Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Puzzle #1

Which member of this cycle doesn't quite fit, and why?

Reverse Damage, Ray of Command, Dark Banishing, Stone Rain, Fog

Leave your answer in the comments.  The first correct response gets a point!

Clarification: The five cards genuinely do form a cycle.  That is, if one were omitted, one could deduce its identity from the other four.


  1. Stone Rain is a sorcery. The rest are instants.

    Reverse Damage is rare. The rest, as originally printed, are common.

    Reverse Damage changed functionality when reprinted, to affect a future damage source instead of being retroactive. The rest maintained their functionality when reprinted.

    Reverse Damage could not be, or has not been, printed in another color in similar form. Ray of Command could be red (Threaten), Dark Banishing could be white (as 'non-white creature', a la Saltblast), Stone Rain has been green and black (Ice Storm, Sinkhole), and Fog has been white and even black (Holy Day, Darkness).

    Stone Rain has no "opposite" card that does the reverse of whatever it does - Reverse Damage has False Cure, Fog has Flaring Pain, Ray of Command has Donate, Dark Banishing has Zombify.

  2. Stone Rain is far less likely to keep an opponent's creature from bashing you in the face.

  3. For a different approach, Reverse Damage is the only card that wasn't included in Mirage. Similarly, it's the only one that wasn't ever printed in an expansion, making it also the only one not printed in both a core set and an expansion.

  4. Fog.

    It's the only card that affects multiple things - the others are all single target cards (Reverse Damage doesn't say "target," but you still only choose one effect for it).

    Fog also has a significantly different mana cost at CMC 1 - the others are (essentially) all CMC 3 cards. (Again, Ray of Command was printed as 3U, but it's a 3-drop sorcery effect, effectively making all the cards besides Fog 3-drops, with a 2/2 instant/sorcery split.)

  5. It could be a combination of what samll and Johnathan Woodward said. Based on that, my guess for the fifth cycle member is ****n***n*.

  6. Can you tell us the answer already? This is drivin' me crazy.

  7. I think I'd rather leave it open for now; once people get used to my style of puzzles, they might have a better idea how to approach it. Sorry for the frustration!

  8. Ray of Command does not belong and should be Threaten.

    That way their text boxes line up with the rare spellshapers from Mercadian Masques.

  9. Excellent! Well done, Toby or not Toby!