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  • Aladdin depicts Aladdin as a Chinese man.
    • Despite now being arguably the most well known Arabian Nights story, Aladdin was not originally part of 1001 Arabian Nights. It was added to the collection by a French translator in the 1700s. The Aladdin story is actually set in China and Aladdin himself is Chinese. This is accurately reflected in the art.
  • Aladdin's Lamp had the most expensive casting cost of any card at the time of its printing.
    • When it was printed, the icon of 10 in a gray circle (representing a cost of 10 generic mana, or {10}) did not exist, so the casting cost was instead represented as {5}{5}.[1]
    • The Arabic script above the lamp reads “danger” although the script was slightly misdrawn and has an extra aleph on its end.[2]
  • Ali from Cairo was the first creature card added to the Restricted List. It was added in January 1994 and removed in April 1996.
  • Brass Man inspired the creation of Goblin Dirigible and Goblin War Wagon.
  • City in a Bottle is the only card in this set to reference the Sandman comic that inspired the set.[3]
  • Cuombajj Witches: "Cuombajj" is translated from Arabic to mean "corrupt."
  • Dancing Scimitar has the greatest combined power and toughness among artifact creatures in Arabian Nights. It inspired the creation of Ensouled Scimitar.
  • Dandân is mentioned in the flavor text of Dauthi Trapper.
  • Desert is the first common non-basic land.
  • Desert Nomads is the first card to have a non-basic landwalk ability.
  • Ebony Horse is the first card to have the ability to remove a creature from combat.
  • Erg Raiders: "Erg" is translated from Arabic to mean "desert."
  • Erhnam Djinn has the greatest combined power and toughness among green creatures in Arabian Nights. "Erhnam" is an anagram of "Herman," Richard Garfield's brother-in-law.[3]
  • Flying Carpet was functionally changed when it was reprinted as Flying Carpet (Sixth Edition) so that it no longer requires the sacrifice of the creature it targets when it is destroyed.
  • Ghazbán Ogre was the first card that changed control based on the state of the game. "Ghazbán" is translated from Arabic to mean "treacherous."
  • Hasran Ogress is one of a few cards that refers to the gender of the creature in its name. Modern cards tend to have gender-neutral names. "Hasran" is translated from Arabic to mean "hideous."
  • Hurr Jackal: "Hurr" is translated form Arabic to mean "gulch."
  • Ifh-Bíff Efreet: The art from this card was mistakenly used for the reprint of Serendib Efreet (Revised Edition).
    • "Ifh-Bíff" is a childhood nickname for Richard Garfield's sister, Elizabeth,[3] and was originally questioned by editor Beverly Marshall Sailing for not having an Arabian feel.
  • Island Fish Jasconius has the greatest combined power and toughness among all creatures in Arabian Nights.
  • Junún Efreet: "Junún" is translated from Arabic to mean "nasty."
  • Juzám Djinn has the greatest combined power and toughness among black creatures in Arabian Nights. It was initially regarded as a bad card, as players did not immediately understand why one would want to play a card that damages its controller. "Juzám" is translated from Arabic to mean "evil." It has since inspired the creation of multiple cost-effective cards, including Balduvian Horde, Yukora, the Prisoner, and Plague Sliver.
    • The flavor text is part of a poem, written by an eleventh-century princess of Andalusia, most commonly known as Wallada bint al-Mustakfi.
  • Khabál Ghoul: "Khabál" is translated from Arabic to mean "night."
  • Kird Ape was banned in the Extended format when it was first created. "Kird" is translated from Arabic to mean "jungle."
  • Library of Alexandria was supposedly made less powerful in development. It inspired the creation of Scroll of Origins.
  • Magnetic Mountain has the five common vowel letters (A, E, I, O, and U), in order, in its name.
  • Mijae Djinn shares the greatest combined power and toughness among red creatures in Arabian Nights with Ydwen Efreet.
    • Mijae (Djinn) and Ydwen (Efreet) are anagrams of "Jamie" and "Wendy," two of Garfield's friends who got married while he was designing the set.[3] He was the best man.
  • Moorish Cavalry has the greatest combined power and toughness among white creatures in Arabian Nights.
  • Nafs Asp: "Nafs" is translated from Arabic to mean "hidden."
  • Oubliette: An oubliette is a dungeon with an entrance only from above.
    • Richard Garfield designed this card in part because of the movie Labyrinth, which used the term and stuck with him when he later found the term in 1001 Nights.
    • Its rules were rewritten in 2005 to contain phasing,[4], but in 2007 rephrased again to contain exile.[5] Then in 2020, with its printing in Double Masters, it reverted to phase out again.[6]
  • Old Man of the Sea was printed as a "Summon Marid," Marid being Arabic for "rebel," and is related to the fact that in some versions of the 1001 Nights, this character is a djinn. It has since been updated with the djinn creature type.
  • Repentant Blacksmith is the first creature printed with protection from red, which was considered a powerful enough ability that the card was made uncommon.
  • Ring of Ma'rûf is the first card to allow interaction with cards outside the game. Its ability to retrieve a card from outside the game was unique until it inspired the creation of the cycle of Wishes in the Judgment expansion.
  • Rukh Egg was reprinted as Rukh Egg (8th Edition), nearly ten years after its original printing, but was almost not included in the set because of its complexity for beginners. It received errata early on to put a Rukh token into play only when it goes to the graveyard from play, not from anywhere as printed. The egg in the Arabian Nights art appears in the artwork of Dwarven Shrine. A "rukh" is also called a "roc."
  • Sandals of Abdallah inspired the creation of Lightning Greaves, as footwear was discovered to be a class of armor and weapons that had not been explored much in Magic when equipment was first being created.
  • Serendib Djinn and Serendib Efreet: Serendib is another name for the island Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), which has significance in both The Bible and "The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad." The English word "serendipity" was derived from the name Serendib.
  • Stone-Throwing Devils upset some people, as "stone-throwing devils" is sometimes used as a derogatory term for Palestinian protesters in Israel.
  • Unstable Mutation is the first card to use -1/-1 counters.
  • War Elephant references the Kikuyu people of Kenya.
  • Wyluli Wolf: "Wyluli" is an anagram of "Lily Wu," the maiden name of Richard Garfield's former wife.[3]
  • Ydwen Efreet shares the greatest combined power and toughness among red creatures in Arabian Nights with Mijae Djinn. "Ydwen" is an anagram of "Wendy," the wife of Richard Garfield's friend Jamie for whom he was best man at his wedding.

Literary allusions[]

This section describes the One Thousand and One Nights tales that influenced the cards of Arabian Nights. Note that not all cards are influenced by these tales.

  • Drop of Honey: A humorous anecdote about a farmer who finds a honeycomb in a beehive. He spills a drop, which causes a chain reaction which ends with the farmer's whole town in an uproar.
  • Ebony Horse: Created by a Persian magician, a horse made of ebony and ivory allowed its rider to fly and at incredible speeds. Prince Kamar al-Akmar uses the horse to elope with a princess from another kingdom.[7]
  • Fishliver Oil: Several characters in the folktales rub this oil over their bodies to gain the ability to breathe underwater.
  • Island Fish Jasconius: On one of Sinbad's voyages, he lands on a gigantic fish that appeared to be an island. When the fish dove, it left Sinbad adrift in the sea.
  • Old Man of the Sea: From one of Sinbad's voyages, the Old Man of the Sea attached himself to Sinbad's back and made Sinbad his slave.
  • Repentant Blacksmith: An evil blacksmith repented his ways and, as a result, found that he could handle fire and forge metal with his bare hands.
  • Ring of Ma'rûf: Ma'rûf is a poor Egyptian cobbler who finds a ring that allowed him to summon a wish granting djinn. He uses it to obtain incredible wealth and status.
  • Rukh Egg: Sinbad's crew finds a giant egg and wishes to make what's inside a meal. But the parent rukh attacks Sinbad's crew as a result.
  • Shahrazad: Another name for Scheherazade, the main character and storyteller in One Thousand and One Nights, whose tales throughout the text often contain tales themselves—the subgame mechanic emulates this story-within-a-story effect.
  • Singing Tree: From the story "The Sisters Who Envied", the singing tree is one of three rarities (along with the Talking Bird and the Golden Water) that was sought after by princess Perie-zadeh. The many leaves of the tree sang in harmony as if they were in concert.
  • Stone-Throwing Devils: This term comes directly from the One Thousand and One Nights. After publication, Garfield learned that this is apparently a derogatory term for Palestinian protesters in Israel.[3]

External links[]


  1. Magic Arcana (July 15, 2004). "Fifty-Five Mana?". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (September, 2006). "Ask Wizards - September, 2006". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b c d e f Words of Magic, by Allen Varney
  4. Magic Arcana (February 21, 2005). "Phasing to the Rescue?". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Gottlieb (August 29, 2007). "Masters Edition Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Eli Shiffrin (July 31, 2020). "Double Masters Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Classic Literature