Card of the Day - April, 2008

Posted in Feature on April 1, 2008

By Wizards of the Coast

Card of the Day - mercredi 30 avril 2008

Inheritance

Alliances uncommon. Inheritance is on the short list of ways to draw two or more cards using only white mana. Armistice, Convalescent Care, and Pursuit of Knowledge all qualify, as does Planar Chaos "timeshifted" card Mesa Enchantress. Martyr's Cry, Oblation, Spiritual Focus, and Temporary Truce also make the list, though their card draw is more conditional. The latest way to draw cards using white mana? Shadowmoor's Augury Adept.

Card of the Day - mardi 29 avril 2008

Goblin Mutant

Ice Age uncommon. Goblin Mutant, in addition to being a relatively straightforward variant on the equally beloved and maligned Orgg, is one of only 42 cards whose name is the same as its updated creature types in Oracle. Most of these are either simple names that later became generalized as creature types (such as Scarecrow and Phelddagrif) or names that consist of only creature-type words (such as Lizard Warrior or Fungus Elemental), which generally receive all of those types in Oracle (but not if it those words are being used in a different sense—Rogue Elephant and Giant Spider need not apply).

Card of the Day - lundi 28 avril 2008

Evolution Charm

Planar Chaos common. Charms in Magic, going back to the Mirage originals, each offer one of three options. Each of the five Planar Chaos charms has one effect very familiar from its color's slice of the pie (searching for land is a quintessentially green ability), one effect that the color dabbles in less frequently (graveyard recursion is an occasional highlight of green), and one effect from the color's slice of the alternate-universe Planar Chaos pie (flying hasn’t been green’s bailiwick since the days of Scryb Sprites).

Card of the Day - vendredi 25 avril 2008

Tideshaper Mystic

Lorwyn common. Tideshaper Mystic's purpose was to provide a good Merfolk one-drop that could feed into "tapping matters" effects, subtly fix mana, and of course enable the major Lorwyn Merfolk theme of islandwalk (as well as the many other landwalk abilities in the set). Its purpose emphatically wasn't color-screwing your opponent, which could easily prove un-fun on a one-drop (we're looking at you, Tidal Warrior and Reef Shaman). The "only during your turn" clause was added so that you can't shut off your opponent's colors during their turn.

Card of the Day - jeudi 24 avril 2008

Even the Odds

Future Sight uncommon. From the very beginning, the concept of balance has been a big part of white's flavor, from "destroy all" cards such as Wrath of God and Armageddon to explicitly underdog-friendly rebalancing acts such as Land Tax and, um, Balance. The concept of just retribution was tied to white at an early stage as well on cards such as Eye for an Eye and Reverse Polarity. Even the Odds combines the mechanics of a balancing spell with some of the flavor of a retribution spell, showing three new ghost-soldiers rising from the corpse of a fallen comrade.

Card of the Day - mercredi 23 avril 2008

Andradite Leech

Invasion rare. Well before the cycle of rare Invasion creatures that made spells of their own color more expensive, there were leeches in Magic. Even putting aside all the uses of "leech" as a verb in card titles such as Powerleech and Leeching Licid, there were Land Leeches, Mana Leeches, and, of course, plain old Leeches (and, later, Blessing of Leeches). Shadowmoor adds two new cards to that list: Leech Bonder and Leechridden Swamp.

Card of the Day - mardi 22 avril 2008

Moor Fiend

Ice Age common. As the first "stand-alone expansion set"—what we would call a big set today—Ice Age was the first set to explore the problem of hitting all of the staple cards that people expected to be in a Magic play environment. In addition to straight reprints of iconic instants and sorceries (such as Disenchant and Stone Rain) and "tweaked" reprints of old favorites (such as Norritt, based on Nettling Imp, and Essence Filter, based on Tranquility), Ice Age also made use of "functional reprints" such as Moor Fiend (functionally identical to Bog Wraith) and Fyndhorn Elves (functionally identical to Llanowar Elves).

Card of the Day - lundi 21 avril 2008

Shadow of Doubt

Ravnica: City of Guilds rare. Eleven of the twelve hybrid cards in Ravnica started their lives as mono- or multicolored cards, then were redesigned as hybrid cards when hybrid mana was put back into the set during development. The twelfth one—Shadow of Doubt—was designed by Paul Sottosanti when no suitable candidate could be found in the design file for the blue-black hybrid rare.

Card of the Day - vendredi 18 avril 2008

Tourach's Chant

Fallen Empires uncommon. Tourach's Chant is an exact black mirror of the green Thelon's Chant in the same set—the same effect in black and green, hosing Forests and Swamps, respectively. This was typical of many early color-hoser pairs such as Red Elemental Blast and Blue Elemental Blast. More recent color hosers, when they appear, generally have effects that reflect their individual color philosophies—for instance, the Coldsnap / Tenth Edition cycle of Luminesce, Flash Freeze, Deathmark, Cryoclasm, and Karplusan Strider.

Card of the Day - jeudi 17 avril 2008

Wandering Mage

Alliances rare. Wandering Mage is a quirky one, with three unusual firsts. Not only was it the first tribal card for Wizards and the first tribal card for Clerics—both of which would later become supported tribes in Onslaught and Lorwyn blocks—it was also the first card to feature putting -1/-1 counters on creatures you control as a cost, later followed up on by Matopi Golem in Visions and explored further in Shadowmoor.

Card of the Day - mercredi 16 avril 2008

Lichenthrope

Visions rare. Lichenthrope's name, as you may or may not have realized, is a play on "lycanthrope," a common fantasy term for "werewolf" (or, more broadly, for other animal shape-changers) that comes from the Greek roots for "wolf" and "man." Although Magic has wererats, werebears, and the more traditional werewolves, the word "lycanthropy" appears on zero cards, and the word "lycanthrope" only as a defunct creature type on Legends' Lesser Werewolf and Homelands' Greater Werewolf—both now Human Wolves.

Card of the Day - mardi 15 avril 2008

Aboroth

Weatherlight rare. When Weatherlight was released, there was no formal system for tracking cumulative upkeep from turn to turn. Aboroth's -1/-1 counters thus made it one of the cleaner cumulative upkeep cards from a bookkeeping perspective. When the rules were updated for Sixth Edition, age counters were added as a means of cleanly tracking how many times a cumulative upkeep cost had been paid, somewhat ironically making Aboroth—with two types of counters almost guaranteed—one of the messier cumulative upkeep cards to keep track of.

Card of the Day - lundi 14 avril 2008

Serrated Arrows

Homelands uncommon. At the first Pro Tour in New York, the format was "Standard, New York Style," which meant that each deck had to include at least five cards from every legal set in the Standard format of the time. This included the most recent set, Homelands, which was short on powerful cards—leading many deck designers to include this creature-weakening artifact.

Card of the Day - vendredi 11 avril 2008

Glittering Wish

Future Sight rare. In keeping with Time Spiral block's nostalgia theme, Glittering Wish echoes the original five Judgment Wishes mechanically, but it doesn't stop there. Its creative elements also reference the original Wishes, with art featuring the same wish-granting djinn and flavor text built on the same structure as the originals—with a nod to the "gold" cards this Wish will most often find.

Card of the Day - jeudi 10 avril 2008

Disrupt

Invasion common. Disrupt was originally printed in Weatherlight, but when reprinted in Invasion, it was flavored, like many other cards, to represent a moment in the storyline. Visible in the art are Teferi (famous as Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, but also seen on older cards such as Teferi's Moat) and Urza (also featured on Urza's Guilt and Mind over Matter, among others) closing a Planar Portal through which Phyrexian horrors have already entered Dominaria.

Card of the Day - mercredi 9 avril 2008

Warrior's Oath

Portal Three Kingdoms rare. Warrior's Oath is actually the second reprinting of Mirage's Final Fortune, not counting the actual reprints in Sixth and Seventh Editions. It was first reprinted in the original Portal as Last Chance (where it first featured the immortal reminder text "(You don't lose if you've already won)"), but after that version appeared in Starter 1999 it had to be given a Three Kingdoms spin, as shown by the quote in its flavor text: "If I fail, my head is yours."

Card of the Day - mardi 8 avril 2008

Bonesplitter

Mirrodin common. During development, Bonesplitter existed uneasily in Mirrodin alongside Leonin Scimitar, which has the same mana cost and equip cost but grants the equipped creature +1/+1 instead of +2/+0. Some members of R&D felt the two cards were too similar and advocated changing one of them (or moving it off to Darksteel or Fifth Dawn), but ultimately the development team decided that the two were interesting, "vanilla" Equipment cards that would play differently enough to be worth printing side by side.

Card of the Day - lundi 7 avril 2008

Surge of Strength

Alliances uncommon. Like its much later cousin Blazing Shoal from Betrayers of Kamigawa, Surge of Strength lets you "use up" a card in your hand that matches its color(s) to give a creature +X/+0. (Granted, with Surge of Strength, you never have to pay X Mana, although you always have to lose the card.) Weirdly, though, the power increase from Surge of Strength is based not on any property of the discarded card, but on a property of the creature being targeted—any card will do, provided that it's red and/or green.

Card of the Day - vendredi 4 avril 2008

Mana Screw

Unhinged uncommon. Mana Screw was printed in Unhinged, but the idea for an artifact named after this frustrating but integral feature of Magic goes back further—like many other Unhinged cards and concepts—to the ill-fated Unglued 2. The original Mana Screw was a two-mana artifact with this text:

{insert:Cardtitle} doesn't untap during your untap step.
4: Untap {insert:Cardtitle}.
T, Roll a six-sided die: Add colorless mana equal to the die roll to your mana pool.

Card of the Day - jeudi 3 avril 2008

Epic Struggle

Judgment rare. There are many ways to win—or lose—a game of Magic. Some of them are in the rules themselves, from the bewilderingly obscure (if a player would win the game and lose the game, he or she loses the game) to the painfully obvious (a player still in the game wins the game if all of that player's opponents have lost the game—otherwise it would get pretty dull). But beyond the rules, there are plenty of cards—Epic Struggle among them—that cause a player to immediately win or lose the game. All of the ways to win or lose the game were spelled out in this—now out-of-date but still awesome—Magic Arcana.

Card of the Day - mercredi 2 avril 2008

Savage Beating

Darksteel rare. From Relentless Assault to Fury of the Horde, "additional combat phase" cards are an occasional feature of red's—and exclusively red's—arsenal. Most of them are sorceries or can only be played when sorceries can be played, simply because if they resolve during another player's turn, they probably won't do what you want them to do! Savage Beating is the only instant among the group, using the unusual "only on your turn and only during combat" clause to put a useful instant-speed effect on the same card. If you pay the entwine cost, Savage Beating springs out of nowhere and lets your creatures hit twice... twice!

Card of the Day - mardi 1 avril 2008

Fool's Demise

Time Spiral uncommon. Fool's Demise combines Alliances' False Demise with the Rancor-style "deathback" mechanic, but it takes a rather more metaphysical approach to the concept than its predecessors. Previous illustrations of False Demise depicted straightforward ways of cheating death. For Fool's Demise, artists Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai were pointed toward the old False Demise images and told to represent the same flavor however they saw fit. They chose a more eerie, abstract angle—a floating, tentacled ghost-brain lifting up the soul of the deceased.

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