Atheist vs. Theist MTG: "The Dark Ages"

The Atheist vs. Theist Magic: the Gathering block is underway!  Dr. David Burger has done most of the heavy lifting with oodles of ideas coming in via facebook and other mediums.  The first set will be called “The Dark Ages”, and will be out just as soon as we can work around our schedules and get it done.  The first set will be theist-heavy with influence from some of the oldest atheist philosophers.

The block will be balanced and playable.  We plan to export it to Magic Workstation (download the free evaluation version) for online play.  I may even organize some draft tournaments through this blog.

Here are some teasers.  Click to make them magically large.

Theme is important to us.  Note how “The Republican Party” makes the rich richer at the expense of the poor?  Notice how “The Power of Prayer” doesn’t do squat without extra effort?  “Hitchens’ Rebuttal” denies an argument and insists it never be brought up again!  On the whole, we’re going to have the theist side tend to rely on creature sacrifice, token production (because let’s face it, they make more babies than we do), and mill/discard (destruction of knowledge) mechanics.  The atheist cards will focus on level up (constant improvement), card draw (increased knowledge), and teamwork along with some counterspell (rebuttal) mechanics.  We want it to be playable, but still amusing.  :)

So here’s your chance to help. We’re looking for common-level cards for both theist and atheist sides.  Examples of theist commons might be things like “Mob Rule”, “Offering Plate”, or “Pedophile Priest”.  For the atheist side it might be things like “Fossils”, “Campus Organizer”, or “Museum Curator”.  What figures represent the common players on both sides of the movement?
Throw ideas our way!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Jessica Landis

    For the theists: “I’m Not That Kind of Christian”, a card which takes all the power of another theist card but none of the weaknesses.
    and “Status Quo”, a card which looks at the board and takes credit for anything good which has happened to any player in the game so far. You gain, like, Magic points or whatever for the good stuff which has happened. [Can you tell yet that I have never played Magic?]
    For the atheists: “The Gays”, a card which is shiny and distracting and when targeted at or by a theist card explodes in a shiny and distracting way.
    “Logic”, this card does nothing for or to theist cards but can increase the effect of any atheist card.

  • Jon Willis

    I expected the Hitchens card to be titled “Hitchslap.”

  • Jessica Landis

    I realize that all of my atheist cards are defined by how they react to theist cards but that is on purpose. Without theists, the atheist doesn’t need to define him/herself as atheist.

  • DrB

    @Jessica, don’t worry if you’ve never played before, or haven’t a clue how the game actually works.

    we just want your ideas no matter how crazy they are, we’ll translate those into game mechanics as best we can

  • Lou Doench

    “Mormon Missionaries” or Mishies: 2W, 2/2 human creature, when Mormon Missionaries enthers the battlefield, tap target creature , it doesn’t untap in its controllers next untap step.
    (yeah, its just a rebranded kor hookmaster)

  • Greta Christina

    “because let’s face it, they make more babies than we do”

    You know how homophobic religious extremists say of gay people, “They can’t reproduce, so they have to recruit?”

    Ingrid always says of religious extremists, “They can’t recruit, so they have to reproduce.”

    They make more babies… and our numbers are still climbing. Because their ideas are for shit.

    BTW, do you have Pascal’s Wager yet? Does nothing substantial for theists, but makes atheists’ heads explode. Loses power in the presence of a different religion.

    And I second calling the Hitchens card “Hitchslap.”

  • Joe

    “Climate Denial” Sorcery RR6 Destroy all creatures and lands. They can’t be regenerated.

    “Richard Dawkins” Planeswalker – Dawkins 4UU Loyalty 6
    +2 Loyalty: Until end of turn atheists you control get +1/+1 and protection from creatures with the type theists.
    -3 Loyalty: Draw 2 cards (represents public understanding of science?)
    -6 Loyalty: Create an artifact called “the god delusion” this card has the ability 4tap: search target players library for all copies of an instant or sorcery spell and remove them from the game.

  • Douglas Kirk

    Cards ideas:

    Quiverfull 2WW
    2W: Put a 0/2 Theist token into play
    4WW, Sacrifice Quiverfull: Put a 0/2 Theist token into play for every Theist in play

    James Dobson 3GG
    2G: Put a -1/-1 Punishment Counter on target Theist
    3G, Sacrifice a Theist with a Punishment counter: All Theists gain +1/+0 until end of turn

  • Tony Lakey

    I don’t have any helpful ideas yet, I just wanted to point out that I would love the republican party in my “Circu, Dimir Lobotomist” deck

  • KenPhire

    Card ideas:

    The Gay Agenda B
    3B : Untap and gain control of target Theist child under opponent control.
    “The Gays, they want our little children..”

    Tithing time WW
    Gain 1 life for every Theist in Play

    False Rapture 3W
    Remove all Theist from Game. At the end of the turn, return all Theist removed by False Rapture back to the Game tapped.
    “Still Around?”

    Conviction B
    All theist gains +1/+0 till the end of the turn
    “One nation Under god!”

    Evolutionist 1W
    Creature – Darwinist
    Brainhurt ( all creationist gets +0/-2, when blocking this creature.)
    Get +1/+0 for every other Darwinist in play
    “Truth hurts.”

    Young Earther2B
    Creature – Creationist
    Righteously Indignant ( +0/+3 when blocking Darwinist)
    When Young Earther comes into play, player gain 1 life for every Darwinist controlled by the opponent
    “Donation for stupidity never stops”

  • James

    Hitchslap 2UU
    Enchant Theist
    Enchanted creature can no longer attack, block, or use any abilities.

    Sam Harris
    Legendary Atheist-Horseman 3GW
    Protection from theists
    When controlling plays a spell that would target a specific religion, it instead targets all religions.

    Christopher Hitchens
    Legendary Atheist-Horseman 3RU
    Haste, Shroud
    2RR(T): Deal damage equal to Hitchens defense to target theist.

    Daniel Dennett
    Legendary Atheist-Horseman 3WG
    All atheists controlling player controls gets +0/+1
    WG: All atheists controlling player controls gets +0/+1

    (someone already suggested a Dawkins card)

    Four Horsemen
    Legendary Enchantment 2RWGU
    UG: Draw a card, if all Four Horsemen are in play, instead Draw 2 cards
    RG: Deal one damage to target theist, if all Four Horsemen are in play, instead Deal 2 damage
    WG: Gain 2 life or prevent 2 damage, , if all Four Horsemen are in play, instead Gain 4 life or prevent 4 damage.

    Lee Strobel
    Legendary Theist 2WB
    WBB: Lee Strobel becomes an athest until the end of turn and gains protection from atheists

    Kent Hovind
    Legendary Theist 3BB
    1BB(T): Change target spell’s target from a theist to an atheist
    Sacrifice a theist: Target spell that would target Kent Hovind instead targets Kent Hovind’s controlling player.

    Ken Hamm
    Legendary Theist 3BG
    1G: Place a 0/1 Museum Patron token into play
    B Sacrifice a Museum Patron: Target theist gets +1/+0

    I think i’m spent for now

  • Anonymous

    Angry Pro-Life Protest Mob


    Tap: Protest Mob deals 1 damage to target creature.

  • Anonymous

    Sleep In: Target Theist gets -3/+3 until end of turn.