Five Years in the Making

Posted in Arcana on June 10, 2002

By Wizards of the Coast

Below is a snippet from issue 17 of The Duelist magazine, June 1997. For reference, this was right before Weatherlight and Fifth Edition were released.

The blurb refers to Olle Råde winning the Duelist Invitational and getting to design a card. Well, five years later, the card actually came out in Judgment - Sylvan Safekeeper.

So what happened? Why five years? Had he turned in a reasonable idea, the card would have probably appeared in Stronghold. But Olle was young and flippant, and he had no real interest in making a serious card. His first submission was World of Bums, , Enchant World. The card had no text. Its only purpose was to destroy other Enchant Worlds, which R&D stopped supporting after Visions.

His second attempt was some sort of permission spell that went to the top of its owners library upon resolution, instead of in the graveyard. Kind of like a reverse Memory Lapse. Needless to say, neither card made it very far.

After Olle saw how cool Avalanche Riders, Rootwater Thief, and Meddling Mage looked on their Invitational cards, he had a change of heart, and submitted something very close to Sylvan Safekeeper: a 1/1 for that could make a creature untargetable at the cost of returning a forest to your hand. The card was tweaked to fit in the Odyssey block by having it interact with threshold better, and was put into Judgment. Quite a wait!

In the art for Sylvan Safekeeper, Olle is shown riding a spider. This is an homage to his winning deck at Pro Tour - Columbus (Ice Age/Alliances constructed), which became his signature deck.

Olle Råde

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