Selecting Tenth Edition Week 9

Posted in Feature on August 9, 2006

By Staff

With just three weeks of voting left as of last week, it was time to add in the flavor text choices for your voting approval. This week you'll get the results along with the next-to-last set of flavor text, card vs. card and sketch votes. Then next week we wrap up the final week of voting by adding in the Brand Manager selection as part of the final batch of choices.

For last week's card vs. card vote, it was a choice between sacrificial outlets. In the end, it was relative newcomer Nantuko Husk that came out on top, leaving icon Fallen Angel homeless for another Core Set.

Nantuko Husk gets another go at the Core Set!
Nantuko Husk 6079 54.7%
Fallen Angel 5032 45.3%
Totals 11111 100%

For your next-to-last card vs. card vote, you'll be choosing between two mana-producing artifacts, neither of which has ever appeared in a core set before.

Click here to reveal your choice.

Comments from Matt Place

Last week Aaron said to me, “Matt, I bet that I can beat you even if I'm defending the most boring card in Magic!” I knew instantly which card he was referring to: Mind Stone. My card this week is Guardian Idol and if Aaron wins, he must be right about all those great things he keeps telling me about him.

Guardian Idol does a lot of nice things for a base set. The fact that it is an efficient mana stone that turns into a creature means it has a high power level. In addition it shows off to new players the range of abilities an artifact can have. Guardian Idol is also a nice “Build-Around-Me”. A deck that removes creatures and lands with a card like Death Cloud, for example, would love to have Guardian Idol.

Overall, both the interest and power level of Guardian Idol are much higher than Mind Stone's and to me this week's vote is clear.

Comments from Aaron Forsythe

I designed Guardian Idol. It's a pretty cool card. Don't vote for it.

Mind Stone is one of those cards from back in the day that never really caught on enough to be considered “famous,” but trust me, all the smart kids knew what a powerhouse this thing was. It does what we all wish every mana source in our decks could do—accelerate us early when it matters, and then get out of the way later once you don't need it anymore. It's almost too perfect. If you've ever drawn a Signet on turn twelve, you've felt the downside of having a deck packed to the gills with mana cards. With Mind Stone, you won't feel that sting any more. Play lots and lots of mana cards; after all, some of them can turn into spells later.

You may wonder why Mind Stone—a nice, simple card—has yet to be printed in a Core Set, even though it was eligible for every one of them since Sixth Edition. The general feeling in R&D is that it's too good. So here's your chance to let us know how good you think it is…

Artist Sketches

Last week pitted dueling Nekrataal sketches from artists Daren Bader and Christopher Moeller. When the voting was complete, "Sketch A" (which turns out to be by Christopher Moeller) took the slot.

IN: Sketch A (Christopher Moeller)

OUT: Sketch B (Daren Bader)
Sketch A (Christopher Moeller) 6513 58.6%
Sketch B (Daren Bader) 4598 41.4%
Totals 11111 100%

This week's sketch vote features Chippy and Vance Kovacs, with their renditions of Vampire Bats. The winner gets the right to illustrate the final version you'll be seeing in packs of Tenth Edition.

Click here to reveal your choice.

Click each image for a larger version.

Sketch A

Sketch B

Flavor Text

Last week featured the first week of flavor text voting, where readers chose between the three previous versions of Glorious Anthem. With all the votes in, the Urza's Saga flavor text got more votes than the other two combined!

Urza's Saga 5617 50.6%
Ninth Edition 3339 30.0%
Seventh Edition 2155 19.4%
Totals 11111 100%
Once heard, the battle song of an angel becomes part of the listener forever.

Doug: Last week we looked at the most common way a Core Set card gets flavor text—the Creative Team chooses a piece of flavor from one of the card’s earlier printings, which you helped us out on for Glorious Anthem. This week it gets a bit more interesting. Today Air Elemental gets a flavor text facelift, and Matt and I call on a powerful tool in the flavor repertoire—the real-world quote.

Magic cards have used quotes and sayings from real-world sources since Alpha. Real-world quotes have an immediate impact and built-in sense of history that in-setting flavor text strives for, yet they take on subtly novel shades of meaning when presented on a Magic card. Edgar Allan Poe never anticipated his words describing Frozen Shade, but we Magic fans get to see those words applied in a fresh light, which transforms both Poe’s words and expands our concept of a pumpable 1/1.

Today we pull two “new” (to Magic) quotes from real-world sources to serve as Air Elemental’s flavor text. You choose which one goes on the card.


The East Wind, an interloper in the dominions of Westerly Weather, is an impassive-faced tyrant with a sharp poniard held behind his back for a treacherous stab.
—Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea

The cool thing about this piece is that the wind is personified as an aggressive invader. What could be more appropriate for a creature that breezes in and bites you in the face for 4?

I like how the word "interloper" suggests that this wind is not of this place--which it is not. It's a magically made wind, sharper and more deadly than the natural "Westerly Weather." Even without following the metaphors or personification, we get some dandy buzz words like interloper, tyrant, poniard, treacherous, and stab. A lot of the real-world quotes on Magic cards contain gratuitous rhyme and foofy language of the olde times--something that I find a bit out of place on Magic cards. This one is crafted with all the skill of the oft-quoted writers, but also sports a keen edge. I think it's a perfect fit for the Air Elemental.

By the way, a poniard is a thin, straight-bladed dagger. Nice!


"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside."

—Emily Dickinson

Just like the color blue, Dickinson’s poetry is difficult but powerful. What’s going on is subtle at first, but it’s a mental pummeling once it seeps in—a perfect model of this classic flyer, a being made of air and yet powerful enough to kill your enemy, solo, in just five turns. And, apropos of Air Elemental’s status as a classic blue flyer, this piece ties together two very different elements of blue, the ruler of the intellect and the sky. (Note that, later in the same poem, Dickinson continues, “The brain is deeper than the sea.” More blue references.)

Air Elemental deserves an enigmatic piece of flavor text to showcase its dual nature—it’s a flying dream-crusher that is nevertheless an ephemeral collection of breezes, a champion of the intellect that nevertheless possesses the power to overwhelm an entire skyful of winged wannabes. Vote the Dickinson quote!

Go Vote!

To vote in the polls, you'll need to use your message boards account. If you don't have one yet, you can go here to create one. Once you've done that, or if you already have an account, you're all set. You've got until the site updates Sunday night to get your vote in, so click the link below to launch the polling page and go make your voice heard!

Click here to launch the voting page.

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