Magic Arcana / Card of the Day / Daily Deck for January 2014

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I must say the author of today's Arcana is pretty cute. I usually come here for MaRo's dreamy smile, but I have a new reason now. Is she available? Of course she'd have to relocate closer to me. At least give her Trick's job.

That chimera must have one nasty temper

 

 

Why? you may ask?

Well if it's got heads at both ends it's got nowhere to poop.  It must be CONSTANTLY CONSTIPATED!

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

JesusKong wrote:

I must say the author of today's Arcana is pretty cute. I usually come here for MaRo's dreamy smile, but I have a new reason now. Is she available? Of course she'd have to relocate closer to me. At least give her Trick's job.

 

No, you really must not. Comments like that are completely inappropriate.

adeyke wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

I must say the author of today's Arcana is pretty cute. I usually come here for MaRo's dreamy smile, but I have a new reason now. Is she available? Of course she'd have to relocate closer to me. At least give her Trick's job.

 

 

No, you really must not. Comments like that are completely inappropriate.

 

Calm thyself chivalrous one, I was only having a laugh. I did not mean to dishonor the young maiden 

Flyheight wrote:

That chimera must have one nasty temper

 

 

Why? you may ask?

Well if it's got heads at both ends it's got nowhere to poop.  It must be CONSTANTLY CONSTIPATED!

 

Maybe the poop Journeys Into Nyx, we'll have to wait and see..

 

adeyke wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

I must say the author of today's Arcana is pretty cute. I usually come here for MaRo's dreamy smile, but I have a new reason now. Is she available? Of course she'd have to relocate closer to me. At least give her Trick's job.

 

 

No, you really must not. Comments like that are completely inappropriate.

 

Calm thyself chivalrous one, I was only having a laugh. I did not mean to dishonor the young maiden 

[/quote]

I was so offended I had to back to last Friday's Arcana and look her up for myself.  

 

Flyheight wrote:

That chimera must have one nasty temper

 

 

Why? you may ask?

Well if it's got heads at both ends it's got nowhere to poop.  It must be CONSTANTLY CONSTIPATED!

It draws upon the ancient magic of CatDog.

 

One fine day with a roar and a growl
A baby was born and it went on the prowl
No goblin

No Angel Serra
Just a double-sided Perplexing Chimera.

 

Chimera ... Chimeeraaaaa

Out in Nyx is Perplexing Chimera!

 

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Amphisbaena

Amphisbaena

The Amphisbaena is a two-headed creature with reptilian skin, the feet of an eagle, and eyes that shone beams of light. One of it's heads holds the other at the neck, bending the creature into a circle. It usually moves by rolling itself like a hoop, and can go in any direction in this way, though it is also capable of running on its feet. The Amphisbaena lives in northern Africa, is the first creature to come out of hibernation in the spring, and hatches from and egg. It has very extremely poor eyesight and likes to eat ants. Its bite is very deadly, because its saliva causes wounds not to heal.

According to the Roman writer Pliny, the skin of the Amphisbaena can be taken as a remedy for cold shivers.

The word Amphisbaena means "to go both ways" in Greek.

Pantheon: Greek

 

http://www.musesrealm.net/deities/amphisbaena.html

The link in the article to the new cube post on mtgo.com points to your staging site - http://staging.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/other/01202014

It amuses me greatly that the BotG Event Deck is mono-black.

With Mono-Black being the rage, this event deck is well timed.

 

Having Hero's Downfall, Pack Rat and Desecration Demon sure give this a good start if someone was trying to get into the type.

Disappointed in the pair of Xathrid Necromancers though.  Only 11 of 26 creatures are humans.  As a 1 of, fine, but two is wasting a rare slot.

They should have put a Gild in this as well.  A non-chase rare from new set.

 

Overall, much more interestesting that previous builds even if I already have Mono-black built.

Yous gotta problem yous needs fixed? I know a guy. Yeeah. I know a guy. Goes by the name of Underworld Harold. He'll fix yous right up. Dat's what Underworld Harold does. He fixes problems. Permanently. If yous get my drift.

Pro-tip: If it contains phrases like, "Their bronzed skin gleams," it's suspect for being racist. If it also idealizes farm work/working men, that confirms it. Fortunately the art came out fine in spite of the racist description--kinda polyanna, but not inherently problematic.

Haha, nice--my two different responses to two different Arcana wound up juxtaposed so that I stereotype hitmen* one moment and criticize racism the next. *sad trombones* Oh well; I'm kinda fine with stereotying hitmen. Also, everything I know about the world east of the Mississippi comes from movies, so that's why those accents are funny to me--it literally is not something I ever encounter in real life. #excusesexcuses

 

*ETA: "Hitmen" is probably better than "hitpeople" on the usual premise that because women commit so little violence statistically, this is one respect where mono-gendered language actually makes sense and gives credit where credit is due to women for not being awful people like men? Idk. This one consistently trips me up.

This event deck perplexes me more than the chimera from BNG. 4 Mono-Black Devotion staples but 0 Gray Merchants? Only 11 Humans for the Xathrid Necromancers? The deck is purportedly an aggro deck, but the box image is a 7cmc EDH rare?

 

Also, where the heck is the Arcana forum thread for February? It's been almost a week now.

I love seeing the foil underprints. Please keep doing these. :-)

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for foiled armor, too.

 

I still don't get why there's always foil under the black border, though, where it will always be invisible by definition. Maybe it's some kind of anti-counterfeiting thing? I'd like to see this explained in a future Arcana.

Oh god am I having aphasia!?

Announcing what?? Thanks for making my head hurt wizards. And here I thought it was gonna be a new set or something.

It's a puzzle, they're hinting at something and they're going to give it to us later.

Oooh, is this a puzzle?  Comparing this bit:

 


Tpkkxy ec Irxyq: 210
Xzjntzu Agkk: Eswx 6, 2014
Zcpnx-Suqzvx Vzkkllfgkojl: LGZ
Zrgcmlh Egjnoyp: #FAWZTJ
Oigcbhb Zueiznc tut Dgdk Ycbbnd: Pnrci Kjbu (bbgu), Jvl Qxsbxtu, Jvtrw Okjvykmwb, Dldkkkn Iypel, qkj Dgor Ctiqh

Ldlje Nqjk Ukngpg hda Jvbzjxitukz: Ugqgm Abcmnvxtq (uxht), Age Khkxgz, A. Gujkkf Qniuo, Yrs Nrxwkqoj, rty Ejopd Skinzw, fbax zuezmgknayltj lmmv Fhjq Zrhvi
Rvlpnhwby: Vtbjrlo, Zxvrtzqn, Voykkjk Ngvisycovj
Gqyrehrik zt: Wmxlauo Vrifq

 


To a normal set announcement:

 
Number of Cards 249
Official Three-Letter Code THS
Twitter Hashtag #MTGTHS
Initial Concept and Game Design    Mark Rosewater (lead), Ethan Fleischer, Ken Nagle, Zac Hill, and Jenna Helland
Final Game Design and Development    Erik Lauer (lead), Zac Hill, Dave Humpherys, Doug Beyer, Shawn Main, and Tom LaPille
 
 
It doesn't appear to be a straightforward substitution cipher - notice that the three-letter code would be LGZ and then the twitter hashtag is #FAWZTJ, not just repeating the LGZ bit.  Hmm, diabolical ...

Number of letters matches the recently discovered "Conspiracy" product, but it isn't a simple 1:1 replacement cipher. It's either garbage or needlessly complex.

"Xzjntzu Agkk: Eswx 6, 2014" That means it's the summer set (the Modern Masters slot)

The Letters don't make sense, but the number of letters for each word seems to be correct. This here means: "Release Date: June/July 6, 2014"

Alright, people, let's solve this... Internet, do your thing!

It might help to look at another card that was revealed using (what I presume is) the same cipher. Back during the BNG prerelease some people pulled a card not from the set that led to some weird stuff. Article here. Anyway, it looks like it's the same code because the part on Cogwork Librarian that translated into "Conspiracy" was encrypted as "GVYJTHQXGR" - same as the new set. But on the same card, G didn't always translate into C so it isn't a 1:1 like some people have said. Still, however the Librarian was cracked should probably work for this page too.

Ok, based on what I've seen so far, this seems to be some version of the Traitor multiplayer format.

xdstyr wrote:

It's a puzzle, they're hinting at something and they're going to give it to us later.

 

Hell with that, lets figure it out now. :P

 

So I'm pretty certain it's not any kind of cipher where each letter is directly substituted for another letter. If you look at the date near the bottom, it reads: "Xzjntzu Agkk: Eswx 6, 2014". There are only two months in the year with four letters - June and July. So, by that logic we could say that E = J and S = U. If we do that, however, the second word at the top turns into "_ U J _". So unless the writer is starting his article by talking about Cujo or Fuji, it's more complicated than that.
 

Someone elsewhere translated it as:

 

Pick. Plot. Play.

Experience a Magic format where the intrigues begin long before the first spells are cast! Revolutionary new abilities impact every part of the play experience, starting with the draft itself.

Cogwork Librarian—One of the sixty new Magic cards in Conspiracy.

The first-ever multiplayer-focused booster set has new Magic cards with new mechanics that enhance multiplayer play. Returning favorites from throughout Magic's history round out the set and cultivate an environment of deception and treachery. The Magic: The Gathering–Conspiracy set is designed to be drafted with six to eight players who then split into groups of three or four players for free-for-all multiplayer games.

Number of Cards: 210

Release Date: June 6, 2014

Three-letter abbreviation: CNS

Twitter Hashtag: #MTGCNS

Initial Concept and Game Design: Shawn Main (lead), Dan Helland, David Humpherys, Kenneth Nagle, and Matt Tabak

Final Game Design and Development: David Humpherys (lead), Dan Emmons, K. Joseph Huber, Sam Stoddard, and Gavin Verhey, with contributions from Matt Tabak

Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese Simplified

Available in: Booster Packs

Key Points:

Multiplayer Booster Draft Format

15 Card Booster Packs (MSRP $3.99) 36 Packs per Display

Black-Bordered Cards

Release event promo card at participating WPN locations.

Ok, that sounds amazing! The best part is that they don't translate the cards to German. Yay, no stupid badly translated cards!

Anyone know the cipher used? We can posably clear up the picture links and get some images if we know the chipher used

Bedford wrote:

Someone elsewhere translated it as:

 

Who. WHO TRANSLATED THIS!?

 

I must know how it was done! :P

 

Edit: Found the link, it includes the pictures but does not mention the cipher used. -.-

 

http://67.227.255.239/forum/showthread.php?p=100595084

 

Edit the Second: Found the cipher. It's a Vigenere Cipher, using the key phrase "GVYJTHQXGR"

I think I've got a start, it's a rotation cipher where it's a different rotation on each letter in the sentence.  Assuming that "Tpkkxy" decodes as "Number",   the rotations would look like this (where this is the decode table - read it as "if you see an 'a' in the first position, it decodes to 'u')

 

Then I this table also correctly decodes "Zcpnx" as "Three", as well as the start of the other words.  I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

 

 

Multiplayer-focused booster set? Wow. That will either sell a lot in chunks of boosters or not much at all, but still in chunks. I'm personally incredibly uninterested in the concept. That Cogwork Librarian just rubs me the wrong way, too reminiscent of silver-bordered cards.

Yeah I just seen the preview card. Not interested in this set. Needlessly complex is right.

Pretty easy if you know very very basic cryptography. You can easily solve it even without them giving the key in plain sight, because the spaces and punctuation are used, you're able to distinguish the words.
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It's vigenere cipher, with gvyjthqxgr as the key.

This actually looks pretty fun to draft in. I like the hype. Much more interesting then a bland release. How the heck are MtG players gonna complain about 'overly complex' anyways?!

When I saw "GVYJTHQXGR", my initial thought was "Cool, a Nordic-themed set!  But I hope all the cards aren't that hard to pronounce."

 

I like the idea of

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a multiplayer game after each draft.  Sounds like some work for the MTGO team though.

 

JohnnyComeLately wrote:

Oh god am I having aphasia!?

 

"Aphasia, give Mr. Schuester back his wallet!"

Hmm, the image looks like an unscrewed screw, which makes me think its finally the third un set we need for the block, but the cards are black-bordered, meaning tournament legal. Also, the images provided seem a little steampunk-y to me, so maybe a stand-alone set about steampunk?

I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
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but where DID the other fork come from?
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Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
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97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.

This "Conspiracy" set is right in my wheel house. I'm super excited, especially the comment about bringing back old favorites. I'm sure edh/commander will benefit

I'm a little disappointed that they chose the cipher they did for the announcement, purely because it's a bit more complex than I (and, I like to imagine, most people only passingly interested in cryptography) could easily solve myself. I feel like a normal cryptogram would have been a better balance between being easy for the internet at large to decipher while etting most reasonably intelligent people decode it for themselves if they wanted. But then again, maybe it's entirely my fault for being a bit too lazy. to look at other ciphers before I gave up and looked for someone else's solution.

Rules Nut Advisor

I agree. I tried to solve it as cryptogram, and if it had been one, I would have done that to completion. Instead, I found that that method didn't work and just assumed someone else would decode it properly.

I found it just the right difficulty. Not trivial, but less than an hour's work if you are a fan of puzzles. They left the punctuation and spacing, so it is easy to tell what parts of the message are even without knowing which cypher was used. For example, the author Cdxjkki ll knz Axtzj must be Wizards of the Coast. I knew it would use the Vigenere cipher, as that is the best-known one, and it is widely-used in puzzles.

According to the art shown on http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/1430 , the Ice King is coming to MTG!

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