Extra Pulled and magazine cards

When I first started playing, "local rarity" was a real thing. A card like Island Fish Jasconious wasn't that impressive (even though it was huge) simply because we had opened like four of them. You probably couldn't even get a dual for it if you tried. But you'd probably get like five Sol Rings for a single Clone in that crew circa early 1995, as we somehow had opened a bunch of Sol Rings and barely any Clones, even though they had the same "global rarity". A Clone was like three duals in trade.

Local rarity doesn't come up much these days, with the all the internets and whatnot. If I want something rare, it is more often a matter of cost than a matter of effort. There are of course objects that hit both, like a crimped Chaos Orb or a signed Fellwar Stone, and I'd even argue that if something Magic-related takes a lot of effort to find we'll probably also have to pay up. But not this mail day. I've searched amazon and had email notifications on ebay for this one for actual years, and I still think I kinda overpayed at $15. This is garbage in the eyes of most everybody, but it was supremely locally rare. So I pretty much had to wait for someone from a place where it was locally common to eventually bother listing it, and then just snipe.


Ah, Inquest #61.

A seemingly random card magazine from May 2000. That's Mercadian Masques era, smack dab in the middle of Premodern. Not very oldschool as these things go. And my endgame is to apply some scissors to the magazine. It is time for a brief history of magazine cards.

Magazine cards basically started with Inquest #22 in February 1997. There had been some sort of previous reader-submitted fantasy cards in e.g. Scrye before that, but those were mainly random crafts of bored players taking scissors and glue to the fringe corners of their collections. The proper (and card sized) fantasy cards started with Inquest's foray into the sixth color of Magic in early 1997.

Purple Magic.

Inquest often showed their fantasy cards in dedicated articles, like this one called Altered States:

Yeah, there's the White Lotus and blue Shivan Dragon.

Some issues, like one focused on the Pokemon craze, instead had altered cards spread out in the magazine. Here's a Pokemon Atog hanging out in the middle of a card spoiler in that issue:

Again, actual card size, so just cut out and glue on top of your regular Atog.

Fantasy cards became immensely popular, and The Duelist (WotC's official magazine) shortly jumped on the wagon with a section called Extra Pulled. Here they provided mostly "joke cards", but also some real cards with out-of-universe flavor and art, like this Wrath of God:

1999 called and want their Dogma jokes back. Also, 2005 called and want their "1999 called" jokes back.

A lot of the fantasy cards are almost hilariously dated, to the extent that they become fun again:

"NetDecker" was once a slur.

Though a few of the Extra Pulled cards are dated in a way that is more cringy than hilarious, in particular regarding sex jokes.

Yeah, they made this in the official Magic magazine. And the expansion symbol is a pair of underwear.

That fantasy card helped me understand why Magic was mostly a boys-only thing in the 90s. Though I guess that a few cards they actually printed could have pointed me in that direction as well.

"1998 was a different time."

But even in the late 90s The Duelist did have some sense of woke, and the top cringy cards as nerd sexuality goes are provided by Inquest.

Yeah, this is a bit harder to look at now that I've actually had sex.

Here's another Atog card for all ya'll collectors! There are at least four problems here though. Fourth of which, isn't it the Atog who is the panty raider in the picture?

So a kinda interesting thing with that Lara Croft is the whole IP crossover. And there are scores of fantasy cards with non-Magic IPs:

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer



Star Wars

The Walking Dead

Alternative arts with strange flavor and fanboy-style IP crossovers? Yeah, Extra Pulled and Inquest Fantasy were basically Secret Lair and Universes Beyond two decades early. Even the underwear expansion symbol from Extra Pulled is a dead ringer for the underwear holofoil of Universes Beyond:

And Inquest even did both Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons back in the day:

Lord of the Rings

Dungeons and Dragons

I'm not sure I have a point here. And I think I went to far into contemporary Magic and got a bit sad. Time Spiral Remastered looks pretty wizard though. And I ain't leaving just because they take mediocre jokes from the late 90s and decide to make them a black bordered product line. Here's a spread of Arabian Nights to cheer me up:

I'm sorry I got mad at you Magic, you're awesome. Let's hang out and play some Magic later.

So anyway, the magazine cards often referred iconic cards from the 93/94 era, like the Atogs and Shivan Dragon above. And that's where we come in. Few cards were more iconic and lent itself to jokes better than Chaos Orb, and the Orb was referenced in no less than four different issues. So I had to track down four different 20+ year old Magic magazines that were mainly released six to nine time zones away for a trivia page in the Chaos Orb binder. That Inquest #61 was the last one.

Negligible global price, high local rarity.

As I'm a bit lazy, I've only cut out two of them yet.

8th Edition style Chaos Orb from Inquest #100, Orb of Mellowness from The Duelist #32, Order Orb from Inquest #45 and Pokéball Chaos Orb from Inquest #61.

So that's magazine fantasy cards. An odd remnant of paper magazines and 90s nerd humor, from an era before the common man had access to things like Magic Set Editor. And a strange mirror to look at in 2021, when a lot of the jokes became reality. For those of us skeptical to WotC's new direction on intellectual property, it might be comforting to know that some sort of "Universes Beyond" has pretty much always been a part of Magic culture, and not only via cards like Frankenstein's Monster and Ali Baba. Maybe it's us getting older, not the game.


  1. I remember making home made cards in the mid 90s, it was a good time. I used art cut out of Wizard magazine for cards featuring The Crow, Witchblade and Cable, making card frames in MS Paint and then gluing them to basic lands. I also recall a Conan the Cimmerian cutout card illustrated by Ed Beard, Jr., was it in one of the issues from this article?

    1. Very crafty! And super fun to hear about people who actually cut out and played these :) I'm kinda tempted to add e.g. Orb of Mellowness to the drinking cube myself.

  2. I answered my own question. Here’s a link to all the Inquest cards. I recognized several of them as cards I cut out and played with http://magic.flaminio.com/magic/rarities-fantasy-inquest-lol.html

  3. Sir Magnus! Reading this awesome post inspired me to finally upload the fantasy set I mocked up last Summer; my own take on Spectral Chaos. We've been playing with the set sealed at the weekly HIVE UK web meet ups using print-at-home digitally randomised PDF boosters (encouraging aspects of play long lost to the sands of time; namely the fine art of trading and the brutal art of ante), but it's time to set it free: https://photos.app.goo.gl/m6TuJK8CxqA1Yids8

    1. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

    2. These cards look awesome, thank you for sharing!

    3. Fantastic work Stu, thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  4. This is ridiculous lol - "first player to tap dirty blonde wins the game".. What were these people thinking and how could they ever have gotten away with it - it's not really that long ago! The sheer level.. I had no idea these cards existed. Went from action fantasy to creepy huddled laughter real quick. Good thing we're sticking to '94 and before


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