Links in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft
Gott, was habe ich meine Blogs zuletzt vernachlässigt…
Nun, ich habe eine Entschuldigung: Bald steht für mich wieder eine internetlose Zeit von unbestimmter Dauer an, und deswegen habe ich mich zuletzt neben vielen RL-Dingen vor allem damit beschäftigt, Artikel vorzuschreiben, damit hier keine Versorgungslücken entstehen.
In der Zwischenzeit sind von mir und dem MU-Team folgende Werke erschienen:
Beim Recherchieren für meine historische Magic-Reihe bin ich im Dojo-Archiv übrigens auf einen uralten Beitrag von mir gestoßen, an den ich mich gar nicht mehr erinnern konnte! Für seinen teilweise unfreiwilligen Unterhaltungswert kopiere ich ihn hier einmal herein: Mein Englisch erscheint mir zwar im Rückblick ganz anständig, aber mit meinen Spekulationen lag ich dann doch ziemlich weit daneben (einiges war wohl auch Wunschdenken). Nichtsdestotrotz nehme ich immerhin zumindest in Grundzügen die zukünftige Konsolidierung der Creature Types voraus. Ach ja, meine Signatur damals ist schon irgendwie… doof… Und die angegebenen Email-Adressen existieren natürlich nicht mehr, also gebt es auf, Ihr Spambots!
Subject: Creature Type Extinction
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 17:31:14 +0200 (MEST)
From: Andreas Pischner
I’m not sure if anyone except me cares about this subject, but I have half
an hour off and guess I’ll just write about it…
Creature Types. They have been part of the Magic game rules since their
very beginnings, with cards like Lord of Atlantis and Goblin King, later
those funky Kobold enhancers, exploiting them. On the other hand, they’ve
been sadly neglected by the game`s designers until at least Fallen
Empires. They have been used inconsequently (Remember Clergy of the Holy
Nimbus, the only Priest in the game?), excentriccly (Mana Birds, People of
the Woods) or just plain stupidly (That Goblin Rock Sled still is a ROCK
SLED, not a Goblin.) The number of cards affecting certain creature types
slowly rose, but mostly they kept to already developed themes (Merfolk,
Goblin). With Fallen Empires, several things changed. While FE deserves
too be known as one of the most badly misconcepted expansions of all time
(having NO natural flyers, NO directed damage except the Goblin Grenade,
NO interrupts at all and NO big creatures without “hidden costs” – which
means, none of the elements which players love), it invented several
original concepts and good ideas. Among them was a stricter categorization
of creatures into creature types, and more cards which built upon that
foundation (Fungal Bloom, Icatian Lieutenant). Dwarven Soldier was unique
as it had the first creature-type dependent one-on-one ability.
After in Ice Age exploration of creature types was more a byproduct of
duplicating and mutating existing cards (that’s why Order of the Sacred
Torch is a Paladin), Homelands brought the first card which referred to
creature types in general (An-Zerrin Ruins), while enhancing a few
less-developed themes (minotaur, faerie, dwarf, falcon). But it wasn’t
before Weatherlight that efforts to categorize creature types became
obvious (inventing the new type “Undead” and making the Barrow Ghoul a
Zombie, for instance). With Tempest and Stronghold, those efforts have
been concentrated and there are almost no “iffy” creature types to be
found anymore (Kezzerdrix, for Example, would definitely have been a
“Summon Kezzerdrix” until at least Visions). Stronhgold even
semms to go a bit over the top by making the Skyshroud Falcon a
Bird, diminishing the (already meager) playing value of Soraya.
Then again, Extinction and Volrath’s Laboratory make consistency of
creature types even more desirable. No doubt more cards of that kind will
So which creature types will survive and which will get the axe?
I’ve made a survey of existing creature types in Extended (sorry for all
you Classic players out there, but it is my implicite policy to ignore any
not-Extended cards). Here’s some conclusions:
The top twenty-plus creature types (sorted by number, counting references
as well as actual cards of that type) are:
1. Wall (81)
2. Legend (66)
3. Soldier (49)
4. Goblin (40)
5. Knight (35)
6. Cleric (34)
7. Wizard (28)
8. Spirit (26)
9. Merfolk (23)
10. Elf (21)
11. Drake (18)
12. Sliver (17)
12. Dragon (17)
12. Zombie (17)
15. Djinn (16)
16. Elemental (15)
16. Wurm (15)
16. Orc (15)
19. Beast (14)
19. Dwarf (14)
21. Giant (13)
21. Thrull (13)
23. Efreet (11)
After that, there are no types numbering more than ten times.
It is very likely that those types will continue to exist, perhaps with
the exception of Slivers, which might only appear in the Rath Cycle. Of
the other types, Djinn, Orc, Dwarf and Efreet do not appear in the latest
two expansions, probably only because those creatures do not live on Rath
– but Djinns and Efreets MIGHT merge into Spirits.
Note that especially Beasts are a new catch-all category, while Spirit and
Soldier take on similar duties.
Established types which we probably don’t need to fear for are:
Angel, Elephant, Insect, Licid (if they’re not bound to Rath), Minotaur,
Rat, Faerie, Imp, Druid, Serpent, Spike (if…), Vampire, Spider,
Treefolk, Dryad and Pegasus.
Other new invented or at least recently used types which are likely
to survive are:
Minion (another catch-all), Bird, Illusion, Hound, Shapeshifter, Basilisk,
Assassin, Ape, Cat, Crab, Essence, Fish, Hydra, Hornet, Lizard, Ooze,
Phoenix, Reflection (with some doubt), Rhino, Saproling (!), Salamander
Only small doubts I have about:
Griffin, Wolf, Unicorn, Bears, Gargoyle, Centaur and Bats.
I’m not sure how “Snake” fits in. It seems to be a useful catch-all, but
why then does Snake Basket produce “Cobra” tokens?
Atog (The Cycle seems to have ended), Demon (not PC), Gorilla (Ape),
Homarid (extinct?), Lord (stupid concept, there are Legends), Ogre
(Giant?), Avatar (PC?), Cyclops (Giant?), Chimera (I hope I’m wrong here –
this was a cool idea!), Ghost (Spirit), Guardian (bad concept), Specter
(Spirit), Archer (Soldier), Barbarian (Soldier etc…), Brothers/Sisters
(stupid concept), Bodyguard (Soldier), Cat Warriors (varied), Cobra
(Snake?), Enchantress (Wizard), Leviathan (Serpent???), Toad (Lizard –
well, I’m not so sure…), Tortoise (Turtle), Wraith (Spirit) and Viashino
Also, it is possible that “Lion” and “Tiger” will be merged with “Cat”.
Then there are a few creature types, which seem to be not popular, but are
hard to catch: Badger, Boars, Crocodile, Foxes, Ferrets, Goat, Hyenas,
Pony and Wombat seem too specialized to be kept, but “Beast” wouldn’t work
on them – all “Summon Beast” creatures are fantasy creatures. Similar
problems go for Slug, Scorpion and Worm – they just AREN’T “Insects”.
“Wasp” should easily merge into “Insect”, but for some reason the Hornet
Cannon does, indeed, produce Hornet Tokens. Starfish surely is not a Fish.
And Yeti, Manticore and Sphinx might become Beasts under the new
guidelines (or Giant, with the Yeti), but might also warrant individual
treatment, like Hydra or Phoenix.
Clearly extinct are at least all obvious one-shot types (like Nekrataal or
People of the Woods) or those which can very easily be fitted into one of
the new types (like Shark to Fish). Furthermore the following types seem
Falcon (becoming Bird), Fungus (an extinct concept, its play value
represented by the Spikes), Phantasm (Illusion), Hero (becoming Soldier or
something similar), Night Stalker (extinct concept), Paladin (Knight),
Shade (Spirit), Troll (Giant), Fiend (various, often Spirit), Ghoul
(Zombie), Hunter (varied), Horror (varied), Keepers (never a good
category), Mercenary (mostly Soldier). Mammoth (Elephant), Roc (Bird),
Ship (never a good category), Sorcerer/Sorceress (Wizard), Shadow
(Spirit?), Swarm (Insects or something similar), Scout (Soldier),
Townsfolk (varied) and, ironically, the quite young Undead (Spirit,
Minion… you name it).
By the way: Even though WotC made an April Fool post about it, I have no
doubt they will further simplify the creature type system. Especially
because the main reason for this are translating problems, I guess that
6th edition will, indeed, re-type several creatures (although more likely
to “Bird” or “Fish” than “Not-A-Bird” or “Not-A-Fish” 8-) ). This may mean
that the various animal species survive… they should be easier
If anyone out there shares my interest about that topic, feel free to mail
“The Garfields should never have cross-bred Timid Drakes with