space-cow

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Cows of Tarkir

If you’ve taken a high school economics class or just hung around the Internet long enough, you have probably seen some variant of the “You have two cows” joke. It’s a brand of satire created in 1930’s Chicago that humorously oversimplified economic systems by explaining everything in terms of a farmer with two cows. For example, fascism can be explained as, “You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.” In the eighty years that the joke archetype has existed, it’s been used to explain all sorts of social phenomena. Today it’s my turn.

People often ask what the major differences are between the Khans of Tarkir clans and the Dragons of Tarkir clans. There are many changes that range from mana allegiance to species of leadership, and one could write a whole article about it. Or, one could just make “You have two cow” statements about them. Which is what I’m doing in a bit of light reading today. As a bonus, each statement will have a piece of Magic art altered by the acclaimed illustrator of Bad Draws, me.

Enjoy, folks!

Abzan

You have two cows. You kill your enemy and adopt her orphaned cow. You summon your ancestors to help take care of it.

Jeskai

You have two cows. You send one out on a vision quest and try to milk the other one with your mind.

Sultai

You have two cows. You kill them for not producing enough milk. You zombify one to plow your fields and the other to be a walking couch.

Mardu

You have two cows. You eat one and ride the other into battle, earning your war-name of Moo Jockey.

Temur

No one owns the beasts of the earth. When you need milk, you track a herd of cows across the wilderness and only take what you need to survive.

The biggest shift between the two incarnations of the clans is that the reforged timeline has Dragons above everyone else. This provided an amusing opportunity to twist the structure of the joke in a way that certainly amuses me enough to maybe amuse you too.

Dromoka

Two cows own you. You have to take care of them, but they give you milk in return.

Ojutai

Two cows own you. They teach you how to moo like a cow, but not how to produce milk.

Silumgar

Two cows own you. They force you to pamper them and kill you when you make a mistake.

Kolaghan

Two cows run through the wilds with you, trampling whomever gets in their way.

Atarka

Two cows make you feed them hay. When the hay runs out, they eat you instead.

A Tale of Two Cows

I hope today’s humorous article helped cure those of you who have come down with a case of the Mondays. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fantasy world that Magic constructs, it’s important to remember that it’s just a game and it should be fun. And even if this is just satire, sometimes pithy summaries can reveal a lot of information about what these clans believe.

Until next time, planeswalkers, may your two cows bring you prosperity.