The Vapor Ops Test

Posted in Latest Developments on April 11, 2003

By Randy Buehler

A few cards worth looking at

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about the process people have to go through in order to get a job in Wizards of the Coast R&D. The most interesting part of the process is the Vapor Ops test – seventy or so potential Magic cards for the prospective employees to think about. Around 83% of you said you were interested in hearing more about Vapor Ops so here’s what we’re going to do. This week I’m going to give you guys a portion of the test and I want you to email me your answers. I’ll read through your answers and then I’ll publish the most interesting submissions in a future column.

Here we go…


(These are the exact instructions I received in August ’99, by the way.)

Attached please find “Vapor Ops.” Vapor Ops is a collection of new cards and some repeats. We want to know your opinion on each card. Should it be published? Is it too weak or too strong? Is it good for the game? Don’t limit yourself to these questions. There are very few right and wrong answers. Your reason for your decision is as or more important than the decision itself. (Please don’t be concerned with card names.)

(The instructions I got also included “Please do not include your name on this document. You have been assigned a number to keep the test objective” but that isn’t really relevant to you guys.)

The Cards

White Uncommon

New World Angel

Creature – Angel
Whenever New World Angel is put into a graveyard, return it to play and sacrifice a permanent.
Whenever New World Angel deals damage to a player, you may add to your mana pool.

Blue Common

Twiddle Bug

Creature - Insect
Sacrifice Twiddle Bug: Tap or untap target permanent.

Red Common

Lazy Goblin

Creature – Goblin
Lazy Goblin can’t block.

Green Rare

Norwood Leprechaun

Creature – Leprechaun
If Norwood Leprechaun could normally block a creature, it can’t block that creature.
If Norwood Leprechaun would normally be unable to block a creature, it may block that creature.

Gold Rare

Life Cycle

: Put a wood counter on target creature.
: Put a sludge counter on target creature.
Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard, for each wood and sludge counter on it, put a 2/3 green and black Fungoid token into play. For each excess wood counter on that creature, put a 0/3 green Woodling token into play. For each excess sludge counter on the creature, put a 2/1 black Sludgling token into play.

Land Uncommon

Heart of Argoth
Legendary Land
When Heart of Argoth comes into play, you may play an additional land.
: Add to your mana pool.

Let the developing begin! Have fun!

This Week’s Poll:

There’s no poll this week because I’m going to be getting lots of email from you instead.

Last Week’s Poll:

Should we have printed the Onslaught fetch lands?
Yes 8423 85.4%
No -- don't like shuffling 426 4.3%
No -- some other reason 1014 10.3%
Total 9863 100.0%

I’m always glad to hear that you’re happy about a decision we made.

Send your Vapor Ops emails to Randy at

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