Card of the Day - vendredi 25 août 2006
Portal: Second Age uncommon. The Portal beginner's sets were simplified with the idea of easing new players into the complexities of Magic. Because of that, the sets included only sorceries and creatures. However, a few cards were written to allow use at a time that would feel more like an instant-speed card or ability. To do this, the cards always had to include specific directions like this one, saying specifically when they could be used. Another example is Deep Wood, which is basically a Fog, and included the direction: "Play Deep Wood only after you're attacked, before you declare blockers."
Card of the Day - jeudi 24 août 2006
Odyssey common.Like our friend the Apprentice Necromancer, the Overeager Apprentice is an apprentice because he doesn't have the skill to pull off his trick without killing himself in the process. This time around though, there was room for flavor text to reinforce this wizard's dilemma.
Card of the Day - mercredi 23 août 2006
Urza's Destiny rare. Like Voidmage Apprentice, this card was also given the title "apprentice" for humorous reasons. In this case, the joke was that this particular wizard isn't good enough at his spell to pull it off without falling over dead in the process. It's too bad this guy's reminder text turned out to be so long, as this seems like a great chance for some fun flavor text.
Card of the Day - mardi 22 août 2006
Legions common. This card was named as a humorous reference to Kai Budde's Invitational card Voidmage Prodigy. The apprentice is also a blue morph creature with the ability to counterspell, but since it can only counter a spell once it was given the apprentice moniker to reinforce that it wasn't as skilled as the prodigy.
Card of the Day - lundi 21 août 2006
The Dark rare. Even going all the way back to Alpha, blue has often had a sub-theme of interacting with artifacts in various ways. Early examples of this are Animate Artifact (Alpha) and Reconstruction (Antiquities), among others. Over time, this expanded to sometimes include the ability to generate mana to either cast or activate artifacts. Apprentice Wizard was given the ability to generate colorless mana with the idea that it would encourage use with artifacts, but that intention was probably missed by most players. The ability was made more clear with a much later card: Vedalken Engineer. (No comment was available on whether that was the original intention behind Mana Drain as well.)
Card of the Day - vendredi 18 août 2006
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Dissension rare. Lyzolda originally gave a minor bonus for sacrificing any creature, then gave added bonuses if the creature was black or red. The card was later reworked to match the gold cards from each of the other guilds, which reward on-color cards and give an even greater benefit for cards that have both guild colors.
Card of the Day - jeudi 17 août 2006
Dissension rare. This was the card printed in honor of Terry Soh's victory at the 2005 Magic Invitational. At first there was concern that the smile might seem out of place, but after trying versions with blood spatter and other ways of making the figure more menacing, it was decided that having this guy smile while getting ready to commit that particular act is plenty menacing all on its own.
Card of the Day - mercredi 16 août 2006
Dissension uncommon. Coming into Dissension design, the team wanted to make the set's guilds feel more powerful in draft, to make them more interesting to aim for despite coming in the final pack. With that in mind, Twinstrike was actually a common at first, but turned out to be so unfair in draft at that rarity that it was switched with Wrecking Ball to become uncommon.
Card of the Day - mardi 15 août 2006
Dissension uncommon. Rakdos Guildmage went through more revisions than any other guildmage in the block. One version turned out way too powerful, which had a Diabolic Edict-type effect on the black side and a Threaten-style effect on the red side. That made for a particularly nasty set of abilities when there was enough mana to use them in combination!
Card of the Day - lundi 14 août 2006
Rakdos the Defiler
Dissension rare. From the start, the design team wanted to make sure Rakdos couldn’t sacrifice itself. The first solution was making the sacrifice “non-Demon” but that had been intended as a temporary fix until something more sophisticated came around. Once they saw him in action, however, the team loved the way Rakdos played, so the original version stuck.
Card of the Day - vendredi 11 août 2006
Sixth Edition rare. This card is something of an anomaly in that despite appearing in all of the beginner sets (counting Ravages of War, from Portal: Three Kingdoms), it was later removed from Core Sets for being too powerful
Card of the Day - jeudi 10 août 2006
Guildpact rare. Sneak Attack has been a very popular card with players, so R&D is always looking for new ways to duplicate the drama of that card while keeping its power level more reasonable. This one keeps the power level in check by using the deck to randomize the card's effect. With so many ways to know what's on top of a player's deck however, there are plenty of ways to get this thing running, particularly in more casual formats where decks have some time to get set up.
Card of the Day - mercredi 9 août 2006
Torment rare. Mortal Combat was part of a five-card cycle of alternate win condition cards, along with Test of Endurance, Battle of Wits, Chance Encounter, and Epic Struggle. Because each of these represented a different way to win a fight, their names were chosen to include synonyms of "fight". (Chance Encounter fit that less well than the others.) Each of these went with a color, and their win condition was chosen to align with the goals of the card's color. (So green wins by making lots of creatures, whereas black wins by making lots of creatures dead, and so on.)
Card of the Day - mardi 8 août 2006
Stronghold uncommon. The flavor text of this Stronghold card is actually a continuation of the flavor text from Awakening. The word "Charge!" was put at the end of Awakening and also the beginning of Primal Rage as a cue that the pieces were intended to go together.
Card of the Day - lundi 7 août 2006
Alpha uncommon. Released on April 11, 1994, "Revised" was the first base set to have different cards than the previous base sets, Alpha/Beta/Unlimited. (Not counting unintentional exclusions from Alpha like Volcanic Island.) In The Duelist Supplement a justification was printed for each card removed. Berserk was listed as a "spoiler" (too good) and got the following explanation: "Says Richard Garfield: 'Anything which multiplies is potentially abusive. Failure to have a Fog should not warrant 80 damage.'"
Card of the Day - vendredi 4 août 2006
Counsel of the Soratami
Ninth Edition common. Before this was first printed in Champions of Kamigawa, there was an earlier debate in R&D whether "
Card of the Day - jeudi 3 août 2006
Ice Age common. This card originally had a "final" name of "Poke". The name ended up getting killed off for being (potentially) too suggestive.
Card of the Day - mercredi 2 août 2006
Homelands common. Around the time this set was designed (and for some time afterward) R&D members had an ongoing game called, simply, "The Game". Always in effect, it incorporated many different rules and even subgames, but a key was that there were certain "words of power" which, when uttered, could lead to negative consequences if certain actions weren't taken. "Jinx" was one of those words, so this card was in part an inside joke designed to get people to say it at inopportune times. (Another word of power was "shotgun" but nobody managed to work that one onto a Magic card.)
Card of the Day - mardi 1 août 2006
Dissension uncommon. The idea behind this card actually came from an R&D conversation: "How could you make a creature that could block anything?"