mana cost. Another popular card that interacts with Birds of Paradise is Courser of Kruphix, which allows its controller to look at the top card of their library and play the Birds of Paradise if they wish.

There are also several other cards that interact with Birds of Paradise. Primal Command allows its controller to search their library for a creature and put it into play, which can be done with Birds of Paradise. Sun Titan can be triggered by casting Birds of Paradise, which allows its controller to return any permanent card from their graveyard back to the battlefield. Additionally, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is another card that can pair with Birds of Paradise, as its effect allows another creature to be copied with haste when cast.

How Birds of Paradise Have Influenced Popular Deck Archetypes

Birds of Paradise has become an integral part of many popular deck archetypes like Green Ramp and Midrange Enchantress. The efficient mana ramp it provides enables players to play powerful spells much sooner than their opponents. This one-drop mana accelerant has enabled decks to move up the curve easily and effortlessly and be able to play powerful early game cards before their opponents.

Birds of Paradise is also widely used in control decks as a counter to aggressive decks. Having access to multi-colored mana early on allows for players to set up countermagic against their opponents’ early threats, allowing the control deck to take the advantage early and maintain it throughout the game. The fast mana it provides also allows control players to pull ahead in card advantage without having to expend their resources too quickly.

What the Future Holds in MTG

What the Future Holds for Birds of Paradise in MTG

The future of Birds of Paradise in Magic: The Gathering (MTG) is sure to be a bright one! With the card’s versatility and power, it is sure to continue to find use in decks of all shapes and sizes. Due to its low cost and low risk of being dead in certain matchups, it will likely remain a staple of competitive play due to its ability to ramp mana and draw attention away from more powerful cards.

In the future, Birds of Paradise is sure to continue to be one of the most iconic cards in the history of MTG. Its art will continue to inspire and its complex interactions will be talked about for years to come. The game has changed a lot since it’s initial introduction, and it will no doubt continue to see changes in the future, but through it all Birds of Paradise will remain a powerful, respected, and beloved card in Magic.

The Legacy of Birds of Paradise in MTG

Since its introduction in design in 1993, Birds of Paradise has become a staple in the world of Magic: The Gathering. It has defined decks styles and formats, and it is credited with revolutionizing the modern competitive scene. The card has inspired countless builds that have shaped the meta for decades, and Birds of Paradise continues to be a valuable asset in many popular decks and strategies.

Birds of Paradise is often seen as a symbol of versatility and adaptability. It is a testament to Magic’s long history and its ability to continually grow and evolve with the times. Its legacy is one of possibility and creativity, which has inspired generations of players and inspired them to explore new strategies and build exciting decks. It has become an important part of the game’s culture, and its influence continues to be felt in the present day.


Birds of Paradise have left an indelible mark on the world of Magic: The Gathering. From their introduction in the Alpha set to their continued relevance in modern decks, their versatility and power have made them a staple in the game. As MTG continues to evolve, Birds of Paradise’s legacy as a game-changer and fan favorite remains intact.

Related Reading:

  1. Birds of Paradise (Magic 2012) – Gatherer – Magic: The Gathering
  • Details about the Birds of Paradise card from the Magic 2012 set. Gatherer is the official Magic Card Database where users can search for the perfect addition to their deck and browse through cards from Magic’s entire history.
  1. Birds of Paradise – Magic 2012 (M12) – Magic: The Gathering – TCGplayer
  • Product details of the Birds of Paradise card from the Magic 2012 (M12) set. The page provides information about the card’s rarity, type, and flavor text, along with its current price points and latest sales date.
  1. Birds of Paradise – Revised Edition – Magic: The Gathering – TCGplayer
  • Details of the Birds of Paradise card from the Revised Edition set. The page offers product details, including the card’s rarity, type, and casting cost, as well as its current price points.
  1. Birds of Paradise – Scryfall Magic: The Gathering Search
  • Scryfall’s page on Birds of Paradise, providing graphical information about the card. The site is not officially produced or endorsed by Wizards of the Coast but offers a comprehensive search function for Magic: The Gathering cards.
  1. Birds of Paradise | Ravnica | Modern | Card Kingdom
  • A listing for Birds of Paradise from the Ravnica set on Card Kingdom. The page provides details about the card’s availability, price, and other versions available for purchase.


What Are Birds of Paradise?

Birds of Paradise are a type of creature in the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering. They are a mana-producing creature that can be used in a variety of decks and strategies.

What Are the Origins of Birds of Paradise in MTG?

Birds of Paradise first appeared in the original Alpha set of MTG in 1993. They quickly became a fan-favorite creature and have continued to be a staple in the game since.

What Is the Rise of Birds of Paradise in the Arena?

Birds of Paradise have become more popular in the MTG Arena format due to their ability to produce extra mana. This has allowed players to use them as a flexible card in a variety of decks and strategies.

How Have Birds of Paradise Changed Over Time?

Birds of Paradise have undergone several changes over the years, including new artwork and updates to their stats. This has allowed them to remain a viable option for players in both competitive and casual play.

What Are the Different Versions of Birds of Paradise?

There have been several versions of Birds of Paradise throughout the years, including the original Alpha version as well as updated versions from recent sets. Each version has its own artwork and stats, allowing them to be used in different decks and strategies.

How Have Birds of Paradise Shaped the Competitive Scene?

Birds of Paradise have had a major impact on the competitive MTG scene due to their ability to produce extra mana. This has allowed players to use them in more powerful and versatile decks, leading to some success in competitive play.

How Have Birds of Paradise Influenced the MTG Lore?

Birds of Paradise have been a part of the MTG lore for many years and have helped to shape the game’s story. They are often used as symbols of power and freedom, and have been featured in some of the game’s important storylines.

How Do You Counter Strategies Utilizing Birds of Paradise?

Strategies utilizing Birds of Paradise can be countered by using cards like Path to Exile or counterspells to remove them from the battlefield. Additionally, cards like Nature’s Claim can be used to destroy Birds of Paradise before they can even enter the battlefield.

What Are Some Popular Cards That Interact with Birds of Paradise?

Popular cards that interact with Birds of Paradise include cards like Soul Warden and Grasp of Fate, which can be used to generate extra mana. Additionally, cards like Mana Reflection and Mana Echoes can be used to increase the amount of mana produced by Birds of Paradise.

How Have Birds of Paradise Influenced Popular Deck Archetypes?

Birds of Paradise have been a part of popular deck archetypes for many years, due to their ability to generate extra mana. They are often used in combo decks and control decks, as they provide more options for these types of decks and can be used in a variety of strategies.

What Does the Future Hold for Birds of Paradise in MTG?

Birds of Paradise are likely to remain a staple in the MTG meta for years to come, due to their versatility and ability to produce extra mana. They are likely to continue to be used in a variety of decks and strategies, and to remain a fan favorite creature.

What Is the Legacy of Birds of Paradise in MTG?

Birds of Paradise have been a part of the MTG meta for many years, and their legacy in the game is undeniable. They have been a fan favorite creature since their introduction and have shaped the game in many ways, from the decks and strategies players use to the meta and competitive scene.

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