This item is for a Vanguard card as pictured.
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.
Vanguard cards were given out in sets of eight cards to every participant as additional game accessory during specific Arena League seasons. For these seasons, the format required players to choose and play with one Vanguard card of their choice from the appropriate set.
The first Vanguard set was broken into two subsets, and each player received only one randomly chosen subset. Subsequent sets were handed out completely. Two cards from the fourth Vanguard set, Ashnod and Tawnos, were given out in preceding Arena League seasons as a participation bonus.
The first series of Vanguard cards was also available in a special Vanguard Gift Box released in December 1997. It contains:
- 1 set of Vanguard cards series 1
- 1 standard Italian Mirage starter pack
- 1 standard Traditional Chinese Visions booster pack
- 1 standard Korean Weatherlight booster pack
- 1 Vanguard rules sheet
Single Vanguard cards were additionally distributed in magazines.
The concept of Vanguard had not been forgotten and was reintroduced six years later in May 2005 on Magic: The Gathering Online