Card of the Day - September, 2009
Posted in Feature on September 1, 2009
Hedron Crab – Zendikar uncommon. The mysterious monoliths found floating above Zendikar (and occasionally being investigated by crabs) are called hedrons. They're the remnants of a lost civilization, but their original purpose is unknown.
Into the Roil – Zendikar common. The Roil is the name residents of Zendikar have given to the terrain's tendency to shudder, writhe, and erupt. The Roil can cause unpredictable winds, whirlpools, and even unexpected mountains to show up in inconvenient places!
Stonework Puma – Zendikar common. Stonework Puma might look like "another vanilla Gray Ogre", but its ability is hidden in the creature types. In the right deck, a vanilla Ally can cause all sorts of havoc!
Harrow – Zendikar common. When Harrow was first created back in the days of Tempest, its playtest name was "Crop Rotation". That name was removed, but it came back as Crop Rotation in Urza's Legacy.
Brooding Saurian – Coldsnap rare. The "brooding" in the name of Brooding Saurian does not mean that it's thinking anxiously or moodily about something, but that it's taking care of its offspring, or "brood".
Panic Attack – Magic 2010 common. The massive jaws in the art for Panic Attack are strictly imaginary! Check the flavor text, which explains that the enormous rows of teeth are just a panic-induced hallucination on the part of the person in the center of the art.
Gargoyle Castle – Magic 2010 rare. It's pretty rare for a card to create a 3/4 token. How rare? The only other two we can think of are Stangg and Gemini Engine!
Etched Oracle – Fifth Dawn uncommon. Ever wonder exactly what Etched Oracle is prophecying? Clearly it's the dawn of the fifth sun, as seen in the oracle's orb. After all, when you summon him, you can only use the four mana that exist before All Suns' Dawn!
Hua Tuo, Honored Physician – Portal Three Kingdoms rare. Hua Tuo's legendary medical skills (he may have been the first doctor in China to use anesthetic) are represented in Portal Three Kingdoms with the ability to bring people back from the brink of death. In fact, he can bring people back who died several turns earlier!
High Tide – Fallen Empires common. When Fallen Empires first came out in 1994, High Tide was widely considered a useless common. It took four years (and Urza's Saga) to bring out High Tide's power, and it went directly from "chaff" to "completely broken".
Horned Turtle – Magic 2010 common. There are five non-changeling turtles in Magic. Does it seem strange to you that the one that's been reprinted the most is the only vanilla one?
Hedge Troll – Planar Chaos uncommon. Hedge Troll is the planeshifted version of Sedge Troll, but did you ever notice that the flavor text also mirrors its Sedge sibling? Hedge Troll lives in a clean place and eats nothing; Sedge Troll is in a smelly hovel and eats everything!
Horned Troll – Mercadian Masques common. The art for the Mercadian Masques version of Horned Troll does not, at a casual glance, look like a troll. But in the flavor text, Squee, Goblin Nabob assures us that it is. And who are we to argue with Squee?
Carnivorous Death-Parrot – Unhinged common. The flavor text for the Carnivorous Death-Parrot is carefully crafted to conflict with a number of other Unhinged cards, like Creature Guy and Kill! Destroy!. If you're curious, the Unhinged FAQ says you can't use sign language to get around the "speaking" part.
Mishra's War Machine – Antiquities rare. For the 2000 Magic Invitational in Sydney, Australia, Mark Rosewater presented players with a variety of recosted cards. He put Mishra's War Machine at , hoping that half the players would play it. And exactly half did!
Famine – Portal Three Kingdoms uncommon. The flavor text for Famine refers to "people reduced to eating leaves of jujube trees". The jujube in question is a date tree native to China and should not be confused with the gummy candy popular in movie theaters.
Pestilence – Limited Edition Alpha common. Back in the Scary Old Days of Magic rules, there was a time when Pestilence could be activated in batches instead of only one activation at a time. This meant that someone with a Circle of Protection: Black could activate Pestilence with six mana and prevent the damage with one mana on the Circle of Protection: Black!
Whiplash Trap – Zendikar common. Whiplash Trap is one of the four Zendikar preview cards included in Planechase decks (it's in Metallic Dreams, if you're curious). We bring this up because it provides the perfect transition from Planechase week to the Zendikar previews, which will start on Monday, September 7. Can't wait!
Nefashu – Scourge rare. We haven't talked much about the Magic cards included with the Planechase decks, but they're frequently interesting. And each one has eight rares! More relevantly to today's card of the day, this Zombie Mutant from Scourge is in the Zombie Empire deck.
Castle Sengir – Homelands uncommon. The Planechase plane card The Dark Barony is set in the demesne of Baron Sengir and a careful examination of the architecture reveals that it's drawn from the point of view of someone standing on Castle Sengir itself. It helped that the Barony was illustrated by Pete Venters, who did the Baron, the Castle, and even Grandmother Sengir!
Narcomoeba – Future Sight uncommon. Ever wonder where the creepy jellyfish-like Narcomoeba comes from? The Planechase plane card The Aether Flues suggests that the answer is "Iquatana"!