Magic: The Gathering Rarities: Japan's "Shichifukujin Dragon" Card

Hello and welcome, players, collectors, and fans of Wizards of the Coast's premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering! Through this showcase series, we have discussed a lot of quirky and rare, sometimes even sentimental, cards from Magic's rich history. The card we will be going over today may be one of the most well-known rare cards that Wizards has ever created. We are talking, of course, about Shichifukujin Dragon, a card that was made as a one-off to commemorate the creation of the DCI Tournament Center in Japan.

The full art for Shichifukujin Dragon, a completely unique Magic: The Gathering card created by Wizards of the Coast to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Japan. Illustrated by the late Christopher Rush.
The full art for Shichifukujin Dragon, a completely unique Magic: The Gathering card created by Wizards of the Coast to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Japan. Illustrated by the late Christopher Rush.

The story of this amazingly rare card goes like this: The Shichifukujin Dragon was designed by Wizards Senior Lead Designer Mark Rosewater to commemorate the opening of the Duelists' Convocation International Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan. Rosewater was also the designer to create the rules for the 1996 World Champion, another unique card. Christopher Rush, the late, great master illustrator of many pieces of iconic Magic: The Gathering's art, illustrated both the 1996 World Champion and the Shichifukujin Dragon as well.

Rosewater had heard that the "actual", mythological Shichifukujin was a seven-headed dragon deity and as such, he wanted to incorporate that idea into the card's design. So, taking design notes from a few Hydra creatures, he created a card that would lose heads and be made vulnerable for a time, before regrowing even more of them soon thereafter.

Shichifukujin Dragon, a one-of-a-kind Magic: The Gathering card made by Wizards of the Coast to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan.
Shichifukujin Dragon, a one-of-a-kind Magic: The Gathering card made by Wizards of the Coast to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan.

The DCI Tournament Center shut its doors for the final time on February 28th, 2003, but the card and its artwork were moved to the Head Office of Hobby Japan. This is its current location.

What do you think about this story? Do you think the Shichifukujin Dragon is an interesting addition to Magic: The Gathering's extensive history? Is it underpowered by today's standards? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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