Magical History of Blue Grizzly Bears

Continuing this voyage of weird corners of the Magic design, we come to Grizzly Bears, but I’m limiting this to a very specific subgroup of blue.

Why blue? Because it’s the only color that hasn’t received a true Grizzly Bear yet, meaning a 2/2 vanilla creature with a casting cost of 1U.

There’s a total of 204 2/2 creatures with a casting cost of 1C (including Un-Cards). Each other color has some of them and has even creatures that are strictly better than that. It took a while for black and red to get to that point, but here we are and now they aren’t even interesting any more. But blue is still making it’s way towards that goal and I’m not sure it will ever reach it. (Although it should be noted that in order to be truly strictly worse or better than something, the cards should be of the same color.)

Blue only has ten Grizzly Bears throughout the history of the game, and I’m going to leave out the Un-Card, which leaves us with nine total, meaning that they are quite rare.

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Magical History of Switching Power and Toughness

Swithing power and toughness isn’t something that happens a lot in Magic. Usually, because it’s hard to find cards where it’s interesting. Of course, there have been cases in which it was done simply for the sake of doing it, but it was quickly found out those cards didn’t do much for the game as they are quite situational, so the newer iterations were either pushed or R&D tried to do something more interesting with them.

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The Magical History of Mirrored White and Black Knights

We saw the first knights in Alpha. White Knight was a strong and efficient card by the standards of those days and still is for an uncommon. But there was also it’s dark counterpart, the Black Knight. A flavor-win certainly, except that of course they could never actually fight due to their Protection abilities. Both saw some tournament play (I certainly played with both back in the day) and both have seen a number of reprints. White and black have also been pitted against each other in a similar way quite a few more times, often through knights.

This is specifically for white and black. There are other similar mirrors in white and red, but we’ll forget about those. Since the mirrors don’t sometimes come to be in the same set, I’ve placed these mirrors where the latter part was first printed. White has plenty more knights than this, but we are specifically interested in these pairs here. Black has some other ones as well, especially in Ixalan, but again, not interested in those.

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Magical History of Green Ramp Spells

Each color has its distinctive features and one of the features for green is its ability to ramp. Sure, all colors can produce extra mana in some way or another, but green is definitely the master of this, having several ways of doing it in most sets.

However, since I don’t want to go through all the ways green can do this (mana elves, doubling effects), I’m limiting this to noncreature cards that put lands into play from your library and are green (there are some white and colorless ones that do this as well). I’ll probably do a separate one on creatures at some point. I’ll also omit all the spells, that don’t actually add lands, but rather change the ones you already have into different ones, like Scapeshift which could be used to produce more mana in many ways, but generally isn’t.

This is up until Ixalan.

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Last Hurrah for the HOU Standard

This still current (for less than two weeks) Standard has been fun. Granted, I haven’t been able to do the usual attacking the meta from a different angle -thing that usually works for me the best, but the range of playable decks has been awesome and even though I don’t really like playing against decks like those revolving around Approach of the Second Sun, those feel like an important piece of the puzzle as they do keep certain decks from becoming prevalent.

Since this past Friday was the last opportunity for me to play a tournament, I made certain I would be able to participate in the FNM.

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Ixalan Brews, pt. 9 – Looking for Orazca

Back in the day, a long, long time ago, Icy Manipulator was a great card, because you could use it to force an opponent to play more than one threat, so you could gain value from Wrath of God. These days the ole Icy is long gone, but we do have Gideon of the Trials and now Thaumatic Compass.

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