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Rare Alpha Black Lotus sells for $ 87,000



A Black Lotus from the original release of Magic: The Gathering sold this week on eBay online auction for $ 87,672. There is a lot of money for a small cardboard.

There are three official editions of Black Lotus in Magic : Alpha, Beta and Unlimited. Alpha consisted of 295 Magic card printed with black borders, Beta made seven cards and fixed some errors in the Alpha set, and Unlimited was a massive print of Beta, but with white borders to keep up with the demand for game. Each of these was printed in 1993, and Black Lotus was included in each.

So what makes Black Lotus open this weekend at the Grand Prix Chiba different from this $ 87,000 card?

The card opened last week was from Unlimited, the print set and quite a few Black Lotuses from that set. You can buy one now for less than $ 8000.

However, exactly 1

100 copies of each "rare" card were printed in the Alpha set. That means that we know how many Alpha Black Lotus cards all existed, and that also means that those available in the open market are quite unusual even today.

Another critical difference is that this Black Lotus is graded as 9.5 by the collective grading service Beckett. With regard to the card's shortness and card quality on the card, it is certainly one of the world's best-preserved copies.

Chris Rahn takes Black Lotus from the Magic Online cube.
Picture: Chris Rahn (Wizards of the Coast)

Besides the rarity, why do people care about the card? It was clear early in the Magic story that Black Lotus was powerful. The design of the game is based on mana, a resource produced as produced by country maps. Every turn, you are going to "untap" your lands so that they can produce mana again. The rules of the game state that you can only play one country per turn, which means that each player increases his strength slowly as the game continues. It's a beautiful way to iron power levels and keep players like each other.

Black Lotus is a card that can be played without using mana and adds three mana. This means that a player can have four mana (their country + three mana from Black Lotus) at the start of the game. Obviously, they should not have access to the resource level before they are four. You can see how Black Lotus immediately crushes the math of Magic and Black Lotus was quickly applied as a powerful card as soon as it was printed (along with other ridiculous powerful cards).

Black Lotus's ability to destabilize the game meant that it was never reprinted, and the allure and infamy of the card has followed it down over the years. Despite being played in a single format of Magic and limited to a single copy of the card in any deck in that format, the card's reputation has made it an important collectible item for games in general. .

Should rarity and cultural prestige stand at a price of $ 87,000? It may be a bit high for me, but if you feel itching to drop a few dollars, another one is available for a fun $ 100,000.


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