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Three related effects, all 100% in red's slice of the color pie (see heenaheena's post). I wonder if this was considered as a red colorshift, in Planar Chaos.

Rules Manager!
Disintegrate's exile clause was first printed this way, but now it (cleanly!) replaces death like Kumano. It would please me to see this brought in line with that. The interaction with undying and numerous other death triggers would be so much clearer then.

Disintegrate's text took a strange path through "lethal damage" territory, but that ambiguity could have been interpreted either way. In Time Spiral, you opted for the cleaner version.

Why should two cards whose first printings said the same thing have different Oracle effects?
Posted By: HuntingDrake (5/24/2012 12:10:11 AM)


For when you really really really really wanna make sure that freaking Storm Crow won't come back.

As for the reason behind the ability, let's turn to Wikipedia. "Due to its haunting, ethereal song, the Eastern Whip-poor-will is the topic of numerous legends. One New England legend says the whip-poor-will can sense a soul departing, and can capture it as it flees"

So, this thing steals your soul. G'night everybody!
Posted By: SilentOppressor (8/9/2013 8:08:22 PM)


oh my days.

this card is the scariest creature in magic.
It does make sense flavourwise, in folklore, the whip-poor-will will sing when it senses a soul departing, and doing so will capture the soul, preventing it from reaching paradise.
HP lovecraft talks about whippoorwill's a lot.
also jeff bridges

Posted By: doitpow (10/21/2011 5:08:51 AM)


Oh he can fly. He chooses not too. He's that badass.

Also, the actual bird species nests on the ground and probably doesn't fly too high...The art is still misleading.
Posted By: kitsunewarlock (2/26/2010 5:21:53 PM)


i love that its clearly in flight yet doesnt fly
Posted By: aquariansword (2/1/2011 6:18:02 PM)


This is the most badass creature in Magic. It doesn't even kill, it just waits until something's dead and then makes sure it's deader. Hardcore, man. Hardcore.

The flavor is baffling; yet in a surreal, quasi-intentional way, the flavor is so jarring, shocking, creepy and bizarre that it is perfectly effective. Genius, whether intended or not.

I think the Random Card button has given me a new favorite card. They should make a whole block like this, full of first-glance random, second-glance allusive, third-glance deeply-disturbing-yet-coherent cards.
Posted By: BegleOne (6/5/2011 12:59:31 PM)


Okay, yeah, it doesn't have flying. That seems like a goof.

Since no one has explained the flavor (lately), I'll take the basic crack at it: Whippoorwills, in New England folklore, are said to know when a soul is departing and capture it when it flees. They get a lot of mentions in literature, including HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror.

As for the ability itself... this is deceptively powerful. Making sure something ends up deader than dead and no tricks can save it is fantastically useful. Shuts down Undying, Persist (Even Melira-enabled), and of course explicitly turns off regeneration. Even Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn will fail to come back if the Whippoorwill gets them. Good birdie?
Posted By: Tevish_Szat (4/16/2012 8:34:10 PM)


Hey guys why doesn't it fly blah blah blah....

His abilities are pretty fearsome. A tiny little birdie that kills things SO MUCH DEAD.
Posted By: Kirbster (11/14/2010 1:31:34 PM)


I agree with majinara: Of course it's not the most confusing card regarding its effects, yet probably one of the most confusing artworks as opposed to obviously lacking ability you'd a^ssume on such a card.
Although the art is nice, hopefully a reprint of this card won't show a singing bird floating in the air with spread wings again.

The card itself is not that bad since it's a 1/1 one drop with an ability which can be quite useful, although it has only a narrow use.
Posted By: Mode (8/12/2009 7:14:23 PM)


Why can't it fly?

I don't think that real Whipperwills are flightless...
Posted By: land_comment (3/25/2011 5:39:37 PM)