Card of the Day - June, 2011

Posted in Feature on June 1, 2011

By Wizards of the Coast

AuramancerOdyssey common. One of the hard rules of Magic card naming—with a few exceptions—is that a card's name only contains a game term if it actually has something to do with that game element mechanically. That rule, of course, can only apply to game terms that existed at the time. Even though "Aura" is now an enchantment subtype, this little 'mancer can mance any kind of enchantment, Aura or no.

Llanowar Elves – Alpha common. Giant Spider has finally emerged as the Core Set Survivor, but Llanowar Elves has a heck of a bad beat story. Beloved enough to make the cut in the modern era despite a misleadingly plural name, the Elves has been in every core set but one: Eighth Edition, when it lost out to Birds of Paradise as part of the "Selecting Eighth Edition" promotion here on the site.

Archon of Justice
Archon of JusticeEventide rare. In its original printing, Archon of Justice's rules text was eighteen words long. When it returns in Magic 2012, the new "dies" terminology will have cut that length fully in half. If this rate of text loss continues—50% every three years—by 2020 the Archon will have only a single word in its text box.

Mind Control
Mind ControlMagic 2011 uncommon. Mind Control was a reconcepting of Persuasion, which in turn was a fairly costed version of the classic Control Magic. So what kind of creature-stealing did get you in the old days? Treachery. Not only did you steal a creature, you got to untap your lands. Seems fair!

Syphon Flesh
Syphon FleshMagic: The Gathering Commander uncommon. Thanks to Magic: The Gathering Commander you can now Syphon Flesh as well as Life, Mind, and Soul. Also Spells and, um, Rhystics.

Magmatic Force
Magmatic ForceMagic: The Gathering Commander rare. Magmatic Force and Celestial Force are a pair of cards from Magic: The Gathering Commander that do things at the beginning of each upkeep. Could they be related somehow to Verdant Force? Maybe!

Tribute to the Wild
Tribute to the WildMagic: The Gathering Commander uncommon. Although the maro-sorcerers Multani and Molimo have appeared in flavor text before, this is the first appearance of Modruni, a hitherto-unknown maro-sorcerer.

RiddlekeeperMagic: The Gathering Commander rare. Riddlekeeper is a homunculus, which is a fairly rare creature type in Magic. It looks an awful lot like it might be related to Bonded Fetch from Future Sight, don't you think?

StrangleholdMagic: The Gathering Commander rare. We don't have trivia for this card; we just wanted everyone to enjoy the flavor text: "The correct answer to a barbarian's riddle is to choke on your cleverness and die."

Bazaar Trader
Bazaar TraderWorldwake rare. Wait a minute! That's not "trading" so much as it is "giving things away for free," right? What kind of crazy bazaar is this?

Traitor's Clutch
Traitor's ClutchTime Spiral common. The Time Spiral card Traitor's Clutch has the power to turn any 0/1 into a pretty good simulation of The Time Spiral card Nether Traitor. Some of the references in that block are just to the block itself!

Maga, Traitor to Mortals
Maga, Traitor to MortalsSaviors of Kamigawa rare. After the sack of Minamo, Maga took to wandering Takenuma while trying to learn more about oni. Eventually, as his name implies, he became more sympathetic to the spirits than to humans.

Sedris, the Traitor King
Sedris, the Traitor KingShards of Alara mythic rare. Sedris was the last living ruler of Vithia, but sold his kingdom and his soul to the first demon lords. Now, he rules as a powerful lich over the land known as "Grixis"—Vithian for "Traitor".

Glissa, the Traitor
Glissa, the TraitorMirrodin Besieged mythic rare. Glissa was held in stasis by the Phyrexians until it was time to take over Mirrodin. When the Mirrodin-Phyrexia war began, Glissa returned to the Tangle to carry out the will of her dark masters.

CommandeerColdsnap rare. "Commandeer" would be a good name for a format where instead of a Legendary general, you can only choose from Gang of Elk, Glimmerpoint Stag, and Great Sable Stag.

Zhou Yu, Chief Commander
Zhou Yu, Chief CommanderPortal Three Kingdoms rare. Zhou Yu's restriction of only being able to attack islands is probably a reference to the Battle of Red Cliffs, in which he commanded the forces that destroyed the naval fleet of Cao Cao, Lord of Wei.

Commander Greven il-Vec
Commander Greven il-VecTempest rare. Greven was a main antagonist in the Weatherlight Saga. He's the captain of the Predator. And he's literally the face of Hatred!

Cao Ren, Wei Commander
Cao Ren, Wei CommanderPortal Three Kingdoms rare. Horsemanship is an ability that's been used only in Portal Three Kingdoms (and online Masters Edition sets that used cards from that set). It's essentially the same thing as flying, but since very few of the characters in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms had wings, it got a new flavor.

Commander Eesha
Commander EeshaJudgment rare. According to the book Judgment, Eesha became the leader of the Order after Major Teroh died. Teroh succeeded Lieutenant Kirtar. Before Kirtar, it was Pianna, Nomad Captain, who was presumably the last non-Aven leader the Order had.

Blighted Agent
Blighted AgentNew Phyrexia common. Now that the Phyrexians have won the war for Mirrodin, the factions are turning on each other. Judging by its flavor text, Blighted Agent's unblockability is mostly used for spying on Urabrask the Hidden's sealed furnace layer.

War Report
War ReportNew Phyrexia common. It's been a long time since a block's plot played out entirely on cards. Back in the Weatherlight Saga, if something important happened (like Stark realizing that Volrath was possessing Takara), it was bound to be mentioned somewhere (like the flavor text of Vendetta). Some plot points still show up on cards, though. For example, War Report's flavor text contains the actual end of the Mirran-Phyrexian War!

Etched Monstrosity
Etched MonstrosityNew Phyrexia mythic rare. Although Etched Champion has art and a name that call back to Darksteel's Etched Oracle, it's Etched Monstrosity that has the reference to the sunburst mechanic.

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