The Importance of the Impossible
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My Most Popular Card Name

Posted by A.E. Marling in Uncategorized

It’s not close. The card name I wrote that most people compliment is Runaway Steam-Kin. When a streamer gets run over by the elemental they’ll often say, “That’s an aptly named card.” When it goes off the rails on video coverage I have heard announcers say the card is true to name.

I’ve flung fire as a Red mage for over twenty years, and I know power when I see it. When I name cards I try to evoke their characteristics but also the feeling they will cause in players. Few cards cause more of an impact than Runaway Steam-Kin.

Playing against it, you feel you have only one turn to stop it before it builds too much momentum. Once that happens, the opponent’s strategy speeds up to the point that it can smash through most anything. And when you’re playing the card, you feel the exhilaration of riding an express train to victory.

People have asked if this card should be a weird, a paradoxical being of opposing elemental types. As far as names go, Runaway Weird seems reasonable, but I wished to include the word Steam to bind it closer to the concept of a runaway steam engine. In the plane of Ravnica, the elemental kin are sentient beings created through a collaboration between the Boros and Izzet guilds called the Warmind Initiative. So not only is your Runaway Steam-Kin billowing as it crushes your opponent, it may also be bellowing with laughter.

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