Set Specifications
Exp sym Beta


Card Galleries:

Set Information

Limited Edition Beta (or just Beta for short) was the second part, after revisions, of the first print run of the first Magic: The Gathering set. It was released only a few months after Limited Edition Alpha's publication to correct some minor problems in the rules and to make up for the fact that the first run had completely sold out. Clarifications were made to the rulebook, and Richard Garfield's short fiction "Worzel's Tale" was removed to make room. Like Alpha it had no expansion symbol, and the text on the bottom left consisted of only the artist credit. Although many players speak of them as different sets, officially they are the same set.

Set history
Two cards accidentally omitted from Alpha were restored: Circle of Protection: Black and Volcanic Island. A third accidentally omitted art variant for each of the five basic land cards was also restored, bringing the set's card count to 302 (counting multiple illustrations of each card separately, as the game's publisher does). The few cards with printing errors were fixed.

Interestingly enough, Beta versions of cards were at one point worth more than their Alpha counterparts. Though Beta had a larger print run (7.3 million cards versus 2.6 million), it sold out as quickly as its predecessor. Because many players believed that the basic set would always be in print, most did not take care of their cards, thinking they could always replace them. Also, the corners of Beta cards are rounded in the same fashion as later expansions, making them more desirable to players. In recent years, however (starting in about 2011 or 2012), Alpha cards increased in value and are now generally worth more than Beta cards. This may be because sleeves have become more common; Alpha cards are only tournament-legal if sleeved, because the distinctive shape of their corners makes them distinguishable from other cards if unsleeved. Many players now have their cards rated by third party institutions such as the PSA to make them more competitive to sell on the open market. Only Three Gem Mint Beta Black Lotus in the world have ever been given the highest PSA rank of 10. One was sold in a private auction for $70,000. This card was sold to the individual who also owns the original canvas artwork of the Black Lotus painted by Christopher Rush.

Sealed booster boxes of Alpha and Beta can be easily distinguished by the fact that Beta boxes have a UPC code. Alpha's do not.

Notable cards

Card Sets

External links

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