3 Fantastic Tips To Easily Identify What Set Your Magic The Gathering Cards Come From

Identifying what set a Magic the Gathering card comes from can be tricky, whether you have been playing Magic the Gathering for a number of years, or just started learning the game. Identifying some cards is quite easier, but with some of the older cards in particular, this can be tricky.IdentificationThere are three different types of identification necessary to be able identify all MTG cards:1. Cards with Set MarkersThis group is applicable for the majority of Magic the Gathering cards in circulation today, it includes all Expansion Sets, and Core Sets from 6th Edition onwards.On each of these cards there is a set icon which uniquely identifies each Magic the Gathering set. This icon can be found in the information bar between the card's picture and text box on the right hand side. There's a useful and complete reference on my website which details how you can recognise each icon for each set; details are located in the resource box below.It should be noted that the colour of that icon represents its rarity, generally, the plain black icon is common, silver is uncommon, gold is rare and purple is mythic rare (or time-shifted for Timespiral cards only). This does not change what set the card comes from, simply its rarity within that set.2. Cards without Set MarkersThere are a number of cards without a set icon. They come from the following Magic the Gathering sets:- Limited Edition Alpha - Limited Edition Beta - Unlimited - Revised Edition - Fourth Edition - Fifth Edition4th and 5th Edition cards are easy to identify. These two sets have a date in the bottom left corner of the card. 4th Edition will have a date of 1995, 5th Edition will have a date of 1997.The border colour of the remaining sets is the next way to tell which set these older cards come from; Unlimited and Revised cards are white bordered cards and Alpha and Beta cards have a black border; this is the next differentiator.To be able to tell the difference between Limited Edition Alpha and Beta cards, you need to look at the shape of the card. Alpha cards have very rounded edges, which are different to all other Magic the Gathering cards. Comparing a suspected Alpha card to any other newer card will highlight the difference. If there is no difference, then you have a Beta Edition card.The final comparison to be made is between Unlimited and Revised MTG cards. This is a little more subtle and is in the print of the cards. Unlimited cards have a slightly blurry look due to the print run used. Another comparator is that Revised cards tend to look more "washed out" and pale due to the printing process used.3. Promotional Textless Cards and Reward CardsTextless cards and DCI reward cards are the final classification of card that we need to discuss.Textless cards are promotional cards given out to Magic the Gathering players who have gone to a number of tournaments sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast. As the name suggests, they have no text block and an expanded art area that covers most of the card's surface. As such, these cards belong to no set at all and have no set marker. If you wish to play with these cards, they count as being from any set that already has a version of that card in it.Reward cards such as DCI promotional cards (e.g. Arena cards) and FNM foils have a DCI icon as its set marker. As per the textless cards, this means they belong to no particular set.SummaryThis simple guide tells you how to identify all types of Magic the Gathering card and where they come from. This identification process is essential if you want to sell your Magic the Gathering cards as the values vary greatly between the sets. Make sure you properly identify what set your cards come from and get the true value from your Magic the Gathering cards.