Magic The Gathering : Book Promo Cards
There was a time when books came with a promotional card not found in any other set!
As we all know there are many many science fiction novels written about Magic the Gathering. In the early days of Magic, these books came with a promotional card that was unique to the promotion. These cards were not reprinted from any other set, rather they have no set!
The Harper Prism Publishing company was founded in 1993 for the publication of science fiction and fantasy novels. Magic the Gathering was one of it’s main clients and many of the early Magic Books were written under this publishing company. The publishers released these following promotional cards to promote the sales of books. Being promotional only and last printed in the early 1990’s these rarities are becoming harder and harder to find. Most notably identified by their fountain pen “expansion” symbol, keep an eye out for the following cards.
Arena – 1994 – $3.00
Ironically Arena was the first card used in the promotion and the only one on this list to get reprinted in a non-core set! It appeared as a Timeshifted card in Timespiral and really turned some heads. Still, with no rarity, it is the only one of its kind. A land that really doesn’t act much like a land, arena is outclassed nowadays by many other things but will always stand alone as the only card to be reprinted and still have no marked rarity.
Sewers of Estark – 1994 – $1.00
The only mentioning of “Estark” on any magic card to my knowledge. It’s also the only black card that makes a creature unblockable. Unfortunately is does cost four mana and is completely overpriced to play in a competitive environment. A collectors item and a collectors item only, Sewers of estark was the second promo card to be released in a book.
Windseeker Centaur – 1995 – $2.00
Keeping in the pattern of strange abilities, Windseeker Centaur is one of only two red cards ever to have vigilance (the other being Tahngarth, Talruum Herofrom Planeshift). Pretty strange and strait forward, this card is also, unfortunately rather obsolete in modern magic.
Giant Badger – 1995 – $2.00
The only other card on the list to appear again in Magic, Giant Badger lived again as a common in eighth edition. Another strait forward card from the books, this one was actually appropriate for its colors and followed all the rules for its color. A neat little blocker, I can honestly say I’m surprised it made it no further than 8th edition. Only time will tell if it will see print again (I doubt it )
Mana Crypt – 1995 – $40.00
The last card to appear as a promo for Harper Prism, Mana Crypt was a nice finale to the idea. An awesome mana accelerator that is perfectly capable of just killing you instead of working, this card has the potential to be so powerful it is restricted to one in Vintage and banned in Legacy! All that for a stand alone card!
Recently in 2009 the Novel “Agents of Artifice” was printed for Magic and it came with a promo card as well! Nearly 15 years after the last Media Insert Promo, the MTG community was surprised and happy to find a promotion in the novel sales…
Jace Beleren – 2009 – $50.00
A rather expensive version of an old favorite, Jace the Book Promo is awesome. My favorite art out of the three versions of this card has got to be this one. This spiffy card is in high demand and proves there is hope for more promos to come!
thanks for reading!
(Img credit magiccards.info)
(Price estimates reflect starcitygames.com)