MTG 30th Anniversary Cards Are worth $5000?!

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Since its reveal back in October, MTG players have been seriously skeptical about the value of 30th Anniversary Edition cards. Being non-tournament legal reprints of Limited Edition Beta cards, surely 30th Anniversary Edition is little more than a novelty. As a novelty, these merely decorative cards should be significantly more affordable than their tournament-playable counterparts, right? Wrong. Now that packs are actually in players’ and vendors, hands, it appears that these much-mired cards are expensive. Preliminary pricing even has some choice 30th Anniversary Edition cards selling four more than their Beta counterparts!

Proxy Pricing Gone Mad

Wheel of Fortune | Beta

Following Magic 30 last weekend, 30th Anniversary Edition packs are in players’ hands for the very first time. This is thanks to some remarkable and utterly unexpected generosity from Wizards of the Coast. Unsurprisingly, many Magic 30 attendees were all too happy to be given these supposedly $250 packs for free. Not to open them, of course, as that’s a terrible idea. Instead, many MTG players at the anniversary event quickly flogged their packs to their nearest vendor. 

Players seemed so eager to get rid of these much-mired packs, in fact, that prices quickly began to tumble. According to Reddit user u/Mooberries, 30th Anniversary Edition packs were initially being bought at $200 a piece. By the event of the event, however, these supposedly valuable packs were only worth $120 to vendors. From this sharp price decline, it seemed guaranteed that the controversial packs were going to be cheap as chips. 

Unfortunately, this initial optimistic assessment appears to be rather far off the mark. Now that Magic 30 is behind us, prices of 30th Anniversary Edition cards have skyrocketed to obscene levels. Some MTG secondary market vendors are even demanding thousands of dollars for a single 30th Anniversary Edition card. This unabashed absurdity was recently cataloged in a report by MTGStocks, and some of the prices have to be seen to be believed… 

According to MTGStocks, at least one major secondary market card retailer is asking an immense $4999.00 for a 30th Anniversary Edition card. Miraculously, that insane price tag isn’t attached to a pristine Black Lotus. Instead, $4999.00 will buy you one Wheel of Fortune (Retro Frame) card. Considering that 30th Anniversary Edition’s commemorative cards aren’t tournament playable, this price seems a little far-fetched, especially when you think that a Revised Edition Wheel of Fortune can currently be purchased for as little as $206

Relentless Ridicule

Farmstead
Farmstead | Beta

As if the price of  Wheel of Fortune wasn’t outlandish enough, MTGStocks claims 30th Anniversary Edition copies of Farmstead are worth $999.99 each. For reference, a Revised Edition Farmstead is only $0.99 on TCGplayer. You can even buy an Alpha Farmstead in Near Mint condition for just $750. As you might expect, due to these baffling prices, many MTG players have been quick to ridicule 30th Anniversary Edition. 

Reddit user u/themollusk, for instance, commented, “LO-effing-L at someone asking a grand for a Farmstead proxy.” Similarly, Reddit user u/hawkshaw1024 echoed the same sentiment after spotting the $999.99 Mox Ruby price. “These prices for 30th Anniversary cards are literally crazy. I wouldn’t pay a dollar for a WotC-sanctioned proxy Mox Ruby, let alone a grand.” 

Despite the damning dissenting voices, not all MTG players are put off by the ridiculous prices on display so far. Reddit user u/weggles, for instance, boldly stated, “I wanna buy one card from 30th edition. Any card. Cheap as possible.” Later expanding upon this point, u/weggles explained this desire wasn’t because they like 30th Anniversary Edition, as quite the opposite was true. “Yeah, I’ll pay like up to $3? Just for the novelty of owning something from a product as stupid as 30th anniversary. I just want something with the alternate card back, like a souvenir lol.” 

A Collectible Conundrum

Mox Ruby
Mox Ruby | Vintage Championship

Amidst their derisive mocking, u/weggles touches upon a surprisingly relevant point during their explanation. Rather than being a product for MTG players to actually play with, 30th Anniversary Edition is, first and foremost, a collector’s item. Subsequently, the pricing of the set’s cards may be somewhat, or rather dramatically, skewed. Additionally, rare cards in the set may be significantly rarer than expected. Due to the presumably low volume of products being produced, there could be very few copies of each 30th Anniversary Edition rare in existence. This may make the cards an even bigger draw for collectors, potentially driving up the price even more. 

Ultimately, while the $4999.00 Wheel of Fortune is undoubtedly eye-catching, it’s important to note that it hasn’t actually sold yet. Instead, that immense price is merely what a retailer is asking for and desperately hoping to get. The actual selling price for the card may be significantly lower; especially once more copies are released into the wild. For that to happen, however, we’ll have to wait until 30th Anniversary Edition actually goes on sale. For better or worse, that won’t happen until later this month, on the 28th of November. 

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