I'm not sure if this would be considered a "cheat" or not, being there is technically a Magic set starting with "V" (Visions). Vanguard was technically sold in "sets", so maybe it's a viable loophole? They just struck a chord of nostalgia.
Vanguard was another supplemental product providing a casual multiplayer variant, which introduced oversized character cards that affected gameplay. Essentially, players pick a character card to start the game as. These cards may affect your starting hand size, life total, and/or provide various abilities and/or effects throughout the game. Vanguard cards are colorless and aren't considered to be in play (though, their abilities/effects are), permanents, or able to be affected by spells and abilities of other cards.
The characters depicted throughout the Vanguard series come from the Weatherlight and Urza blocks/sagas. Some of these were mentioned in my Invasion and New Phyrexia posts. The series were popular at the time or at least enough to inspire four sets worth! I'll share two or three from each set below.
The Vanguard variant was brought back on Magic Online, through the use of Avatars. I'm not sure how popular it is online, having only utilized the avatars a handful of times back in my heyday, but it's pretty cool that it was revamped and made available nonetheless.
I wonder if they would consider revamping the variant in the physical paper version again...
Do you currently play Magic: The Gathering? Are you a fan of the Vanguard series? If so, what's your favorite character card and/or ability from the series? Did you follow the Weatherlight and/or Urza blocks/saga? Do you play the variant on Magic Online? If so, what's your favorite avatar? If they ever revamped the series in physical/paper Magic, which characters would you like to see represented?