Beta

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Limited Edition Beta
MTG.jpg
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
The letter “B”
Design team
(See Alpha.)
Development team
(See Alpha.)
Art Director
(See Alpha.)
Release date
October 1993
Themes and mechanics
(See Alpha.)
Keywords and/or ability words
(See Alpha.)
Set size
302
(15 basic lands, 75 commons, 95 uncommons, 117 rares)
Expansion code
LEB[1]
Core sets
Limited Edition Alpha Limited Edition Beta Unlimited Edition
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Limited Edition Alpha Limited Edition Beta Unlimited Edition

Limited Edition Beta, commonly known as Beta, is the second printing of the first edition of Magic, includes 302 black-bordered cards. It was released shortly after Alpha, the first printing of the first edition, sold out.

Set details[edit | edit source]

Comparison between Alpha and Beta card corners.

Beta included a few changes from Alpha:

Among Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited, cards from Beta are considered 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.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

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 7.3 million cards. 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.[6]

Collectors' Editions[edit | edit source]

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

The Collectors' Edition was a special commemorative edition of Beta cards released on December 10, 1993.[7] Wizards of the Coast produced 13,500 copies of this set.[8] 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.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Beta has nine cycles and 3 vertical cycles.

Vertical cycles[edit | edit source]

Cards added to Beta[edit | edit source]

The following cards from Beta were not printed in Alpha.

Misprints[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. (August 02, 2004.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Magic Arcana. (April 10, 2002.) “Alpha "Oops…" III”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (July 12, 2002.) “Alpha "Oops…" V”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (June 20, 2016.) “25 More Random Things About Magic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana. (November 08, 2002.) “Land latecomers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. John Carter. (December 25, 2004.) “The Original Magic Rulebook”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Wizards of the Coast. (June 20, 2003.) “Collectors' Edition”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Brian Wagner and Victor K. Werz, Magic a collecting History, Pocket Players' Guide (Fourth Edition)
  9. a b Magic Arcana. (September 22, 2009.) “Alpha Typos”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]