On August 5th, 1993, something magical happened (sorry for that, but the opportunity was there), Magic the Gathering was released to the world. Created by Richard Garfield, who designed the game during his free time while at the University of Pennsylvania, Magic has gathered (sorry again) millions of followers across the world since its inception. It is printed in eleven languages, and Magic the Gathering singles and decks are collected by competitive players and straight up fans of the art as well.
While there are countless facts, tidbits, and rumors about the game, in this post we’ll give you a few interesting facts that you might not know about the game. If you’re currently looking for a place that sells singles and decks, drop by our store in Wallingford, CT, or simply shop our online store!
Alpha Had Quite a Few Errors
The first base set of the game, it’s pretty understandable that there would be a few mistakes. Actually called the Limited Edition Alpha (but nicknamed simply Alpha), the set was much more simple than what we have today. There was no direct storyline, but the creativity was evident from day one. Amongst the misprints were cards that had the wrong mana cost (or no mana cost at all), Elvish Archers had a 1/2 instead of 2/1, and two cards did not have their card type labeled! Originally, tournament play let you play each card as written meaning, which is why Orcish Oriflamme became restricted.
It Was Almost Called Mana Clash
Garfield always intended to call it Magic, but as the release date became near, a lawyer had let him know that “Magic” was too broad of a term, with too many popular uses, that it would be nearly impossible to copyright the name. So for a bit the game was going to be called Mana Clash (not terrible, but we doubt that MTG would have had the immediate and ever growing popularity that it does). But even among the developers, they still referred to the game as Magic. So, in order to get past copyright issues, they needed to come up with an addition that would make the name exclusive. Hints why it is called Magic The Gathering. Garfield also intended the name to rotate with the different sets that came out, but Magic The Gathering had already stuck amongst its fans, and it made no sense to change anything.
Constructed Deck Size Was Originally 40 Cards
When Alpha was first released, there wasn’t a 60 card minimum like there is today. This was due to the fact that there just weren’t that many cards, so having a 60 card deck to play didn’t make much sense. There was also no limit to how many copies you could use. Boy have times changed.
“Stasis” Had A Unique Illustrator
Extremely difficult to get your hands on, Stasis has become a very known card in the MTG universe. One of the reasons for this is its backstory. While Richard Garfield was in the middle stages of developing Magic The Gathering, he asked his aunt for a favor. His aunt just happened to be a known artist in the art community. If you look closely, you’ll see “fj93” on the card. Her name was Fay Jones, and as we know, the game was released in 1993.
The Rarest of the Rare
There are two cards in MTG that have only been printed once. This makes them the rarest of all Magic The Gathering singles. One, the 1996 World Champion card, became part of the trophy for the winner of the World Championship in 1996. The other is the Shichifukujin Dragon. This was made to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Japan.
The Dragon’s Lair
You can find everything MTG related that your heart desires at The Dragon’s Lair Shop. From singles and decks, to trinkets and collectibles, you’ll find it here. We also sell board games, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Star Wars: Destiny, game workshops, special events, and so much more! Be sure to stop in today or shop online, and get in touch if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Magic! We look forward to hearing from you!