Hall of Shame Nominations: Mirage



Again, due to holiday bustle, nominations will be a bit longer, we'll go until 12/29.

Auspicious Ancestor
Benevolent Unicorn
Blinding Light
Celestial Dawn
Civic Guildmage
Dazzling Beauty
Divine Offering
Divine Retribution
Ekundu Griffin
Enlightened Tutor
Ethereal Champion
Favorable Destiny
Femeref Healer
Femeref Knight
Femeref Scouts
Healing Salve
Iron Tusk Elephant
Ivory Charm
Jabari's Influence
Mangara's Blessing
Mangara's Equity
Melesse Spirit
Mtenda Griffin
Mtenda Herder
Noble Elephant
Null Chamber
Pearl Dragon
Prismatic Circle
Rashida Scalebane
Ritual of Steel
Sacred Mesa
Sidar Jabari
Soul Echo
Spectral Guardian
Teremko Griffin
Unyaro Griffin
Vigilant Martyr
Wall of Resistance
Ward of Lights
Zhalfirin Commander
Zhalfirin Knight
Zuberi, Golden Feather
Ancestral Memories
Azimaet Drake
Bay Falcon
Bazaar of Wonders
Cerulean Wyvern
Cloak of Invisibility
Coral Fighters
Daring Apprentice
Dream Cache
Dream Fighter
Energy Vortex
Ether Well
Hakim, Loreweaver
Harmattan Efreet
Kukemssa Pirates
Kukemssa Serpent
Memory Lapse
Merfolk Raiders
Merfolk Seer
Mind Bend
Mind Harness
Mist Dragon
Mystical Tutor
Political Trickery
Power Sink
Prismatic Lace
Psychic Transfer
Ray of Command
Reality Ripple
Sandbar Crocodile
Sapphire Charm
Sea Scryer
Shaper Guildmage
Suq'Ata Firewalker
Teferi's Curse
Teferi's Drake
Teferi's Imp
Tidal Wave
Vaporous Djinn
Wave Elemental
Abyssal Hunter
Ashen Powder
Barbed-Back Wurm
Binding Agony
Blighted Shaman
Bone Harvest
Cadaverous Knight
Catacomb Dragon
Choking Sands
Crypt Cobra
Dark Banishing
Dark Ritual
Dirtwater Wraith
Drain Life
Dread Specter
Ebony Charm
Feral Shadow
Fetid Horror
Forbidden Crypt
Forsaken Wastes
Grave Servitude
Gravebane Zombie
Harbinger of Night
Infernal Contract
Kaervek's Hex
Mire Shade
Nocturnal Raid
Painful Memories
Phyrexian Tribute
Purraj of Urborg
Ravenous Vampire
Reign of Terror
Restless Dead
Sewer Rats
Shadow Guildmage
Shallow Grave
Shauku, Endbringer
Skulking Ghost
Soul Rend
Spirit of the Night
Tainted Specter
Tombstone Stairwell
Urborg Panther
Wall of Corpses
Withering Boon
Zombie Mob
Armorer Guildmage
Barreling Attack
Blind Fury
Blistering Barrier
Builder's Bane
Burning Palm Efreet
Burning Shield Askari
Chaos Charm
Cinder Cloud
Consuming Ferocity
Crimson Hellkite
Crimson Roc
Dwarven Miner
Dwarven Nomad
Ekundu Cyclops
Emberwilde Djinn
Final Fortune
Flame Elemental
Goblin Elite Infantry
Goblin Scouts
Goblin Soothsayer
Goblin Tinkerer
Hammer of Bogardan
Hivis of the Scale
Illicit Auction
Kaervek's Torch
Lightning Reflexes
Pyric Salamander
Raging Spirit
Reckless Embermage
Reign of Chaos
Searing Spear Askari
Spitting Earth
Stone Rain
Subterranean Spirit
Talruum Minotaur
Telim'Tor's Edict
Torrent of Lava
Viashino Warrior
Volcanic Dragon
Volcanic Geyser
Wildfire Emissary
Zirilan of the Claw
Afiya Grove
Armor of Thorns
Barbed Foliage
Canopy Dragon
Crash of Rhinos
Cycle of Life
Early Harvest
Fallow Earth
Femeref Archers
Giant Mantis
Gibbering Hyenas
Granger Guildmage
Hall of Gemstone
Jolrael's Centaur
Jungle Patrol
Jungle Wurm
Karoo Meerkat
Locust Swarm
Lure of Prey
Mindbender Spores
Mtenda Lion
Natural Balance
Nettletooth Djinn
Preferred Selection
Quirion Elves
Rampant Growth
Roots of Life
Sabertooth Cobra
Seedling Charm
Seeds of Innocence
Serene Heart
Stalking Tiger
Superior Numbers
Tranquil Domain
Tropical Storm
Uktabi Faerie
Uktabi Wildcats
Unseen Walker
Unyaro Bee Sting
Village Elder
Waiting in the Weeds
Wall of Roots
Wild Elephant
Worldly Tutor
Acidic Dagger
Amber Prison
Amulet of Unmaking
Basalt Golem
Bone Mask
Charcoal Diamond
Chariot of the Sun
Crystal Golem
Cursed Totem
Elixir of Vitality
Ersatz Gnomes
Fire Diamond
Grinning Totem
Horrible Hordes
Igneous Golem
Lead Golem
Lion's Eye Diamond
Mana Prism
Mangara's Tome
Marble Diamond
Misers' Cage
Moss Diamond
Patagia Golem
Paupers' Cage
Phyrexian Dreadnought
Phyrexian Vault
Razor Pendulum
Sand Golem
Sky Diamond
Teeka's Dragon
Telim'Tor's Darts
Unerring Sling
Ventifact Bottle
Asmira, Holy Avenger
Benthic Djinn
Cadaverous Bloom
Circle of Despair
Discordant Spirit
Emberwilde Caliph
Energy Bolt
Frenetic Efreet
Grim Feast
Harbor Guardian
Haunting Apparition
Hazerider Drake
Jungle Troll
Kaervek's Purge
Leering Gargoyle
Malignant Growth
Phyrexian Purge
Prismatic Boon
Radiant Essence
Reflect Damage
Rock Basilisk
Savage Twister
Sawback Manticore
Sealed Fate
Shauku's Minion
Spatial Binding
Unfulfilled Desires
Vitalizing Cascade
Warping Wurm
Windreaper Falcon
Zebra Unicorn
Bad River
Crystal Vein
Flood Plain
Mountain Valley
Rocky Tar Pit
Teferi's Isle


I am nominating Warping Wurm. This is one of the highest cast cards I have seen, and one of the poorest uses of phasing I have ever seen. Even the ability that could make it decent, only works every other turn. And it costs 4. There are much better uses for the green mana, and blue needs to conserve as much mana as possible. Additionally to use it effectively, you have to pay the upkeep, and unless it is extreem late game, the creature will not have a remarkable size. A rare should be much better than this, even a crap-rare.


Actually... the upkeep cost helps it, you get a counter every turn if you don't pay the upkeep... And if you use other things to phase it out, you can gain more benefits...

That said, it's a crap rare... :p

Mirage was one of my favorite sets & Blocks - the first true block is born. Compared to earlier sets, we aren't looking at a lot of HoS worthy material.

That said, I've always hated Emberwild Caliph. Sure, it's a 4/4 Flying Trample for cheap... But, every point of damage dealt is a loss of life... not even damage dealt only to opponents, but every point of damage dealt. And I have to attack every turn w/ him, so he's 4 life a turn. For 1 less mana (and no Red), I can have a 3/4 flying djinn which only deals 1 pt to me every turn and I can block if I need to in Serendib Efreet.

Sure, if I get ahead in a race, he'd be ok... but it's too big a risk. And I wanted to like him, because I always wanted to make a UR deck...


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If not Warping wurm, I'd say Acidic dagger. I'd have suggested Lion's Eye Diamond, but that's a strong card today... but it made me quit magic back then. That, and the whole Mirage block. I had started with Ice age (or a bit earlier), and the jungle theme struck me as very out of flavor. I tried until Visions, but then I went to university and didn't pay attention to the game for some time.

But I second Warping wurm, if only for phasing. It'd be fitting for the set to have a phasing card as a representative of the crap that is Mirage.


The Tentacled One
Nothing here really screams "awful" at me right now. I'll have to peruse the whole set list...

Oh, and Lion's Eye Diamond was always a strong card. People just didn't know how to use it back then and the types of decks that exploit it weren't really in force. There was also no Yawgmoth's Will, but LED is broken even without it.


Isengar Tussle
I'll have to second Emberwilde Caliph, since it just is terrible... there are much better cards in this set (Needletooth Djinn, Serendib Efreet, etc...) that this has no real value as a card......
What does it combo with?
There are lots of other Flying 4/4 or better creatures for 4cc......

I don't think the Wurm is that bad..... let it go as an added thing your opponent has to worry about..... it's not good, but not that bad...

Nothing else really jumps out at me as horrible....


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Oversoul;275709 said:
Oh, and Lion's Eye Diamond was always a strong card. People just didn't know how to use it back then and the types of decks that exploit it weren't really in force. There was also no Yawgmoth's Will, but LED is broken even without it.
Please enlighten me, what strong card interactions were available at the release of Mirage?


The Tentacled One
Up until, I think, late 1999, it was possible to announce a spell, then use LED to get the mana to pay for it, even if the spell was in your hand. So really ANY spell that you were willing to lose your hand to pay for could combo with LED. If anything, the card should have been better back then. Now it only works with things like Yawgmoth's Will, Windfall, Tinker, Demonic Tutor, Wheel of Fortune, Timetwister, etc. The first three of those weren't yet in print, but the others would only have worked better with LED than they do now. Instead of having to pay for Wheel of Fortune and then activate LED for mana, you could do that OR announce Wheel, use LED to get red mana even if you had none, and then let Wheel resolve.

I think that the problem was that combo decks weren't really developed back then. ProsBloom is absolutely ANCIENT as combo decks go and its key components weren't even printed until the set after this one. People thought in terms of control decks and combos were typically two cards that had a strong interaction (like Channel and Fireball), rather than variable setups that were highly explosive and would let you run through your whole deck and win on one turn. If we sent today's deckbuilders back in time to 1996 and had them compete in against the decks of that time, they'd probably dominate with the insights and understanding they have now. I'm not positive that they'd be breaking LED quite then as part of that, but they'd certainly break it long before 2004, which was when it was finally restricted.


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Oversoul;275800 said:
Up until, I think, late 1999, it was possible to announce a spell, then use LED to get the mana to pay for it, even if the spell was in your hand.
I think that apparently I've never had a good grasp of the subtleties involving casting spells.


The Tentacled One
Even though I started playing with the original Portal set (around the time Tempest was being released), I tend to think of myself as being at least passingly familiar with every single Magic card printed up until 2000 or so. But that's not really the case. Every once in a while, I run into some obscure card that I've never seen before. I was about to nominate either Cycle of Life or Acidic Dagger, and then I ran into something so awful, I kept thinking that there was some catch I was missing out on.

I nominate Malignant Growth. Definitely one of the worst cards I've ever seen. Here's a mechanic often featured in black cards: paying life to get cards. It's so powerful that it was accidentally made far too good twice, with Necropotence and Yawgmoth's Bargain both being considered two of the most broken cards of all time. And many of the other times it's come up, it's been used heavily in some format or another. Dark Confidant, Phyrexian Arena, Skeletal Scrying, etc. What we're doing here is making this enchantment cost 3UG and giving this ultra-powerful effect TO YOUR OPPONENT.

But wait, there's more. You keep paying mana to provide your opponents with these cards. It's like they made a card for people who win too much so that they could have a surefire way of losing. About the best thing you can do with Malignant Growth is not pay the upkeep right away and let it die, doing nothing for five mana.

The only thing keeping me from declaring this easily the worst card in the history of the game is that technically, if you already have your opponent down to a really low life total, this could technically finish him off, hypothetically. But I'm confident that no player, in any universe, has ever, ever, EVER lost to this card. Actually, that doesn't stop me. This is the worst card ever. I used to think Wood Elemental probably held that title, but at least a Wood Elemental can attack over and over and over if nothing stops it and actually kill someone if you're ridiculously lucky. With Malignant Growth, you'll run out of mana to pay the cumulative upkeep and it will die before the job is done (after having loaded your opponent's hand with whatever he was trying to draw to smash your face in).

This also seems to have the hilarious distinction of being the only terrible, awful, unspeakably bad card to have an erratum that actually makes it WORSE than it originally was. The text on the card reads, "During target opponent's draw phase..." but the Oracle text reads, "At the beginning of each opponent's draw step..." So in multiplayer, ALL of your opponents will be racking up card advantage while you pay mana to give it to them.

Mirage was never my favorite set, but I can't fathom how this piece of crap managed to make it into the same set as Phyrexian Dreadnought and Tombstone Stairwell.


Wizards obviously hates UG...

It is rare to see a card so awful that it's simply forgotten about... I played in the days of Mirage... I have always thought "I" knew every card printed during that time...

And yet, here is a card I don't recall ever seeing... To top it off, I have a complete set of Mirage, so I know I've seen this card at least once... But it left such a negative impact I completely phased it out of memory. :)

Now, as Devil's Advocate... This card could be used successfully if you were denying resources so the cards would become useless - painful and deck draining. Arcane Laboratory would also help your cause. Coupled w/ Black Vise. And yes, Arcane Laboratory was not around when this horrible card was envisioned. Add utility creatures for even greater effect - counter creatures, bounce creatures, and control. You could even throw in a Warping Wurm to use when you tire of paying for Growth... it'll have grown up by then.

EDIT - Stasis w/ Malignant Growth (and Chronatog to avoid upkeeps) would work well too... I had a UG stasis build for a while... but now it's UW... (and I never play it).

Here are the nominations so far:

Emberwilde Caliph - BigBlue, Mooseman
Malignant Growth - Oversoul
Warping Worm - DarthFerret, Shabbaman


Staff member
I've got two choices: Hall of Gemstone and Ventifact Bottle.

Hall of Gemstone seems to be specifically an anti-blue card because you're hoping to avoid his counterspells so you can play stuff on your turn. Of course, you probably won't have instants in your deck as on your opponent's turn, you're not going to be doing anything. But you're playing green and green is supposed to have lots of instants, unless your deck is built around fast mana and big creatures. Which still seems kinda narrow.

Ventifact Bottle seems to be intended to store up your mana on one turn and put out a big something on your next turn. So you gotta hope that your opponent can't get rid of the Bottle on their turn or they're not going to do anything major during their turn. And it seems like a late game card or a mid game to push out a late game card early. Either way, hopefully you have control of the board as not to get any surprises.

So while I think decks are doable with either card, I think Hall of Gemstone is the more useless one.


Is Hall of Gemstone not what you're thinking?

It's a world Enchantment which changes all mana to produce a single color each turn...

"At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player chooses a color. Until end of turn, lands tapped for mana produce mana of the chosen color instead of any other color. "

You're describing City of Solitude... Or perhaps something else?

It only affects lands, so you could use mana elves etc to produce G.

EDIT - That said.... it's effect isn't really useful and could prove disasterous against decks with heavy color dependencies.


Staff member
No, I mean Hall of Gemstone. So during your upkeep, say you pick green. So all lands tapped will produce green. Not a problem for you, since you're playing green already, but stops your opponent from casting any counterspells. However, on your opponent's turn, say he picks blue. So you can't cast any green instants either, like Giant Growth or Berserk or whatever.

Yeah, you can use Elves or Diamonds or artifact mana to keep producing green, but it's still a rather difficult deck to build.