Magic the Gathering: Othello (2 of 5)


Magic the Gathering can be used as a teaching tool to help reinforce key concepts with students. By using these cards, students will review key quotations, while coming to understand thematic connections to the text. To learn more about how Magic the Gathering can be used as a teaching tool, you can read the article Magic the Gathering in Education.

Magic the Gathering: Othello

The idea behind these cards was to give my students something they could use to study Shakespeare, without having to specifically study Shakespeare.  The cards try to highlight important quotations, characters, and moments from the play.  The images have been taken from the 1995 version of the film.

These cards were originally created 2011.

Card Explanations


Card 9: Emilia

Emilia is Iago’s wife. Iago used her to destroy Othello.  She comes to her senses at the end of the play and reveals the truth about Iago.

In the Game

In the game Emilia is a 0/2 Character. This means that she has some defense, but is not normally able to attack.

She has the ability to tap. 

Provided that a character was just killed, one damage is immediately dealt to the attacker. 

If a card deals direct damage from a players hand the player is considered the attacker.


Card 10: Michael Cassio

Michael Cassio is Othello’s lieutenant.  He is a strong warrior who carries the respect of his peers.

In the Game

In the game he is a 3/2 hero character.

This gives Michael Cassio a strong ability to attack, and also some solid defense. He is clearly a heroic character, which is represented by the fact that he is a hero-type card.

Hero characters can only be played if there are no Villain characters already controlled by the owner.


Card 11: Manipulated Alliance

Iago has managed to convince Othello that he is a trustworthy servant who wishes nothing but the best. In truth, Iago spends his days plotting to destroy Othello.

In the Game

This is a Rising Action card.

Rising Actions are cards that remain in effect until the Rising Action is cancelled by another card.

This card allows for a Controller to have both Hero and Villain characters in play at the same time. 

If this card is removed from play, and hero and villain cards both exist, the controlling player must choose to remove all of their heroes, or all of their villains, from play.



Card 12: False Thoughts

Iago has convinced Othello that Desdemona is not being faithful.  These thoughts consume Othello, and weaken his character.  Iago positions Othello so that he is easier to control, which leads to his ultimate defeat.

In the Game

False Thoughts is a Rising Action.

As long as a False Thoughts is in play, Othello suffers a -1/-2 penalty, lowering his attack and defense values.



Card 13: Enraged Mob

Brabantio is bent out of shape, thinking that Othello has stolen the love of his daughter, rather than winning it fairly.  He collects a group of people to protest this action, and to defend the honour of his much loved daughter, Desdemona.

In the Game

This is an Interruption card.

Interruption cards can be played at any moment, before an action is resolved.  The casting cost must be paid prior to the card coming into play.

This card causes three Supporting Character tokens, with Shakespeare and Othello tags attached to them, to enter play.

Each token will act as a 1/1 character that can attack and defend as if it were a played card.

If Iago is controlled when this card is played, two extra tokens enter play. 

If Brabantio is controlled when this card is played, one extra token enters play.


Card 14: Officer

There are many officers in Othello.

In the Game

In the game the Officer acts is a 1/1 Supporting Character.

While only one copy of a Character can be in play at a time, there is no limit to the amount of Supporting Characters that can be in play.

For example, Three Officer cards could exist on one side, while two Officer cards could exist on the side of the opposing player.

This is different from Character cards, where if one player controls Othello, the opposing player cannot also play Othello.



Card 15: Special Officer

In the play, Barbantio calls for Special Officers of the night.

In the Game

The Special Officer acts as a 2/1 Supporting Character.

It is slightly stronger than a regular officer.


Card 16: Certain Officer

Certain Officer is a joke based on stage direction.

In the Game

In the game the Certain Officer acts as a 2/2 Supporting Character.

It is stronger, and tough than an officer, and tougher than a special officer.

It has a higher casting cost to reflect this power.




The Rest of the Sets

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