CGC Cards Registry Featured Set: Limited Edition Alpha

Posted on 12/7/2023

Adam Cai's Limited Edition Alpha set is 82% complete and focused on high grades. Read on to learn more about the first set of Magic: The Gathering cards!

Limited Edition Alpha was the first Magic: The Gathering set to be officially released. After premiering at the Origins Game Fair in 1993, it came out later that year and introduced a brand-new genre of card games: TCGs. Magic: The Gathering was wildly popular from the beginning, and the initial print run of Limited Edition Alpha — which consisted of only 2.6 million cards total — sold out quickly. A second print run called Limited Edition Beta followed Alpha in the same year.

Due to its limited print run and fast pace of selling, cards from the Limited Edition Alpha set are very rare and highly valuable, which makes Adam Cai's Pristine Collectibles - MTG Alpha Set all the more impressive! It is at an impressive 82% complete and is comprised of cards graded CGC 9 or higher. Check it out here!

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Alpha cards can be distinguished from Beta cards by the shape of their corners. Limited Edition Beta, and all following sets, used a different corner rounding die that made the edges a bit sharper than Alpha cards. Another unique feature of the Alpha set is that the Rule Book included a fantasy tale titled "Worzel's Story." The short story was written by Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering. Unfortunately, "Worzel's Story" was removed in Limited Edition Beta's rulebook and never appeared in subsequent sets.

Limited Edition Alpha introduced many game mechanics that are now considered iconic within MTG's gameplay, such as tapping land to acquire mana. Several of the cards from Alpha had abilities that would become keyworded in later sets. Some of these abilities, such as Trample, Flying and First Strike, are still used today.

The Alpha set contains many iconic cards, including the famous Power Nine, Boon cards and Dual Lands. The Power Nine contains some of the most powerful cards in all of MTG, such as the Black Lotus, which costs no mana to play but can be sacrificed to add three mana of one color to the player's mana pool. Ancestral Recall, another of the Power Nine, is also part of the Boon cycle. This card lets players either draw three cards or force their opponent to draw three cards. Adam Cai's set has beautiful examples of both Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall, with each graded CGC Pristine 10!

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The Boon cards are a cycle of five cards (one for each color) that provide a key ability associated with the number three. Giant Growth, for example, became an iconic card from this cycle and appeared in every core set until Magic 2012. Adam Cai's set has an example of this card graded CGC Gem Mint 10.

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Also part of the Limited Edition Alpha set are a couple Dual Lands. These cards count as one of two types of lands, either of which can be chosen by the player upon execution. Adam Cai's Underground Sea (graded CGC Gem Mint 10) counts as both a Swamp and an Island. 

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About the CGC Cards Registry

The CGC Cards Registry is a free online platform where collectors can register and display CGC-certified cards, compete with other collectors and get inspired. The CGC Cards Registry is also a great organizational tool for your collection. Begin adding your CGC-certified cards in the CGC Cards Registry here.

If you don’t see a set for your cards, please request a set. You may also review our CGC Cards Registry FAQs for details on how to make requests for new sets and slots.

The CGC Cards Registry team is here to help. Questions or comments? Want to connect with other collectors? Visit the CGC Registry Chatboards!

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