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Master of the Unseen @JasonVorthos
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"One #ArabianNights tale concerns an evil blacksmith who repented his ways and, as a result, found that he could handle fire and forge metal with his bare hands -- thus, a 1/2 creature with protection from Red."

Source: allenvarney.com/av_mgcwords.ht…

#Vorthos
Sick with fear that his glorious realm will pass away, the Caliph Haroun persuades the Sandman to take the city into dream, where it will live forever. In similar fashion, City in a Bottle removes all Arabian Nights cards from the game, except itself
Several characters in the folktales of original #ArabiansNight rub fishliver oil over their bodies to gain the ability to breath under water.

#vorthos
In Irish folklore, there was a giant fish of a monster that breached the boat of Saint Brendan. It was called the Jasconius. It was also mistaken for a vast island.

There is a similar tale in Arab folklore, but the island-fish is called the Zarathan.

#ArabianNights
The Dandan appears in volume 9 of the original #ArabianNights, in the tale "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman", where the merman tells the fisherman that the dandan is the largest fish in the sea and capable of swallowing a ship and all its crew in a single gulp.
In #ArabianNights, a farmer finds a honeycomb in a beehive. On the way home, a drop of honey fell and was eaten by an ant, who was eaten by a mouse, eaten by a cat, then a dog, and the cat owner get in a fight with the dog owner and it turn into a full scale war in the village.
In #ArabianNights, Maruf is a hardworking Cobbler married to a pestering woman named Fatimah. To flees his wife, he enters the ancient ruins of Adiliyah where he meet a powerful Djinn who make a deal to transport him to a distant land known as Ikhtiyan al-Khatan.
In the original #ArabianNights folk tale, Aladdin is Chinese, this is why he his depicted as such on the card.

He steal an oil lamp and find a genie inside who make him marries the sultan's daughter
#vortgos
In the original #ArabianNights folktale, sorcerers may summon a Djinn and force him to perform orders.

Ifrit are more evil and dangerous djinn.

Serendib is the old Persian name for Sri Lanka.

#vorthos
One of the weirdest story in #ArabianNights

To marry Zaynab, Ali from Cairo must steal the magic robe of a sorcerer named ‘Adhra. He get caught and Adhra turns him into stone, a donkey, a bear, and a dog, selling him each time at the market, only for him to be brought back
In The Third Kalandar's Tale, the narrator, Ajib, briefly encounters a boatman made "of brass with a tablet of lead on his breast inscribed with talismans and characts. Before the boat ride finishes the skiff tips over, and the brass man sinks into the depths. #ArabianNights #MTG
Emir Musa sought to find the fabled City of Brass. When Musa comes to the city, however, he finds it without entrances and completely devoid of life. And everyone who climbs to the top of a ladder to mount the walls casts themselves to their death on the other side.
Witches appear in numerous stories in The Arabian Nights, and "cuombajj" is an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "corrupt
In "The Second Voyage of Sindbad," the sailor comes upon a valley in the where merchants "traffic in diamonds" kill sheep, and cast pieces of the corpses down in the valley so the gems will stick to them and they can draw the wealth out from amidst the "perils and terrors" below
A gift from a sage to the King of the Persians, Sabur, that would, when ridden, both fly and "cover the space of a year in a single day." The King's son eventually uses it to woo away a bride in a distant city.

#ArabianNights
El-Hajjâj was a tyrannical governor of numerous stories (beginning about 500 nights into Shahrazad's tales) who was alleged to have slain 120,000 men in his efforts to quell uprisings and who died in 714 A.D.

It's aslo the first card with Lifelink

#ArabianNights #MTG
Erg is from the Arabic word ʿarq (عرق), meaning "dune field".

I played 4 Erg Raiders in my black aggro deck around 1995.

Turn 1: Tap Swamp -> Dark Ritual -> Cast Erg Raiders + Unholy Strength

Turn 2: Attack with your 4/4 Erg Raiders.
This one explain itself with the name.

Also, they are no elephant graveyard in the original stories of Arabian Nights
In the original #ArabianNights folktale, sorcerers may summon a Djinn and force him to perform orders.

Ernham is a anagram of Richard Garfield brother-in-law Herman
Eye for an eye is a quote in the Bible, which is also a holy in the Islam religion.

In the Arabian Nights stories, they are numerous references to one-eyed people and the evil eye cast upon enemies.
"The great prototype of the Flying Carpet is that of Sulayman bin Daud [King Solomon], a fable which the Koran (chap. xxi. 81) borrowed from the Talmud, not from 'Indian fictions.'
Ghazbán" is an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "treacherous."

It's a 2/2 for 1 mana, but he is treacherous. This is why this card switch Player during the upkeep.
The Third Voyage of Sindbad" describes "tortoises twenty cubits wide." That's about thirty-five feet wide
Jandor have a briefly mentioned seal-ring (a gift from Abd al-Samad) containing a djinn, as told in the tale "Judar and His Brethren"

#ArabianNights
"Kird" is just an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "jungle."
In "The Third Kalandar's Tale," they mention the Magnet Mountain, which causes the ship's sides to open as "every nail in plank will fly out and cleave fast to the mountain.

#ArabianNights #MTG
In the 5th Voyage of Sindbad, an old man begs Sindbad to carry him on his shoulders across a channel. Then, the old man locks his legs around Sinbad neck and forces to carry him. Sindbad tricks him into drinking wine, he get drunk, fall and Sindbad bashes his head with a rock
From "The Story of the Sisters Who Envied Their Younger Sister," this was a tree whose leaves were so musical that every leaf sang in concert.

Notice the mouth on the bark and the skulls under the water.

This is a good card for Edh

#ArabianNights
Elephants, like camels, abound in The #ArabianNights original stories.

The card camel lated inspired some card for Amonkhet.
For seven voyages, Sindbad the sailor had many adventures.

The mechanic on the card represent his discovery of many fantastic lands.

On the art, he is graping on a giant bird paw. Notice the feathers behind.

He also appear on the card Old Men of the Sea

#ArabianNights
In The Tale of the Three Apples," Ja'far was a wazir to the caliph Harun al-Rashid, but not a Leper.

Garfield changed him into a Leper. Deathtouch as a mechanic did not exist yet.

This card was a good early blocker for white deck.
Aladdin is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who persuade Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave. After he retrieve the lamp, the djinn inside make him becomes rich and powerful and marries Princess Badroulbadour, the sultan's daughter
The sorcerer who hired Aladdin (see post above) gave him a magic ring. In the booby traped cave, Aladdin use the ring to save himself and flee with the lamp.

Look at the flavor text
In the original #ArabianNights folk tale, Aladdin grew up in China. This is why he his depicted as such on the card.

Hired by a sorcerer, he steal an oil lamp in a cave and flee with his mother. While rubing the lamp to clean it, a powerful djinn came out and made him rich.
In the story, Ali Baba is a poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves' den, entered with the phrase "Open Sesame". The thieves learn this and try to kill Ali Baba, but Ali Baba's faithful slave-girl foils their plots.

Here he can tap walls.
In "The Tale of Nur Al-Din Ali and His Son Badr Al-Din Hasan," a wazir's daughter wears a dress decorated with birds "whose eyes and beaks were of gems of red rubies and green beryl."

In the first year of MTG, with the Ante rule, you could win the card of the opponent.
Khabál" is an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "night."

We saw the mechanic of that card often in the following set. Most recently in Ixalan with Bloodcrazed Paladin, which have the same mana cost, abilities and power/toughness as Khabal Ghoul
Alexandria was one of the many fabled cities mentioned in The Arabian Nights, and the library there was famed to be the center of all learning and knowledge.

This is a very strong card. It never saw any reprint other than promo, because it's very strong
Baghdad is the central setting for many of the tales of The Arabian Nights. Founded in 762 A.D. by Abu Jafar al-Mansur, the city of Baghdad was originally built on the west bank of the Tigris River and was called Madinat as-Salam (City of Peace).
Notice in the art how the army is very big behind the front row.

+2/+0 for attacking creatures that you can cast after opponent have declared blocker is really strong in a white aggro deck. Back in these day, monowhite aggro was popular with White Knight and Savannah Lion.
This is just a Cyclone in the form of an enchantment. As long as you have the mana, you can build it stronger and stronger as the turn are passed, just like a Cyclone get bigger and bigger
Sandstorm story is in the flavor text.

Back in the day, a lot of creature had 1 toughness so this was a Fog-like effect that destroyed a lot of attacking creatures for only 1 mana.

It was reprinted in 4th edition and Mirage.
Unstable Mutation has no backstory.

It is very strong in aggro strategy. +3/+3 for one mana in blue is no joke.

Back in the day, blue aggro deck was actually a thing, with Flying Man and all the djinn. @maro254 talk often about his blue aggro deck from 1994.
In the #ArabianNights tale "Jandor and His Brethren," Jandor and a Moor shared saddlebags that filled themselves with whatever manner of food was desired, "a thousand dishes an hour, if we called for them.

Also read the flavor text.
Jihad is an arabic word meaning 'to strive', either from an inward spiritual struggle to attain perfect faith to an outward material struggle - a holy war - against a designated ennemy."

This card carry that meaning well. You chose a color and your creatures are boosted
Now let's do the cycle of Djinn and Efreet

In the original #ArabianNights folktale, sorcerers may summon a Djinn and force him to perform orders.

Juzám" is an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "evil."

Juzám Djinn is one of the most iconic card from #ArabianNights
Erhnam" is an anagram of "Herman," Richard Garfield's brother-in-law.

Erhnam Djinn saw a lot of competitive play in the first big tournament.
Mijae Djinn was the Red djinn.

Mijae" is an anagram of "Jamie."

"I was the best man at his wedding, summer 1993," Richard Garfield explained.
Here are the blue djinn and the blue Efreet.
Serendib was the old-world name for Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

In the 6th Voyage of Sindbad, he say "we passed several islands, amongst others the island of Bells, distant ten days' sail from Serendib."

Serendib Efreet is blue aggro
In #ArabianNights, King Suleiman trapped djinns in various bottles. He used them to build Jerusalem. One djinn did not like being trapped. When he was released, he took Suleiman place and reigned over his kingdom, forcing Suleiman to become a wanderer.

Careful with that bottle
The card King Suleiman also carry that story of capturing multiple djinns and efreet in bottles and flask.

King Suleiman in #ArabianNight is the same king as the King Solomon mentionned in the Bible, the Qoran and the Torah.
Junún" is the Arabic term for nasty.

If you want this Flying Efreet on your battlefield, it will cost you a lot.

Back in the day we cheated him on turn 1 with a Dark Ritual
Ydwen is an amagram of Wendy. Her husband Jamie was a friend of Richard Garfield and he was his bestman at the wedding.
Ifh-Bíff" was a childhood nickname for Richard Garfield's sister, Elizabeth.

This Efreet had the same mechanic as Pestilence but only for players and flying creatures. Any player at the table can activate the Ifh-Bíff ability.
Fun in commander
No story here. It's just a Desert Twister.

For 6 mana you destroy any permament, including a land.
The scimitar was widespread throughout the Middle East from at least the 9th century. The name is thought to be derived from the Persian word shamshēr which means "claw”. The curve allow horseriders to slash and keep riding without getting stuck.
Merchant Ship. The name tell the story.

Sindbad sail a ship like this one.
Abdallah gets magic sandals which allow him to walk on water.
Hasran in arabic mean hideous

I think this cars was underrated in the days. A 3/2 for 2 mana in a monoblack aggro is no joke. You just ignore the damage and attack with her on turn 3, turn 2 if you cheated her with a Dark Ritual.
In the story "Julnar the Sea-Born", Badr Basim is shipwrecked on an island ruled by Queen Lab, who enchants peoples into animals.

This story is worth it because at the end, Julnar attack her castle with an army of djinns.
In one of the #ArabianNights stories, an island is occupied by stone-throwing devils.

I really like the flavor text on that card.
Nafs is an adaptation of an Arabic term meaning "hidden."
Hurr is an Arabic term meaning "gulch."
In the #ArabianNights stories, they are multiple instance of characters getting transformed into animal or animal transformed back in human form (see Sorceress Queen above).

I guest Richard Garfield wanted to convey this here.
Wyluli" is an anagram of the name "Lily Wu," the maiden name of Richard Garfield's wife

The quote in the flavor text is totally made up.
Very minor characters mentioned offhandedly in a few stories.

See the flavor text as an exemple.

The reasons Garfield chose the #ArabianNights to make a set?

1- Middle-east tropes were not common in 1990' western fantasy.

2- Everything was public domain, no copyright worry
The Moors were a nomadic desert people of the northern shores of Africa. In the 8th century, they converted to Islam. Later on, they conquered Spain and even made raid in France and Italy (see Battle of Poitiers).

Many Moors appear in #ArabianNights tales.
Religious devotion and reverence to God are fundamental parts of nearly all of the tales in the #ArabianNights.
Notice the mechanic of defending artifacts like some treasure vault guarded by a beast.

Richard Garfield said;

Several stories feature guardian beasts in one form or another. Since they were usually more than background elements, I made it a rare.
Oubliette is a french word meaning "forgotten". Criminal were thrown there to be forgotten.

Richard Garfield said he heard the concept in the movie Labyrinth and ran across an oubliette in one of the #ArabianNights tales.

This card is heavily played in Pauper format.
The giant bird Roc come from this story and is spelled Rukh.

In the 5th Voyage of Sindbad, he discover a rukh egg on the beach, and though Sindbad advises his men not to break it, they do anyway. They are attacked by the birds and the ship sink.
In "The 7th Voyage of Sindbad," the sailor encounters an island of people where, on the first of each month, the men all turn into birds and fly away.

The flavor text of that card is I believe a quote from the story.
There is a lot of deserts in the stories of #ArabianNights

This card saw some play in tournaments and is punishing for aggro deck, but it was greatly hampered by the fact that so many of the early decks were lacking creatures

Deserts cards re-appeared in the Amonkhet bloc
Deserts are brutaly harsh, but if you are lost in one, you can survive by finding an Oasis.

Compare the mechanic of the two cards.
In a desert, you will encounter Desert Nomads.

They are unblockable against someone who control a Desert, and they are immune to Desert damage.

Great flavor here.
Lastly, you can build a Pyramid to protect your land.

All roads in Medieval Islamic Cairo lead to the Pyramids. Pilgrims from western Africa going to Mecca stopped in Cairo to visit them.
Shahrazad is the queen who tells tales-within-tales in order to keep her husband the king from killing her. Night after night, for a 1001 nights, she leaves the king wanting to hear the rest of the story, so he spare her

Look at the mechanic. Awesome card

#ArabianNights #mtg
Arabian Night was supposed to be a stand-alone set with its own back, different than Alpha/Beta.

Basic lands were added, but when WOTC decided to keep the same card back as previous MTG set, they removed the lands, except the basic mountain which was forgotten and printed.
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