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Magic: the Gathering Unfinity Preview Card Goblin Cruciverbalist Wants to Test Your Scrabble Skills

Back in the golden age of Magic: the Gathering, the parody expansion set Unglued (1998) took the game on a comical twist, with cards like Chaos Confetti asking you to tear itself to pieces and fling it across the room and onto the table. Almost 25 years on, we’re tickled to see that Magic hasn’t lost its funny side, as the 5th parody set Unfinity will be released on 7 October.

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast, Tap & Sac and Geek Culture are honoured to present our tongue-twistingly exclusive preview card – Goblin Cruciverbalist!

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Cruciverbalist is shockingly an actual word (someone who likes crossword puzzles), so naturally, its ability is all about coming up with words on the spot. Let’s hope you’ve been religiously watching Wheel of Fortune! 

Here’s how the card works: When Goblin Cruciverbalist comes into play, you get to name an Artifact token with a vowel. And when it attacks, you’ll need to come up with a word that contains that chosen vowel, plus the 1st letter of all Permanents you control. Confused yet? 

Imagine you have 2 Islands, a Mountain, Goblin Cruciverbalist, Chrome Mox, and the token named A on your Battlefield, then you can declare the word “magic”! If you’re able to come up with a new word each time, Goblin Cruciverbalist gets +X/+0 where X is the number of letters in the word. A 6/4 Haste Creature for 3 Mana isn’t bad at all!  

Unfinity is specially designed with interplanetary circus themes, which is a long throw away from what we’ve seen in previous Un- sets. Not only that, Unfinity will plant its own flag for introducing brand new concepts to the overall Magic scene.


The Use of Stickers on Cards

The game has used counters for a long time – simple +1/+1 indicators, or even keyword counters that were 1st used in Ikoria. But those always existed on the Battlefield, and once those cards left, so did the counters (with some exceptions). 

Now Unfinity is introducing the concept of stickers, to permanently mark or change a card’s attributes. While the full rules of how it works have not been released yet, the idea is these stickers will stay with the card whether it goes into the Graveyard, Hand, or back into your Library. 

The use of stickers can be a kind of real-world solution to the Perpetual mechanics found in Magic’s digital platform Arena. Those cards with Perpetual are digitally marked and are also easier for the system to track. It’s not clear how practical these stickers will be in a live game situation (what if they fall off while shuffling?) but it’s a bold move from Wizards that could see more use in future sets.


New Galaxy Foil Variant

Alongside the Surge foiling found in the Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond Commander decks, Unfinity will also introduce a new, different kind of foiling called the Galaxy foil. Described by Wizards as looking at the stars in the night sky, we can only imagine the Galaxy foil to be some kind of glitter effect. How defined or visible these ‘stars’ will be, we’ll have to find out when Unfinity is released. 

The introduction of 2 new foil variants on the same day(!) takes the full number of variants to 6, and 3 of those are just in 2022 alone. It can be hard for even diehard fans of the game to keep up, so hopefully things will slow down after this. 


Black Border Cards for Cross-Format Use

Even if it wasn’t clear enough that the wacky mechanics and suggestive jokes were not for mainstream play in events or tournaments, all the cards (except Lands) from previous Un- sets came in silver borders, to clearly demarcate them for casual play.

Now for the 1st time in Magic history, Unfinity cards will come printed in black borders, and with good reason! Many of these cards will be legal in eternal formats (Vintage, Legacy, and Commander) as long as it doesn’t have an acorn security stamp at the bottom of the card. These “acorns” will effectively be known as the new silver borders of the past.  

You’ve probably noticed that our preview card Goblin Cruciverbalist does indeed have an acorn stamp at the bottom of the card – that means it can only be used for casual play!


End Step

Unfinity is all about the lighter side of Magic, and honestly is a much welcomed alternative to the serious nature of the game. How effective the new stickers will be is a toss up, but now that some cards are entering the eternal formats, this will change the Magic landscape, hopefully for the better. 


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