Return of the Alpha Playtest Cards

Posted in Arcana on August 31, 2010

By Monty Ashley

You know, it's been awhile since we took a look at Magic's earliest collectibles: the Alpha playtest cards. And there are still some fascinating tidbits in there. So let's get moving!

This, of course, is Mox Jet. And like some of the other cards, it had jokey clip art. The joke is enhanced in this case by including a dialogue balloon explicitly commenting on the joke itself!

How would Magic be different if Ancestral Recall were called "Ancestral Memory"? Well, probably not much.

You remember Demonic Attorney, right? It looks like this:

Demonic Attorney

Technically, this is part of one of the few first-turn kills in Alpha (Swamp, Black Lotus, Demonic Attorney, opponent concedes rather than ante another card—okay, it's a bit of a cheat) but the really interesting part is the sentence that got cut from the playtest card. "The game will now count double" didn't really mean anything back before a "match" was defined as "best two out of three games," but it would be fascinating now!

What card could this be? Can you guess? Here's a hint: it's not a unicorn of any sort. Click here to see.

In fact, it's the back of the card! So it could be anything. Maybe even a unicorn, which means that the hint could have been completely wrong. Sorry about that. Anyway, from now on, whenever you see an Alpha playtest card, just know that there's a unicorn on the other side.

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