Miscuts, misalignments, and NFCs

As I traded away my non-factory cut Transmute Artifacts a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that we've never talked about miscuts or sheet alignment errors here. So it's high time for a quick post about that. Let's start with the obligatory Chaos Orb example from the Orb binder:

The white bar at the top is the sheet edge. The error here is a misaligned back and shifted gold-border print.

Yeah, I personally can't do better than Collectors' Edition to showcase a shifted Chaos Orb. Turns out these things are kinda hard to come by if you are looking for a specific card from the ABU rare sheet. A particularly sweet thing with Chaos Orb however is that it is located at the top row of the sheet, and as such will show sheet edge if off-centered enough. There is at least one Alpha Chaos Orb (and I'm fairly sure at least one Unlimited copy) that shows sheet edge in addition to this CE copy. Could well be more, but the total population of Orbs showing sheet edge is probably not much larger than five. The Alpha one has a good home in Canada.

Supremely rad Chaos Orb. Picture stolen from correspondence with the owner.

Anyway, if that Orb would have been located in the middle of the sheet rather than at the top, these cards would probably have been considered "off-center" rather than "miscut". It depends a bit on which guy you ask, but in general the lingo seems to be "miscut" for any card that shows either another card on the sheet, a filler card, or sheet edge; and "off-center" for cards that are misaligned without showing anything more than crudely sized borders.

An off-center Clone. This particular card has by the way been in my collection for 26 years, and is one of my favorite cards.

If a card gets off-center enough, it will start showing the next card on the sheet. I somehow didn't own any cards with a straight miscut, so I'm blatantly stealing a picture I got in correspondence with a friend who collects Disintegrates as the example.


If you want to be extra cool, you might want to try and find the card(s) on the sheet that connect to a particular miscut. In the business, sets of connecting miscuts are often called "connectors".

Cool cool.

We could note here that these miscuts are technically a different type of error than stock loading errors. Stock loading errors occur when the paper stock is loaded improperly. This will often lead to errors that look very much like miscuts, but only on one side of the card (front or back, rather than front and back). Other times the back might be upside down, and on very rare occasions the wrong front or back may be loaded (like with the Magic-front Wyvern cards or Harry Potter-backed Magic cards). Around the release of Weatherlight, I randomly found a Shadow Rider with its back severly miscut and flipped upside down in a booster at the local store. Pretty cool error for 14-year old me, but not really for this post. Miscuts, on the other hand, occur as the name suggests when there's a problem with the cutting. Most of the time it means that the sheet (or blades) are in the wrong position when the cards are cut, but I've heard the term used for errors caused by using the wrong type of blades as well (like the Alpha-cut 4th Edition cards, or square cornered cards).

Though most people would classify this as a "corner error" rather than a miscut. Stole this pic from an ebay listing.

The most common miscuts appear to be vertical, i.e. off-centered from top to bottom, but horizontal miscuts also exist in reasonable numbers. A slightly rarer occurrence are "twisted" miscuts, where the card is miscut at an angel. These cards may have been cut up really badly, and occasionally don't even have the correct card shape (referred to as "skewed" miscuts by some people in the know). A twisted miscut can also be an exception to the "must show another card to be considered a true miscut" rule, as twisted miscuts are pretty rad even when they only show one card.

Have had a good history with this twisted Incubator in various Thrull decks. The Metalworker from this sheet is probably pretty expensive.

The next level up after horizontal, vertical, and twisted miscuts are miscuts that show more than two cards. These are very, very rare and look wild. According to the good folks over at MisprintedMtg the number of times this has occured can roughly be counted on our fingers and toes, and the known sheets where it has happened are French FBB Revised, Fallen Empires, Homelands, Weatherlight, Mirage, 4th Edition, Ice Age, Japanese Shards of Alara, Battle for Zendikar, Eldrich Moon, Magic Origins, Dragons of Tarkir, Amonkhet, Commander 2020, Jumpstart, and M21. You may note that Antiquities is not among those sets. So what was going on with those Transmute Artifacts

Or this Strip Mine?

Yeah, so those are what are known as Non-Factory Cut (or Not Factory Cut) cards, aka NFCs. This is a case where a guy (in this particular scenario, Eli Kassis) got his hands on some uncut sheets, thought it would be rad to create some home-made bling, and cut them up professionally with intentional sheet misalignment. And I bought a few cards from him when he did, to have as curiosities.

As old school sets go, the only "Swedish legal" set with standard corner NFC cards is Antiquities. I believe a small handful common sheets and four (possibly five) uncommon sheets have been cut up with varied craftsmanship. Price tags for playable or iconic cards may vary, but if the card is professionally cut, fits well in inner sleeves, and looks rad, a 3x or 4x multiplier compared with the normal Aq version is not an unreasonable starting point. Supply, demand, and all that.

NFCs can be a bit controversial in the general Magic community. Some people think they look cool and offer a fun way to bling out their decks. And not many of them exists after all, so they certainly come with some personality. Others may think that NFCs are less than correctly cut cards - as they aren't legit misprints - and may argue that their very existence water down the impact of the exceptionally rare real four-card miscuts. I personally think they look pretty neat, though I don't play them much myself these days and I do get where the controversy comes from. Bling is, as always, in the eye of the beholder. If you want to learn more about NFCs (or misprints in general), I highly recommend this article from MisprintMtg.

Wrapping up today with an old Vintage deck from Kalle. An unquestionably fancy pile with a handful of NFCs.


  1. Great post, always get happy when i see pimped out cards :) //Jhovalking


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