The Story Of The Tempest Typo

Illus: April Lee

Sometimes card errors in Magic: The Gathering work out for the best.

By the time the Tempest expansion came out in late 1997, Magic was starting to get into the groove of things. All the early misprints and things were now getting checked regularly in later expansions. After all, Alpha had a ton just four years beforehand, even screwing up the names of artists on cards.

Four years later was a long time to be better about things like that.

However, in Tempest, there was one mistake that was actually seen as pretty beneficial and kept. The card was Intuition and it's easy to see why it is so popular.

An instant at three mana (2U), it lets its caster search their library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. That person then choses one of those cards for the caster to put into their hand, while sending the other two to the graveyard.

So where does the typo come in?

Well, originally Intuition was to to fetch three cards with different names. However, during playtesting, there was a typo and the different names clause never made it onto the card. R&D loved it and it just kind of stuck, according to Magic head designer Mark Rosewater during a talk he gave during MagicCon Barcelona in 2023.

What was a pretty good card became of the most desired of the expansion, and decades later, is still pretty beloved overall. In fact, for some Legacy and Vintage decks, it's a staple.

As for a fetch cards with different names, that card would come to play later on. Developers always kept in mind that exact wording, and, in 2004 with the Champions of Kamigawa expansion, it was brought forward through the card Gifts Ungiven.

Really, it was kind of just created as sort of a "This could have totally still have worked if there wasn't that typo." reason.  Take a look:

For many players, it should come to little surprise that a playtest card got somehow screwed up with wonderful things happening in the wake of all of it. But, as card development goes for creating future competitive cards, it really did the trick.

Or, at the very least, it made a really cool card become even better.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.