As the first ever expansion for Magic: the Gathering, Arabian Nights is obviously one of the most sought after sets by collectors of the game. It had some extremely powerful cards, one major oddity (Mountain is the only basic land printed in the set, and that was by accident), and possibly the craziest card ever to be printed in a card game: Shahrazad.
Arabian Nights actually has many cards reprinted in later sets. Many cards from Arabian Nights were reprinted in Chronicles, the later compilation set, and some notable cards were reprinted in later Core Sets and expansions (like Desert, for example, was reprinted in Time Spiral).
The most notable card that has been reprinted from this set is City of Brass, the land that allows you to tap for any color of mana, but you must pay one life to do so. It was only an uncommon in Arabian Nights, but has been reprinted as a rare in Chronicles, and the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th edition Core Sets. One of these later reprints can be had for about $5 USD a copy, but original Arabian Nights versions can sell for as much as $50-60 USD a copy.
Only 28 cards from this set have never been reprinted, and 22 are on Wizards of the Coast’s reserve list, meaning they will never be reprinted, mainly because of their power level and also to protect their collectors value. In this Retro Magic series, we’ll take a look at the 22 cards from this set on the Reserved List, and see why they remain some of the rarest cards in all of Magic.
First, we’ll take a look at the major oddity of the set: the Mountain! Since Arabian Nights was originally meant to be printed as a stand-alone product, it had basic lands as part of the set. When it was decided that it would instead be an expansion to Alpha, Beta & Unlimited, the basic lands were removed. However, in the first print run of the set, Mountain was accidentally left in. This makes the Arabian Nights Mountains highly sought after by players & collectors alike. A single copy of this particular printing of Mountain is worth about $20-30 USD. Even in less than perfect condition, they’re worth holding onto, even if only for trade stock for Red Deck Wins lovers.
Next: Ali From Cairo