The Dirty Joke In 'Magic: The Gathering' That Barely Anyone Noticed For 20 Years
You know it for its fantastical monsters, it’s wild combos, it’s complex gameplay and hey let’s face it, pricey entrance barrier. When you think of Magic: The Gathering what doesn’t come to mind is a good old fashioned BJ joke. That’s why it’s shocking to see a card featuring a cleverly hidden little afternoon delight… an Easter egg that only the most dirty minded Planeswalkers noticed for two decades.
Clergy en-Vec is a mono white creature card first printed in the Tempest set in 1997. The story of Tempest took place on Rath, an artificial world crafted by a species which are basically magical Borg. The plane was inhabited by various tribes, including the highly spiritual en-Vec. They were a nomadic culture led by their religious figures like oracles and priests. This guy’s really having the time of his life.
Designing Magic cards is a multi-layered and lengthy process involving teams of game designers and artists who must look ahead to the future of the game and the flavor of the present set. And they really emphasized the flavor on this one. The picture, showing a priest in *cough* religious ecstasy, could be innocent enough, but the flavor text on the card “Faith’s shield is hammered out by the blows of unbelievers” is pretty flagrantly signaling that yeah, this guy is getting his d “tapped for mana”.
Interestingly, this was now head designer Mark Rosewater’s first set as a designer for Wizards of the Coast, so maybe MaRo wanted to make his mark early on and foreshadow the playful and cheeky designs to come. The artist Heather Hudson has a signature style of gentle, detailed, often whimsical design. Maybe she just needed to mix it up a little. Regardless, we can’t believe that this card made it past censors and got put out into the public. The artists are usually given briefs for the cards pertaining to what WotC wants depicted and there are dozens of eyes on these cards before they go to print. How deep does this rabbit hole go? Nobody narc this card out to Hasbro, they’ll suck the joy right out.