There are over 20,000 MTG cards and some of them can be quite valuable. Today we’ll take a look at the most expensive Magic the Gathering cards. They’ll be sorted in different categories, such as:
- most expensive common cards
- most expensive cards overall
- the priciest Commander cards
- and more!
But first, let’s take a look at how rarities work in Magic the Gathering and why they actually have value. If you’re a more experienced player, feel free to skip this first part.
Introduction – Why Do MTG Cards Have Value?
Magic The Gathering came to existence in 1993 after Richard Garfield had experimented with different game mechanics and design. He created a card game that combines flavor, luck, and strategy. The cards were distributed in packs and they could be collected, traded, and sold. He never imagined the potential that this small game could have in the future.
Magic the Gathering basically created the collectible card game market. Its method of randomizing cards into packs (which could be assembled into a deck) was very engaging for players.
The game began to grow and expand even more after the incorporation into the company Wizards of the Coast. It began producing new sets and new cards each year, which is a model still in practice today. This model created a way to refresh and maintain the game from stalling into a single state of repetitiveness.
Getting a pack of 15 random cards provides a nice freshness to the game. However, there are other side effects too.
The main one is that there are some overpowered and unbalanced cards incorporated into sets with a majority of dull and unwanted cards. This makes specific cards to be chased after players. Of course, with the economic principle of production and demand, some cards rose in value. Real monetary value.
Wizards of the Coast to this day still make most of their revenues with the game by selling packs. They create cards which become “chase cards” and incorporate them in sets with lesser wanted cards. This is where independent sellers come into the picture.
The economic value of cards because of their demand and production is established, and a legitimate business is created. To this day, many people make a lot of money selling wanted cards.
Some of these cards are so rare and hard to find that the price for having them is incredibly high. Collectors and investors have a real interest in this side of Magic, and the casual players find themselves victims of the high price to play this game.
This is the reason why I have compiled a list of the most expensive cards in Magic.
Not Your Usual Top 10 List
First things first, this is really not a top 10 list. Usual top 10 Lists just include the Power Nine and one more card from the Reserved List. So while, I’ll still include the Reserved List cards, I’ll also talk about most expensive cards from various rarities and formats.
Also, I didn’t include special edition cards. (Like foil, special art, alters, or any other form of the card which is not the base version.)
I’ll include the highest prices I found at the time of writing. These prices can vary and I base this list on the prices I found on all selling platforms online. All prices are in USD.
With that aside let’s get to it.
Most Expensive MTG Common Cards
Because cards are sold in packs, they are organized into commons, uncommons, rares, and mythic rares. Mythic rares are hardest to get, followed by rares.
This section is focusing on cards in the common section. You could assume that because there is a higher chance of getting them in a pack, their quantity would be higher, so they would have a low price.
While that’s usually true, it isn’t always the case. These following three cards are examples.
Their prices might not seem as expansive as the cards following. However, packs usually range around the price of 5$, so getting your money back on a common isn’t bad.
Most Expensive MTG Uncommons
There are plenty of expensive cards that have been printed in this category such as Force of Will and Sensei’s Divining Top. However, they’ve been changed to a higher rarity making them lose the uncommon status. That’s why I didn’t include them here.
Nevertheless, technically Force of Will is the most expensive uncommon.)
Uncommons are a bit harder to get. Here is the list of the three most expensive uncommon cards right now in the Market.
Interestly enough, taking out the cards that changed rarity makes uncommons less valuable than commons. A reason for this might be their playability in more formats as well as the times they have been reprinted. Either way, it’s underwhelming to see actual uncommons have such little value.
Now, there are plenty of rares and mythic rares with a hefty price tag out there. So I have decided to organize them into the most popular formats played in Magic.
The following are the most expensive cards in Standard, Modern, and Commander.
Most Expensive Cards in Standard
In case you aren’t familiar with game, Magic the Gathering can be played in many different ways. There are different formats, which are different types of game modes with different rules and restrictions.
The simplest one is Standard, which is a one on one format with a 60-card deck. It consists of four copies of each card allowed, excluding basic lands. The starting life total is 20, and you can play with cards from last two years. Standard Rotation happens every fall and old card rotate out.
The most expensive cards currently in Standard are:
Gargaroth is from Core Set 2021, and the other two are from the new Zendikar Rising set. The reason for this is their high power level, as well as high demand due to them being new and exciting cards.
Most Expensive Modern Cards
Moving on to a higher power and price level format. Modern is a non-rotating format which contains cards from the original Mirrodin set all the way through the newest release.
This makes this format a place for higher power cards, combos, and strategies. And, of course, it makes Modern very expensive.
These are the top three most expensive cards in the format:
As you can see, these cards possess an incredibly powerful effect for a low casting cost. This is a trend amongst Modern decks. Most of the format is filled with powerful strategies that can be played fast and effective. These cards do the job perfectly.
It is also to note that two of these are in the Mythic Rare category. This makes them extremely rare to get in a pack and drives the price up.
Most Expensive Commander Cards
Moving into a more complex format. Commander is a multiplayer format created by the community. It consists of a 99 card deck based around one legendary creature or a designated planeswalker. The deck can have only one copy of each single card and must obey the color identity of the commander.
Because all sets from Magic’s history are allowed in Commander, I looked into what the most expensive legendary creatures (that can be your commanders) are. Here are the top three:
The reason for their high price is the fact that their abilities are unique, and that they are on the Reserved List.
Most Expensive Cards on The Reserved List
Finally, moving into the category with the most recognizable cards for their price. Cards on the Reserved List are not only highly powerful, but also extremely hard to find. Wizards of the Coast decided they’ll never reprint these cards again. This was done in order to protect their value and the economy around them.
This subject and category is an extremely controversial and divisive topic amongst Magic fans, players, and collectors. You can find more about the Reserved List here.
So the cards on this list are extremely pricey and have gathered public attention and fame due to this fact.
The following are the top three most expensive cards on this list:
Needless to say, buying one of these cards is equal to buying a car. If you want to buy a Black Lotus, might as well get the car not the card.
Their price is insanely high, and only collectors and investors would have the means to have some of these. If you are lucky enough to find one of these in the wild or have a forgotten Magic collection somewhere, you have a really valuable possession.
Magic cards in the end are just images printed onto cardboard. Their real material value is almost nothing, but their importance to the players is what makes their price go up. As I have stated before, Magic is – due to its nature of producing a certain quantity of cards – the object of high demand and limited supply.
The more people want a card and the less quantity there is, the higher the price. There is no doubt that as fun as this game can be, it can also be extremely expensive and difficult to get into. Even though this is the case, it does not take away from the fun and intrigue of the game.
I hope this article has been interesting and informative. If you want to check any more of our content feel free to check out these other articles:
And as always, have fun playing the game and take care of each other!