By: Jason Waddell
With Modern Masters already on the shelves, the Magic world’s attention turns to the next big landmark:
the new MTGO client Magic 2014. If you’re anything like me, nothing quite tickles your fancy like the prospect of new cards. Now, I’m not personally one to dig through the slop of spoiler pages to find the gems in the rough. I let others do the dirty work for me. For my dollar, there’s no better resource than the MTGS Cube “New Card Discussion” forum. There, users have culled the spoilers down to only those deserving of discussion. And at a quick glance, the ruling is clear. The fans are wild about the upcoming Elvish Mystic. Its thread has two-to-three times the number of posts of most other cards. So let’s check out this hot new commodity!
Hmm… that can’t be right. All I’m finding are old cards.
So I dug a little deeper.
Aha! There it is!
Now whenever a new card is printed, a common evaluation tool is to compare the new thing to existing known quantities. Due to its casting cost, activated ability, power, toughness, creature type, and second creature type, I’m sure there are those out there that will draw the inevitable comparisons to mana elves of days past. But there are some real substantive differences that should not be overlooked.
Let’s start (and end) with the names. Now, Elvish Mystic is the latest in a long line of cards in Wizards quest to strip the flavor from preexisting cards. Why use evocative names like Kodama, Llanowar and Fyndhorn when we can just slot in words from the English vocabulary? But don’t take that as a dig. While Elvish Mystic’s name may be instantly forgettable, it does evoke a strong pedigree:
Cards with the word “Mystic” in them have been restricted and banned from Magic’s most powerful formats! How can the other mana dorks possibly hope to match?
They can’t. But Rofellos is a pretty cool chap to be waving the banner for your clan. But I have to say, if that’s Llanowar “Reborn”, I’d hate to see how shabby it was in its original state.
Alas, House Fyndhorn. The above image actually captures all six cards ever printed with the word “Fyndhorn” in their title. Quite a ragtag crew, the Fyndhorns. Their bows are among the most inefficient in the land, and their elders look like Elvish incarnations of Steve Buscemi. Tack on the fact that “Fyndhorn Brownie” sounds like a Dominarian sex act (Fyndhorn Pollen lady knows what I’m talking about), and I think we’ve found our winner.
If you only run one functional reprint this summer, run Fyndhorn Elves.
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