Looking at an old deck, it occurred to me that I used to use Zuran Orb all the time, but that I don't think I've seen it used in years. Well, the previous thread I made was about Evolutionary Leap, a card that came out relatively recently. By default, I've only seen Evolutionary Leap used in the past few years. Zuran Orb, in contrast, I have only seen used, well, a while ago. Um, I think it might have been a decade. Maybe more. And yet I used to put it in lots of decks. All the time. All the time. So I'm left wondering how good the card is and or was. A lot of demonstrably powerful classic cards don't make the cut in Vintage or Legacy just because no one has found a niche for them in the specific environments of those formats. As an aside, the most poignant example of this is probably Goblin Lackey, a well-known card that was once banned in Extended and later was, for years, a Legacy staple. It has all but vanished from Legacy tournament decks, and the main culprit is Deathrite Shaman, the most popular creature in the format. You see, the appeal of Goblin Lackey was that it was an extremely threatening one-drop. Opponents were under pressure to find something to deal with it right away, or else the value it would generate would get out of hand quickly. No matter how much value they might get out of a 1/1 utility creature or a cheap kill spell, they were obligated to make the trade. But the ubiquity of a 1/2 one-drop dramatically alters that dynamic. Deathrite Shaman might as well be Devoted Hero as far as Goblin Lackey is concerned, but the sort of deck that would run Devoted Hero wouldn't be a problem for the sort of deck that would run Goblin Lackey. That Deathrite Shaman fits perfectly into the gameplans of some of the most competitive decks in the format means that Goblin Lackey is weakened as a side effect. So it's not that Goblin Lackey is a weak card overall. It has a well-document history as a tournament powerhouse. But not in the current Legacy. Zuran Orb was certainly considered more than just a fun casual card, once upon a time. It was restricted in Vintage (and by default, banned in Type 1.5 when that format was created), restricted in Standard (back when that was a thing that the DCI updates did), banned in Block Constructed, later banned in Standard, and then finally it was banned in Extended (when the format was first created). That's a lot of action. That's the sort of thing that one sees for other early cards that were and are broken, like Strip Mine and Channel. And I've been broadly aware of this for a long time, so it's only on reflection that I think, "Yikes, that's a lot of fuss over a mere lifegain card." Was it warranted? I don't know. But I find it an interesting question to consider. What is the proper evaluation of Zuran Orb?