Magic players were introduced to a ton of new information during the MTG convention in Philadelphia. From an insane Commander staple created by a World Champion to new March of the Machine spoilers, there’s a lot for the MTG community to consume over the coming weeks. One of the new concepts executed this past weekend was the Secret Lair Showdown promotional cards. These are incredibly rare reprints that are, in many cases, limited to under 100 copies per card. Players are already buying these extremely limited-edition promotional cards for thousands of dollars. In a strange way, these promotional cards may be making competitive MTG more lucrative than ever before.
Pro Tour Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Magic Con Philadelphia introduced a new lineup of incredibly limited edition Secret Lair promotional cards to the MTG world. We already talked about a Shivan Dragon that was randomly given away during the event that had some rather unfortunate artwork. These were limited to 295 copies and were drawing prices around $500 very quickly. They are now going for as much as $2000.
While these may seem like an incredibly limited quantity, other promotional cards introduced at the convention made these look like a common in a draft pack. Among these was the Jace, the Mind Sculptor promotional card given away to those who attended Pro Tour Philadelphia. Notably, Pro Tour attendants only received a non-foil copy of the Jace. The tournament wasn’t as large as some may expect, but more than 250 players did attend the Pro Tour. The non-foil Jace, for reference, could be flipped for an easy $800 profit throughout the weekend.
That said, as you may notice, wizardofbarge, the artist for the premium copy of Jace, the Mind Sculptor, commented that someone was buying a copy of the card for $5500! This is a pretty absurd price for a modern-day MTG card.
Foil Jace, the Mind Sculptor cards were only awarded to players who made the top cut of the Pro Tour. That means only 16 copies of the card are currently available.
Are There Only 16 of These in Existence?
It’s not every day an MTG card sells for more than what many people make in a month, so understandably, this outrageous sale did not take long to find its way to Reddit. One Redditor pointed out something that may impact the future price of this Jace dramatically:
“I don’t think it’s a one and done – any pro level tournament top 16 will get these for 2023” – Thousandshadowninja
“I seriously didn’t consider that….! So there’s not going to only be 16 copies… #feelsbadman” – r_jagabum
While there isn’t any real confirmation regarding this, there is a distinct possibility that the other Pro Tour events held in 2023 will also give away this prized Jace, the Mind Sculptor. This would drastically affect the number of copies in the wild, featuring a massive jump from just 16 to 64 copies of the Mind Sculptor. While this print run is still extremely limited, it may no longer be worth $5500 apiece.
Ragavan Sells for $4000
Interestingly, the new influx of highly collectible limited edition cards does not end here. The Secret Lair Showdown tournament was run alongside the Pro Tour event held during Magic Con Philadelphia. Instead of cash prizing, players competed for their shot at some scarce promotional cards. Those who managed to break the top 32 spots of this massive event were awarded with a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. As suggested by the picture above, it did not take long before these cards started going up for $4000 each.
While Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is among the best one-drop cards in Commander, the card is better known for its dominance in the Modern format. Many of the format’s top decks feature a playset of the troublesome monkey. Since only 32 copies of this card are currently in the wild, getting four may be pretty troublesome. As such, one of the few (quite possibly the only) available playset at this time was originally listed for $25,000. That number has since gone down to a clean $20,000, but that doesn’t change the fact that this playset could be worth more than the average MTG player’s entire collection if it finds the right buyer.
A Looming Reprint
Alongside the introduction of these new incredible promotional cards was the announcement of a reprinting for Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. This reprint may, invertedly, affect the price of the card’s most expensive variant. Currently, the cheapest copy of Ragavan on the market goes for around $70. For Modern players who want a playset, that translates to about $280. This printing of Ragavan will likely make the card much easier to access, lowering the entry barrier for these expensive monkeys. Three more of these Secret Lair Showdowns will be held with Ragavans as prize support, so 128 of these cards will ultimately be available after everything is said and done. Of course, more of these could be announced in the future.
How Expensive is the One-of-a-Kind Brainstorm?
The winner of the Secret Lair Showdown received the Brainstorm pictured above. Currently, this is the only copy of the card available worldwide. There are only to be four of these printed at this point. While nothing has been heard in terms of selling this card, one can only imagine how much the card may go for. With the Ragavans and the Jace’s already going for thousands of dollars, it’s not too difficult to imagine the Brainstorm could go for tens of thousands of dollars. There are still a few of these up for grabs, and having such a massive card as the prize for a competitive tournament could make these ‘prize pools’ deceptively lucrative.