Yesterday, rumors started flying around the Internet that something strange was happening. It all began with a photo of a Candelabra of Tawnos sitting in an open Zendikar pack. Was it real, or some kind of prank? Are there really priceless treasures waiting to be found in Zendikar booster packs?
It looks like the rumors started over at MTGSalvation. Most people were highly skeptical at first. Anyone could have opened a pack and stuck an old card next to it. Then someone pointed out that Wizards recently sent out a rules clarification: if you open a card in a pack that isn’t from that pack’s set, you can’t play that card in any sealed or draft tournaments. If there’s a deck swap, you get to keep it. Surely they were just making sure everyone was aware of the foil Lightning Bolt ruling, right?
But then even more spectacular rumors started showing up. People were finding Black Lotuses and Moxes in their Zendikar packs, plus original dual lands. A supposed confirmation email from a judge proved it was all true, but with nothing posted on the official Wizards’ site, nothing is really truly official.
Today, as prerelease events around the world are happening, reports are coming in that this is indeed true. In place of the token or rules insert card in some packs, a random card from Unlimited or earlier is sometimes found. The cards are not reprints, they are old cards (some of them appear heavily played) that have been inserted into the packs. Specific reports mention an Ali from Cairo, plenty of dual lands, and a Mishra’s Workshop. There are plenty of Lotus and Mox rumors, but nothing confirmed. Supposedly, these special treasures will only appear in the first print run, but this is unconfirmed as well. Finally, they seem to be very rare, often only one or two at entire large prerelease events, where hundreds of packs are opened. Rarity estimates range from “two per box” (which is either a flat out lie or one very lucky Magic player) to one per 20 boxes.