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MTG head designer blames Magic misprints on the pandemic

Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater says a recent slew of misprinted MTG cards is caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic

MTG head designer blames misprints on pandemic - Wizards of the Coast art of Oko the Trickster

Misprints of Magic: The Gathering cards are a largely accepted (and often collected) part of the TCG. However, one fan drew attention to the increasing number of card errors through head designer Mark Rosewater’s blog on September 17. According to his response, MaRo reckons these additional abnormalities are caused by Covid-19.

“Is there a reason we’ve been seeing so many accidents in recent sets?” Tumblr user wildcardgamez asked Rosewater on Saturday. “Sheoldred and Jin-Gitaxias were missing the Phyrexian watermark, Karn’s missing his token, some borderless lands have the wrong name plate, Ajani’s Phyrexian text version using the wrong number font, among less obvious ones like artist miscredits.”

Wildcardgamez seems to be primarily talking about human error issues, which are caused in the design stage of a Magic card rather than when it’s printed and cut. “I can understand some issues with cards not being centred”, they said, “but it kind of feels like it’s being rushed through design”.

“We’re starting to see the effects of the pandemic” was Rosewater’s reply. “Everyone having to all of a sudden work at home caused lots and lots of new challenges.”

MTG head designer blames misprints on pandemic - Wizards of the Coast art of Angel's Grace

This isn’t the first time Rosewater has attributed problems at Magic HQ to the global pandemic. On July 5, he replied to Tumblr user pmotaviano’s call for Wizards to acknowledge MTG’s increasing supply chain issues. Several of this year’s MTG sets have been delayed, with both the MTG Warhammer crossover set and Unfinity release date being pushed back. “We do the best we can to adapt, but Covid and the many offshoot problems of it are still causing huge issues”, Rosewater said.

You can find Rosewater’s reply to wildcardgames and his conversation with pmotaviano on his Tumblr blog. If you’re in the business of following Magic: The Gathering, check out our deep dive on what MTG’s growth means for Local Game Stores. We also have a guide to The Brothers’ War release date to keep you up to speed.