A recent YouTube unboxing of a vintage booster pack from the first print run of Magic: The Gathering had a shocking twist at the end when the final card revealed was a Black Lotus, perhaps the most notoriously rare and valuable card in the venerable card game. Last year another Black Lotus from the Alpha set sold for nearly $30,000 (via Kotaku).
Skip to around 8:15 to see him totally flip out when he turns over the last card.
The narrator’s shaking hands and shocked yelp should give you a strong indication of how momentous a find this is. The Black Lotus is a powerful artifact that can provide a devastating early economic boost in any deck. It was only printed for a few years, and is now banned in all but the least-restricted tournament formats, and even then is limited to one per deck. It achieved early notoriety as the most famously rare and valuable card in the game. Lotuses from the Alpha set, Magic‘s first, very limited print run from 1993, are the most prized, with an estimated 1,100 having been printed. You can check out the follow-up video if you want to see him nitpick the rare card’s imperceptible imperfections.
Magic: The Gathering, designed by mathematician Richard Garfield and first published in 1993, invented the genre of collectible, customizable card games. While many of its imitators have fallen into obscurity, Magic itself is still thriving. With the recent popularity of digital card games like Hearthstone and analog card games like Android: Netrunner (updated from another of Garfield’s designs from the 90s), Magic’s profile in gaming history seems greater than ever, making this Black Lotus a real artifact.