Magic Invitational

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The Magic Invitational Tournament is an annual Magic: The Gathering tournament where the sixteen best players of the past year are invited to duel in various formats. [1] [2] The played formats usually are specialty formats which are never played in other officially sanctioned tournaments, e.g. Auction of the People, and sometimes are experimental or specifically created for the tournament. Played formats are switched every few rounds. The tournament itself is Round Robin, meaning that every player plays each other at least once.

After the Round Robin portion is completed, the best two players play a finale which usually consists of an array of formats previously played in the tournament. The winner of the tournament is allowed to design a card which will see print on a later date after Research & Development had it's input on it to make it feasible for a magic set. The artwork of the designed card will feature the likeness of the tournaments winner in the artwork.

The tournament started in 1997 [3] and was held until 2007, but hasn't been held since. [4] [5] [6] As part of the Organized Play Department's refocusing on grass roots programs, the Invitational was cut from the schedule. [7]

Magic Invitational winners and their cards

Season Winner Card
1996-97 [8] Olle Rade Sylvan Safekeeper
1997-98 [9] [10] Darwin Kastle Avalanche Riders
1998-99 [11] Mike Long Rootwater Thief
1999-2000 [12] Chris Pikula Meddling Mage
2000-01 Jon Finkel Shadowmage Infiltrator
2001-02 Kai Budde Voidmage Prodigy
2002-03 Jens Thoren Solemn Simulacrum
2003-04 [13] Bob Maher Dark Confidant
2005 Terry Soh Rakdos Augermage
2006 Antoine Ruel Ranger of Eos
2007 Tiago Chan Snapcaster Mage [14]
  • Note: Even though Olle Rade won the first Invitational, his card is the fifth card by an Invitational winner to be published. This is due to the circumstances that Rade quit Magic rather soon after the tournament without asking for his prize. He later made a comeback and asked Wizards of the Coast if he could still get his prize for this Tournament. Wizards agreed under the condition that Rade, who had since shaven his head, would be depicted in the Art with the long blond hair he had when he won the tournament.

Public voted Invitational cards

In addition, during the 2005 Tournament Wizards of the Coast held a public vote among the users of their website for the most popular card among the submissions which would also be printed after going through the usual R&D process but without featuring the winner in the art. The winning card was submitted by Tsuyoshi Fujita and was eventually turned into Gemstone Caverns.


  1. Mark Rosewater. (October 10, 2002.) "2002 Magic Invitational", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (January 31, 2005.) "When You Wish Upon an All-Star", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (May 10, 2004.) "All-Star Studded", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (April 18, 2005.) "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little All-Star", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (January 30, 2006.) "Thank Your Lucky All-Stars", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (October 29, 2007.) "All-Star Trek", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (August 11, 2008.) "In the Mailbag", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (February, 1997.) "Format of Duelist Invitational", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. 1998 Duelist Invitational
  10. Mark Rosewater. (January, 1998.) "Format of Duelist Invitational", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater. (February, 1999.) "Format of Duelist Invitational", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic: The Gathering Invitational 2000
  13. Zvi Mowshowitz. (May 31, 2004.) "The Future is Bright", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Monty Ashley. (October 24, 2011.) "The Saga of Snapcaster Mage", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
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