12, Aug, 22

These Illegal MTG Cards are Worth More than Your Entire Deck!

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Article at a Glance

As stated before, many different reasons can influence the financial worth of an MTG card. Lately, constructed formats are beginning to make some waves on the secondary market, which is a good thing. Otherwise, social content can affect the secondary market, as outlined by the Command Zone’s recent impact. Straight-up scarcity is possibly the most significant impact on a card’s price. This point completely supersedes whether the MTG card is actually playable, meaning that MTG’s market, to some extent, is a vintage collectibles one. Need proof? Here are some MTG cards that are illegal in every constructed format that are worth a ton of money!

Richard Garfield, Ph. D.

This alternate foil version of Richard Garfield, Ph. D. goes for about $980 on average! These cards sell very rarely, so every sale will impact prices heavily. The last recorded sale of this card went for $850 in Near Mint condition, suggesting that the actual cost of this card may be a bit lower. The non-foil version of this card, ironically, is worthless.

Silver Bordered cards are illegal for constructed play. This card was released in Unhinged, a joke set where Wizards of the Coast would test the limits of what the game is capable of. When paired with legal MTG cards, however, these generally create problems. For example, Richard Garfield, Ph. D., is an incredibly problematic effect in paper play. Not only is it difficult for players to know what all their options are, but it can also create some absolutely ludicrous infinite combos guaranteed to end the game.

super secret tech

This version of the card is an alternate foil. All of the foil Richard Garfield, Ph. D. cards from Unhinged had the real Legendary Human Designer’s signature on the card. These were incredibly rare, with only one slot for this card per case of Unhinged. To be clear, you can also open other cards in this slot, like Super Secret Tech. This card can be pretty fun in Commander (if people allow you to actually play it) and goes for between $35-45, depending on your source

Johnny, Combo Player

johnny, combo player

When releasing MTG, creators categorized players into three different personalities. Johnny, Combo Player is a representation of one of these from Unhinged. The non-foil of this card doesn’t even go for a dollar, but the foil is worth around $200. Johnny Combo players want to string along a bunch of different effects to do something extraordinary. Sometimes it results in winning, but a lot of the time, it doesn’t. They just want to do their cool thing and are ok with scooping afterward. I believe myself to be a mix of two of these personalities, with Johnny being one of them (I care about winning in two-player, which is a Spike thing, but I almost always play combo, even if it’s terrible).

Since this is a foil Unhinged card, it follows the same rule mentioned above. There is only one foil slot in a case of Unhinged. Spike, Tournament Grinder, and Timmy, Power Gamer, represent the other two types of MTG players out there. Notably, there are no expensive copies of this card, which means that the exclusivity of Unhinged foil cards is the core reason these cards are so expensive.

Mox Lotus and City of Ass

mox lotus
city of ass

Rounding out our costly illegal foil cards are Mox Lotus and City of Ass. These are the only other Unhinged cards worth more than $200, with Mox Lotus going for about $400 and City of Ass going for about $250 in their foil versions. The effects on these cards are iconic jokes in the MTG community, but outside of rarity and novelty, these can’t be used as game pieces. If someone is brave enough to build a foiled Unhinged Cube, it could be the wackiest and most unnecessarily expensive game of MTG any community member could ever play.

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