R&D Pup Fetches Lands

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 by GyantSpyder
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Posted in mtg

That lovable scamp, Wizards of the Cost R&D puppy “Li’l Tapper,” is at it again! It was a rare sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, and Li’l Tapper was stuck sitting inside the Wizards offices — between the Pepsi machine and a giant fiberglass statue of Goblin Ski Patrol — with his widdle nose pressed against the window, just wanting to play.

So, when Card Designer Nenny Kagle made his way toward the fire doors, it was no surprise that Li’l Tapper bounded alongside him.

“No, Li’l Tapper!” said Nenny. “I can’t play now. I have to do something important.”

Nenny’s task, which he did not relish, was to briefly leave the heavily fortified Wizards compound, and, with all the strength of the mighty right arm of Wizards R&D, cast Onslaught Block, including the powerful and beloved fetchlands, out the door, far into the distance, and out of Extended.

“You’ve had a good run, Onslaught,” said Nenny, “but it’s about time we all see what the world is like without you for a little while.” He sobbed. “By which I mean still play faeries.” He sobbed again.

But as he cast open the door, blinded momentarily by tears and the rare encroachment of sunlight, he didn’t notice Li’l Tapper slip through his legs and out into the parking lot. Nor did he notice Li’l Tapper streak out after the cards he hurled into the distance, nor spot him scooting back in through the closing door as Nenny trudged up the stairs and back to his cube.

In fact, he didn’t notice anything at all until he saw the spoiler for the latest Magic: The Gathering set, Zendikar (which is Yiddish for “Please summon a limousine.”). Sure, enough, there were the fetchlands! They were a little torn up, not quite how they’d used to be, but there was no doubt about it — that pokey little puppy had managed to get yet another reprint into a Magic set!

“Oh, Li’l Tapper!!!” said Nenny. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Because that furry little ball of fun had managed to squeak out that door, the fetchlands were going to stay in Extended for another fifty dog years.

When asked how chewed-up scraps of paper left under a chair coated in slobber managed to get into a Magic set, Magical Developer Pom LaTille said:

“People think all we try to do is kill magic. This simply isn’t true, especially nowadays. We’ve worked very hard to improve our processes, tighten up our review standards, and do our best, especially in the most recent sets, to make Magic the most fun, varied experience it can be.

But I admit, it is nice every once in a while to get back to our roots. Sometimes I try to kill Magic with two hands at the same time, and I imagine myself diving sideways and hovering in the air with the camera zooming around me in wide circles, catching every tense moment of the action as I just click at random adding or deleting cards from a set.

We all pretty much think of it the same way. This one time, Tike Murian brought in a crate full of doves, and he kept them under his desk for a year, feeding them and caring for them, just so that he could release them and slide across his desk in slow motion the moment they shipped Tarmogoyf off to print. It was beautiful.

So, yeah, we pretty much do whatever we think the puppy wants. Who could say no to that face?”

Li’l Tapper is a black and white Border Collie — which means he is loyal, friendly, good with children, and fond of reprints, a trait he shares with the Nantuko Dachshunt, the Phyrexian Spaniel and the Poodle Aristocrat, which, despite having different breeds, turn out to be functionally identical.

Various Wizards employees have tried, halfheartedly at best, to say “No” to Li’l Tapper’s antics, with the unexpected result that Cancel has been scheduled for print in every Magic set through 2012.