Card of the Day - mardi 31 janvier 2006
Guildpact uncommon. "Doubling effects" were avoided in design for quite some time after Berserk was considered abusive, but since then they have been making a comeback. Fifth Dawn alone featured three such cards: Solarion, Doubling Cube, and Beacon of Immortality. Don't expect a card like Feral Animist to get printed with trample any time soon though!
Card of the Day - lundi 30 janvier 2006
Guildpact common. Gold cards with two abilities often tend to have either two synergistic abilities or two that are completely opposite. Interestingly, although green and red are allies, they specialize in opposites when it comes to controlling combat. Green is most often the color of forcing blocking (though Red dabbles here as well), and Red is the best color at forcing non-blocking.
Card of the Day - vendredi 27 janvier 2006
Tibor and Lumia
Guildpact rare. Sometimes giving two different abilities to a gold card based on the colors that make it up leads to a combined effect that is considerably stronger than the effects taken separately. In this case, the ability to give flying to your creatures is much more important when the card can create an Earthquake-like effect as well.
Card of the Day - jeudi 26 janvier 2006
Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Guildpact rare. Sometimes art for a card is commissioned for other use as well, such as product packaging or a book cover. Because of the dimensions involved, the different versions sometimes show different things. In the full vertical version used for the Guildpact novel, Teysa is shown hiding a knife, which completely changes the feel of the piece, particularly if you're that guy in the background!
Card of the Day - mercredi 25 janvier 2006
Guildpact rare. Unlike other clans, the Gruul don't actually have a true leader that's in charge of the entire guild. It's not just that the leadership role is contested (like the Golgari); there just isn't actually a full-blown leader role as the Gruul are organized loosely at best. Borborygmos just happens to be the biggest badass of the biggest clan. Note that his name was inspired by "borborygmus" (the name for stomach rumbling), highlighting the basic, primal nature of the guild.
Card of the Day - mardi 24 janvier 2006
Ghost Council of Orzhova
Guildpact rare. This card's ability was printed to give players more options for enabling their haunt cards. Flavorfully, it's no coincidence that the minions of the guild are at their best when the Ghost Council is there to manipulate them, maximizing your profit at the minions' expense.
Card of the Day - lundi 23 janvier 2006
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Guildpact rare. Guildpact has a higher ratio of multicolor cards for its size than any other Magic set ever printed. This gold card in particular has been generating a lot of email. Not sure what the flavor text means? Check the message boards from Matt Cavotta's article "Niv-Mizzet, the Fountainhead."
Card of the Day - vendredi 20 janvier 2006
Ravnica rare. One of the challenges for designing red cards is capturing a flavor of chaos that goes beyond just coin-flipping. Mindmoil is the latest in a series of cards looking for new ways to expand and explore a love for chaos. The idea behind Mindmoil is to create an environment that better favors the erratic red mage, because it gives them the environment they crave. The way this card plays out also represents red's "in the moment" feel, as this card rewards just playing out spells each turn rather than saving up for some long plan down the road. Red mages want their spells now!
Card of the Day - jeudi 19 janvier 2006
Ravnica rare. A lot of debate went into naming this card. Early on, many of Magic's card names were more reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons feel. Over time, Magic has developed its own stylistic feel. The issue was that it clearly runs parallel to Alpha's Copy Artifact, but some felt that "Copy Enchantment" didn't fit as well in Magic's modern naming style (there's not really any flavor at all in that name, just a functional description). It went back and forth, but in the end nostalgia won out and the card was named in homage of its Alpha brother.
Card of the Day - mercredi 18 janvier 2006
Ravnica uncommon. Forcing creatures to attack has been around since the very beginning of the game. Despite this generally being seen as a red ability, the Alpha set had both Siren's Call (blue) and Nettling Imp (black). In the current color pie forcing a creature to attack is primarily red because it often represents stirring up a creature's passion or anger. That's also why these kinds of red affects are typically temporary - manipulating emotion tends to be an "in the moment" kind of thing, which is right up red's alley.
Card of the Day - mardi 17 janvier 2006
Ravnica common. The actual power level of specific cards can often fluctuate greatly depending on the rest of the format around that card. A common example of this is how in older Limited formats Shatter was marginal as a starting card, but in Mirrodin block it was outstanding. White has had eighteen 1-power fliers for two mana, and their usefulness in Limited formats has varied pretty wildly. Thanks to Selesnya's convoke ability, a cheap flier with Vigilance is considerably better in Ravnica than it may have been in other sets.
Card of the Day - lundi 16 janvier 2006
Ravnica uncommon. Big numbers often mean big size in Magic, but that's only part of the story when it comes to creature cards. Flavor-wise, how the numbers combine can tell more. In this case, the high power reflects the golem's physical size and strength (and sharpness!), while the very low toughness (by contrast) represents the fragile material it has been crafted from.
Card of the Day - vendredi 13 janvier 2006
Ravnica rare. We got a lot of email on this card at first because some players were seeing it on sites other than magicthegathering.com and getting confused by the formatting those sites used. "Flying creatures can't attack you? That doesn't seem very good for 9 mana!"
Card of the Day - jeudi 12 janvier 2006
Leave No Trace
Ravnica common. Of the ten radiance cards in Ravnica, Leave No Trace is the only one that doesn't target a creature. The card didn't exist in the original design file for Ravnica because radiance targeted a creature by definition. It was made possible once radiance was changed to the ability that ended up being printed on the cards.
Card of the Day - mercredi 11 janvier 2006
Ravnica uncommon. Changing an effect from an instant card to a creature ability typically makes the effect much more powerful, since it is generally repeatable and comes with the benefits of the creature it's attached to. To offset this, the activation cost is often more expensive than the spell version. In this case, Drooling Groodion essentially has the ability to cast Consume Strength for the added cost of a creature to sac (to offset the repeatability) and another mana.
Card of the Day - mardi 10 janvier 2006
Hour of Reckoning
Ravnica rare. For this block's "Wrath" variant, the designers wanted a card that punished regular creatures but rewarded tokens. Tokens were spared on this card for three reasons: Making the convoke ability more interesting (since using tokens to cast it lowers the casting cost but keeps your tokens around), because white is a member of the Selesnya guild, and because Ravnica pushes tokens thematically.
Card of the Day - lundi 9 janvier 2006
Ravnica common. Vedalken Dismisser was actually inspired by a Duel Masters card. Designed by Aaron Forsythe, it's almost an exact translation of Corile except that it costs one more mana.
Card of the Day - vendredi 6 janvier 2006
Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
Ravnica rare. For each of Ravnica's guilds, there is a legendary creature that is not the guild's leader. Each member of this second cycle of legendary guild creatures doubly rewards players for using cards of both colors of their respective guilds. The others in this cycle are Tolsimir Wolfblood, Circu, Dimir Lobotomist, and Savra, Queen of the Golgari. (Note that Savra is a special case, as the leadership of the Golgari guild is contested.)
Card of the Day - jeudi 5 janvier 2006
Ravnica uncommon. Many gold cards are created by adding one ability for each color in the mana cost (such as Selesnya Sagittars). However, another way to create gold cards is by identifying an area where both colors overlap, and then giving them something better than normal. Because red and white overlap on the first strike ability, the Boros Swiftblade was given double strike and costed more aggressively since both colors contribute to this one ability. Other examples of this approach would be Heroes' Reunion (green and white are both good at life gain) and even Watchwolf (green and white both have good weenie creatures).
Card of the Day - mercredi 4 janvier 2006
Ravnica common. Ravnica's hybrid cards open up a lot of new design space. One of the more subtle changes is that, thanks to hybrid, Magic can now have cards that are intrinsically multi-colored despite only having a casting cost of 1, something that was impossible with the original gold cards.
Card of the Day - mardi 3 janvier 2006
Razia, Boros Archangel
Ravnica rare. The more abilities a creature has, the more important it is that those abilities make some kind of sense together. Razia is a great example of this working well, as even any two of vigilance, haste, and the ability to tap to prevent damage work very synergistically.
Card of the Day - lundi 2 janvier 2006
Ravnica rare. The holy warriors of the Boros guild's upper echelon, Firemane Angels are the first card to ever feature an "in your graveyard or in play" triggered ability.