CGC Cards Certifies Black Lotus and Three Additional Alpha Edition Magic Cards, All Graded CGC Pristine 10
Posted on 9/27/2023
When it comes to rare Magic: The Gathering cards, none are more coveted than the Power Nine — a group of nine cards from the original MTG sets that were eventually banned from gameplay because of their power. One of these cards is the infamous Black Lotus, which is well-known for being immensely strong in gameplay and is incredibly valuable to MTG collectors.
The Power Nine cards were introduced in the Limited Edition Alpha set, the first Magic: The Gathering set to be released to the public by Wizards of the Coast in 1993. But they were only printed in the first three sets (Alpha, Beta and Unlimited) before being banned. In all, it is estimated that 1,100 copies of each Rare card from the Alpha set were ever printed.
CGC Cards recently received a CrossOver submission of a Black Lotus, a Time Walk, a Mox Ruby and a Mox Pearl, all from the Limited Edition Alpha set, and all in exceptional condition. After being evaluated for CGC Cards certification, each card received a grade of CGC Pristine 10, the highest grade on the CGC Cards Grading Scale.
Black Lotus is a powerful card that became a no-brainer addition to decks during MTG’s early days. Its ability allowed it to generate a massive resource advantage early in the game, which gave the player that wielded it an extreme advantage. This powerful ability led to the card’s induction into the Power Nine. Alpha Black Lotuses were often paired with Beta-composed decks, because their sharper edges were easily identifiable against Beta’s more rounded edges, which led to occasional foul play. Because of this, Alpha cards were banned in tournaments for some time.
Alpha Black Lotus is, without a doubt, the most sought-after card in the entirety of Magic: The Gathering. The Alpha version of Black Lotus is rarer than its Beta or Unlimited counterparts, and it is extremely difficult to find an example in excellent condition due to it being around 30 years old. This is the only Alpha Black Lotus graded CGC Pristine 10 in the CGC Cards Population Report, with none graded higher.
Another of the Power Nine, Time Walk’s ability allows the player to play two mana — a blue mana, and a colorless — to take an extra turn. Taking an extra turn at such a low cost could turn the tables quickly in a match; sometimes too quickly, leaving the opponent no room for a comeback. Because of this, Time Walk was banned shortly after its release and continues to be restricted in the Vintage format.
While Time Walk isn’t as popular or expensive as Black Lotus, its value within the Magic: The Gathering collecting community cannot be understated. Time Walk is also part of what is referred to as the "Big Blue," three blue cards from the Power Nine, including Time Walk, Timetwister and Ancestral Recall. Time Walk has always been a fan favorite due to its stunning art by Amy Weber. CGC Cards has certified 33 Time Walk Limited Edition Alpha cards, according to the CGC Cards Population Report, with only one graded CGC Pristine 10.
The Mox Jewels
The Mox Jewels — sometimes simply called "Moxen" or “Moxes” — are a set of five cards based on pieces of jewelry. The original Moxes are Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Sapphire and Mox Ruby. Each of the Moxes gave the player one additional mana of a certain color (blue mana for Sapphire, red mana for Ruby, etc.), allowing for such an extreme mana acceleration that it gave some players an unfair advantage. All five original Moxes are part of the Power Nine and extremely sought after, especially in their Limited Edition Alpha prints.
According to the CGC Cards Population Report, CGC Cards has certified 20 examples of Mox Ruby and 25 examples of Mox Pearl in their Limited Edition Alpha prints. Both only have one example graded CGC Pristine 10 in the CGC Cards Population Report — the ones here.
Since revolutionizing comic book grading in 2000, CGC has grown to include certification services for many other types of pop culture collectibles. These divisions include CGC Cards, CGC Video Games and CGC Home Video. CGC Cards provides expert card grading for TCGs, sports cards and non-sports cards. CGC Video Games is dedicated to video game grading for the most popular consoles, including Nintendo, Sega, Atari, PlayStation and more. The newest division of CGC, CGC Home Video, provides expert VHS grading in addition to other types of videocassettes.
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