Barry Reich

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Barry "Bit" Reich is a former Magic playtester, designer, and developer. Richard Garfield nicknamed him "Bit" when he commented, after scoring 11 points in ultimate frisbee, that he was generally either "on" or "off". This was additionally clever and appropriate since Barry was Computer Science representative of the group.

Biography[edit | edit source]

In the late 1980s, Barry was one of the playtesters from the University of Pennsylvania that Richard Garfield tagged to help get the Alpha card set (and game rules) ready for public consumption. The day that Richard put together the very first Magic deck, Barry was lucky enough to be the person Richard wanted to try out the game on.[1] After playtesting Alpha, Barry started work on a multi-color set named Spectral Chaos. Parts of this set were used in the design for Invasion. The domain mechanic, for example, was called the “Barry” mechanic because it was created by Barry Reich.[2] To boost Domain, there even was a "Barry's Land". It was a land that tapped for 1 colorless mana and was a basic land. For ruling reasons, it was never printed.[3] Although Legends first introduced multicolor cards, Barry's Spectral Chaos offered a more systematic approach to the combinations of colors used, and provided significant support for and incentives to building competitive multicolor decks. Any card with a casting cost containing opposite colors such as blue and red was labeled as a "Chaotic" card. This necessarily included cards with three or more colors in the casting cost. The set of Chaotic cards also included any card the stretched the rules or took things to an extreme. Examples include Mass Unsummon where all creatures are returned to their owners' hands, Life Geyser where all players gain 100 life, an artifact card costing 20 to cast and 10 to activate which ends the game immediately in a tie, and possibly the most extreme card, Spectral Chaos, which costs two of each of the five colors to cast and essentially causes two target players to put down their hands, switch places, and try to win with the other player's hand/deck/life.

Playtesting[edit | edit source]

Designing[edit | edit source]

Developing[edit | edit source]

  • Spectral Chaos

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (December 08, 2003). "Red Letter Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (July 22, 2002). "Squirrel of My Dreams". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (February 09, 2009). "Whatever Happened to Barry's Land?". Wizards of the Coast.