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  • And the Fandom Rejoiced:
    • The announcement that Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic would be banned on July 1st, 2011 caused this among large portions of people. This has been true of most big bans throughout history...and they've also caused just as much consternation as they watch the banned cards plummet in secondary market price.
    • Ravnica, City of Guilds was one of the more popular blocks when it rolled out in 2005. Then in April of 2012, they announced that the next block would be a return to Ravnica.
  • Author's Saving Throw: At various times, the popularity and longevity of the game has supposedly been in danger due to poor decisions from the designers (for example, after the tepid response to Homelands or mounting player frustration at the dominance of Necropotence decks), which then demanded that Wizards of the Coast pull out all the stops on their latest product to assuage the masses. For example, after the insanity of the Urza cycle and the blandness of the Mercadia sets (which was an intentional effort to counterbalance Urza), many feared the game would flounder, but the well-received Invasion block undid much of the damage and radically changed the way that players approached deck design. Magic is, however, much more stable than many believe.
  • Broken Base: Different people like and hate different things about Magic. They argue endlessly about it on the Internet.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Unglued and Unhinged are illegal for serious play and most cards from those sets will never be re-printed.
  • Cliché Storm: Innistrad block (purposefully) plays every Gothic Horror tropes to the hilt. Restless geists, zombie apocalypse, demon cults, vampire lineages, rampaging werewolves, cackling mad scientists, humankind besieged by unholy darkness...
  • Complete Monster:
    • Yawgmoth started out as a blend of all the worst parts of Adolf Hitler and Josef Mengele. This was when he was still human. After gaining control of Phyrexia, he ended up as the multiverse's equivalent of Satan.
    • The Simic from Ravnica are quite possibly the most evil criminals of the setting. Besides genetically altering people against their will and sending deadly predators around, they threw around deadly plagues just to see if people would survive, and charged for the cures! At least the Rakdos were honest in their intents.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Crazy Awesome pyromancer Jaya Ballard, whose awesome quotes adorned many a burn spell (and who provided the page quote for Kill It with Fire). Finally printed in Time Spiral, and she was awesome.
    • Yawgmoth, and Phyrexians in general. When they first appeared, they were barely a footnote in the flavor of the Antiquities expansion; eventually, they morphed into the main villain in Magic's Rogues Gallery.
  • Fan Dumb: Concerning any number of things, but the color pie itself seems to be the most frequent source. Some people have too simple a view of the colors and others just don't have any clue what's really going on.
  • Foe Yay:
    • The lesser planeswalkers Chandra and Jace are implied to have this sort of relationship, judging by the flavor text of many of their respective cards. The tie-in works seem to confirm this: they often unite to defeat a common foe and even save each other's lives from time to time, but still chase each other around a lot. In honor of this, Wizards has released a pair of preconstructed decks reflecting the two.
    • Even more so, Chandra and Gideon Jura had even more build up, including a implied romantic subplot in the novel, The Purifying Fire. It makes for an interesting relationship, as they seem to like each other, but openly despise what the other one stands for; Chandra being all about personal freedom, and Gideon about the importance of law and serving the greater good.
    • Garruk and Liliana: "I like your axe. Very manly."
    • The never-legal (and really unplayable even if it were legal) card Splendid Genesis, designed to commemorate the birth of Garfield's daughter, would qualify if it were ever played. He did, however, propose to his then-girlfriend, Lily Wu, over a game. She accepted. (It did, however, take him four games to actually draw Proposal.)
  • Game Breaker: See Game Breaker/Magic the Gathering.
  • Ho Yay: Chandra and Nissa both have negative responds to most humans. Over the story they find comfort in each other other from while burning 2 Eldrazi titans , confronting Chandra's past, walking in Amonkhet and when Chandra find out she loves Nissa in War of the Spark novel.
    • In Inniastrad story there is a pair of lesbian running away during the corruption
  • I Knew It!: Usually rare due to the many rumormongers who try to spoil each upcoming set, but the "priceless treasures" promotion from the Zendikar set qualifies.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: There was an old deck called Sligh (after Paul Sligh, the player who made the deck famous) or Red Deck Wins. A new version of this archetype is available in all formats at all times. In terms of cards generally considered broken, though, blue has the most.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Yawgmoth, whose original, human incarnation is best described as "Hitler, but sexy."
    • Nicol Bolas, the oldest known planeswalker and the last Elder Dragon, is one of these. He's over 30,000 years old, has ruled empires, and is the Big Bad in more than one story. Currently, he's taken Yawgmoth's place as the current supreme threat to Dominia's safety and happiness, although in a more behind-the-scene fashion.
  • Mistaken for Subculture: Jace is frequently assumed to be an Emo by players who aren't heavily invested in the story.
  • Moral Event Horizon: During his exile, Yawgmoth visited several civilizations and ended up destroying them all with plagues he brewed up himself. In one case he did it just to see what would happen.
  • Narm Charm: "Ach! Hans, run! It's the lhurgoyf!" is redundant, goofy, out-of-the-blue, and offers absolutely no explanation about what a lhurgoyf is.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Magic 2010 replaced the old familiar Grizzly Bears with Runeclaw Bear. The ratings speak for themselves.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: Atog was a scrappy thanks being the most printed card other than basic lands for a few months after Revised, but by the time Mirage made atogs an iconic race, not only had the haters disappeared in a puff of apathy, but the people who liked the atogs' goofily-large toothy grins and power in decks built to feed them were more plentiful than ever.
  • Rooting for the Empire: One of the most prominent fansites is called Phyrexia.com, and is themed around the plane of Phyrexia, complete with the forums being named after each of that plane's layers, users calling themselves "Phyrexians", and it being an unnofficial rule not to write the name of Yawgmoth. For those unfamiliar with the setting, we would like to remind you that Phyrexia is a hellish biomechanical dystopia occupied by always lawful evil Body Horror monstrosities and ruled over by a Complete Monster Evilutionary Biologist turned Omnicidal Maniac God of Evil.
  • Ruined FOREVER:
    • The occasional reaction to horribly overpowered blocks. Mirrodin and Urza's Combo Block come to mind. Especially Urza's, due to the Combo Winter that resulted.
    • Mark Rosewater, one of the long-time designers of Magic, admitted in one of his articles that Urza's Block was in fact the only block that got the entire Design Team dragged up to the top office and yelled at, collectively. Seems that they should've paid more attention to a card that can generate 'X mana equal to the number of Permanent Type X'...
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • Mark Rosewater is the head designer and is essentially the public face of Magic design and development. If something goes wrong, it's his fault. Even if he had nothing to do with it, it's always MaRo's fault. People often mistakenly call him the head of Magic R&D as a whole. The game's inventor, Richard Garfield, seems to have escaped this.
    • If the card based on him is any indication, Richard Garfield is actually an inversion.
  • The Scrappy:
    • This applies to the Homelands expansion. Almost all of the cards were too weak to see any play, even outside of tournaments, giving it a reputation as a set consisting of nothing but useless junk (The Duelist once admitted the only worthwhile card in the set was an ok anti-weenie card, and people only played that when there were block rules that required decks to contain cards from every expansion in the current rotation; later, Merchant Scroll gained some popularity as well). Packs of Homelands cards were still available in stores for next-to-nothing long after it had "officially" gone out of print.
    • Fallen Empires, too, for about the same reasons. It was considerate enough not be jammed in the middle of the first semi-real block. It was also massively over-printed, with almost six times as many cards printed as any expansion set before it (approximately 350 million cards, compared to the 62 million of the preceding set, The Dark) and almost as many as the then-current base set, Revised Edition (estimated at 500 million cards over its lifetime.)
    • After the overpowered Urza's Block, Mercadian Masques looked weak and underpowered in comparison. One big problem with Mercadian Masques was all the reprints of weak cards. (Kyren Glider < Goblin Glider, Moment of Silence < Festival, the return of storage lands from Fallen Empires.) Some of them were even from the granddaddy of Scrappy sets, The Dark.
    • Likewise, Kamigawa block, coming out hot on the heels of Mirrodin. It was followed by Ravnica to boot, a reasonably powerful set that's been a fan-favorite since printing (even the less powerful cards are considered fun).
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • "Bands with other." Editor Mark Gottlieb explains why.[1]
    • Banding. Banding is easier to understand, and many times more versatile, but many players still didn't get it.
    • "Affinity for artifacts," although often acknowledged as a fair mechanic in a vacuum, gained infamy through its association with the "Ravager Affinity" deck that dominated the format at the time, so much so that its key cards were banned from tournament play. The backlash was strong enough that when Scars of Mirrodin revisited Mirrodin, the designers chose not to bring it back in fear that its new incarnation would inherit the Scrappy legacy of the mechanic.[2]
    • Cards that require a coin flip have consistently been among the least popular cards in their respective sets, according to Wizards of the Coasts's market research. Head Designer Mark Rosewater explains.
    • Countering. This is a big reason the scrubs mentioned below say "no blue". Countering is something you must expect against a blue deck, but the counter to counterspells is, paradoxically, to play as many spells as possible and hope one sticks.
  • Scrub: As always, in contrast to the "Stop Having Fun!" Guys: any card that the Scrub's deck can't deal with is "cheap", and anyone using it is trying to ruin the game for everyone who wants to play real Magic. It's common for people seeking casual games in Magic Online to put something similar to the following in the description:

 No blue, no land destruction, no goblins, no elves, no nonbasic lands...

  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: New players may be mystified as to why certain famous/infamous cards have such a reputation. Sometimes this is because of their still immature grasp of the game, but other times it's because those cards were simply good in their particular metagame, making their dominance a matter of context. Or even that the rules of Magic have changed so that whatever made them good in the first place doesn't work anymore.
  • So Bad It's Good: A handful of cards, particularly from early sets such as Legends, are so thoroughly useless that they're regarded with a degree of affection by players. [3]
  • Squick: Uktabi Kong, a card (tap two apes to produce an ape token) which invokes a number of sex tropes, but especially:
    • Everyone Is Bi (the only non-squick trope here)
    • Incest Is Relative (tap an ape token with one of its parents, or two ape tokens since they're likely brother and sister)
    • Homosexual Reproduction (tap Ape A and Ape B one turn, Ape A and Ape C another turn, and Ape B and Ape C a third turn: You have either one or three cases of this.)
    • It's also an Homage to another Squicky card, Uktabi Orangutan, where the background art has two monkeys who look like they're going at it in the jungle sense.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: Yawgmoth's cure for phthisis actually worked.
  • Stealth Pun: The M13 set's Mark Of The Vampire. Markov, the vampire.
  • Technician Versus Performer: One of the oldest ongoing disputes amongst competitive Magic players is whether netdecking or not is more "pure". Netdecking is the concept of taking a well perforing decklist, and fine tuning it to your meta. The alternative being to develop a rogue strategy specific for the anticipated metagame.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Too many times to count. The most recent example (as of mid-2009) are the rules changes introduced here, but the game has to tweak itself a little every year, and each year brings a plethora of complaining, along with the beeping of cash registers to drown them out.
    • The major rules overhaul with Sixth Edition caused a massive outcry among players at the time.
    • Perhaps the biggest Internet Backdraft occurred in 2003, when they made some rather drastic changes to the cosmetic layout of the cards.
    • Four words: Planeswalkers as playable cards.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: The most powerful cards and decks as players grow tired of seeing the same cards at the top tables of every tournament. Victims have included:
    • The Lorwyn-era Faeries deck
    • Mirrodin's infamous Ravager Affinity deck, which was so overpowered that it resulted in multiple card bannings.
    • The Jund deck that dominated Standard after the release of Alara Reborn.
    • Jace, the Mind Sculptor's unprecedented price tag (about $100 at its peak), combined with his status as a staple in multiple formats, has earned him a lot of unpopularity among some segments of the player base. It got to the point that Wizards had to ban Jace from decks.
    • Similar to Jace, Primeval Titan became a key card in the then-dominant Valakut Ramp (and to a lesser extent, Eldrazi Ramp) decks, leading for calls to ban the Titan and Valakut. Soon afterwards, however, ramp decks fell out of favor, mostly ending Primeval Titan's Tier-Induced Scrappy status until the Wolf Run Ramp deck brought it back.
  • Too Cool to Live: Venser, among others.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The writers of the Guildpact, for intentionally writing in an antagonist for whom failure was NOT the only option, because "hey, there's an empty slot." The spoilered mistake sets in motion the plots of the entire Ravnica trilogy.
  • Uncanny Valley: Phyrexian Unlife is quite jarring.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Yawgmoth's rational, scientific and analytic mindset is in open contrast with any kind of mysticism, romaniticism and/or devotion towards "magic" typical of the biggest part of characters. Needless to say, he's the Big Bad.
  • The Untwist: In the Scars of Mirrodin storyline, Phyrexia has vastly superior forces, the element of surprise, and is the bad guy. Any Genre Savvy player worth his salt would think The Good Guys Win against overwhelming odds, right? Nope. Welcome to New Phyrexia, folks.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: From the Mirrodin blocks, Glissa Sunseeker. Can they do anything to make the poor elf's existence any more outright soul-crushing? Her family is violently murdered by little automated thresher machines. She endures a great many difficulties in collecting the Macguffins of Power only to have them turned on her almost immediately by the Big Bad. Her Heroic Sacrifice allows Slobad to save the people of the world, transporting those who were abducted from other planes back to their original planes... including every one of Glissa's friends (except Slobad) and her only surviving family member, but not her, ensuring her heroism is totally forgotten by everyone else. When she gets back, she's blamed for everything bad that happened in the last several years before being corrupted by Phyrexian oil and turned into a powerful enemy of the same world she'd worked so hard to save.

Notes

  1. The rules for the "Bands With Other" mechanic have since been changed to be more intuitive.
  2. Source
  3. Chimney Imp is a particularly iconic example, attaining a status of Memetic Badass on the official forums, but is by no means the worst creature; that dubious honour goes to Wood Elemental.
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