This entry is part 36 of 37 in the series Generally Speaking

By Imshan AKA Sinis

For the most part, I’ve left my personal life out of my articles; I like to write about groups that I’ve played with, decks I’ve tried and seen others play, and about individual cards more abstractly.  Today, we’ll shift off course a bit.  For the readers who don’t know me personally, I’m a father of two girls, ages four and one at the time of this writing.  My older daughter, Maggie, can read (though, not very quickly), likes games, dinosaurs and space (especially space travel, and celestial bodies).

After a few times watching myself, my wife and friends play Magic, Maggie decided that she wanted a Magic deck of her own, and it was only natural for me to want to build her a Commander deck, themed around dinosaurs.  Young children, of course, only have the vaguest of notions concerning formats, creature subtypes and the like, so the project was as much my own desire to see her happy with one of my hobbies as it was for Maggie to have a deck she could play with.  Of course, the problems with creating a dinosaur-themed deck for a child are numerous, and we didn’t quite reach the finish line as a result.

An obvious difficulty is that there are not many dinosaurs in Magic, certainly not enough for a hundred card singleton deck.  The only creature to retain the ‘dinosaur’ it it’s oracle type-line is Old Fogey from Unhinged.  Since children don’t really care about the difference between oracle and printed text, we can also sneak Pygmy Allosaurus in to the list of actual cards with the word ‘dinosaur’ in Magic.  Beyond that, we really have to dig deep for things that could be construed to be dinosaur, or mostly dinosaur.  Allosaurus Rider strongly features a dinosaur in the card title and art.  Imperiosaur is a real hidden gem; not only does it feature a creature that strongly resembles a Tyrannosaur, it’s actually not a terrible card, given that the deck will probably have a mostly basic land mana-base.

The next step removed are creatures with the lizard subtype that are ‘probably’ dinosaurs.  Macetail Hystrodon is a good analog of a Ankylosaurus, except it probably didn’t seem very hasty in real life, and probably did not strike first either. Shivan Raptor seems like a like a raptor, as does Frenetic Raptor and Ridgetop Raptor.  Dromosaur and Brooding Saurian seem like dinosaurs, and could probably make the thematic cut.  Sadly, this is where the list ends.  The remaining dinosaur-like creatures are often fantastical, and not really suitable for a dinosaur-themed deck.  Yes, you could play Fungusaur, Magmasaur, Pygmy Pyrosaur or even Putrid Raptor, but then we’re talking about creatures that are equal parts dinosaur and mushroom, molten rock, fire, or shambling corpse.  The bottom line is that, even absent other considerations, there are simply not enough dinosaurs to go around.

With that in mind, most of these are not really suitable for the very young Magic player who is making their first foray into reading, rather than being read to.  Ideally, creatures would be vanilla, having minimal or have ‘invisible’ rules text.  By ‘invisible’ rules text, I mean cards like Imperiosaur, who may as well not have rules text in a deck that only contains basic lands as mana sources.  Minimal rules text might be like Pygmy Allosaurus, who is simply has swampwalk, while not being an actual English word has an intuitive game effect (“I walk on your swamp to bite you daddy!”).  This kind of concern makes many of the others completely unsuitable.  Frenetic Raptor has an effect on creatures of a particular type (and not just yours, your opponent’s beasts don’t block either).  Shivan Raptor, for all it’s dinosaur-esque title and art (complete with big toe claw!), is pretty rules-heavy (first strike, echo, AND haste).  Which is to say nothing of the Old Fogey, whose text is meant solely as a joke.  Even without being too picky, most of the cards here have fairly complex rules. Things like First Strike or landwalk I can get behind, but specialized rules text probably makes it unusable for the youngest kind of player.

The third problem is fairly obvious. There is no legendary creature in red/green that really fits this deck, thematically.  There is at least one elf, human, centaur, hellion, hydra, cyclops and giant in red and green with the Legendary type. But none of them are dinosaurs, or particularly lizard-like.  Even so, there are no non-legendary red/green lizards for consideration either.

The story ends here.  My daughter has only played with sixty card decks and four-of cards with vanilla ‘boring’ creatures like War Mammoths and Craw Wurms.  She usually likes to play other games, like the Dungeons and Dragons board games (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon), or simpler children’s games.  I can’t say I’m too disappointed with her Magic education, but, if there were only more dinosaurs, we’d have something special.

At this point, I want to make a plea to Wizards.  Magic needs more dinosaurs.  This territory isn’t uncharted, but it’s definitely unexploited.  Pygmy Allosaurus was a card in a ‘serious’ set, and originally had the dinosaur type.  You were still clearly thinking of it in onslaught block, where Legions featured a large number of ‘beasts’ that strongly resembled dinosaurs.  As late as Future Sight, you were willing to print Imperiosaur, even if you gave it the lizard subtype presumably because of the need for a consistent set of rules with a limited number of creature types (though, that didn’t seem to stop you from subsequently adding allies in Zendikar).  The truth of the matter is that, without dinosaurs, I can’t guarantee that my daughter will have much interest in Magic.  So, there needs to be dinosaurs in Magic, and they need to be (mostly) simple.  And really, we’re talking dinosaurs. If you’re worried about marketing, it’ll sell about as well as ninjas, pirates and robots.

Oh, and Wizards, if you could make some sort of legendary paleontologist in red and green, I’d be very much obliged.

Leave me feedback by email at:

follow me on twitter:!/generalspeak

Series Navigation<< Generally Speaking 36 – Rites

57 Responses to “Generally Speaking 37 – Of Daughters and Dinosaurs”

  1. I make a legendary dinosaur earlier today. Ok well I had the idea for it around a year ago and just today I put it on magic set editor. I actually did that masterpiece myself using paint. It took me a whole 10ish minutes to complete. I’ll work on a good r/g dinosaur legend and hopefully Wizards will print it. Good luck.

  2. Filth Eater said

    I recently used Magic Set editor to create an entirely made up EDH deck. You could easily do the same to make one for your daughter. This way you can make every picture dinosaur related. Hell you can even make your own mechanics. Roar (when this creature attacks, if you roar, it gets +3/+3). Once you are done, print them out, stick them on some old commons, and bamm your done.

    • Yeah, this seems like a really good idea! I wish I had a good printer, now…

      • Filth Eater said

        dont even need a good printer, i usually set up all my cards on a .PDF file, and take it to Staple business Depot and have them print it. i print it on glossy paper and it costs about 8$ for the whole deck. If you want i can hook you up with links for the programs i use and a template for making the pdfs. after that all you need is some glue and scissors.

  3. Angie said

    Last year we made my daughter a commander deck for a Christmas present (she had just turned 6 at the time). The trick was finding more than on theme to build around. Katie really likes deathtouching creatures and often gets sad when she runs out of cards in hand, so we built her a Damia deck with lots of death touch creatures and card draw effects. We added in wolves and werewolves (some of her fav creatures), and some fairies and unicorns. By combining interests and focusing on a few effects (things that enhance her gameplay experience) we had a wide enough pool to draw from to find simple effects and build a fun deck. My husband then painted her a custom deck box to complete the gift, and it was a huge hit. So, while youre waiting for Wizards to print more dinosaurs, my suggestion to you would be to expand a bit- you said she likes space and celestial bodies right, so how about adding some cards like time reversal and ponder featuring cool spacey art, or looking for some cards that play really well for what she likes to do, and add those together with the dinosaurs and a cool legend that has a fun ability (Riku, to make more dinosaurs? Maelstrom wanderer to cascade twice?). Make something that is cool to look at and plays well, and you can have tons of fun playing commander with your little one. I found focusing on things she likes AND what would make for the best play experience should give you a wider range. Even if you’ve only got a couple dinosaurs it can still be special and awesome 🙂

  4. outhouseinferno said

    Two words: Triassic Egg.

  5. Cody Brown said

    This made my day! Moar Dinosaurs!

  6. I think Wizards has all their Dinosaurs in reserve for an inevitable Mezosoic block.

  7. Jeremy Owens said

    While it doesn’t solve your text-on-the-card issue, you may want to consider slightly expanding your requirements. Dragons could be considered similar to dinosaurs in a lot of ways. That expands your options exponentially. Additionally, birds are closely related to dinosaurs biologically. You could play with that a bit. For instance, Shriek Raptor has a very prehistoric bird look to it. And putting yourself in white gives you Rith, The Awakener as a general.

  8. Dan Powers said

    Loved this article. I really enjoy your strategy and card review articles, but this one touched a chord with it’s sincerity, and the subject matter is adorable. Thank you for sharing!

  9. I couldn’t agree more. Magic needs more Dinosaurs

  10. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    I have been blogging since last month, my blog was indexed already in google but during the test i conducted, i search for a certain keyword related on my blog but it only shows the blog title and it directs me to the homepage not on the actual post. N…

  11. this site said

    wow thats great

    How do I get “undefined” on my blog posts? There are 3 undefined words right below the title of my blog post. How do I get rid of it?.

  12. Trackback said

    Thank you

    How do I get my WordPress blog posts to get views in the days after I first post them?

  13. Trackback said

    Thank you

    It used to show at the top of my start list until I downloaded google chrome to see what it was all about, I didn’t really like it so I deleted it but now firefox isnt at the top of start. Any ideas?.

  14. Trackback said

    wow thats great

    I recently did a system restore on my computer and have yet to reload my antivirus software. Apparently somewhere along the process something called Antivi took over my computer and I can’t do anything, not even get to my task manager to end the progr…

  15. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    How do I know if a WordPress theme supports a subscribe option?

  16. Trackback said


    I’m planning to write a literature blog, and I want to get as much readers as possible, even those who don’t like books much, to be able to encourage them to read. Suggestions? No bashing please!.

  17. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    How do I put rss feeds on a classic blogger template?

  18. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    How can i start firefox with a message to restore the last session?

  19. wow thats great

    What is the best website to start a blog that I eventually want to make revenue with?

  20. Good info

    I’m currently using a classic blogger template and I would like to know how you put an rss feed on it. Normally, blogger has an rss feed avaliable on the newer templates but my blog doesn’t have one. Also, is there some sort of widget I could also in…

  21. Trackback said

    Good info

    how do i start a blog to share my ideals?.

  22. Trackback said

    Good info

    What are some good wordpress themes/plugins that allow you to manipulate design?

  23. Info said


    […]that will be the end of this post. Here you’ll uncover some internet sites that we believe you’ll enjoy, just click the links over[…]

  24. Company said


    […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but really don’t get a good deal of link enjoy from[…]

  25. Empowering said


    […]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to due to the fact we believe they may be worth visiting[…]

  26. News said


    […]check below, are some absolutely unrelated web-sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  27. Tech said


    […]very few internet sites that occur to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[…]

  28. Health said

    Marsten Blog’s

    […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Uncover Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

  29. Finance said

    Revupmi site

    […]please stop by the web pages we stick to, like this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[…]

  30. Liberty said

    Lost in Liberty Blog

    […]just beneath, are various absolutely not connected web-sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be certainly really worth going over[…]

  31. Trading said

    Trading Blog

    […]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a good deal of link enjoy from[…]

  32. Business said


    […]The information and facts talked about inside the report are several of the ideal out there […]

  33. Camp said

    Camp Blog

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]

  34. Technology said

    Practical Blog

    […]Every once in a whilst we select blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest websites that we select […]

  35. Home said

    Homeschool Rebel

    […]Here is a superb Blog You might Discover Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

  36. Fashion said

    Gradhat Blog

    […]below you�ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]

  37. Financial said


    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other net internet sites around the internet, even when they aren�t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  38. Wp Weekend Phoenix

    […]one of our visitors not too long ago advised the following website[…]

  39. digital photography tips

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to because we think they’re really worth visiting[…]

  40. florida new homes for sale

    […]here are some links to websites that we link to because we believe they are worth visiting[…]

  41. Legit Payday Loan Lenders

    Direct Payday Loans Online

  42. free download games for pc full version

    […]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated web-sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  43. The actual issue if you’re jogging against usually are your own personal pre-conceived stereotypes in the platforms (tablets, etc)

  44. Great write-up, excellent to discover people a little interpersonal obligation.

  45. You are wright but , when you spend extra $$, then you could conversion equipment to use universal series bus products using apple ipad tablet although too costly gentleman . -= Sunil Jain’s very last weblog… [How to] Personalize Retweet Element inside Multiauthor Wp personal blogs =-.

  46. Exactly what is the simplest way to find the ssh essential onto the iPad with no contacting the item?

  47. woolrich said

    checked out display all of concealed records below machine and still absolutely no htaccess file. my spouse and i won’t have it. it is ridiculous, significantly support needed the following. almost all i have to perform is actually be able to post plug ins on hubpages hello jamesi improvedadvanced via starhub cable connection broadband internet 40 mbps to help dietary fibre braodband 100 mbps u find nutritional fibre will be more slowly in comparison with cable television along with becos with the media hype provided over food fibre created the particular switch and found that will newly robot router additionally could not make use of not necessarily compatiblebetter to just keep to wire broadbandbest rgdshozefa

  48. iphone4 unveiled by simply Maxis, DiGi; nevertheless containing a great deal better programs with regard to clients? By LEONG PUT YEE

  49. Google said

    Just beneath, are numerous completely not connected web-sites to ours, even so, they’re certainly really worth going over.

  50. You might be wright however when you shell out even more $$, then you can conversion programs equipment to work with obtainable gadgets along with ipad tablet yet very costly man . -= Sunil Jain’s very last weblog… [How to] Individualize Retweet Element in Multiauthor Wp weblogs =-.
    Wholesale Air Max

  51. Ernest said

    An interesting discussion is value comment. I think that it’s best to write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo topic but usually people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  52. As I website possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  53. AFAIK Grooveshark also doesn’t advise anyone everything. I have not observed this sort of purpose anyway, in addition to Trying to find using it intensely during the last couple of weeks. IMO Grooveshark is superior to Spotify when you can easily listen to a limitless level of music with no (audio) advertisings as well as totally free. In case you have a tally you may also make your personal playlists. I actually wouldn’t imagination understanding precisely why Spotify features such a massive following in fact (most associated with this myspace friends are based in Norway and also the Holland, in fact it is very huge there).

  54. 216223 912155Wohh exactly what I was searching for, appreciate it for posting . 641530

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *