Duelist Issue One, Winter 1994, Part 2

Recently I received the first issue of The Duelist in the mail from a friend who lent it to me to write a post on it. There’s actually a lot of content in it so I decided to post it into two separate parts.  I also have some extra responsibilities this summer so my free time is limited and breaking it up into two parts made it easier for me to get some material out on this blog this summer. Check out part one if you haven’t already.

In the last post we ended with the interview with teen movie cool guy Anson Maddocks. Today we’re going to start with the next article titled, “Lost in the Shuffle: The musings of Richard Garfield” in which he talks about what he defines as “wild” Magic and “structured” Magic.


Garfield’s definitions of “wild” and “structured” were a bit different than I was expecting. My expectation for “wild” was right but I had expected “structured” to simply reference to tournament play. Then I remembered this magazine came out in the winter of 1994… This article also continues on the theme of considering power winning decks to be boring because it keeps players from having fun with the game – or at least as much fun as they could have. Although Garfield does claim that it’s also fun to play as the underdog with the odds against you. I agree with that. How fun is it when you have your jank deck beat the control or U/R counter-burn deck? Those sorts of things are rare and it really comes down to luck on your part and bad luck on the opponents, but it’s pretty fun what that sort of thing happens. I think it’s fun even when I’m the one that loses in that situation.

Next up is “Magic Conundrums: A Look at Magic: The Gathering’s Most Confusing Cards.” This is the first of many articles like this that were needed to clear up confusion on how certain cards were supposed to be played.


The section on Twiddle and Icy Manipulator were pretty interesting because I always saw tapping a card as the cause of the effects of the card. I knew that both Twiddle and Icy didn’t cause any effects or abilities to happen but when I tapped my cards for mana or any abilities, I saw that action as what released those abilities or effects rather than just seeing tapping as an indicator that the card has been used. Pretty interesting. It makes more sense to see tapping as an indication.


Let’s look at the Chaos Orb section. This is great: “there are no rules against setting up your playing area at the outset of a duel in a way that makes using the Orb difficult, like tapping your cards to the wall or placing them around the room.” Fortunately today we have new errata on this! The best is the conclusion: “Usually, though, there isn’t much to worry about when the Orb comes in play because few people can drop it with any accuracy.” Fast forward to 2017 and witness serious Orb flipping talent.


According to Mr. Pling…who is Mr. Pling? Whoever he is he has the scoop on the upcoming Deckmaster games. I’m pretty sure Vampire: The Masquerade was released but was Netrunner and Middle-Earth ever released?


Coming next issue…Mezlok’s Challenge. I’ll try to get my hands on that issue at some point.


Back in the early 90s when Magic was the only thing of its kind…



UPDATE: New Magic expansion coming out in February! Antiquities!


Wait! There’s more! Legends is coming out in April!

Alright now we have some questions for Mr. Toad, the Magic: The Gathering master sage. Ask him all your questions  and learn from him young grasshopper. The first question is from a “fool” named Snark. Let’s check it out.


I’m absolutely putting together a red burn deck and calling it Backyard Barbecue. Forks included of course. What a goofy, awesome name. Now we also know the Original Sin of Magic: mono-colored decks. Turns out i’m quite the sinner.

Below we have a story form of a Magic match between to players at GenCon 93.


There’s not a whole lot interesting in the rest of the magazine but I’ll sign out here and post the pictures below. Next post will be another first issue of an early 90s magazine! Enjoy!




8 thoughts on “Duelist Issue One, Winter 1994, Part 2

  1. I remember how excited I was when I realized that What’s New was in the back of the Duelist. I’m pretty sure I own the collected editions from the Dragon and from the Duelist.


    1. That’s awesome, I just looked up The Dragon. I had never heard of it but it goes way back. Seems pretty cool. It would be awesome to flip through a 70s issue.


  2. The discussion on Illusionary Mask was also interesting. It was originally designed as a way to bluff creatures. I could see it in a White Weenie deck that has a top end curve like Serra Angel where you can pay 5 on a White Knight to bluff out a Swords or something on a meaningless creature instead of the Serra that is in your hand. Unfortunately it’s now used to cheat things like Phyrexian Dreadnought into play instead. I prefer the original intent.


  3. Yeah that would be cool to see someone play it in a white weenie. I’ve never seen it played actually but I would love to try it. It’s a great looking card if nothing else.


  4. Exciting to see from the upcoming releases section that they planned to make revised gray-bordered. What if unlimited were the only ever white-bordered set? That crisp pure white-bordered originals would sure be considered awesome.


      1. Originally, they started working on Revised as soon as Beta was sent to Carta Mundi for printing. They immediately realized that some cards were to powerful or confusing, and wanted to cut those from the set along with fixing the rules wording on all the cards, especially getting rid of mono/poly artifacts by adding activation costs to the rules text. This set wasn’t called “Revised” yet, it didn’t quite have an official name, but had several different internal names, including “Regathering”. They wanted the set to have gray borders so that you could tell it apart from the collectible limited edition. This set would not be limited or collectible, they intended to print it forever as long as people were willing to buy it, which is where the “Unlimited” name came from. However, Beta sold out before this set was ready to print, and WotC had to come up with a short term solution. They really didn’t want to print a white border Unlimited set at all, but they had to do it as a white bordered duplicate of the Beta set just to keep product in the stores. It was the fastest and easiest thing to do. They tried to only print enough Unlimited cards to last until the gray border Revised set would be finished. However, Revised was positioned as just a continuation of Unlimited, and they thought they could rotate cards in and out anytime they wanted since it was going to be available forever. It was the beginning of the concept of having a core set, they just didn’t view it as having different editions yet. Since Unlimited had been printed with white borders, for product consistency the gray borders were dropped from Revised cards. They decided that only limited edition cards would have black borders, and unlimited edition (core sets and reprints) would all be white bordered. They were still figuring stuff out in those early days, and sometimes things changed so fast that not everyone could keep up with what was going on.


  5. Are there other people who have scans of The Duelist magazine?
    You can contact me by email:

    jessica.jones.unitedkingdom (at) gmail.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s