jump to navigation

Unscrewed Part 8: Vodalian Coast (Unglued 3) October 13, 2009

Posted by James in : all, fake cards , trackback

Not only will Unscrewed do many fun things that would probably never happen for real, but it will give us the mana fixing that we’ve always wanted. The mana fixing will be balanced, but it will help us avoid mana screw much more effectively than usual. I gave many suggestions to how mana screw could be avoided over a year ago, and Unscrewed will implement some of these ideas. In particular, the idea of split permanents. A card could have two choices: You could play it as a land, or as something else. For example, Vodalian Coast:

vodalian coast serpent snake

Yes, serpents and snakes are both different creature types.

More importantly, Vodalian Coast will help you whether you have been drawing too many lands or too few. Additionally, it isn’t strictly better than a basic Island because you need to play basic lands to keep Vodalian Coast from coming into play untapped.

Of course, there are limitless possibilities with split permanents. A new kind of dual land is also a possibility:


Meadow/River is just like Vodalian Island except it helps you play a multi-colored deck. If you need a Plains, play it as Meadow. If you need an Island, play it as River.

There are some rules problems that have convinced some Magic players that we will never see split permanents. “If it is exiled and returns to play, which side comes into play?” My answer: Whichever side you want returns to play. The fact that there are some rules issues involving split permanents is nothing new. We’ve had other rules issues with regular split cards. Rules have to be made to allow new possibilities.

If split permanents constantly lead to rules questions (which is unlikely), then they might never be made in an official game, which is all the more reason to put them in an un-set.

The paintings used on the land cards were by Thomas Cole. The painting used on Serpent Snake is by Heinrich Harder. The artwork is in the public domain.



1. michael - October 15, 2009

These are different than the Kamigawa flipped cards which have a defined up and down so you know what happens when they return to play…they come back up. IF you were to follow that logic, the side furthest from the artist credit would be “up” and it would return in that position.

Personally, I think if wizards made these, they would use Kamigawa templates so there is an up/down paradigm with a flip condition. That might be a chance for them to make an unflip, but they would only do that for when both sides of the card are the same type (licids anyone?).

2. James - October 15, 2009

Maybe, but there can also be a mixture of permanents and instants, which justifies the split card template even more.

3. michael - October 16, 2009

If they were going to do split sorcery/creature cards, we wouldn’t have Evoke. Evoke is how WotC resolved the rules problems with a sorcery/creature split card. It would be the same with a non-permanent/permanent split card. It would be Evoke. Sure, it isn’t “as fun”, but non-permanents on the battlefield cause the game to implode.

If you want to disambiguate the up/down from the kamigawa cards, you could always use a new template with the copyright info/artist credit/card number in the middle of the card so each side is “up” (may have to duplicate it in both orientations so it looks the same no matter which way you play it).

4. James - October 16, 2009

Evoke doesn’t allow for all possibilities. I didn’t say the split card would be a creature or a spell. It could be an instant and an enchantment or land.

I don’t think there is any confusion about the right-side-up issue. They are split cards, just like regular split cards. They just have a different template.

5. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Wizards of the Coast Tried - October 30, 2009

[…] I absolutely love the idea of split permanents because it is the perfect way to provide mana fixing. It can stop the problem of too many and too few lands. Notice that I just mentioned split lands recently in my post, Vodalian Coast. Split lands would be perfect in an un-set so we can use them while we wait another 10 years for them to become real. […]