Love is in the air, because it’s that time of year again… VALENTINE’S DAY!
Forget the hokey greeting cards and cheap flowers, because the only cards you’ll need to put a smile on that special someone’s face are Magic cards! Today I’ll be counting down eight of the sweetest, most romantic, love-themed cards of all time.
If you don’t have a Valentine this year, don’t feel bad, because the whole thing is a complete sham designed to sell greeting cards, chocolates and other useless trinkets—all in the name of romantic love.
Each Valentine’s Day, over 190,000,000 greeting cards are exchanged and an estimated 18 billion dollars are spent on Valentine tokens of affection. It’s estimated the average American spends approximately $136 USD on gifts.
So, if you don’t want to be a “below average” lover, make sure you don’t come in at less than $136, I guess.
Valentine’s is the Oko, Thief of Crowns of holidays because you can’t win. If you’re lucky enough to have a date, the holiday functions as a luxury tax on your relationship. If you’re single, get ready to sit through 24 hours of social and workplace torture while friends and coworkers flaunt their Valentine swag in your face!
I’m happily married, and so I’ll be participating in the holiday by tossing a coin to my florist.
Neat fact: Valentine’s Day took off in the Western World with the rise of literacy and mail in the mid 18th Century. While the holiday was originally rooted in both Pagan and Christian origins, the version of the day we currently celebrate has much to do with the concept of writing and sending hand-written letters to loved ones, which has since been replaced with sending generic greeting cards. A piece of friendly advice… If you’re giving a Valentine, make it yourself! Not only will you save $10 but it’ll be better received.
All right, so I’m clearly a bit skeptical and critical of our Valentine’s customs, but I’m still a firm believer in The Beatles philosophy that “All You Need Is Love.” Let’s get to my list of the most lovely Magic card designs of all time.
8) Heart of Kiran
Ah, the heart! Is there a more iconic symbol of St. Valentine’s Day? It’s come to represent feelings, emotions, and romantic love. The iconic heart-shape has interesting origins as a sort of kit-bash of fertility plant leaves and female anatomy.
Here’s a picture of a heart-shaped leaf, but you’ll have to use your imagination for the rest. I’m running a PG-rated show here!
Heart of Kiran doesn’t look much like a Valentine’s Heart. In fact, it looks kind of like Kyogre from Pokemon! Either way, the flavor of air-mailing an opponent this big heart on Valentine’s Day is a surefire way to get somebody’s attention!
Honorable Mention Heart:
While the Slivers tend to get a bad rap as an unfeeling hive mind, they are big fans of Valentine’s Day. In fact, with Heart Sliver in the mix they are always in a hurry to get those flowers, chocolates and hand-written Valentines delivered!
7) Charmed Prince/Beloved Princess
Throne of Eldraine has a ton of great romantic themed cards. While the majority of Magic sets tend to stay far away from themes like love and romance, THB embraces romantic themes that are often central in fairy tales.
Maybe you’ve already found a Prince or Princess Charming for Valentines… Maybe you’re still looking… Either way, finding that special someone is a theme that runs deep in stories and tales.
Once you’ve completed the quest to find that special someone to settle down with, I suppose it’d be time to live happily…
6) Ever After
A perfect card for the list for my fellow married and long-term committed relationship folks on Valentine’s Day. A couple of Zombies, snuggled up on the couch, watching a good movie together! Ever after is a comfortable life—er, afterlife?
“Happily ever after” is an iconic trope in literature, specifically fairytales, that essentially stands in for: “And that concludes the relevant parts of the story and our heroes did fine afterward…”
Ever After is such an amazing take on these classic endings because it reframes that vague happiness into a pair of Zombies kicking some butt on the battlefield together! In Magic, the couple that slays together stays together! (Remember that before you backstab your partner in Commander!).
5) Soul Kiss
I went with Soul Kiss because I’ve already got a bunch of Throne cards represented and I may never have another opportunity to discuss Soul Kiss. As far as “Soul Kiss” goes, the first thing I think about is this awesome song:
The card, Soul Kiss, on the other hand is extremely bizarre and way more confusing to understand.
I’m sort of unclear about what is going on with Soul Kiss. Who’s kissing who? I assume the enchanted creature is involved in the kissing, but is the creature the kisser or kissee? I think the way the flavor works is that the enchanted creature is actually making out with the player! So, if you’ve ever wanted to make out with one of your favorite creatures… now you know.
It’s also important to know that you can only kiss them three times per turn, which helps keep the PG rating in tact! Obviously, now that I’ve got you thinking about making out with Magic creatures, it raises the important question of who would be the worst kisser in Magic?
Can I borrow a kiss? I promise I’ll give it back.
4) Broodmate Dragon
What could possibly be more romantic than a pair of mating dragons? I already said that in Magic, the couple that slays together stays together, and the flavor text about this happy couple of Dragons wrecking some Goblins is a clear testament to that!
Other notable MTG power couples:
3) Heart-Piercer Bow
The perfect Cupid-themed card, and yet no Cupid? Whatever, I’m doing it anyways.
We tend to think of Cupid as a chubby, cartoon cherub on Valentine’s cards but he’s actually the god of desire and erotic love in Roman mythology… So, an actual sex god.
Conservative Western culture was likely a little bit uncomfortable with the sex god and thus turned Cupid into a friendly hover-baby. Interesting fact, Cupid carries two types of arrows: golden and leaden. As a tabletop wargamer, there is nothing more attractive than a unit with multiple damage profiles! Gold-tipped causes the target to fall madly in love, while lead tipped causes (you guessed it) the target to swipe left.
2) Lovestruck Beast
A tale as old as time… song as old as rhyme… Beauty and the Beast.
Lovestruck Beast has clearly been hit by a gold arrow! When properly motivated by Heart’s Desire, the Beast can accomplish fantastic feats but when there’s no Belle of the Board it wants to stay home, order a pizza and play Arena.
Also, why is Lovestruck Beast completely fixated on stereotypes about size in a mate? It seems a little shallow that Beast is only into 1/1s. Maybe if Beast took the time to actually get to know other creatures before falling in love, it would be open to dating larger, powerful creatures!
The ultimate romantic gesture! Proposal is an extremely rare Magic card that was created by Richard Garfield (the creator of Magic: the Gathering) when he proposed. He even commissioned artwork from Lily’s favorite Magic artist, Quinton Hoover for the card depicting him proposing to Lily!
As is almost always the case, Richard Garfield PHD knocked it out of the park!
The card was never released and its scarcity and uniqueness make it one of the rarest and most expensive cards ever printed. It’s estimated that nine copies are known to exist and the price of the card is astronomical. I found a post from MTG Bazaar from 2017 that listed the card at a cool $50,000.00 USD! It’s also rumored there are multiple artworks for the card and some versions have never been released to the general public. So, a cool piece of MTG history.
That wraps up my Valentine’s Day MTG lovefest! I’m sure there are many, many lovely cards that I’ve overlooked or forgotten about and I’d love to see your Valentine’s picks in the comments section below!
Whether you’re excited for a big date with somebody new and special, taking it easy and doing the “happily ever after thing,” or keeping it real and going Great Sable Stag for Valentine’s remember to let the people you love know how much you care. Wishing you all a happy Hallmark holiday.