Ever since July 2022, Stickers have been a deeply controversial topic within the world of MTG. Announced to be a part of the then-upcoming Unfinity set, Stickers are perhaps the boldest MTG mechanic to date. This title was earned thanks to, as the name suggests, Stickers being physically stuck on MTG cards. Due to the implied damage this could cause, many MTG players weren’t at all excited about this new Eternal-legal mechanic.
For better or worse, Stickers ended up having the opposite problem than was expected. Rather than destroying every MTG card they were placed upon, Stickers wouldn’t stick to much at all! Deteriorating after just one or two uses, Stickers ultimately ended up feeling like a typical Un-Set novelty.
As a result of this limited-use novelty, Sticker sheets are typically next to worthless. For example, the most expensive Sticker Sheet on TCGplayer is currently Eldrazi Guacamole Tightrope. On average, near-mint examples of this card cost just $0.43, making its limited use less of a deal breaker.
While all of Unfinity’s Stickers are rather inexpensive, they’re no longer the only MTG sticker cards on the market. Thanks to MTG’s Principal Magic Designer Gavin Verhey, Stickers are back with a vengeance, and they’re more expensive than ever before!
Un-Known Playtest Cards
First seen during MagicCon: Philadelphia, Un-Known playtest cards are brand new, never-before-seen MTG cards, explicitly designed for MagicCon attendees. Featuring a variety of powerful, interesting, and questionably legal abilities, the Un-Known playtest cards were an absolute hit. There was one problem, however. These cards weren’t Eternal Legal, and they’re not even properly printed. Instead, Un-Known playtest cards are just stickers placed atop regular ol’ MTG cards.
Technically, if you have some Draft chaff, stickers, and a pen lying about, you can recreate the Un-Known playtest cards somewhat faithfully. While this low barrier to entry lets everyone share in the fun, the Un-Known event’s cards are nonetheless prized. Only being produced in a limited quantity, the Un-Known playtest cards are an extra commemorative treat for fans. Thanks to their application in casual play, this makes them rather desirable, to say the least.
Understanding this desire, several MTG players sold their newly acquired cards following MagicCon: Philadelphia’s Un-Known event. At first, these sales took place privately within dedicated collecting communities. Recently, however, TCGplayer has taken notice, creating listings for playtest cards, both new and old. This has revealed that many of these limited edition cards are seriously expensive. Considering event attendees only received ten of these cards each, this value is somewhat unsurprising.
At the time of writing, several Un-Known playtest cards have already sold on TCGplayer for $100 and above! This includes cards such as the set-specific board wipe Crux of Mirrodin and the Poison Modular 2 card Arcbound Manba. Selling for $100 each, these cards are certainly expensive, however, they’re not the most valuable Un-Known playtest cards. Instead, that honor goes to The Forgotten Place, which sold for $150!
The Cards Themselves
For better or worse, not every Un-Known playtest card is so expensive. There are multiple cards, for instance, that have sold for around the $30 mark. Alongside these, there are plenty more cards that haven’t sold at all. Considering that not everyone will want to part with their limited edition collectible cards, this may not be surprising. Regardless of what the Un-Known playtest cards sell for, they’re still incredibly exciting cards that you may want to recreate.
With 123 Un-Known playtest cards having been created thus far, there are a few too many for us to go over here. What we can do, however, is highlight a few of our favorite new cards that might deserve some love in your next casual game.
Emrakul and Chatterfang
As two beloved MTG characters, this legendary team-up between Emrakul and Chatterfang is practically a match made in heaven. Admittedly it’s a very silly match. However, it’s nonetheless fun, and it’s hard to argue that fun is a bad thing. As a card, like many Un-Known playtest cards, Emrakul and Chatterfang is incredibly strong. Even if it was just a 15/15 for 8GGG with protection from non-Squirrels, this card would be devastatingly powerful.
For better or worse, however, Emrakul and Chatterfang are a whole lot more than that, thanks to their Scion tokens. Through these, this team-up more than pays for itself, which makes this card absolutely devastating. So much so, in fact, that it may even be too powerful for casual kitchen table games unless everyone is bringing their a game, or their own Un-Known playtest cards.
Plane Charm Cycle
According to Gavin Verhey, the cycle of plane Charms initially began as a “hole filling” card designed to bulk out the set. After Ulgrotha Charm was pitched to Verhey, however, they loved the idea so much, they ran with it. This led them to create a cycle of five charms, each allowing the player to cast one of three spells. Each one of these spells comes from the plane in the name of the card.
While these Charms are more expensive than their individual components, they’re nevertheless great utility pieces that players have taken a liking to. So much so, in fact, that despite not attending MagicCon: Minneapolis, players such as u/Psychovore still mocked up art for the cards. While some of these cards are still worryingly powerful, such as Kamigawa Charm u/Psychovore’s efforts nevertheless made these cards look more playable.
As you can tell from the card above, Xerex Squire puts the Un- in the Un-Known event. Requiring players to break out a calculator in most situations, this card is full-on silly. Thankfully, however, this silliness doesn’t mean the card is inherently unplayable.
Saying that, however, Xerex Squire is definitely one of the more balanced and less broken Un-Known playtest cards. As, while it can let you double up on massive threats, it’s hardly as versatile as a copy effect. That being said, however, just like many Un-Set cards, Xerex Squire is still plenty of fun and presents some intriguing opportunities.
Halana and Alena and Gisa and Geralf
Last, but certainly no means least, we’ll be looking at one of the quadruple team-up cards that Verhey created. By pairing up two existing pairs, these cards all have a smorgasbord of abilities that make them incredibly versatile. While this versatility does result in a rather difficult mana cost, these cards are nevertheless seriously strong.
This is especially true for Halana and Alena and Gisa and Geralf as their abilities allow you to create some seriously strong zombies. Extremely devastating in Limited, this card would also be awesome in Commander, especially thanks to its color identity. Unfortunately for hopeful Commander fans, however, you may just be stuck with this official unofficial card. As, according to Mark Rosewater, four-color team-up cards isn’t something Wizards want to do.
Into the Un-Known
At the end of the day, as fun as these Un-Known cards may be, they’re still not legal in any format. Subsequently, unless you can get the approval of your table beforehand, these cards are just a novel collectible. Theoretically, there is a chance in the future these cards could be printed in an Un-Set. Considering the future of Un-Sets is currently up in the air, however, that unfortunately seems rather unlikely. A more likely alternative is that these cards could be part of a future Mystery Booster set, however, there’s no guarantee of this.
While these cards may never become Eternal legal, or widely accessible, there’s still plenty for fans to be excited about. After all, it’s expected that within the next MagicCon event, in Barcelona, Verhey will produce even more Un-Known cards. Offering event attendees a play experience alongside compelling value, this event will undoubtedly be one to watch. If that doesn’t excite you, however, MagicCon: Barcelona will also have the usual plethora of panels, artists, creators, and more typical events. There should even an another serialized Secret Lair to covet and collect!