Jeff Zandi is a five time pro tour veteran who has been playing
Magic since 1994. Jeff is a level two DCI judge and has
been judging everything from small local tournaments
to pro tour events. Jeff is from Coppell, Texas, a suburb
of Dallas, where his upstairs game room has been the
"Guildhall", the home of the Texas Guildmages,
since the team formed in 1996. One of the original
founders of the team, Jeff Zandi is the team's
administrator, and is proud to continue the team's
tradition of having players in every pro tour from the
first event in 1996 to the present.
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Saviors of Kamigawa
Eight Cards From the New Set You CAN’T BELIEVE
by Jeff Zandi - 4.1.05
With nearly two
months still to go before the pre-release tournaments
for Saviors of Kamigawa, information about the new set
and the new cards it holds has been at a premium, to say
the very least. I have never really been privy to new
cards or new sets ahead of time, a fact that I am not
particularly proud of. Everyone would love to be
“in-the-know”, anyone would love to be the ultimate
insider with all the information at their disposal while
the unwashed masses assemble all across the Magic world
chomping at the bit for even the smallest morsel of
“secret” knowledge. Let’s say your wrist was the pulse
of the Magic world. Normally, my finger would be FAR
from the pulse, located straight up my…well, anyway,
suffice to say that I don’t seem to ever be on the
inside track where new cards are concerned.
I had a sealed deck article all ready for my
long-suffering editors at Pojo.
At the last minute last night, and I mean the VERY LAST
MINUTE, just before I submitted my perfectly reasonable
story about building better Champions/Betrayers sealed
decks for the new London PTQ season, I got pulled from
my work by a VERY WELL-PLACED INSIDER. While you and I
are busy each day with our college studies or our
various Square Day Jobs, this insider, whom I am
certainly not at liberty to actually name, looks at
cards. ALL OF THE CARDS, all day long. While I’m
struggling with my low-carbohydrate diet and trying to
figure out where the cheapest place is to buy gasoline,
this INSIDER is thinking only of cards, cards for the
future of Magic. Strangely, if I even told you how he
came to be in my house earlier tonight, I’d be giving
away too much.
The insider told me he wanted to talk about the new set,
Saviors of Kamigawa. I told him that I wanted to watch
The Apprentice with my wife, Willa. He insisted. I put
him off until the first commercial break. That was when
he dropped nine cards I had never seen before into my
lap. He now had my undivided attention. Here are the
cards that he showed me.
NINE CARDS FROM SAVIORS OF KAMIGAWA
Attempting to help my friend maintain some level of
plausible deniability, I didn’t ask any particularly
detailed questions about how these cards were developed
or how exactly they fit into the Champions block
mindset. There will be time enough for those
conversations when these cards are no longer SECRET
INFORMATION. In the meantime, we have to be content with
the cards themselves.
Eye of the Pumpkin is a common instant for 2GG that
gives a target creature
+7/+7 until end of turn.
Uru, His Personal Darkness is an uncommon 3/3 Legendary
Creature – Ogre for 3B. Ubu has the ability to tap to
give a target black creature +1/+0 and fear until end of
Shining Edger is an uncommon 2/5 artifact creature for
six colorless mana.
Edger has first strike and is Indestructible.
Duskpyc the Mad Duck is a rare 2/2 Legendary Human
Wizard for UU. When Duskpyc comes into play, name a card
type. Opponents playing cards of the named type must pay
two additional colorless mana when they play a card of
the named type.
Dark Hypnotist is a rare 2/2 Human Mage for 4B that
comes into play with three ki counters on him. Dark
Hypnotist has the ability to remove a charge counter
whenever you sacrifice a creature. At end of turn, if
there are no counters on Dark Hypnotist, you may flip
it. When flipped, this card becomes Mazakala the
Insensed, a 1/4 Legendary Creature – Spirit. Mazakala
ability: all other black Spirits you control gain +3/+3
Binds of Nature is an uncommon sorcery for 4GG that says
“remove three target creatures you control from the
game. If you do, put a Spirit token into play with power
and toughness equal to the accumulated powers and
toughnesses of the creatures removed from the game by
Binds of Nature. If any of the creatures removed by
Binds of Nature had either flying, first strike,
trample, fear or haste, the Spirit token created by
Binds of Nature also has those abilities.
Claww the Spirit Wind is a 5/5 flying rare Spirit Dragon
for 4UU. You can sacrifice Claww the Spirit Wind to
destroy all creatures in play with flying.
Angel of Wings is a rare 5/5 flying Angel Spirit for 5WW
that allows you to sacrifice a Spirit creature you
control to gain three life points.
Guilty Tax Magician is a rare enchantment for 1BB that,
at the beginning of your end step, allows you to lose
three life in order to draw three cards.
First of all, it looks like Necropotence is back at long
last, even though Guilty Tax Magician is much less
powerful than the original sick black card drawing
Claww the Spirit Wind seems almost underpriced for a 5/5
flyer with the ability to give you massive card
advantage whenever your opponent has more flying
creatures than you have.
Binds of Nature is the most confusing card of the bunch.
I quickly turned my nose up at the idea of tapping all
my mana (six is a lot!) to then remove three of my
creatures from the game in order to have one REALLY BIG
creature that my opponent could then bounce from the
board or simply destroy. My inside contact to the future
of Magic assured me that this card was not only his
personal favorite but very possibly the most powerful
card EVER. This is where you have to understand that
research and development guys, while quite talented when
playing Magic, are more like casual players than they
are pro players. He went on and on about using Binds of
Nature to unite three Claww the Spirit Wind into one
GIGANTIC 15/15 flying creature. What would be the point,
seriously? Wouldn’t you think that you would have the
game in hand if you had Claww the Spirit Wind in play,
much less THREE Claww in play? Some Magic cards are
created by geeks with only the most geeky player in
Overall, the cards I was shown seemed to be very
powerful, and, admittedly, very different from the kinds
of things that I have seen in Magic recently.
These nine cards seem almost drawn from some game other
than Magic. Not to be insulting to my inside source, but
the more I thought about it, the more I thought these
nine cards were less the product of a well-paid research
and development team and MORE like the fantasy cards
created by a six year old with limited reading and
writing capabilities. That’s when I remembered that this
“insider” was not actually a WOTC employee after all,
but, in fact, my six year old son Lawson Jeffery Zandi.
When I picked him up from Kindergarten on Thursday
afternoon, he told me, “Daddy, your hair is on fire!”
When I asked him what he was talking about, he
cheerfully announced that I was an “April Fool”. When I
told him that April first was Friday, he said “I know”.
Since Lawson was able to get in HIS April Fool joke, I
thought that I should get one in on you guys. Lawson
REALLY DID horn in on my attempting viewing of The
Apprentice Thursday night (how did Chris NOT get
fired?). Lawson really was telling me about his NINE
MOST POWERFUL CARDS EVER. Lawson loves Magic, not that
he can really play it yet, but his collection is
eclectic, composed of as many Yugioh and Pokemon cards
as Magic cards. This leads me to the explanation of
Lawson’s amazingly inventive new cards. Eye of the
Pumpkin is actually Pumpking the King of Ghosts. Uru,
His Personal Darkness is actually Sabrina’s Gengar.
Shining Edger is really the Pokemon known as Porygon.
Duskpyc, the Mad Duck is, of course, Psyduck. Dark
Hypnotist is really the spoon-bender known as Alakazam.
Binds of Nature is really Yuhioh’s famous Polymerization
spell, which CERTAINLY IS Lawson’s favorite card OF ALL
TIME. Claww the Spirit Wind is another big Yugioh hit,
none other than Blue Eyes White Dragon. Angel of Wings
is actually Harpy Lady from Yugioh, and Guilty Tax
Magician (MY personal favorite) is really Card of Safe
Return from Yugioh.
Lawson came up with almost all of the abilities, names
and other card information for these nine new Magic
cards. I only had to help a little.
It’s good to know that the future of Magic is in such
Of course, I’m always interested in hearing what YOU
Guilty Tax Mages
Level VII DCI Judge
Zanman on Magic Online