Original Mtenda Lion

Posted in The Week That Was on October 21, 2005

By magicthegathering.com Staff

Wizards of the Coast is in the process of moving to a new building and will return with new articles beginning Monday, October 24th. In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy this informal week of previously run content relating to Mirage, in preparation for that popular set's upcoming release on Magic Online. Have a great week, and we'll be back to see you on Monday.

Scott Johns, magicthegathering.com Content Manager

(This article originally ran on magicthegathering.com on April 15, 2003.)

The original design for Mtenda Lion, a one-mana green creature from Mirage, was a little more, shall we say, aggressive.

Bagnali Lion was a 2/1 for that could not block blue creatures and did no damage to blue creatures that blocked it. Not a bad color-affiliated drawback… but what blue deck played creatures in that era?! Blue was all about control and countering, meaning the Lion's drawback didn't even affect it in the relevant match-up! Okay, so it was bad against Merfolk, but that hardly makes up for the fact that it is a hyper-efficient weenie in every other situation.

To fix it, R&D created a blue-based drawback that would actually come up when playing against blue decks, and shipped the "can't block" clause over to another green common in the set, Gibbering Hyenas.

The fix worked; Mtenda Lion was hardly seen on the tournament scene.

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