Arabian Nights Collation

Arabian Nights is a small set with 78 cards. Rarities of the cards vary according to the number of times they are printed on their sheets. The printing was done in Belgium.

Arabian Nights was sold in 8 card booster packs. Booster boxes had 60 packs.

Pack Anatomy

Arabian Nights uses striped collation with 11 × 11 sheets. There are two print sheets: a common sheet and an uncommon sheet. Each pack gets 6 cards from the common sheet and 2 cards from the uncommon sheet. Packs can be either front-facing or back-facing and the uncommons can come before or after the commons.

6 Commons2 Uncommons
2 Uncommons6 Commons

Reconstructions of both sheets have been released by Charles Klein and Michael Cervenka. [1]

I have observed no instances of splitting on either sheet. Stripes are all width 3 and 4 except for one case of a width 5 stripe on the common sheet.

Due to technically difficulties, the bottom right six-by-six quadrant of the common sheet was created at an earlier time than the rest of the common sheet and the uncommon sheet. For everything but this quadrant, the mana symbols were changed. (It is also not a coincidence that the single basic land is in this quadrant.) [2] Hence, certain cards that appear on the common sheet both inside and outside this quadrant have two versions. The versions inside this quadrant have lighter mana symbols. This difference is most obvious for the generic mana symbol, but it is also detectable for the white and black mana symbols. At the time of writing, no one has confirmed any detectable difference for the blue, red, or green mana symbols (nor for the card Desert which has no mana symbol); so variants maybe only exist for those cards with colorless, white, and black symbols.

Many positions on the sheets may be distinguishable by printing dots or similar printing imperfections. With information about the sheet layouts, it should be possible to place many or all of these distinct versions of cards on the sheets, but this information is not yet complete. It appears as though some (perhaps all) of these imperfections arose during the creation of the quadrants, and thus similar imperfections appear at the same position in each quadrant across both sheets (when the quadrants are aligned at the bottom right corner). The most famous print dot is the "Mirage" or "Campfire" Desert which features a light spot a bit below the middle of the artwork for Desert. This print dot appears to be characteristic of cards that are, counting up from the bottom, in the sixth row, and, counting from the right, in the fifth column of each quadrant. Note that counting up to the sixth row will be off the edge of the sheet for the upper quadrants, so this print dot only appears in the lower two quadrants. For the common sheet, the affected cards are the two copies of Desert in the sixth row (hence there are two "Mirage"/"Campfire" Deserts), and on the uncommon sheet, the affected cards, again in the sixth row, are Jihad and Flying Carpet. [3]

Common Sheet

27 different cards appear on this sheet. There are 16 cards that appear four times (C4), 9 cards that appear five times (C5) and one card (Desert) that appears eleven times (C11). The last card, Mountain, appears only once (C1) and could perhaps be classified as an uncommon (as it will have the same as-fan as a U3 card).

Army of Allah (Dark)Flying MenHasran Ogress (Dark)Hurr JackalMetamorphosisDesertPiety (Dark)DandânHasran Ogress (Dark)Desert NomadsWyluli Wolf (Dark)
Giant Tortoise (Dark)Cuombajj WitchesRukh Egg (Dark)Nafs Asp (Dark)DesertMoorish Cavalry (Dark)Fishliver Oil (Dark)Oubliette (Dark)Bird Maiden (Dark)SandstormWar Elephant (Dark)
Erg Raiders (Dark)Kird ApeGhazbán OgreDesertCamel (Dark)Unstable MutationArmy of Allah (Dark)Flying MenStone-Throwing Devils (Dark)Hurr JackalMetamorphosis
Desert NomadsWyluli Wolf (Dark)DesertPiety (Dark)DandânHasran Ogress (Dark)Rukh Egg (Dark)Nafs Asp (Dark)Moorish Cavalry (Dark)Flying MenCuombajj Witches
SandstormDesertWar Elephant (Dark)Fishliver Oil (Dark)Oubliette (Dark)Bird Maiden (Dark)Ghazbán OgreCamel (Dark)Unstable MutationErg Raiders (Dark)Kird Ape
DesertArmy of Allah (Dark)Flying MenStone-Throwing Devils (Dark)Hurr JackalMetamorphosisDesertPiety (Light)DandânHasran Ogress (Light)Mountain
Wyluli Wolf (Dark)Giant Tortoise (Dark)Cuombajj WitchesRukh Egg (Dark)Nafs Asp (Dark)DesertMoorish Cavalry (Light)Fishliver Oil (Light)Oubliette (Light)Bird Maiden (Light)Nafs Asp (Light)
Camel (Dark)Erg Raiders (Dark)Kird ApeGhazbán OgreDesertCamel (Light)Unstable MutationArmy of Allah (Light)Flying MenStone-Throwing Devils (Light)Hurr Jackal
MetamorphosisDesert NomadsWyluli Wolf (Dark)DesertPiety (Dark)DandânHasran Ogress (Light)Rukh Egg (Light)Nafs Asp (Light)Moorish Cavalry (Light)Giant Tortoise (Light)
Cuombajj WitchesSandstormDesertWar Elephant (Dark)Fishliver Oil (Dark)Oubliette (Light)Bird Maiden (Light)Ghazbán OgreCamel (Light)Unstable MutationErg Raiders (Light)
Kird ApeMoorish Cavalry (Dark)Giant Tortoise (Dark)Stone-Throwing Devils (Dark)Desert NomadsWyluli Wolf (Light)War Elephant (Light)Unstable MutationErg Raiders (Light)Kird ApeSandstorm

C1 Rarity
  1. Mountain
C4 Rarity
  1. Army of Allah
  2. Bird Maiden
  3. Cuombajj Witches
  4. Dandân
  5. Desert Nomads
  6. Fishliver Oil
  7. Ghazbán Ogre
  8. Giant Tortoise
  9. Hurr Jackal
  10. Metamorphosis
  11. Oubliette
  12. Piety
  13. Rukh Egg
  14. Sandstorm
  15. Stone-Throwing Devils
  16. War Elephant
C5 Rarity
  1. Camel
  2. Erg Raiders
  3. Flying Men
  4. Hasran Ogress
  5. Kird Ape
  6. Moorish Cavalry
  7. Nafs Asp
  8. Unstable Mutation
  9. Wyluli Wolf
C11 Rarity
  1. Desert

As noted above, cards that appear in the bottom-right six-by-six quadrant and contain a generic, white, or black mana symbol are "light" variants (when contrasted with "dark" versions that appear outside this quadrant). The separate "dark" versus "light" rarities for these cards are listed below. Note that earlier sources often do not distinguish between the two versions of Camel [4] and also often incorrectly list "light" Moorish Cavalry as C1 (and hence the "dark" version as C4).

Army of AllahC3C1
Bird MaidenC2C2
Erg RaidersC3C2
Fishliver OilC3C1
Giant TortoiseC3C1
Hasran OgressC3C2
Moorish CavalryC3C2
Nafs AspC3C2
Rukh EggC3C1
Stone-Throwing DevilsC3C1
War ElephantC3C1
Wyluli WolfC4C1

Uncommon Sheet

51 different cards appear on the sheet with 33 appearing twice (U2), 17 appearing three times (U3), and one, Oasis, appearing four times (U4).

Elephant GraveyardAbu Ja'farBrass ManMerchant ShipRing of Ma'rûfEl-HajjâjBottle of SuleimanIsland of Wak-WakMijae DjinnErhnam DjinnBrass Man
King SuleimanIsland of Wak-WakOld Man of the SeaPyramidsKhabál GhoulAladdin's RingYdwen EfreetDancing ScimitarElephant GraveyardIfh-Bíff EfreetAbu Ja'far
ShahrazadIsland Fish JasconiusBazaar of BaghdadSorceress QueenFlying CarpetOasisAladdin's LampMagnetic MountainBazaar of BaghdadDrop of HoneyMerchant Ship
Serendib EfreetJuzám DjinnSindbadLibrary of AlexandriaAli BabaSandals of AbdallahDesert TwisterEye for an EyeSindbadJandor's RingEye for an Eye
Repentant BlacksmithSerendib DjinnJunún EfreetAladdinCity of BrassCycloneCity in a BottleKhabál GhoulPyramidsGuardian BeastRing of Ma'rûf
JihadSerendib EfreetAladdin's RingGuardian BeastJeweled BirdAli from CairoFlying CarpetSinging TreeOasisSorceress QueenEbony Horse
Abu Ja'farAladdin's LampMerchant ShipBrass ManEl-HajjâjJeweled BirdMijae DjinnSandals of AbdallahErhnam DjinnAli from CairoDiamond Valley
Bazaar of BaghdadOld Man of the SeaKhabál GhoulDiamond ValleyJandor's SaddlebagsYdwen EfreetCity in a BottleIfh-Bíff EfreetMagnetic MountainSinging TreeKing Suleiman
ShahrazadIsland Fish JasconiusOasisSorceress QueenFlying CarpetMagnetic MountainBottle of SuleimanJihadEbony HorseAli BabaCity of Brass
Eye for an EyeCity of BrassSindbadSandals of AbdallahJuzám DjinnAli BabaDesert TwisterDancing ScimitarOasisJeweled BirdDesert Twister
Library of AlexandriaRepentant BlacksmithSerendib DjinnJunún EfreetAladdinLibrary of AlexandriaCycloneJandor's RingCycloneJandor's SaddlebagsDrop of Honey

U2 Rarity
  1. Aladdin
  2. Aladdin's Lamp
  3. Aladdin's Ring
  4. Ali from Cairo
  5. Bottle of Suleiman
  6. City in a Bottle
  7. Dancing Scimitar
  8. Diamond Valley
  9. Drop of Honey
  10. Ebony Horse
  11. El-Hajjâj
  12. Elephant Graveyard
  13. Erhnam Djinn
  14. Guardian Beast
  15. Ifh-Bíff Efreet
  16. Island Fish Jasconius
  17. Island of Wak-Wak
  18. Jandor's Ring
  19. Jandor's Saddlebags
  20. Jihad
  21. Junún Efreet
  22. Juzám Djinn
  23. King Suleiman
  24. Mijae Djinn
  25. Old Man of the Sea
  26. Pyramids
  27. Repentant Blacksmith
  28. Ring of Ma'rûf
  29. Serendib Djinn
  30. Serendib Efreet
  31. Shahrazad
  32. Singing Tree
  33. Ydwen Efreet
U3 Rarity
  1. Abu Ja'far
  2. Ali Baba
  3. Bazaar of Baghdad
  4. Brass Man
  5. City of Brass
  6. Cyclone
  7. Desert Twister
  8. Eye for an Eye
  9. Flying Carpet
  10. Jeweled Bird
  11. Khabál Ghoul
  12. Library of Alexandria
  13. Magnetic Mountain
  14. Merchant Ship
  15. Sandals of Abdallah
  16. Sindbad
  17. Sorceress Queen
U4 Rarity
  1. Oasis

[1] The announcement of the sheets' reconstruction was originally on facebook with an accompanying video available on Vimeo and Google Drive. The sheets plus supplemental information are also available from the Librarities thread.

[2] A first-hand account of the construction of the Arabian Nights sheets is given by David Howell in "Arabian Nightmare". This includes information about sheet quadrants (also mentioned in the Klein/Cervenka video), and the special circumstances surrounding the lower-right quadrant of the common sheet (and a specific reference to the Mountain).

[3] The Librarities thread lists information about print dots and other variations that have been identified. (At the time of writing, this work in ongoing, though not by me.) Correlation of print dots between different quadrants was proposed by Tavis King in that thread here. Also thanks to M.B. for contacting me with more information about Arabian Nights print variations.

[4] A specific reference to "light" versus "dark" Camel (with image reference) is provided in this Librarities post.