Fixing Old Cards: Arabian Nights Black

(This is a link to the previous installment of this series. Chain clicks to find them all.)

Okay, I’ll keep going, at least for for the moment.


Guardian Beast

Guardian Beast Original

This ability is needlessly complicated. It’s also not black, but white (see Fountain Watch, Leonin Abunas and Indomitable Archangel.) I took a page from Disciple of the Vault for a black artifact-related ability.

My design:

Guardian Beast


Juzam Djinn

Juzam Djinn Original

I absolutely love that card as is! (And no, it doesn’t cost only 2 mana. Look closely!) This is probably at the top of my list of cards which I want to have in my Limited Card Pool but can’t (or at least are too sensible to) afford.


Khabal Ghoul

Khabal Ghoul Original

Here, the one thing I’d like to change (the creature type has already been errata’d to Zombie) is the mana cost – I feel this card should require double-black mana. I do not feel strongly enough about this, tough, that I think it merits a redesign, so I’ll leave it be.



Oubliette Original

Another card which is worded incredibly weird – in fact, so weird that at one time it had been errata’d to phase the creature out! And all that just so that it would keep its auras and counters if it came back. Well, there is a much easier way to do this. It’s in the domain of White, though, but if we add just the right amount of black-flavored cruelty, we can make it work. Oh yes, the resulting card is overall (but not strictly) stronger – you’d better free that creature from its prison soon, or you do not need to bother anymore.

My design:



Stone-Throwing Devils

Stone-Throwing Devils Original

Here my only issue is power level. While 1-mana 1/1s with a combat-related ability can be useful in limted environments, that ability needs to be somewhere in the realm between deathtouch and flying. First strike is just not good enough. I like the card concept, though, and I believe that ability is still tertiary in Black (at least it should be), so I just added a little more oomph in a devilish-feeling way.

My design:

Stone-Throwing Devils

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14 Gedanken zu „Fixing Old Cards: Arabian Nights Black

  1. Max sagt:

    Oubliette feels spot on.
    I also enjoy the flavor of Stone-Throwing Devils.

  2. renappel sagt:

    So black was not broken in Arabian Nights seems to be the conclusion

  3. Jashinc sagt:

    Those are nice.
    The devils are spot on!

  4. NTL sagt:

    Das schöne an dieser Serie ist, dass ich auch mal ein paar Karten kennenlerne, die ich bisher nicht wahrgenommen habe. Man kennt ja die großen Player der alten Sets (In diesem Fall etwa Juzam Djinn, Library of Alexandria oder Bazaar of Baghdad), aber Karten wie Oubliette oder Guardian Beast hab ich vielleicht schon mal wo gesehen, aber kaum wahrgenommen. Geschweige denn, dass ich mich generell mal durch die komplette Setliste alter Edition gearbeitet hätte.

    Das Redesign der Devils gefällt mir besonders gut, die würd ich so auch in meinen Cube packen.

    Mal angenommen die Movtivation würde lang genug reichen, wie weit würdest du dich mit diesem Redesign-Projekt in der Geschichte von Magic nach vorne arbeiten?

    (Und ganz Offtopic: Wären dir eigentlich Kommentare in Englisch lieber? Problem ist’s keines, ich finds nur immer etwas komisch Englisch zu sprechen, wenn ich weiß mein Gegenüber kann auch Deutsch.)

  5. Zeromant sagt:

    Naja, so lange ich motiviert bin, mache ich weiter; und so lange ich weitermache, bin ich offensichtlich motiviert…

    Prinzipiell hindert mich eigentlich nichts daran, ohne zeitliche Begrenzung in alle Ewigkeit Kartendesigns zu überarbeiten – schließlich druckt WotC ja schneller neue Karten, als ich hier welche präsentiere. Ich denke aber nicht, dass meine Motivation noch sehr lange halten wird, wenn nicht die Resonanz massiv zunimmt. Arabian Nights werde ich aber wohl sehr wahrscheinlich noch beenden.

    Solle ich wider Erwarten doch langfristig dabei bleiben, nimmt meine Arbeit relativ zu den behandelnden Karten allerdings auch irgendwann deutlich ab, weil ein immer größerer Prozentsatz keines Redesigns mehr bedarf (auch wenn ich meistens etwas zu meckern habe, aber eben nicht so viel, dass die Karte „gefixt“ werden müsste).

    Und ja, englische Kommentare wären mir im Zweifelsfall lieber, aber wie Du siehst, beantworte ich auch deutsche!

  6. Baervon sagt:

    hey zeromant!

    first things first: You are fishing for compliments like crazy (no offense), so I decided to post a comment, and try to give you what you want and deserve.

    I really love this series for similar reasons as NTL. I don’t know or remember all cards you mention, but it is nice to see some work on the strong, the weak and specially the wierd cards.

    Sometimes I even start to thnk of those cards myself before I take a look at your design. My first thoughts (like oubliette has an ability now existing in white) often correspond with your ideas but „my design“ has never been close to yours and what you choose to let the card do often surprises me.

    You are doing a great job so please keep on doing it.


    • Zeromant sagt:

      Thanks for your comment, Baervon!

      I’m not actually fishing for compliments, though. I mean, everyone prefers compliments to criticism, but I’m just generally interested in feedback which shows readers‘ interest in what I’m doing. Maybe reminding everyone every few posts that my motivation to keep going depends on that feedback can be called „fishing“, but I’m just stating a fact which people tend to forget, so what you really get are updates on my motivation-meter, which is basically the same as a current estimate on how long this series will still go. I just like to be straightforward about this.

      • Baervon sagt:

        You are right with your argumentation that it’s important to get Feedback, a „Thumbs up“ or a simple counter showing you how many people actually read your articles.

        I commented only once a few months ago but I read all articles. So I decided to give you some kind of feedback because I read twice about your possible „motivation-problem“.

        My intent was to tease you by calling it „fishing“, but you can take my words as a proof, that somebody reads and enjoys your articles and in addition to that hears your „call for feedback“

        I’m going to try to give you more feedback from now on and i hope there will be some people doing the same so you keep on doing this until you reach the „modern sets“ (Mirrodin, Darksteel,…)

        • Zeromant sagt:

          Keep going until Mirrodin? That is quite the roundabout way to wish me a long life, but thank you!

          BTW, a simple counter wouldn’t do it, at least not for me. The only thing which could replace feedback as motivation is financial compensation, but I’m pretty certain that no donation button will happen anytime soon on any webpage of mine.

  7. Rob Anybody sagt:

    Nice ones, again.
    I still have fond memories of the first magic computer game, Shandalar, and its expansion, where you could wrath the board, then play the Khabal Ghoul as a 6+/6+.
    You are aware that Wizards did Juzam Djinn’s functional reprint in Plague Sliver, right? Still a good Cube Card!

    • Zeromant sagt:

      Well, it’s only a functional reprint if there are no other slivers, which is usually not the case in the kind of environment I care the most about (limited). The card I use instead in my Limited Card Pool is Phyrexian Scuta, which is quite similar and plays well, but lacks the elegance and uncompromisingness of the original.

      BTW, Shandalar might not have gotten everything right (or so I hear), but what you describe is Khabal Ghoul working exactly as intended.

      • Grapefruit sagt:

        As somebody mentioned Shandalar. I would be interesting to see how you would fix the cards which only exist in this video game ( Maybe a bonus episode? Good work keep it up!

        • Zeromant sagt:

          I’m not sure this would really be that interesting, since the fundamental idea of those cards was to do things normal Magic cards cannot do. That’s like fixing Un-cards so that they work in black-border Magic – it completely defeats the point.

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