The Top 10 most expensive Magic Cards on Cardmarket

The most valuable Magic cards in 2021

Author: Thomas Preyer

Note: This post was published for the first time in October 2020. We have now updated it to reflect the current situation on Cardmarket. Last update: May 27, 2021

Here is the Top 10 from last 2020.

There are quite a lot of rare and expensive Magic: The Gathering trading cards out there. I mean, the game has a long history. Most of you probably immediately think of Black Lotus – the game’s most iconic card.

Apart from “auto-include in your vintage Magic deck” zero mana artifact the so-called Reserved list is home to a lot of cards that are equally rare and valuable. Over the last years especially the Moxen, Ancestral Recall and Time Walk went up in price quite significantly.

The Reserved list is a list of cards that Wizards of the Coast committed to never reprint. The main reason was and is to retain the value of those cards on the secondary market. The list was introduced in 1996 and revised in 2002 and 2010.

These very rare cards were first printed in Alpha and only reprinted in the following sets, Beta and Unlimited.

They are not only rare but also very powerful. Therefore, you are only allowed to play them in the Vintage format. They are restricted too, so also only one copy can be in your deck.

Supply and Demand

We all know that the market forces, supply and demand, decide over the price of a certain Magic trading card.

On the one hand there are popular cards, played in many decks and formats, that are highly sought-after. On the other hand there are cards that have been printed in very small quantities and that’s the reason players and collectors want to own them.

Special Print Runs

One of the best known cards that was never printed in a regular set of Magic, is the World Champion 1996.  The card was given to Tom Chanpheng for winning the Magic World Championships. There is only one copy as the other copies from the print run have been destroyed.

pcel-1-1996-world-champion.jpg

Tom sold it in 2001 to a private collector for $17.500. Sure, a piece of Magic history has its price tag.

Richard Garfield, the game’s creator, has frequently issued special cards in small quantities to commemorate personal life events.

Stay tuned, some have made our Top 10 of Cardmarket’s most expansive Magic cards.

Misprints

Misprints can be evenly rare and frequently come with a hefty price tag. One of the most iconic misprints will make our Top 10 list as well.

The Top 10

Compiling a list of the most valuable Magic cards is hard. Where do one start? Some special print run cards are unique and don’t really have a market price. Therefore, we decided to only list cards that have “real” prices and can actually be bought. And where would be a better place to look up those cards and prices, than Europe’s biggest Magic cards marketplace, Cardmarket? We will always list the cheapest version of the card but also the price for a copy in “good” condition.

Without further ado, this is the top 10 of Cardmarket’s most expensive Magic: The Gathering trading cards in 2021:

Data was taken on May 19, 2021

Honorable Mentions

Let’s start with two cards that just barely didn’t make the Top 10:

Vesuvan Doppelganger – Alpha

from 9,499.00 Euro (Excellent)

lea-87-vesuvan-doppelganger.png

Vesuvan Doppelganger is one of two clone creatures in the Old School format. The other one is … Clone. This Doppelganger is on the Reserved List and was only printed in Alpha, Beta, Unlimited and Revised, and is therefore much more thought after as one would expect.

Mox Jet – Alpha

from 13,999.99 Euro (Good)

lea-262-mox-jet.png

The first Mox on our list just scratched the Top 10. A near mint version from Alpha, at 35k, would easily make it.

10th Place

Time Walk – Alpha

from 15,000.00 Euro (Poor)

lea-83-time-walk.jpg

Yes, in poor, this is sorta affordable (I just wanted to use this word here somewhere, as this is all pretty crazy). But if you really want to, you could safe up for the 40,000 Euro near mint version that was graded at 9.0.

9th Place

Ancestral Recall – Alpha

from 16,000.00 Euro (Poor)

lea-47-ancestral-recall.jpg

One of those vintage format must haves and one of the originals “Three for One” cards that are part of our company name. Learn more about the origin of our name here.

If you are looking for a true highlight than you should check out the 9.5 graded Near Mint version of the mother of all draw spells. The price tag: 130,000 Euro.

8th Place

Mox Pearl – Alpha

from 16,000.00 Euro (Good)

lea-263-mox-pearl.png

If you want you could spend about twice the money (35,000) on a near mint white Mox (graded at 8.5).

Alternatively and much cheaper is one of our Unlimited Mox Pearls. You can find them here, in our store.

7th Place

Timetwister – Alpha

from 18,000.00 Euro (Good)

lea-84-timetwister.jpg

The only Power 9 card that is legal to play anywhere outside of Vintage and Old School is Timetwister. Where? In Commander. As we all know, Commander and EDH are hugely popular and therefore is the blue three mana sorcery. Looking for a treat? Keep an eye on a near mint 9.0 version that sells for 50k on Cardmarket.

6th Place

Mox Ruby – Alpha

from 20,000.00 Euro (Played)

lea-264-mox-ruby.png

Everyone, well almost everyone, wants to own a Mox or five. Hence, there is just one Alpha Mox Ruby for sale on Cardmarket. Luckily we have a money saving alternative for you. Check out our International Edition Mox Ruby. A purchase that will not need you to take out a mortgage on your house.

5th Place

Stasis – Alpha

from 20,000.00 Euro (Excellent)

lea-80-stasis.png

Stasis, and to a lesser degree, Winter Orb are among the most hated Magic cards of all time. Rightfully so! I even played this pain in the a** at a Grand Prix (not successful). If you bring this to your next casual kitchen table MTG evening, you shouldn’t be surprised if you will be left off the guest list the next time. By the way, if you really dig this, you have to be quick. There’s only one copy of an Alpha Stasis for sale right now.

4th Place

Black Lotus – Beta

from 21,000.00 Euro (Poor)

leb-233-black-lotus.jpg

It doesn’t really matter from what set a Black Lotus is. This card will always have a market, and it commandeers for a high price. Black bordered flowers are even more expansive than their Unlimited cousins. Let’s see what we have. A good graded Lotus at 52,500 Euro and a near mint graded 9.5 for 180k. Tip: Check your account balance before moving these to your shopping card

3rd Place

Underground Sea – Summer Magic

from 29,999.00 Euro (Near Mint)

sum-290-underground-sea.jpg

Remember the third place finisher in 2020? No? Well, it was a Summer Magic Underground Sea. There’s only on for sale and I am curious if this will still be the case in 2022. Last year we explained a bit more in depth what Summer Magic is. You can find the part about this famous set here.

2nd Place

Black Lotus – Alpha

from 21,000.00 Euro (Poor)

lea-232-black-lotus.jpg

What’s more expansive than a Black Lotus? Yes, a Black Lotus from Alpha that was graded at 9.5 Near Mint. The price tag? 400,000 Euros. To steep for you? You can always fall back to the signed near mint one that’s just 175k. Or if that’s still too high there’s also a played one that is ONLY 70,000. Wow!

1st Place

Mox Sapphire – Alpha

from 50,000,00 Euro (Near Mint)

lea-265-mox-sapphire.jpg

In 2020 you would have found the blue Mox just barely in the Top 10, in 10th place. Currently there are only near mint versions on Cardmarket and those are quite rare and therefore very expensive. The “cheapest” NM one that’s available is graded at 8.0 but there’s also a 9.0 one that’s 90k! Nice!

We are super excited to see how the ranking will change next year and which card will come up top.


the top 10 of Cardmarket’s most expensive Magic: The Gathering trading cards in 2020:

Data was taken on October 9, 2020

Honorable Mentions

Let’s start with two cards that just barely didn’t make the Top 10:

Time Walk – Alpha

from 5,499.95 Euro

lea-83-time-walk.jpg

Ancestral Recall – Alpha

from 5,750.00 Euro

lea-47-ancestral-recall.jpg

Both blue cards, here in their Alpha version, are on the infamous Reserved list and due to their power level only playable on the Vintage format Restricted list as well.

To get yourself a Time Walk in a nice condition you’d have to come up with about 26,000 Euro. Equally expensive is Ancestral Recall which was at 25,000 Euro for a version in better condition of the card.

10th Place

Mox Sapphire – Alpha

from 5,999.00 Euro (Mint condition: approx. 22,000.00 Euro)

lea-265-mox-sapphire.jpg

Let’s start this top 10 list the right way. Mox Sapphire is an icon of the game and the most expensive of its Moxen cohort. Maybe because it enables its owner to cast all those other powerful blue spells?

We have to disappoint you if you’d think that the other Moxes – Mox Ruby (red), Mox Emerald (green), Mox Jet (black) and Mox Pearl (white) – can be aquired for cheap. Four figures of cold hard Euro money have to be presented to the seller to get you one of these mana accelerating artifacts.

9th Place

Hurricane – Summer Magic

from 6,900.00 Euro

sum-202-hurricane.jpg

The equivalent of the blue Mauritius “Post Office” stamp in the Magic universe is this blue version of Hurricane. The price tag of roughly 7k Euro makes this misprint the most expensive misprint ever.

But why?

Revised Edition, the successor to Unlimited, had a number of problems. The print color looked washed out, the picture of the card Serend Efreet was mixed up with the one fIfh-Bíff Efreet and Wizards was increasingly unhappy with all kinds of satanic symbolic on cards like Unholy Strength.

Therefore, they decided to release a complete makeover of Unlimited. The new print run was code-named “Edgar”. Nowadays mostly and well known as “Summer Magic”.

Sadly this new print run was also full of mistakes. Before noticing them about 40 booster boxes were shipped to retailers.

These booster packs contained not only our famous blue Hurricane, but also green cards whose text was almost unreadable. What makes the set interesting to collectors is the sheer rarity and scarcity of those cards. The consensus among the community is, that Rares from Summer Magic are rarer than Rares from Alpha, Magics first edition.

You have some spare change? Currently, two copies of the card are up for sale on Cardmarket.

Now you are maybe asking yourself how to identify those legendary Summer Magic cards? Well that is actually not that hard.

The card has to be white bordered and in English. The Copyright text has to be in white, in one line and contain the year 1994.

What are you waiting for? Start browsing your Revised cards and maybe you can find a hidden gem!

8th Place

Tropical Island – Summer Magic

from 6,999.00 Euro

sum-288-tropical-island.jpg

Let’s move on to place number eight. And it is another card from Summer Magic. This time a Rare and a good one as well. Tropical Island is part of a circle of lands from the earliest Magic sets called dual lands.

Spoiler alert: It is not the last of its kind on this list.

7th Place

Splendid Genesis

from 7,989.00 Euro

pcel-4-splendid-genesis.jpg

Commemorating the birth of Richard Garfield’s firstborn, Terry, Splendid Genesis was created. The card was printed in a very limited print run of 110 copies only.

The games’ creator handed those out to friends, family and Wizards employees. Never printed in an actual set of Magic the rarity and the life event it is depicting makes it a sought-after collectible.

6th Place

Volcanic Island – Summer Magic

from 10.000,00 Euro

sum-291-volcanic-island.jpg

One just does not want to imagine how expensive Power 9 cards would have been if they had been printed in Summer Magic. Gladly they weren’t, and so we have our trusted dual lands representing the most valuable Rares of this Revised Edition print run.

5th Place

Timetwister – Alpha

from 12,999.00 Euro

lea-84-timetwister.jpg

This blue sorcery is easily one of the best “Draw Seven” spells of the game. The price is not only that high because it is a powerful spell but also because the condition listed is “Excellent”.  A Near Mint version is only slightly more expensive at 13,899.00 Euro.

4th Place

Black Lotus – Beta

from 13,000.00 Euro

leb-233-black-lotus.jpg

This is the first card in a version from Magic’s second set, Beta. And it is the games’ poster boy itself, Black Lotus! You can get yourself a Played condition Black Lotus from Euro 13,000. To get a Near Mint you would have to have almost double in savings.

3rd Place

Underground Sea – Summer Magic

from 13,999.00 Euro

We promise that this is the last time you will hear the words Summer and Magic in this article. Dual lands are the most valuable cards from the set. We clarified that earlier. Naturally the best and most sought-after of the circle is also the most expensive: Underground Sea.

2nd Place

Fraternal Exaltation

from 19,789.00 Euro

pcel-5-fraternal-exaltation.jpg

Another card that was created for a special occasion by Richard Garfield. This time the print run consisted of 220 copies. Fraternal Extraction was never released for sale and just handed out to family, friends and fellow Wizards of the Coast co-workers. Just as it was the case with Splendid Genesis.

1st Place

Black Lotus – Alpha

from 31,190.00 Euro

lea-232-black-lotus.jpg

To purchase a Near Mint version of Alpha’s Black Lotus you would have to come up with 80,000 Euro. Wow. Beauty has its price and if you want to own the games’ most iconic card you would have to decide between getting a new car or a piece of decades old paper.

Prices obviously change. Therefore, you can find the up to date list of Cardmarket’s most expensive cards here.

If you are looking for more affordable Magic cards we got you covered. Follow the link to our Cardmarket store and fulfil all your collectors and deck builders needs.