First Magic Sets

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Pre-Alpha[edit]

Alpha and Beta[edit]

The first Magic set ever. The Power Nine, the original dual lands, Lightning Bolt. This is where they come from.

Being the first, Alpha experienced it's fare share of problems, including (but by no means limited to) the following.

  • Spelling Douglas Shuler's name wrong on 28 different cards
  • Forgetting to include a mana cost for Cyclopean Tomb
  • Mixing up Elvish Archers power and toughness
  • Accidentally omitting Circle of Protection: White and Volcanic Island from the set

Luckily, a second set (Beta) was printed, which fixed these errors. Except for Shuler's name, poor guy. Beta also brought a new problem. The corners of the cards were less rounded then those of Alpha. This effectively 'marked' Alpha cards in otherwise Beta decks.

A few months after the release of Beta, Wizards printed the Collectors' Edition. Despite featuring gold bordered backs, square corners, and not being legal in any official tournament; some of these cards still command high prices, although only a fraction of the cost for the card in Alpha or Beta ($300 Black Lotus).

Unlimited[edit]

After realizing they had invented cardboard crack, Wizards reprinted the same cards again in Unlimited Edition. However, in deference to collectors, the cards were printed with a white border. Douglas Shuler's name was still spelt wrong.

Settings of Magic: The Gathering
Pre-revisionist: First Magic Sets - First Urza Block - Arabian Nights
Legends - Homelands - Ice Age - Mirage
Weatherlight Saga: Portal Starter Sets - Second Urza Block
Tempest Block - Masques Block - Invasion Block
Post-Weatherlight: Otaria Block - Mirrodin - Kamigawa - Ravnica - Time Spiral
After the Mending: Lorwyn - Alara - Zendikar - New Phyrexia
Innistrad - Return to Ravnica - Theros - Tarkir
Two-Block Paradigm: Kaladesh - Amonkhet - Ixalan
Never in a standard set: Fiora (Where the Conspiracy sets take place)