In Defense of Walls

Posted in Arcana on December 7, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

Time Spiral’s timeshifted cards brought back with them some pretty archaic-looking Wall-matters text.

Evil Eye of Orms by Gore

Why that Wall clause? Why not just call it unblockable?

Carnivorous Plant
It’s flavorful—why would a Wall of Tombstones be afraid of the getting the “evil eye”? But it also served to reinforce the usefulness of walls.

(Back in the day, rules existed to the effect that creatures with the subtype Wall had the defender ability built-in. This rules baggage doesn’t exist today, and older wall cards have had defender added to their Oracle text. Click through the printings of Wall of Roots to see the difference.)

Sure, Carnivorous Plant had the drawback of not being able to attack. But if you controlled one, you were better prepared for a Thicket Basilisk, or an attacker enchanted with Coils of the Medusa, or even the Siren's Call of an Invisibility Nettling Imp.

On the other hand, Bog Rats and Juggernauts could waltz right past your Wall of Fire-based defenses, and Word of Blasting could punish you for the strategy of using walls!

Still, walls mattered in those days thanks to those snippets of text. Defenders still matter today, just with the more flavor-flexible defender keyword, as seen on Wakestone Gargoyle or Slithering Shade.

Just beware of the Tower of Coireall.

Tower of Coireall

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