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Five Years in the Making

Below is a snippet from issue 17 of The Duelist magazine, June 1997. For reference, this was right before Weatherlight and Fifth Edition were released.

The blurb refers to Olle Råde winning the Duelist Invitational and getting to design a card. Well, five years later, the card actually came out in Judgment - Sylvan Safekeeper.

Olle Rade

So what happened? Why five years? Had he turned in a reasonable idea, the card would have probably appeared in Stronghold. But Olle was young and flippant, and he had no real interest in making a serious card. His first submission was World of Bums, Red Mana, Enchant World. The card had no text. Its only purpose was to destroy other Enchant Worlds, which R&D stopped supporting after Visions.

His second attempt was some sort of permission spell that went to the top of its owners library upon resolution, instead of in the graveyard. Kind of like a reverse Memory Lapse. Needless to say, neither card made it very far.

After Olle saw how cool Darwin Kastle, Mike Long, and Chris Pikula looked on their Invitational cards, he had a change of heart, and submitted something very close to Sylvan Safekeeper: a 1/1 for Green Mana that could make a creature untargetable at the cost of returning a forest to your hand. The card was tweaked to fit in the Odyssey block by having it interact with threshold better, and was put into Judgment. Quite a wait!

In the art for Sylvan Safekeeper, Olle is shown riding a spider. This is an homage to his winning deck at Pro Tour - Columbus (Ice Age/Alliances constructed), which became his signature deck.

Olle Råde
Pro Tour Columbus '96 (61 cards)
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

61 cards

Karplusan Forest

18 lands

Deadly Insect
Fyndhorn Elves
Giant Trap Door Spider
Gorilla Shaman
Orcish Cannoneers
Storm Shaman
Woolly Spider

21 creatures
Giant Growth
Lava Burst
Lodestone Bauble
Urza's Bauble

22 other spells

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