Modern US Culture Wiki
Limited Edition Beta
Release date October 1993
Mechanics All original ones
Keywords Banding, [1]
First Strike, [2]
Flying, [3]
Landwalk, [4]
Trample [5]
Size 292 cards
(80 common,
95 uncommon,
117 rare)
Expansion code LEB (LB)

Magic: The Gathering
Alpha Beta Unlimited

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.

Set history

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.

Notable cards


  1. History of the World by InQuest Gamer & Leigh Newmark,, December 15, 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Power Nine by 'Magic Arcana',, October 15, 2003
  3. 3.0 3.1 Legacy Format Deck Construction - Banned & Restricted List by DCI,, Last Updated July 1, 2007
  4. Zen and the Art of Cycle Maintenance by Mark Rosewater,, July 8, 2002

External links

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