Magic: The Gathering Designer Reveals The Story Behind Edgar Markov Playtest Card

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Have you ever wondered how Magic: The Gathering cards were initially designed? What's the story behind them?


Over on Twitter, Senior Magic: The Gathering Designer Gavin Verhey has released a new video in which he talks about the story behind the "Edgar Markov" playtest card. Before it was printed for Commander 2017, Verhey was working on the Vampires Commander 2017 deck, and the initial design for the Mardu-colored legendary vampire creature looks quite different from the final version.

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"Well, I was working on the vampires deck at the time and trying to figure out who could helm it, and I went to Kelly Digges in Creative, and I asked him, 'Who would make sense as the leader of the vampires?' He thought for a second, and came back with Edgar Markov, the progenitor on Vampires of Innistrad."

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Watch the video below:

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Verhey reveals that "Coach" was the playtest name for the "Eminence" ability becaause "coach is on the sidelines helping out." The "Edgar Markov" playtest card started off as a six-mana 5/5 with an three-mana activated ability that puts a +1+1 counter on all the Vampires that attacked this turn, but he scrapped that ability entirely, and gave it Haste and First Srike, and the ability that gives +1+1 counter on each Vampire you control whenever it attacks. The creature's power and toughness were also changed to 4/3 and its mana cost was 5 mana at one point, but was ultimately changed to a 4/4 creature for 6 mana cost.

Here are the playtest card and the final version of the "Edgar Markov" card: :

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Verhey also released another video giving us a look at the history of the MTG playtest cards. He reveals how they started to use blanks as playtest cards but now have a tool to get cards printed easily on the card. Watch the video below:

What do you think about Verhey's new videos about the "Edgar Markov" playtest card and the video about the history of MTG playtest cards? Let us know in the comments section below. Recently, Verhey also shared a couple of videos revealing some hints for the upcoming Ikoria Commander decks.


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