Birds of Paradise - Illustration by Mark Poole

Birds of Paradise | Illustration by Mark Poole

Summer Magic isn’t officially the name of a Magic set. Instead, it’s the nickname for a set that was so poorly produced that it had to be recalled and destroyed by Wizards. However, a few boxes of the set made their way into circulation, and the cards from this set have become quite highly sought after.

I’m going to break down exactly what’s in the Summer Magic set, how it came to be, and why it was destroyed. I’ll also let you know how to see if you actually have some Summer Magic cards of your own that you didn’t know about.

Strap in for an interesting tale from the early days of Magic’s history, and get ready to comb through all your bulk cards to see if one of your basic Swamps is actually worth $500.

Summer Magic Basic Information

Prodigal Sorcerer - Illustration by Douglas Shuler

Prodigal Sorcerer | Illustration by Douglas Shuler

Set Details

Set SymbolSummer Magic Set Symbol
Set Code3ED
Number of Cards306
Rarities75 commons, 95 uncommons, 121 rares, 15 basic lands
MechanicsKeyword abilities, hosers

Important Dates

Release DateSummer 1994
Recall/Destruction DateSummer 1994

About the Set: The Story

Typically, this is where I’d talk about the fictional story represented on the cards of the set, but Magic didn’t begin creating a story through their cards until Arabian Nights. While there’s no fictional story connected to Summer Magic, there’s quite an interesting real life story behind its creation and subsequent destruction.

See, Summer Magic isn’t technically a real set. In fact, it isn’t even really called Summer Magic. Wizards had nicknamed the set “Edgar,” and it was meant to be a fixed version of the Revised Edition core set. Ironically, Revised needed some revisions due to issues with the colors, the card Serendib Efreet had accidentally been printed with a green background and the art for Ifh-Bíff Efreet, and Wizards wanting to remove some Satanic images from their cards. So “Edgar” AKA Summer Magic was created to help fix these issues.

Unfortunately, while Summer Magic fixed some of the issues it was supposed to, it didn’t get all of them. For example, the pentagram was supposed to be removed from both the head and chest on Demonic Tutor, but it was only removed from the head. Serendib Efreet was changed back to the right color and artwork, but the name of the artist wasn’t corrected. The set also came with its own new misprints, most famously the card Hurricane was printed with a blue border despite being a green card.

Having failed to properly correct the issues it was created to fix, Summer Magic was recalled by Wizards and slated for destruction. However, according to some Wizards employees, somewhere around 40 of these boxes had been shipped prior to the set’s destruction. This means that some, but not many, Summer Magic cards are out there for collectors to snag.

Set Mechanics

Counterspell - Illustration by Mark Poole

Counterspell | Illustration by Mark Poole

As a version of Revised, Summer Magic doesn’t have any new mechanics that it introduces. Instead, the set is largely a reprint of cards from Unlimited with only 39 different cards.

Since Revised and Summer Magic is largely made up of reprints from Magic’s earliest sets, one of the main mechanics here are keyword abilities like first strike and flying, as well as some outdated ones like banding.

The set also includes some abilities that would later become keywords like vigilance, reach, and indestructible, but at the time the rules for these abilities were just written out in long form on cards. For example, the text on Giant Spider that says “does not fly, but can block flying creatures,” is essentially reach before it became a keyword.


Hosers is the term for cards that punish players for using a particular color. For example, Blue Elemental Blast or Red Elemental Blast. These cards might affect spells or permanents of a specific color, or they may affect the basic land that creates that color. For example, Tsunami destroys Islands, and Karma deals damage to players for using Swamps.

Summer Magic Card Gallery

White Cards

Blue Cards

Black Cards

Red Cards

Green Cards

Colorless Cards

Notable Cards

Original Dual Lands

Summer Magic includes the original dual land cycle which includes Tundra, Underground Sea, Badlands, Taiga, Savannah, ScrublandVolcanic Island, Bayou, Plateau, and Tropical Island.

These cards remain the most efficient dual lands in the game because they enter the battlefield untapped, and they have two basic land types allowing them to be more easily fetched.

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise is one of the cards that really benefited from the improved coloring in Summer Magic, making the orange birds really pop. Since Summer Magic is so rare, this card is highly sought after and very valuable. One listing from Star City Games has it valued at around $8,000.


The misprinted blue Hurricane is probably the most sought card from Summer Magic. Similar to Birds of Paradise, the extreme scarcity of this reprint makes it very valuable to collectors.

Available Products

Draft Boosters

Because Summer Magic was meant to just correct some of the issues with Revised, it didn’t see a full release of products like other core sets did. There were no Summer Magic starter decks, and the only products that were printed were just regular draft boosters. However, to call these products “available” may be a misnomer, since they were recalled shortly after release.

How Can You Tell if a Card Is from Summer Magic?

For the most part, telling a Summer Magic card from a regular Revised card isn’t as straightforward as looking at a set symbol, since neither set had them. However, there are some telltale signs of a Summer Magic card to look for.

The easiest way to tell if you have a Summer Magic card is to look at the artist credit. Normal Revised cards won’t have a date, whereas Summer Magic cards have “1994” before the artist’s name. A subtler way to tell is that the colors on Summer Magic cards are much richer than they are on Revised cards, which tend to look washed out.

How Rare Is Summer Magic?

Summer Magic cards are some of the rarest in the game. If it’s true that only about 40 boxes made it into circulation before the recall, that means somewhere around 22,000 Summer Magic cards are out there. Remember, this was also 1994 when a Black Lotus cost about $23. Players might not have taken good care of, or even held onto the old Summer Magic cards they opened at the time. While it’s impossible to know the exact number that still exist, it’s safe to say finding one will be very difficult.

How Many Summer Magic Cards Are There?

Summer Magic included 306 cards in the set, the same as Revised. That said, with so few cards actually surviving the set’s destruction, it’s possible that not all 306 still exist. It’s possible that some of the more rare cards in the set just weren’t in any of the 40 or so boxes that were sent out.

Are Summer Magic Cards Tournament Legal?

Yes, Summer Magic cards are tournament legal, as long as the card itself is legal for whatever format you’re playing in.

What’s the Most Expensive Summer Magic Card?

The misprinted blue Hurricane is the most valuable card from Summer Magic. While functionally the card is nothing special, the extreme rarity of this misprint makes it a valuable collector’s item. The blue Hurricane has been known to go for as much as $12,000.

Wrap Up

Shivan Dragon - Illustration by Melissa A. Benson

Shivan Dragon | Illustration by Melissa A. Benson

Summer Magic is one of the strangest Magic sets and a very interesting bit of the game’s history. It’s fun to think about the early days of the game when Wizards wasn’t owned by a massive company and mistakes like this could slip through the cracks.

Would you be willing to pay $500+ for a Summer Magic basic land? Do you enjoy collecting rare Magic cards, or are you more interested in the game itself? Let me know in the comments or on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Thank you for reading and see you later!

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