Promotional cards are ones that are not normally found in core or expansion sets. They can be obtained through giveaways, redemption programs or other such non-traditional sources. The following is a list of such Magic promotional cards:
APAC (Asia-Pacific) lands are alternate art lands that were available to people living in the Asia-Pacific region. The cards were available in three packs: red, blue, and clear. These packs were given to purchasers of boxes of Tempest boosters. The artwork features scenes from around the Asia-Pacific region.
- See also APAC land.
Euro lands are alternate art lands that were available to people living in Europe. Their artwork features scenes from around this region. The cards were available in three packs: blue, red, and purple. These packs were given to European purchasers of boxes of Nemesis, Prophecy, and Invasion boosters. The bar code of a booster box had to be cut out and mailed to the appropriate Magic distributor in each country to receive one land booster.
The Guru program was initiated by Wizards of the Coast on July 12, 1999 to promote Magic more effectively. Participants in the Guru program received a Guru kit which included a Guru book to explain how the program worked, personalized Guru labels, new player referral postcards, and Magic Guru referral cards which looked like a real Magic card. Additionally, special Demogame boosters of Starter level Magic sets and playmats were added. The design of the Guru book changed over time.
Gurus could report new players by sending in one of the new player referral postcards, filled out by the new player and individualized by one of the Guru labels. The new player was then registered in a database and the Guru received 1 Guru point for his work. Additionally both the Guru and the new player were entered into a contest with quarterly prize schedules. Gurus could win a booster box of the current expert level set, new players had a chance to win a $ 100 US gift certificate which could be redeemed at selected stores.
Gurus could also recruit new Gurus by giving them one of the Magic Guru referral cards, personalized with a Guru label. The new Guru could add them to his Guru kit order. If he did, both the referred and the referring Guru received 5 Guru points.
For every 10 Guru points, the Guru received one randomly chosen Guru land and one booster of the latest expert level Magic set. Wizards of the Coast kept a record which lands had been rewarded to insure that after 50 Guru points each Guru had a complete set of Guru lands.
Each of the Guru lands were illustrated by Terese Nielsen. The lands show five stages of a "double eclipse."
The Guru program was discontinued on February 27, 2001. Since then, the Guru lands are now quite collectible, with the most valuable, Island, being worth around $200 as of March 2012.
Richard Garfield cards
Richard Garfield created a card called Proposal for his marriage proposal to Lily Wu. There are nine copies of this card in existence. He later created a card to celebrate each of the births of his children (Splendid Genesis and Fraternal Exaltation).
1996 World Champion
The unique card 1996 World Champion was given to Tom Chanpheng of Australia for winning the 1996 World Championship. The card is encased in lucite, apparently floating above a silver globe. In 2001 it was sold to a private collector. One sheet of this card was printed, but all other copies including printing plates were ceremonially destroyed. Videotapes of the destruction were shown at the Championship. Rumor has it that artist proofs of this card exist.
- See also 1996 World Championship deck.
The unique card Shichifukujin Dragon was created to celebrate the opening of the Japan DCI Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan. All copies except for one were destroyed. The remaining Shichifukujin Dragon has been encased at the Tournament Center for public view together with the original artwork of the card. The Tournament Center was closed on February 28, 2003, and the card was moved to the Hobby Japan Head Office where it currently resides. Shichifukujin is the name of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune of Japanese mythology .
Premium Event cards
The Dragon*Con is a famous convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA for fans of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror genres. In July 1994, visitors were given a postcard voucher which could be mailed in and redeemed for a Nalathni Dragon promotional card. The card was sent in October 1994, along with a certificate of authenticity. Originally, the card was announced with a print run of 10,000 and was supposed to be available exclusively for attendants of the convention, but due to complaints about the limited availability and to stem price gouging, the print run was increased, and the card was additionally distributed in issue #3 of the The Duelist magazine and in issue #4 of the The Duelist Companion magazine. There also exists a Japanese version which has been distributed in one of the Wizards of the Coast Redemption Programs. As a result of the DragonCon card controversy, Wizards of the Coast stopped releasing functionally unique "promotional" cards.
Grand prix cards
The Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix tournament series is an international circuit of large-scale Qualifier tournaments featuring $30,000 in cash prizes, invitations to the Pro Tour for the top 16 finishers, and exclusive foil promo cards for participants. Starting in 2007 a promotional card was given to all visitors of any Grand Prix in that year's Cycle upon presentation of their DCI number.
- Grand Prix 2007 — Spiritmonger
- Grand Prix 2008 — Call of the Herd
- Grand Prix 2009 — Chrome Mox
- Grand Prix 2010 — Umezawa's Jitte
- Grand Prix 2011 — Maelstrom Pulse
- Grand Prix 2012-a — Goblin Guide
- Grand Prix 2012-b — Lotus Cobra
- Grand Prix 2013-a — Primeval Titan (Given out to 2013 GP competitors through Grand Prix Houston, June 15-16)
- Grand Prix 2013-b — All Is Dust (Given out to 2013 GP competitors starting with Grand Prix Las Vegas, June 22-23)
Pro tour cards
Given to all visitors of any Pro Tour in that year's Cycle upon presentation of their DCI number.
- Pro Tour 2007 — Eternal Dragon
- Pro Tour 2008 — Mirari's Wake
- Pro Tour 2009 — Treva, the Renewer
- Pro Tour 2010 — Avatar of Woe
- Pro Tour 2011 — Ajani Goldmane
- Side events participation bonus at 1999 World Championships in Yokohama — Balduvian Horde
San Diego Comic-con
At San Diego Comic-con 2013 the Hasbro ToyShop offered a limited edition collection of Planeswalker cards for sale. The five cards were presented with unique black-on-black art by Steve Prescott, variants of those found in the core Magic 2014 set. These included Ajani, Caller of the Pride, Jace, Memory Adept, Chandra, Pyromaster, Liliana of the Dark Realms and Garruk, Caller of Beasts.
Happy Holidays cards
The Happy Holidays cards are tournament-prohibited, silver-bordered, fun cards in foil. Wizards of the Coast has been giving these out annually at their Holiday party. People who have been given these cards include members of Wizards internal teams as well as business partners.
- 2006 — Fruitcake Elemental
- 2007 — Gifts Given
- 2008 — Evil Presents
- 2009 — Season's Beatings
- 2010 — Snow Mercy
- 2011 — Yule Ooze
- 2012 — Naughty/Nice
- 2012 — Stocking Tiger
- Wizards of the Coast. (Wednesday, January 3, 2007.) "Fruitcake Elemental", Magic Arcana, MTG.com.
- "Magic Arcana". (Friday, Dec 11, 2009.) "Holiday cards!", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- "Magic Arcana". (Friday, Dec 17, 2010.) "Snow Mercy", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- "Magic Arcana". (Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011.) "The 2011 Holiday Card", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
Judge Gift cards
The Judge Gift cards were handed out or mailed to judges for judging at magic tournaments and events. All of the cards are foil.
- See also Judge Gift cards.
Armada comic book inserts
- The Dakkon Blackblade #1 Comic — Dakkon Blackblade
- The Legend of Jedit Ojanen #1 Comic — Johan
- The Serra Angel #1 Comic — Serra Angel
The Shadow Mage is a four part mini-series comic book published in 1994 by Armada Comics, an imprint of Acclaim Comics. The first two issues include special printings of Magic cards. These cards are identical to 4th Edition cards but have a copyright date of 1994 rather than 1995, like regular 4th Edition cards.
Coro Coro comic book inserts
Coro Coro is a comic book published in Japan. It is famous for its fair number of Pokémon promotional cards included.
- Coro Coro #281 comic — Japanese 7th Edition Shivan Dragon
- Coro Coro G #Winter Issue comic — Japanese Scars of Mirrodin Darksteel Juggernaut
Dengeki-Maoh magazine inserts
On February 27th 2010, Japanese Magazine "Dengeki-Maoh" starts Magic Manga comic (Magic: the Gathering Eternal blaze) based on the Planeswalker novel The Purifying Fire. Yoshino Himori is the artist.
- Dengeki-Maoh #1 magazine — Japanese Worldwake Cunning Sparkmage
- Dengeki-Maoh #5 magazine — Japanese Magic 2011 Chandra's Outrage
- Dengeki-Maoh #8 magazine — Japanese Magic 2011 Chandra's Spitfire
- Dengeki-Maoh #? magazine — Japanese Scars of Mirrodin Kuldotha Phoenix
- Dengeki-Maoh #? magazine — Japanese Magic 2012 Phantasmal Dragon
- Dengeki-Maoh #? magazine — Japanese Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra Chandra Nalaar
- Dengeki-Maoh #? magazine — Japanese Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra Jace Beleren
Gotta magazine inserts
Gotta is a Japanese magazine aimed to cover all sorts of free-time activities of younger people, like comics, sports, and games. It debuted in December 1999 with a special introductory issue, with regular issues starting in January 2000. The magazine series has published four promotional Magic cards over time, one of them featuring alternate art. The cards are white-bordered and have a special backside.
- Gotta #1 magazine — Japanese 6th Edition Archangel Alternate Art and Japanese Urza's Destiny Thorn Elemental
- Gotta #? magazine — Japanese Nemesis Ascendant Evincar
- Gotta #? magazine — Japanese Nemesis Parallax Dementia
HarperPrism book coupon redemption
HarperPrism, an imprint of Harper Collins, published ten Magic: The Gathering novels, starting with the first named Arena in September 1994. The first five of them had a coupon on the last page which could be sent to Harper Prism to get a free card. While in the first four novels the rewarded card (or in the case of Arena, two cards) was fixed, HarperPrism used the fifth novel to distribute the remaining cards randomly while supply lasted. The cards were available in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, with the Spanish set erroneously printed with white borders. The books were also available in German but were not distributed by HarperPrism and therefore have no cards associated with them. The Italian book cycle was discontinued after the second novel due to poor sales.
|Novel Name||Mail-in Promo Card(s)|
|Arena||Arena or Sewers of Estark|
|Whispering Woods||Windseeker Centaur|
|Shattered Chains||Giant Badger|
|Final Sacrifice||Mana Crypt|
|The Cursed Land||One of the above|
Kartefakt is the most popular German trading card magazine. After three prerelease issues its first regular issue debuted in July 1995, and the magazine has been released bimonthly thereafter. During all the years it has managed to outlive all other trading card magazines in Germany. Aside from the main Kartefakt series, two Special issues have been published which both focus on Magic.
- Kartefakt #8 magazine — German Visions Jamuraan Lion.
Player's guide inserts
The Official Player's Guide to Mercadian Masques is the first of a series of player's guides for every new expert level set. It was available as part of the Mercadian Masques Fat Pack, which is the first Fat Pack in existence, and for subscribers of the The Duelist magazine. Unofficially, this guide is referred to as The Duelist issue #42. Player's Guides from Nemesis to Invasion were also available in different issues of the TopDeck magazine.
- Official Player's Guide to Mercadian Masques addition — Mercadian Masques Warmonger
The Cardz inserts
The Cardz is a trading card magazine published in Thailand. Twice already they have published a promotional card for Magic the Gathering. Both cards are labeled with the logo of the magazine but otherwise look like regular English Magic cards. Further details are yet unknown.
- The CardZ #1.0 Magazine — Planeshift Silver Drake
- The CardZ #5.0 Magazine — Apocalypse Phyrexian Rager
The Duelist inserts
The Duelist was the first official Wizards of the Coast magazine released in Fall 1993 and soon evolved into a comprehensive source of information for all Wizards of the Coast products and related topics. Starting as a highly artistic magazine, over time it lost some of its aesthetic appeal. Due to the increasing popularity of the internet and its inherent advantages, The Duelist was discontinued after 41 issues in September 1999.
The card Nalathni Dragon was supposed to be available exclusively for attendants of the Dragon Con convention, but due to complaints about the limited availability and to stem price gouging, the print run was increased, and the card was additionally distributed in issue #3 of the The Duelist magazine and in issue #4 of the The Duelist Companion magazine.
The alternate art version of Scent of Cinder from Urza's Destiny, illustrated by Carl Critchlow, was created to be a giveaway in the Duelist magazine. The card was included in every issue of Duelist #39, which was released in July 1999. This alternate version was given a collector number of "96a/143."
- Duelist #3 Magazine — Nalathni Dragon
- Duelist #39 Magazine — Urza's Destiny Scent of Cinder alternate art
When you order these novels from a WotC store with a number online, it will come with a very short-printed card. Because the special offer lasts for a short while, the quantity of this card is very small and they usually get sold out very quickly. You can still obtain the books through any bookstore but they will not contain the promo card. Expect to shell out big bucks for these card because of how how difficult it is to obtain them.
- The Agent of Artifacts — Jace Beleren alternate art
In December 1999, Wizards of the Coast published a magazine named TopDeck. It was dedicated to trading card games, while other Wizards of the Coast magazines covered other parts of their product line. However, due to the increasing popularity of the internet and its inherent advantages, TopDeck ceased production in February 2001 with issue #15.
Some issues of the TopDeck magazine included a player's guide for specific Magic sets.
IDW comics teamed up with Wizard of the Coast to create a 4-comic book series based on the storyline. It introduced a new planeswalker, Dack Fayden, who was involved in the Innistrad storyline. Each of these comic books contained a playable alternate-art promo card. The first wave of each comic would contain the card while the second wave would not - these cards were short printed. The cards are legal in the format that they are printed in.
- Issue #1 (2/1/12) — Alternate-Art Treasure Hunt
- Issue #2 (2/29/12) — Alternate-Art Faithless Looting
- Issue #3 (3/28/12) — Alternate-Art Feast of Blood
- Issue #4 (5/23/12) — Alternate-Art Electrolyze
A second volume of 4 comics called "The Spell Thief" picked up where the last mini-series left off. All 4 of the first wave of these issues were also be packaged with alternate art promo cards.
- The Spell Thief #1 (6/27/12) — Alternate-Art Arrest
- The Spell Thief #2 (8/8/12) — Alternate-Art Consume Spirit
- The Spell Thief #3 (9/19/12) — Alternate-Art Standstill
- The Spell Thief #4 (11/7/12) — Alternate-Art Breath of Malfegor
A third volume of 4 comics called "Path of Vengeance" followed up on The Spell Thief series. All 4 of the first wave of these issues were also be packaged with alternate art promo cards.
- Path of Vengeance #1 (12/5/12) — Alternate-Art Turnabout
- Path of Vengeance #2 (12/19/12) — Alternate-Art Voidmage Husher
- Path of Vengeance #3 (1/30/13) — Alternate-Art Ogre Arsonist
- Path of Vengeance #4 (2/27/13) — Alternate-Art Corrupt
DCI legend membership promos
The DCI, the Duelists' Convocation International, is an organization which administers the whole tournament structure of Wizards of the Coast games. Founded in September 1993, the DCI, at that time named Duelists' Convocation, offered two different membership levels: The free Mana membership and the $30 US Legend membership. While the Mana membership was sufficient to participate in DCI sanctioned tournaments, the Legend membership provided some additional items:
Most of the 6x9 cards were distributed in the Arena League between 1997 to 1999. Changing with every Arena League season, they were awarded for the best four placements for each season and as a special prize chosen by the organizers of each season. Additionally, some cards were given out as a participation bonus. Participation cards were given out at the beginning of each season, prize cards at the end of each season. As before, player rankings were determined by a complex point system similar to the DCI ranking and match reports had to be sent to Wizards of the Coast by every store where they were analyzed and player ranks were calculated. This system was replaced with a much simpler system beginning in 1999. Along with the renaming of the Arena League into Arena Outpost League, players received 2 points for winning a match and 1 point for losing a match. Points were now organized by each store separately.
Due to a continually decreasing popularity, oversized cards were discontinued after the Radiant 1999 season.
These cards measure about 9" x 12" / 23 x 32 cm. They were used to advertise Magic in general and different Magic sets in specific. They feature holes which facilitate hanging them up.
In order to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Magic, Wizards of the Coast decided to add to Eighth Edition one card of every set which had never been reprinted before, including the HarperPrism book promos, but excluding Unglued. With the exception of the cards originating from Starter and the reprinted HarperPrism promo card Giant Badger, these cards were also produced in an oversized version, measuring about 4" x 6" (11 x 15 cm). One random card was added to each box of Eighth Edition boosters which gave them their name "box topper" cards. Six of them were used as giveaways at shows and conventions over the summer of 2003. Ninth Edition also had Box Topper cards but not as many as Eighth Edition.
- See also Box-topper.
Vanguard cards are oversized character cards, measuring about 3.5" × 5" / 9 x 12.5 cm which are set aside at the beginning of the game. They modify the maximum hand size and the starting life point total and grant additional abilities throughout the game.
- See also Vanguard.
The Planechase is a series that contains Plane cards that are 3.5" x 5" / 9 x 12.5 cm. These planes modify the field and affects everyone. During the release of the series along with some tournaments, there are some DCI promos that are involved with this series. These are mostly used for the purpose of multiplayer games but can be used for one-on-one. Planechase 2012 launches June 1, 2012, and at least one promo will come with that release and probably more thereafter for WPN.
- See also Planechase.
- Promo #1 - DCI 41 Tazeem (release events)
- Promo #2 - DCI 42 Celestine Reef
- Promo #3 - DCI 43 Horizon Boughs
- Promo #4 - DCI 44 Mirrored Depths
- Promo #5 - DCI 45 Tember City
- Promo #6 - DCI 46 Stairs to Infinity (release events)
The Archenemy is a multiplayer game where everyone (at least 2 players) is teamed up to go against 1 player, who is the archenemy. Because there will be more players against you, these 3.5" x 5" / 9 x 12.5 cm Scheme cards are build to make it fair for you to help make the power be balanced for both sides. These schemes are highly not recommended for one-on-one. Like Planechase, there are DCI promos that were released that are involved with this series.
- See also Archenemy.
- Promo #1 - DCI 54 Plots that Span Centuries
- Promo #2 - DCI 55 Perhaps You've Met My Cohort
- Promo #3 - DCI 56 Your Inescapable Doom
- Promo #4 - DCI 57 Drench the Soil in their Blood
- Promo #5 - DCI 58 Imprison this Insolent Wretch
The Helvault was a promotional box for the Avacyn Restored Prerelease events. It was shaped after the Helvault, a large rock of moonsilver that played an important role in the storyline. The Helvault included oversized cards of the five legendary mythic creatures in Avacyn Restored, being Griselbrand, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and Bruna, Light of Alabaster, as well as a double-sided Angel/Demon token and grey Avacyn Restored spindown dice. Helvaults contained 54 oversized legend cards, 108 double-sided tokens, and 54 spindown dice.
A small percentage (likely 1% or less) of the Helvault's contained premium foil versions of all the cards within. These special versions also contained a random previously-released promotional card. These cards were chosen for having to do with angles, demons, or holy matters, with Serra Avenger, Demonic Tutor, and Wrath of God being among the included promos.
In both the Commander and the Commander 2013 releases, three 3.5" x 5" / 9 x 12.5 cm oversized cards were included per deck. These oversized cards can be used in Commander games as the Commander, to designate their special status.  
Special purpose reprints
Hobby Japan commemorative cards
In July 2002 Magic the Gathering had its sixth anniversary in Japan. To commemorate the event, Hobby Japan, the local Magic distributor in Japan and organizer of the Japanese tournament environment, published five cards selected from the Ice Age block which were not otherwise available in Japanese because the first expansion printed in Japanese was Mirage. They were distributed via a mail-in program until 30 September 2002. Nine bar codes of Japanese 7th Edition, Odyssey or Torment boosters had to be cut out and sent in to receive one randomly selected present card. These cards were: Goblin Mutant, Ihsan's Shade, Krovikan Vampire, Surge of Strength and Yavimaya Ants.
- Wizards of the Coast. (Friday, August 30, 2002.) "Japanese Ice Age block cards", Magic Arcana, MTG.com.
Redemption program cards
The Redemption Program is created by Wizards of the Coast to appease customers in the case of major product flaw occurs. This program has been invoked six times:
- Due to a sorting error in June 1994, prior to packaging, all uncommon Legends cards were divided into two groups. As a result, whole booster boxes were filled with duplicates of only one group of uncommon cards. In response, Wizards of the Coast published a list of all affected cards in The Duelist magazine issue #2 and offered to replace sent-in cards from one group with the same amount of cards from the other group, chosen by the customer. No more than two copies of a card could be sent in, and the offer was limited to 100 cards per person.
- Caused by a printing error in October 1996, the Japanese Mirage set was missing the card Flood Plain. In its place an extra Crystal Vein was printed. Wizards of the Coast offered a replacement: For two sent-in Japanese Crystal Veins, the customer received one Japanese Crystal Vein and a Japanese Flood Plain. Additionally a Japanese Nalathni Dragon was added as a bonus card.
- In a similar case in September 1999, the Spanish Mercadian Masques set was missing the card Eye of Ramos. In its place an additional Worry Beads card was printed. As a method of redemption, Wizards of the Coast offered to replace sent-in Spanish Worry Beads with Spanish Eye of Ramos cards.
- Because of the high quantity of banned cards in the Standard tournament environment during the Tempest and Urza's block area, in April 1998 Wizards of the Coast activated their Redemption Program for the fourth time. Customers could send in all banned rare cards of both expert level blocks, in specific Earthcraft, Dream Halls, Mind over Matter, Recurring Nightmare, Fluctuator, Time Spiral, Tolarian Academy, and Memory Jar, and received one booster pack of the same set the banned card originated from per card.
- When the Legions Elvish Rage Preconstructed Deck came out, in place of Taunting Elf was Snarling Undorak, which was rather unusual having a Beast card in an Elvish theme deck. Wizard of the Coast apologized about that and said that if you send Snarling Undorak with a receipt of the deck you bought, they would send you two free Taunting Elf.
- After the Coldsnap Theme Decks arrived on the shelves, the Kjeldoran Cunning deck did not have all three Brainstorm cards in their deck and instead had one Esscence Glair (which is also printed in the Snowscape theme deck). Due to that issue, Wizard of the Coast allowed you to send in those cards with a receipt of the deck you bought and they will send you a coupon for a discount when they restocked that deck with the correct cards.
Wizards of the Coast online store cards
On May 16th, 1997, Wizards of the Coast opened an online store which allowed customers to buy their products directly over the internet. In order to promote sales and to win customers for the online store, a temporary reward program was initialized in 1999. For each purchased Mercadian Masques booster box, the buyer was presented a Serra Angel foil card while supply lasted.
In July 2002, Wizards of the Coast decided to outsource their online shop to Sean Vanderdasson, former Wizards of the Coast employee and owner of the online store SVGames.
Arena League cards
Arena League debuted at Origins on July 4, 1996. The league was introduced to close the gap between casual and professional play, offering a possibility to play competitively in public without the pressure of participation requirements or ranking issues. Arena League tournaments are organized by registered store owners all over the globe. The choice of formats is completely at their disposal to allow casual formats which will attract less competitive players.
In order to increase the attractiveness of joining the league, promotional cards are given out. In 1996, participants received one of five alternate art basic lands randomly at the beginning of each season. The best player of a season was additionally given an alternate art Disenchant, the second best player was awarded an alternate art Fireball. These prize cards were given out at the end of each season. Player ranks were determined by a complex ranking system similar to the DCI ranking. Players had to sign up and were assigned a member card with a membership number. All matches had to be reported to Wizards of the Coast by every store where they were analyzed and player ranks were calculated. This system prevailed for six seasons which were given names: Summer 96 starting at the 2nd of August, Harvest 96 starting the 20th of September, Autumn 96 starting the 8th of November, Winter 97 starting the 3rd of January, Tempest 97 starting the 21st of February, and Spring 97 starting the 11th of April. Uncut sheets depicting all cards were awarded to judges helping to organize the events.
Starting with the Radiant 97 season, oversized cards replaced the alternate art cards, but the basics of the prize system did not change. During this period of the Arena League, four seasons spread over the years 1997, 1998, and 1999 were assigned to a special format named Vanguard which needed specially created character cards for play.
With the successful introduction of foil cards into the world of Magic, the prize structure was changed again after the Radiant 99 season. At the end of each season, the two top-ranked players and a randomly chosen player with at least 30 points were rewarded with a promotional foil card. Furthermore, every player who managed to collect 15 or more points during the season received one foil basic land. Points were awarded for winning (2 points) and losing (1 point) matches. Over the years, some of the land cards were reissued. This first era of promotional foil cards ended in disarray in 2002 when a cycle of foil Limited Edition basic lands was aborted midway, already released promo cards were reissued and during the last season starting at October the 14th, Friday Night Magic promo cards Jackal Pup and Quirion Ranger were given out as prize cards instead of Arena League promo cards.
Starting with 2003, the Arena League introduced yet another prize schedule. Seasons were now synchronized with the release of new expert level sets and could be held until the release of the next set. After each season, the 20 players with the most points were rewarded with a randomly chosen alternate art basic land out of a set of five issued for the whole year. Players with the 10 topmost scores were awarded with an Arena League foil prize card changing with each season. The two highest ranked players were presented a special Arena League life counter. Points were again collected by winning (2 points) and losing (1 point) matches.
The prize system was slightly altered starting with the special Unhinged Arena League season at the end of 2004. Henceforth, prize cards are given out immediately after a certain requirement is met. For collecting 8 tick marks, a player is given one randomly chosen non-foil alternate art basic land. For collecting 16 tick marks, he is given a promotional foil card. Further cards may be handed out for additional tick marks at the discretion of the tournament organizer. Tick marks can be collected by winning (you gain 2 tick marks) and by losing (you gain 1 tick mark) a match. Tick mark counters are reset with the beginning of a new season. The Unhinged season was special because alternate art Unhinged cards were given out instead of basic lands and because it partially overlapped with the Champions of Kamigawa season.
For unknown reasons, during the Guildpact season in 2006, two prize cards, Castigate and Wee Dragonauts, were given out instead of one. The exact distribution of these cards was left to the tournament organizer.
Due to a sorting error, the promotional cards Pouncing Jaguar, Rewind, Skittering Skirge, Duress, and Karn, Silver Golem were additionally distributed in English Urza's Destiny booster packs in place of uncommon cards.
- See also Arena League promos.
The card prizes for Champs and States included:
- Special frame participation promotional card for all attendees while supplies lasted
- Special frame Top 8 foil promotional card for the Top 8 players.
- Participating Promo - Electrolyze
- Top 8 Promo - Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
- Participating Promo - Rakdos Guildmage
- Top 8 Promo - Voidslime
- Participating Promo - Urza's Factory
- Top 8 Promo - Serra Avenger
- Participating Promo - Blood Knight
- Top 8 Promo - Groundbreaker
- Participating Promo - Imperious Perfect
- Top 8 Promo - Doran, the Siege Tower
- Participating Promo - Bramblewood Paragon
- Top 2 Promo - Mutavault
(Note: The last promo was given to the top 2 instead of the top 8, which makes this promo more valuable and much harder to obtain than the rest)
Friday Night Magic cards
The Friday Night Magic program was created to offer a low-level DCI sanctioned tournament environment. Every Friday in registered shops all over the world, small tournaments with at least eight people are held by the shop owners. Participants compete against each other in Standard Constructed, Sealed Deck, Booster Draft formats. Three participants are given a special foil card which is rotated monthly: the winner of the tournament, the fairest player, and a random participant who has not been rewarded with a prize card already.
Starting with 2005, the prize system was slightly changed. Now four copies of the monthly prize card are given out, one to the top-ranking player, one to the second-best player, and two to random participants who have not been rewarded with a prize card already.
Unlike the other cards, the foil alternate art Disenchant was not supposed to be a Friday Night Magic promotional card. It had been printed in 2000, probably at that time supposed to be a future judge reward card like its cousin, the foil alternate art Counterspell. Due to internal conflicts between different departments of Wizards of the Coast, the card was never scheduled, though, and lay dormant for years. A few copies were leaked to the public at that time, fetching exorbitant prices. In 2003, the prize card for March, a foil Crystalline Sliver, was unexpectedly skipped, allegedly because it has been stolen. As an intermediary solution, upcoming prize cards were moved up one month ahead of schedule, but since the new card layout was not supposed to debut before the release of Eighth Edition, the foil alternate art Disenchant was eventually released in July 2003 to fill the gap.
- See also FNM cards.
The Gateway Organized Play program was a program by Wizards to send promotional cards to players for participating in tournaments at local stores. In October 2008 The Magic Gateway-program has come to an end and was replaced by a new program called the "Wizards Play Network".
- See also Gateway cards.
Magic Player Rewards
The Magic Player Rewards program was set up by Wizards of the Coast to promote play in DCI tournaments. Promotional cards were sent to eligible players based on the number of DCI-sanctioned tournaments they participate in.
- See also Magic Player Rewards.
Prerelease Tournaments are held about two weeks prior to the release of a new Magic set in selected card stores all over the world. Participants play a Sealed Deck tournament, using cards from a number of booster packs from the new expansion plus a few boosters and a tournament pack from preceding expansions of the current expansion block. Winners of the tournament receive additional boosters and sometimes other Magic products at the discretion of the tournament organizer. In addition, since the release of Tempest, all participants are awarded a promotional prerelease card which is an altered version of a rare card from the new expansion set.
- See also Prerelease cards.
Release/Launch Party cards
Starting with Unhinged, a new series of Release Events was introduced in North and South America at the end of 2004. These events are held the weekend next to the street release date of new Magic sets. Like in prerelease tournaments, participants compete in a Sealed Deck environment, utilizing the new cards. A promotional version of a card from the card set is given out to the first 32 participants. In addition to that, additional booster packs and a life counter are rewarded to the top-ranking players. In other countries, the Release Event card is sometimes given out as participation bonus at additional prerelease tournaments held the weekend after the global prerelease tournaments have taken place.
The Rukh Egg can be considered the first Release Event card, not only commemorating the release of the Eighth Edition card set, but also commemorating the tenth anniversary of Magic itself. Consequently, all Eighth Edition release tournaments were named Global Celebration tournaments and were held in card stores around the world on the weekend before the official release of Eighth Edition.
In order to commemorate the release of Russian Magic cards, for the Ninth Edition Release Events in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, a Russian Shivan Dragon promotional card was given out to participants instead of the Force of Nature promo issued everywhere else.
- See also Release/Launch Party cards.
Magic Game Day cards
The first Game Day was on July 14th 2007, in commemoration of the release of 10th Edition. All participants received a promo card (while supplies lasted), and starting in 2009, Top 8 finishers received an additional card.
- 10th Edition Game Day, July 14, 2007 — Reya Dawnbringer (foil)
- Magic 2010 Game Day, August 14-16, 2009 — DCI-Promo-Card Naya Sojourners, Top 8 Finish: Full-Art foil Mycoid Shepherd
- Zendikar Game Day, October 31, 2009 — Full-art Nissa's Chosen, Top 8 Finish: Full-Art foil Emeria Angel
- Worldwake Game Day, March 6-7, 2010 — Full-art Hada Freeblade, Top 8 Finish: Full-Art foil Kalastria Highborn
- Rise of the Eldrazi Game Day, May 22-23, 2010 — Full-art Staggershock, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Deathless Angel
- Magic 2011 Game Day, August 14-15, 2010 — Full-art Liliana's Specter, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Mitotic Slime
- Scars of Mirrodin Game Day, October 30-31, 2010 — Full-art Memnite, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Tempered Steel
- Mirrodin Besieged Game Day, March 5-6, 2011 — Full-art Treasure Mage, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Black Sun's Zenith
- New Phyrexia Game Day, June 11-12, 2011 — Full-art Priest of Urabrask, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Myr Superion
- Magic 2012 Game Day, August 12-14, 2011 — Full-Art Stormblood Berserker, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Dungrove Elder
- Innistrad Game Day, October 29-30, 2011 — Full-Art Diregraf Ghoul, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Elite Inquisitor
- Dark Ascension Game Day, February 25-26, 2012 — Full-Art Strangleroot Geist, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Zombie Apocalypse
- Avacyn Restored Game Day, May 26-27, 2012 — Full-Art Latch Seeker, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Killing Wave
- Magic 2013 Game Day, August 4-5, 2012 — Full-Art Mwonvuli Beast Tracker, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Magmaquake
- Return to Ravnica Game Day, October 27-28, 2012 — Full-Art Dryad Militant, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Cryptborn Horror
- Gatecrash Game Day, February 23-24, 2013 — Full-Art Zameck Guildmage, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Firemane Avenger
- Dragon's Maze Game Day, May 25-26, 2013 — Full-Art Trostani's Summoner, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Melek, Izzet Paragon
- Magic 2014" Game Day, August 10-11, 2013 — Full-Art Hive Stirrings, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Goblin Diplomats
- Theros Game Day, October 19-20, 2013 — Full-Art Phalanx Leader, Top 8 Finish: Full-art foil Nighthowler
To encourage booster box sales, certain local stores gave foil alternate-art cards to the first 20 customers to buy booster boxes of new sets. The cards have all five mana symbols arranged in a circle in the background of the text.
- See also Booster box promo cards.
Duels of the Planeswalkers
Players who purchase the Duels of the Planeswalkers video game for XBOX, PS3, and Steam/PC are rewarded with a voucher to receive a special promo card to be picked up at their local shop (while supplies last). The first game was released on June 17, 2009 for XBOX, June 15, 2010 for PC and November 23, 2010 for PS3. The second (DoTP 2012) was released on June 15, 2011 on all 3 platforms. DoTP 2013 was released on June 20, 2012, while DoTP 2014 was released on June 26th, 2013, now featuring support for iPad and Android.
- Steam, iPad, Android - Scavenging Ooze (foil)
- PSN - Ogre Battledriver (foil)
- XBOX - Bonescythe Sliver (foil)
Included in special blister packs that include 3 MTG booster packs plus the foil promo. Available at Walmart & Target stores.
- A1 2007 - Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
- A2 2008 - Brion Stoutarm
- A3 2009 - Broodmate Dragon
- A4 2009 - Retaliator Griffin
- A6 2010 - Terastodon
- A7 2011 - Knight Exemplar
- A8 2012 - Sunblast Angel
- A9 2013 - Angel of Glory's Rise
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