No matter how you celebrated American Thanksgiving this year, I hope it was safe, fun and delicious! Today’s article will play with these ideas and make a sample plate of some of the most fun and tasty examples of food in Magic: the Gathering. So, sit back with some leftovers and prepare to savor the flavor!
LIFE IS SHORT – EAT DESSERT FIRST
One of the all-time Thanksgiving questions: what is the best pie? When it comes to Magic we can ask the same question about our favorite flavors on the color pie:
We all know that the different colors of Magic have access to doing different types of things in regards to gameplay but each color also has specific types of unique flavor as well. In today’s article I’ll also be paying attention to various ways the different colors represent eating in flavor and gameplay.
We can also find a more literal representation of baking a pie.
MONO BLACK THANKSGIVING
Black’s slice of the flavor pie is always ghastly, and you’ll seldom find examples of feelgood comfort food in the swamps of Phyrexia! There’s always find a grotesque twist when mages acquainted with the darkest arts gather to dine.
Bake into a Pie is one of the coolest examples of Food in Magic because it functions on a couple of levels. Bake into a Pie essentially represents killing an opposing creature and turning it into a “Food token” (baking it into a pie) that can be eaten later.
The plane of Eldraine is one I’ll be visiting a few times in today’s article, because Food tokens are a key mechanic in the set. Food tokens are derivative of an established trope of eating or consuming something in gameplay: a creature is sacrificed and repurposed into a new resource, typically life points.
Black’s food flavor is almost always represented as eating creatures.
Black may also force an opponent to eat their own creatures against their will.
Pretty icky! Black Magic clearly has some rather unpleasant and unsavory practices when it comes to eating and feasting.
I wouldn’t want to attend this monster’s Thanksgiving dinner. If you attend a formal dinner at Urborg, assume Unicorn will be on the menu:
One thing is for certain, the food at a black mage’s banquet is always going to be bitter!
RED, RAW AND COOKED THANKSGIVING
There are lots of verbs we can use to describe how food is cooked, and most of them are titles of red magic cards.
Red magic is the mana of heat and fire and it can clearly be used to turn a formidable army into a crispy appetizer.
Have you ever flipped burgers on the grill, walked away to do something else and didn’t make it back in time to take them off? Oops.
Red’s Dragons are also well known for their huge appetites and using their fiery breath to cook their meals, typically while their meals are trying to run away! In gameplay, Dragons are actually a well-established way of eating not just an opponent’s creatures… but the actual opponent! Nom, Nom, Nom.
Red’s connection to food flavor tends to be closely linked to using fire and heat and turning it against an opponent and his or her creatures.
DO YOU PREFER LIGHT MEAT?
Clearly, any Magic Thanksgiving food article must include turkey.
Feasts on the plains of the multiverse are all about community, which makes sense. Teamwork is a big part of white’s color pie flavor.
Typically, Thanksgiving and feasts are about coming together to celebrate. Clearly black’s grisly inversion of these themes plays to it’s flavor, whereas it is represented much more positively on white Magic cards.
Thanksgiving 2020 was a weird one. It’s the first Thanksgiving in my entire life that I didn’t get together with my family to celebrate together. I’ll certainly be thankful for the day when life returns to some semblance of normalcy and I can gather with friends and loved ones again, especially to play Magic.
Plains parties are known to be a fun time. Nobody who gets invited to the party typically gets eaten by the other guest, and the Kjeldoran are known to imbibe.
White mana is also known to be spent on farming, so expect delicious vegetables at Serra’s dinner parties.
Last but not least, a Selesnya God from the plane of Theros.
Green and white combine to show lots of examples of growing and farming and sharing the wealth. It’s particularly well established in green and white together since green places such an emphasis on growing and white on sharing and community.
These Selesnya cards serve as a nice transition into slicing up the green color pie.
Green shares white’s affinity for community and, as it relates to food, green brings a huge emphasis on growing, hunting and most of all being really hungry!
Let’s start with some of green’s hungriest monsters:
Big monsters have big appetites and that is pretty clear from the names.
We also see similar “eating” conventions in green as we do in black, where creatures or Eldraine food tokens are sacrificed for beneficial resources but with a more naturalistic and less sadistic twist.
Animals have to eat each other to survive, but it’s often shown with “G-rated” motifs, like when Mufasa tells Simba about the “circle of life” in The Lion King. The card Food Chain is known to create some interesting “circles of life” in the form of facilitating infinite combo loops, which is kind of a fun aside.
Green also has its share of farmers.
Green has some hunters as well.
There’s no shortage of delicious poultry options either.
BLUE IS BLAND BUT DOES IT BETTER
I’ve often surmised that blue doesn’t really have a clearly defined flavor as so much as its flavor is simply being better and smarter than the other color pie options.
The blue mage’s wheelhouse loosely translates to a mastery of the elements of water and air and the study and cultivation of arcane knowledge which loosely translates to…
Drawing extra cards, bouncing permanents, stealing permanents, taking extra turns, countering opposing spells, artifact synergies, great creatures (big and small), infinite and broken combos, and library manipulation.
So basically everything and anything that is useful to do.
For the purposes of today’s food and flavor topic, examples of blue flavor are characteristically bland across the board, and I’ll be dipping into artifacts to round out the section. Apparently, blue mages are not particularly concerned with eating but they do like to drink the least flavorful beverage: knowledge.
I get it already… blue is smart.
There’s a blue Dog that eats the moon?
If we want to be creative about what’s on the blue mage’s menu I suppose it would probably be seafood:
I imagine blue mages eat dehydrated protein packs or bars like astronauts on the space shuttle or simply buy the best, highest quality foods from the plains or forest.
Blue’s piece of the color pie is pretty shallow when it comes to food, eating or feasting but it can always just turn somebody else’s card into a pumpkin and serve up a piece of pumpkin pie:
There are some fun examples of artifacts that convey various elements of food and eating for Thanksgiving as well.
If we want to cook up some flavorful food without having access to red mana, there’s always Witch’s Oven:
Maybe I was too tough on blue’s flavor and defaulting to the opinion that it’s just about being better and smarter than the other colors. After all, blue isn’t really about hunting, gathering and eating, right?
I’m going to end my Thanksgiving food flavor article with the de facto best Thanksgiving food example:
Proving yet again, whatever obscure, random, or even nonsensical metric I make up to talk about, blue’s flavor is simply to do it in spades better than every other color! It literally has a card that references eating actual food, and pie at that!
Examples and representations of food, eating and feasts are fairly common throughout Magic: the Gathering and today I’ve cobbled together some of the most on-flavor cards to talk about in combination with American Thanksgiving. It’s a bit silly, but still I hope it’s a fun read even if it’s a little trivial.
I’d like to take a second at the end of the article here to express my thanks to my fellow Magic fans who read my column and say I appreciate the support and enjoy kicking it with you all on social media and hopefully once again at tournament gatherings in the future in 2021. No matter how you chose to celebrate the holiday this year in 2020, I hope it was a fun, safe and memorable one.