Magic: The Gathering Rarities: Richard Garfield's Proposal Card

Magic: The Gathering, the premier trading card game by Wizards of the Coast, is an endlessly complex game of luck, logic, and skill. Cards create logical components that, in certain scenarios, can act as simple computers (and we use the word "simple" quite loosely here). However, it can also be used as a tool to further someone's life beyond the scope of the game itself. In the cases we will be discussing in this and the next few Magic: The Gathering Rarity Showcases, we will be focusing on the life event commemoration cards created by the person who created the game, Richard Garfield, Ph.D.. Today, we will be talking about the card that focuses on his proposal to Lily Wu.

The art for Richard Garfield, Ph.D., a card from the Unhinged joke expansion set from Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Dave Dorman, this "vanity" card is the last that Wizards of the Coast has decided to make (barring Invitational cards).
The art for Richard Garfield, Ph.D., a card from the Unhinged joke expansion set from Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Dave Dorman, this "vanity" card is the last that Wizards of the Coast has decided to make (barring Invitational cards).

Dr. Garfield has been the subject of much praise. After all, he created the game of Magic that we know and love today. He was the subject of a "vanity" card named after him, as well as a card with his likeness and actual name. People have even alleged that if Dr. Garfield alters the rules of a specific card by writing new rules in its text box, it makes that card have those rules. So it goes without saying that Dr. Garfield has some sway in the design department when things come down to it.

As such, when he proposed to Lily Wu, he did so by playing a series of games of Magic with her. He aimed to win the game with a monowhite deck, but he lost every game, until the last one. Finally, Wu asked him if he wanted to concede considering that every card he played seemed unlikely to give him the win. Dr. Garfield declined that offer. Shortly thereafter, he managed to play the following card, a testament to his resolve:

Proposal, a special Magic: The Gathering card created by Dr. Richard Garfield to propose to Lily Wu.
Proposal, a special Magic: The Gathering card created by Dr. Richard Garfield to propose to Lily Wu.

The two ended up getting married as a result of this enchanting (if you'll pardon the expression) Proposal. Six family members of the couple got a copy of this card in celebration, and two went to then-production manager for Magic: The Gathering Dave Howell and Proposal artist Quinton Hoover. The parties involved were instructed not to publish the artwork for the card, but Hoover's copy was stolen in Japan and the location of that specific copy remains unknown. As it stands, the above image is the only copy anyone has seen publicly online. Is this a coincidence? This is unclear, but what we do know is that while Dr. Garfield and Wu's marriage sadly did not last, this would not be the first time Dr. Garfield employed the tactic of creating a card to commemorate a life event of his.

What do you think about Proposal? Have you considered employing this method to propose to a significant other? Let us know if you have in the comments below!

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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