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  #1  
Old 05-28-2018, 02:57 AM
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Eddie S.
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Default A $44,544 MTG card sold on eBay last night

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1993-Magic-...8AAOSwmC5a~cWS

There isn't really a section to put this topic, so I thought this was perhaps the most appropriate section. I admit that I am completely out of my element when it comes to understanding Magic the Gathering and Pokemon cards, other than knowing that some of them are worth a lot of money.

I am not making fun of what someone else likes to collect; everyone should collect what they like. But I at least somewhat understand (well, not really) why someone would pay $100,000 to have a 1993 Derek Jeter card if they are a Jeter fan or insane money for a Lebron James card or a Mike Trout card.

But I don't get the MTG and Pokemon values at all. On a larger level, it seems pretty easy to tell someone you are a Derek Jeter fan or a Mike Trout fan. I don't really understand being a Black Lotus fan, and I fully admit I am an old man who is completely clueless about MTG when I say that. Two other MTG cards sold for over $20,000 last night. On a very basic level, I kind of knew the Black Lotus card was the holy grail of MTG cards, but I don't understand what the different types of "Black Lotus" cards even mean or why some MTG cards are worth $20,000+.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1993-Magic-...p2047675.l2557

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1993-Magic-...p2047675.l2557
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Last edited by Bored5000; 05-28-2018 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:41 AM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is offline
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I think some value might be in the condition rarity. Many of us in the 90s were saving our cards in 1 inch lucite and top loaders, whereas MTG cards are truly meant to be played with and carried around to grand prix. I cant figure it out either, but they are attracted deep pockets and it seems like more collectors st least at the conventions, than sports cards.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2018, 06:47 AM
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As a guy who played Magic about a year after it started (1994-96 timeframe), I can give you a little background. The initial MTG base sets (black bordered Alpha with heavily rounded corners, and black bordered Beta with lightly rounded corners) came out in 1993 along with the additional sets Arabian Nights (scimitar logo on cards). They were made in much more limited numbers than the white-bordered (3rd*) edition base sets called "Unlimited" or "Revised." The game became much more even when Wizards of the Coast (game producer) really let the presses run for 4th edition in 1995, which was the first year they put the copyright date on the cards.
Alpha and Beta were mostly only available in larger markets in the country, and the Unlimited and Revised cards were the ones that trickled through the country and spread like wildfire. So think of them like the 1952 Topps High Numbers, and the Black Lotus being the Mantle. The Mox jewels being the Mathews, Mays, Jackie, etc.
Everything in Magic is based on being able to call the cards from your hand by paying a casting cost. Each land gives you one piece of energy per turn, so the first turn, you could play a land and then play a card with a casting cost of 1 energy (mana). On turn two, you could place your second land, and cast either a creature with a cost of 2 mana, or 2 with a cost of 1 mana each. It would give each player a fair chance to have a few turns to get enough creatures out there to be competitive.
The Black Lotus, however, was a "cheat" to this pattern. For a zero mana casting cost, you could immediately conjure 3 mana and cast a stronger creature. And since it was a rare card, there weren't many out there. You couldn't just buy pre-made decks with all the same cards to compete against your friends and in tournaments. If you didn't own the card, you couldn't play it. So the players that got the Black Lotus in packs had the best chance of winning the games and becoming tournament beasts. The Moxes were similar; they gave you cheap energy that you could ramp up your creatures with faster than your opponent. And since the early years of Magic required you to play for ante (risk a card to win your opponent's card), the best decks kept getting stronger. Because they accrued a lot of play wear, finding gem mint ones are difficult, because you used to shuffle them into your decks like playing cards before people started keeping them in sleeves.

TLDR: Black Lotus has always been a powerful and in demand card, and links you to the founding players of MTG.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:05 PM
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Eddie-- as another old guy who until your post had been completely unaware of all things MTG, I want to thank you for putting me in the know
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:58 PM
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Big week for Brent and Betsy, first the Jeter, now this.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
As a guy who played Magic about a year after it started (1994-96 timeframe), I can give you a little background. The initial MTG base sets (black bordered Alpha with heavily rounded corners, and black bordered Beta with lightly rounded corners) came out in 1993 along with the additional sets Arabian Nights (scimitar logo on cards). They were made in much more limited numbers than the white-bordered (3rd*) edition base sets called "Unlimited" or "Revised." The game became much more even when Wizards of the Coast (game producer) really let the presses run for 4th edition in 1995, which was the first year they put the copyright date on the cards.
Alpha and Beta were mostly only available in larger markets in the country, and the Unlimited and Revised cards were the ones that trickled through the country and spread like wildfire. So think of them like the 1952 Topps High Numbers, and the Black Lotus being the Mantle. The Mox jewels being the Mathews, Mays, Jackie, etc.
Everything in Magic is based on being able to call the cards from your hand by paying a casting cost. Each land gives you one piece of energy per turn, so the first turn, you could play a land and then play a card with a casting cost of 1 energy (mana). On turn two, you could place your second land, and cast either a creature with a cost of 2 mana, or 2 with a cost of 1 mana each. It would give each player a fair chance to have a few turns to get enough creatures out there to be competitive.
The Black Lotus, however, was a "cheat" to this pattern. For a zero mana casting cost, you could immediately conjure 3 mana and cast a stronger creature. And since it was a rare card, there weren't many out there. You couldn't just buy pre-made decks with all the same cards to compete against your friends and in tournaments. If you didn't own the card, you couldn't play it. So the players that got the Black Lotus in packs had the best chance of winning the games and becoming tournament beasts. The Moxes were similar; they gave you cheap energy that you could ramp up your creatures with faster than your opponent. And since the early years of Magic required you to play for ante (risk a card to win your opponent's card), the best decks kept getting stronger. Because they accrued a lot of play wear, finding gem mint ones are difficult, because you used to shuffle them into your decks like playing cards before people started keeping them in sleeves.

TLDR: Black Lotus has always been a powerful and in demand card, and links you to the founding players of MTG.
Thank you for the explanation. I know at its very basic level, a Honus Wagner T206 is just a piece of cardboard, same as a MTG card. But it is weird to me because in the rest of the hobby, game cards like the Tom Barker game and Fan Craze cards are worth very little compared to non game cards of the same player.

I get the part where the Black Lotus card was a super card if someone was playing MTG, but five figures for a card that does not depict a person and is not even going to be used for the game seems weird to me. But I know that paying $44,000 for any piece of cardboard is a bit weird.
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Last edited by Bored5000; 05-28-2018 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:23 PM
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Interesting -- thanks for the explanation, John. I can better understand why collectors would pay such high prices for these cards now. Similar to baseball cards, it looks like third party grading was also a big factor in producing big prices for MTG cards.

Appreciation for certain fine art is one I still don't get. This piece ended in Heritage recently. It's a 12" x 12" watercolor, pencil and ink on paper done by Agnes Martin from 1977. It sold for $45,000.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:23 PM
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the descriptions of some of these minimalist works often read like parodies to me.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2018, 11:17 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
As a guy who played Magic about a year after it started (1994-96 timeframe), I can give you a little background. The initial MTG base sets (black bordered Alpha with heavily rounded corners, and black bordered Beta with lightly rounded corners) came out in 1993 along with the additional sets Arabian Nights (scimitar logo on cards). They were made in much more limited numbers than the white-bordered (3rd*) edition base sets called "Unlimited" or "Revised." The game became much more even when Wizards of the Coast (game producer) really let the presses run for 4th edition in 1995, which was the first year they put the copyright date on the cards.
Alpha and Beta were mostly only available in larger markets in the country, and the Unlimited and Revised cards were the ones that trickled through the country and spread like wildfire. So think of them like the 1952 Topps High Numbers, and the Black Lotus being the Mantle. The Mox jewels being the Mathews, Mays, Jackie, etc.
Everything in Magic is based on being able to call the cards from your hand by paying a casting cost. Each land gives you one piece of energy per turn, so the first turn, you could play a land and then play a card with a casting cost of 1 energy (mana). On turn two, you could place your second land, and cast either a creature with a cost of 2 mana, or 2 with a cost of 1 mana each. It would give each player a fair chance to have a few turns to get enough creatures out there to be competitive.
The Black Lotus, however, was a "cheat" to this pattern. For a zero mana casting cost, you could immediately conjure 3 mana and cast a stronger creature. And since it was a rare card, there weren't many out there. You couldn't just buy pre-made decks with all the same cards to compete against your friends and in tournaments. If you didn't own the card, you couldn't play it. So the players that got the Black Lotus in packs had the best chance of winning the games and becoming tournament beasts. The Moxes were similar; they gave you cheap energy that you could ramp up your creatures with faster than your opponent. And since the early years of Magic required you to play for ante (risk a card to win your opponent's card), the best decks kept getting stronger. Because they accrued a lot of play wear, finding gem mint ones are difficult, because you used to shuffle them into your decks like playing cards before people started keeping them in sleeves.

TLDR: Black Lotus has always been a powerful and in demand card, and links you to the founding players of MTG.
That's pretty much it.

My friends introduced me to the game just before Unlimited came out, and it was pretty neat. Cards I could do something with besides just collect them!

Unlimited was pretty hard to get even just outside major markets. I asked the only nearby shop that might have any about them for a couple weeks and got the expected date of their next shipment. No presell available at all, not even prepaid!
By the time I got there after work they had 3 packs left out of something like 5 cases. Bought them all, plus the last starter deck.

Yep, I got the black lotus, and didn't realize it was a big deal until I got to play a week or so later.
Unlike people who were more into it or had more time, or worked near a shop and had a lunch hour, I didn't become an instant winner. In fact, I lost every single game for 2-3 years. I didn't win until I traded the card to a friend. At the time it was I think a couple hundred, and he offered about that in other cards. Not a bad deal at the time, and I did start winning a few games.
Looking back, it was a really awful trade. Especially since I lost interest after a couple years because of the constantly changing rules about what cards were allowed and what weren't. (They would change what was allowed in tournaments to keep the game balanced, and my friends all went by tournament rules) I think the stuff I traded for is still maybe 200.

I still have a Mox or two though.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:09 PM
homerunderby homerunderby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
Thank you for the explanation. I know at its very basic level, a Honus Wagner T206 is just a piece of cardboard, same as a MTG card. But it is weird to me because in the rest of the hobby, game cards like the Tom Barker game and Fan Craze cards are worth very little compared to non game cards of the same player.

I get the part where the Black Lotus card was a super card if someone was playing MTG, but five figures for a card that does not depict a person and is not even going to be used for the game seems weird to me. But I know that paying $44,000 for any piece of cardboard is a bit weird.
It's really not so different from any sports card. Having the Black Lotus was a dream for any MTG player 25-years ago. Now that kid is older and some of those kids "made it." So now they can have what they never did back then and dream that they were that kid with that card in their desk.

There are millions of people who play/played MTG and have that nostalgia, just like there are millions who rooted for Mantle, Jordan, Bo Jackson, etc. Makes sense that people who want to relive those memories would pay to have the best example.

I never played MTG, but I think this captures it.
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