Why Does WotC No Longer Print "Vanity Cards?"

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Posted on Jan. 12, 2019, 9:37 a.m. by DemonDragonJ

In the early days of M:tG, WotC occasionally printed cards that were known as "vanity cards," because they were modeled after or clearly inspired by employees of WotC, with two well-known examples being Maro and Erhnam Djinn . However, WotC no longer prints such cards, so I am wondering why that is. Did they believe that it was too arrogant to have "vanity cards?" What does everyone else say about this?

Kederekt says... #2

The boros legion is named after the artist I think. I did notice that though.

January 12, 2019 10:40 a.m.

JakeHarlow says... #3

@ Kederekt:

Really? I didn’t know that. That’s interesting. I always knew that Zoltan Boros had the same name as the guild, but I always thought it was by coincidence.

January 12, 2019 10:56 a.m.

Kederekt says... #4

I suppose it could be. Strange coincidence with such an uncommon name.

January 12, 2019 11:42 a.m.

Kederekt says... #5

Also, Emmara Tandris is modeled after a famous cosplayer whose name I can’t remember.

January 12, 2019 4:12 p.m.

Ryjo says... #6

Here's the answer from Mark Rosewater

January 12, 2019 4:38 p.m.

Demarge says... #7

so no vanity cards because Maro wanted to be one of the only employees, or got some bullying from staff later about it?

Also I believe wotc also wants to avoid vanity cards in case the person the vanity card is based on gets bad press or ends up banned for life. Though still weird they used Kibler for a black kill spell in return to innistrad block (it at least looks like him when he was heavily active in his 2nd run of mtg).

January 13, 2019 7:35 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #8

Demarge, has that ever happened (that a person with a vanity card was banned from events or otherwise did something wrong)?

January 13, 2019 9:09 a.m.

Demarge says... #9

DemonDragonJ not that I know of, but given various controversies it wotc would probably find it a correct move to avoid the chances of such a thing happening, especially since it's a company owned by a toy mega company.

January 14, 2019 1:42 a.m.

Boza says... #10

I thought that Maro's answer meant to say that vanity cards are a source of envy in the team and can create situations where people creating the set always want vanity cards made in there, thus influencing the set design.

I do not think it has anything to do with someone's reputation getting tarnished later on getting bad press. They have had that in the past - artist on the card Invoke Prejudice had a lot of white supremacist views, for example - but Wizards just quietly dropped him as an artist, instead of something like recalling all copies of the card. Ie bad press is not the cause of lack of vanity cards.

January 14, 2019 8:58 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

Boza, the artist was a white supremacist, and illustrated a card named "invoke prejudice?" There is no way that that is not a coincidence.

January 14, 2019 5:54 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #12

Boza, the artist was a white supremacist, and illustrated a card named "invoke prejudice?" There is no way that that is a coincidence.

January 14, 2019 5:56 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #13

Sorry for the double post, but my browser was having problems.

January 14, 2019 5:57 p.m.

Boza says... #14

This thread can give you a glimpse into Harold McNeil's views.

You can also find his website (read the thread first to determine if you want to go to his website even).

Despite his dark, abstract art, the main message of figures with pointy hoods are quite in the forefront of Invoke Prejudice .

In general, he was a pretty weird dude, but he did illustrate a lot of cards. However, that was 20 years ago, which was a different time and magic was still dealing with being a game for summonning the devil.

January 15, 2019 2:41 a.m.

gnarlicide says... #15

I know they used to make card for people that won the World Magic Championships. You got cards like the original Dark Confidant , Ranger of Eos ... stuff like that. I heard through the grapevine that if you won, you got to design the card and have your likeness put on there. That was until the dude that created Snapcaster Mage fucked it all up. Apparently, he wanted to be a really good card. And WotC fought with him tooth and nail. Snapcaster is what we got for having a REALLY stubborn pro player from what I heard, like, 10 years ago.

January 25, 2019 6:25 a.m.

Boza says... #16

Read all about the invitational tournament here.

The invitational was discountinued long before Snapcaster Mage was designed or even before Tiago Chan won the last edition. .

January 26, 2019 7:09 p.m.

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