It should be noted that the colour of that icon represents its rarity, generally, the plain black icon is common, silver is uncommon, gold is rare and purple is mythic rare. This does not change what set the card comes from, simply its rarity within that set.
b) Cards without Set Markers
Not all cards have a set marker on them. This is only applicable to cards from the following MTG sets:
- Limited Edition Alpha
- Limited Edition Beta
- Revised Edition
- Fourth Edition
- Fifth Edition
4th and 5th Edition cards are easy to identify. These two sets have a date in the bottom left corner of the card. 4th Edition will have a date of 1995, 5th Edition will have a date of 1997.
The next way to differentiate the remaining sets is the colour of the border. Alpha and Beta Edition cards have a black border, Unlimited and Revised have white bordered cards.
To differentiate between Alpha and Beta cards, Alpha cards have very rounded edges compared to all other kinds of MTG cards. Just pick up a card from another later set and overlay them on top of each other. If it is very different from the other card then you have Alpha, other than that you have Beta.
Differentiating between Unlimited and Revised is a little more tricky. Unlimited cards usually have a blurry look to them due to the way the cards were printed. Revised cards also tend to look much more “washed out” and pale due to the printing process used.
c) Promotional Textless Cards and Reward Cards
There are also two other notable types of card which fall outside of those two categories, textless cards and DCI reward cards.
Promotional textless cards are cards given as rewards by Wizards of the Coast to tournament players. These cards have an expanded art block which takes up nearly all of the card space apart from an outer border. Hence these cards have no set marker, and belong to no set. In play terms for deck construction, this card can be taken to be from any set that already has a copy of this card in its card list.
Reward cards such as DCI promotional cards (e.g. Arena cards) and FNM foils have a DCI icon as its set marker. As per the textless cards, this means they belong to no particular set.
Hopefully this guide should help you to figure out which set your Magic the Gathering cards come from. This can be especially helpful in the process of selling your Magic the Gathering cards – this information is critical in making sure you get the true value of your cards.
This is just one of the steps in the process I’ve devised to realise and release the potential in your spare Magic the Gathering (MTG) cards. This process is fully explained and easy to follow; my system can be obtained by visiting my site and downloading a copy of my How to Sell Magic the Gathering (MTG) Cards – The Essential Secrets eBook.
You can now go on to making some real money from your collection – my eBook takes you through the full process from start to finish. There is also a second companion eBook which takes things to the next level and maximises your selling potential through exposing hidden, essential secrets in the eBay selling process.
Act now – visit my site and download my eBooks to get the full secrets of my system to make some serious money from your Magic the Gathering Collection.
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