Benedict in the recent BBC Timeshift documentary explaining how Jeremy Brett’s version of Holmes could go from a hawk to an owl to a hawk again. Or something. To be honest I was a bit distracted by giggling at his face.

Future Sight Watch 2015

On May 4, 2007, Future Sight was released upon the world. In keeping with the block’s time theme, this set featured 81 timeshifted cards; cards included in the set from elsewhere in Magic’s lifetime. In this case, the cards were all from potential futures, showcasing the bizarre design space yet to be explored.

Time has passed, as time is prone to do, and many of the potential futures witnessed on these futureshifted cards are now part of our history. But which ones, exactly, and how accurate were their predictions? Today’s article is going to go block-by-block and highlight all the moments that have sprung from Future Sight’s cards.

General Magic Changes


To begin, let’s talk about general changes to Magic’s lexicon. Many of the new keywords in Future Sight were old abilities that were finally given names. These changes aren’t block-specific, instead affecting the game as a whole. Four mechanics were updated this way; Daybreak Coronet coined lifelink, Quagnoth coined shroud, and Thornweald Archer coined both deathtouch and reach.

One of the more interesting futureshifted cards was Spellwild Ouphe. It has a bizarre ability that’s been adapted on a few cards since then. Both Elderwood Scion and Battlefield Thaumaturge have cost-reduction abilities built around targeting restrictions. This is a loose connection, but the Ouphe first showed that such an ability was possible in the rules.

Mass of Ghouls was reprinted in Tenth Edition, albeit without being a full-art creature.

Lorwyn & Shadowmoor Blocks

Mistmeadow Skulk

Unsurprisingly, the greatest number of future-block references pointed at the next year’s sets, Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, and Eventide. Because so much design work overlaps, these sets were already works-in-progress when Future Sight was being finalized. As such, many futureshifted cards were preprints from the following year. Boldwyr Intimidator, Graven Cairns, Mistmeadow Skulk, and Phosphorescent Feast all showed up early.

Another sneaky preprint occurred with the card Goldmeadow Lookout. This card is part of a cycle that creates creature tokens of actual creatures. The caveat is that the creature Goldmeadow Lookout makes, Goldmeadow Harrier, wasn’t printed until Lorwyn. So while all the cards in this cycle made creature tokens of cards from Magic’s past, this one used a card from Magic’s future.

While it didn’t use the name, Phosphorescent Feast also previewed the chroma mechanic that would be used in Eventide. Two other mechanical previews showed up on futureshifted cards too. Bound in Silence introduced the tribal card type, which would play a major role in Lorwyn and Morningtide. Arguably the most famous futureshifted card, Tarmogoyf spoiled the impending printing of planeswalker cards. Planeswalkers first showed up in Lorwyn, eventually becoming a staple card type in Magic.

Shards of Alara Block

Nacatl War-Pride

Despite its temporal proximity to Future Sight, Shards of Alara did not pull much from the set. The major hint was a flavor one. Nacatl War-Pride was a glimpse at the Aztec-inspired race of leonin that populates the Naya shard of Alara.

While it wasn’t intended as a hint of Esper (more on that later), Sarcomite Myr established colored artifacts with colored mana costs (Dissenssion’s Transguild Courier was already a colored artifact, but it still had a generic mana cost.) This colored artifact theme would become the backbone of the Esper shard, despite having no flavor relation to this Myr.

Scars of Mirrodin Block

Sarcomite Myr

Futureshifted cards took a year off before returning in Scars of Mirrodin. The set’s Equipment subtheme helped a favorite card finally get reprinted: Bloodshot Trainee. This card played with a power threshold on its activated ability, which is easier to achieve with tons of Equipment lying around. The card even inspired Greenhilt Trainee in New Phyrexia.

Poison counters are one of Mark Rosewater’s favorite mechanics, and thus they were brought back in Future Sight as the poisonous mechanic (even though the cards with the mechanic are venomous). For much of Scars of Mirrodin’s design, the Phyrexian infect mechanic was just poisonous reprinted on new cards. That makes Snake Cult Initiation and Virulent Sliver the mechanical precursors to these new Phyrexians.

Finally, this is the block that Sarcomite Myr was hinting at, not Shards of Alara. It had always been planned that Mirrodin would become New Phyrexia, and this Myr was a card hinting at that eventual future. The card incorporates all kinds of fleshy bits into its metallic anatomy, emblematic of Phyrexian compleation. New Phyrexia would even contain colored artifacts as well, although they made use of the Phyrexian mana mechanic instead of having regular mana costs.

Theros Block

Lucent Liminid

While Future Sight experimented with a bunch of graveyard mechanics, none of them made it into the Innistrad block. Return to Ravnica had too much to reference from the original Ravnica block, so it had no room for futureshifted goodies.

Nessian Courser, one of the full-art vanilla creatures, was reprinted in Theros. The full-art vanilla creature gimmick hasn’t been used again, however.

The big reference was enchantment creatures, which first appeared on Lucent Luminid. This card wasn’t reprinted because it doesn’t have any enchantment-like functionality like the bestow or constellation cards. The flavor of Nyx was also different enough that I think it would have felt weird for Lucent Luminid to appear on Theros.

Khans of Tarkir Block


Just one hint made its way into the Khans of Tarkir block, but oh my Emrakul was it an exciting one. Delve was one of the favorite mechanics created in Future Sight, and the Sultai Brood made use of delve as their clan mechanic. Like Tombstalker before them, many delve cards have shown up as powerful tournament-winning cards. Can’t say the same for Logic Knot and Death Rattle.

I’m a big fan of delve and was glad to see it finally get utilized in an actual block.

Battle for Zendikar Block


Finally, the Ghostfire mechanic of being colorless with a colored mana cost finally saw the light of day too. I’ve also been a big Ghostfire fan, and Battle for Zendikar’s devoid mechanic is essentially the same ability keyworded for Eldrazi flavor. Ghostfire wasn’t reprinted with devoid because of this flavor, as the card represents Ugin’s colorless magic.

Crystal Balls

While many of the potential futures seen on Future Sight’s futureshifted cards have come to pass, many more still wait over the horizon. Will Mark Rosewater solve contraptions? Will we get Auras that enchant cards in graveyards? Will fortifications ever see the light of day? For many of these cards, we will never know.

Until then, planeswalkers, what futureshifted cards would you like to see riffed on in Magic’s near future?

Timeshift: How to be Sherlock Holmes - Review

An excellent, thorough overview of the screen legacy of the greatest fictional detective, ‘Timeshift: How to be Sherlock Holmes - The Many Faces of a Master Detective’ features a superb array of interviewees and is an essential watch for any fan of the character. Narrated by Peter Wyngarde, it opens with a beautifully cut montage of striking spoken-to-camera-statements by Douglas Wilmer, Christopher Lee, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss, and Tim Pigott-Smith that highlight facets of the character, all intercut with footage of the myriad screen versions of Holmes including Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, Peter Cushing and Douglas Wilmer. As well as the actors, the piece also enlists other speakers such as P.D. James and Nicholas Meyer to examine the character.

The documentary pays particular attention to the growth and popularity of Holmes onscreen as the world changes through modern history, charting the shifts from modernity to period to modernity again throughout the every growing number of interpretations. From Gilette’s initial stage appearance and Rathbone’s patriotic efforts to Hammer’s renowned version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, it brings us bang up to date with due attention paid to the legacy of Jeremy Brett, and a bookending focus on the current modern day BBC incarnation.  

It is also filled with remarkable, funny stories. Douglas Wilmer is excellent fun in particular - his Holmes was renowned for his melancholy, and so he reads an angry piece of fan mail received after he laughed in character onscreen - while the legendary Christopher Lee warmly remembers his great friend Peter Cushing. To say any more would be to spoil the tales and insight you’ll discover when you watch this fascinating documentary, so it comes with our very highest recommendation.

Timeshift: How to be Sherlock Holmes - The Many Faces of a Master Detective premieres on BBC Four on January 12 2014 at 22:00GMT.

so it occurs to me that there may be some confusion about my two new Gravity Falls AUs, so here’s a summary of each!

Timeshift AU: In this AU, Dipper and Mabel accidentally go back in time to when their Grunkles were teenagers. it can be set before Stan and Ford’s relationship fell, or maybe they go back right as Stan is about to accidentally wreck Ford’s project so it never gets wrecked in the first place (and if it does, it’s not by Stan), or when Stan gets kicked out… this AU could be either really cute or really dramatic. there are a lot of possible interactions with Dipper and Mabel and their teen Grunkles, depending on which situation someone wants to go with this.

Maybe Dipper and Mabel manage to talk to Ford after Stan is kicked out, trying to convince him to go after Stan? Maybe the kids tell Stan and Ford about the future (”Grunkle Stan, you punched a PTERODACTYL FOR ME!! AND YOU FOUGHT OFF A HOARD OF ZOMBIES!” “Great Uncle Ford, you’re so cool! You have these awesome futuristic weapons, and one time we explored an alien space craft!!”) Maybe the kids try to help Stan and Ford understand each other a little? this AU is really flexible and could go in a lot of different directions.

Timetrapped AU: this is basically an AU of the Timestuck AU, where Dipper and Mabel get into a fight, grab the tape measure time travel device, and Mabel accidentally goes back in time and meets mullet!Stan. she then has to convince Stan to take her to Ford so she can fix the tape measure and go back to her own time, while having adventures with and bonding with Stan.

in the Timetrapped AU, however, Mabel AND Dipper both go back in time, Mabel with mullet!Stan and Dipper with super paranoid just-found-out-Bill-is-evil Ford. both kids have no idea where the other is, and Mabel is the one who ended up with the broken tape measure. so she has to convince Stan to take her to Ford’s so Ford can fix the device, while Dipper has to convince Ford that he’s not some spy that Bill made a deal with or possessed. they eventually bond with their Grunkles and have their own adventures, all while freaking out because they don’t know where the other is and the last time they saw each other was when they were having a fight and saying hurtful things to each other, so they’re also feeling really guilty.

Mabel and Stan eventually reach Ford’s. Mabel has no clue that Dipper is there, so when they reunite, it’s full of tackles and hugs and apologies. the idea is that, hopefully, seeing the kid’s relationship could help Stan and Ford repair their own relationship. (especially since Mabel and Dipper had a fight before they were separated, and were so worried about each other, not to mention Dipper and Mabel are very similar to both Stan and Ford in a million little ways).  plus lots and lots of family bonding, and possible drama with Bill, the journals, and the Portal, and adventure. lots of potential here.

i hope that clears up any sort of confusion!


“My version of Mycroft is entirely extrapolated from Christopher Lee’s version [in ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’ by Billy Wilder]…”

Mark Gatiss on the character of Mycroft Holmes in Timeshift - How to be Sherlock Holmes [x]

Rental 1, 1/22 (evening)

Allison finished her shift with a bounce in her step, letting Alex know that she’d be unavailable except for an emergency until the next morning.  It was shaping up to be an excellent end to the week, and she was eager to get back to her room and prepare for the night’s fun.  Lydia seemed like a smart rental - she was cooperative, even eager, and those kinds were all too rare.  Once back in her room, she slipped out of her uniform and into the shower, washing the smells of the day off before changing into a set of white lingerie and a silk robe.  For Lydia, she laid out all that she’d need - a jennings gag, some rope and a magic wand.

She put on coffee and made a small meal, setting a plate for Lydia as well, and gave the suite one final glance to make sure everything was in its place.  All that was left was to wait for one of the other Keepers to deliver Lydia, whom she’d ordered washed inside and out but with no other preparation.  Allison could handle the rest herself.  As the clock struck, she looked to the door and waited for a knock.