Price of Knowledge - Chalice of the Void
Welcome to Price of Knowledge. In this new series we'll take a look at the history of a single card, showcasing the factors that lead the card to its position today. So without further delay, I present the Price of Knowledge for
As gathered from posts circa 2003 (such as this one), the internet was already abuzz with talk about Chalice of the Void. Wizards had announced that they would be printing cards into Mirrodin that were more designed for Type One (basically Legacy/Modern) than for Standard (then called Type Two), and Chalice was obviously one of them. There was even conversation most notably about it being something so powerful it shouldn’t have been printed. At the time Magic was only ten years old. Chalice became one of the earliest examples of a phrase that is now mentioned too frequently: “power creep.”
Players enjoyed the set of course, with its new mechanics and powerful cards making players rethink their average gameplay ideas, but players of eternal formats were in love with Chalice for its simple yet elegant ability. It can stop one- and two-drops. But its most unique ability is countering zero-drops by paying no mana into it.
At the time Standard was King (Long live the King!) and it saw great play there, with players complaining of broken games and imbalanced gameplay, though Chalice wasn’t the sole target of that claim. It was one of many. The main focus of complaint was the Affinity mechanic and Chalice was simply a nuisance card. But it maintained a modest price of around five dollars due to its ability to stifle cards in Type One gameplay. Then came
Chalice has received only a few reprints (Have you SEEN the Masterpiece version?! I need one NOW), and maintained a respectable price tag in spite of its restriction in Vintage back in 2015. Modern players today see it as the go-to sideboard card. You can’t go two whole games without someone “Chaliceing” at one or two, and it’s nerve wracking!
These are the cards we dream about pulling from a pack and the ones we showcase either through specialty desktop displays or by dropping it onto the field in a game of Commander or Modern. Cards like
Ryan Cole lives in Canton, Ohio with his new wife Julia. He began playing magic in 1995 with cards he bought with money he found odd jobs for, just to play the game. At 35 he is happy at home and living as full a life as is possible. He is starting a career in freelance writing and works as a cook while he pursues that dream.