Card of the Day - May, 2007

Posted in Feature on May 1, 2007

By Wizards of the Coast

Card of the Day - jeudi 31 mai 2007

Death Ward

One of Magic’s first cycles was Alpha’s Ward cycle. Since each of the Wards grants protection from a certain color, they successfully defend your creatures against Swords to Plowshares, Control Magic, Terror, Disintegrate, and Whippoorwill. Later Ward variants combine the whole cycle in one card by letting you choose the color of the protection, such as Flickering Ward and Cho-Manno’s Blessing.

Card of the Day - mercredi 30 mai 2007

Grinning Totem

Time Spiral’s Totem cycle are all mana-producing artifacts that can be animated to become famous creatures from the past. Since the artifacts are not creatures unless they are activated, they usually live through sorcery removal like Wrath of God and Volcanic Hammer. Phyrexian Negator in particular is nice to have hiding in an artifact shell when an opponent might Volcanic Hammer it!

Card of the Day - mardi 29 mai 2007

Leonin Battlemage

Each of the Battlemage cycle of creatures in Planeshift boasts two allied-color kickers offering powerful comes-into-play effects. Very flexible cards, the Battlemages can be played as cheap attackers or blockers if mana is in short supply, or played for six or even nine mana to generate a slew of powerful card advantage and a massive swing in the late game.

Card of the Day - vendredi 25 mai 2007

Squire

Time Spiral "timeshifted." Squire, originally printed in The Dark, has many uses. It can trade with top-notch tournament staples such as Mogg Fanatic and Savannah Lions, outright kill a Kird Ape (if its controller doesn't have a Forest in play), and even survive Wave of Reckoning, which kills many powerful creatures.

Card of the Day - jeudi 24 mai 2007

Silent-Chant Zubera

Champions of Kamigawa common. The Champions Zubera all five started development as one-mana 1/1s, but they proved far too abusive with the infamous Skullclamp, then legal in Standard. Equip a Zubera, put it in the graveyard, draw two cards, get the Zubera effect, draw a few more Zubera... To prevent this degenerate interaction (and some other combos that were too easy), the Zubera all had their cost and their toughness increased by 1. Skullclamp was later banned, but the little Spirits' new stats were locked in.

Card of the Day - mercredi 23 mai 2007

Shaman en-Kor

Stronghold rare. The Kor creatures in Stronghold—recently followed up in Time Spiral with Outrider en-Kor—were an attempt to revisit banding, perhaps the most notoriously confusing keyword in the game's history. By removing the need to define a "band" and the often counterintuitive rules regarding attacking bands and evasion abilities, the designers found a flavorful, powerful way to represent a team of creatures who can spread damage around to minimize its impact.

Card of the Day - mardi 22 mai 2007

Ramosian Lieutenant

Mercadian Masques common. Designers were puzzled and frustrated by the question "Why didn't Masques have any new mechanics?" They pointed to the Rebel/Mercenary "recruitment" mechanic of Ramosian Lieutenant and friends as one of several new mechanics in the set, but without a keyword, it was dismissed by many players. If it were printed for the first time today, "Recruit" would likely be an ability word, and it—along with "Gating" creatures such as Marsh Crocodile and "Spiritcraft" creatures such as Teller of Tales—became one of the strong arguments in favor of ability words.

Card of the Day - lundi 21 mai 2007

Repentant Blacksmith

Arabian Nights rare. Repentant Blacksmith was the first creature printed with protection from red (though presumably creatures were enchanted with Red Ward before the release of Arabian Nights). This novel ability may explain why the Blacksmith was rare despite its unimpressive stats. It was downgraded to a common for Fifth Edition, an usual rarity jump.

Card of the Day - vendredi 18 mai 2007

Quiet Disrepair

Future Sight common. The magical item getting wrecked in this particular piece doesn't have much of a record for staying enchanted. First, click here to see a larger version of the art. Then, when you're ready to see the card this art is referencing, click here.

Card of the Day - jeudi 17 mai 2007

Lucent Liminid

Future Sight common. How do you represent a creature that's an enchantment at the same time? In this card's art (and flavor text), the concept is that the creature is magically made of the light coming through the stained glass window in the background. The art may even suggest that the creature is shown in the window as well, and then projected lower down by the light streaming through the image. (Click here to see a larger version of the art.)

Card of the Day - mercredi 16 mai 2007

Epochrasite

Future Sight rare. The creatures shown here are vaguely insect-like, a cue that the smaller one in the foreground may be some kind of larvae. The two seen in the background are the full-sized version, monstrosities that loom from high above the devastated landscape. (Click here to see a larger version of the art.)

Card of the Day - mardi 15 mai 2007

Veilstone Amulet

Future Sight rare. It's easy to miss at card size if you aren't watching for it, but if you look closely you can "see" how this particular artifact protects your creatures. (Click here to see a larger version of the art.)

Card of the Day - lundi 14 mai 2007

Arcanum Wings

Future Sight uncommon. To reflect the metamorphic nature of this spell's aura swap ability, the feathers in the art can be seen transforming into slips of parchment toward the edges of the wings. (Click here to see a larger version of the art.)

Card of the Day - vendredi 11 mai 2007

Rorix Bladewing

Onslaught rare. How much rules text does a legend need to have to be flavorful and satisfying? Akroma, Angel of Wrath sports a panoply of keywords, whereas many old schoolers like Sivitri Scarzam relied on their splashy typeline and golden looks to get by. Rorix gives the answer "just two words," and few would argue that he didn't succeed. The ultimate result of these discussions was the entirely vanilla—but still exciting—Isamaru, Hound of Konda.

Card of the Day - jeudi 10 mai 2007

Dakkon Blackblade

Legends rare. In years past, Dakkon Blackblade was the favorite card of one of Wizards' premier tournament organizers. He liked the card so much, in fact, that he named his son "Dakkon." This marks perhaps the first time—though certainly not the last—that a child was named after a Magic character.

Card of the Day - mercredi 9 mai 2007

Orim, Samite Healer

Tempest rare. In the original draft of the Weatherlight storyline, the healer was a minor character. Weatherlight co-creator Mike Ryan named her Oram (MaRo backwards) as a joke, but the team kept the name, changing the A to an I for readability. Orim became a major character in her own right as the story developed, particularly during Mercadian Masques.

Card of the Day - mardi 8 mai 2007

Alexi, Zephyr Mage

Prophecy rare. On one occasion, Wizards of the Coast was asked to make a presentation about how Magic differs from standard fantasy. In Magic, wizards have their own particular identity—no pointy hats, for instance—and the team needed an image to represent that identity. Out of the thousands of Magic cards that exist and the hundreds with the Wizard subtype, the team chose the art from Alexi, Zephyr Mage as one of the few that exemplify what “mage” means in Magic. Others include Sadistic Hypnotist and Vulshok Sorcerer.

Card of the Day - lundi 7 mai 2007

Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

Onslaught rare. The original design for Kamahl, Fist of Krosa had two abilities. The first was the "Animate Land" ability that made it to the final card, but the second was "Lands get +1/+1." His design name? Kamahl, Landlord. That second ability didn't make it through development and templating, but the idea was later used on Guildpact's Earth Surge.

Card of the Day - vendredi 4 mai 2007

Stratozeppelid

Guildpact uncommon. The zeppelids were not originally part of the Ravnica worldbuilding. They were added into the novels by author Cory Herndon, who needed unique flying transport for his story and decided to go with bioengineered creatures rather than traditional dirigibles. They were compelling enough that they later found their way onto the cards Stratozeppelid and Assault Zeppelid.

Card of the Day - jeudi 3 mai 2007

Arc-Slogger

Mirrodin rare. Illustrator Jeff Easley was given an assignment to concept Mirrodin creatures from scratch (without having cards to go by). Arc-Slogger was one of the creatures he came up with; it existed long before its card did. The card was designed somewhat "top-down" as an electrically charged creature that could imitate Shock. Anodet Lurker and Ferropede are other examples of Easley's early concept designs.

Card of the Day - mercredi 2 mai 2007

Scourge of Kher Ridges

Future Sight rare. Scourge of Kher Ridges was pickup art from a previous set. It was originally commissioned for a card meant to represent a dragon with wings of fire. When it arrived at Wizards and showed a dragon with wings on fire, it was shelved for many years before finding a home in Future Sight.

Card of the Day - mardi 1 mai 2007

Quicksilver Dragon

Onslaught rare. Quicksilver Dragon was originally Quicksilver Drake, a smaller creature with the same ability. It was made a Dragon and pumped up a bit toward the end of the development cycle to add to its Timmy appeal. Artist Ron Spencer helped by adding forelegs to his illustration; in addition to size, this is the primary anatomical difference between dragons and drakes in Magic.

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