One interesting fact about "Magic: The Gathering" is that the game was almost called "Mana Clash." Initially, designer Richard Garfield intended to call the game simply "Magic," but his lawyer informed him that the phrase was too broad to copyright. "Mana Clash" was the most popular alternative, but eventually Garfield decided to add "The Gathering" to the game's original title in order to create a unique phrase.
"The Gathering" wasn't initially intended to be a permanent part of the game's title. Garfield originally intended for the game's name to keep changing with the release of each set. The release of the classic "Ice Age" set, for example, was intended to coincide with a name change to "Magic: Ice Age." However, this plan was scrapped when Garfield realized that the game needed to have a consistent name to maintain its copyright. Similarly, original plans also called for the back design of the cards to change with each new set. The game's first expansion set, "Arabian Nights," even had a new design drawn up and ready to print. Luckily, right before the cards went to press, designer and "Magic" Pro Tour creator Skaff Elias managed to convince Garfield that changing the back design of the cards was a bad idea. Elias, who foresaw the competitive element of the game, realized that different card designs would make it easier for players to guess which cards opponents have in their hands.