MTG Wiki

Limited Edition
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The letter “B” against a black box
Design (See Alpha)
Development (See Alpha)
Art direction (See Alpha)
Release date October 4, 1993
Plane Multiversal
Themes and mechanics (See Alpha)
Keywords/​ability words (See Alpha)
Set size 302 cards
(75 commons, 95 uncommons, 117 rares, 15 basic lands)
Expansion code LEB[1]
Core sets
Limited Edition Alpha Limited Edition Beta Unlimited Edition
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Limited Edition Alpha Limited Edition
Unlimited Edition

Limited Edition Beta, commonly known as Beta, is the second print run of Limited Edition, which was the first core set of Magic: The Gathering. It contains 302 black-bordered cards. It was released shortly after Alpha, the first printing of the Limited Edition, sold out.

Beta is actually a nickname, but widely accepted as the name for this print run.[2]

Set details[ | ]

LEA and LEB Islands

Comparison between Alpha and Beta card corners.

Beta included a few changes from Alpha:

Between Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited, cards from Beta were initially the most desirable due to the combination of black borders and the use of the 4mm rounded corner. Due to the different corner radius, Alpha cards were considered marked unless a deck comprised only Alpha cards, but the advent of expansion sets with the smaller corners made the use of all-Alpha decks suboptimal.

Beta cards were printed using three different print sheets - one for rares, one for uncommons, and one for commons. As part of Richard Garfield's plan to keep players from guessing rarities, basic lands were included on all three sheets. The chance is approximately 3.31% for rares, 21.5% for uncommons, and 38.02% for commons. The only lands on the rare sheets were four copies of Island.

Marketing[ | ]

Beta was released on October 4, 1993. Limited Edition was advertised as having “more than 300 cards,” so a third version of each basic land was added in the Beta release in order to validate this claim. The print run was announced by Wizards to be 7.83 million cards.[7] Cards were available from mid-October 1993 until mid-December 1993.[8] The cards were evenly divided over 60-card starter decks and 15-card boosters. UPC codes were now printed on the bottom of each starter deck (Alpha had none).

The 40-page Beta rulebook had Bog Wraith on the cover and “Worzel's Story” was dropped to include a summary of play, an FAQ and an Index.[9]

Collectors' Editions[ | ]

LEB International Edition Air Elemental

An International Edition card is distinguished by its square corners and its gold card border as seen on the backside of a card.

The Collectors' Edition was a special commemorative edition of Beta cards released on December 10, 1993.[10] Wizards of the Coast produced about 13,500 copies of this set.[11][12][a] These cards have square corners and a gold border on the back, and thus are not legal in DCI-sanctioned tournaments.

  1. If 10,000 copies were sold in the US and Canada, 8500-9000 of which comprised the full print run of the Collectors' Edition and the remainder from the International Collectors' Edition, leaving 3500-4000 of the ICE sets (5000 total) to actually be sold overseas, it is roughly consistent with both sources.

Out of those, 5000 were printed as the International Collectors' Edition, some of which were sold in the US and Canada to make up a shortfall in the regular print run, and the remainder sold overseas. The difference between the international and domestic versions is that the international edition says “International Edition” on the back of the card.[11]

In November 2022, the 30th Anniversary Edition was released, which is a commemorative, collectible, non-tournament-legal product celebrating 30 years of Magic, inspired by Beta.[13]

Cards and cycles added to Beta[ | ]


Uncut Beta print sheet

The following cards from Beta were not printed in Alpha:

Beta therefore adds the following cycles to those present in Alpha:

Misprints[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (June 2, 2008). "Ask Wizards, June 2008". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (April 10, 2002). "Alpha "Oops…" III". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (July 12, 2002). "Alpha "Oops…" V". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana (November 08, 2002). "Land latecomers". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Peter Adkison (March 5, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering print runs from 1993". Facebook.
  8. Stephen D'Angelo (February 2, 1999) "Card Rulings Summary". Usenet.
  9. John Carter (December 25, 2004). "The Original Magic Rulebook". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (June 20, 2003). "Collectors' Edition". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. a b Peter Adkison (Dec 30, 1993) "MTG: International VS Collectors". Newsgroup: Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  12. T. Brian Wagner & Victor K. Wertz (1995). "Magic: a collecting history". In Michael G. Ryan (Ed.), The Pocket Players' Guide for Magic: The Gathering - Fourth Edition (pp. F-1 to F-4). Wizards of the Coast."...we released 13,500 Collectors' Edition sets of Magic: The Gathering. These limited edition sets contained 363 cards, including one of each of the 302 different cards, with multiple land cards making up the difference. Ten thousand sets were sold in the U.S. and Canada, while 3,500 International Collectors' Edition sets were produced for sale overseas."
  13. Blake Rasmussen (October 4, 2022). "Kicking Off Magic's 30th Anniversary". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. a b Magic Arcana (September 22, 2009). "Alpha Typos". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]