This article is the final part in the Funning For Your Playgroup series, which explores silver-bordered cards appropriate for Commander. Un- cards offer a lot to a casual Commander playgroup with a strong social contract. Unfortunately, there is only one multicolored card suitable for a rules update in the Un- sets. There are quite a few more artifacts that are far more interesting though.
”Ach! Hans, Run!” 2RRGG
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may name a creature card, search your library for the named card, and reveal it. If you do, put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. That creature gains haste until end of turn. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.
With mana ramp being the abusive mechanic in Commander, “Ach! Hans, Run!” may fit the Rules Committee’s banning heuristic for failing to create “variable interactive and epic multiplayer games.” With the ability to repeatedly Tooth and Nail that will enable “ubiquitous, frequently overwhelming, and repetitive” gameplay, this card should probably not be included in Commander.
Giant Fan 4
2, T: Move a counter from one target nontoken permanent to another target nontoken permanent. If the second nontoken permanent’s rules text refers to any type of counters, the moved counter becomes one of those counters. Otherwise, it becomes a +1/+1 counter.
Quite possibly one of the most desirable of effects for casual players is the ability to generate or move around counters. Giant Fan fits this perfectly without unbalancing a game state effectively functioning as a second Coretapper in a counter-generating deck.
T: Roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1, sacrifice Jack-in-the-Mox and you lose 5 life. Otherwise, Jack-in-the-Mox one of the following effects:
2 — Add W to your mana pool.
3 — Add U to your mana pool.
4 — Add B to your mana pool.
5 — Add R to your mana pool.
6 — Add G to your mana pool.
The Moxen are banned in Commander, but Mana Crypt is legal in multiplayer Commander for reasons unclear. (This is possibly because Mana Crypt is banned, legal only in Vintage and casual play. It should also be noted that Mana Crypt is banned in the French one-on-one Commander deck building rules.) Since this is a Mox with randomness, fails utterly 17% of the time, and has a five-color color identity, it may be closer to the Mana Crypt example than the Moxen example and merits inclusion in Commander. Playgroups will have to test and see if it is unbalancing in their environments.
Jack-in-the-Mox is one of the other marque cards from Unglued and is a collector and fan favorite. Despite the difficulties in acquiring them through trading, they’re readily available online for purchase and are particularly cheap through eBay.
Mana Screw 1
1: Flip a coin. If you win the flip, add 2 to your mana pool. Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant.
Coin flipping or chaos decks will love this card.
Paper Tiger 4
Artifact Creature – Cat
Rock Lobsters can’t attack or block.
Rock Lobster 4
Artifact Creature – Crab
Scissors Lizards can’t attack or block.
Rod of Spanking 1
2, T: Rod of Spanking deals 1 damage to target player.
This card is just a better Telim’Tor’s Darts without the verbal mechanic some might find uncomfortable or embarrassing.
Scissors Lizard 4
Artifact Creature – Lizard
Paper Tigers can’t attack or block.
Spatula of the Ages 4
4, T, Sacrifice Spatula of the Ages: Put an artifact, creature, enchantment, or land originally printed in the Unglued expansion from your hand onto the battlefield.
Time Machine 5
T: Exile Time Machine and target nontoken creature you own. At the beginning of your your turn X of the next game you play with the same opponent, where X is the exiled creature’s converted mana cost, put all cards exiled this way onto the battlefield. (Time Machine and the creature stay exiled between games with that same opponent.)
Very much like the Double cards, Time Machine is strategically interesting in that it can create a tension for the next game that again cares not for what happens between games, which includes changing to a different deck. Mechanically, despite being a Quicksilver Amulet-type ability, Time Machine doesn’t exactly ramp the creature into play, just makes it consistently show up on a particular turn semi-appropriate for its mana cost.
Artifact Creature – Golem
Togglodyte enters the battlefield with an on counter.
Whenever a player casts a spell, if Togglodyte has an on counter, remove that counter.
Whenever a player casts a spell, if Togglodyte does not have an on counter, put an on counter on it.
If Togglodyte does not have an on counter, it can’t attack or block and prevent all damage it would deal.
Urza’s Contact Lenses 0
Urza’s Contact Lenses enters the battlefield tapped and does not untap during its controller’s untap step.
As long as Urza’s Contact Lenses is untapped, all players play with their hands revealed.
0: Tap or untap Urza’s Contact Lenses.
Urza’s Hot Tub 2
2, Discard a card: Search your library for a card that has the same name as the discarded card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
This may have a place in a Mishra, Artificer Prodigy that wants to do weird rules shenanigans, but generally it will be “unusable in Commander” like Squadron Hawk, Skyshroud Sentinel, and other similar cards.
Urza’s Science Fair Project 6
Artifact Creature – Construct
2: Roll a six-sided die. Urza’s Science Fair Project has one of the following effects:
1 — Urza’s Science Fair Project gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
2 — Urza’s Science Fair Project deals no combat damage this turn.
3 — Urza’s Science Fair Project gains vigilance until end of turn.
4 — Urza’s Science Fair Project gains first strike until end of turn.
5 — Urza’s Science Fair Project gains flying until end of turn.
6 — Urza’s Science Fair Project gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
With a 33% chance to have a negative effect and plenty of better artifact creatures available at the six-mana slot in Commander, Urza’s Science Fair Project will only see play in chaos-themed decks.
Water Gun Balloon Game 2
Whenever a player casts a spell, that player gets a pop! counter.
Whenever a player has five pop! counters, that player puts a 5/5 colorless Giant Teddy Bear creature token onto the battlefield and remove all pop! counters from all players.
Water Gun Balloon Game is extremely powerful in decks like Talrand, Sky Summoner, as yet another way to generate creature tokens by playing lots of cheap spells. Unfortunately, since pink isn’t an officially recognized color in Magic, it’s best to make the Giant Teddy Bear tokens colorless under modern design templating.
World-Bottling Kit 5
5, Sacrifice World-Bottling Kit: Choose a Magic expansion. Exile all permanents originally printed in that expansion, except for basic lands. (Token creatures and counters created by that expansion’s cards are not removed.)
Similar to Apocalypse Chime, World-Bottling Kit is an expensive way to get rid of pesky non-commander permanents with hexproof or shroud. However, the ability to consistently gain card or resource advantage for ten mana in an Eternal-based singleton format by nailing more than one permanent from the same expansion is unlikely. As such, it is most likely still better to just build around sacrifice effects or cards such as All Is Dust and other board wipes.
And Then There Was Un-
Since it is unlikely that Wizards of the Coast will ever need to standardize the Un- sets tournament legality, here is a .pdf file of the Oraclized Un- Set Visual Spoiler. This is simply a quick reference guide for anyone interested—it is not intended to be used as actual cards. Instead, it serves as an electronic file to be easily accessible on a portable device by interested parties in conjunction with the Commander social contract.
It is clear that the Un- cards will ask a playgroup to make some adjustments. However, the vast majority of playable Un- cards add enough to the game to merit their inclusion. With a proper social contract in place, newer players can find very interesting and potentially powerful effects for their decks at budget prices. Older players who have these Un- cards just sitting in their collections for years would finally have an opportunity and excuse to sleeve up and play. Despite the Commander Rules Committee’s stance on the sets, give the Un- cards a try and see how they play. If there are any comments, feedback, or personal experiences, please add them below.