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The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering: The Biggest, Most Comprehensive Book About Magic: The Gathering Ever Published Paperback – October 23, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (October 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560254432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560254430
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 7.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on April 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have in the past complained about the need for an omnibus release of the Encyclopedia's volumes to date, like that before you. I would have expected to recommend this over the individual volumes, but the main incentive there is that this is cheaper; there's no added value apart from consolidating most of the earlier volumes' material between one set of covers.
The editing team didn't review the old individual card sets' text, and it shows. The text covering the card sets has been lifted straight from the corresponding separate volumes. For example, the new and useful layout used for volumes 5 and 6 appears *only* for card sets first documented therein; the older sets' text haven't been revised even to fix page number references and "latest version of the basic set" material, let alone to utilize the cleaner layout.
An ordinary index is included, but *no* deckbuilder's index as such, and the related boilerplate at the beginning of the volume has been simplified accordingly - not such a bad thing, since that material dates very badly. (All 6 volumes' standard boilerplate has been combined, as far as how-to-use-this-guide and Collector's History material goes. As for the frills added for volume 5, see below.)
The "Misprints and Oddities" section from volume 1, ironically enough, has had errors inserted: of the 10 cards shown, only *one* has the correct card image matched with the accompanying text. The text itself remains identical - and in the same order - as in volume 1. (I didn't notice cards being transposed or messed up elsewhere.) Volume 1's "Overlong errata" was dropped.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Robert Norse on November 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
The new Complete Encyclopedia of Magic the Gathering conveniently combines most of Volumes 1-6 of the prior encyclopedias at 1/3 the cost (an even greater savings if you buy it from Amazon). All in one handy volume. That's the good news.
The bad news is that this latest Encyclopedia doesn't cover any Magic expansions issued in the last year (Odyssey, Torment, and Judgment). This seems particularly strange since fall is usually the time when an additional volume of the Encyclopedia is released to "update" collectors and players. This anthology stops with the summer of 2001.
The Complete Encyclopedia also drops the helpful card attribute lists found in the back of the first few volumes. It does not contain Vanguard 3 and Vanguard 4--belying its claim to be "the most comprehensive book about Magic: the Gathering ever published".
Finally it has no new text and is, quite clearly, a cut-and-paste job which splices together Volumes 1-6, which were released annually over the last half decade. These leads to some ludicrous statements such as (p. 16): "Released in February 1995, Fourth Edition is latest version of Magic: the Gathering basic set." Since we are now using 7th Edition and moving towards 8th, this is clearly a case of sloppy reprinting of old text, which is no longer accurate.
I would also like to have seen a list of cards added between Alpha and Beta.
I give the book 3 stars in spite of all of these faults (and these are only after a preliminary reading), because it is so convenient to have so much of the Magic library at one's fingertips in one volume. And so cheaply.
If the editors can address these concerns in a 2nd edition, ...
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lord Seth on July 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I like this book. It's great to have all these Magic cards in just one volume, instead of so many seperate ones. However, there are some problems.
They didn't bother to update the earlier parts, for starters. Thus, many of the erratas are out-of-date. Also, many times it'll make references to page numbers--but the things are no longer there. To top it all off, it says that 4th Edition is the newest set...then it says that 5th Edition is the newest set...then it says that 6th Edition is the newest set...then that 7th Edition is the newest set. Also, I would have liked to see Odyssey, Torment, and Judgment in here.
Still, despite all these problems, as I said, this IS a good book. But don't bother buying it if you have all the other volumes.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandra A O'Hara on October 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Well Hey, Its a GREAT book for what it is. I ordered it a couple days ago and its already helped me alot. Only thing is that, Although Published in Oct 2002, its missing Odyssey, Torment, Judgement, and Onslaught. I can see it missing Onslaught but in my opinion The other three are uncalled for. THEY SHOULD BE INCLUDED. Oh well I guess we'll have to waitfor the next guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom L. Waters on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a compilation of earlier Magic: The Gathering encyclopedias. It contains full color images of every card up to and including 7th edition and the Invasion block sets. As other reviewers have pointed out, no attempt was made to edit the separate earlier encylcopedias into a single consistent presentation, and there are some glitches here and there. For some of the earlier sets, the card images don't have very good contrast, making the text a little hard to read.

Still, I am delighted to have this book. I already had the card encyclopedias from all the more recent sets that come with the fat packs, and with this book I now have a complete reference for all the cards in the game. Yes, the information is all available through the online data base on the Magic website, but I am the sort of person who likes to just sit down with a book and browse to get ideas.
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