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Heroes of the Realm card back

Heroes of the Realm are a series of Magic: The Gathering celebration cards created by Chris Cocks to recognize internal Wizards of the Coast teams and individuals who have "had a tremendous impact on the business".[1][2] They form part of the company employee recognition program and are awarded for work done during the year.[3]

Description[ | ]

Heroes of the Realm cards have black-bordered front faces and a special "Heroes of the Realm" card back.[4] Each card includes the name of the employee who received it in the bottom right-hand corner, above the legal text.[5] Since these cards don't have the regular Magic card back, they aren't legal in any format but the Commander Rules Committee has made an exception for Commander if the person playing the card is the person whose name is on that card.[6]

The Wizards of the Coast executive team chooses the teams they believe have gone above and beyond during the year and the winners design the cards (sometimes, but not always, with a little help from R&D).[7] Mark Rosewater notes that Heroes of the Realm cards don't go through the normal design processes, so they aren't always representative of what R&D might actually do on a printed card.[8] The result are cards primarily designed to be read, rather than played.[9][3] Heroes of the Realm cards are not limited to teams working on Magic: The Gathering products, but can be awarded to any team or individual across any the entire company.[5]

An oversized version of each card hangs in the Hall of Heroes at the Wizards of the Coast headquarters. Underneath the card is a list of that card's recipients.[2]

Awarded cards[ | ]

This section lists the known Heroes of the Realm cards. The cards are listed under the year they were awarded but due to the production process (i.e. card design, art commission, printing), employees may not receive their physical card until the following year.[5] Cards have the legal text for the year they are printed.

Information in this section is based on Wizards of the Coast employees sharing their cards and what they were awarded for on various social media channels. The cards are not publicly released by Wizards of the Coast itself.

2016[ | ]

There were only four copies of each card created for this year.

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Chandra, Gremlin Wrangler 001 Planeswalker Decks team Kaladesh/Planeswalker decks. 2017-09-20[10] Chandra
Dungeon Master 002 Dungeons & Dragons team Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. 2017-09-20[11] Dungeon Master, Fighter
Nira, Hellkite Duelist 003 Duel Masters team 2017-09-20[12] Nira (Duel Masters)

2017[ | ]

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Diabolical Salvation 001 WotC strike team Dealing with quick, fast-moving projects. 2019-03-08[13][5]
Inzerva, Master of Insights 002 Consumer Insights team 2019-03-08[13][5] Inzerva
M'Odo, the Gnarled Oracle 003 Magic Online team 2018-08-11[14] M'Odo

2018[ | ]

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Kharis & the Beholder 001 Influencer projects team Magic and D&D influencer events. 2019-11-26[15][16] Kharis, Beholder
Optimus Prime, Inspiring Leader 002 Transformers trading card game (TCG) team 2019-12-04[17] Autobot
Sol, Advocate Eternal 003 Game Support and Customer Service team 2019-12-02[18] Sol
The Legend of Arena 004* Magic: The Gathering Arena team Launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena. 2019-12-07[19]

Notes[ | ]

^† This card is a triple-faced card usable in both Magic: The Gathering and Transformers TCG games.
^* There are two versions of this card, each with different art. One is by Noah Bradley and the other by Olena Richards. Both have the same collector number.

2019[ | ]

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Collectigull 001 Booster Fun crew The start of Booster Fun treatments in Eldraine. 2021-04-09[20][21][5]
Keeper of the Secret Lair 002 Secret Lair crew 2021-04-09[22][20][5] Keeper of the Secret Lair
War of the Spark 003 War of the Spark teams Culmination and release of the War of the Spark event. 2021-04-09[20][5] War of the Spark
Champions of Archery 004 Throne of Eldraine team 2021-04-09[20][5] Champions of Archery
Myntasha, Honored One 005 Modern Horizons team 2021-04-09[20][5] Myntasha
The Cinematic Phoenix 006 Cinematics crew War of the Spark trailer and Throne of Eldraine trailer. 2021-07-29[23][5] Cinematic Phoenix
Fabled Path of Searo Point 007 Operations crew 2021-04-26[24][5]

2020[ | ]

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Articles(s)
Euroakus 001 European crew Promotion of Magic and D&D across Europe. 2021-10-05[25] Euroakus
Mountain Mover 002
The Secret Lair 003 Secret Lair crew 2021-09-23[26]

2021[ | ]

The collector numbers were changed for the 2021 cards; from the traditional three-digit number (e.g. 001/003) to a four-digit number (0001).

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Andrios, Roaming Explorer 0001 Arena mobile team 2022-12-09[27][28] Andrios
Arteeoh, Dread Scavenger 0002 Various teams Return-to-office effort post pandemic. 2023-01-06[29] Arteeoh
Byode, Inverse Sun 0003 Universes Beyond crew 2022-12-09[30] Byode, Universewalker
Ersta, Friend to All 0004 Human Resources team 2022-12-07[31] Ersta

2022[ | ]

Card HTR# Awarded to Awarded for Posted Related Article(s)
Treizeci, Sun of Serra 0001 30th Anniversary celebration team (Treizeci is Romanian for "thirty") 30th Anniversary promos 2024-02-16[32] Treizeci, Serra, Nostalgic
Elusen, the Giving 0002 Staff members who supported Wizards' philanthropic work in 2022. (Elusen is Welsh for "charity"). "Extra Life" 2023-12-19[33] Elusen
Heroes of Kamigawa 0003 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty's Design and Development team. Top-selling product of the year. 2023-12-19[34] Kaito Shizuki, The Wanderer
Svega, the Unconventional 0004 Community and outreach staff. Support work at conventions, primarily Magic 30 at Las Vegas. 2023-12-20[35] Svega
Wizard from Beyond 0005 D&D Beyond team. Hasbro acquired D&D Beyond in 2022. 2023-12-20[36] Background

Card types[ | ]

Universewalker is a card type only used on Byode, Inverse Sun. It is a Planeswalker variant reference to Universes Beyond.

Byode, Dungeon Master, Ersta, Inzerva, and Svega are Planeswalker types that are specific to Heroes of the Realm. Although The Wanderer is a canon character, the Wanderer planeswalker type is also unique to Heroes of the Realm as none of her official cards have any planeswalker types.

Fighter is a token-specific creature class that is only mentioned in Dungeon Master as a D&D reference. The other three standard D&D classes (Cleric, Rogue, Wizard) already existed in Magic. Attendee is the second token-specific creature class unique to Heroes of the Realm cards. It's a reference to the players and guest who attend MagicCons and other conventions.

Tokens[ | ]

Token Name Color Type Line P/T Text Box Source Printings
Attendee White/​Blue/​Black/​Red/​Green Creature — Attendee 1/1
Cleric White Creature — Cleric 1/1 Lifelink
Devil Red Creature — Devil 4/4 Haste
When this creature dies, create a Treasure token.
Fighter Red Creature — Fighter 3/3 First strike
Gremlin Red Creature — Gremlin 2/2
Human White Creature — Human 1/1
Human Wizard Blue Creature — Human Wizard 1/1
Red Creature — Human Wizard 2/1
White/​Blue/​Black/​Red/​Green Creature — Human Wizard 1/1
Rogue Black Creature — Rogue 2/2 Hexproof
Skeleton Black Creature — Skeleton 1/1 When this creature dies, each opponent gains 2 life.
Wizard Blue Creature — Wizard 1/1 Flying

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (September 20, 2017). "Any word on what special project(s) earned people these cards?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. a b Masami Ibamoto (March 8, 2019). "Hall of Heroes". Twitter. Retrieved on December 21, 2022.
  3. a b Mark Rosewater (September 15, 2023). "Drive to Work #1069: Heroes of the Realm". Transistor, Inc.
  4. Mark Rosewater (September 20, 2017). "Why are the "Heroes of the Realm" cards black-bordered when they're mechanically unique promo cards?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k l 17 Magic Cards Rarer than a Black Lotus: The Heroes of the Realm! (Video). Good Morning Magic. YouTube (April 28, 2021).
  6. Sheldon Menery (December 8, 2019). "HTR legal in Commander". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  7. Mark Rosewater (April 11, 2021). "Who designs the Heroes of the Realm cards and who decides who gets them?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Mark Rosewater (December 7, 2019). "Why haven't we heard more of the Heroes of the Realm series?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater (December 7, 2019). "What are the chances that we will see a collection or compilation product of Heroes of the Realm for the public?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. Doug Beyer (September 20, 2017). "Gremlins of the Realm". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  11. Mike Mearls (September 20, 2017). "One of four Dungeon Master cards for Magic...". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  12. Masami Ibamoto (September 20, 2017). "The magic heroes of realm card has been released". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  13. a b Masami Ibamoto (March 8, 2019). "When I came to the head office, the new Hall of Heroes was displayed!". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  14. Lee Sharpe (August 11, 2018). "Here's my copy of this card.". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  15. MishyFishyWhoo (November 26, 2019). "Heroes of the Realm card I had the pleasure to design with the rest of the team at Wizards who worked on influencer projects last year.". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  16. Joe Slucher (November 26, 2019). "Kharis and the Beholder". Archived from the original on August, 6, 2022.
  17. Drew Nolosco (December 4, 2019). "Heroes of the Realm Promo - Optimus Prime, Inspiring Leader". Reddit.
  18. David McDarby (December 2, 2019). "Allow me to introduce you to another WotC Heroes of the Realm card". Twitter.
  19. Lee Sharpe (December 7, 2019). "Every year, the WotCStaff executive team recognizes a few teams within Wizards as Heroes of the Realm.". Twitter.
  20. a b c d e Melissa DeTora (April 9, 2021). "Super thankful to be part of the team that was awarded cards for Heroes of the Realm 2019.". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  21. Daniel Holt (April 10, 2021). "Another one of the Studio X Heroes of the Realm cards, Collectigull!". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  22. Ari Zirulnik (April 10, 2021). "In 2019, Studio X received five Heroes of the Realm awards, and we finally got the cards this week!". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  23. Jeff Stewart (July 29, 2021). "I finally got to the office today and got this for making the War of the Spark cinematic.". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  24. Gavin Verhey (April 28, 2021). "Good morning Magic! Today I talk about the Heroes of the Realm.". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  25. Dan Barrett (October 5, 2021). "In recognition of the tremendous success our European @Wizards team saw last year across both Magic and D&D, we were awarded Heroes of the Realm!". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  26. Ari Zirulnik (September 23, 2021). "Extremely stoked to announce that the Secret Lair team won another Heroes of the Realm card in 2020!". Twitter. Retrieved on December 31, 2022.
  27. Danan Davis (December 9, 2022). "Andrios, Roaming Explorer (Heroes of the Realm 2021)". Twitter.
  28. Mark Rosewater (September 15, 2023). "Just listened to your Heroes of the Realm podcast and boy did you miss the reference on Andrios". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  29. u/flyeyes420 (January 6, 2023). "2021 Heros of the Realm card"
  30. Hanspeter Ziegler (December 7, 2022). "[Heroes of the Realm] Byode, Inverse Sun"
  31. Jontelle Leyson-Smith (December 7, 2022). "[Heroes of the Realm] Ersta, Friend to All". Twitter.
  32. u/RBGolbat (February 16, 2024). "[H22] Treizeci, Sun of Serra". Reddit.
  33. Jontelle Leyson-Smith (December 19, 2023). "Congrats to current and former Wizards who received Heroes of the Realm Elusen, the Giving ...". Twitter.
  34. Carmen Klomparens (December 19, 2023). "Not every day I receive what's def the coolest trading card I will ever own.". Twitter.
  35. Alexander O. Smith (December 20, 2023). "I just received a cool new Heroes of the Realm card!". Twitter.
  36. Jacob Mooney (December 20, 2023). "I got assigned the card for the D&D Beyond team, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!". Twitter.