Card of the Day - June, 2007

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Card of the Day - Friday, June 29, 2007

Oath of Lim-Dûl

Ice Age rare. The Alpha card Lich has spawned a number of variants over the years that play with the idea of cards substituting as a player's life total in some way, but Oath of Lim-Dûl often gets forgotten from the group since it's the only version that doesn't actually have "lich" in the name. (See Lich, Lich's Tomb, Nefarious Lich, and also the drawback on Dralnu, Lich Lord.)
Card of the Day - Thursday, June 28, 2007

Squandered Resources

Visions rare. This powerful combo enabler was one of the key pieces of ProsBloom, arguably the first serious tournament combo deck. It thus has the distinction of being the only enchantment ever banned from a Block Constructed format.
Card of the Day - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pestilence

Limited Edition Alpha common. Pestilence is easily one of the most powerful common cards ever printed for Limited formats. With the advent of Sixth Edition, it was moved to uncommon—and the Sixth Edition rules changes removed a saucy combo with Circle of Protection: Black that had been popular in early Constructed formats. Prior to Sixth Edition, one Circle activation could prevent a whole batch of Pestilence damage, rather than just 1 point.
Card of the Day - Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ghostly Flame

Ice Age rare. The ability to become colorless—the logical extension of Ghostly Flame's rules text—would later become primarily a red (and artifact) ability, as evidenced by Raging Spirit / Ancient Kavu and Ersatz Gnomes. Ghostly Flame—like Gloom before it, printed for the specific purpose of getting around white's damage prevention effects—would later lend inspiration to Time Spiral Block nostalgia riffs Ghostflame Sliver and Ghostfire. Note, however, that while a black creature can damage Paladin en-Vec with a Ghostly Flame out, it still can't block one.
Card of the Day - Monday, June 25, 2007

Circle of Protection: Red

Limited Edition Alpha common. Of all the circles of protection, Circle of Protection: Red has appeared in the most Magic sets. Through Eighth Edition, there were circles of protection from each color in each core set, but Ninth Edition cut those down to just the colors that were actually enemies of white. That should have meant that the black and red circles were tied for most sets, but Circle of Protection: Black was inadvertently left out of the Alpha set and thus wasn't printed until Beta (along with Volcanic Island, the other card missing from Alpha).
Card of the Day - Friday, June 22, 2007

Drekavac

Dissension uncommon. Although many monster names in Magic are invented from scratch, Drekavac is not one of them. Pronounced "DREK-ah-vats" in its source language, this mythical creature of south Slavic folklore was believed to be the tortured soul of a dead unbaptized child.
Card of the Day - Thursday, June 21, 2007

Carven Caryatid

Ravnica uncommon. "Caryatid" is a Latin word for a pillar sculpted into the shape of a female figure, originally coming from the Greek word for the priestesses of Artemis at Caryae. Carven Caryatid's creature type, Spirit, reflects an attempt to make the Kamigawa and Ravnica blocks play better together. Originally the Ravnica setting had no Spirits, but they were worked into both the cards and the story to promote cross-block synergy.
Card of the Day - Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fugue

Exodus uncommon. In addition to its musical meaning (such as in J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" or Guys and Dolls' "A Fugue for Tinhorns"), "fugue" is a psychiatric term that refers to an amnesic episode-a period of memory loss, befitting a discard spell that causes a player to "forget" some of the spells in his or her hand.
Card of the Day - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Copper Myr

Mirrodin common. The myr, short for "myrmidon," a Greek word meaning "servant," were designed by illustrator Matthew D. Wilson. Although both Wizards and players were very pleased with Kev Walker's illustrations for the cycle of common, color-keyed myr, the prolific illustrator is rumored to have been a bit bored by the assignment because of the similarity of the five little simulacra.
Card of the Day - Monday, June 18, 2007

Ire of Kaminari

Betrayers of Kamigawa common. The Japanese word "kaminari" means "lightning," but with the honorific-"kaminari-sama"-it can also refer to the kami of lightning, the "lightning spirit" of the Shinto belief system. The lightning spirit is also referred to as "laijin."
Card of the Day - Friday, June 15, 2007

Kavu Titan

Invasion rare. Kavu Titan is one of many creatures—stop us if you've heard this one—that are basically always better to have in your deck than poor old Grizzly Bears. The trend began with Muscle Sliver (a liability if your opponent has Slivers, but a much better choice in the abstract) and has continued since. How many creatures are there that have the same cost and effective stats as Grizzly Bears and an ability that is "all upside"? Click here.
Card of the Day - Thursday, June 14, 2007

Orim's Chant

Planeshift rare. Though Orim was originally intended as a minor character, she was eventually to have as many cards named after her possessively—that is, "Orim's"—as any other Weatherlight storyline character, and more than most. How many "Orim's" cards are there, what sets are they in, and what other Weatherlight character has as many? No points for using Gatherer! Click here.
Card of the Day - Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kangee, Aerie Keeper

Invasion rare. When the Bird type was consolidated with the various Vultures, Falcons, Aesthir, Pigeons, Mana Birds, Rocs, etc., some players were concerned about the fate of a certain Homelands card, then the only "lord" of any Bird-related type. Not only did Kangee come along to provide a genuine Bird "lord," but the Homelands card received errata so that it helped all Birds as well. What was that card, and what creature type was it "lord" of before the consolidation? Click here.
Card of the Day - Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Verdeloth the Ancient

Invasion rare. During Unhinged, Verdeloth was featured in the art of the card Name Dropping. The designers knew that they wanted a prominent Magic character wearing a "Hello, My Name Is" sticker, and Verdeloth was chosen. Partly this was because a tree wearing a name tag and "Hello, My Name Is Verdeloth" are funny, and partly it was because his name contains "the," making him especially likely to be returned with Name Dropping. Verdeloth also appears in the art of what Planar Chaos card? Click here.
Card of the Day - Monday, June 11, 2007

Phyrexian Scuta

Planeshift rare. One of the things that entertains R&D is making cards that hearken back to powerful cards from earlier eras in the game's history—particularly when those earlier cards were considered overpowered, either at the time or in the abstract. Phyrexian Scuta—like Plague Sliver after it—is an homage to what Arabian Night powerhouse? Click here.
 
Card of the Day - Friday, June 08, 2007

Skeleton Ship

Ice Age rare. Tom Wänerstrand says: "Skeleton Ship was fun as I worked together with Amy Weber—we passed the painting back and forth over a couple days, and it is a weird mix of styles. The ship itself is a bit of an homage to Pirate Ship." Current art director Jeremy Jarvis discussed cards illustrated by two artists in this Ask Wizards.
Card of the Day - Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ghost Ship

The Dark common. Tom Wänerstrand says: "[My art for] Ghost Ship was almost not used because the ship is not clearly flying. I offered to re-work it, but it was ultimately used as-is."
Card of the Day - Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pirate Ship

Limited Edition Alpha rare. Tom Wänerstrand says: "Pirate Ship was the first piece I ever painted for Magic. There was no real art description, but I knew it would be reproduced small, so I simply created a whimsical ship with a lot of color that would show up well at size. Jesper Myrfors—Magic's original art director—liked the piece so much that he bought the original and continued to assign ships to me on other sets."
Card of the Day - Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Reef Pirates

Fifth Edition common. Fifth Edition was a massive 449, easily the largest Magic set ever made (larger than Time Spiral's 422). The set marked the removal of many "staples" like Serra Angel, Lightning Bolt, and Swords to Plowshares, but made up for the losses by including great handfuls of underpowered cards—including 29 from the Homelands expansion.
Card of the Day - Monday, June 04, 2007

Merchant Ship

Arabian Nights uncommon. Merchant Ship was the first zero-power creature built for attacking. Later additions to the category include Swamp Mosquito, Lim-Dûl's Paladin, Guiltfeeder, and Vintage "silver bullet" Xantid Swarm.
Card of the Day - Friday, June 01, 2007

Shadow Guildmage

No creatures are more evocative of Ravnica’s two-color guild theme than its guildmages. These two-mana 2/2s used the new hybrid symbols to show they can be played with mana of either color in their guild. Since each guildmage has two activated abilities, one from each color, playing both colors unlocks all its potential. And because neither ability requires tapping, they can both be used, separately or together, several times in a single turn.
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