Magic Phone Cards

Index | 1996 | 1997 | 1999 | 2002

It all started in November 1996 when MCI PrePaid advertised in the Duelist issue #14 (December 1996) three Magic rechargable prepaid phone cards to be sold by local retailers. One featured artwork of Serra Angel, one of Jester's Cap, and one of Dakkon Blackblade. All three had a capacity of 20 units. The cards could also be used to access DCI rankings and Arena ratings.

At the beginning of 1997, the sortiment was enhanced. Two new phone cards were made available. One had artwork of Balduvian Hordes and a capacity of 20 units, the other one had artwork of Black Lotus and a capacity of 30 units. The functionality of all cards was expanded to access tournament schedules, game information, and more. The phone cards could from then on also be ordered from MCI Prepaid directly.

In the middle of 1997, all phone cards were upgraded. They now had a capacity of 25 units, the Black Lotus phone card even received a capacity of 50 units.

After that, no more advertisements appeared, so the fate of these phone cards is unknown. It is possible that additional versions were introduced or the existing versions were altered again, before this product line was dropped.

Since the number of units was printed on the cards, completists will need two sets of these phone cards, one with the higher and one with the lower unit capacity.

It is currently unconfirmed that the phone cards were produced. The information is based upon advertisements.

To cover the 1998 world championship event, Wizards of the Coast attracted a corporate sponsor: MCI
Telecommunications. According to a report in Brandweek:

Corporate tie-ins are mutually beneficial: the small start-up company is ‘legitimized’ by a renowned corporate
partner, through which it is able to gain access to a mainstream audience and acceptance, and, on the other
hand, the renowned corporate partner is searching for demographic synergies and “cool-by-association image
that come with linking to the Next Big Thing.”

MCI bets on those synergies when partnering with Wizards since it recognized the potential in courting
the core market of prepaid telephone cards: the college-aged crowd. In particular, MCI has agreed to
sponsor Wizard’s Magic US tournaments in exchange for exclusive worldwide rights to produce and
distribute Magic prepaid telephone cards featuring. The number 2 telecommunications company paid an
estimated $750,000 for the three year contract.

The MCI prepaid Magic telephone cards featuring original artwork of Magic cards, including such highly
desired cards like the ‘Black Lotus’ and other creatures of Dominia’s population. In addition, the MCI
Magic prepaid telephone card features a hotline where Magic players can receive up-to-the minute
tournament information, including tour dates, individual player rankings and game strategy. The MCI
prepaid Magic cards are themselves collected and traded.

MCI’s goal is it to establish a loyal clientele in the college-age crowd. Points out Seth Matlins, vice
president of corporate consulting at ProServ, the Arlington, Va., sports and event marketing agency that
brokered the deal: “First and foremost [there’s the] passion of Magic players. The Magic player wants
everything Magic and collects everything Magic. You’ve never seen core use loyalty like this. It’s
unrivaled across any other product or service category."


In 1996, Hobby Japan produced a Phone Card of 50 call units with a MTG card back front. No further information is available at the moment.


It was mentioned in the DCI announcement papers that a commemorative 1997 World Championships Limited Edition prepaid phone card will be given to DCI Legend members (only for members who joined or renewed before September 1, 1997). This old info has been verified and no phone card was created or given


In December 1999, a serialized manga adaptation of The Brother's War began in Japan's Gotta Comic magazine as "Magic: The Legend". A Phone Card of 50 call units was produced with the illustration of Mishra and Urza on the front by ?.
It imagines Urza & Mishra as twins. In August 2000, it was cancelled after 8 chapters.

Release date: December 1, 2000
Artist: Ono Toshihiro
Author: ?
Label: Gotta Comics
Publisher: Shogakukan
Number of pages: 234
ISBN: 978-4091580412
Printed in Japan

Urza & Mishra Gotta Comics Manga based on the novel by Jeff Grubb. Front, middle and back. The cover depicts Urza, Ashnod and Mishra. December 2000.


In 2002, another series was produced and available mainly at Premier stores featuring illustrations of:
Krosan Beast (Odyssey) illustrated by Kev Walker - 30 minutes
Shivan Dragon (7th Edition) illustrated by Donato Giancola - 60 minutes
Sengir Vampire (Torment) illustrated by Kev Walker - 100 minutes
Silver Seraph (Judgment) illustrated by Matthew D. Wilson - 250 minutes

It is rumored also that a Squee, Goblin Nabob (Mercadian Masques) illustrated by David Monette phone card exists with a 200-minutes amount. Existence needs to be proven.

Errors, misprints and typos:
2. Enter World Sevice Code instead of Enter World Service Code. Sévice means Punishment in French.

Legends membership-1995-2001 DCI document

Magic Phone Cards advertisement in the Duelist issue #14 December 1996

Magic Phone Cards advertisement in the Duelist issue #15 February 1997

Magic Phone Cards; Magic Arcana
Magic Urza and Mishra Manga

DCI Legend Membership Promos
Magic Phone Cards....How Many? Topic on the forum

1996 - Magic Phone Cards
001 Dakkon Blackblade (Legends)Richard Kane FergusonThe Duelist issue #14 advertisement1996-12YES 
002 Jester's Cap (Ice Age)Dan FrazierThe Duelist issue #14 advertisement1996-12YES 
003 Serra Angel (Alpha)Douglas ShulerThe Duelist issue #14 advertisement1996-12YES 
004 Hobby JapanSource unknown1996YES 

1997 - Magic Phone Cards
001 Balduvian Horde (Alliances)Brian SnōddyThe Duelist issue #15 advertisement1997-02YES 
002 Black Lotus (Alpha)Christopher RushThe Duelist issue #15 advertisement1997-02YES 
003 Dakkon Blackblade (Legends)Richard Kane FergusonThe Duelist issue #15 advertisement1997-02YES 
004 Jester's Cap (Ice Age)Dan FrazierThe Duelist issue #15 advertisement1997-02YES 
005 Serra Angel (Alpha)Douglas ShulerThe Duelist issue #15 advertisement1997-02YES 
006 Balduvian Horde (Alliances)Brian SnōddySource unknown1997-?YES 
007 Black Lotus (Alpha)Christopher RushSource unknown1997-?YES 
008 Dakkon Blackblade (Legends)Richard Kane FergusonSource unknown1997-?YES 
009 Jester's Cap (Ice Age)Dan FrazierSource unknown1997- ?YES 
010 Serra Angel (Alpha)Douglas ShulerSource unknown1997- ?YES 

1999 - Magic Phone Cards
001 Urza and MishraToshihiro OnoSource unknown1999YES 

2002 - Magic Phone Cards
001 Krosan Beast (Odyssey)Kev WalkerMTG Premier stores2002YES 
002 Shivan Dragon (7th Edition)Donato GiancolaMTG Premier stores2002YES 
003 Sengir Vampire (Torment)Kev WalkerMTG Premier stores2002YES 
004 Squee, Goblin Nabob (Mercadian Masques)David MonetteSource unknown2002YES 
005 Silver Seraph (Judgment)Matthew D. WilsonMTG Premier stores2002YES