Tastes Like An Egg

Posted in Feature on December 14, 2006

By Matt Cavotta

Matt has worn many wizard hats in the 18 years he has worked on Magic—art-mage, logomancer, lightning bard, and (of course) Planeswalker.

The eggs are already hidden… how many have you found?

It's Easter Egg week, and yet it is not the week of Easter. This must mean we're hunting not the heat-hardened and bespeckled ova of chickens, but the hidden eggs of wonder that lie beneath the warm belly of Magic Creative. Our little egg hunt for today is going to focus on the nooks and crannies of Time Spiral flavor text and the tasty ovoid gems hidden therein.

This eggfest today is not going to work the same as a traditional egg hunt, where I hide the eggs and you get to see them out. That game has already begun. About a year ago, we planted all sorts of nifty little Magic tidbits into Time Spiral. It's quite possible that you've already found many of them. But that's not how the game is going to work today. Today, it's not the seeking of the eggs that makes the “fest,” but instead it's the revealing of the eggs and the appreciation of their color, aroma, and yes, flavor.

Not too long ago I wrote an article called the Time Spiral Magic Museum. That was an article about revelation as well. Right up front I explained how connections to older cards would be revealed and some sneaky nods to nostalgia would be spoiled. The reader was given the option to read the revelations or not read them, thereby keeping the information unknown and the traditional “egg hunt” unspoiled. Well, I'm doin' it again right here. It's Easter Egg week, and that means we're spoiling eggs – so if you don't want me to show you why Coral Tricksters wait in darkened depths, then I suggest you divert your eyes, or click here to further enjoy Easter Egg week.

When I found out about Easter Egg week, I had already compiled most of the info I would use in my Time Spiral Magic Museum article. I actually considered running that article in Easter Egg Week, since there were so many eggy things revealed. But there's more egg in Time Spiral than any one article could ever fry up. So here's another one! Let's jump in.

Tolarian Sentinel

Tolarian Sentinel is a spellshaper, and like many Time Spiral spellshapers, its ability is identical in cost and effect to a pre-existing card. This card can be found, hiding like an egg, in this flavor text:

"It is not just our people I try to Rescue. It is our culture, and our hope that we can return to greatness."

Empty the Warrens

Empty the Warrens does not really hide the egg, it just serves up a second helping.

"Goblins bred underground, their numbers hidden from the enemy until it was too late."
—Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV

"They'd pour out of the warrens to make war (and to make room for the littering matrons)."
—Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV

One line just slides right into the next. Nifty.

Goblin Warrens
Sidewinder Sliver

Where's the egg in Sidewinder Sliver's flavor text?

"They encircled our patrol with the stealth of snakes, corralling us like livestock."
—Merrik Aidar, Benalish patrol

This egg smells fishy. I question Aidar's use of both snake and livestock references in his statement about a sliver. What's up with that? Well, the snake part fits with the name of the card, and the livestock part fits with the…

Inspiration for the card. This sliver is basically just a Mtenda Herder with a sliver body and a connection to the hivemind, and everybody knows that herders… corral… livestock.

Mtenda Herder
Stormcloud Djinn

That last one was not the only one that smells fishy – only this fish is cooked.

As fickle as lightning, as slippery as an eel.

This flavor text mixes “lightning” and “eel,” which yields cooked seafood, right?

Wrong. Actually, it yields Electric Eel, the first owner of Stormcloud Djinn's off-color activated ability.

Electric Eel
Sulfurous Blast

One egg, cracked in half.

The Keldons used the toxic vents in the cracked earth to bolster their home's defenses.

The viashino knew of the cracked pipes but deliberately left them unmended to bolster the rig's defenses.

Steam Blast
Errant Doomsayers

What lies hidden in the Doomsayers' flavor text?

"Heed my words, traveler. Plagues, war, desolation . . . all mere hints of what is yet to come from Dominaria's vault of horrors."

It's the last three words, of course. Compare with Aysen Bureaucrats' flavor text:

"All the tortures of my vault of horrors pale in comparison to dealing with those petty Bureaucrats."
—Baron Sengir

aysen bureaucrats2
Spell Burst

It's probably not hard to find where this flavor text egg is hidden. The name of the card all but gives it away.

The brutish mage's version of thinking.

Call it the thinking mage's version of brute force.

spell blast
Herd Gnarr

Long ago, the solitary gnarr was a sign of good luck. Now they have become wild pack hunters, a sign of impending danger.

Long thought merely a legend, the appearance of the gnarr was seen by the defenders as a sign of good luck.

Glade Gnarr
Viscid Lemures

Here's an egg that a chicken at Wizards has been waiting to lay for years.

"Lemurs? Is that all? Finally, something harmless . . ."
—Norin the Wary

Ever since Richard Thomas painted a fuzzy mammal instead of a spirit of the underworld, the Lemur/Lemure joke has been waiting to become yolk.

Hyalopterous Lemure
Coal Stoker

Check out the way these two coal-cookin' cards scramble some flavor text eggs.

"Three such creatures stood burning at the crest of the hill. Only seconds later, the Fireball struck our front line." —Lydia, Countess Brellis

"The day is mine! I sent three such creatures against my foe, then watched as my magefire popped her soldiers like overripe spleenfruits." —Dobruk the Unstable, pyromancer

Coal Golem
Word of Seizing

There's not much room in Word of Seizing's tiny flavor text to hide anything. But perhaps it's the tinyness itself that is the secret.



ray of command

Here's the closest thing Time Spiral has to an actual Easter Egg hunt – a land within which many eggs are hidden.

Where scavengers nest in hollowed-out rib cages and chittering crawlers peer from empty eye sockets, few dare to trespass.

Fungus Sliver

"When a sliver of this breed enters the hive, the others claw each other in frenzied fits, thereby ensuring their rapid growth."
—Rukarumel, field journal

Rather than sheltering her young, the female Fungusaur often injures her own offspring, thereby ensuring their rapid growth.


The Thick-Skinned Goblin completes a three-way egg toss:

Thick-Skinned Goblin's flavor text:

The shaman of the tribe is responsible for keeping track of all its treasures, including angry pets and cursed lamps of fiery doom.

…references the card Kookus (an angry pet who dwells in a cursed lamp of fiery doom). Kookus is then cited in the flavor text from Keeper of Kookus:

Wanted: Thick-skinned goblin for guarding mean ol' Kookus. Must like fires. Must heal quickly.

It also completes the cycle by naming our first card, Thick-Skinned Goblin.

Coral Trickster

Last, but not least, is the aforementioned Coral Trickster. Why do they wait in darkened depths anyway?

They wait in darkened depths, laughing eagerly.

The answer is hidden within the flavor text itself. Here's a hint: there are 7 eggs hiding in the flavor text. For a bigger hint, look a couple inches to the right. Still can't find the eggs? To see where they're hiding, just look at the first letter of each word in the flavor text. “Aha!”


Well, that about does it for Easter Egg Week at Taste the Magic. I'd say that's enough egg flavor for a while. To rid yourself of that eggy taste in your mouth, just wait – our upcoming Lavoris Week will leave you feeling fresh and minty.

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