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Condition guide


Many early Magic sets are not so easy to identify. Here are some tips to identifying the correct set your cards belong to:

Alpha (i.e., Limited Edition) is black bordered with no date and really rounded edges which are very noticable. There are 295 cards in the Alpha Set.
Alpha-> <-Beta

Beta (i.e., Limited Edition) is black bordered with more square corners, with a slight rounding which looks the same as modern cards. Alpha and Beta have all the same basic cards - but Beta has 7 additional cards in the set (CoP:Black, Volcanic Island, Swamp-Two Branch, Mountain-Green Branch, Plains-Pink Horizon, Island-Red, and Forest-Eyes) for a total of 302 cards.

Unlimited is White bordered with no date, but has really big text and sometimes look more faded. The set has the same cards as Beta, a total of 302 cards. On occasion the wording is different than modern cards.
Unlimited-> <- Revised

Revised is white bordered and has no date, just like Unlimited, but the font of the text looks a lot more modern and smaller. The bevel effect used with earlier cards is gone in this set - replaced with a simple black line.

Summer Magic was a limited-run "corrected" version of the Revised Edition set that was entirely recalled by Wizards - but, not before a few booster boxes were in circulation! These cards are white bordered with a 1994 date. The card Hurricane was printed as a blue card. Please note: Very, very few people actually own these cards and they are quite valuable. If you are thinking of listing them on CardShark please have them graded by a qualified card shop.

Collector's edition looks like beta on the front (black border) but with perfectly square corners and the back is gold. This set is not legal in tournaments.

Chronicles is a set of white-bordered cards reprinted from Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, and The Dark. These cards do have their original set symbols o them.

Battle Royale is a set with versions of cards - including the original set symbols - from many previous sets but with white borders. Note then, there is no "Battle Royale" set icon.

Deckmasters is a set of 124 cards with versions of cards from previous sets but with white borders. This set has a unique symbol:

Starter 1999 are white-bordered cards with a small star as the expansion symbol.

Starter 2000, unlike the Starter 1999 set, is only a partially unique set. All 6th Edition cards included in this set are identical to their original printing. The other cards in this set have white borders (like Starter 1999) but no expansion symbol (unlike Starter 1999). These cards are unique to this set and the only ones listed on CardShark from this set.

Vanguard is a special promotional set with very large cards and styled text. The printing on this set is easily chipped at the edges, and mint cards are harder to come by:

Unglued and Unhinged are special fun sets with silver borders. Unglued also includes a handful of popular tokens that have silver borders, like Squirrel and Zombie. This set features our favorite card(s) Big Furry Monster:

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