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Unhinged logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Horseshoe
Design Mark Rosewater
Brady Dommermuth
Brandon Bozzi
Randy Buehler
Development same as design
Art direction Brian Dumas
Release date November 20, 2004
Plane Un-iverse
Themes and mechanics Mini-Games, Fractions, Artist Matters
Keywords/​ability words Gotcha
Set size 141 cards
(55 commons, 40 uncommons, 40 rares, 5 basic lands, 1 special)
Expansion code UNH[1]
Unglued Unhinged Unstable
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Champions of Kamigawa Unhinged Betrayers of Kamigawa

Unhinged is a booster-only, tournament-prohibited Magic set, released in November 20, 2004. It was the follow-up to Unglued, and as such isn't to be considered an expansion of the official game.[2][3][4] Only the Unhinged basic lands are tournament legal.[5]

Set details[ | ]

Unhinged included 136 silver-bordered cards and 5 black-bordered cards (the full-art basic lands), all of which had foil versions which occur in a similar rate to "normal" Magic Sets.[6] The set boasts many jokes, and has even set a precedent or two of its own for tournament-worthy Magic. Many cards are references to previous cards. The set is only available in English due to the difficulty of translating it. The expansion symbol for this set is a horseshoe.[7]

Foil cards from Unhinged had extra jokes thrown in on the foil layer. One special card, called Super Secret Tech, only exists as a foil rare card and technically, affects the foil card concept as a whole. Its rarity is supposedly ten times more common than that of other Unhinged foil rare cards.

Unhinged features a sixth color: pink. Water Gun Balloon Game can create a pink permanent and for abilities that let you produce mana of any color, you can choose {P} pink. However, there is no Unhinged Basic Land card that can produce pink mana. In addition, Avatar of Me can be whatever the color of your eyes is, allowing brown and hazel mana.

Marketing[ | ]

UNH booster

Unhinged booster

Unhinged was announced on April 1, 2004, deliberately creating confusion if it was an April fool's joke.[8][9] It was jokingly advertised as "Set 1 in the Half-Assed block". Unhinged was the first set printed with the "13+" age rating as it was the first set to come out after the "age grading" policy was implemented on all of Wizards of the Coast games (not just Magic). The five black bordered basic lands have no text box; the art covers the entire card. The release card for Unhinged was Ass Whuppin'. The Unhinged Arena League featured five alternate art promo cards (the art that was used was originally commissioned for Unglued 2: The Obligatory Sequel).[10]

A booster contains 15 cards: 1 rare, 3 uncommons, 10 commons and 1 basic land. The boosters feature art from Richard Garfield, Ph.D., Mana Screw and Gleemax.

Design and layout[ | ]

Hidden message[ | ]

Much like Unglued before it, each card in the Unhinged set -including Super Secret Tech- has a single word printed on the bottom of the card after the artist's name and card number. When all cards are placed in the proper order with other cards in the series they spell out a "secret message" detailing cards that allegedly did not make it into the set. Placing all the Unhinged cards in reverse alphabetical order will cause the following message to appear:

"Here are some more cards that didn't make it: Moronic Tutor; Lint Golem; Wave of Incontinence; I'm Quitting Magic; Bob from Accounting; Castrate; Mishra's Bling Bling; Dead Bunny Isle; Circle of Protection: Pants; Time Fart; Sliver and Onions; Kobold Ass Master; Thanks, Barn; Mild Mongrel; Robo-Samurai; Obligatory Angel; Chump-Blocking Orphan; Wrath of Dog; Celery Stalker; Hugs-a-lot Demon; Assticore; Codpiece of the Chosen; Hurl; What the Cluck?!; Nachomancer; Scrubotomy; Arcbound Noah; Darksteel Spork; Look at Me, I'm Accounts Receivable; Hydro Djinn; Bad Stone Rain Variant; S.O.B.F.M.; Pinko Kami; Purple Nurple; Form of Uncle Istvan; Them's Fightin' Wards; Spleen of Ramos; Fifteenth Pick; Squizzle, Goblin Nabizzle; Zombie Cheerleading Squad; Two-Way Myr; Bone Flute 2: Electric Boogaloo; Magic Offline; Nutclamp; Bwahahahaaa!; Dragon Ass; Phyrexian Sno-Cone Machine; Chimney Pimp; R.T.F.C.; Greased Weasel; Flame War; We Don't Need No Stinkin' Merfolk; Ting!; and Disrobing Scepter (again!)."

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

  • Gotcha — If a card with this ability word is sitting in your graveyard and your opponent does the one thing the card says not to do (some are verbal, some are physical, some are mental, etc.), you may say “Gotcha!” and return the card to your hand.[14][15]
  • "...." Matters — All sorts of things have a mechanical impact that has never ever mattered before. "Artist matters" gets the most attention.
  • Fractions Cards with Power/Toughness which doesn't use whole numbers (Little Girl, Fraction Jackson)
  • Donkeys[16][17][18] and Monkeys
  • Mini Games — This is a cycle of cards that allow you to get a good effect at a cheap price. All you got to do is win a little game (not Magic).[12]

Cycles[ | ]

Unhinged has four cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Common Gotcha Cardpecker Number Crunch Stop That Touch and Go Laughing Hyena
Five commons with the Keyword Gotcha.
Uncommon Gotcha Save Life Spell Counter Kill! Destroy! Deal Damage Creature Guy
Five uncommons with the Keyword Gotcha (triggered upon saying a word in the card's title), whose flavor text combines to form a limerick.
Donkeys Cheap Ass Smart Ass Bad Ass Dumb Ass Fat Ass
Five common Donkey creatures
Mini Games Head to Head (Seven Questions) Mouth to Mouth (Breath-holding contest) Eye to Eye (Staring contest) Face to Face (Rock, Paper, Scissors) Side to Side (Arm-wrestle)
Five uncommons that put the players in a Mini-Game and have an Effect 'whenever you Win or Lose'.

Pairs[ | ]

Unhinged features one mirrored pair.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Blast from the Past (Unhinged)


Old Fogey (Unhinged)


Two rare cards illustrated by Douglas Shuler. Each feature the original frame introduced since the original set, clearly meant to invoke the old card designs like the graveyard symbol on Blast from the Past and Old Fogey's type line saying, "Summon Dinosaur." Each also features lots of keywords used in Magic's past. Also, both cards' artworks tell the story of a goblin riding a time machine to the past, only to crash in the prehistoric era where Old Fogey lives.

Spoofs[ | ]

Several Unhinged Cards are references to "real", tournament-legal, cards, to familiar card concepts or to the Wizards of the Coast.[19][20]

Real Version Unhinged Card Spoof Reference to
Cards with short names _____ name [19][21]
Lhurgoyf “Ach! Hans, Run!” flavor text
Demonic Consultation Aesthetic Consultation name and ability [21]
The double meaning of the words "play" and "counters" Ambiguity rules text and art [21]
Merfolk Looter and "looting" Artful Looter name, art, and ability [21]
Vindicate Ass Whuppin' mana cost and ability
Avatar of Fury
Avatar of Hope
Avatar of Might
Avatar of Will
Avatar of Woe
Avatar of Me name and creature type
Personal Incarnation Avatar of Me concept
Exile AWOL mana cost and ability
Graveyard cards Blast from the Past mechanics, tombstone icon, artist, credits [22]
Tutors (such as Diabolic Tutor) Booster Tutor name [23]
Bouncing Beebles
Bubbling Beebles
Bursting Beebles name
Circle of Protection: White
Circle of Protection: Blue
Circle of Protection: Black
Circle of Protection: Red
Circle of Protection: Green
Circle of Protection: Artifacts
Circle of Protection: Shadow
Circle of Protection: Art probably also other Circles of Protection.
City of Brass City of Ass art, name and ability [23]
Takklemaggot and flip cards Curse of the Fire Penguin mechanic [20] and lay out
Shahrazad Enter the Dungeon ability (the subgame)
Lightning Rift
Erase (Not the Urza's Legacy One) Erase: name; Lightning Rift: artwork
Denied! Flaccify Unglued card, showing the flavor text of "Denied" taped on "Flaccify".[12]
Soft Counterspells (such as Mana Leak) Flaccify Ability
Form of the Dragon Form of the Squirrel name [19]
R&D Gleemax Gleemax makes fun of R&D, claiming to be controlled by an alien brain-in-a-jar.[12]
"Goblins with a mana cost of 1R, Power and Toughness 2/2", e.g. Goblin Brigand Goblin Mime drawback effect of all those creatures
Goblin Digging Team Goblin S.W.A.T. Team name
Wild Mongrel Staying Power art [12]
Morphling Greater Morphling name and abilities [19]
Infernal Spawn of Evil Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil Unglued card name and abilities [12][19][23]
Moat Look at Me, I'm R&D frame. The handwriting on the card is by Randy Buehler.[23]
Mana Flare Mana Flair name
Meddling Mage Meddling Kids name, art and ability
Ancestral Recall Mise ability; also references Lexivore in the flavor text; depicts Vizzerdrix in the normal art[12] and Chicken à la King from in the special promo art
Magical Hack Magical Hacker name and ability
Mons's Goblin Raiders Mons's Goblin Waiters name
Mother of Runes Mother of Goons art, name and ability[12]
Mox Diamond
Black Lotus
Mox Lotus name and ability
Card-drawing "Tomes" (such as Jayemdae Tome) My First Tome name and ability
Verdeloth the Ancient Name Dropping art
Necropotence (Ice Age) Necro-Impotence name, art and ability [21]
Obsolete mechanics Old Fogey mechanics, artist, credits [19]
Chaos Orb, Falling Star Orcish Paratroopers flip mechanic [20]
The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast® Customer Service Our Market Research Shows That Players Like Really Long Card Names So We Made This Card to Have the Absolute Longest Card Name Ever Elemental name
Persecute Persecute Artist name and ability
Chaos Orb Pointy Finger of Doom random destruction .[20] Flavor text references the fact that very few Magic players are "cool" enough to go to parties and play related games, such as spin the bottle.
"Phyrexian Horrors", e.g. Phyrexian Negator Phyrexian Librarian name
Stone Giant
Bloodshot Cyclops
Pygmy Giant Stone Giant: name and picture*; Bloodshot Cyclops: ability
Rod of Ruin Rod of Spanking name and ability
Healing Salve Save Life ability
Granite Gargoyle
Lightning Axe
Sauté flavor text
Masticore Remodel picture
Plague Rats S.N.O.T. mechanic [20]
Counterspell Spell Counter name and ability
Standing Troops Standing Army name and ability
Stone-Tongue Basilisk
Enter the Dungeon
Stone-Cold Basilisk name and ability. Art [12]
The Fallen The Fallen Apart name [19]
Uktabi Orangutan
Gorilla Titan
Uktabi Kong Orangutan name, ability, and picture; Gorilla flavor text
Survival of the Fittest Urza's Hot Tub mechanic [20]
"Urza's" Cards, e.g. Urza's Chalice Urza's Hot Tub name [20]
Sneak Attack When Fluffy Bunnies Attack name and picture
"Split cards", e.g. Life // Death Who/What/When/Where/Why mechanic
Cyclopean Mummy Working Stiff creature type and picture
City in a Bottle and other expansion hosers World-Bottling Kit name and ability[12]
Drop of Honey Zzzyxas's Abyss ability [20]
The Abyss Zzzyxas's Abyss name[12]

Creature types[ | ]

Unhinged creature types were eliminated from the Comprehensive Rules list during the Grand Creature Type Update. They included:

Mana symbols[ | ]

A few cards in this set use mana symbols which only appear in Unhinged.

Trivia[ | ]

Gatherer update[ | ]

After the release of Unstable in December 2017, the other Un-sets received a Gatherer update.

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (November 15, 2004). "Un and Games". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (August 30, 2010). "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (November 6, 2017). "The Un-Ending Saga, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana (November 15, 2004). "Unhinged Basic Lands". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (November 8, 2004). "The Un Starts Now". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (August 24, 2004). "Unhinged logo and symbol". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (April 1, 2004). "Ach! Hans, run! It's Unhinged!". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (April 5, 2004). "Unhinged or No?". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (December 08, 2005). "Unhinged Arena Promos". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (September 27, 2014). "do you have any trivia on foil cards?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  12. a b c d e f g h i j k Mark Rosewater (August 21, 2017). "Get It? Unhinged Edition, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Brian Dumas (November 29, 2004). "Behind the Scenes of Unhinged". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Unhinged FAQTIWDAWCC (Frequently Asked Questions That If We Didn't Answer Would Cause Chaos)
  15. Aaron Forsythe (November 19, 2004). "The Spoken Word". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Magic Arcana (November 11, 2004). "Unhinged Logo Concepts". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Magic Arcana (November 17, 2004). "Tijuana Nights". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Magic Arcana (December 01, 2004). "Mark Rosewater Makes an Ass of Himself". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. a b c d e f g Mark Rosewater (November 22, 2004). "Having Un". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. a b c d e f g h Mark Rosewater (November 29, 2004). "Mining the Past". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. a b c d e Mark Rosewater (August 14, 2017). "Get It? Unhinged Edition, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana (November 28, 2006). "Blast from the Past". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. a b c d Mark Rosewater (July 20, 2009). "The Silver Lining". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater (August 4, 2023). "How Trivial with Mark Rosewater (Video)". Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.

External links[ | ]