Welcome to Throwback Week!

Mining the Past

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The letter W!elcome to Throwback Week! This week we'll be exploring how Magic's present pays homage to its past. And what better expansion to explore this with than the recently released Unhinged? And as Unhinged is a fun set and throwback week is a fun topic, I thought I should have a fun column. No deep thinking today.

Here's how it's going to work. I'll name a card from Magic's past that inspired an Unhinged card and your job is to guess the Unhinged card. Then I'll tell you which one it is and explain how it inspired the card in question.

Drop of Honey

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

Chaos Orb

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.


Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

Plague Rats

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

Survival Of The Fittest

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

Rabid Wombat

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

Sneak Attack

Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.


Click here to see what Unhinged card it inspired.

And So It Goes

That's about all the time I have left for today.

Join me next week when I talk about love and hate.

Until then, may your Magic past inspire your Magic future.

Mark Rosewater

We had Un Un Un 'Til Her Daddy Took The T-Bird Away

As I promised last week, I plan to use my column for the next several weeks to answer additional Unhinged rules questions. Here is today's batch:

“Artist Matters” Cards

If I have a card that represents a token and has art, is the token considered to have an artist for purposes of “artist matters” cards?
Yes, it is.

__________ (The Card With No Name)

If I change this card to another card's name, does it get all abilities of that card?
No, just the name.


How long do I have to catch a Cheatyface being played? The card says “instantly”.
The card is not worded ideally, so let me clarify. In order to be able to play the card for free, you have to get it into play without your opponent seeing you do so. The speed of them noticing doesn't matter. The question is did they see you do it? If they comment within seconds of you putting the card into play, the answer is yes they did see you. If your opponent's reaction is “when did you play that?” then no, they didn't see you and you've gotten it in play.
If there is confusion, ask your opponent the following question, “When and how did I get Cheatyface into play?” If they can correctly answer the question (“Uh, you just slid it out from under your arm two seconds ago?”), bye bye Cheatyface.

I snuck my Cheatyface out by putting it underneath a card in play. Is it considered in play as soon as I do this or doesn't the “in play” count until the card is visible?
For purposes of this card, “in play” means “in play and visible”.

If I have a Meddling Kids in play with the chosen word “flying” can it stop Cheatyface from being played?
Played? Yes. Snuck into play? No.

Frazzled Editor

Every other card that counts the text box counts reminder text and legal text. Why doesn't the Frazzled Editor?
This is a question best answered by looking at the flavor of the ability. Protection from wordy is meant to be a protection against wordy cards. A vanilla card isn't wordy simply because it has elaborate flavor text. Wordy refers to the complexity of the rules text.

Goblin Secret Agent

What happens if I don't have any cards in my hand during my upkeep? Must I sacrifice the Goblin Secret Agent?
I did a poor job of explaining this in the FAQ(TIWDAWCC). To satisfy the upkeep of the Goblin Secret Agent, all you need to do is attempt to leak information. If your hand is empty, randomly showing 1 of your 0 cards satisfies the upkeep.

Letter Bomb

What happens to Letter Bomb that's in an opponent's library when a sub-game (started by something like Enter the Dungeon) begins?
Letter Bomb will go into the sub-game where it will blow up if drawn.

If Letter Bomb blows up in a sub-game, what happens to it back in the main game?
The Letter Bomb gets shuffled back into the opponent's library. Whatever gets brought into the sub-game must return to the library that brought it.

Look at Me, I'm R&D

Who is the artist of this card?
No one. The card has no illustration.

Loose Lips

My opponent has a Loose Lips enchanting his creature. When that creature damages me, I am forced to say “I concede the game” or allow my opponent to draw two cards. Does saying “I concede the game” actually force me to concede the game”?
No, it does not. Why? Because the sentence is being used to satisfy another need. Loose Lips cannot force you into making verbal statements that commit you to game actions (although it can force you to trigger Gotcha conditions).

Moniker Mage

Since naming my opponent's middle name is a cost, if I stated it incorrectly, aren't I guilty of not properly paying a cost and have to back up?
Guess what, rules in Silver-bordered Land don't work exactly like they do in Black-bordered Land. In Silver-bordered land, for example, Goblin Bookie works. So, let me set the record straight. If you attempt to use the second ability and fail, you're out of luck. Mr. Rules Lawyer – no soup for you!

My First Tome

My opponent read the flavor text for _________ (the card with no name). If I guess nothing (you know, the name), can he respond by changing the name of the card so my guess is incorrect?
No. The ability can only be activated “anytime” a player can play an ability. That moment in time is not one of those such times.

How do I read the flavor text of Magical Hacker?
It reads (in L33t, or “lete”, speak) “If you can read this you are a monster geek.”

Now I Know My ABC's

Isn't this a two-card combo with ___________ (the card with no name)?
No. ____________ can only change its name to existing Magic cards and there is currently no card that combines with Now I Know My ABC's to hit all twenty-six letters.

R&D Secret Lair

If I use this with Ashnod's Coupon, can I make my opponent buy the drink?
Our official stance on R&D Secret Lair is that the chaos is left up to the discretion of the players. (fingers in ears) La la la la la la la la la.

Is writing on a card (such as on Frazzled Editor and Look at Me, I'm R&D) considered errata?
I'll answer this one because it doesn't mention the effect of the card. No, they are not. All card text (with the sole exception of text labeled as Errata) is considered to be official text regardless of the presentation of the writing.

Hey, you just mentioned cards that have their errata labeled on them. That's Ashnod's Coupon. Were you secretly giving us an answer to the first question?
No. I mean (fingers in ears) La la la la la la la la la.

Richard Garfield, Ph.D.

You claim in the FAQ(TIWDAWCC) that Richard can only choose cards legal in the format he's playing. But Booster Tutor is legal in any format Richard is legal in and it allows you to play booster packs of any set. So doesn't that mean that Richard may in any format play any card as any card in existence?
Booster Tutor is merely potential and thus does not enable Richard to name cards from anywhere. But note that once you use the Booster Tutor and bring an outside expansion card into the game you do enable Richard to name any card from that expansion for the remainder of the game.

If Richard is in play, can I play any card with a mana cost of Blue ManaBlue ManaBlue Mana as a Cheatyface and sneak it into play?
Yes, you can. Announce what it is as soon as it's discovered.

Side to Side

Who chooses what arm both players wrestle with? This might matter due to things like right-handness/left-handedness or cards like Farewell to Arms.
The player playing the spell chooses which arm is used. Note that both players must wrestle with the same arm.


If I attach my S.N.O.T. to a S.N.O.T. in play that I do not control, who controls the creature?
Whoever controlled the original S.N.O.T. controls the new, larger S.N.O.T.

What happens if I attach a S.N.O.T. to a _________ (the card with no name) that has been activated to be named S.N.O.T.?
You'll have a single 1/1 creature. Here's what's going on. Being named S.N.O.T. is all a card needs to have another S.N.O.T. attached to it. But the ability that changes its power and toughness is an ability of S.N.O.T. - which a renamed _________ does not have.

Time Machine

What happens when I put an Ornithopter (or any other 0 cost creature) in the Time Machine?
It comes back during the beginning of turn 0. Since the game doesn't start until turn 1 (there's some things we try to spare you having to see), the Ornithopter is merely already in play when the first turn starts.

Vile Bile

Can I touch my opponent's skin with this card to make them lose 2 life?
I think I was a little unclear with my FAQ(TIWDAWCC) answer, so let me restate it. Can you do this? No!

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