Standard Snapshot: 3/26/14


By: Travis Allen

Last week I got everyone real angry about Legacy. I failed to clarify one particular point though, which I’ll start with today. When I implied that Legacy was going to fade away I wasn’t explicit about what that meant. It doesn’t mean nobody will play the format anymore. I expect it to eventually end up as Vintage is today – enjoyed by a core group of dedicated players, occasionally responsible for odd cards being hilariously expensive, but overall not something most players concern themselves with. People will still have their pet decks and Legacy events will continue to fire at local stores and Grand Prix side events. But there will come a day when SCG no longer runs it as a major event at opens and you can no longer win Pro Tour invites playing the format. That is the eventual fate of Legacy, not a total abolishment from the minds of mortals.

Anyways, on to today’s topic. We haven’t talked Standard in a while, and GP Cincinnati just occurred, which seems like a good reason to take a look at the format. Where is the money to be made? What should we stay away from? What do we sell? Is everyone sick of Pack Rat yet? (The last one is easy: yes.) 

Kyle Boggemes took down the whole event with a soup du jour Esper control list. The first thing that jumps out at me is the full twelve Scrylands. If you haven’t figured it out yet, these are powerful lands that are going to be relevant for their full course in Standard. What’s most interesting is how resilient the prices have been on the Theros lands. Typically we see the current fall-set lands get quite low. The Innistrad checklands behaved this way as well. These seem to have kept their prices a little better than I anticipated, with the exception of Temple of Mystery. Their floor will be between May and June, so whatever they fall to, that’s as low as they’re going to be.

The Born of the Gods temples are still doing quite well too, especially Temple of Enlightenment, clocking in at nearly $9. UW was clearly going to be the best Scryland from the outset and the price reflects that. The BOG scrylands should fare better than their Theros counterparts overall, and the Journey lands will be in a position to sit at the top of the financial pile. More on this at the bottom of the article


Three Elspeths is also worth noting, and she’s been prevalent in many of these lists. Her price continues to be a stubborn $20, which is impressive for a fall Planeswalker. If she gets below $15, I’d start trading hard for her. We will definitely continue to see her after rotation.

If you haven’t moved your Desecration Demons, Nightveil Specters, Underworld Connections, or Pack Rats, get on that soon. Their peak has come and gone.

A playset of Herald of Torment showed up in the Top 8, which is good news for his long-term prospects. He’s still about a dollar, and could pretty easily climb to $3+, maybe even $7-$10 depending on how things shake out. I haven’t bought any myself, but if I could get twelve or more copies for $1 each shipped, I would. We’ll still have Bile Blight, Hero’s Downfall and Thoughtseize after rotation, which basically guarantees he’ll always have a shot at being good. I’ve been wondering if you could actually build a Hero of Iroas deck with Fabled Hero, Agent of the Fates, Herald of Torment, and Nighthowler. It’s probably an FNM deck, but it sure sounds fun.

As I warned, Pain Seer is down to under $1 at this point. She’s a pretty low-risk pickup, but I like her less than I like Herald. She’s just so much more conditional than Herald is.


Naya Auras made the Top 8 as well, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot there we can work with. Most of the deck is rotating soon. I do see a whole lot of Scrylands though.

In the Top 16, Adam Jansen showed up with three copies of Ashiok. I still am a fan, and while Ashiok hasn’t been tearing up the tournament scene, at least s/he’s putting up occasional results. As a $7 pickup, you can’t really go wrong. I’d be surprised if s/he didn’t end up north of $10 at some point this fall for at least a slim period of time. 

Ari Lax was the darling of Cincinnati, piloting a GB “dredge” deck. He had some hot cards for sure. I was about to start listing the cool creatures he was playing but then I realized it was basically just all of them. I don’t think we’ll see Jarad make any moves, as the Duel Deck made sure that even if he’s playable there will be plenty of stock to go around. If you don’t have your Nighthowler promos yet, grab them now. The card is definitely powerful enough, and the full art version is leagues better than the pack foils.

What may be the most interesting card here is Satyr Wayfinder. While he isn’t going to be a $4 common, this list is proof that he is definitely capable of helping enable an archetype. Be on the watch for more graveyard-friendly cards and strategies in Journey and M15. Whip of Erebos will be around this September as well. The seeds are sown for a graveyard deck. The question is whether or not Wizards will make it rain.

While Cincinnati certainly drew the biggest Standard crowd this weekend, there was in fact an SCG open as well. I see Courser of Kruphix in third place, and I notice his price is nearly $10. This guy is definitely legit. Expect to see plenty of him next year as well. He’s a Born of the Gods rare, which is good for his longer-term prospects. $10 is a tough point of entry, but if he slips this summer, jump on that.

Cliff has talked about it before, but I want to refresh your memories here. I recommend you read his article, as it’s digestible and useful. The tl;dr is that the draft format means that we are going to open way more Theros than either of the other two sets, and less Journey than either of the other two. This means Theros cards are the weakest in terms of speculation value, BOG cards will be acceptable, and Journey cards will be ripe for unexpected spikes. It’s tough for me to recommend going deep on any almost anything in Theros, but I think BOG should have a low enough print run that it’s safe to expect movement. Journey will be your best bet, but we aren’t quite there yet.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible for Theros cards to spike, just that there will be less of them, they’ll be harder to identify, and they may not go as high as you’d like.

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The Japanese Market

By: JT Neal

First things first, let me introduce myself. I’ve played Magic on and off since Ice Age, albeit only very seriously since Innistrad. I’m an American (Atlantan, to be specific) and I’ve lived in western Japan for the last six years of my life. The first five of those years were mostly spent in rural Shiga, a lovely prefecture with historical castles, Japan’s largest lake… and dismayingly few shops that run Magic events*.

Then, in 2012, I moved to Osaka. Japan’s second-largest city, Osaka is the seat of western Japanese cuisine, comedy and commerce. It also boasts the Nipponbashi district, second only to Tokyo’s Akihabara as a geek mecca. With one move roughly two hours west, I’d gone from Magical famine to feast. Of course, this bounty presented a new threat to my wallet; enter my budding interest in Magic finance.



I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a new hand at this, and I’m very grateful to be able to share my discoveries in an unfamiliar market with you all here on MTG Price. The Japanese Magic scene is vibrant and worthy of attention, and I think we can all stand to gain by learning a little more about foreign markets. I’d like to start off by going over a few things that might surprise a visitor or new expatriate stepping in to the Japanese scene for the first time. (As a note, all US dollar figures I’ve given are based on the current exchange rate as I write this, of 101.72 yen to the dollar.)

– There’s a surprising amount of English product available. Stores stock English booster packs, and many carry English versions of products such as Commander decks as well. As far as single cards are concerned, most shops that specialize in Magic will have any given card (with the exception of very new or very old sets) available in both English and Japanese.

Between high availability and a relatively older player base, card language is rarely an issue among Japanese players. I know Japanese players who strongly prefer to use English cards, fellow expats who strongly prefer Japanese cards and everyone in between. It’s easy to forget all about the language barrier once you start playing.


For the most part, stores charge more or less the same amount for non-foils in either language, though very new English cards and older Japanese cards may cost a touch more due to supply issues. For foils, though, all bets are off – if you visit, you’ll probably find that last Japanese foil Stoneforge Mystic you’ve been hunting for, but don’t expect to get a deal on it.

– Many shops explicitly prohibit trading on the premeses. The store where I usually play doesn’t, but trade binders are still a relatively uncommon sight there. There’s plenty of trading going on at Grands Prix and the like, but at least in Osaka, few cards change hands under store roofs. There’s cold comfort in the fact that buylist prices are often pretty competitive. They have to be, because…

– In urban Japan, game stores are typically found close together. If you don’t like the prices or selection at one store, the next may be as far as one city block or as close as another floor in the same building. Some stores handle this competition well, by aiming to have the lowest prices, or stock the fullest discount case, or host the most events. Unfortunately, some deal with it rather poorly; one Osaka branch of a major store has banned all cell phone use, and I’ve seen the staff harass customers for carrying shopping lists.

– And then there’s the elephant in the room: Singles in Japan tend to cost a good bit more than you’re probably used to. Individual packs for in-print sets cost around 300 yen, which is on par with retail price in the United States. Single rares and mythics, however, generally retail for about 120 to 150% more on this side of the Pacific.

This is a fairly consistent rule of thumb, but of course there are outliers. If you’re in Osaka and you need a True-Name Nemesis in your hands today, you’ll spend anywhere from 7000 to a whopping 10000 yen ($69-$99) for the privilege, depending on the store. Tokyo-based can hook you up for 5,500($53).


On the other hand, while card price fluctuations in Japan tend to match worldwide patterns, they often take some time to catch up to spikes in the United States. For whatever reason (and I’m open to theories), I have noticed this tendency is particularly strong with eternal-playable lands. Zendikar fetchlands, Wasteland, Rishadan Port, even Serra’s Sanctum; all of these afforded at least a week’s time to act after spiking Stateside.

Single prices do look a little more familiar if you browse Yahoo Auctions ((, though there you run the same risks you’d run with eBay. Yahoo Auctions can be particularly intimidating to international shoppers, or those without much Japanese ability; if there’s interest I would be happy to provide a quick-and-dirty guide in a future column.

– Legacy is alive and well in Japan. My usual shop in Osaka runs at least two Legacy tournaments every week (it was four until recently, when they replaced two of them with Modern); another nearby spot runs Legacy events alongside their Standard FNM. There are several non-sanctioned Legacy events organized by members of the local community, too, like the popular Known Magician’s Clan (( There’s growing interest in Modern among players, but for the most part the events aren’t there yet. I expect that to change as we draw closer to the Modern Grand Prix in nearby Kobe this coming August, though. Standard is, unsurprisingly, very popular as well, and Vintage events pop up from time to time.

I hope this has been at least a little informative or interesting. What would you like to know about the Japanese Magic scene? Please don’t hesitate to contact me here, or on Twitter @JohnnyToNowhere, with any questions/comments/complaints/foreign Gifts Ungiven foils you may have. Thank you for reading!

* Respect due to Dragon Tale (( in Kusatsu, Shiga

The Most Expensive Deck in Magic

By: Jared Yost

*EDIT: Unfortunately, I was wrong when indicating that Beta is rarer than Alpha. From Twitter initial comments, I did research and found this article written by Chase Andres which explains how much rarer Alpha is than Beta. My apologies, I have updated the article with similar cards from Alpha instead of Beta when I could find an Alpha version that was worth more than a graded Beta version I had previously found.


I decided to write an article this week on the premise “What is the most absurdly expensive deck that I could play a game of Magic with and still be competitive?”. The answer will definitely shock you. As I did the research for this article, it astounded me how many rare and hard to find cards exist within the Magic world. A lot of people know that Black Lotus exists and is rare, but did you know that there was a printing of Revised that was released early and then recalled to be destroyed? Did you know that some of it was not destroyed and instead still exists today? These cards do exist and it is known as Summer Magic. The prices of the cards from that set will absolutely floor you and I will get to that later.

Before I delve into the deck, I think the first question we’re all wondering is what playmat could we use for a deck truly fit for King Midas? May I suggest this one. According to the seller, this is the world’s rarest playmat, which seems fit for a deck that would truly be the world’s rarest deck.

Though at $350, this is chump change compared to what the deck I will lay out will cost you.

The format of the deck will have to be Vintage, not only for the Power 9 but also for several other cards that are hard to find and can only be played in Vintage. I am going to go with Sna Control, a deck used by Jacob Dunn from a recent GP Melbourne Side Event since it contains most of the P9 cards (which we can all agree are the most sought after collectable cards in the game) in addition to Jace, The Mind Sculptor and other stupidly expensive cards. This deck will showcase perfectly how expensive a Magic deck can get if you want to have the most awe-inspiring, ostentatious deck that you can imagine.

Also, anything that I would acquire from Alpha or Beta I will try to prefer the Beta Alpha version over the Alpha Beta version because collectors all agree that fewer Beta Alpha cards were released than Alpha Beta cards. You will also notice a lot of foreign cards are in this deck. The reason this must be is because foreign cards for some languages were printed in much fewer quantities than their other language counterparts. Specifically Korean, Russian, and Japanese are considered the most collectable sets especially in terms of foils. Note that Korean first appeared in M12 (with some also in Urza’s Saga, Visions, Tempest, and 4th Ed), Russian first appeared in 9th Edition, and Japanese first appeared in 4th Edition. I will try to stick with this pick order throughout the deck.

OK, now let’s go through the list and figure out how to make everything as expensive as possible.


– 4x Scalding Tarn FOIL Russian Zendikar – Estimated $3,600

I wasn’t able to find a single foil Russian Scalding Tarn for sale online on eBay or other websites that I looked through. I did find this completed listing on March 10th for a playset of non-foil Russian Scalding Tarns for $450 which is about $112.50 each. Based on the current ratio of foil price to non-foil price for Scalding Tarn in English ($106.40 non-foil, $247.60) I estimate that a foil Russian Scalding Tarn would sell for a minimum of $261.80 based on the 0.42 ratio (which I will refer to henceforth as the multiplier) for English prices.

But with collectible rare items like this, regular multipliers go out the window. Japanese foils are of comparable rarity to Russian, and a foil Japanese Scalding Tarns sells for roughly $600 on eBay. Non-foil Japanese Scalding Tarns sell for about $75 based on this completed playset listing. This makes the multiplier 0.125 rather than 0.42 for English foil and non-foil copies. Based on this multiplier, if I had a foil Russian Scalding Tarn and wanted to sell it I would be comfortable selling it for $900 ($112.50 for a non-foil divided by 0.125 multiplier). Since we are trying to make the most expensive deck, all four Scalding Tarns must be foil Russian so the final total comes to $3,600.

– 3x Underground Sea Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $24,000

Now I will tell the story of Summer Magic. According to MTGSalvation, “Summer Magic refers to a printing of Revised Edition that was to be destroyed because of numerous errors in the printing. Some of the cards survived and were released, and booster packs from this edition are extremely rare.”

To give you an idea of how rare, the snippet mentions that about only 40 boxes of the product were ever released to the public. In terms of packs, that means that only 1,440 packs of this product ever existed! Outside of test prints and other rare oddities that sometimes make their way out of Wizards of the Coast, these are some of the rarest cards you can acquire. I’m not even sure if three Underground Sea even exist from this product. However, based on the pack count I am fairly confident that they existed at some point. Assuming that they still exist and you can track them down, I based my price on this listing I found on ABUGames which prices one at $8,000. If you look at the picture, you can tell that it is different than a generic Revised Underground Sea because the art is much darker and there is a copyright date displayed.

Summer Magic Underground Seapng;base64153230a555c5fd5f

Generic Revised Underground Seapng;base6492d6889077b6ea71

Personally, I love the darker art because it gives the card a crisper appearance. Even though the card is white bordered (the usual mark of a high value deck is that all cards are black bordered) I think we can make an exception in this case. Funny, we’re already at $27,600 and we’ve only bought seven cards so far…

(Before I continue, it usually noted amongst collectors that the blue Hurricane from the Summer Magic set is regarded as the rarest misprint in existence. These currently go for about $16,000 on eBay. Even though Hurricane isn’t in the deck, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make a casual deck that is still crazy expensive!)

– 3x Polluted Delta FOIL Japanese Onslaught – Estimated $5,835

Since Russian cards did not exist until 9th Edition, we will defer to acquiring foil Japanese Polluted Deltas. Since I’m not sure what the best offer was from this sold foil Japanese Polluted Delta, I will have to base my calculations on the multiplier I discovered with Scalding Tarn Japanese foil prices. This playset of non-foils sold in Feb for $598 as a playset, so individually they are worth about $149.50. Using the multiplier 0.125, I would be comfortable selling a foil Japanese Polluted Delta for $1,196. For three of them, that comes to $3,588. a listing that I discovered on for a Japanese foil Polluted Delta. The Delta is listed for ¥199,000 which is about $1945 USD. For three of them, that comes to $5,835 total. My multiplier is inaccurate for Polluted Delta due to its age and the premium Vintage & Legacy players place upon it (based on Twitter feedback).

– 2x Volcanic Island Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $12,000

Like Underground Sea, of course we want our dual lands to be Summer Magic. According to ABUGames, a Summer Magic Volcanic Island will cost you $6,000. Two of them comes to $12,000.

– 1x Island Guru “Drowning Man” MISSING SYMBOL – Estimated $2,000 (discovered through Twitter comment and sourced through Magic Librarities)

– 1x Swamp Guru MISSING SYMBOL – $2,000

Wow, we can actually buy REALLY expensive basic lands for this deck! Be honest, how many of you thought I would put foil Unhinged Island and foil Unhinged Swamp in this deck? You would be wrong, there are basic lands rarer than that! This Starcity article covers the a lot about the different types of rarer basic lands in Magic and mentions that Guru Lands are the rarest of all. Even though Summer Magic exists, any Guru basic that is misprinted is going to worth more than a Summer Magic basic.

Based on eBay listings, foil Unhinged Islands sell for about $60 and foil Unhinged Swamps sell on average for $45. However, eBay listings for Guru Islands are around $220 and eBay listings for Guru Swamps around $112 (but “Drowning Man” Gurus, which have missing symbols, are extra rare). Collectors place a lot more value on these Guru Lands than foil Unhinged Lands. For the curious, Mountain Gurus sell for about $110, Plains sell for about $110, and Forests sell for about $115. As for the misprint, the seller tried to sell an Island for ~$2,100 so I will estimate that both the Swamp and Island are worth $2,000 each.

– 1x Tolarian Academy Urza’s Saga – $25.64

– 1x Tolarian Academy Korean Urza’s Saga – $152

Tolarian Academy foreign copies are worth the same as their English counterparts and there are no foil or other editions of this card. Outside of finding a crimped version or having the Tolarian Academy altered to be a full art card by the original artist, we need to go by the market value of an Urza’s Saga Tolarian Academy. A commenter below notified me that Urza’s Saga exists in Korean. A Korean Urza’s Saga Tolarian Academy sold in January for €110 or about $152 USD. We definitely need to have this over any English versions.

– 1x BGS-8.5 Library of Alexandria Arabian Nights – Estimated $227.50

No other editions of Library exist outside of Arabian Nights, so here we are looking for the highest graded copy we can find. This eBay listing sold for $227.50, which is the only graded Library where I could find a sold price.

Oh my, I’ve only purchased the land base at this point and we’re already up to $43,766.14. Let’s continue with the creatures.


– 4x Dark Confidant FOIL Russian Ravnica: City of Guilds – Estimated $2,880

Similar to Scalding Tarn, I couldn’t easily find a foil Russian Confidant from Ravnica for sale on eBay or other websites. Therefore, I will have to use my 0.125 multiplier to estimate the price. Non-foil Russian Ravnica Dark Confidant sells for $90, so using the multiplier we can estimate that a foil Russian Ravnica Dark Confidant would sell for $720. Thus a playset would cost you $2,880.

– 2x Snapcaster Mage FOIL Korean Innistrad – Estimated $935

Innistrad was released shortly after M12, so we want foil Korean Snapcasters for this deck. Based on these sold listings, one sold for $425 and another for $510 so average would be $467.50. Two of them makes $935.

– 1x Myr Battlesphere FOIL Russian Scars of Mirrodin – Estimated $15

Again, even though these exist in Russian I cannot find a single website that offers them for sale. Basing it off Japanese prices, foil Japanese Battlespheres sold for $10 to $20 dollars. I value Russian the same so we’ll use $15 average in this case.

Instants and Sorcereies

– 4x Force of Will German Alliances – Estimated $412 (updated based on Twitter comment)

Force of Will only had one printing, so the only possibility would be foreign being worth more. Non-English copies sell for the same as English in German sell for slightly more than English. The usual market price is $95. On eBay, they average $103 for German so we’ll want to go with those for this deck. Barring having these German Forces 1) altered by Terese Nielsen or 2) finding any crimped copies or 3) finding miscut Forces that have a source indicating the price they were sold at, this is the price we’ll use for German NM copies.

– 3x Lightning Bolt Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $3,000

Lightning Bolt was in Revised and thus was printed in the Summer Magic set as well. Unlike Underground Sea and Volcanic Island, there is a good chance we can actually find three of these cards since they are only commons within the set. Still though, Lightning Bolt is a very popular card so the price won’t be that cheap. ABUGames (which seems to be the authority on Summer Magic prices) lists them at $999 each. Buying three adds up to $3,000. For those who doubt that Summer is the highest, even a graded Beta Bolts sells for only $70.

– 2x Spell Pierce FOIL Russian Zendikar – Estimated $120

I couldn’t find any listed or sold Russian foil Spell Pierce, so I will base the price from the non-foil counterpart with the multiplier. Non-foil Russian Spell Pierce sold for about $7.50 each on eBay, so using the multiplier I would value foil Russian Spell Pierce at $60 each. Two of them brings us to $120.

– 2x Mana Drain English Legends – $443.30

Even though Legends had one non-English version (Italian) collectors generally price English versions higher than non-English because Italian versions are more prevalent. We want our deck to contain English versions for the maximum Richie Rich effect. These are each $221.65, so two would be $443.30.

– 2x Mental Misstep FOIL Russian New Phyrexia – Estimated $80

Again, through all my web scouring I could not find a foil one of these for sale. (If anyone has a resource that they use to find foil Russian cards please let me know in the comments!) I did find this listing on eBay for a non-foil Russian playset for $20, so that is $5 per copy. Using the multiplier that comes to $40 per foil Russian copy so $80 for two.

– 1x Yawgmoth’s Will Judge Gift Program – $45

– 1x Yawgmoth’s Will Korean (Signed) Urza’s Saga – $205

Unlike Tolarian Academy, Yawgmoth’s Will did have another printing as Judge Foil which collectors regard as more valuable than both the English and non-English regular English Urza’s Saga versions. Judge foils are selling on average for $45 on eBay so that’s the price we’ll go by here. However, since Urza’s Saga does exist in Korean, a premium is placed on the foreign version. This website places that price at €149 or about $205. We definitely want that version over any English or foil copies.

– 1x Tinker FOIL Japanese Urza’s Legacy – Estimated $75

I’m basing this price off a listing on dacardworld since I couldn’t find any for sale on eBay or other sites.

– 1x Demonic Tutor Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $3,000

Even though there is a Judge Gift Program version of Demonic Tutor (which is the only foil version printed and goes for about $250) and a Beta graded version for $400, Demonic Tutor is also in Revised and therefore in Summer Magic. Summer Magic Demonic Tutor is priced at $3,000.

– 1x BGS-8.5 Time Walk Beta – Estimated $1,389
– 1x Time Walk Alpha – $2575

Time Walk is a classic P9 card, so we need to procure one that is in the most pristine condition that we can find. I found one on eBay which went for $1,389I found an Alpha on eBay for $2575 which fits our needs adequately. I did not find any sold graded ones so this will be the price.

– 1x Vampiric Tutor Judge Gift Program – Estimated $60

Vampiric Tutors in Korean go for about $47, so we’ll go with the Judge Gift Program version here. eBay sold listings average about $60 so that will be the price point.

– 1x PSA-10 Ancestral Recall Beta – Estimated $5,500

As with all P9 cards, we want to go with any graded versions we can find and then pick the highest grade among them. This PSA-10 Ancestral Recall (listing says case is signed thankfully) is listed for $5,500. No other comparable Alpha listings were available on eBay.

– 1x Brainstorm FOIL Japanese Mercadian Masques – Estimated $347

Wow, for a common Brainstorm is way more expensive than I thought as a foil even considering this is a Japanese foil we are looking at. Based on completed listings on eBay, one sold for $305 while others were listed at $389 but had best offers accepted. I will take the average of these two prices and estimate that $347 is the market price for a foil Japanese Brainstorm.

– 1x Mystical Tutor FOIL FTV: Exiled – $18.22

Since there were no foils in Mirage or Sixth Edition, we’ll have to go with the foil version that is in From the Vault: Exiled. This is the most expensive printing of Mystical Tutor on the market which goes for about four times the cost of a Mirage or Sixth Edition copy.

– 1x Merchant Scroll FOIL Japanese 8th Edition – Estimated $430

Interesting note about the Japanese 8th Ed Merchant Scroll is that all of them have misprinted the type line, which should be “Sorcery”, to the name of the card “Merchant Scroll” (even if you can’t read Japanese, you can still see the symbols are the same in the card name and type line boxes). Regardless, since all Japanese Merchant Scrolls have this misprint it doesn’t really add anything additional to the price other than its foily Japanese-ness. I couldn’t find any foil Japanese for sale or sold, so based on this current listing for a non-foil Japanese for $11 with the multiplier I would estimate that a foil Japanese Merchant Scroll would sell for $88. Based on Twitter feedback from @SonodaMTG  his store currently lists Japanese Merchant Scroll for ¥43,900 which converts to $430 USD. My normal multiplier will not work in this case, so I will defer to @SonodaMTG’s store for the pricing here.

– 1x Hurkyl’s Recall Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $2,000

Wow, I finally found a Russian foil listing!! If we wanted to outright buy one, this eBay listing can get it to us for $650. I personally like the art and black border of the Antiquities version, but clearly we need to buy the Summer Magic version for maximum affluence. These are priced at $2,000 per copy.

– 1x Gifts Ungiven FOIL Japanese Champions of Kamigawa – Estimated $85

Based on current listings (none sold at the time of the article writing), I would estimate the cost of a foil Japanese Champions version is about $85. We want the original here, none of that FTV: Exiled nonsense.

13 Other Spells

– 3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor FOIL Russian Worldwake – Estimated $8,160

Jace is something special. He’s so special, in fact, that my normal multiplier will not work in this case. Non-foil Japanese Jace’s have sold for about $150 each but current listings (since I couldn’t find any prices for Russian foil or non-foil) for Japanese foil Jace’s are listed at about $2,400. That’s a multiplier of 0.0625! If we base our foil Russian price on this listing which sold for $150 as well (even though it is SP), that brings us to $2,400 for a foil Russian too. If we try to estimate NM, I would add $20 to the non-foil Russian listing. At $170 non-foil, I would estimate a NM foil Russian Jace from Worldwake to be $2,720 each. Three of them brings us to $8,160.

– 1x Beckett-9 Mox Emerald Beta – Estimated $1,500

– 1x PSA-10 Mox Emerald Alpha – $3,717

With P9, my philosophy is to go with graded when we can. This is the highest grade I could find that is within the Beta set. This is a PSA-10 graded one from Alpha. This is exactly what we are looking for, so into the deck it goes. Since it was listed at $1,700 and negotiated, and another similar graded mox sold for $1,200, I will price this Mox Emerald at $1,500.

– 1x BGS-9.5 Mox Sapphire Beta – $5,000

Same as above. This is the highest grade I could find that was printed in Beta. I could not find any comparable Alpha Mox Sapphire listings.

– 1x PSA-10 Time Vault Beta – Estimated $1,700

Based on this search for Beta Time Vaults, I only saw one PSA graded listing that sold but unfortunately the price was negotiated so we cannot see the actual price that was paid. Since other current listings are within the $1,400-$1500 range I will estimate that the PSA-10 one sold for about $1,700. There were no comparable Alpha Time Vault that were sold recently.

– 1x Sol Ring Revised SUMMER MAGIC – Estimated $3,000

I found this listing that sold for $225 for a graded Sol Ring and Judge Foils go for about $100 but since Sol Ring was in Revised we need the Summer Magic version since it is the rarest. These are priced by ABU Games at $3,000.

– 1x Mana Crypt Judge Gift Program – Estimated $180

I found this sold listing on eBay for a Judge Foil Mana Crypt that went for $180. Since the Judge Foils and book versions are about the same in rarity, and there are no differences in price between book promo languages, we’ll go with the Judge Foil version here.

– 1x Beckett-5 – Mox Pearl Beta CRIMPED – Estimated $1,900

Yeah, that’s right – since Mox Pearl is one of the “bad” moxes we can’t be satisfied just getting a normally graded Beta Mox Pearl. We must have the graded, crimped version and who knows how many of those exist. This could literally be the only one. I think that’s a steal at $1,900 compared to some of the other stuff on this list. I’m going to assume there isn’t an Alpha version of this.

– 1x PSA-6 – Mox Ruby Alpha – Estimated $1,045.95

In the same vein as our other P9, we want to have a graded one. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any graded Mox Ruby’s in Beta that were even close to NM. I found a few Beta “Altered” graded cards but these look horrible and I personally would never want to own one. Thus, we have to take a step back from Beta here and go with this Alpha one from dacardworld. I found this Alpha Mox Ruby at dacardworld. Without the discount the price is $1,045.95.

– 1x BGS-10 Black Lotus Beta – $100,000

Not only the jewel of our deck, but the crowning jewel of our collection and probably worthy of inclusion in a museum dedicated to Magic somewhere. Listed on eBay for anyone to buy, I’m not sure if it can be sold for $100,000 but since we’re building this deck we’re going for the gold here so to speak. Touted as the “only BGS-10 Beta Black Lotus in existence” I definitely want this Black Lotus for our deck. There were no other comparable Alpha listings on eBay.

Hands down this has to be the most expensive card in all of Magic. If anyone can find me a pricier card, please post it in the comments because I would be curious to see what it is.

– 1x Voltaic Key FOIL Russian M11 – Estimated $13

Russian copies of Voltaic Key are just as hard to find as all the others, so based off of Japanese non-foil Voltaic Key playset prices I would estimate that foil Russian Keys are about $13 with the multiplier of 0.125.

– 1x Beckett-8.5 Mox Jet Beta – Estimated $1,000

Based on the sold listings for Mox Jets on eBay, two graded ones were listed at $1,250 and $1,500 but were negotiated. After negotiations, I assume that they sold for close to $1,000 and $1,100 respectively. We’ll go with the cheaper option here because at this point our budget is starting to get stretched thin. I did not find any comparable Alpha Mox Jets.


The main deck brings us to $197,710.97 (mostly due to the Black Lotus which can arguably be negotiated in price a bit) but we also need to make sure we include the sideboard.


For the sake of wrapping up this article, I am going to save you all the links and research that I completed for calculations and instead post them at the end of the article in case you are curious about the price calculations. Suffice to say, Russian foils are hard to find. Maybe they are worth more than I giving them credit for…

My research yielded the following prices for the Sideboard cards:

– 3x Grafdigger’s Cage FOIL Korean Dark Ascension ~$135 total

– 1x Mountain Guru Land MISPRINT ~$2,000

– 4x Ingot Chewer FOIL Russian Lorwyn ~$96 total

– 3x Yixlid Jailer FOIL Russian Future Sight ~$60 total

– 2x Surgical Extraction FOIL Russian New Phyrexia ~$190 total

– 1x Strip Mine FOIL FTV: Exiled ~$22

– 1x Toxic Deluge Commander 2013 ~$12

The Final Price Count

Drum roll please! The total value of the deck, including Sideboard, comes to a grand total of $200,225.97. Ladies and gentleman, if you want to play the most expensive deck in Magic this is what it would cost you.

Of course, I realize that if you bust open the graded cards it will devalue them significantly. Taking this into account, my point in writing this article is to show you that you that Magic is a collectable and surprisingly valuable hobby. The cheapest card in the deck is Toxic Deluge at $12. And even if we didn’t play with graded cards the price of the deck would still be over $100,000 if we looked for NM copies of everything in the rarest edition that they exist.

I hope you all enjoyed this experiment! It was certainly the most fun I’ve had writing an article. If your friends ask you what the most expensive deck in Magic is you can now show them. Not only is the deck expensive but it can also do well at a Vintage tournament. Also, I’m finally on Twitter – follow me @gildedgoblin.

Last thing: I’ve included a handy table below as a quick reference in case you want to come back and quickly look up the price of various cards in the deck.

Deck List and Prices


Estimated Cost

4x Scalding Tarn FOIL Russian Zendikar


3x Underground Sea Revised SUMMER MAGIC


3x Polluted Delta FOIL Japanese Onslaught


2x Volcanic Island Revised SUMMER MAGIC


1x Swamp Guru Land MISPRINT


1x Island Guru Land MISPRINT


1x Tolarian Academy Korean Urza’s Saga


1x BGS-8.5 Library of Alexandria Arabian Nights


4x Dark Confidant FOIL Russian Ravnica


2x Snapcaster Mage FOIL Korean Innistrad


1x Myr Battlesphere FOIL Russian Scars of Mirrodin


4x Force of Will German Alliances


3x Lightning Bolt Revised SUMMER MAGIC


2x Spell Pierce FOIL Russian Zendikar


2x Mana Drain English Legends


2x Mental Misstep FOIL Russian New Phyrexia


1x Yawgmoth’s Will Korean Urza’s Saga


1x Tinker FOIL Japanese Urza’s Legacy


1x Demonic Tutor Revised SUMMER MAGIC


1x Time Walk Alpha


1x Vampiric Tutor Judge Gift Program


1x PSA-10 Ancestral Recall Beta


1x Brainstorm FOIL Japanese Mercadian Masques


1x Mystical Tutor FTV: Exiled


1x Merchant Scroll FOIL Japanese 8th Edition


1x Hurkyl’s Recall Revised SUMMER MAGIC


1x Gifts Ungiven FOIL Japanese Champions of Kamigawa


3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor FOIL Russian Worldwake


1x PSA-10 Mox Emerald Alpha


1x BGS-9.5 Mox Sapphire Beta


1x PSA-10 Time Vault Beta


1x Sol Ring Revised SUMMER MAGIC


1x Mana Crypt Judge Gift Program


1x Beckett-5 – Mox Pearl Beta CRIMPED


1x PSA-6 – Mox Ruby Alpha


1x BGS-10 Black Lotus Beta


1x Voltaic Key FOIL Russian M11


1x Beckett-8.5 Mox Jet Beta




3x Grafdigger’s Cage FOIL Korean Dark Ascension


1x Mountain Guru Land MISPRINT


4x Ingot Chewer FOIL Russian Lorwyn


3x Yixlid Jailer FOIL Russian Future Sight


2x Surgical Extraction FOIL Russian New Phyrexia


1x Strip Mine FOIL FTV: Exiled


1x Toxic Deluge Commander 2013




Sideboard References:

3x Grafdigger’s Cage FOIL Korean Dark Ascension

This Korean foil sold for $44.95 so I’ll accept that as the price. For three, that comes to about $135.

1x Mountain Guru Land MISPRINT

Again, we can use the misprinted guru Mountain for inclusion in this sideboard. Like the others, based on the Island listing I would price each of them at ~$2,000. (Lucky for us, the misprints were in exactly the colors we needed them to be to make this deck extra pricey.)

Honorable mention to Arabian Nights Mountain, since Arabian Nights wasn’t supposed to have basic lands but Mountain was accidentally included as a rare. These are about $30-$40 if we want one.

4x Ingot Chewer FOIL Russian Lorwyn

A playset of non-foil was listed but unsold for $12. Using this as a guideline, with the multiplier foil Russian copies would be about $24 each. That comes to $96 total.

3x Yixlid Jailer FOIL Russian Future Sight

Non-foil Japanese Yixlid Jailers go for $10 per playset on eBay, so using the multiplier for foil and assuming Russian is priced like Japanese that comes to $20 per foil copy, which is $60 total for the deck.

Based on what you’ve seen so far, this might seem low. Keep in mind there are also English and Japanese DCI Promo Foil Yixlid Jailer to keep other foil prices down.

2x Surgical Extraction FOIL Russian New Phyrexia

Based on this ended auction I found for a playset of Russian Surgical Extraction, two of them would cost $190.

1x Strip Mine FOIL FTV: Exiled

Completed listings on eBay average about $22.

1x Toxic Deluge Commander 2013

No other versions, all languages priced the same. Market price is $12.

Neat Tricks with

By: Cliff Daigle

If you’re reading this, then you’re already aware that MTGPrice is the best price tracking site around. We are more than a set of numbers though, and today I’m going to walk you through a half-dozen tricks that will really enhance your experience with MTGPrice.

Trick #1: Price lookup history

If you use MTGPrice on a mobile device, usually while trading, you’ve probably had to look up several cards in a row. It can be quite annoying to have to look up prices a second time, as terms of a trade change. Here’s a tip for making that process faster and easier.

Since we put the price into the title of the page, all you have to do is look at your recent history in your browser. I have an iPhone, so when you go to the Safari history you see the list of cards and their prices in chronological order that you looked them up.

Until we have an official app, this is a really great tool when you’re working with a group of cards at once.

Trick #2: The Slider

For comparing historical trends, our slider is top-notch. We post our graphs in articles all the time, but seeing the drop from pre-order prices to bulk status reinforces how right you were to sell, sell, sell!

Conversely, you can see long-term trends this way. I know that there are lots of cards that have spiked in the past year, but there’s others on a slow upward trend. The really valuable tool is comparing very similar cards, like the Zendikar fetchlands or the Scars fastlands. While the price of the blue fetches is sky-high, it’s only a matter of time until the other fetches catch up.

#2 – Set Prices

If you look up one card, then you can click on the name of the set that the card is in. That gives you a list, sortable by name, price, and buylist price. This is incredibly valuable information, especially if you’re trying to trade for things that are going to sell easily for good money.

We also get that list ready pretty quick when a new set comes out. I use it as a tool for the early weeks of a set when I want to draft for money or make trades for the future.

#3 – Buylist comparisons

When you enter the cards you own into your collection, there’s a tool for getting the instant cash value of your collection. I realize it hurts to see the retail value of your collection, and then see that you’d get 60% of that in cash, but that’s the nature of the market.

Beyond that, when you’re looking at the price of an individual card, you click the ‘sell to’ button to show what different vendors are paying for that card. If there’s one vendor you prefer, you can check on them, or see what the trends are for that buylist price. Has it gone up and down a lot? Is it consistent? This will let you know.

#4 – Time Slider

For both the buylist and the value, our sliders can track the past two years. This is long enough to show a trend, a banning, or other spikes/drops. Two years is helpful for tracking the effect that Standard rotation has on the price of a card.

Right now, that means Innistrad block, which rotated a year ago. The most striking example of rotation affecting price is Huntmaster of the Fells. Slide its graph all the way out to 106 weeks, and remember when this was a $40 card.

#5 – Prices even though sold out

Finally, an overlooked feature is the ability to see what prices a vendor had for their card before they ran out of stock. We calculate the Fair Trade Price using what is in stock, but it can be very helpful to know what price was so good that they ran out! Sometimes this reflects a run on a card, or someone trying to run up the price by buying out a store’s stock.

When you click the button next to a vendor’s name, you’ll see what price they had. Again, if you like a certain vendor, you can focus there, or you can make a prediction on what they will restock the card at.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of some of our free features. Don’t forget about the lifetime Pro Trader offer! There’s a few spaces left and it is super cheap for all you’ll be getting!