Thursday, February 25, 2010

Random Card of the Week: False Summoning

Today's Random Card of the Week is False Summoning. Released in the "beginner" Portal Second Age Set, False Summoning suffers from a crazy text box designed to confuse a beginning player as much as possible, perhaps even forcing them to quit magic altogether. The theory wasn't new, Richard Garfield actually first implemented this strategy in the original Magic Starter Rule Book, usually found in old-school starter boxes. Where does my mana go again? And the game sold like hotcakes, folks!

The basic idea for Portal was to eliminate the "instant" spell. Too hard to cast spells on top of each other! Instead they forced Sorcerys to fulfill the same duties…does that make any sense?

What we have here is a completely functionally-equivalent version of Remove Soul or Essence Scatter, but in a package requiring extensive explanation and Internet search queries every time you play it. A good card for showing off your new iPhone.

"It's actually an Instant, you see my good man. Let me pull out this electronic device and prove it to you."

The art for False Summoning is the product of the esteemed Tony DeTerlizzi, the guy who also did all the art for The Spiderwick Chronicles. Unfortunately, his talents in the Magic: The Gathering world have been mostly limited to bizarre Portal and Starter cards like the aforementioned False Summoning.

Other weird cards you better have your iPhone (and your Spiderwick Chronicles box set) ready for:

Fire Imp
Goblin Game

See, you never have to put the phone away! Look at the possibilities.

With over 10,000 Magic: The Gathering cards, you can be assured there are many more Random Cards of the Week to come. Perhaps tomorrow, or even a week from now.

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