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 1993
Plane Multiverse
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[]

Comparison between Alpha and Beta card corners.

Beta included a few changes from Alpha:

Among Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited, cards from Beta were considered early on to be the most valuable because of the black border and the use of the 4mm rounded corner (Alpha cards were originally shunned as marked cards in early tournament decks, which had to appear unmarked without sleeves under early tournament rules).

Due to the printing process, it is possible to get land cards in a rare (Islands, 4 are on the rare print sheet), uncommon, or common card slot. The chance is approximately 3.31% for rares, 21.5% for uncommons, and 38.02% for commons. This is because they put lands on all three printed sheets.


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 7.8 million cards. Cards were available from mid-October 1993 until mid-December 1993.[7] 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.[8]

Collectors' Editions[]

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.[9] Wizards of the Coast produced 13,500 copies of this set.[10] These cards have square corners and a gold border on the back and, thus, are not legal in DCI-sanctioned tournaments.

The similar International Edition was also released in December 1993. Wizards of the Coast produced 3 500 copies of this set. The difference between the international and domestic versions is that the international edition says “International Edition” on the back of the card. These cards are not legal in any DCI-sanctioned tournaments.

Cards & 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:



  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. Stephen D'Angelo (February 2, 1999) "Card Rulings Summary". Usenet.
  8. John Carter (December 25, 2004). "The Original Magic Rulebook". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Wizards of the Coast (June 20, 2003). "Collectors' Edition". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Brian Wagner and Victor K. Werz, Magic a collecting History, The Pocket Players' Guide for Magic: The Gathering - Fourth Edition
  11. a b Magic Arcana (September 22, 2009). "Alpha Typos". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]