Tuesday, 08 September 2020 11:50

Phoenix Heart: Richard Garfield's special marriage card

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Artwork for the special Richard Garfield celebration card, Phoenix Heart. Artwork for the special Richard Garfield celebration card, Phoenix Heart. WOTC/DREW TUCKER

Previously on Magic Untapped, we have highlighted some of the rare, more personal cards made especially for Magic: the Gathering creator Richard Garfield. First there was Proposal, a 1993 card used during a marriage proposal to his first wife, Lily Wu. Then, in 1997, there was Splendid Genesis and, two years later, 1999's Fraternal Exaltation -- each of which were used to celebrate the births of his two children.

For the longest time, a running joke by Mark Rosewater that he only had one more special card to be made, Eulogy, available upon his death. But, as it turned out, life had a different way.

Let's fast forward to 2015. No Garfield-based celebration card had been published in 16 years and such special cards have become only more rare due to Wizards of the Coast generally shying away from them. However, a new big life event was on the horizon for Garfield. He had once again fallen in love and was getting married to his second wife, Koni Kim. Instead of regular invitations, they wanted theirs to have a little bit more of a flair. And because he's pretty much the only person in company history to create multiple personal cards, he rang up WotC with an odd-yet-also-normal request.

GAMEPEDIA

The result was Phoenix Heart. As his previous personal cards had been blue, white, and green, a red card had been decided on this time around. The card was also, like the others, intensely personalized, with the rules text reading "Koni and Richard continue the game and play all games as partners forever."

A favorite quote by the Persian poet, Rumi, was also added to make it all the more special.

Only a few hundred of the cards were made with each card being included in the wedding invitation. Due to the limited run, it joined his other personal cards as being some of the hardest cards to find out there on the market. After they got married on Aug. 29, 2015, in Washington state, news of further Garfield cards has gone silent, as no more children are (likely) planned and no other really big event is foreseen on the horizon.

As Mark Rosewater said, there's only really one more left to do and it would be in the lone color Garfield hasn't yet had a card made: a black-colored Eulogy. But we likely (hopefully) won't be seeing that for decades to come.