Magic: the Gathering cards are as popular as ever. The trading card game attracts veteran and new players alike. Depending on the rules, you can use out-of-print cards in your deck. This causes a shortage of cards once the company stops printing them. Card sets like Alpha and Beta have exclusive cards in them that will never be reprinted. This causes prices to skyrocket.
One of the most famous Magic: the Gathering cards is Black Lotus. The last copy sold on eBay for $27,302. There were a couple of factors that caused the card to fetch that high of a price. This version was from Alpha. When initially printed, Black Lotus was not considered a desirable card. As game mechanics changed, the card became significantly more important to play.
The high price also came from the grading. Cards graded from services such as Beckett Grading Services tend to fetch higher prices. The Black Lotus that sold for over $27,000 was graded 9.5, making it nearly pristine. Cards graded above a 9 are very rare, which makes sense because the set is over 20 years old.
Cards from the Alpha set are also desirable because they were very limited in production. Only about 1,100 copies of the card went to print. The Beta run, in comparison, had an estimated 3,300 copies. Most modern sets have over 10,000 copies in production depending on the card, but none include the famous Black Lotus card. Less “desirable” versions of the Black Lotus card still sell for $5,000 on average.
Even modern cards can fetch a high price depending on their demand
Magic: the Gathering cards all have a rarity: common, uncommon, rare or mythic. These indicate how many of each card will be printed. Mythic and rare cards tend to fetch higher prices, although some commons and uncommons can skyrocket in popularity.
Rancor, for example, is an uncommon that was originally printed in Urza’s Legacy. Once the mechanics of the game adapted and more combos became available with the card, they jumped up in price. Because they were not reprinted for a long time, prices got over $10 with foil versions being sold at 4 times the price. After reprinting in the Magic 2013 Core Set, the uncommon card dropped to about $1.50 per copy.
Unfortunately for players, cards like Black Lotus will not be reprinted in another set. Wizards, the company that produces Magic: the Gathering, has a reserved list of cards that will never be printed in a functional set. This list also includes cards from the Power Nine, Badlands, Goblin Wizard and Typhoon.
Even though the cards cannot be played with, they still have a very high collector’s value. People buy Magic: the Gathering cards for a number of reasons, including nostalgia. As time goes on, these cards will become harder to come by and prices may go up even more.
When looking to buy Magic: the Gathering cards, it is important to do your research. Try to find a reputable distributor or seller that can help you find the best cards available. This is crucial if you are planning on spending thousands of dollars on Magic cards.