Card of the Day - mercredi 30 novembre 2005
Urza’s Saga rare. Without a key mistake with this card against Jon Finkel in the finals of the 2000 Worlds event Bob Maher may have won the title instead.
Card of the Day - mardi 29 novembre 2005
Urza’s Destiny rare. In ’99 Kai Budde defeated Mark Le Pine in what was likely the quickest Worlds finals ever, thanks in part to the power of this card in combination with very fast artifact mana.
Card of the Day - lundi 28 novembre 2005
Ice Age uncommon. Originally derided as terrible and later vindicated as incredible, Mark Justice made a famous game-losing blunder with this card in the finals of the ’96 World Championships.
Card of the Day - vendredi 25 novembre 2005
Odyssey rare. Part of Odyssey block's design involved changing up which creature types got first billing for their colors. In any other block, it's likely that the flavor of this card would be associated with Goblins, but while the Odyssey block sports 17 dwarf-related cards, there isn't one card with "Goblin" on it.
Card of the Day - jeudi 24 novembre 2005
Balthor the Defiled
Judgment rare. Magic has had several characters return in different versions, including Kamahl (Kamahl, Pit Fighter/Kamahl, Fist of Krosa), Ertai (Ertai, Wizard Adept/Ertai, the Corrupted) and, for you trivia buffs out there, Crovax (Crovax the Cursed/Ascendant Evincar). Balthor was the closest chronologically that two such cards had been printed. (Balthor the Stout appeared in Torment, and came back in worse-for-the-wear version the very next set, Judgment).
Card of the Day - mercredi 23 novembre 2005
Homelands rare. In the earliest days of Magic, there was a running joke on Usenet of a super rare card named Throat Wolf. What the card did always seemed to change. The only constant was that it always had Firstest Strike. For many years R&D always named one card Throat Wolf in design out of a nod to that joke, and even printed Heart Wolf as a wink to the running gag.
Card of the Day - mardi 22 novembre 2005
Dwarven Sea Clan
Homelands rare. An optional damage ability that only works during the end of combat step is a rare effect mostly found on very old cards. The idea behind this restriction was to give the ability to harm opposing creatures but still allow them to deal the damage they were going to deal for that combat. (Another example is Desert, from Arabian Nights.)
Card of the Day - lundi 21 novembre 2005
Homelands common. Dwarves are a pretty skilled group. Of the 32 printed so far, this is the only vanilla card (slang for no abilities) in the entire bunch. Thanks to Goblins of the Flarg though, even Dwarven Trader kind of has an ability. Well, if you control both that is.
Card of the Day - vendredi 18 novembre 2005
Mercadian Masques uncommon. The ability to use creatures to tap other creatures typically shows up in blue or white. Though it's only a loose guide, as you move forward in Magic's history blue is often more likely to have temporary or one-time tapping effects. White is more likely to have repeatable effects that allow its creatures to tap other creatures. (But there are certainly exceptions, even among modern cards, such as Puppeteer.)
Card of the Day - jeudi 17 novembre 2005
Urza's Saga rare. It's humorous that a card with "stack" in the name was at its best when abusing "the stack" - which hadn't been invented yet! (Haven't seen the card in action? The trick is for the controller to put the soot counter effect on the stack, and then put the sacrifice effect on the stack, which lets the controller sacrifice one fewer permanent each cycle.)
Card of the Day - mercredi 16 novembre 2005
Legions common. When designing cards R&D often looks for opportunities to reward players for using extra mana in their decks. This five-card cycle was designed to give you something to do with your mana early on, and then an ability for when games go long. These cards also served another role: since Legions was the creature-only set, R&D went out of its way to include creatures that offered spell-like effects.
Card of the Day - mardi 15 novembre 2005
Fifth Edition rare. First printed all the way back in Alpha, Smoke is one of several early red cards that "sets rules" - an ability now normally given only to white cards. This particular effect is also very closely related to taxing, which is also a white ability in the current color pie.
Card of the Day - lundi 14 novembre 2005
Odyssey uncommon. The original art designed for this card is actually the piece that got used on Flame Burst! The art was changed because the original illustration didn't exactly make it clear that the (protection from red) creature was shrugging off the damage from the spell aimed at it.
Card of the Day - vendredi 11 novembre 2005
Ravnica rare. One of the most complicated cards in the set in terms of rules management, the irony is that it was created during development by Mark Gottlieb. Since then Mark has become the Rules Manager for Magic, and we can't help but wonder if he still would have created this card if he'd known he would become the one that has to deal with all the rules issues it creates!
Card of the Day - jeudi 10 novembre 2005
Ravnica common. The vast majority of cards undergo many changes as they progress from the initial design file to final printed form. Designed by Aaron Forsythe, this card as printed is actually nearly identical to his original version… even the name stayed the same!
Card of the Day - mercredi 9 novembre 2005
Ravnica uncommon. Gold cards allow interesting twists on old standbys, as designers explore the space where colors overlap. Draining cards (like Drain Life) traditionally deal damage to a creature or player and strengthen the caster in the process. This card offers a twist on that ability by focusing on the Dimir milling approach. Rather than attack a player or creature directly this spell drains an opponent's library, but still rewards its caster with life as reward for the dark deed.
Card of the Day - mardi 8 novembre 2005
Ravnica uncommon. Of all the guildmages designed for Ravnica, only this one kept the same set of abilities through all the changes this cycle underwent. Though factors like cost were tweaked, "target player discards a card" and "target player draws a card" stayed on Dimir Guildmage from start to finish.
Card of the Day - lundi 7 novembre 2005
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Ravnica rare. One of R&D's goals with Ravnica was to have milling be a viable win condition in draft and sealed deck. The challenge was keeping it strong enough to be viable but not so strong that it was completely dominating. When the set was passed from design to development, this card was actually common! It turned out to be far too powerful at common for draft, where it proved to be too dominating in multiples.
Card of the Day - vendredi 4 novembre 2005
Darksteel rare. Because blue is the color of countermagic, it's usually blue's enemies that get the "can't be countered" ability. Normally green gets creatures with this ability (like Blurred Mongoose) whereas red gets spells (such as Urza's Rage). The idea behind this card was to create a counterspell that could stop counterspell wars, since it was a counter that couldn't itself be countered. Because its primary purpose is still to hurt other blue mages, the ability was allowed on a blue card for flavor reasons.
Card of the Day - jeudi 3 novembre 2005
Ayumi, the Last Visitor
Saviors of Kamigawa rare. Once the Kamigawa Block's legendary theme was deciding upon, one of R&D's members lobbied very hard to include a creature with legendary landwalk, something that hadn't been done since Livonya Silone from Legends. It's a good example of how certain nostalgic cards get printed if there is a member of the team passionate enough to push it through.
Card of the Day - mercredi 2 novembre 2005
Mercadian Masques uncommon. "How appropriate is the Swords to Plowshares effect for white?" This question comes up all the time in R&D. White specializes in mass creature removal, but pinpoint instant removal is often restricted to creatures that are attacking or damaging you (see Reciprocate and Second Thoughts). Sometimes some other method is used to mitigate white targeted creature removal however, as seen on this card.
Card of the Day - mardi 1 novembre 2005
Ravnica common. Called "Black Shock" during design, the team was experimenting with using black's toughness reduction ability as instant speed creature removal. (The original version was -2/-2 for