Monday, 11 July 2022 22:30

Bazaar of Baghdad: Yet Another Crazy Land Card From Early Magic

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Artwork from the MTG card Bazaar of Baghdad. Artwork from the MTG card Bazaar of Baghdad. WOTC/JEFF A. MENGES

As the first expansion of Magic: the Gathering, Arabian Nights still had the faulty first year jitters of having wildly powerful cards and still working out the kinks. After all, this is the expansion that introduced the first "expansion hoser card" and even one that made a gave of Magic occur during your game of Magic.

What can we say?  1993 was a bit of an odd time.

Adding to the craziness were some of the crazy land cards in the mix. The big one? Bazaar of Baghdad.

It's a land that doesn't cost anything to bring out (as is typical for the card type), and doesn't tap for any sort of mana. Rather, it taps for card draw -- two cards from the top of your deck in exchange for three from your hand. Do the math, and you're at a net loss of one card per use.

At the time, Bazaar was just another one of those cards in the expansion. But as the years went by, and Magic stabilized, the game showed just how much Bazaar could help, well, nearly any deck. As a land, it could fit into seemingly any deck, allowing you to swap out cards from your hand you don't want for those that might better help you. Assuming, of course, the math works out.

To many, it was a gamble worth the risk.

The big thing with Bazaar though is not the power of it, although it certainly has that. It's because it is still legal in a handful of formats, including Commander and Vintage, it's on the Reserve List, and it's rather hard to find.

Bazaar of Baghdad comes from a day where land cards weren't just about being a mana resource and, like so many know, were sometimes a bit too powerful. But it's always fun to look at just how far Magic has come, and just how much more complex and rich the game has come.