What's Going On With the $1000 MTG Anniversary Edition?

A set of display-only cards created serious controversy with MTG players

MTG Anniversary Edition sold for $1000

By RC Staff

Key Points:

  • Magic: The Gathering’s 30th Anniversary Edition sets were essentially 60 collectible cards sold for $1000

  • MTG players believed Wizards of the Coast had gone too far, and watched as the boxes were pulled from sale

  • 30th Anniversary boxes have resold for $2,000 or more, but fans insist that these sales are illegitimate


Art & Collectibles


This is the difference between the sale price and resell price. It does not take into account any costs associated with reselling. Things like shipping, storage fees, if applicable.

Magic: The Gathering 30th Anniversary Edition Box

Perhaps the most controversial trading card release of all time, this box was heavily criticized by the MTG community for being offensively overpriced. This led many to abstain from its sale, making it quite rare.

In November, Wizards of the Coast released a new booster set as a celebration of Magic: The Gathering’s 30th anniversary. These included 4 separate packs with 15 cards each. After going on sale, the boxes were pulled from Wizards of the Coast’s site with an opaque message. Fans were unable to tell if they had sold out, or sold so poorly that they were pulled to avoid embarrassment. While Magic: The Gathering fans were quick to dogpile the collection, aftermarket sales for the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes have exceeded their retail price.

What is the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition?

Intended to commemorate 30 years since Magic: The Gathering’s launch, the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes were sold on November 28, 2022. Each box included four booster packs with 15 cards each, for a total of 60 cards included in each 30th Anniversary Edition set.

All of the cards from the set were reprints. Since it was a celebration of MTG’s history, the cards included were some of the most iconic and oldest in the series. While the art was usually unchanged, certain cards had alternate designs for their frames.

It’s also worth noting that the cards included in the 30th Anniversary Edition box were not tournament legal. Dubbed “proxies” by fans, the cards are essentially just collector’s items. They cannot be used to play in any sort of official event, so are intended only for display or trading.

What cards are in the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition box?

For a full list of cards that a booster pack may include, check out this post from Wizards of the Coast. Iconic fan favorite cards like Black Lotus, Dual Lands, and Sol Ring were a focus. A few cards in each pack have “retro” frames, which feature the original design seen on the original 1990s printing.

Each booster pack includes 15 cards. Of these, 13 are modern frames. There is one guaranteed rare, three uncommons, seven commons, and two basic lands. Additionally, each pack includes a retro basic land, and another retro frame.

How much does the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition box cost?

The MTG 30th Anniversary Edition box set costs $999. Or at least it did, while it was still available. The boxes were made available through Wizards of the Coast’s website on November 28th, and were removed from sale after a few hours. Customers were limited to 5 sets per transaction, and a queue system was used to manage demand.

Instead of a “sold out” message, the page for the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes was updated to say that “the sale has now concluded”. The somewhat cryptic message had people speculating over the true popularity of the boxes, with many claiming they had utterly failed to sell.

So what happened with the 30th Anniversary Edition Box?

After going on sale for nearly $1,000 at 9 AM, November 28, the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes were pulled from sale in under an hour. It was unclear just how many had sold. If there is anything about the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes we know for sure, it’s that many fans hated them.

Twitter and Reddit were quick to gang up against Wizards of the Coast, simultaneously decrying them for their greed and mocking their failure to sell. Most felt confident that the boxes were a flop commercially, and that people who had bought them to resell would be taking a loss due to the lack of interest.

Comic mocking WotC for the MTG Anniversary Edition sale

“The sale has concluded” spawned a wave of memes from MTG fans

In fact, less than five hours after the sale ended, eBay recorded the first aftermarket sale of the 30th Anniversary Edition box for $1500. Some Redditors sneered that after eBay fees, shipping, and insurance, the seller “only” made $200, but many others believed the sale was fake.

So what’s the truth? Is there an aftermarket for the boxes? And who is buying?

Does the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition resell?

If you’re on Reddit, maybe you think all the sales on eBay are fake. But the reality seems to be that the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition box sets are reselling well. Within a day of the release, eBay recorded seven different sales exceeding the retail price.

In total, 37 boxes have already resold since November 28th, all for more than retail. Recent sales are trending upwards as well. The average sale for December is hovering near $2,000 for a sealed box. Of course, going by Reddit’s logic, that represents a profit of “only” $600-$700 off a single item. Why even bother?

MTG Anniversary Edition resells over retail

Sales on the aftermarket are anything but concluded

It’s still quite early though, and prices are just beginning to shake out. Only a single Black Lotus card has been listed for sale on eBay (for $30,000). That’s probably a little high, but until a sale is recorded we really have no way of knowing.

These are first and foremost a collector’s item. Card collecting and trading is a critical piece of playing Magic: The Gathering, so creating a set of cards specifically for collecting makes sense. Fans were hostile to the product, but ultimately it didn’t affect them in anyway.

Yes, the 30th Anniversary Edition box is a cash grab. But it doesn’t matter. The cards are not tournament legal, so they do not affect the balance of the game or the current MTG aftermarket. They make sense as a collectible, and setting the price at $1,000 made it clear that they intended them to be scarce and highly collectible.

Ironically, the fans angrily declaring that they absolutely will not purchase a box are exactly what enabled it to resell. It’s unclear just how many boxes were sold at retail, but less is generally better, at least for resellers.

We’ll need to wait a while to see what the true prices for these boxes are. It’s likely that things will be slow until there are significant aftermarket sales for individual cards like Black Lotus or Sol Ring. With the addition of different frames, it’s possible that are very few versions of a particular variant printed.

If one of these individual cards resells for a high price, it could open the floodgates for aftermarket sales of sealed boxes. For right now though, all we can do is watch, wait, and speculate.

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