What is Unhinged?Unhinged is the name of one of the few English-only expansions to the game. It is a humorous parody set, and is far less serious than traditional Magic expansions. Mark Rosewater, lead designer for the game, has written in several articles that due to the nature of humor and many plays-on-words used in both Unhinged and Unglued, sets such as these will always be English language only. The only other English language only sets were released before Magic gained enough popularity to support foreign markets.
On 7 August 1998, a humorous expansion known as Unglued was released. Unlike other expansion sets, Unglued was purposely comical and poked fun at the game itself and the players. Many cards featured unique mechanics, deemed too strange or impractical for a "serious" card expansion.
While players enjoyed the set, the fact that the cards had silver borders (and thus were not tournament-legal) caused many serious players to avoid buying large amounts of the cards. The exception to this was Unglued basic land cards, which were tournament-legal and are still highly prized for their unusual layout, which allowed most of the card to be filled with artwork.
Because of the moderate success of the set, designers began work on an Unglued sequel, named Unglued 2: The Obligatory Sequel. However, Wizards of the Coast felt that releasing another funny set, along with the standard 'serious' sets, would go beyond market saturation. Unglued 2 was scrapped.
Since then, many players asked for a sequel to Unglued. However, they were always told that it would not be happening any time soon. On 1 April 2004, Magic designer Mark Rosewater posted an article, announcing the sequel to Unglued, Unhinged.
Reaction was mixed. A sequel to Unglued seemed too good to be true; combined with the date on which the announcement was posted, the circumstances led many to believe it was merely an April Fool's Day joke.
The next day, Rosewater posted again, making a poll asking if they believed an Unglued sequel was actually in the works, and if they would enjoy such a sequel. Three days later, Rosewater confirmed that, indeed, Unhinged was a reality
Defining aspects of the set
- "Donkey" creatures are featured on a number of cards, similar to the way chickens were featured in Unglued. This allows humorous puns of phrases containing the word "Ass." ("Bad Ass", "Cheap Ass", and so on).
- Fractions can be used where only natural numbers could be used before: casting costs, damage, life totals, mana, power, and toughness can all be affected.
- Gotcha - Cards which can be returned from graveyard to hand, if your opponent laughs, says a specific word, etc.
- Cards that only have a specific effect if you win a short subgame, such as a staring contest, arm wrestling, rock/paper/scissors, or even another magic game within the original game.
- Several cards have effects that can apply only to cards with a specific artist, name, or collector's number.
- This set includes premium (foil) cards that have hidden pictures or words in it.
- This is the only set to include premium (foil) cards that are not black-bordered.
Full set spoiler
A sortable 'spoiler' list for Unhinged can be found at the Wizards Website.
Unhinged secret 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. Alone these single words made little to no sense but 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; Thirsty Barn; Mild Mongrel; Robo-Samurai; Obligitory 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!; Timmy Power Gamer; and Disrobing Scepter (again!)."
Also, if you read the flavor text for the cards Creature Guy, Save Life, Deal Damage, Spell Counter, and Kill! Destroy! (all of which are cards with a "Gotcha" rule on them) in that order, it gives you the limerick:
- There once was a player named Quinn, . . .
- Who consistently managed to win.
- Until he got singed . . .
- Playing Unhinged, . . .
- Getting “Gotcha’ed” again and again.