Mark Rosewater, as I have noted before, really loves doubling-type effects on Magic cards. And really, the head of design isn't alone - what Magic player doesn't love doubling? The very word "double" is exciting - it's powerful, it raises the stakes, and it's just plain fun to do especially when ridiculously large numbers are involved. One of Mark's own favorite designs is Doubling Season, an example of the "grand slam" Timmy/Johnny/Spike psychographic appeal card. But if doubling is great, isn't taking it one step beyond even better?
That's the question one Tumblr user posed to Rosewater on his blog recently. When alexanderkrizak asked, "Sir, I know you have a fondness for doubling, but have you ever considered... tripling?" Rosewater said:
Oh, I’ve tripled. None of the cards have made it to print yet, but I haven’t given up the fight.
There is a lot of appeal in tripling since the number three shows up as something mystically significant in lots and lots of world cultures. The arguments for tripling are for the wow factor and pure over-the-topness; the arguments against include the possible inherent degeneracy of tripling anything (3 damage would turn to 9, for example) and the fact that the mental math is a bit more difficult than with doubling. There may have been cards like Burn at the Stake, which uses "three times" as a shorthand for "3 damage per," and Precursor Golem, which turns one spell targeting a Golem into three as long as it and the tokens it makes are the only Golems on the battlefield; but never a proper triple. Still, Mark may get his wish someday.