Posted in Arcana on December 27, 2010

By Monty Ashley

We're taking a two-week holiday break and will be back with new stuff on Monday, January 3, 2011. Until then, please enjoy our favorite Arcanas of 2010. This article originally ran July 14, 2010.

Let's say you suddenly gain the ability to turn invisible. Naturally, the first thing you do is sneak into R&D so you can watch them playtest upcoming sets, right? It's every Magic player's dream to get behind the scenes and learn what's coming up!

Well, maybe. Because it turns out that R&D doesn't always use stickers for its playtests. When making constructed decks, some people like to take ... shortcuts. For example, check out these three Magic 2011 playtest cards.

The first question this raises, of course, is "Where in the color pie is '3'?" Also, "Why does '3' cost both and ?"

Okay, the question it actually raises is "What are each of those cards?" Because it turns out that the "3" in question means something else each time.

Jace's Ingenuity

Well, that makes sense to abbreviate as "3". Sure.

Lightning Bolt

Also logical. What else would a 3 that cost mean?

Mana Leak

And that would be our . Interestingly, if that card had had a 1/1 added to it, it could have stood in for Augury Owl.

So let this be a warning to you! Even if you do become invisible and sneak into R&D to watch playtests, you might still not know what's going on.

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