arning: There will be NO Champions of Kamigawa limited content in this article. This week is devoted to other things, so if it's draft tips you're after then please move along, nothing to see here (please come back next week though, thanks!). Today we will instead be taking a quick look at one of Unhinged's new offerings ahead of this weekend's release events.
Today's preview card is very bad. Not in a “wow this sucks!” way or even in a Michael Jackson “I'm bad! I'm bad! You know it…” way, but rather in an environmental / politically correct kinda way. For those of you who are already familiar with the Un- sets, the fact that there is a non-PC card or two in the mix probably won't surprise you, but this one has a neater twist than most.
If you just want to see the card and then go about your business I suppose I'll indulge you this once. Here's today's preview card:
The best thing about this card by far is that finally, no longer will a judge be able to penalise you for telling your opponent “hey dude, you've got a Fat Ass!”
Food, glorious food
The second best thing about this card is also the worst thing about it; it encourages you to eat. Not only that, it actually encourages you to SNACK. Let's be honest, it's not all that likely that you'll be turning up to your local Magic shop with a camping stove and a tin of beans in your rucksack is it? Now I don't know about the rest of you but I don't need a Magic card to encourage me to indulge in my favourite tasty treat, I'm quite capable of doing that all by myself thank you very much. However it now means that you'll have to have a handy supply of snacks at all times if you want to actually get your mana's worth from your Fat Ass. In some ways this might be a blessing though. You have to resist eating whatever goodies you have with you until the time comes to drop your Fat Ass into play. How embarrassing would it be to run your Fat Ass into combat with an opponent's 4/4 and then find nothing but an empty Snickers wrapper at the bottom of your rucksack?
If you plan on playing Magic for a long time on a given day you then need to give some serious thought to what food-stuffs to take with you. You don't want to lose your Fat Ass because you just can't stomach another Tootsie Roll do you? In times like that, long lasting items are the order of the day. We're talking hard candy here people. You need to ration for the length of the event and any food that can easily remain in your mouth for the length of a game of Magic is worth considering. Suckable things are what you're after, but you don't want anything that disappears in just a minute or two. (Do you have gobstoppers in the U.S. or are they a UK phenomenon?) Regardless, those would be ideal for any long event you might be entering.
To avoid any rules disputes Wizards has handily included the word “Food” in the reminder text. To be eating you have to have food in your mouth so chewing on a pen-lid doesn't count and sucking on your own hair or thumb or even a neighbour's won't get you anywhere either (unless you come from a tribe of cannibals of course, in which case consult your local Level 3 Judge for a ruling).
There are a few other important things to note about this card. The first is that someone in R&D has finally gotten a pass in their Mathematics 101 class and learnt how to use a decimal point! Yes folks, that is a toughness of three-and-a-half. Now most of you will just appreciate the overall funness of fractions but I'm sure there'll be a Maths geek or two who immediately chimes in with:
“But how is a toughness of 3.5 functionally different from a toughness of 4? It survives a 3 damage spell and dies to a 4 damage spell just the same as if it had 4 toughness. It dies in combat to a 4 power creature and lives through a 3 power creature just as if it had 4 toughness. Surely this non-integer toughness is just a pointless ploy to make it look interesting!?”
Ahh. Yes... um… well, what if your Fat Ass gets dealt 3.5 damage hmm? Didn't think of that did ya? There are several other ways you might see fractions used in Unhinged but if I told you Scott Johns would kick my (Fat) ass and that's something I'd like to avoid. Want to know more? You'll have to wait for the weekend Release Events I'm afraid!
Suffice to say, fractions are important.
It turns out your math teacher wasn't just making that up. Who knew?
Get the Donks!
I do think that Wizards has missed the boat with the creature type by making us wait so long. Donkey Shaman! I love it! This is the first time we've had donkeys in Magic and I for one feel like it's been a long time coming. But why must we relegate donkeys to sitting on the sidelines of constructed Magic, never to see true tournament play? For too long have these noble steeds endured the mockery of the world! Who wouldn't like to see a Donkey Warrior take down a Legendary Samurai in combat, or have a Donkey Monk save you from lethal damage? (hmm… typing that makes me realise why we have “apes” and not “monkeys” in Magic – would you really be able to suppress a snigger every time you cast a “Monkey Monk”?) It's nice to see donkeys getting some of the respect they deserve, even if it is in a “fun” set like Unhinged.
You have to bear in mind that donkeys have been amongst the most famous of all the animals through the ages. In Egyptian times for example, the donkey was a symbol of the god, Ra. I kid you not. In addition to that there's also… um… Donkey Kong who, whilst perhaps is not technically a donkey, certainly felt strong enough about the species to take on the name. There's also… err… the donkey from Shrek! If a well-respected actor such as Eddie Murphy is willing to lend his voice to a donkey then it's apparent we're talking about a much loved animal.
Hopefully, once Wizards realises just how popular donkeys are, we'll see some in a proper set. We've just had a set full of Foxes after all, so I don't think this is an unrealistic expectation. I'm optimistic that we'll get some more donkeys in the main set next fall, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
As a final note, it's also worth noting that this card is a common. Unhinged drafts will be taking place around the world at the Release Events this weekend and this is bound to be a respectable common for its cost. If you find yourself drafting green just make sure you know where the nearest vending machine is at the very least!