Jeff Zandi is a four 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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Fun With Magic
Crazy Card Names
by Jeff Zandi

With the release of Champions of Kamigawa, Wizards of the Coast has now published close to eleven thousand cards. This eleven year old legacy represents an ever-growing list of card names. For as long as Wizards has been printing these addictive little cardboard squares, me and my friends have been having fun with the card names associated with them. Lately, I’ve been researching the almost eleven thousand deep collection of Magic cards printed from the halcyon days of Alpha and Beta all the way through Champions of Kamigawa. While I understand only too well that the research I have done will have to be updated when the next set comes out (Unhinged comes out, like, TOMORROW!) I am not disheartened. Au contraire, mon ami, I can’t wait to add more card names to the giant collection.

In a future column, I will be talking about the many cards that Wizards has recycled and reprinted multiple times. Today’s FUN WITH MAGIC column, however, has to do with a few of my favorite lists of Magic card names. This is a fun game that everyone can play. All you need is a list of every card ever printed in the game. Putting together one of these lists used to be a lot easier than it is today. While there are any number of websites that have card search engines, looking at the whole collection containing every Magic card in every printing all at one time is becoming a bit daunting. For my simple needs, I have used an Excel spreadsheet with one line (or row) for every printing of every card in Magic. My list, not necessarily the most perfectly maintained, contains 10,936 lines or rows. This list contains every set printed for Magic that has ever been tournament legal, as well as all three editions of Portal as well as Unglued, the cards reprinted in jumbo format, the Vanguard cards, the special cards associated with the early Magic novels from Magic, and so on. However, I think you will find that the cards that I have included in my lists today come from sets that were tournament legal at one time or another.

One of my favorite ongoing gags is Magic card names that sound, to me at least, like the name of a local newspaper. (newspapers are those things printed on the really thin paper that people used back before the internet to find movie listing, comic strips and weather information). Since we’ve been playing a lot of Champions of Kamigawa booster drafts, I run across Jukai Messenger (not in my decks, I assure you) pretty often, and I get to tell my little joke. I say, “You know, I used to get the Jukai Messenger delivered to my house, but I ended my subscription when they quit carrying Doonesbury!” I’ve been using this same lame joke, with different Magic cards, since 1994. Really old Magic players will kind of laugh, fairly old Magic players will nod and smile a little bit, and younger Magic players just look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Here’s my list.

Top Ten Magic Card Names That Sound Like Newspaper Names 10. Shieldmage Advocate 9. Brass Herald 8. Gravespawn Sovereign 7. Forbidding Watchtower (I bought this from some guy going door to door) 6. Jayemdae Tome 5. Rebel Informer (more of an underground newspaper) 4. Llanowar Sentinel (not sure if Elves would let you chop trees for a
newspaper…)
3. Akron Legionnaire (Ohio’s favorite news weekly) 2. Leonin Sun Standard 1. Mystic Crusader (competes with Mystic’s other newspaper, the Compass)

We used to play a game where we would take turns randomly selecting a card from a stack and announcing that card’s name was the name of our new band, you get a lot of totally plausible musical group names doing that, like Desperate Ritual, maybe a Christian band Lifted By Clouds, a metal band called Steel Wall.

Top Three Magic Card Names That Actually ARE Famous Musical Group Names 3. Oasis 2. Iron Maiden 1. Rolling Stones

Top Ten Possible Sports Team Names From Magic Card Names 10. Coral Fighters (from the town of Coral…or maybe Coral Gables, Florida) 9. Red Cliffs Armada 8. Norwood Riders 7. Spectral Bears 6. Barbary Apes 5. Durkwood Boars 4. Tel-Jilad Archers 3. Viashino Warriors 2. Phoenix Firestorm (I know I reversed this name, it’s the name of my fantasy football team) 1. Savannah Lions

Top Fifteen Movies That Share Their Name With a Magic Card 15. Anaconda (I think Ice Cube is in this snake movie) 14. Awakening (with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro) 13. Black Knight (Martin Lawrence) 12. The Abyss (not one of my favorites) 11. Roots (okay, this was a T.V. movie, but a really big famous one…) 10. Boomerang (not Eddie Murphy’s best movie, but it was okay) 9. SWAT (like Samuel L. Jackson says, “You’re either SWAT…or you’re NOT!”) 8. Earthquake (disaster movie from the Seventies) 7. Death Wish (Charles Bronson’s best cop flick, also from the Seventies) 6. Cocoon (“You won’t get sick, and you’ll never die” says Wilfred Brimley) 5. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller) 4. Backdraft (really good movie about fires) 3. Glory (with Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick) 2. Dawn of the Dead 1. Raging Bull (Robert DeNiro boxing biographical flick)

Man, I hate to push into a troubling area, the same week as the hubbub over the towel-dropping-skit on Monday Night Football…

Top Ten Possible Adult Film Names From Magic Card Names 10. Underwear Dreams (oops, I made this one up…) 9. Blood Lust 8. Bone Flute 7. Whip Sergeant 6. Arctic Foxes 5. Drop of Honey 4. Bone Harvest 3. Clam Session 2. Grinding Station 1. Booby Trap

“Hey Zanman,” you might ask, suspecting how strangely obsessed about Magic I can be, “How many verbs in the English language have been used as card names in Magic: the Gathering?” Good question. Easy answer. ALL OF THE VERBS in the English language have been used as names for Magic cards. Okay, I guess that isn’t true, but a SURPRISINGLY HIGH number of verbs have been used as card names in Magic. As a matter of fact, two hundred thirty-three different verbs have been used as card names to this time (my list is COMPLETELY up-to-date…until tomorrow when Unhinged comes out!) Now, many of these words can be used as nouns as well as verbs. Please don’t hold that against me.
What about Magic cards whose name is composed of multiple words that INCLUDE a verb? My list does not include those, of which there are many. This is a list of just the one-word card names that are verbs. List them ALL, right here? I’m glad you asked! In order: Absorb, Acquire, Afflict, Allay, Ambush, Annex, Annihilate, Annul, Anoint, Arrest, Balance, Bandage, Bargain, Befoul, Blackmail, Blaze, Blight, Boil, Brainwash, Brand, Brawl, Breach, Browbeat, Browse, Camouflage, Channel, Chastise, Chill, Choke, Cleanse, Clear, Clone, Complicate, Concentrate, Confiscate, Confound, Conquer, Corrupt, Crash, Cremate, Decimate, Decompose, Deconstruct, Demolish, Demystify, Despoil, Detonate, Devastate, Disarm, Discombobulate, Disenchant, Dismiss, Disrupt, Dissipate, Divert, Dominate, Domineer, Donate, Douse, Dredge, Embolden, Encroach, Enervate, Enrage, Erase, Evaporate, Excise, Execute, Exhume, Exile, Expunge, Extinguish, Extract, Fabricate, Falter, Flay, Flicker, Flood, Foil, Forget, Fork, Foster, Granulate, Gush, Heal, Hush, Illuminate, Implode, Imprison, Incinerate, Infest, Infuse, Insist, Interdict, Intervene, Invigorate, Irradiate, Jilt, Jolt, Jump, Launch, Leap, Liberate, Liquify, Lure, Meddle, Metamorphose, Misstep, Mobilize, Mulch, Mutilate, Muzzle, Naturalize, Nourish, Obliterate, Opt, Ostracize, Override, Overrun, Paralyze, Parch, Peek, Perish, Persecute, Pillage, Polymorph, Predict, Prohibit, Provoke, Pulverize, Purify, Quash, Radiate, Rally, Ransack, Reanimate, Reap, Recall, Reclaim, Recoil, Redeem, Refresh, Regress, Rejuvenate, Relearn, Remedy, Remove, Renounce, Repel, Replenish, Repopulate, Reprocess, Reset, Reshape, Restock, Restrain, Resuscitate, Retaliate, Rethink, Retract, Revive, Reweave, Rewind, Rouse, Rout, Rupture, Rust, Sacrifice, Salvage, Scald, Scour, Scrap, Shatter, Shelter, Shimmer, Shock, Shrink, Shunt, Sicken, Sideswipe, Sift, Simplify, Singe, Slay, Smash, Smite, Smother, Snag, Snap, Soar, Spiritualize, Splinter, Squeeze, Squelch, Standardize, Stifle, Strafe, Stun, Subdue, Submerge, Suppress, Swat, Swelter, Tangle, Teleport, Temper, Thrive, Tinker, Tithe, Topple, Torment, Torture, Traumatize, Twiddle, Twitch, Undo, Unearth, Unforge, Unhinge, Unmask, Unnerve, Unsummon, Vanquish, Vex, Victimize, Vindicate, Vitalize, Vivify, Wallop, Waylay, Withdraw, Worship and Zombify.

Some of you like to think of Magic card names in weird ways and in unusual contexts. You know who you are! Email me some of your favorite lists and I will share them with my friends and the Pojo-literate-world.

Jeff Zandi
Texas Guildmages
Level II DCI Judge
jeffzandi@thoughtcastle.com
Zanman on Magic Online

 

 

 

 

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