'Magic the Gathering' Players Open A £10k Card Live
Competitive Magic the Gathering players celebrating the 25th anniversary of the game at Grand Prix Chiba were ecstatic to see one of the most rare, exclusive and powerful cards in the game - Black Lotus - unleashed at a pack-opening before an Unlimited draft game.
The Black Lotus card regularly sells for upwards of £10,000. This unwrapping was particularly special, as the packs being opened were original, 1993 booster packs that had remained unopened for 25 years. This lends a romantic angle to the proceedings - it wasn't a reissue, or a less rare version of the card; it is from the original Unlimited set.
The draft was an official event created by Magic publishers Wizard's of the Coast. It is a Rochdale Draft styled format - meaning that the cards are revealed to all players, while only one at a time may make the choice of which cards to add to their personal deck.
When the Black Lotus card was unveiled, the entire room shouted with excitement - buoyed by a heightened sense of anticipation - as fans watched the players get ready to play against each other on big screens broadcasting the stunning scenes.
Black Lotus is a colourless, powerful card that gives the player a three-turn advantage over the opponent. There were only ever 5,000 copies of the card ever printed and, as they are all 25 or so years old, a large portion of these have suffered damage or perhaps even been lost over time.
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It was only available in the Alpha, Beta and Unlimited sets and is very sought after.
However, it is not legal in the majority of tournament formats. The card is only playable in the Vintage style of tournament; which was what was being played at the 25th anniversary celebrations.
Vintage, also known as Type I, is a format that allows the players use of all types of cards, except those with a silver border or those featuring on a banned last that applies to all formats.
In theory, watching a group of strangers open packs of trading card isn't the most thrilling practice in the world. Yet the excitement of the players about to play with cards they may never have even seen in their entire Magic careers is a palatable and real energy that makes these videos an engaging watch.
Words by Will Stevenson
Featured Image Credit: Twitter / @ChannelFireball