Lore Ipsum: Luck of Polycrates
Hello! Today’s card follows the myth of Polycrates and his unnatural luck.
As always, this myth was recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill, which i highly recommend you watch before you proceed to the card. I won’t be covering the whole myth in detail, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells it far better than i ever could. Let’s get started!
Polycrates, ruler of Samos, was known to be successful in all his endeavors. So much so that Amasis, pharaoh of Egypt and one of his allies, advised him that luck of this sort could be dangerous, and told him to throw away something he valued above all else in order to change his fortune. Polycrates took this advice and sailed off to deep sea, where he threw away his most valued ring. However, a few days later, Polycrates was served a roasted fish wherein he found his undamaged ring. Learning of this, Amasis broke off his alliance with Polycrates, warning that the scales of fortune would balance out in the end. Sure enough, one day his luck did run out, and he ended up being assassinated and impaled during a diplomatic voyage. A bit anti-climactic, if you ask me.
This is a reversal of fortune card, being advantageous for you while it’s on the battlefield but with a severe effect when it leaves. It’s not exactly death by impalement but i liked the mirroring of drawing and milling (putting cards from your library into your graveyard). The cards are exiled to avoid shenanigans, and the enchantment is legendary to avoid multiples. As a cost reference, what is usually considered the most powerful enchantment of this type costs three mana.
Until next time!