Valkyries and Angel Tokens: A Modern Magic Misprint

This may come as a surprise to many, but Magic: The Gathering misprints are not exactly a thing of the past.

In early Magic history, several cards had very similar wordings, abilities, or otherwise effects. While playtests caught many of these redundancies or mistakes, several slipped through still.

As time went on, things were tightened up. Cards that did largely the same thing or had curiously similar abilities largely went by the wayside. But, as with most things, sometimes something still slips in the cracks.

And that brings us to the angel token debacle.

The year is 2021. COVID remote work is still underway at most major companies, so there's a risk that not everything was as tight as it used to be. This included MTG.

In February of that year, the Norse-themed Kaldheim set came ou and, while there were some very limited in-person playtesting being done, a lot of it was done online. And, with all the teams not 100%, something did get through.

So here is the situation.

Four cards in Kaldheim created angel tokens. However, unusually, two of the cards allowed for angel warrior tokens and the other two non-warrior angel tokens. Doesn't seem like a big slip up, but a division of similar creatures by tokens just doesn't happen. Until right then and there.

One card in question was Valkyrie Harbinger a six- mana angel cleric scoring at a 4/5. It stated that "At the beginning of each end step, if you gained 4 or more life this turn, create a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying and vigilance."

The other was Rampage of the Valkyries, a five-mana enchantment. According to that card "When Rampage of the Valkyries enters the battlefield, create a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying and vigilance. Whenever an Angel you control dies, each other player sacrifices a creature.

For Magic, that was a lot of strange tokens put into two cards. Players quickly questioned this, wondering what happened. Well, it was what everyone figured out. It was deemed an "oversight" by Mark Rosewater. More accurately, the remote work of COVID caused a misprint to happen.

Nevertheless, the cards remained unchanged in future updates, turning what was a bug into a feature. To many, the different tokens actually fit well into the theming of the expansion and created some unique challenges for players.

While it wasn't exactly the biggest mistake in Magic history, it was a rare modern one, and one that just stuck around at that.

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.