Tuesday, 28 February 2023 16:00

A look at an early MTG card through rose-colored (sun)glasses

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Artwork from the MTG card Sunglasses of Urza. Artwork from the MTG card Sunglasses of Urza. WOTC/DAN FRAZIER

Outside of the un-series and the old, odd real-world quote, there aren't many anarchronisms in Magic: The Gathering anymore.

These days, it seems like everything is kept fantasy, old-world, or at most, on the outskirts of steampunk, along with a bunch of other influences that steer clear of guns, computers, or anything else vaguely modern. Well, except for some of the early series.  And those that aren't are not of the core MTG universe (*cough* "Universes Beyond").

There were, though some odd ones, and out of those, they had the strangest features.  And that includes this original Magic card that dates all the way back to day one: Sunglasses of Urza.

So yeah, this seems like such a joke card nowadays that real un-cards like Urza's Contact Lenses was inspired by both it and it's related (and also O.G. card) Glasses of Urza:


But, getting back to the suglasses, the big thing here is what it does.  In short, it turns all of your white mana generating sources into psuedo-Plateaus, allowing you to spend the white mana as your choice of either white OR red.

Really, it's a card that can only be occasionally useful -- especially these days with all of the mana options that have come out in the decades since -- as it's an artifact that (A) shouldn't exist, and (B) is entirely dependent on the phrase "Seeing through rose colored glasses."

After the sunglasses, Wizards of the Coast seemed to just keep assigning random artifacts to Urza.  Some made sense, because of course Urza had blueprints, an incubator, and a (battle) engine.  Others, I mean, it's just a darn cup.

Regardless, as ridiculous as Urza's Sunglasses seems today, Magic players are probably happy that such a card was printed so early in the game's history.

After all, who would really want to play with a card called "Nicol Bolas' Eternal Machine Gun" or access "Urza's Uncomfortable Twitter Feed?"

Sometimes you just needed those early wacky cards to really grind in what you are all about.