Card of the Day - February, 2009
Posted in Feature
on February 2, 2009
Reverence – Saviors of Kamigawa rare. The art for Reverence shows the daimyo Konda, Lord of Eiganjo inside the Eiganjo Castle throne room. The people around him are suffused with reverence and awe for him, presumably because he can have them executed at a whim.
Mulch – Stronghold common. Mulch nearly got reprinted in Odyssey, but it (and Song of Blood) proved to be way too good at achieving threshold. Not bad for a card that essentially means "shredded vegetables"!
Opposition – Urza's Destiny rare. Opposition represents a duel of pure magic between Barrin and Urza. But when it took the tournament world by storm, it was combined with the cheerful goofiness of Squirrel Nest or the weirdness of Saproling Cluster. The moral: even powerful wizards like having pets!.
Fire – Apocalypse uncommon. When the original split cards were proposed for Invasion, Mark Rosewater and Bill Rose had to fight the developers to get them into the set. By the time Apocalypse hit the streets, everybody was firmly onboard!
Caltrops – Urza's Destiny uncommon. In the days of Urza's Block Limited, Caltrops plus Angelic Curator was a fine combo. It never really made it in Urza's Block Constructed, possibly because of the presence of cards like Time Spiral and Tolarian Academy.
Gleemax – Unhinged rare. We've told this story before, but the idea behind Gleemax is that it's the giant brain that controls R&D. Of course, it's totally fictional and nothing to worry about. GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, HUMAN.Kindle – Tempest common. The original template for Kindle referred to "Kindle cards," but it was later changed to "cards named Kindle." The original template seems to imply the existence of a "Kindle" type, which is not what was intended.
AWOL – Unhinged common. Ever wish you could get a better look at the milk carton in the text box? Check out this feature article, which shows jokes so small and obscure even Mark Rosewater didn't know they were there!
Frost Ogre – Betrayers of Kamigawa common. In Kamigawa, red cards were associated with snow and ice, resulting in cards like Glacial Ray and Frost Ogre. In most sets, these cards would probably have had a fire-related name, but after all, mountains are usually snow-capped!
Reverse the Sands – Champions of Kamigawa rare. In the art for Reverse the Sands life totals are represented as age; the figure in the background has stolen the youth of the character in front. Neat, huh?
Forest – Shards of Alara basic land. Through Fifth Edition, basic lands had the rules text (for example) ": Add to your mana pool." The "single giant " first appeared in Portal, but it didn't make it onto "regular" Magic cards until Sixth Edition.
Mountain – Arabian Nights basic land. Because it was the only basic land included in the Arabian Nights set (due to a strange set of circumstances), Mountain is the most-printed card in Magic.
Swamp – Shards of Alara basic land. You might think the most Swamp-centric Limited format was Odyssey-Odyssey-Torment, but it was really triple Urza's Saga. Having both Pestilence and Corrupt at common meant that it was not unusual for an eight-person table to have multiple mono-black drafters.
Island – Shards of Alara basic land. On pages 12-13 of Duelist #10 (April-May 1996), Chris Page wrote a two-page article about how the Duelists' Convocation (now the DCI) was going to ban Islands. This was just an April Fool's joke, but it caused confusion for years to come.
Plains – Shards of Alara basic land. Although historically hardly any cards have the ability to plainswalk, there are Great Wall Lord Magnus that were created explicitly to block them. Sorry, Zodiac Rooster!
Birds of Paradise – Alpha rare. The art on the Alpha Birds of Paradise was originally commissioned for Tropical Island, but the bird was so prominent that art direct Jesper Myrfors swapped the art onto a creature.
Esper Cormorants – Conflux common. The flavor text for Esper Cormorants shows one of the ways in which the ways of Esper are strange to the people of Bant. Earth-bound cormorants are widely varied, with (according to Wikipedia), at least 40 types.
Soraya the Falconer – Homelands rare. When it was first printed in 1995, Soraya the Falconer could only work with Falcons. But with the advent of the Great Creature Type Update, she can give banding to any bird in Magic. Clearly, the falconer spent the years since 1995 learning new skills.
Jeweled Bird – Arabian Nights uncommon. Although it's banned in all sanctioned formats (as are all ante cards), Jeweled Bird was the key card in Kai Budde's win over Dan Clegg at the 2001 Magic Invitational. So you have it to thank for the existence of Voidmage Prodigy!
Dovescape – Dissension rare. Amaze your friends! If you control both Guile and Dovescape in play, any noncreature spell you play can instantly turn into an arbitrarily large number of doves. It's like you're a stage magician and a planeswalker all at the same time!
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