Arena League Promos (English)

Index | 1996 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006


Arena League debuted at Origins on 4 July 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 owner 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 per random 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 and those Promos were made in the United States by Shepard Poorman, a large commercial printer located in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 August the 2nd, Harvest 96 starting September the 20th, Autumn 96 starting November the 8th, Winter 97 starting January the 3rd, Tempest 97 starting February the 21st, and Spring 97 starting April the 11th. 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. 2 different versions of the shooting star exist for the Foil Urza Saga Basic lands, one being bigger than the other one. 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.

With the release of Time Spiral, Wizards of the Coast will be retiring the organized play program, Arena. Launched in 1996, Arena enjoyed many years of success across the globe. However, both the game of Magic and Magic players’ tastes have changed throughout the years. As a result, the company will be discontinuing the Arena program effective immediately. Time for Gateway program.

Errors, misprints and typos
Granny's Payback 2004: Artist last name is Folio instead of Foglio.
Ashnod's Coupon 2004: Missing the A04 in the copyright line. 14/8 different instead of 14/8 A04 different

Some Arena League Promos 1996 are NFC (Non Factory Cut) coming from multiples Uncut Sheets that went to the cutter.


Basic land artworks (Arena 1996) were drawn by Tony Roberts, and form a quintych landscape.


Basic land artworks (Arena 2003) were drawn by Rob Alexander, and form a quintych landscape.


Arena League Promos advertisement in The Duelist Issue #12 from September 1996


Arena League Promos 1996 uncut sheet printed by Shepard Poorman


Arena League Promos 1996 top of uncut sheet printed by Shepard Poorman


Arena League Promos Urza Saga Island 1999/2000 with big shooting star on foil Urza's Legacy Italian Common/Uncommon uncut sheet


Arena League Promos Urza Saga Forest 1999 with big shooting star on foil Urza's Legacy Italian Common/Uncommon uncut sheet close up


Arena League Promos Urza Saga 1999 Island with big shooting star on foil Urza's Legacy Italian Common/Uncommon uncut sheet close up


Arena League box Version 1


Arena League box Version 2 front and back aimed to hold all the paperwork for the Arena league. These boxes were given to all the vendors running the Arena league in the early days.

EXTERNAL LINKS
Arena Lands, Magic Arcana old link
Arena Lands, Magic Arcana
Arena Fireball, Magic Arcana old link
Arena Fireball, Magic Arcana
2003 Arena Lands, Magic Arcana old link
2003 Arena Lands, Magic Arcana
Unhinged Arena Promos, Feature Article
Hidden Unhinged Jokes, Magic Arcana

INTERNAL LINKS
Misprinted Non-Standard Arena League Promos


1996 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
001 PlainsTony RobertsArena League participation bonus1996-08-02YES 
002 IslandTony RobertsArena League participation bonus1996-08-02YES 
003 SwampTony RobertsArena League participation bonus1996-08-02YES 
004 MountainTony RobertsArena League participation bonus1996-08-02YES 
005 ForestTony RobertsArena League participation bonus1996-08-02YES 
006 DisenchantKevin McCannArena League first prize1996-08-02YES 
007 FireballJockArena League second prize1996-08-02YES 
 


1999 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
001347/350FoilForestAnthony S. WatersArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-06-03
2000-03-30
YES 
002347/350FoilForestAnthony S. WatersArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-06-03
2000-03-30
YES 
003269/350FoilPouncing JaguarDaren BaderArena League prize
English Urza's Destiny boosters in place of uncommon cards
1999-06-03
1999-06-07
004338/350FoilIslandDonato GiancolaArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-07-23
2000-06-01
YES 
005338/350FoilIslandDonato GiancolaArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-07-23
2000-06-01
YES 
006158/350FoilSkittering SkirgeRon SpencerEnglish Urza's Destiny boosters in place of uncommon cards
Arena League prize
1999-06-07
1999-07-23
007344/350FoilMountainJohn AvonArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-09-30
2000-08-03
YES 
008344/350FoilMountainJohn AvonArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-09-30
2000-08-03
YES 
00993/350FoilRewindDermot PowerEnglish Urza's Destiny boosters in place of uncommon cards
Arena League prize
1999-06-07
1999-09-30
010334/350FoilPlainsRob AlexanderArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-11-19
2000-09-28
YES 
011334/350FoilPlainsRob AlexanderArena League prize
Arena League prize
1999-11-19
2000-09-28
YES 
012298/350FoilKarn, Silver GolemMark ZugEnglish Urza's Destiny boosters in place of uncommon cards
Arena League prize
1999-06-07
1999-11-19
 


2000 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
001341/350FoilSwampJohn AvonArena League prize
Arena League prize
2000-02-12
2000-11-30
YES 
002341/350FoilSwampJohn AvonArena League prize
Arena League prize
2000-02-12
2000-11-30
YES 
003132/350FoilDuressLawrence SnellyEnglish Urza's Destiny boosters in place of uncommon cards
Arena League prize
1999-06-07
2000-02-12
004260/350FoilUktabi OrangutanUna FrickerArena League prize2000-03-30
00560/350FoilChillGreg SimansonArena League prize2000-06-01YES 
00660/350FoilChillGreg SimansonArena League prize2000-06-01YES 
00760/350FoilChillGreg SimansonArena League prize2000-06-01YES 
008198/350FoilPillageRichard Kane FergusonArena League prize2000-08-03
00919/350FoilEnlightened TutorDan FrazierArena League prize2000-09-28
010158/350FoilStuporMike KimbleArena League prize2000-11-30YES 
011334/350FoilPlainsEdward P. Beard, Jr.Arena League prize2000-?-?YES 
012338/350FoilIslandTony SzczudloArena League prize2000-?-?YES 
013340/350FoilSwampRob AlexanderArena League prize2000-?-?YES 
014346/350FoilMountainRob AlexanderArena League prize2000-?-?YES 
015349/350FoilForestRob AlexanderArena League prize2000-?-?YES 
 


2001 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
001FoilForestPat MorrisseyArena League prize2001-02-05YES 
002FoilCreeping MoldDave SeeleyArena League prize2001-02-05
003FoilIslandAnson MaddocksArena League prize
Arena League prize
2001-04-02
2002-04-08
004FoilDismissDonato GiancolaArena League prize2001-04-02
005FoilMountainTom WänerstrandArena League prize
Arena League prize
2001-06-04
2002-06-03
006FoilFlingPaolo ParenteArena League prize2001-06-04
007FoilPlainsChristopher RushArena League prize
Arena League prize
2001-07-30
2002-08-05
008FoilEmpyrial ArmorD. Alexander GregoryArena League prize2001-07-30
009FoilSwampDouglas ShulerArena League prize2001-10-01
010FoilDiabolic EdictRon SpencerArena League prize2001-10-01
011FoilForestChristopher RushArena League prize2001-12-03
012FoilGaea's BlessingRebecca GuayArena League prize2001-12-03
 


2002 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
001FoilIslandMark PooleArena League prize2002-02-04YES 
002FoilMan-o'-WarJon J MuthArena League prize2002-02-04YES 
003FoilArc LightningAndrew GoldhawkArena League prize2002-04-08YES 
004FoilDauthi SlayerDermot PowerArena League prize2002-06-03
005FoilMana LeakChristopher RushArena League prize2002-08-05
 


2003 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
0011/8 A03 PlainsRob AlexanderArena League prize for Onslaught block seasons2003-02-03YES 
0022/8 A03 IslandRob AlexanderArena League prize for Onslaught block seasons2003-02-03
0033/8 A03 SwampRob AlexanderArena League prize for Onslaught block seasons2003-02-03
0044/8 A03 MountainRob AlexanderArena League prize for Onslaught block seasons2003-02-03
0055/8 A03 ForestRob AlexanderArena League prize for Onslaught block seasons2003-02-03
0066/8 A03FoilSkirk MarauderPete VentersArena League Legions season prize2003-02-03
0077/8 A03FoilElvish AberrationMatt CavottaArena League Scourge season prize2003-05-26YES 
0088/8 A03FoilBonesplitterDarrell RicheArena League Mirrodin season prize2003-10-06
 


2004 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
0011/8 A04 PlainsJohn AvonArena League prize for Mirrodin block seasons2003-10-06
0022/8 A04 IslandJohn AvonArena League prize for Mirrodin block seasons2003-10-06
0033/8 A04 SwampJohn AvonArena League prize for Mirrodin block seasons2003-10-06
0044/8 A04 MountainJohn AvonArena League prize for Mirrodin block seasons2003-10-06
0055/8 A04 ForestJohn AvonArena League prize for Mirrodin block seasons2003-10-06
0066/8 A04FoilDarksteel IngotMartina PilcerovaArena League Darksteel season prize2004-02-06
0077/8 A04FoilSerum VisionsBen ThompsonArena League Fifth Dawn season prize2004-06-04
0088/8 A04FoilGlacial RayJim MurrayArena League Champions of Kamigawa season prize2004-10-01
0099/8 A04 is Circle of Protection: ArtMark TedinArena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20YES 
01010/8 A04 This MiseMark ZugArena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20
01111/8 A04 completely Booster TutorHeather HudsonArena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20
01212/8 A04 message Goblin MimeDan FrazierArena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20
01313/8 A04 secret Granny's PaybackKaja FoglioArena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20YES 
01414/8 different.FoilAshnod's CouponEdward P. Beard, Jr.Arena League Unhinged season prize2004-11-20YES 
 


2005 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
0011/8 A05 PlainsDon ThompsonArena League prize for Champions of Kamigawa block seasons2004-11-20
0022/8 A05 IslandDon ThompsonArena League prize for Champions of Kamigawa block seasons2004-11-20
0033/8 A05 SwampDon ThompsonArena League prize for Champions of Kamigawa block seasons2004-11-20
0044/8 A05 MountainDon ThompsonArena League prize for Champions of Kamigawa block seasons2004-11-20
0055/8 A05 ForestDon ThompsonArena League prize for Champions of Kamigawa block seasons2004-11-20
0066/8 A05FoilGenju of the SpiresJoel ThomasArena League Betrayers of Kamigawa season prize2005-02-04
0077/8 A05FoilOkina NightwatchHeather HudsonArena League Saviors of Kamigawa season prize2005-06-03
0088/8 A05FoilSkyknight LegionnaireJim MurrayArena League Ravnica: City of Guilds season prize2005-10-07
 


2006 - Arena League Promos (English)
SETNUMCARDNAMEARTISTSOURCEDATEINFO
0011/8 A06 PlainsJohn AvonArena League prize for Ravnica: City of Guilds block seasons2005-10-07
0022/8 A06 IslandJohn AvonArena League prize for Ravnica: City of Guilds block seasons2005-10-07
0033/8 A06 SwampJohn AvonArena League prize for Ravnica: City of Guilds block seasons2005-10-07
0044/8 A06 MountainJohn AvonArena League prize for Ravnica: City of Guilds block seasons2005-10-07
0055/8 A06 ForestJohn AvonArena League prize for Ravnica: City of Guilds block seasons2005-10-07YES 
0066/11 A06FoilCastigateDarrell RicheArena League Guildpact season prize2006-02-03
0077/11 A06FoilWee DragonautsGreg StaplesArena League Guildpact season prize2006-02-03
0088/11 A06FoilCoiling OracleMark ZugArena League Dissension season prize2006-05-05
0099/11 A06FoilSurging FlameRon SpencerArena League Coldsnap season prize2006-07-?YES