Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Card Nicknames

We all love customizing cards. Whether it be with alters, with names, with jokes, Magic is as much our game as it is WotC (arguable even more so). It's not unusual that since the early days of the game, nicknames have been a common sight on the table.

I love card nicknames, I often refer to them as such instead of their actual names.

While some nicknames are actually really common in MtG, some are sadly forgotten relics of time, and some, as you will see in my list, some of these are local favorites, or names I've heard over the years. If I remember them, it means they stuck somehow, and are worthy of being on this list. So here, in attempted chronological order of release, although I had initially intended this to cover all mtg cards, I've decided to stick to 95-back for the sake of this blog, since I realized just how many of these cards their are.

Limited/Unlimited Editions

Prodigal Sorcerer: While his nickname Tim or Tim the Enchanter is extremely common, and so well known it created the name for the entire archtype of creatures that would follow him.  This name comes from the Classic Monty Python's The Holy Grail, where a wizard in the movie is named Tim.

Another Nickname for him, from The Don himself was 'The Blue Assassin'. It included written text bubble and flavor text that said 'where is my royal friend?'

Birds of Paradise: Often called in my circles, and occasionally heard elsewhere as mana birds. Probably came from the original printed creature type 'Summon mana birds'.

Circle of Protections: Often abreviated as CoPs, this has lead to occasionally being called COPS, The Fuzz, The Police, and so forth.

Veteran Bodyguard: Lou Ferrigno was the model used for this art, and as such is often called it. When running my Alpha print in EDH, I'll always say 'Lou Ferrigno has my back'. 

Swords to Plowshares: Often called STP, I've heard more then a few rockers/Metal heads make a joke about that by calling it Stone Temple Pilots after the 90s alternative band. 

Llanowar Elves: In recent years, calling them Lawnmower Elves has gotten really common, especially with his reintroduction in standard earlier this year.

Juggernaut: I often call it the Choo-choo train. Recently, after my acquisition of a 9 seater Station Wagon, I've named it the Juggernaut and use the two interchangeable. 

Benalish Hero: Similar to the Bodyguard above, I've seen this one called Sigourney Weaver, due to a similar appearance to how she would have looked when MtG first dropped.

Samite Healer has a long history of being called Sammy.

Dragon Whelp: My older brother's original play group commonly called this 'The Flying Time Bomb'

 Hurloon Minotaur: Back at Don's, it was often customary to yell 'HUUURRRLOOOON' as you summoned one. 

Lightning Bolt: In a similar vein, we use to go 'bzzt' when casting a bolt.

Hypnotic Spectre: Often called Hippy/Hippie, one of the most iconic creatures of old school magic.

Arabian Nights

Juzam Djinn: I've heard of him called 'the Devil', as well as 'InQuest' due to him being the unofficial mascot of the late magazine.

Edit: I was informed in Denmark, this card is commonly called 'the cow' or just 'cow', and making a low bellowing Moo noise as it attacks isn't uncommon.

Ernham Djinn: Erny//Ernie

City of Brass: Called City of Ass numerous times, including in an InQuest, and referenced on an Unhinged card.

The card named after Richard Garfields wedding party I've seen named by the people their names were inspired from (Mijae=Jamie, Ydwen=Wendy, Wyluli= Lily Wu).


Armaggedon Clock: Often gets called 'the clock of doom' in my circles.

The three Urza lands are often called Urzatron named after the 80's Saturday morning cartoon 'Voltron'. 

Atog: The 'tog, and the goat (which it name comes from) are occasionally used.

Dakkon Blackblade: I've called him Dakkon 'Motherfucking' Blackblade (or 'motherloving' depending on who's in the room) for years now.

Craw Giant: Craw Daddy, something that was a common nickname where I grew up. Often joked with 'Daddy's coming home' when paired with a Lure.

Marhaults Elsdragon: Due to his flavor text and art, I've heard him called 'Spock' more then once.

I call him John Travolta, due to an uncanny appearance to the actor.

Angus Mackenzie: Sometimes also called 'Tim the Enchanter' for looking like him.
The Dark

Uncle Istvan: Often called 'My Favorite Uncle' 'the Good Uncle' or simply 'Summon Uncle'. 

Tivadar's Crusade: Sometimes just called Genocide. Other times it's just called 'that other crusade'. 

Ashes to Ashes: Naturally some in more immature times called this 'Asses to Asses'

Fallen Empires:

Pump Knights: Common names giving to Order of Leitbur and Order of the Ebon Hand (and their two cousins in Cold Snap and Ice Age).


Autumn Willow: The original 'Mom'. Some people also named her 'The milf', due to her mature feminine art work. 

Baron Sengir: Common nickname for him was 'Baron Badass', and a term I still use to this day.

Eron the Relentless: In the slew of celebrities that look like creatures, I've seen this one named Axl Rose. 

An-Haava Constable: Sean Connery. Just look at the art.

Didgeridoo: Do to the popularity of minotaurs at an particular local shop in Upstate, Didgeridoo was a common spells. Any type or form of countering it, usually was responded with a Didgeridon't.


Arena: A local classmate use to utilize an aura enchantress deck, along w/ Pacifism style effects to benefit his cards. When he discovered that my pacified creatures could still kill his w/ this particular land, he refered to it's 'cheapness' as 'The Jew Land'. It's a name I still occasionally use (in right company) to this day. 

Ice Age Block

Zuran Orb: I met a person who hadn't played in a considerable amount of time, and he asked what ever happened w/ Zuran Orb. He said it's the reason he stopped playing, and dubbed it 'Cheater's Orb'. I'd honestly say the name is fitting. 

Gorilla Shaman: Often called Mox Monkey due to it's cheap price tag and cheap ability to blow up moxes. 

Necropotence: Has been called 'The Skull' before.

Blinking Spirit: Named Blinky 'the most annoying creature in Magic'

So I hoped you liked this simple article on some interesting card nick names? Did I miss some? Do you have any local favorites? Please, comment on them and/or tell me.

Good luck at Gen Con everyone!


  1. I always thought Benalish Hero kinda looked like Pat Benatar