Card of the Day - March, 2014

Posted in Daily Deck on March 3, 2014

Spellweaver HelixMirrodin. The combination of Wildfire and Spellweaver Helix first came up during Magic 2013 previews, and it reappeared in a Modern-legal deck just this past December. The card has been appearing in decks for years, though, including another From the Labs article and one from House of Cards. It even appeared in a couple competitive decks written about by Jacob Van Lunen.

Lightning Helix"Ravnica: City of Guilds. Lightning Helix is most famous for its appearance at Pro Tour Honolulu, in 2006. In the Top 8, eventual finalist Craig Jones had to defeat Hall of Famer Olivier Ruel in the semifinals. His victory there came with what is called "Topdeck of the Century." In Game 5, Ruel was going to win if he had another turn, but Craig was able to deal lethal damage by drawing a Lightning Helix right when he needed it most.

Helix PinnacleBorn of the Gods. The eighteen cards like Helix Pinnacle—called alternative win conditions—reward players dedicated to their difficult-to-achieve prerequisites with automatic victory. Among tournament-legal cards, Battle of Wits was the first to include a hundreds-number numeral (in that case, "200") in its text box, and so far, Helix Pinnacle is the only other card to do so.

Warleader's HelixDragon's Maze. The Warleader here is Aurelia, leader of the Boros guild. While her Helix sees some discussion, she sees more. Aurelia has been mentioned in numerous Uncharted Realms stories—"Krenko, Mob Boss," "The Greater Good," "Battle for the Ninth," and last week's "The Gorgon and the Guildpact"—and Gavin Verhey also previewed her card for Commander in this ReConstructed article.

Retraction HelixBorn of the Gods. The flavor text here mentions "Æther," something in the name of thirty-six cards (including one from Born of the Gods) and mentioned on twenty cards, including three in Theros block. That is no coincidence, as Meletian scholars actively study the Æther and its properties, as revealed here.

Witches' EyeBorn of the Gods. On Monday, we talked about Eye Gouge, which was designed for Theros but moved back to Born of the Gods. Today's card went the opposite direction, starting in the design file for the later set but being plucked into the earlier. As Sam Stoddard explains in "The M Files: Theros," it was put into Theros to help the blue-red Limited-deck archetype activate Flamespeaker Adept more easily.

Gods' Eye, Gate to the ReikaiBetrayers of Kamigawa. Reikai means "spirit world" (霊界). It's a nod to the original name of the block and setting, Inreikai (as revealed here), or "World of Shadowy Spirits" (陰霊界). (Special thanks to Ron Foster, premier play TO manager [formerly Japan territory manager], for today's entry.)

Eye of UginWorldwake. Eye of UginWorldwake. Not only was it the first mythic rare land, Eye of Ugin also presented the first mention of Eldrazi in the game... the set before the first Eldrazi cards saw print! Read more about the card's creation in "Commonly Large" and about the story of the Eye in "The Eldrazi Arisen."

Eye of DoomCommander (2013 Edition). Eye of Doom's "destroy each permanent" effect is similar to, but not as limited as, that of Oblivion Stone, from Mirrodin—which uses fate counters instead of doom counters. There is one other card that places doom counters. That card? Armageddon Clock, from Antiquities, although its effect is quite different from that of the Eye.

Eye GougeBorn of the Gods. For a fairly low-powered common, there is a lot written about this flavorful card. The "Born of the Gods Release Notes" clarify its rules thusly: "If the target creature is a Cyclops, it will get -1/-1 before it's destroyed." Mark Rosewater explains its design in "Born to be Compiled, Part 1." And Sam Stoddard references the card's Multiverse discussion in "The M Files: Born of the Gods."

Reaper KingShadowmoor. Scarecrows (obviously), Changelings, and Mistform Ultimus—the original "every creature type" creature—are all permanent-destroying enablers that also benefit from the King's +1/+1 buff. As you might imagine, Reaper King sees play in Commander, as Gavin Verhey has shown in his column, ReConstructed, but the King also saw play in the first Modern Pro Tour—Philadelphia, 2011.

Altar's ReapInnistrad. Even before Avacyn was drawn into the Helvault, creating the conditions introduced to us in Innistrad, the demon-worshipping Skirsdag cult existed on the eponymous plane. Volpaig was a minor bishop in the Church of Avacyn, and as the time of Avacyn's absence lengthened, he became increasingly open about his membership. Read more about Volpaig, the Church, and the Skirsdag in "A Planeswalker's Guide to Innistrad" and "The State of the Faith."

Reaper of the WildsTheros. There are currently thirteen Gorgons in Magic. Every Gorgon is at least black, and five are multicolor in the colors of Golgari (black and green), with one of those five (Damia, Sage of Stone) also being blue. Read more about Magic's Gorgons and the creatures of myth in this Arcana.

Reaper of Sheoldred New Phyrexia. The reaper is part of Sheoldred's vast network of spies, scouts, blackmailers, and informers. Sheoldred herself is a Praetor of Phyrexia, although her hold is tenuous thanks to the machinations of the other six Steel Thanes. The Seven Steel Thanes rule the Phyrexian faction associated with black mana. Learn more at "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Steel Thanes."

Reap What Is Sown Born of the Gods. A few weeks ago, Trick Jarrett looked closely at this card's art and talked a little about the long tradition of farming-related cards in Magic. There are enough such pastoral cards in Magic to build a Commander deck, as Adam Styborski found out in this Command Tower article.

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