Arabian Nights

Posted in Feature on August 11, 2008

By Wizards of the Coast


Collector's Highlights

There are 78 unique cards in Arabian Nights, broken down as follows: 26 commons, 51 uncommons, and one basic land (a Mountain). The commons and uncommons appear at different frequencies.

In addition, 14 of the commons were printed in two subtle variations (called "a" and "b"), causing some collectors to view the set as actually containing 92 cards.

Game Features

Arabian Nights debuted many new game mechanics, several of which have made a lasting impact on Magic. Highlights include:

  • Coin Flip Cards -- Adding a new level of randomness and suspense… heads or tails?
  • Lands with Abilities -- Lands are no longer just for mana, but can be used to draw cards, regenerate creatures, or deal damage.
  • Djinns and Efreets -- Powerful, undercosted creatures with interesting drawbacks.

Mark Rosewater details all of the set's groundbreaking cards in this article.

This is where it all began.

Released in December 1993, five months after the release of the basic game, Arabian Nights was the first expansion for Magic: The Gathering. The flavor of the cards was based on the characters, stories, and objects in the classic Middle Eastern tales, 1001 Arabian Nights.

With this set, players can relive the tales of Sindbad and Aladdin, battle powerful djinns and efreets, and journey to strange lands like the Island of Wak-Wak and the Diamond Valley.

Featuring some of the most powerful cards ever printed, like Library of Alexandria and Juzam Djinn, Arabian Nights was a fitting beginning to the long tradition that is Magic: The Gathering expansion sets.

Famous Cards

Future Sight Famous Card

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Library of Alexandria Juzam Djinn Rukh Egg Shahrazad

Behind the Scenes

  • Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic, recounts the making of Arabian Nights in this article.
  • Mike Ryan explains all the card names in Arabian Nights in this article.
  • Skaff Elias discusses the bare-bones development of Arabian Nights in this article.
  • See the proposed card back that was almost used for Arabian Nights here.

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