By: Cliff Daigle
I like unusual things in Magic. I will sign up for most any tournament with an uncut foil sheet or an oversized card, or some other kooky thing.
I admit, I’m a collector. I like having unusual and/or rare cards. Today I want to go over a few of the cards that have a lot more value than you might expect, for no other reason aside from people who want them.
Let’s start with a big category.
Foreign Languages With Humorous English Meanings
This is more than some random person who has a playset of German Lightning Bolt and likes to scream out, “Blitzschlag!” every time he casts one. It’s funny the first time, but not the twentieth. This is not a comprehensive list of all the cards that have amusing translations, but these are some of the more widely known. Taste varies widely on these, and prices can too.
There are specific cards that when translated into other languages make Magic players giggle. As you can imagine, foil versions of these can command quite a premium.
The normal English version is $9, but unusually for Spanish, this one is more just because he’s fun to say, probably with an offensive and overstated accent.
He’s also a great fit in any Dragon deck, as he can come down and just nuke a player.
Vindicate is a card with an excellent history. It solves a very wide variety of problems, and for only three mana. This French version allows you to be more righteous at your table. Like Sarkhan, this is only a couple of bucks more.
The French version of Delay, this is something to truly test the maturity level of the player who takes a look at the card and starts short laughing. Some people think that this is too offensive to be allowed around, but there are lots of others who think this is just fine and dandy.
This refers to cards that have been caught in the process of sealing a booster pack, process, on the top or the bottom edge. This is sort of rare, and it’s very unusual to find more than the black border that has been crimped.
Some people love these cards, others think they are insane. Totally up to the tastes of the buyer. Most stores regard these as damaged and worth less, but there are some folks who live for these mistakes. Also, keep in mind that some people are crimping their own cards in an attempt to add value. Everyone has something they like more.
Again, this is a huge category and what people want can vary widely. There’s a whole spectrum on these, from slightly off-center cards to some that show parts of four different cards.
A word of warning: There’s a surprising number of people who are willing to take an uncut sheet to a print shop and have the cards deliberately miscut. This leads to newer miscuts being a lot more prevalent than older ones. I don’t agree with this policy at all, as I’d rather have the sheet of cards from any set, but I’ll respect anyone willing to try and extract what value they can.
Foil Gift of Orzhova
Why am I mentioning a card worth a quarter? Because the foil version is about $6. Johannes Voss does some gorgeous work on such a tiny space, especially the original Restoration Angel, and this stained-glass masterpiece looks exquisite in the shiny form. It’s not powerful, it’s not rare, it’s just wonderful to behold.
Foil Little Girl
You may not know this, but the list of foil Unhinged cards has some jaw-dropping prices. I bet you thought the lands were the top five, but the frame-defying cards of Richard Garfield, Ph.D. and Who/What/Where/When/Why make the top three. I admit, I thought Super Secret Tech would be much more expensive, and I certainly wasn’t expecting Blast from the Past to be $32 in foil.
Little Girl, though…a foil common whose flavor text references incontinence, has climbed to $37. I admit it, I traded for one of these two years ago for about $25 in value, when my first daughter was born.
That is the reason for this relatively kooky price. It’s literally a hundred times more expensive in foil than in nonfoil, because parents are suckers in all sorts of ways.
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