All About Arabian Nights - Magic: The Gatherings First Real Expansion

Arabian Nights

After giving, you all the facts about Alpha, Beta and Unlimited, it's time to move forward to Magic's first real expansion set: Arabian Nights

Back in 1993, fantasy games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering were all about one thing: Fantasy!

You had your typical humanoids such as elves, orcs and goblins. You travelled to made-up worlds of wonders and, for some reason, it was always heavily inspired by the Middle Ages.

Then WotC decided to release Arabian Nights: Cards were based on a whole new kind of fiction, namely the stories around One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin and Ali Baba. This was unheard of before, and what a wonderful idea it was! 


Let's take a look at Arabian Nights. 


The ABU sets have not been expansions of Magic: The Gathering, but rather different printings of the Limited Edition Alpha. That means no new cards were introduced in these (except of course Volcanic Island, which was mistakenly not printed in Alpha). 

With Arabian Nights, new cards suddenly became available to the game! 

We want to give new and experienced players an overview for collecting Magic's first real expansion. 

We'll aim to answer a few very important questions:

  • Why are Arabian Nights cards so valuable?
  • What are the most expensive cards?
  • What misprints to look out for?
  • Where to buy Arabian Nights cards?

Set Information: Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights was released on December 17th, 1993, only two weeks after the release of the Unlimited Edition. It consisted of only 78 cards. The main reason for that are the missing Basic Lands in Arabian Nights.

Print Error: Light and Dark Variants

Because of a misprint during production, 15 Commons got printed in two different variants (light and dark). Some collectors therefore consider the set size to be 93 cards and not 78. 












The 15 Commons that got the "light and dark treatment" are:

Army of Allah, Bird Maiden, Camel, Erg Raiders, Fishliver Oil, Giant Tortoise, Hasran Ogress, Moorish Cavalry, Nafs Asp, Rukh Egg, Piety, Oubliette, Stone-Throwing Devils, War Elephant, and Wyluli Wolf (Source).

The Confusing Rarity Distribution of Arabian Nights

The rarity distribution of Arabian Nights was as follows:

27 Commons, 51 Uncommons, 0 Rares

That's right, there are no Rares in Arabian Nights, the expansion only consisted of Commons and Uncommons. But there are rarity discrepancies between these Commons and Uncommons!

That's because a card could be multiple times on a print sheet, so the rarities in Arabian Nights are split into sections of UX (X times on the Uncommon sheet) and CX (meaning X times on the Common sheet).

Here's a full list of the different rarities and how many times each got printed (Source):

U2 20.700
U3 31.000
U4 41.300
C1 31.000
C2 62.000
C3 93.000
C4 124.000
C5 155.000
C11 341.000

(No, C11 is not the origin of our company name. You can read all about that here!)

Examples for U2 cards from Arabian Nights are: Drop of Honey, Serendib Efreet and Juzam Djinn.

Examples for C1 cards from Arabian Nights are: Army of Allah (Light)Fishliver Oil (Light) and Rukh Egg (Light).

What's the Print Run of Arabian Nights?

The print run of Arabian Nights was only 5 million cards, which means the set was only double the size of the very small Limited Edition Alpha print run.

On top of that small print run, the boosters consisted of only 8 cards, with 6 Commons and 2 Uncommons. A booster box had a total of 60 booster packs, but good luck finding a sealed one because:

An Arabian Nights booster box is one of the rarest sealed products you can hunt for in the hobby. Only recently, on Februarty 16th 2024, a sealed Arabian Nights booster box got auctioned for $250,000 by Heritage Auctions.

Most Expensive Cards: Arabian Nights

There's no Power Nine in Arabian Nights, but there are many cards that are almost as expensive as a Mox or, in some cases, worth even more! 

Here are the most expensive cards of Arabian Nights

First, we have Bazaar of Baghdad. One of the best Dredge enablers for Vintage, as well as an overall great card for Reanimator decks. The rarity of Bazaar of Baghdad is U3, which means it only got printed three times on the Uncommon sheet. Roughly 31,000 U3 cards got printed.

A Near Mint Bazaar of Baghdad will cost you between 1800 and 2500 Euros.

(LP Juzam Djinn, currently for sale)

Next up is an Oldschool community favorite and probably the main reason for its price point: Juzam Djinn! There's no way you get a better creature for only 4 mana in the Oldschool format, which is also why it's heavily wanted. Juzam is even rarer than Bazaar of Baghdad, but since you always want a playset of this badboy in your deck, you'll need more copies than Dredge needs Bazaars. 

A Near Mint Juzam Djinn will also set you back between 2000 and 2500 Euros.

The next big one is another land that draws you cards: Library of Alexandria. Now this card is just an all around favorite and a staple for every Old School deck. It's not without reason, the Library is restricted in most Old School formats and even banned in others! Good for the players, who knows what its price would be otherwise.

For a Near Mint Library of Alexandria, you'll have to pay between 1800 and 2500 Euros.

(EX Library of Alexandria, currently for sale)

Other Expensive Arabian Nights Cards

Now the funny thing is, since Arabian Nights has such a weird rarity distribution, there are many cards in the set that have a high price point.

We are not anymore talking about Power Nine prices, but there are plenty of cards in the expansion that are worth hundreds.

(Source: Cardmarket 15.02.2024)

Now as you can see there are roughly 20 cards on Cardmarket that will fetch a price over 100 Euros, especially if they are in Good to Near Mint conditions!

Cards like Diamond Valley or Guardian Beast are well worth half a Mox in the right conditions. The reason for this is that they offer very unique synergies with other Old School cards and are therefore enabling decks that wouldn't be possible without them.

Most Expensive Mountain? 

It's always a bit weird to see high price points on Basic Lands, and the one who did it first was the Basic Mountain from Arabian Nights. That Mountain is so rare and expensive because it was a mistake.

Initially, Arabian Nights should have included all Basics, but Wizards of the Coast decided to remove them from the set and forgot to remove a Mountain from the Common print sheet!

(NM Signed Mountain, currently for sale)

At the moment, there are only two Mountains more expensive than the one from Arabian Nights. You guessed it: It's the Guru Mountain and a Summer Magic Mountain!

Famous Arabian Nights Misprints

One of the most famous misprints from Arabian Nights, apart from the very popular light/dark differences on mana symbols we discussed earlier, there's at least one other returning error:

The Desert Campfire/Mirage Misprint

Some Deserts from Arabian Nights have a small white dot on the second leftmost hill just before the middle hill starts. It almost looks like the reflection of binoculars.

This little misprint is called Desert Mirage or Desert Campfire, depending on who you ask. The prices of these are naturally higher than the regular Deserts, but not by a lot.

Where to Buy Arabian Nights Cards?

You want to collect all the 78 (or 93) cards from Arabian Nights? Start by going through our very own webshop and see if there are any cards you want. Here you can find all our rarest Arabian Nights cards, like Bazaar of Baghdad or Library of Alexandria!

Next up, you will want to fill the blanks with all the cheaper Arabian Night cards. You can find those cheaper cards on our Cardmarket page.

The next thing you need to do when looking for Arabian Nights cards is:

Subscribe to our New Arrivals Drop

Every Wednesday, each week of the year, we get new High-End cards. That includes new Arabian Nights cards, and you'll be the first one to know when the cards you are looking for are available!

Set review