Vanguard

The VanguardTM supplements consist of oversized cards that modify the game. A Vanguard card is selected before the game begins, adjusting a player's starting and maximum hand size and starting life total. Any abilities printed on a Vanguard card are played exactly like those of an in-play Magic card; however, these abilities have no color, and damage from them isn't damage from a permanent of any type or a source of any color. A Vanguard card isn't a Magic card, so it can't be affected by spells or abilities.

  1. Your starting life may be higher or lower than 20, depending on the card.
  2. Your starting and maximum hand size may be higher or lower than seven, depending on the card.
  3. Here's the fun part: Each Vanguard card gives you some benefit that might be considered "ba-roken" in normal Magic play. For example, your creatures are unaffected by summoning sickness, or you draw an extra card each turn.

Popular variants include each player randomly choosing a Vanguard card to play, or rotating Vanguard cards at determined intervals during a multiplayer game. But, of course, you can use Vanguard cards any way you want.

These cards were used in several Arena seasons (starting in 1997), and were later available as part of a gift box. If you look around, you can find them at card shops and for sale online today.

Set 1

Ertai
Your creatures can't be the target of your opponents' spells or abilities.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +4
Illus. Randy Gallegos
 
Gerrard
During your draw phase, draw an additional card.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -4
Starting Life:+0
Illus. Douglas Shuler
 
Karn
Each of your noncreature artifacts is also an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its total casting cost.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +6
Illus. Anthony S. Waters
 
Maraxus
Your creatures get +1/+0.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +2
Illus. Matthew Wilson
 
Mirri
Each of your basic lands may be tapped to produce any color of mana instead of its normal type.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: +5
Illus. Richard Kane Ferguson
 
Sisay
Whenever you tap a land for mana, it produces one additional mana of the same type.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -2
Starting Life: -3
Illus. Kaja Foglio
 
Squee
Your opponents play with their hands face up.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +3
Starting Life: -4
Illus. Daniel Gelon
 
Tahngarth
Your creatures are unaffected by summoning sickness.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +7
Illus. Pete Venters
 

Set 2

Barrin
You may sacrifice a permanent to return any creature to its owner's hand. Play this ability as an instant.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: +6
Illus. Christopher Rush
 
Crovax
Whenever any of your creatures damages any creature or player, gain 1 life.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +2
Starting Life: +0
Illus. Ron Spencer
 
Greven il-Vec
Whenever any of your creatures damages any creature, bury the damaged creature.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +2
Illus. Mark Tedin
 
Hanna
Your spells cost 1 less to play.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: -5
Illus. Liz Danforth
 
Orim
Your creatures can block as though they had flying.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: +12
Illus. Rebecca Guay
 
Selenia
Attacking doesn't cause your creatures to tap.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +7
Illus. Quinton Hoover
 
Starke
During your draw phase, you may draw an additional card and then put any card in your hand on the bottom of your library.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: -2
Illus. Donato Giancola
 
Volrath
Whenever any of your creatures is put into your graveyard from play, you may put that creature on top of your library.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +2
Starting Life: -3
Illus. Anson Maddocks
 

Set 3

Eladamri
You may redirect to yourself any amount of damage dealt to creatures you control.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +15
Illus. Mark Zug
 
Lyna
All creatures you control gain shadow.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +2
Starting Life: -4
Illus. Adam Rex
 
Multani
All creatures you control get +X/+0, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -3
Starting Life: -2
Illus. Brom
 
Oracle
You may untap any attacking creatures you control and remove them from combat.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +9
Illus. Dan Frazier
 
Rofellos
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from play, draw a card.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -2
Starting Life: +4
Illus. Daren Bader
 
Sidar Kondo
3 Mana : Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +12
Illus. Kev Walker
 
Sliver Queen, Brood Mother
3 Mana : Put a Sliver token into play. Treat this token as a 1/1 colorless creature.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: +8
Illus. rk post
 
Takara
Sacrifice a creature: Takara deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +3
Starting Life: -8
Illus. DiTerlizzi
 

Set 4

Ashnod
Whenever a creature successfully damages you, destroy it.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: -8
Illus. Ron Spencer
 
Gix
3 Mana : Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand..
Starting & Max Hand Size: -2
Starting Life: +18
Illus. Pete Venters
 
Mishra
Double all damage dealt by creatures you control.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +0
Starting Life: -3
Illus. Anson Maddocks
 
Serra
All creatures you control get +0/+2.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +1
Illus. Matthew Wilson
 
Tawnos
You may play artifact, creature, and enchantment spells any time you could play an instant.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +3
Starting Life: -4
Illus. Donato Giancola
 
Titania
You may play an additional land each of your turns.
Starting & Max Hand Size: +2
Starting Life: -5
Illus. Rebecca Guay
 
Urza
3 Mana : Urza deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
Starting & Max Hand Size: -1
Starting Life: +10
Illus. Mark Tedin
 
Xantcha
Sacrifice a permanent: Regenerate target creature
Starting & Max Hand Size: +1
Starting Life: +3
Illus. Heather Hudson
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