Last updated on June 27, 2022

B.F.M. {Big Furry Monster) - Illustration by Douglas Shuler

B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) | Illustration by Douglas Shuler

Magic’s Unglued originally released in August of 1998 and was the first ever supplemental set made with the intention of being a fun standalone product. It featured 94 new cards: five full-art basic lands, six full-art tokens, and 83 new silver-bordered cards.

This Un-set also introduced the whackier parodies of infamous cards like Black Lotus and Chaos Orb. It was the first set in a long list of for-fun parody sets that Magic players have grown to love and appreciate. It was given the same love and care that all other sets get even though it was a non-Standard set that wasn’t really meant to be played. It has beautiful art, creative card names and design, and a wonderful set of tokens that are still sought after today.

But despite its originality, many of the cards have been reduced to $1 to $2 bulk that isn’t used or played in any capacity. Not every card can be a Blacker Lotus or gorgeous basic Forest, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be included in today’s set overview.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Setting and Story

Organ Harvest - Illustration by Terese Nielsen

Organ Harvest | Illustration by Terese Nielsen

Unglued isn’t your conventional Magic set that comes with a plethora of additional products like novels, art books, or story articles to supplement. This Un-set doesn’t have a story since it’s a complete parody set meant to be enjoyed on a mostly-surface level. But it does take place on a specific plane, referred to as “Silver-Bordered Land.”

Themes, Mechanics, and Cycles

Unglued is a joke set, which means its mechanics aren’t the conventional and legitimate mechanics we know and love. Instead we’re greeted with mechanics and themes that would be present in a game developed by a young child. Personally, I’m all here for it.

Since Wizards went in development with the mindset of this being a joke set they could include mechanics that just don’t work in Magic or are so completely out of left field that they make you do a double take. Included in this list are chicken-based mechanics, double-spells that require two cards, spells that support multiplayer formats with “teammates,” the use of a D6, and even cards that enforce games of Rock Paper Scissors!

Chickens

Each color got its own chicken-based card that interacts with chickens in some capacity, either turning creatures into chickens or being chickens themselves.

Mesa Chicken

White’s Mesa Chicken demands players pretend to be a chicken in order to grant flying, which looks pretty crazy next to a normal card like Fowl Play.

Poultrygeist

Poultrygeist is a somewhat tamer card that introduces a six-sided die to the game.

Chicken Egg and Free-Range Chicken also use a D6 but to more powerful and complicated extent.

Chicken à la King

Finally there’s the lord chicken to rule them all, Chicken à la King. This card buffs all your chickens by rolling extra D6s and tapping your own bird creatures.

Teammates

While Magic didn’t outright support multiplayer gameplay through supplemental products for some time, Unglued included “teammate.” This mechanic supports and influences teams in multiplayer games, including cards like Get a Life, Checks and Balances, and Team Spirit. Each spell influences both players in opposite ways or provides benefits to your “team” specifically.

Rock Paper Scissors

Everyone knows how to play Rock Paper Scissors and it’s honestly a shame that this isn’t an official mechanic. Unglued attempted to rectify this sin by printing Rock Lobster, Paper Tiger, and Scissors Lizard. Each card correlates to a specific move in the game that disable the attacking and blocking of the correlating opponent.

Scissors Lizard disables Paper Tiger, Paper Tiger disables Rock Lobster, and Rock Lobster disables Scissors Lizard.

Six-Sided Die

Cards that require players to roll a six-sided die are sprinkled throughout the set, especially on the chicken creatures like Poultrygeist or Chicken Egg. The six-sided die directly introduces RNG into the game, which if introduced today, would probably cause much more concern in the player base…

Double Spells

Each color has a common instant or sorcery with a mana value of five across the board that’s considered a “double spell.” They each do something when they’re cast as well as at the start of the next game, a nice 4th wall-breaking mechanic that can lead one player to having a much worse time next game.

Interestingly, the flavor text on each of these cards forms a short limerick when properly arranged that reads:

In a duel and taking a lickin’…

The wizard exclaimed, “I’m no chicken….”

“I’m facing defeat,…”

“But the next time we meet,…”

“You’re in for a nasty butt kick in’.”

Double Dip, Double Play, Double Deal, Double Take, and Double Cross flavor text limerick

Unglued Card Gallery

White

Blue

Black

Red

Green

Colorless

Tokens

Lands

Notable Cards

The Basic Lands

The basic lands of Unglued were very sought-after basics for collectors until WotC started printing more dual lands. There were very few full-art basics for most of Magic’s history which created a huge demand for these cards.

Even now these lands carry a market price average of $4 to $8 per land. These are exceptionally beautiful pieces of art with a card border exclusive to the set, and they’re black-bordered on top of that!

Blacker Lotus

Blacker Lotus

Everyone knows Black Lotus. It’s practically a household name in the nerdier households in the world. But that card is considered trash in comparison to the ever-powerful Blacker Lotus! A one-time-use since it has to be torn up to play, this card goes as far as adding four whole mana to your pool! Just make sure to clean up after.

B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster)

B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) is a 2-card creatures that needs both halves to play. While you technically can’t ever cast this card since you have to cast both halves at once and are limited to sorcery speed, this card requires house rules to play which is very fitting for an Un-set.

Squirrel Token

Squirrel token

The Squirrel token from Unglued is exceptionally popular among players piloting squirrel-based EDH decks. It’s full-art, is exceptionally beautiful, and is very minimalist in its aesthetic which is a popular bonus in the collector community. Despite being a token it currently goes for over $15 on secondary markets.

Products

Unglued was sold in packs and booster boxes just like all Magic sets are, though it didn’t get the typical range of products that others do. There was no fat pack, no collector’s packs, no duel decks, just good ol’ fashioned packs.

Interestingly, these packs only had 10 cards instead of the 15 we’ve grown to love. This is significantly worse value than other packs, but at the end of the day you’re probably not concerned with that if you’re buying these packs now.

Where to Buy

You can still buy Unglued packs. There are usually a few listings on TCGPlayer where they currently go for a little over $30. Your local game store might also have some packs in reserve. Keep in mind that these packs are over 24 years old at this point so you’ll be a little pressed to find sealed products.

Most of the Unglued singles are also fairly cheap, and you’re not guaranteed to get that card you want out of packs. If you’re just in it for the basic lands or a specific chicken, definitely buy the singles.I can’t recommend buying packs under any condition other than if you’re looking to build a collection of sealed products.

Wrap Up

Urza's Contact Lenses - Illustration by David A. Cherry

Urza’s Contact Lenses | Illustration by David A. Cherry

That concludes everything you need to know about Unglued. This Un-set started a long chain of popular products that have added a nice level of creativity and casualness to Magic. Everyone can enjoy these cards and laugh at the unique interactions promoted by cards like Mesa Chicken.

What do you think of the set? Do you think it was a great idea start to a long line of Un-sets, or was it lacking in some way? Let me know down in the comments.

That’s all from me for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!

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