Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise, sometimes called "BoP," is a classic mana accelerator that was printed in every Core Set from Alpha to Eighth Edition. The card was not included in Ninth Edition due to its inclusion in the expert level set, Ravnica: City of Guilds, the next fall. Birds of Paradise returned to the core set in Tenth Edition. It cost one mana and, by tapping for a mana the next turn, provides three mana on the second turn. Decks such as Fires, a red-green deck based around the centrepiece, Fires of Yavimaya, have long used to accelerate their game plan while also fixing mana.
During Alpha design, the original artwork submitted for a land featured a prominent bird in the foreground. Rather than reject the art outright, Richard Garfield designed Birds of Paradise to fit the art and included it in the set. There is a dispute on which land the art was original designed for, with Magic head designer Mark Rosewater claiming it was Tropical Island, while Mark Poole has told many players that it was a regular Island.
Though cheap flying creatures were not included in green's portion of the Color Pie, the rarity and popularity of the card allowed its inclusion in nearly every core set.