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The year 1997 was the fifth year of existence for Magic: The Gathering.


Date Event
February 3 Release of Visions.
February Prank article in InQuest #22, starting the rumors about the color purple.
February 14–16 Duelist Invitational in Hong Kong. Won by {SWE} Olle Råde.
February 28 – March, 2 Pro Tour Los Angeles, won by {FIN} Tommi Hovi.
  • David Mills was disqualified in the finals.
March Release of Fifth Edition, the first set that was advertised as an advanced-level set in the new rating system for the game sets.
March Start of the Military League.
March 22–23 First Grand Prix in Amsterdam, won by {FRA} Emmanuel Vernay.
April 11–13 Pro Tour Paris, won by {USA} Mike Long. First Pro Tour in Europe.
April Release of the MicroProse Magic computer game, including the Astral set.
May 1 Release of Portal, the first starter-level set, with simpler rules and an other lay-out.
May 16 Opening of the Wizards of the Coast Game Center.
May 30 – June, 1 Pro Tour New York, won by {CAN} Terry Borer.
June 6 Release of Weatherlight.
Summer First Vanguard set, featured in the Arena League.
July Introduction of the Extended and Legacy formats.
July First Magic based summer camp.
August 13–17 1997 World Championships in Seattle, won by {CZE} Jakub Slemr.
  • Team champions: Canada.
October 4 Prerelease of Tempest, first prerelease card: Dirtcowl Wurm
October 10–12 Pro Tour Chicago, won by {USA} Randy Buehler.
October 13 Release of Tempest, the first set that was advertised as an expert-level set and the first set to be released with preconstructed theme decks.
October 15 Wizards of the Coast lands TCG patent.
November 1 Release of the Magic: The Gathering - BattleMage computer game.
November Magic television commercials air in the USA.
December 5–7 Pro Tour Mainz, won by {USA} Matt Place.
December Release of the 1997 World Championship Decks.
December Release of the Vanguard Gift Box.
Magic: The Gathering - Armageddon arcade game created by Acclaim Entertainment.
Player of the Year: {CAN} Paul McCabe.


First involved[]

Wizards of the Coast[]

Design and Development[]


  • Blackie del Rio
  • Brian Horton
  • Bryan Talbot
  • Cecil Fernando
  • David Seeley
  • Eric Peterson
  • Fred Hooper
  • George Pratt
  • Greg Spalenka
  • I. Rabarot
  • Jerry Tiritilly
  • John Avon
  • Jon J. Muth
  • Michael Danza
  • Natalie Hertz
  • Omaha Pérez
  • Paul Lee
  • Romas Kukalis
  • Scott Hampton
  • Tony DiTelizzi

Fifth Edition

  • Clint Langley
  • Doug Keith
  • James Allen


  • Brian Durfee
  • Colin MacNeil
  • Paolo Parente
  • Ted Naifeh
  • William Simpson


  • Brom
  • Darbury Stenderu
  • Dylan Martens
  • Franz Vohwinkel
  • Kipling West
  • Mark Harrison
  • Patric Kochakji
  • Rogério Vilela
  • Stephen L. Walsh


  • Alan Pollack
  • April Lee
  • Carl Frank
  • Daren Bader
  • Doug Chaffee
  • Eric David Anderson
  • Janet Aulisio
  • Jason Alexander Behnke
  • Jeff Laubenstein
  • Jeff Reitz
  • Jim Nelson
  • Joel Biske
  • Matthew D. Wilson
  • Randy Elliott
  • Ron Chironna
  • Stephen Daniele
  • Sue Ellen Brown
  • Thomas M. Baxa
  • Val Mayerik
  • William O'Connor