CGC Trading Cards Certifies 60 Rare Cards from a Sealed Test Print Magic Deck

Posted on 3/9/2022

The “Test Printing” deck included 24 illustrations, including 13 that had not been encountered previously.

CGC Trading Cards™ recently had the honor of opening and certifying a unique deck of Magic: The Gathering Test Print cards with “Test Printing” text. Collectors had been aware of the existence of the sealed deck for some time, but the contents were unknown other than the Holy Armor card at the top of the deck.

The deck was shrink-wrapped in a plain white starter deck sized box. There also was a rulebook nestled between the cards that contained only blank pages.

Previously, only 12 of these Magic “Test Printing” cards from 1994 were known, displaying 11 different illustrations. With the addition of the 60 cards from the recently opened deck, CGC Trading Cards is excited to announce that an additional 13 illustrations are now known, bringing the total to 24.

Six of the 13 newly discovered “Test Printing” illustrations had only two examples in the deck, which makes them top rarities. They are: Mesa Pegasus, Samite Healer, Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, Gray Ogre, Stone Rain and Giant Spider.

The six rarest Test Printing cards, in which the only known examples are two cards apiece in the recently opened set.
Click images to enlarge.

The most frequently encountered illustration in the opened deck was Swamp (Blue Tint), which was present on five cards. Previously known by two other examples, this brings the total number of known examples to seven. For the other 23 illustrations, the opened deck contained either two or three examples.

The cards from this test printing are on a different stock from normal production pieces, with these being slightly wider and lacking the typical graphite core. Another trait of this particular deck is that most cards were “Diamond Cut,” with the printed part of the card not lying squarely on the card stock. However, it is the limited number of copies that make these treasures important.

The cards will fit several collecting purposes as they are remarkably esoteric and would stand out in any collection. Several popular artworks are also included, which will certainly attract interest from global set collectors who seek every printed variation of a single card.

The illustrations found in this deck are also available in two other forms of test prints, with the first being Textless “Summer Color” cards. They enjoyed the vibrant color found on the rare Summer Magic set. These textless cards also have a back color and saturation quite different from normal MTG backs.

A Textless Test Print card (top) and a similar card from the recently opened deck.
Click images to enlarge.

The second iteration are the German/French copyright test print cards that show full card names and other text, but the illustrations and text do not match each other. The backs of these cards regained the traditional MTG look with proper saturation, although some can be found with white borders on the back, which is quite the sight!

A German/French Test Print card (top) and a card with a similar design from the recently opened deck
Click images to enlarge.

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