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  • December 13, 2023 5 min read 0 Comments

    The Beeble Scale is one of several Rosewater Scales, rating the likeliness of key components of Magic: The Gathering returning in a premiere product. The Storm Scale was the original, rating the likeliness of keyword mechanics returning. The scales range from 1-10 with 1 being something iconic or integral to the game and that will definitely return and 10 being something that will never return. The scales are typically named after the least-likely thing to return on that given scale. The major Rosewater Scales and what they rate are:

    • Storm Scale: the likelihood of keyword mechanics returning.
    • Rabiah Scale: the likelihood of returning to a particular plane or setting.
    • Venser Scale: the likelihood of planeswalker characters returning.
    • Beeble Scale: the likelihood of creature types returning.

    There is also a Gotcha Scale, or Un-Scale, ranking the likelihood of silver-border or “acorn” mechanics returning in supplemental products, and some other lesser scales.

    The Ratings Explained

    While the descriptive definitions of each of the ratings may change slightly based on the given scale and the attribute being rated, generally, the descriptions of the ratings as defined by Rosewater are as follows:

    1. Will definitely see again, most likely in the next set.
    2. Will definitely see again, but not necessarily right away.
    3. Will most likely do again, probably many times.
    4. Will most likely do again, but they have issues that make them less of a guarantee.
    5. We need to find the right place to bring it back, but I'm optimistic.
    6. We need to find the right place to bring it back, but I'm a little less optimistic.
    7. It's unlikely to return, but possible if the right environment comes along.
    8. It's unlikely to return, but possible if the stars align.
    9. I never say never, but this would require a minor miracle.
    10. I never say never, but this would require a major miracle.

    Now that we understand the scales, and how they are rated, what creature types are rated 10 on the Beeble Scale, and why do they have that rating?


    The namesake of the scale, Beebles owe their existence to illustrator Jeff Miracola. They were introduced into Magic in an indirect way—first appearing on the cover of Duelist Magazine issue 22 alongside the established character Squee—as illustrated by Miracola.

    duelist 22 cover

    The little pink critters swarming Squee are both cute and unsettling. Their round bodies, spindly appendages and demonic eyes are in contrast with their big ears and mischievous smiles.

    Exodus (1998)

    When he was assigned work for Exodus, Miracola had a chance to bring his little pink creations into the game itself on cards like Equilibrium and Nausea.

    equilibrium mtg

    The original art description for the card read:

    This spell allows you to unsummon one of your opponent’s creatures each time you summon one of your own. Represent this with scales, each overflowing with little critters. One is filling up while the other empties, and the scales are pulled into alignment.”

    Miracola drew the scales exactly as the art description asked, filling it with the same critters he’d created on the Duelist cover. On the card Nausea, Miracola played up the cuteness factor of his critters.


    The art description for the card read:

    Probably a good comedy piece. Maybe show a group of horrific creatures looking queasy because an unbearably cute thing has entered their presence. Or perhaps a group of Skyshroud elves has entered a Mogg warren and have stumbled upon (but preferably not into) the latrine!

    The flavor text of the card reinforced the cuteness factor: “Any mogg will tell you there’s nothing more nauseating than the smell of cute.” These cards not only brought the as-yet-unnamed Beebles into the game, but established their look as pink, puffy, cute, and a bit comical. They made an additional unnamed appearance in Miracola’s illustration of Wizard Mentor from Urza’s Saga, before finally earning their first card in Urza’s Legacy.

    wizard mentor art

    Urza’s Legacy (1999)

    bouncing beebles

    The illustration for Bouncing Beebles dialed the creatures’ cuteness factor to the max and revealed their penchant for mischief. They’re depicted in an unknown wizard’s laboratory, likely at the Tolarian Academy, messing around with some notable artifacts from Magic’s history. How many can you recognize?

    Not only did Bouncing Beebles finally give these creatures a name, combined with the previous card Wizard Mentor, it introduced into the lore the idea that Beebles were easily summoned, virtually indestructible creatures. This concepting makes Beebles akin to homunculi from real-world folklore and literature—with a Magic-specific spin.

    Urza’s Destiny (1999)

    A different breed of Beeble appeared in Urza’s Destiny. The blue-skinned Bubbling Beebles were either a larger breed of Beeble, or perhaps a larger pack of the critters, as indicated by their increased power and toughness. These blue-skinned Beebles made only two appearances, here, and on the Urza’s Destiny Sorcery Donate.

    Destiny was the last tournament-legal set to feature Beebles. Their next and all subsequent appearances were in the supplemental Un-sets, beginning with 2004’s Unhinged.

    Unhinged (2004)

    When Beebles returned to Magic after a four-year hiatus, they made three appearances, one with a new card of their own—the first Beeble-related card by an artist other than Jeff Miracola—and two guest appearances illustrated by Miracola himself.

    bursting beebles art mtg

    The David Martin illustrated Bursting Beebles stays true to the Miracola-style pink Beebles. There are so many in the illustration that they burst out and fall into the text box and elsewhere on the card. This sort of fourth wall breaking of the illustration—existing outside the image—frame is one of the things Un-sets are known for, and the Beebles are a perfect creature to play with this motif.

    Miracola’s Beeble-featured pieces in Unhinged also play with this motif, particularly on the card Topsy Turvy.

    topsy turvy mtg

    Everything in Topsy Turvy is upside down, The card frame, the card face in relation to the back of the card, and more. The image reflects this as a Beeble war party deals with a peculiar instance of gravity seemingly gone wrong. Note the swords falling outside the image frame, and how unclear it is which direction is up or down. Miracola’s other Beeble-related piece has both a bit of a fourth wall break, and a call-back to Magic lore.

    saute mtg

    At least one of the Beebles cooking in Sauté has fallen out of the pan and is at the bottom of the card frame. The living Beeble with its backside on fire looks as though it is also on its way out of the image frame on the card. Rather than a text box, we have a recipe card, and flavor text from The Underworld Cookbook on the cooking of Beebles. It’s a great nod to lore from the main Magic-verse, and a call back to classic cards like Granite Gargoyle, where The Underworld Cookbook first originated.

    granite gargoyle

    Since Unhinged, Beebles have made appearances in all subsequent silver border or “acorn” sets. While all have been fun cards, arguably the most interesting of these was their first appearance as a Planeswalker card in Unsanctioned.

    Unsanctioned (2020)

    bob bevy of beebles

    The “Bevy of Beebles” in the name nods back to Beeble cards of the past, and B.O.B. gives it a unique enough name to double as a planeswalker name on the type line. The best part about the card for me is it gave us this amazing Beeble Token:

    beeble token

    I love how angry the little critter looks, and the fork he wields as a weapon only adds to the charm.

    The Un-Beeble-lievable Conclusion

    It’s difficult to cite reasons why Beebles were removed from premiere (tournament legal) Magic sets. Perhaps they were too cutesy for the art aesthetic of Magic world building at the time? Whatever the reason, Beebles not only found a good home in the humorous Un-sets, but they also became the poster creature type for unlikely to return creature types. They’re not alone though. There are two other creature types that rank 10 on the scale, including one which was phased out of the game entirely. Join me next time when I look at the Lords and Minions of Magic and unpack what the heck was The Grand Creature Type Update.