< Ice Age
Points of interest[edit | edit source]
- The plains in Ice Age, drawn by Christopher Rush formed a mural showing night turning to day and winter melting away to spring.
Cards[edit | edit source]
Firsts[edit | edit source]
- Counterspell is the first card to reference a battle between two wizards in its flavor text.
- Deflection is the first spell to have the ability to change the target of another spell (Reflecting Mirror was an artifact), introducing this ability to blue where it would stay for many years before changing to red.
- General Jarkeld is the first mono-white Legendary creature.
- Jeweled Amulet is the first attempt at creating a "fixed" Mox card (after the cycle of Mox jewel cards in the Limited Edition and Unlimited sets) and the first attempt at creating a "fixed" version of any of the Power Nine cards. Despite its association with the powerful Moxen, Jeweled Amulet was too weak to see much play at all.
- Krovikan Fetish is the first enchantment to also be a cantrip.
- Legions of Lim-Dûl is the only card ever printed with Snow swampwalk.
- Márton Stromgald is the first mono-red legendary creature.
- Pale Bears is the first green creature with islandwalk. Its name was changed from "Polar Bears" because Dominaria "does not have any poles" (nevertheless, Polar Kraken is in the same set). This was the first card artist Anthony S. Waters was paid to paint.
- Pygmy Allosaurus is the first green creature with swampwalk (although Wormwood Treefolk had activatable swampwalk). Up until the Ixalan block, it was the only Dinosaur ever printed, and was later issued errata to become a Lizard.
- Pyknite is the first creature to also be a cantrip.
- Ray of Command is the first spell to gain temporary control of a creature.
- Shyft is the first creature to be able to change its colors on its own.
Strictly better[edit | edit source]
- Burnt Offering is strictly better than the card that inspired it, Sacrifice.
- Staff of the Ages is strictly better than each of the cards in the anti-landwalk enchantment cycle from the Legends expansion.
- Word of Undoing is strictly better than Unsummon.
Inspired[edit | edit source]
- Blinking Spirit, like Whippoorwill before it, confused many players who assumed it had flying because of its depiction in its art. Blinking Spirit inspired the creation of Ghost Town.
- Chaos Moon is a more unpredictable version of the card that inspired it, Gauntlet of Might.
- Conquer inspired the creation of Annex.
- Fyndhorn Elder inspired the creation of Nantuko Elder.
- Fyndhorn Elves is a functional reprint of Llanowar Elves. Playtesting correctly showed that having both available at the same time was not a problem.
- Howl from Beyond inspired the creation of Endless Scream and Enrage.
- Lhurgoyf inspired the creation of Revenant, which alludes to Lhurgoyf in its flavor text. It also inspired the creation of a cycle of Lhurgoyfs in Odyssey. The name is a made-up word that vaguely sounds of Norse origin.
- Necropotence was designed to be interesting, forcing players to evaluate the value of card drawing and life. It inspired the creation of Yawgmoth's Bargain.
- Orcish Cannoneers inspired the creation of Orcish Artillery. This happened because Richard Garfield was still looking for a few last minute cards to add to the original Alpha set while Ice Age was being developed.
- Orcish Lumberjack is considered to be an "above-the-curve" mana acceleration card. It inspired the creation of Goblin Clearcutter.
- Pit Trap inspired the creation of Trap Digger.
- Stone Spirit and Stonehands together inspired the creation of Greater Stone Spirit.
- Stunted Growth inspired the creation of cards such as Fallow Earth, Plow Under, and Uproot.
- Wiitigo inspired the creation of Shape of the Wiitigo.
Names explanation[edit | edit source]
- Adarkar Sentinel, Adarkar Unicorn and Adarkar Wastes were named for Skaff Elias' friend Aditya Adarkar.
- Aurochs is an extinct ancestor of domestic cattle; prior to Coldsnap, it was the only card that had the Auroch subtype.
- Foxfire is a phosphorescent glow produced by certain fungi that grow on rotting wood.
- Fumarole is a hole that emits gas, usually near a volcano.
- Hipparion is an extinct three-toed relative of the horse.
- Hyalopterous Lemure is a ghost with glassy wings, but the art depicts a winged lemur instead.
- Jokulhaups in an Icelandic word referring to a type of mudslide that occurs when a volcano erupts beneath a glacier. It is actually misspelled and should be Jökulhlaup.
- Naked Singularity is a region of extremely high density outside of a black hole.
- Tarpan is an extinct wild European horse.
- Thermokarst is a type of land surface that results from melting permafrost.
Anagrams[edit | edit source]
- Chub Toad is an anagram of "bad touch", an expression favored by former R&D member Shawn Carnes meaning "in poor taste".
- Elkin Bottle is an anagram of "Klein bottle," which is a one-sided bottle related to the Möbius strip and is depicted in the card art.
- Freyalise's Winds was to be named "Phelddagrif's Winds" (Phelddagrif is an anagram of "Richard Garfield PhD") but it was decided that Phelddagrif didn't sound like the name of a Goddess of Spring.
- Leshrac's Rite is another card with artwork by Richard Thomas featuring "Stuffy" the tortured doll in its art. Previous cards to have "Stuffy" in the art include Black Vise, The Rack, Cursed Rack, and Wall of Wonder. Leshrac is an anagram of "Charles".
Illustrations[edit | edit source]
- Balduvian Shaman is probably the most complicated common card ever printed. In addition, there was no style guide for Ice Age, so all the people of Balduvia look completely different thanks to the different angles of many artists. Compare Balduvian Shaman to Balduvian Barbarians and Balduvian Conjurer for examples of these different angles.
- Disenchant: the characters on the sword blade are from an alphabet known as the "Anglo-Saxon Futhorc". They spell out "MAGIK".
- Formation was named "Tactics" until the art came back featuring ostriches and the name didn't seem to fit anymore.
- The illustration of Knight of Stromgald references chess: the ground is colored like a chessboard, to the left is a tower ("rook" in English), to the right another tower shaped like the chess war elephant ("bishop" in English), therefore the knight corresponds to the chess horseman (or "knight", that is the same thing); near the "war elephant tower" are two towers looking like chess foot soldiers ("pawns" in English).
- Lost Order of Jarkeld is depicted by artwork that was commissioned for a card cut from the Legends expansion. That card was to represent one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
- Urza's Bauble has the word "Urza" written on the bauble in its art.
Promotional cards[edit | edit source]
- Fylgja and Prismatic Ward were the only cards in this expansion to use the old white mana symbol. This was because they were used promotionally, and so were released before the rest of the expansion.
- Fylgja was depicted with the wrong mana cost in the Magic: The Gathering Official Encyclopedia, and for a long time in Gatherer as well.
- Fylgja inspired the creation of Ursine Fylgja in Coldsnap. The name is a Norse word referring to a kind of guardian spirit animal that is associated with a particular person.
- Goblin Mutant was one of five uncommon Ice Age block Japanese language cards offered as a promotion in Japan. The Ice Age block was not released in Japan.
- Krovikan Vampire was one of five uncommon Ice Age block Japanese language cards offered as a promotion in Japan. The Ice Age block was not released in Japan.
- Norritt would not be printed as a common today, as it is complicated (as evidenced by the small font used in its text box) and has abilities normally associated with uncommon and rare cards. It was used as a promotion, being given away with Scrye magazine before the release of Ice Age.
Biggest creatures[edit | edit source]
- Chaos Lord has the greatest combined power and toughness among monochrome red creatures in Ice Age. The characters on his shield are from the "Elder Futhark" runic alphabet. They spell out "I AM REALE MEAN".
- Infernal Denizen has the greatest combined power and toughness among monochrome black creatures in Ice Age.
- Polar Kraken had the greatest combined power and toughness among all creatures at the time of its printing until Phyrexian Dreadnought in Mirage. It was also the card with the highest converted mana cost until Draco in Planeshift.
- Scaled Wurm has the greatest combined power and toughness among monochrome green creatures in Ice Age and among all common creatures at the time. It was used as a promo before the release of the expansion.
- Seraph has the greatest combined power and toughness among monochrome white creatures in Ice Age.
- Soldevi Golem has the greatest combined power and toughness among artifact creatures in Ice Age.
Miscellanea[edit | edit source]
- Anarchy breaks the "red can't destroy enchantments" rule.
- Dance of the Dead has Oracle text longer than would fit into a text box.
- Dark Ritual last had the card type Interrupt in Ice Age. It then became a Mana Source and later an Instant, making it the card to have had the most number of card types in its history.
- Earthlore was named in reverence to the design name of Ancestral Recall 
- Flare was named "Poke" but was changed for being potentially sexually suggestive.
- Incinerate replaced the overpowered Lightning Bolt and yet was still considered too powerful in retrospect.
- Jester's Cap was designed both to thrill players with the new idea of manipulating an opponent's library, which had previously been considered a taboo, and to hurt decks reliant on powerful Restricted List cards.
- Meteor Shower confused many players as a result of its mana cost and "X+1" damage it dealt.
- Mind Warp was intended to be a fixed Mind Twist.
- Pestilence Rats has power equal to the number of rats in play, but it is only the third card printed with the creature type Rat after Bog Rats and Plague Rats.
References[edit | edit source]
- Magic Arcana (April 8, 2002). "Ice Age Plains". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Skaff Elias (August 2, 2004). "The Dawn of Magic's Ice Age". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (November 10, 2003). "Make No Mistake". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (May 06, 2003). "Hyalopterous Wha..?!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (January 24, 2005). "A Few Words From R&D". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (March 29, 2002). "Single-surface topology". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (January 1, 2007). "Ask Wizards - January, 2007". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley (May 26, 2011). "The History of Mana Symbols". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (May 02, 2002). "Ancestral Something". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.