The Black Lotus might be banned from most Magic: The Gathering formats, but it's still causing terror in the wallets of collectors, as a copy of the Alpha version of the card recently sold on eBay for over $166,000. (via. Polygon)
The card in question is the Alpha version of the Black Lotus, which was the first ever Magic: The Gathering set. The Alpha Black Lotus is worth considerably more than its counterpart in the Beta set, though a lot of the pricing is related to the quality of the card.
The Black Lotus that was put up for auction had been graded by the Beckett Grading Services and had been given a rating of 9.5, which means that the card is in almost perfect condition. It's for this reason why the card managed to pull in so much money, as it represents a piece of the history of Magic: The Gathering and is as close to the original quality of the card when it was printed as possible.
The Black Lotus was one of the most feared cards in a group referred to as the Power Nine, which were nine cards from the early days of Magic: The Gathering that had the potential to break the game in various ways, including the Time Walk card that let you take an extra turn for a low cost.
The effect of the Black Lotus card gives you three mana of any color at the cost of sacrificing the card, which itself costs no mana to play. The additional three mana might not sound like much, but it could offer a devastating advantage during the early stages of a game, especially if the player managed to draw multiple Black Lotus cards at the start of a match.
It didn't take long for Black Lotus to be banned and it still cannot be used in most formats to this day. The Alpha or Beta versions of the Black Lotus aren't likely to see play ever again and will spend the rest of their days sealed in plastic unless Elon Musk or Scrooge McDuck decide to become Magic: The Gathering players.