Hints from the Past

Posted in Arcana on December 26, 2011

By Monty Ashley

We're taking a two-week holiday break and will be back with new stuff on Monday, January 2, 2012. Until then, please enjoy our favorite Arcanas of 2011. This article originally ran August 25, 2011.

On Monday, at the end of his annual "State of Design" article, Mark Rosewater dropped some hints about what's coming in Innistrad:

  • A card based on a silver-bordered white card
  • A token-making sorcery which makes more creature tokens than any previous token-making spell (not counting X spells or spells that make a variable number)
  • An enchantment that could let you play all your creatures for free
  • A spell that can deal 13 damage to multiple creatures for one mana (and yes, I mean 13 damage multiple times)
  • Many—and I'm talking more than a few—cards inspired by famous horror stories
  • A card that turns a loss into a win
  • A two-mana creature that lets you make a 2/2 creature each turn for two mana
  • A card that lets you exchange your life total with something you've never been able to exchange it with before
  • A planeswalker with five loyalty abilities

It's obviously too early to tell you what these hints point to. But these hints made us wonder how people would do with his hints from earlier sets. He's been doing these a long time, you know. So we dug into our archive of Duelist Magazine and pulled a few batches of hints from long-ago sets! Let's play!


A favorite Ice Age enchantment returning as an activated creature ability
Ogre Shaman
(from Stormbind)
A blue creature enchantment that might actually see tournament play

A 1/1 creature that can become 2/3 under the right conditions (sound familiar?)
Skyshroud Elite

An enchantment that costs (it was "broken" at )
Mind Over Matter

A new card with "Necro" in the title

Another tournament-level green card to splash into your non-green decks.
Survival of the Fittest
(Or possibly Oath of Druids. We couldn't find Mark to ask him which one he was thinking of)


A two-casting cost artifact that makes all spells cost one less generic mana to cast
Helm of Awakening

A 4/4 creature that can be blocked by ten 2/2 creatures and not be destroyed
Ogre Enforcer

An artifact that lets you look at the top card of your opponent's library and discard it.

An atog that eats time

A 6/6 flying trampler for six mana (and yes, it's a dragon)
Firestorm Hellkite


A nonartifact creature that can be permanently destroyed by Disenchant but not by Wrath of God
Spirit Mirror

A blue enchantment that allows you to play two hands

A creature which can't be counterspelled that will leave blue mages completely helpless

The much-anticipated Elf lord
Eladamri, Lord of Leaves

An artifact called Booby Trap that inflicts 10 damage once your opponent sets it off

Finally, from deep in the bowels of Magic R&D, comes a monstrosity known simply as X4B.


A 12/12 artifact trampler with a casting cost of 1
Phyrexian Dreadnought

A 0-casting-cost artifact that provides three mana of any one color
Lion's Eye Diamond

A red sorcery that provides an extra turn

A green creature that can come into play as a 7/7 with no upkeep for only four mana

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