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Proposal was a celebration card made specifically for the Magic game inventor Richard Garfield. It is one of the rarest cards in existence. Indeed, not all versions of the artwork have been revealed to the general public.[1]

Around October 1993, Richard Garfield approached Dave Howell to produce a special card. Richard was planning on proposing marriage to his girlfriend Lily Wu, and wanted to do it in a special way. Richard asked Howell to create a card which he could put into a deck and then cast while the two played. Richard had already contacted Lily's favorite artist Quinton Hoover to create an original piece to be used on the card. The artwork reportedly shows Garfield proposing to Lily on bended-knee wearing Renaissance-style clothing.

When Howell received the artwork, he scanned the image and then digitally added the card frame, mana symbols, and text. He then created an Iris print from the digital image producing a very high-quality sheet of nine cards. Simple land cards were glued to the backside of the print, and then cut apart. According to Howell, two of the cards were off-center, but seven other turned out well. The cards appear slightly more shiny than real cards, but otherwise very authentic.

Howell also said that there are two variations of the card image. Four of them have the artwork set inside the frame, like normal cards. The other five show Richard's knee is resting on the bevelled frame itself.[2]

According to Richard, he put just one in the all-white deck he was playing. As luck would have it, the first three games the pair played, he didn't draw the card. He did finally find it in the fourth game, but was losing. At one point, Lily asked if he wanted to concede because, as a playtester, she didn't think any card he could play would allow him to win. Shortly after, Richard played the now-famous card:


Proposal {W}{W}{W}{W}
Allows Richard to propose marriage to Lily. If the proposal is accepted both players win; mix the cards in play, both libraries and both graveyards as a shared deck.

Lily and Richard did get married and the shared deck created by the casting of Proposal is apparently still intact. The eight other Proposal cards were given to family members, except two. One was given to Dave Howell and the other was given to Quinton Hoover. Sadly, someone later stole Hoover's copy during a tour in Japan and its whereabouts are unknown. Richard and Lily have asked those who do have copies not to publish the artwork, due to the personal nature. However, there is a scan of one version of the card available.

See also[]


  1. Magic the Gathering custom cards
  2. Dave Howell. "Proposal". Archived from the original on December 12, 2004. Retrieved on April 11, 2015.