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12, Oct, 22

MTG Censorship Creates 1000% Price Spike to Unplayable Card!

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Article at a Glance

If you’ve been paying any attention to MTG over the past week, a lot of huge things have been introduced to the game. Among them is an incredibly controversial product announced by Wizards this past week that has the MTG community in an absolute uproar. The 30th Anniversary Edition has had such a huge effect on the game that it is directly impacting multiple things in the secondary market immediately after it was announced. In addition to causing an absolute panic for players who own similar products, this set is also causing one of the most massive spikes that the secondary market has ever seen, and it has nothing to do with the card’s playability in the format. Earthbind, following its new status as a card inappropriate for modern times, is getting incredibly expensive.

MTG Earthbind


MTG Earthbind is the sporadic case of a card seeing a massive spike for reasons other than its playability. To quickly recap, the 30th Anniversary Edition is a reprinting of Beta, Wizards of the Coast’s second set ever printed. Many of the game’s most valuable cards come from this set, but their value partly stems from the Reserved List, a list of cards that Wizards of the Coast has promised not to reprint in functional equivalence. The 30th Anniversary Edition gets around this clause by being tournament illegal. However, there are many other legality issues presented by this set, and we’ve discussed those in length previously.

That said, a lot of time has passed since Beta’s release. Modern societal expectations have changed a lot, and some cards and artworks considered appropriate in the past may now stir controversy. To modernize this rendition of MTG’s history. Wizards of the Coast announced a few cards would not be seeing reprints. They are as listed here:

  • Contract from Below
  • Darkpact
  • Demonic Attorney
  • Earthbind
  • Weakness
  • Crusade

Among these removed cards is our topic for today. While there has not been an official reason as to why Earthbind has been removed from the 30th Anniversary Edition besides not meeting Wizard’s “modern standards,” the community has one take that surpasses all the others:

The Community Consensus

The community has come to the consensus that Wizards of the Coast has removed Earthbind because of the incentives behind its artwork. It is “too sexy,” in the words of Twitter user argzax. Redditors discuss this further, with one particular user pointing out that it is depicting a scenario that is “sexually demeaning a female.” besides this potential grievance, Earthbind seems to have no other reason to fail to meet Wizards’ modern standards. The card itself is not on the Reserved List and doesn’t have a very impactful effect gameplaywise. There is a slight possibility that Wizards of the Coast did not have the legal rights to reproduce Earthbind, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped them regarding other cards in the set.

The Market Pattern

Now that we’ve set the stage for Earthbind’s history, let’s look at what the card is currently doing in the MTG secondary market. The first important thing to note is, according to TCGplayer, nine reprints of this card currently exist. Because some of these prints are from Alpha and Beta, there is a huge price discrepancy between variants of Earthbind. Before the massive spike observed this week, cheaper versions of Earthbind were worth under a dollar, while Alpha’s Earthbind went for about $187 on average, according to TCGplayer.

Before the spike, a near-mint Revised copy of Earthbind went for about $0.75, according to TCGplayer. There are now near-mint copies of these cards selling for as much as $19.35! This isn’t a one-off purchase, either.

Conditions are still heavily affecting the price of Earthbinds, however. Most lightly played copies of this card are selling significantly less than the near-mint versions, generally around a dollar. Other near-mint sales of Earthbind seem to be averaging around $13.

It is important to note that this card is currently experiencing a buyout. This means that the card has seen a massive increase in quantities sold, resulting from some parties targeting the card to try and raise its price. This can be seen in TCGplayer sales history, where some orders have been recorded buying dozens of copies simultaneously. As a result, there is a more substantial chance that this card will likely experience a false zenith before stabilizing.

MTG Earthbind at its Height

Price spikes have affected even Earthbind’s most expensive iterations available in MTG. Alpha’s MTG Earthbind has spiked from about $147 to about $280. This data is a bit less accurate since very few Alpha cards are commonly selling, but MTG Earthbind has seen a massive increase in interest at this level, with ten copies selling yesterday! The highest among these was a near-mint Earthbind that sold for $350.

This Might Start More Speculation

Earthbind’s status is unique, even among the cards removed for modern standards. The other cards that have been removed from the list are, likely, for more negative racial or religious connotations that are no longer appropriate in this day and age. We know Magic players like patterns, and, like what we saw with Magosi, the Waterveil’s price spike potentially leading to a similar situation with Gonti’s Aether Heart, Earthbind’s rise may cause similar spikes in the market. What are you going to speculate on?

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