Editor’s introduction: Chapter III of our very special Magic Oddica by Keith Adams, aka TheMisprintGuy. On this chapter, Keith introduces us to the Wyvern backed cards; a very rare type of misprint. We have to aware you guys, from this chapter on, the Oddica is going to turn more and more bizarre!
TheMisprintGuy Magic Oddica – Chapter III: Wyvern backed cards.
An exceptional way to get a customer to try a different product that you are offering is to cross promote something. And Wizards of the Coast did just that. Problem is, this was done purely by accident. What I am talking about are some mistakes commonly referred to as “Wyvern backs.”
In 1994, Carti Mundi was manufacturing several different card games. Two of these games were Wyvern and Magic: the Gathering. Due to a rare mistake at the printing press, several cards were made that combined these two games. Each card had Wyvern’s traditional card back, along with Magic’s card front. All cards made with this error are commons from the Fallen Empires expansion.
While it is uncertain how many – if any- were caught & destroyed at the printing press, a significant of these cards found their way into their way into Wyvern product. The only confirmed product is Wyvern’s Premier Limited Edition starter decks. These errors did not get packaged into Magic’s Fallen Empires’ expansion, which effectively means that the misprint is the front of the card, not the back.
The print run on these misprinted cards is large enough that several copies of each common (including the artwork variations) exist. Also, due to the fact that that the market for Wyvern has effectively dried up, many Magic collectors willing to take a risk have purchased unopened starters at discount prices in hopes of finding some rare Magic cards in them. The likelihood is small, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying!
Imagine had Wyvern survived as a popular card game. This would effectively doubled the popularity of these exceedingly rare type of misprints. Perhaps a card like Hymn to Tourach would have fit well in your Wyvern deck!
Lastly, here is a video where I elaborate on this subject, and show you a card like this from my own collection!