The Most Expensive Deck in Magic – The Odyssey Continues

By: Jared Yost

When I first attempted to cover the most expensive deck in Magic, I got chewed out pretty hard by the MTG elite who happened to read the article. I don’t own any of the P9 or other high end cards that I researched. Regardless, I tried to get my head around the costs of some of Magic’s high end staples in order to demonstrate how collectible some of cards have become over the years. Laughably, I tried to use eBay to determine a lot of the prices for things like foil Russian Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It didn’t take very long for the real experts to let me know how bad I did.

I’ve now attempted to update the wrong information that I bestowed upon the Magic community when I tried to identify the most expensive cards I could include in a tournament playable Vintage deck. After the initial Twitter feedback form the first article @SonodaMTG was my first stop for soliciting advice. With his direction I was able to correct many of the prices of foil Japanese cards found in the deck. Also through him, I was able to make my way to the Magic: the Gathering Misprints and Oddities facebook group. Here I was able to solicit feedback from members on finding more accurate prices for the rarer cards in the deck.

One of the lessons I’ve learned from this endeavor is that for extremely rare versions of Magic cards such as Summer Underground Sea there isn’t a book price or concrete source that you can refer to as a price guide. Websites like TCGPlayer, MTGPrice, MTGStocks, as well as eBay and many other MTG vendors will not have prices for these types of cards. The only exception I found to this was ABUGames, which is where I found my initial source for Summer Magic Cards. Problem was, they were outdated and I needed to get a more accurate estimate for their worth.

Since there wasn’t a central posting of the card values, almost all of my price revisions I’ve included in this article are updates based on word of mouth and crowdsourcing on the misprints and oddities Facebook group. Don’t get me wrong, these prices came straight from the horse’s mouth. These are all people who not only play Magic but collect these rare, valuable cards as a hobby. They generally only buy and sell from each other, so it can be hard for the community in general to guess at the price of some of these cards without having prior experience dealing with cards this collectible.

Though the group helped me tremendously, I still had to approximate the values of a few foil Russian cards because I didn’t get feedback from my first article on the price. I wanted to wait a while before posting an update in order to have enough time to solicit feedback from the community. At this point, I feel like I have enough information to provide a better estimate.

In order to estimate the unverified cards, I used the updated estimates I got on cards like foil Russian Jace, the Mind Sculptor and foil Russian Dark Confidant in order to create a more accurate multiplier for other Russian foils that I did not receive verification. This multiplier was essentially an average of all the multipliers I had for existing prices. Again though, it is hard to estimate a price on some of these cards unless you are a collector who specializes in finding and pricing these types of foils or other rare oddities.

I am not saying that this is the final list again, by any means. I’d like to keep this going as a community project because I thought the original idea was pretty awesome. I’m sure there are cards on this updated list that probably need to be revised again. I was told that the list should clear $500K but even after correcting some of my biggest mistakes I still haven’t come close to this. Please, if you have a better estimate for something let me know!

On to the updated list:

The Most Expensive Deck in Magic – Update as of 04/14/2014 6am EST

(Please see the references spreadsheet link below this table for specific card price sources.)



Estimated Cost REVISED

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 “Drowning Man”


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 Chris Rush Textless


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 Mercadian Masques MISPRINT


1x Mystical Tutor MISCUT


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 Book Promo MISCUT


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 psa-9 graded


1x Toxic Deluge Commander 2013 MISCUT




References – Google Spreadsheet Listing

In this spreadsheet you will find all the specific sources for each card that I used to quote their price. A lot of the prices were copied over from my first article. Those sources have stayed the same and I have indicated that in the price column. A few cards still do not have a source because I have not received a price quote for them. I used the average multiplier for foreign foils to come to a best guess for a price if I still didn’t have a source. As you can see, the misprint / oddities Facebook group helped me out tremendously – thank you guys!

Updates Going Forward

As I receive more price updates, I will add them to a separate tab in the spreadsheet and then consolidate them into the existing list when I can. Keep checking the spreadsheet to see the most recent updates. You can also send me a tweet @gildedgoblin if you want an update included.

Again, thank you to all those who helped me update this list!

2 thoughts on “The Most Expensive Deck in Magic – The Odyssey Continues”

  1. you haven’t even reached 500000$ you need to try harder remember a deck can have as many cards as you want as long as you can shuffle it

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