The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Alexander Clamilton | Dmitry Burmak

Magical Thinking: Unsanctioned

Welcome back to Magical Thinking, a look back at the cards and art of Magic: the Gathering, set by set, from the beginning, through the eyes of a casual fan. This week we are diving into the most recently released Un set (Not counting the one that’s coming out soon), February 2020’s Unsanctioned.

But I kind of made a mistake when I decided to do this set. Because it’s not really a set, at least not a set like we have been seeing. Unsanctioned is box of five 30 card mono-colored Un decks, made with cards from each of the previous Un sets (Unglued, Unhinged, and Unstable) as well as a few new cards. They’re meant to be combined into whole 60 card dual-color decks. In truth, there are only 96 cards in the whole “set”.

I imagine there are people screaming bloody murder at me right now because I skipped over favorites like Conspiracy and Battle Bond, and I’m doing this instead and it’s not even a proper set. But fear not, there are new cards in this set, 16 to be precise, and I will be covering them all. So yeah, it’s gonna be a short entry this week. Bit of a vacation for me.

So without further ado, let’s see these new Un cards, and if the lessons learned from Unstable stuck.

I want this card to be in the real Magic sets. “No, you can’t beat Emrakul with 15 squirrels. I don’t CARE if you have Shadowspear.”

Urge to sing Rush songs intensifies.

If Unstable poked fun at the various color themed factions of recent Magic sets, Unsanctioned is poking fun at Commander, the most popular of Magic formats, with each color getting their own dual color commander.

I could just stop right now, couldn’t I? I’m not gonna top THIS. I mean, come on. I’m good but I’m not that good. I almost have too many jokes I could make. I wonder if he was ultimately killed by Otter Burr? Who lives, who dies, who eats you with those tiny forks? Is he friends with Hercules Musselfish? I could go on.

And we get a new planeswalker. This guy is pretty much the equivalent of three raccoons in a trench coat trying to steal a newspaper and drive a cement mixer to the La brea tar pits (Okay that metaphor got away from me) but yeah, beebles will rise.

See, it’s cards like this why they will never do the Un sets on Arena. A) the opponent would get prompts to make the bell noise, and B) they couldn’t hear you say anything anyway because there’s no chat functionality on Arena.

Pretty sure this is making fun of the energy counters from Kaladesh. But man, that’s a lot of nuts. Maybe it’s not so far fetched the squirrels could take down Emrakul.

Of course, we’re continuing with the hybrid monsters from Unstable. Honestly, I thought they were all reprints because I almost skipped this one.

Now I want a Secret Lair that replaces this art with All Might from My Hero Academia. I mean, yeah, All Might wouldn’t be Black, but the phrase “I’m here” has different context in a post My Hero Academia world.

I like the fact it looks like it came out of one of those adult coloring books. Personally though, I would have gone with the name “Art Gecko”.

I was suggesting using coins and calling them two-sided dice for this, but it was already ruled against doing that. Just goes to show that the devil works hard but Magic rules committees work even harder.

Oh, he’s a book wyrm.

…Oh come on, it’s not any worse than the usual Un set puns.

This feels like the part of Wonderland no one wants to talk about. I mean, Wonderland has cards and chess boards. Why not dice?

I love some of the rulings for these cards: “If you don’t live in a place with four seasons, you may need to get creative.”

Behold, the creator of Chicken Ninja. Truly a legend in their own time.

Yeah, Unsanctioned also had a wrestling theme, so of course the land would be an arena.

And that’s it. Like I said, not a long one. Next time I’ll make it up for you. Because next time we visit another new plane. Aplane where humans struggle against giant mutating monsters, and where history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man. Up next is Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. But until then, Stay Magical.

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Jessie Staffler

Jessie Staffler

Creative Writer looking to make money writing. Prefers to write stuff based on fantasy, Sci fi and horror