MTG at 30: A Brief Look at Magic's Early Misprints

Going on three decades now, Magic has had their share of misprints.  Here are some of the game's earliest.

With Magic: The Gathering going on three decades now, it should be of little surprise that the game has had its share of misprints.

Fallen Empires, for an example, had a pretty infamous incident where a handful of the cards  were accidentally printed with card backs for another collectible card game of its time: Wyvern.

While Wizards of the Coast has gotten better about not having many reprints in the time since (though, there are exceptions), there were a number of little "oopsies" throughout in the game's early years.

Just to name a few:

In the original printing of Death Ward, the art is credited to Dan Frazier instead of Mark Poole.  It was fixed for Beta.

In fact, there were a number of artist credit errors in Alpha (and beyond), including artist Douglas Shuler's last name being misspelled as "Schuler" on every card he illustrated from Alpha through Unlimited, finally being fixed in Revised.

A few cards don't have their normal mana symbols on them within their text boxes as they should, instead using the shorthand (such as "G" for green mana and "B" for black mana) in their place.

Sometimes, it's a creature's power and toughness that get misprinted, such as the case with the Anthologies printing of Mirri, Cat Warrior.

Other times, it's a key error with a card's casting cost.  Sometimes, it was the wrong cost, as with Orcish Artillery, or lacking a casting cost altogether, such is the case with the original printing of Cyclopean Tomb.

And who could forget just total mishaps such as the blue (rather than green) Hurricane and the Revised version of Serendib Efreet, a blue creature, being printed with the art and card frame of Ifh-Biff Efreet, a green creature.

And these are just some of the English language misprints.  Foreign language cards add a whole new level with cards such as the German "Skeleswamp" and the Spanish "Serra Elemental."

 You can check out some of those on Squt's Magic Misprint webpage.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.