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This week's Ask Wizards comes from our archives!
Q: "Take the nearest Magic card you've got. Flip it over. You see the 'Deckmaster' label near the bottom? Look at the letters 'TER'. Notice something? There's a blue/purple mark right there! Is there any reason that's there? Defective printing plates? Evil government conspiracy to brainwash people through a careful message conveyed through it? Was it a fluke, or was it part of some sort of promotion?"
- Jonathan Choi.
A: From Worth Wollpert, Research & Development:
"I noticed that when I first started playing as well. Up until your question I really had no idea, but I asked around and some old-timers helped me out with the answer. According to Sr. VP Skaff Elias, the purple line through the word Deckmaster (Specifically through the T and R) was simply a printing error -- a stray pen-mark, really -- that was never caught and corrected. As you know, it's very important that the backs of Magic cards are all uniform, so it was never changed. On a related note, I think one of you guys should write in and ask someone (probably Richard) about the day the card backs in Arabian Nights almost changed..."