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Beta Magic The Gathering Cards

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Limited Edition Beta or just Beta for short was the second part, after revisions, of the first print run of the first Magic: The Gathering set. It was released only a few months after Limited Edition Alpha's publication to correct some minor problems in the rules and to make up for the fact that the first run had completely sold out. Clarifications were made to the rulebook, and Richard Garfield's short fiction "Worzel's Tale" was removed to make room. Like Alpha it had no expansion symbol, and the text on the bottom left consisted of only the artist credit. Although many players speak of them as different sets, officially they are the same set.

Two cards accidentally omitted from Alpha were restored: Circle of Protection: Black and Volcanic Island. A third accidentally omitted art variant for each of the five basic land cards was also restored, bringing the set's card count to 302, multiple illustrations of each card are counted separately, as the game's publisher does to generate the 302 total, while noting that without the separate art the total of the set was 292 actual cards bearing different names. The few cards with printing errors from Alpha were fixed and put into this expansion.

In the past, Beta versions of cards were worth more than their Alpha counterparts. This was mainly because the corners of Beta cards are rounded in the same fashion as later expansions, making them more desirable to players. However, multiple years ago opaque card sleeves appeared on the market and it became legal to mix Alpha cards with other Magic cards. This made Alpha practically as desirable as Beta, and even more so because of the smaller printing. Currently, Beta cards usually go for slightly lower prices than their Alpha counterparts, but their value still greatly surpasses any other printings.

Though Beta had a larger print run of 7.3 million cards versus 2.6 million, it sold out as quickly as its predecessor. Because many players believed that the basic set would always be in print, most did not take care of their cards, thinking they could always replace them. Many players now have their cards rated by third party institutions such as the PSA to make them more competitive to sell on the open market. Only five Gem Mint Beta Black Lotus in the world have ever been given the highest PSA rank of 10. One was sold in a private auction for $20,000. This card was sold to the individual who also owns the original canvas artwork of the Black Lotus painted by Christopher Rush.

Sealed booster boxes of Alpha and Beta can be easily distinguished by the fact that Beta boxes have a UPC. Alpha's do not.


* All cards are Mint/NM and in English unless otherwise specified.
Cardname 
Magic Card ImageAir Elemental
Magic Card ImageAncestral Recall
Magic Card ImageAnimate Artifact
Magic Card ImageAnimate Dead
Magic Card ImageAnimate Wall
Magic Card ImageAnkh of Mishra
Magic Card ImageArmageddon
Magic Card ImageAspect of Wolf
Magic Card ImageBad Moon
Magic Card ImageBadlands
Magic Card ImageBalance
Magic Card ImageBasalt Monolith
Magic Card ImageBayou
Magic Card ImageBenalish Hero
Magic Card ImageBerserk
Magic Card ImageBirds of Paradise
Magic Card ImageBlack Knight
Magic Card ImageBlack Lotus
Magic Card ImageBlack Vise
Magic Card ImageBlack Ward
Magic Card ImageBlaze of Glory
Magic Card ImageBlessing
Magic Card ImageBlue Elemental Blast
Magic Card ImageBlue Ward
Magic Card ImageBog Wraith
Magic Card ImageBraingeyser
Magic Card ImageBurrowing
Magic Card ImageCamouflage
Magic Card ImageCastle
Magic Card ImageCelestial Prism
Magic Card ImageChannel
Magic Card ImageChaos Orb
Magic Card ImageChaoslace
Magic Card ImageCircle of Protection: Black
Magic Card ImageCircle of Protection: Blue
Magic Card ImageCircle of Protection: Green
Magic Card ImageCircle of Protection: Red
Magic Card ImageCircle of Protection: White
Magic Card ImageClockwork Beast
Magic Card ImageClone
Magic Card ImageCockatrice
Magic Card ImageConsecrate Land
Magic Card ImageConservator
Magic Card ImageContract from Below
Magic Card ImageControl Magic
Magic Card ImageConversion
Magic Card ImageCopper Tablet
Magic Card ImageCopy Artifact
Magic Card ImageCounterspell
Magic Card ImageCraw Wurm
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