Players Open Black Lotus At Magic Event, Crowd Erupts

Players Open Black Lotus At Magic Event, Crowd Erupts
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Players in a competitive Unlimited draft at Grand Prix Chiba were expecting to open some of the most powerful, and valuable, cards in Magic: The Gathering, but what they got was a Black Lotus.

A Black Lotus is one of the most valuable cards in Magic. Although it is played in very few formats of the game, it has a cultural cachet that’s undeniable for even people outside the Magic community.

It is, in a word, special, and the draft event at the Grand Prix was all about really focusing on how special those early Magic sets are for many people. It’s no surprise that both the players and the big room of people watching on screens get very, very hype to see one opened.

It’s Magic’s 25th birthday this year, and Wizards of the Coast have created a limited series of old-school drafts of cards at major events to celebrate. Held in a Rochester Draft format in which players all see a pack of cards and then make choices from it, there is a real possibility for showmanship when it comes to the judge who is putting the cards down on the table for all to see.

It’s a dramatic moment, and it’s even better knowing that an Ancestral Recall was also opened.

Update 4:35pm: To clarify, these are original Unlimited packs from 1993 that these players are drafting with. The excitement of these events derives from the fact that these are original Magic cards from the first couple years of the game that competitors are opening and playing with.

Last month’s draft at Grand Prix Las Vegas was similarly gripping (I encourage every Magic fan to watch the entire event, or at least the draft and the final match), although there were not Black Lotuses to be found other than the one that Rich Hagon brought with him.

Magic Commentator Opens A Black Lotus During Broadcast (Sort Of)

Rich Hagon, the shining light of the Magic. The Gathering coverage desk, pulled a black Lotus out of a bag on-air at Grand Prix Las Vegas this weekend. It was not the $US5,000+ ($6,744)+ ($US6,715 ($9,057))+ card; it was a Hot Wheels car.

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It’s weird that opening a pack of cards is such a thrilling event, but seeing players get excited because they know that they’re going to play with (or play against) these cards in a competitive format legitimately gets me emotional about the game. Magic is good, y’all.


  • … for even people outside the Magic community.

    I would be very surprised if someone who was not a Magic player even knew what a Black Lotus was.

    • It’s a herb in World of Warcraft you used to farm back in Vanilla in order to make the original high end flasks.

      What you mean it’s something else? 😉

      • Oh wait, I know, it’s the second chapter of Robert E. Howards Conan story, “The Queen of the Black Coast”. Pretty much a substitute for opium if IIRC.

    • It’s literally the only card I know of, as a non-MTG player. I don’t know what it does, but I know what it looks like!

    • For those that don’t know what it is, the Black Lotus is a card that costs nothing to play but gives you 3 mana when used. This effectively means if you have it in your starting hand you can start playing cards on your very first turn which would normally require you waiting until your fourth turn. This is an absolutely ridiculous advantage.

      It’s considered the single best card ever printed in the game. If you have one you would put it into every deck. There is simply no deck which it would not be a strong benefit to have one.

      As such the card is also banned in tournaments except the Vintage format, and even there it is restricted to a single copy per deck rather than the normal four copies.

      The reason it is so valuable is a combination of its astounding power and the fact that very few were printed – estimated about 1100 for Alpha and 3300 for Beta. The white-bordered Unlimited release from 3rd Edition (which is what was opened in this video) is valuable, but only in the hundreds rather than the thousands of dollars.

      • I reckon Chaos Orb is the single best card ever printed 🙂

        (provided you have the guts to tear it into tiny pieces)

        • The story about someone using Chaos Orb by tearing it into pieces and sprinkling it is an urban myth AFAIK, and using it that way isn’t legal according to any sane interpretation of the rules (especially the fact that the whole card has to flip 360 degrees or it has no effect, I’d say that means every piece would have to also flip 360 degrees or else the whole card hasn’t flipped).

          There’s actually a card in Unglued, Chaos Confetti, that made reference to the story though. Pic is chaos orb, but with fingers grabbing the orb and tearing it in half. It specifically has you do the Chaos Orb urban legend – you tear the card into pieces, throw it at the play area and every card touched by a piece of Chaos Confetti is destroyed.

  • I thought it was the name of the codpiece the aristocracy wore in BlackAdder to upset the clergy

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