Oldschool Tron

In early 1994, the Antiquities expansion provided us with a peculiar set of lands. The Urza lands were the only cards in the set apart from Strip Mine that didn't have the word "artifact" printed on them anywhere, and they were the first Magic cards that explicitly referenced other non-basic cards. I said other . Uh, that's not a specific other card. Also that one got errata. Come on, that's an art reference, not a rules reference. Hey, that one wasn't in stores until a couple of months later. Ok dammit, point taken. So, the Urza lands were the first cards that blatantly asked you to play them together, can I say that without interrupting myself? That " the whole is greater than the sum of the parts "; or " a system is never the sum of its parts; it’s the product of their interaction "; or " 1+1+1=7 "*; or similar wisdom attributed to Aristotle, Ackoff, or some flawed mathematician was first explicitly introduced with the Urza

How to clean a Magic card

A couple of months ago I bought a mystery box of mostly early 2000s era bulk. I was well acquainted with the old owner 15-20 years ago, when we both were a part of the Vintage - and later Legacy - scenes in Gothenburg. We also had a common interest in punk music and beer, so a few of my finest memories of our friendship are away from cardboard. I'm particularly fond of recollecting one hungover morning circa 2005, when he woke up on the floor of my tiny dorm room to find that Suburban Commando was serendipitously live on my equally small TV. We called a number to a supposed pizzeria (which I was never able to actually locate), and magically got delivered two of the best kebab pizzas I've ever had. It was an afternoon of Mike's special kebab, Hulk Hogan, and re-runs of Red Dwarf (Stoke me a clipper!) that perfectly encapsulated a slice of the best of what my early 20s could offer. A hundred years prior no king could eat that well, nor enjoy such entertainment. These days we

Salt Tiers

In the oldest days, the main purpose of a creature was to attack and block. And whenever a summon would stray from this core raison d'être, it would be to act as another type of permanent. Llanowar Elves would do a good impression of a land, Ali from Cairo could seem like an enchantment, Prodigal Sorcerer basically has the text of an artifact. But what creatures were not, were spells. All that was to change with the set Visions in 1997. A small handful of creatures in Visions came with a spell attached to them; Unsummon, Verdigris, Terror. It was a taste of things to come. In the industry, we call these " Virtual Vanilla ". These days it's almost a given that a good creature should have a positive effect the turn it comes into play. Combat stats and keyword abilities have become secondary to the spells or additional rules text slapped onto our summons. When was the last time a creature with only keyword abilities was actually good in Standard? Baneslayer Angel in the