No issue exactly how cool a Magic card sounds, players will undoubtedly come up through a nickname for it.

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Sometimes they’re shortened nicknames like “Mom,” “BoP,” or “STEve.”

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They might reference pop-culture via nicknames prefer “Tim” from Monte Python, “Taylor Swiftspear,” and “The Rock.”

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Or they might just be silly favor calling Emrakul the “Flying Spaghetti Monster,” Smuggler’s Copter the “Looter Scooter,” Leonin Arbiter “Cat Jesus,” and Solemn Simulacrum is the “Sad Robot.”

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Some nicknames are meta and also reference similarities to old favorites, favor Den Protector the “Maternal Witness,” a callearlier to Eternal Witness’s Redevelopment ability, or just how Inventor’s Apprentice is called “Nerd Ape” bereason of its similarities to Kird Ape.

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A nickname could store parts of the original card in the title choose exactly how it’s “Prime Time” as soon as a Titan hits the board or just how Karn is regularly described as the “Karnfather.”

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Too many type of times misreading Gray Merchant of Asphodel has earned it the nickname “Gary,” and if you yell out Kalitas in a southerly accent you acquire “Cleetus.”

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But “Bob?”

It’s not a shortened version of Dark Confidant. It’s not a pop-society reference unless I’m really out of touch. It’s not a reference to another card, it’s not an acronym, and it’s not a play on words. So wbelow does it come from?

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This previous year we actually observed the return of an old tournament that we hadn’t seen in over ten years, the Mythic Invitational.

It provided to be dubbed the Magic Invitational, means prior to Esporting activities and also Magic Arena existed. The prize was the opportunity to style a card that would be printed in a future collection showcasing art in the likeness of the winner. Immortalizing yourself in this way has actually been among the coolest prizes Wizards of the Coast has actually ever readily available players.

Some of the greatest players in Magic have actually this honor, choose Chris Pikula, Kai Budde, and Jon Finkel. Some of the even more powerful cards to be emerged from this tournament incorporate Ranger of Eos, Meddling Mage, and also Snapcaster Mage.

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Bob Maher was among the initially massive expert Magic players. He began in the Junior Division playing in the initially ever Pro Tour in 1996 and also moved to the senior division the following year.

In 2000, Bob went on a tear through his Maher Oath deck looking to abuse Oath of Druids. He won Pro Tour Chicearlier, Grand also Prix Seattle, finished third at Grand Prix Nagoya, and finished second at the ESPN2 televised World Championship losing to none other than John Finkel. He had come to be a family name in Magic and also was awarded Pro Player of the Year.

Bob had plenty of respectable finishes over the following couple years to encompass winning the Master’s Series beating Gabriel Nassif in the finals, winning Grand Prix Detroit, Grand also Prix Copenhagen, and then the Magic Invitational in 2004. He came to be the third player to ever win a Grand Prix, Pro Tour, Master’s Series, and also Invitational. He was inducted right into the Hevery one of Fame in 2006 via the well-deoffered nickname of “The Great One.”

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Bob’s original submission for the Invitational was not also close to the Dark Confidant we recognize and love this particular day. His original submission was actually a sorcery referred to as Asp’s Grasp. At the cost of one green mana, you have the right to provide your foe nine Poison counters. This was prior to Infect was a mechanic in New Phyrexia yet tbelow were a handful of cards approximately this point that encountered Poichild counters. So while he didn’t create the principle of Poison counters, it appears he was an advocate for its return.

Even before Infect was a mechanic, Poichild counters worked in the same method they execute today: if you obtain ten, you die. Needless to say, the card would have been absurdly effective, virtually to the point of being a joke, and most likely not a card that would ever watch print.

Somewbelow in between Bob’s original submission and also his time functioning with RnD we acquired Dark Confidant. Ron Spears did a beautiful project paint the iconic piece and catching Bob’s likeness. The flavor message is perhaps one of the best ever before printed, both in flavor and profoundness. Alluding to Bob’s nickname, “The Great One,” the line reads

“Greatness, at any kind of price.”

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The card has watched success in multiple formats and multiple different methods. In Vintage it observed most play in Tinker decks, Bomberman and Jund decks in Legacy, and a lot of G/Bx configurations in Modern. The card is effective and also exciting to play. It tests pilots and also their capacity to weigh the hazard of death against the rewards of card benefit. Even Maher couldn’t assist yet sleeve up the card, famously flipping 17 damages over the course of five turns to shed from a commanding position in the finals of the 2010 Vintage Championship.

How deserve to we blame him though? The card is as effective as it is fun to play with. We love granting him personality, blaming him personally for not being on our team as soon as he flips a Blightsteel, and cheering him on once he flips lands and low costing spells. Sometimes even the adversary will certainly acquire in on it and beg “Bob” to flip some damage to help them out or condemn him when he doesn’t. But “Bob” appears to have a mind of his own and also the just thing he deserve to guarantee you is a card. It’s up to you to decide whether the hazard is worth the perilous reward.

The card, the art, the name, the flavor text, the player behind it, and also all the spectacular moments it facilitates are iconic. It’s why it’s one of the the majority of beloved cards in the game, both in the G/Bx neighborhood and past.

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Over the years, a lot of of these Invitational cards have actually gotten a makeover, severing their connection to the players that helped develop them. To many this is a shame, however for others it available even more selections as a means to even more expush themselves in deckstructure.

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I love Ryan Barger’s Tarmogoyf yet dislike Filip Burburan’s sharper bristled version. I additionally gain Aleksi Briclot’s distinct color palette for a babsence card like Thoughtseize, yet prefer Lucas Graciano’s grays and also blacks even even more. Tarmogoyf is still Tarmogoyf and also Thoughtseize is still Thoughtseize. New art for iconic cards doesn’t erase their legacy or make them any much less iconic.

Regardmuch less of the art and also likeness to Maher, a lot of still contact the Modern Master’s Dark Confidant “Bob.” It appears we’ll never be able to sepaprice the “The Great One” from Dark Confidant and the 2 will certainly live on synonymously forever. The nickname isn’t a pop-society recommendation or a play on words or a recommendation to another card. It’s an homage to its creator, its history, and also its greatness.