This was one of those rare cards that when you pulled it from a pack (Yes, I pulled no less than 3 minty fresh Mirror Universe cards from those boxes of Legends I bought way back when) you knew right away that this was going to be a good card. Basically, any card that messes with EITHER person’s life total was something to sit up and take notice of. For instance, consider the older cards “Channel” and “Lich”. Both were eventually taken out due to “issues”. Serious issues, I might add. Not the least of which is the 1 turn winning combo Black Lotus / Channel / Fireball that made a lot of players like me want to give up the game!
Anyhow, Mirror Universe allowed you to SWITCH life with a person. Plain and simple, switch life totals with your opponent. Damaging yourself was never so much fun.
Card Name: Mirror Universe
Set: Legends, not reprinted
Card Cost: 6
Card Type: Artifact
Artist: Phil Foglio
Text: Tap, Sacrifice Mirror Universe during your upkeep, and trade your number of live points with opponent. For example, if you had 2 life points and your opponent had 10, you would now have 10 life points and your opponent would have 2. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this change of life.
Rules Text (Oracle):Tap, Sacrifice Mirror Universe: Exchange life totals with target opponent. Play this ability only during your upkeep.
As a 6 colorless mana artifact, Mirror Universe is definitely meant to be used as a “game-ender” rather than a minor diversion because it costs as much as a Craw Wurm and also because it usually takes a turn before you can use it. It’s similar to a Larryniven (Nevinyyral’s) Disk in that you have to wait a turn to use it. During which time your opponent scrambles to find something to knock it out before your upkeep comes along.
I can only say that when playing against people who used this card, I never saw so many self directed Fireballs and Disintegrates ever! Or, when push came to shove, simply mana burning yourself might become necessary to get your own life total down before switching. And speaking of Lich, that was probably the most common combo attempted with the Mirror Universe. Automatically trading someone 0 life is quite nice.
I can see how Wizards wouldn’t want to bring this one back, but I don’t quite see why the card is valued so high. Immediately after it came out, it shot up to $40-50 and remained the most expensive Magic card along with the Abyss and Moat until Mana Drain caught up and passed all of them. I don’t think the Mirror is as useful as any of those other cards, but I must say I like it just because I’m a fan of Artist Phil Foglio…