Magic: The Gathering (aka MTG or just Magic) is a multiplayer, collectible card game created by Richard Garfield in the early 1990s. Based on a field of mathematics known as combinatorics, Magic is essentially an abstract counting game that has been brought to life by the fictional fantasy (both in its storyline and visual imagery) on the cards.

Three sets of Magic cards were released in 1993. The first Alpha set, as it’s known, featured 295 black-bordered cards, 116 of which were printed in lower numbers to make them rare. Some of the cards in this original set, including Black Lotus, a quintet of Mox cards, and cards with names like Goblin Recruiter and Ancestral Recall, are so powerful in terms of their effect upon a game that they are either banned or restricted from tournaments.

Subsequent sets in 1993 were named Beta (which corrected errors in the sold-out Alpha set and restored cards that had been inadvertently excluded) and Unlimited Edition, which was essentially the Beta set but with a white instead of a black border.

Concurrent with the release of the Unlimited Edition was the game’s first expansion set, Arabian Nights. Also designed by Garfield, the 92-card set included a card called Shahrazad, which permitted players to play a subgame using cards in their “library,” which are those cards in a player’s deck that are not in use. This card, too, is banned in tournaments.

Other early expansion packs include Antiquities (100 cards, including the trio of Urza cards and the rare and highly collectible Mishra’s Workshop) and Legends (its mammoth collection of 310 cards, as well as the fact that the full number of uncommon cards never made it into print), make this a difficult set to collect.

For the most part, the subject matter of Magic cards is as serious as fantasy and mythical fiction can get. Cards faces are filled with images of marauding goblins, fanged and drooling creatures, gloomy forests, and desert wastelands. But the designers at Wizards of the Coast, which publishes Magic: The Gathering, have also been known to poke fun at themselves, as seen in the parody sets called Unglued (1998) and Unhinged (2004).


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Talking Boards

Museum of Talking Boards

Prepare to enter the strange world of Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board game, which captured imaginations en masse… [read review or visit site]

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

This in-depth University of Waterloo virtual exhibit showcases vintage games in a variety of categories, from class… [read review or visit site]

Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [read review or visit site]

Pong Story

Pong Story

David Winter's tribute to early video games, and to Ralph H. Baer, 'inventor of the video game.' Offers a detailed … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1993 Magic The Gathering Mtg Alpha Braingeyser R B Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint (pwcc)1993 Magic The Gathering Unlimited Ancestral Recall Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)Mtg Magic Altered Painted Klug Alters Bloodstained MireMassive Mtg Collection Lot Complete Foil Modern Merfolk Deck Cavern Of Souls +++Lotus Petal Nm/m Kaladesh Invention Mtg MasterpieceMagic The Gathering Personal Collection Lot(27) 1994-95 Magic The Gathering Mtg Revised Plateau Underground Sea (pwcc)4x Foil Force Of Will Nm/nm+ Foil Magic The Gathering Mtg Promo Judge Edh FowMagic The Gathering Mtg Onslaught 36 Booster Pack Factory Sealed Box3x Foil Dark Confidant Nm/nm+ Foil Magic The Gathering Mtg Promo Judge Edh Fow4 X Verdant Catacombs Zendikar Mtg Vintage Magic The Gathering: Deckmaster Collection/lot From Garage Sale 10,000+ Innistrad Booster Box Sealed New!Mtg Foil Japanese Ravnica Dark Confidant X4Foil German Thoughtseize Nm LrwBlack Lotus Collectors' Edition 1999 Magic The Gathering Mtg Starter Grim Tutor R K Bgs 10 Pristine (pwcc)1993 Magic The Gathering Mtg Beta Wheel Of Fortune R R Bgs 9 Mint (pwcc)Huge Magic The Gathering Collection, 20000+ Card Lot Commons/uncommons 1993-2016Foil Russian Snapcaster Mage Ex+ Inn4x Foil Imperial Recruiter Nm/nm+ Foil Magic The Gathering Mtg Promo Judge Edh Vintage Magic The Gathering Mtg Conflux Booster Box Factory Sealed EnglishMtg Magic The Gathering Legacy Revised Dual Land Volcanic Island Moderate Pl D3Magic Coldsnap Booster Box New & Sealed Wotc 2006 Mtg Cards Packs Ccg Tcg4 Force Of Will - Auction Alliances Mtg Magic Blue Uncommon 4x X4Magic The Gathering Mox Opal Kaladesh Masterpiece Invention Foil Never Played X1Beta Black Lotus X1 Bgs Authenticated Mtg Magic The Gathering Power 9 No ReserveMtg Collection *1 More 5000ct Box Found* And A Smaller Box 1993 Magic The Gathering Mtg Beta Darkpact R K Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint (pwcc)1993 Magic The Gathering Mtg Alpha Power Surge R R Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint (pwcc)Ancestral Recall - Unlimited Powernine P9 Power9 Mtg Magic SignedMtg Magic The Gathering - Juzam Djinn - Arabian Nights - Poor - MaddocksGaea's Cradle Urza's Saga Mtg (japanese )Underground SeaMtg Magic Gathering - Underground Sea - Revised - 3rd- Third - Poor - Dual Land Cavern Of Souls X4 Mtg Avacyn Restored1 Magic The Gathering Mtg Weatherlight Factory-sealed Booster Box***4x Foil Liliana, The Last Hope*** Mtg Eldritch Moon Emn Mint -kid Icarus-Chandra, Torch Of Defiance X4 M/nm Magic: The Gathering Mtg Kaladesh1x Mtg The Abyss Legends EnglishMagic The Gathering Kaladesh Sol Ring Masterpiece M/nm4 Tarmogoyf - Auction Modern Masters 2015 Mtg Magic Green Mythic Rare 4x X44 Tarmogoyf - Auction Future Sight Mtg Magic Green Rare 4x X41x Foil Phyrexian Elesh Norn Nm/nm+ Foil Magic The Gathering Mtg Promo Judge EdhLot Of 53 Alpha And Beta Commons And Uncommons Mtg Magic The GatheringMtg Magic The Gathering Eternal Masters Factory Sealed Booster Box3 X Verdant Catacombs Zendikar Mtg Chandra, Torch Of Defiance - Russian Foil Planeswalker Kaladesh (packfoil)4 Goblin Guide - Auction Zendikar Mtg Magic Red Rare 4x X4Underground Sea - German Black Bordered Fbb - Revised Rare Mtg Magic - #14 X Horizon Canopy Future Sight Mtg Mana Vault Mtg Kaladesh [presale]Sol Ring, Foil, Kaladesh Inventions From Masterpiece Series Magic CardAether Vial - X4x - Nm/sp - Dst - Magic: The GatheringJourney Into Nyx Booster Box X4 Factory SealedSaviors Of Kamigawa Magic: The Gathering Mtg Factory Sealed Booster BoxMtg 4x Force Of Will Magic The Gathering Eternal Masters + PlaymatMtg: Magic The Gathering Underground Sea Revised Bgs 9 Sub 9.5, 9, 9, 94 X Scapeshift Morningtide Mtg Chandra, Torch Of Defiance Foil Mtg Kaladesh Magic The Gathering Nm In Hand