Read the Clues, Guess the Card

Posted in Latest Developments on August 8, 2008

By Devin Low

In honor of Enemy Color Week, I'm going to give you a guessing game where all the answers are enemy color cards. In previous weeks, I have sometimes shown you a card, then shown you some of the development comments from our Multiverse database. But this week, there's a twist. I'm going to show you a mystery Eventide card's Multiverse comments, then have you use those clues to guess the mystery card.

Some of these will be easy, and others will be hard. Remember, cards change often during the development process, and even if the comments on a certain day say the card is a blue 2/2, it may have ended up printed as a blue-green 3/3. Many of the biggest card debates happen in development team meetings, and never make it into Multiverse comments at all. I'll omit some of the comments that would completely give away the mystery, and I'll omit some of the comments that discuss former designs deleted from these slots long ago.

If you take your time, you should be able to guess a lot of the cards' identities before clicking to reveal the answer. Or you can just click your way through all the images as fast as possible. It's up to you.

Here's a lengthy cast of characters you'll encounter in the Multiverse comments. Feel free to skip this list for now and come back if you need it.

AF: Aaron Forsythe (director of Magic R&D)
AJ: Alexis Janson (Eventide designer)
BR: Bill Rose (vice-president in charge of all Wizards R&D)
BT: Brian Tinsman (Eventide designer)
Del: Del Laugel (Magic senior editor)
DAL: Devin Low (Magic head developer)
JT: Jake Theis (Eventide designer)
KEN: Ken Nagle (Eventide designer & developer)
MLG: Mark Gottlieb (Magic rules manager)
MP: Matt Place (Eventide lead developer)
MR: Mark Rosewater (Eventide lead designer)
NH: Nate Heiss (Eventide developer)
NW: Noah Weil (Magic development intern)

Multiverse Mystery #1

DAL 8/2: Three blue-red cards in the set swap P/T: This creature, the cantrip, and the 0/5 flier with (u/r): +1/-1. Even two is a lot, and three is certainly too many. I sense Rosewater's presence...
AF 8/7: LRW has an uncommon 1/4 with activated swap.
MP 8/9: Now a 2/4.
BR 8/13: Do I hear 3/4?
DAL 9/10: I like the P and T being far apart so that the swap matters a lot. (2/4 as opposed to 3/4.)
MR (9/13/07): Bwah ha ha.
AJ 10/09: I don't read the 0/5 as having p/t swapping at all. (That is, I don't mentally place it in the same bucket as this ability.)
NH 10/26: I like this thing.

I started with an easy one. There's more than enough information here to figure out which enemy-color Eventide card these comments match. Are you thinking of your answer? Click here to reveal the card.

Multiverse Mystery #2

JT 1/26: Not crazy about both this and 3 to a target, like one or another.
KEN 1/27: We are simply overloading the file with potentials right now.
BT 2/10: Seems swingy at common.
MR (4/12/07): Changed from HHH to 1HH.
AJ 5/17: This reads as "OMG I could 3 for 1" and yet plays amazingly balanced IMO. Seems perfect as-is now.
KEN 7/30: I like how this card dances around a ton of red cards, including Incinerate, Fire, and Arc Lightning.
DAL 8/2: Quite sick. HHH would be a nice way to give a nice common reward for playing red-white with good designs you already have. 2H 2/2 curse persist could be HHH as well if you go that route. Something to think about.
MP 8/2: Now HHH.
MR (9/13/07): This card is so awesome that it didn't seem like it deserved a blank dev comments field.
AF 10/8: Poor Will.
KEN 10/27: Tribal Instant - Archer? :D
Del 10/29: Can this please gain the word "target" or are you trying to do something unusual?

There are tons of clues to this mystery card in these comments, as well as some good development notes, a few card changes, and a couple of wisecracks. In other words: your typical Multiverse comments field. Ok, time to guess. Can you figure out what this card is from the Multiverse comments before you click to reveal what it is? Last chance to guess before it gets revealed. Click here to show the answer.

Multiverse Mystery #3

MP 7/3: Was a tap mage, now an enhanced spell.
MLG 7/27: Even if you pay WWWW for this spell, you must target a player -- and if that player becomes an illegal target, the spell is countered and you don't get the white effect.
AJ 7/30: Would be mostly the same as "each opponent", mainly different in 2HG...
DAL 8/2: Nasty, fun surprise. Will be funny when people are like "I could have won by attacking with two creatures, why did I attack with all eight? Now I'm dead!"
KEN 8/18: This is great! I keep praying 'PLEASE attack with your whole team!' then 'Argh, I bet you'll swing with more next turn, better save it...'

Can you guess the card from these clues? Once you have your guess, click here.

Multiverse Mystery #4

JT 1/26: Made an instant instead of sorcery. Tee-hee...
MR (2/01/07): Changed it back. Tee hee.
KEN 4/6: Unc -> Rare, now new card type.
NH 5/14: Feels different in a good way.
KEN 5/14: Are Goblins no longer Offensive?
Del 6/5: Too bad it's the wrong setting for the name Dragon's Teeth.
MLG 7/27: This can't have X in its cost. While a card is in play, an X in its cost is 0. Would have to be Squealing Devil's template.
DAL 8/2: Cool card. CIP text will still read well.
NW 8/10: Great card, a perfect fit for the set.
KEN 8/10: I get to reuse my Goblin Trenches tokens!
Del 10/26: Rosheen Meanderer has found a friend!
Del 1/11: Last ability is now activated.

What card are we talking about here? Once you have your guess in mind, click here to reveal it:

Multiverse Mystery #5

MP 8/2: New card.
DAL 8/6: Could be common, to increase frequency of combat tricks.
KEN 8/18: I don't like 'attacking' here, why can't I DS on defense? Also, a metric ton of cards trigger on playing colored spells; 'in response, I gain 2 with my white Pupil' is similar to the play that won Terry Soh the title 'Bluffmaster.' Why pigeonhole this trick with such an easily deletable word?
DAL 9/10: I could see it either way.
MR (9/13/07): Vote to remove "attacking."
AF 10/8: Agree.
MT 10/23: Let's remove attacking.
KEN 10/27: Delete 'attacking'! (I vote again...)
MP 10/30: To make sure every card is the best card in Magic, I have removed "attacking."

This one might not be obvious right away, but there are enough clues there to guess it if you are careful. Once you have your guess, click here to reveal the answer:

Multiverse Mystery #6

KEN 12/4: Sad that you can't put two of these on your creature.

The final mystery. This one may be the most difficult to guess, because I'm giving you the least to go on. In fact, I'm only giving you one Multiverse comment from which to make your guess. This is not an easy mystery, but there is indeed enough information in that one comment to determine the answer, if you are careful and clever. Once you have your guess, click here to reveal the answer.

There you have it: Six Multiverse mysteries with behind-the-scenes card changes and development stories along the way. I hope you enjoyed them!

Last Week's Poll

Which Eventide Liege is your favorite?
Creakwood Liege 1580 35.1%
Balefire Liege 1251 27.8%
Deathbringer Liege 999 22.2%
Murkfiend Liege 473 10.5%
Mindwrack Liege 204 4.5%
Total 4507 100.0%

The five Shadowmoor Lieges pump up all the creatures of their colors, then have an ability that makes the Liege itself a little better, whether it's flying, trample, flash, the anti-discard ability, or the "don't target me" ability. The five Eventide Lieges also pump all the creature of their colors, but they are a little different in that their individual abilities don't tend to help themselves, and instead tend to help your other cards of their colors. Creakwood Liege topped the charts here. Mark Rosewater loves to talk about the moment when players read Creakwood Liege and think "Ok, it's a four-mana Liege that makes a 1/1 every turn. [pause] [pause] Whoa, it makes a 3/3 every turn!" The moment of realization is a fun moment.

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