EPIC Magic Card Auction! Alpha Beta Unlimited Bring BIG Dollars!

Brian Cooper  By Brian Cooper | Updated on December 19, 2023

This past February 18th, Bodnar’s Auction out of Monmouth Junction NJ held what could be considered the largest Magic Card auction in recent memory, and it was EPIC to say the least!

Dubbed by Bodnar’s as “The History of Magic the Gathering” auction, it did not disappoint as lot after lot of high end Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited cards hit price levels that surely broke records. The all-day online auction, which started at 11:00am ET and didn’t end until the final hammer came down at 7:45pm, proved that Magic: The Gathering cards are as good or even better of an investment than anything else in the collectibles world today.

For the MTG investor and collector, this auction had it all. From high end graded singles to a massive collection of complete sets. Mixed in were lot after lot of bulk singles and 9-pocket sheets full of vintage Excellent-NRMT cards that any MTG enthusiast would die to have in his/her collection. It was mesmerizing to watch the auction and hard to keep your eyes off the screen as you knew that this was a very special collection and the likes you probably would never see again in one place.

Misc MTG Alpha Singles

Here are some of the highlights from Bodnar’s Magic Card Auction:

MTG Alpha Black Lotus BGS 7.5

In total, Bodnar’s sold off thousands of single cards and sets across 414 lots amounting to well north of $500,000+ in total sales. Just a staggering number!

Magic Card Auction Sets

One of the most amazing things about this Magic card auction was that this was a single owner collection! It’s amazing to think of one person being able to amass this collection of absolutely stunning cards. The entire time of the auction, in the back of my head I kept thinking “had I only did what this person did and collected and SAVED these cards from the start in 1993, I’d be a millionaire!” Well, we can only dream but hopefully you were able to enjoy watching it as I was and that you were also able to walk away with a piece of history for your own collection.

Here’s a breakdown of the graded cards and sets. The list is sortable and searchable but only includes the graded cards and sets. Listing everything including bulk lots didn’t make sense since you wouldn’t know what exactly was in the lot.  But, for historical purposes, this list sums up the auction well and will be good to refer back to now and in the future.

The History of Magic the Gathering Auction - 02-18-2021

CardSetBGS GradeSold Price18% Buyers PremiumTotal w/ Buyers Premium
Black LotusAlpha7.5$55,000$9,900$64,900
Black LotusAlpha6$35,000$6,300$41,300
Black LotusAlpha3.5$22,000$3,960$25,960
Mox EmeraldAlpha7.5$7,250$1,305$8,555
Mox RubyAlpha8$8,500$1,530$10,030
Mox JetAlpha8$9,000$1,620$10,620
Ancestral RecallAlpha8$9,750$1,755$11,505
Chaos OrbAlpha8$5,250$945$6,195
Underground SeaAlpha5$5,500$990$6,490
Shivan DragonAlpha8$3,750$675$4,425
Birds of ParadiseAlpha3.5$1,900$342$2,242
Tropical IslandAlpha9$6,000$1,080$7,080
Time VaultAlpha8$2,500$450$2,950
Savannah LionsAlpha7.5$1,300$234$1,534
Jayemdae TomeAlpha8$1,700$306$2,006
Mind TwistAlpha8.5$1,800$324$2,124
Vesuvan DopplegangerAlpha7$1,800$324$2,124
Mana VaultAlpha7.5$1,900$342$2,242
Cyclopean TombAlpha8.5$625$113$738
Contract from BelowAlpha9.5$7,000$1,260$8,260
Icy ManipulatorAlpha7$675$122$797
Helm of ChatzukAlpha8.5$275$50$325
Gaea's LiegeAlpha8$275$50$325
Island SanctuaryAlpha7.5$300$54$354
Ice StormAlpha7$150$27$177
White KnightAlpha8.5$275$50$325
Aspect of WolfAlpha8$250$45$295
Two-Headed Giant of ForiysAlpha5.5$325$59$384
Roc of Kher RidgesAlpha8.5$500$90$590
Living ArtifactAlpha8.5$180$32$212
Demonic TutorAlpha8.5$850$153$1,003
Rock HydraAlpha8.5$525$95$620
Lord of AtlantisAlpha8.5$1,100$198$1,298
Merfolk of the Pearl TridentAlpha8.5$60$11$71
The HiveAlpha8.5$500$90$590
Drain PowerAlpha8$250$45$295
Hypnotic SpecterAlpha8.5$875$158$1,033
Demonic HordesAlpha8.5$850$153$1,003
Reverse DamageAlpha8$170$31$201
Demonic AttorneyAlpha9$850$153$1,003
Nether ShadowAlpha7$250$45$295
Natural SelectionAlpha7.5$450$81$531
Illusionary MaskAlpha8$550$99$649
Orcish OriflammeAlpha6.5$140$25$165
Blaze of GloryAlpha8.5$325$59$384
Animate WallAlpha8.5$200$36$236
Warp ArtifactAlpha9$325$59$384
Mahamoti DjinnAlpha8.5$1,100$198$1,298
Power SurgeAlpha7.5$250$45$295
Psionic BlastAlpha8$350$63$413
Nevinyrral's DiskAlpha8$1,400$252$1,652
Sol RingAlpha7.5$1,700$306$2,006
Living LandsAlpha8.5$325$59$384
Raging RiverAlpha7$400$72$472
Sleight of MindAlpha7$275$50$325
Sunglasses of UrzaAlpha7$225$41$266
Wrath of GodAlpha7.5$1,500$270$1,770
Granite GargoyleAlpha8.5$925$167$1,092
Basalt MonolithAlpha7.5$325$59$384
Animate ArtifactAlpha8.5$120$22$142
Winter OrbAlpha7$900$162$1,062
Mana FlareAlpha9$775$140$915
Serra AngelAlpha7$600$108$708
Sengir VampireAlpha7$350$63$413
Sedge TrollAlpha8.5$1,700$306$2,006
Disrupting ScepterAlpha8$750$135$885
Copy ArtifactAlpha8$1,500$270$1,770
Mana ShortAlpha8$700$126$826
Keldon WarlordAlpha8.5$200$36$236
Pirate ShipAlpha8$300$54$354
Scavenging GhoulAlpha8$140$25$165
Venduran EnchantressAlpha5.5$275$50$325
Jade StatueAlpha8.5$325$59$384
Ankh of MishraAlpha8.5$750$135$885
Jade MonolithAlpha8.5$300$54$354
Bad MoonAlpha8.5$1,300$234$1,534
Elvish ArchersAlpha8.5$425$77$502
Magical HackAlpha7.5$800$144$944
Northern PaladinAlpha8.5$650$117$767
Lord of the PitAlpha8.5$1,100$198$1,298
Zombie MasterAlpha8.5$400$72$472
Word of CommandAlpha8$575$104$679
Air ElementalAlpha8.5$150$27$177
Goblin KingAlpha8.5$1,100$198$1,298
Gauntlet of MightAlpha7.5$1,400$252$1,652
Animate DeadAlpha8.5$350$63$413
Lightning BoltAlpha7$400$72$472
Ancestral RecallBeta7.5$7,250$1,305$8,555
Underground SeaBeta9$4,750$855$5,605
Mox RubyBeta7$3,750$675$4,425
Tropical IslandBeta8.5$2,700$486$3,186
Wheel of FortuneBeta7.5$2,000$360$2,360
Chaos OrbBeta6$1,800$324$2,124
Shivan DragonBeta8.5$1,500$270$1,770
Birds of ParadiseBeta8$1,500$270$1,770
Mana VaultBeta9$1,200$216$1,416
Gauntlet of MightBeta7.5$725$131$856
Copy ArtifactBeta7$650$117$767
Howling MineBeta8.5$625$113$738
Jayemdae TomeBeta8$600$108$708
Winter OrbBeta8$550$99$649
Sol RingBeta6$550$99$649
Royal AssassinBeta8$525$95$620
Savannah LionsBeta8.5$475$86$561
Demonic TutorBeta8$450$81$531
Word of CommandBeta8.5$425$77$502
Swords to PlowsharesBeta8.5$400$72$472
Vesuvan BodyguardBeta5.5$400$72$472
Disrupting ScepterBeta8$375$68$443
Lord of AtlantisBeta8.5$375$68$443
Lord of the PitBeta8$350$63$413
Force of NatureBeta8.5$350$63$413
Cyclopean TombBeta8$325$59$384
Ankh of MishraBeta8$325$59$384
Illusionary MaskBeta8.5$325$59$384
Sengir VampireBeta9$250$45$295
Mana FlareBeta8.5$250$45$295
Hypnotic SpecterBeta8$225$41$266
Demonic HordesBeta7.5$225$41$266
Serra AngelBeta6.5$200$36$236
Raging RiverBeta8.5$200$36$236
Sleight of MindBeta8$170$31$201
Personal IncarnationBeta8$170$31$201
Lightning BoltBeta7.5$160$29$189
Icy ManipulatorBeta6.5$160$29$189
Basalt MonolithBeta8$150$27$177
Gaea's LiegeBeta8$150$27$177
Contract from BelowBeta6$150$27$177
Blaze of GloryBeta8.5$150$27$177
Northern PaladinBeta8.5$150$27$177
Jade MonolithBeta8.5$140$25$165
Granite GargoyleBeta7$140$25$165
Llanowar ElvesBeta9$140$25$165
Rock HydraBeta7.5$140$25$165
Black KnightBeta8.5$130$23$153
Black ViceBeta7.5$130$23$153
Mana ShortBeta7.5$130$23$153
Drain PowerBeta8.5$120$22$142
Ice StormBeta8.5$120$22$142
Power SurgeBeta9$120$22$142
Verduran EnchantressBeta6$120$22$142
Timber WolvesBeta8$110$20$130
Animate DeadBeta7.5$110$20$130
Demonic AttorneyBeta7$110$20$130
Control MagicBeta8$110$20$130
Roc of Kher RidgesBeta8.5$110$20$130
Veteran BodyguardBeta7.5$110$20$130
Dark RitualBeta7.5$100$18$118
Kormus BellBeta8$100$18$118
The HiveBeta7$100$18$118
Island SanctuaryBeta8$90$16$106
Sunglasses of UrzaBeta8.5$90$16$106
Dingus EggBeta8$90$16$106
Magical HackBeta6.5$80$14$94
Psionic BlastBeta6$80$14$94
Keldon WarlordBeta8.5$80$14$94
Aspect of WolfBeta8.5$80$14$94
Steal ArtifactBeta8$70$13$83
Living ArtifactBeta8.5$70$13$83
Animate WallBeta7.5$60$11$71
Red Elemental BlastBeta8.5$60$11$71
Jade StatueBeta6$50$9$59
Black LotusUnlimited6.5$11,000$1,980$12,980
Mox JetUnlimited8.5$4,000$720$4,720
Mox JetUnlimited7.5$2,700$486$3,186
Mox JetUnlimited6$2,400$432$2,832
Mox SapphireUnlimited7$3,000$540$3,540
Mox SapphireUnlimited7$3,250$585$3,835
Mox PearlUnlimited7$2,900$522$3,422
Mox PearlUnlimited6$2,400$432$2,832
Ancestral RecallUnlimited8$3,500$630$4,130
Mox RubyUnlimited7.5$2,600$468$3,068
Mox RubyUnlimited5.5$2,300$414$2,714
Mox EmeraldUnlimited6.5$2,500$450$2,950
Mox EmeraldUnlimited6$2,300$414$2,714
Gauntlet of MightUnlimited9$850$153$1,003
Mana VaultUnlimited8$225$41$266
Mind TwistUnlimited8.5$150$27$177
Wheel of FortuneUnlimited9$1,000$180$1,180
Time VaultUnlimited8.5$1,300$234$1,534
Word of CommandUnlimited7$275$50$325
Underground SeaUnlimited6$1,200$216$1,416
Cyclopean TombUnlimited9.5$325$59$384
Tropical IslandUnlimited8.5$1,300$234$1,534
Sol RingUnlimited6$120$22$142
Demonic TutorUnlimited9.5$400$72$472
Vesuvan DopplegangerUnlimited9$250$45$295
Volcanic IslandUnlimited9.5$2,400$432$2,832
Library of AlexandriaArabian Nights9$2,900$522$3,422
Erhnam DjinnArabian Nights9$400$72$472
Junann EfreetArabian Nights9$80$14$94
Guardian BeastArabian Nights9$650$117$767
Khabal GhoulArabian Nights9$130$23$153
Ring of MarufArabian Nights7$100$18$118
Serendib EfreetArabian Nights9$625$113$738
ShahrazadArabian Nights9$550$99$649
Sorceress QueenArabian Nights8.5$110$20$130
Juzam DjinnArabian Nights9$1,800$324$2,124
Old Man of the SeaArabian Nights8.5$250$45$295
PyramidsArabian Nights8.5$170$31$201
Serendib DjinnArabian Nights8.5$350$63$413
City of BrassArabian Nights9$550$99$649
Ifh-Biff EfreetArabian Nights8.5$170$31$201
Elephant GraveyardArabian Nights9$250$45$295
DesertArabian Nights9$50$9$59
Diamond ValleyArabian Nights8.5$650$117$767
Drop of HoneyArabian Nights9$750$135$885
Ali from CairoArabian Nights9$475$86$561
Bazaar of BaghdadArabian Nights9.5$5,000$900$5,900
Cyclopean Tomb (Mislabeled Mountain)Arabian Nights9$190$34$224
JihadArabian Nights8.5$375$68$443
Island of Wak-WakArabian Nights9$250$45$295
Mishra's WorkshopAntiquities8$2,700$486$3,186
Candelabra of TawnosAntiquities8.5$875$158$1,033
Power ArtifactAntiquities9$300$54$354
Argivian ArchaeologistAntiquities7.5$140$25$165
Transmute ArtifactAntiquities8$275$50$325
Tabernacle At Pendrell ValeLegends7.5$3,000$540$3,540
Mirror UniverseLegends7$250$45$295
Sylvan LibraryLegends9$250$45$295
The AbyssLegends9$925$167$1,092
Nether VoidLegends8.5$725$131$856
Invoke PrejudiceLegends7$375$68$443
Mana DrainLegends8.5$275$50$325
Chains Of MephistcphelesLegends9$1,600$288$1,888
All Hallows EveLegends8.5$450$81$531
Legends (Missing 9 cards)Set$5,250$945$6,195
Revised (Complete)Set$5,250$945$6,195
4th Edition (Complete)Set$275$50$325
Fallen Empires (Complete)Set$120$22$142
The Dark (Complete)Set$600$108$708
Ice Age (Missing 2 cards)Set$450$81$531
Chronicles (Complete)Set$140$25$165
Homelands (Missing 2 cards)Set$150$27$177
Alliances (Complete)Set$575$104$679
Mirage (Complete)Set$950$171$1,121
Visions (Complete)Set$500$90$590
5th Edition (Complete)Set$375$68$443
Portal (Complete)Set$300$54$354
Urza's Legacy (Complete)Set$725$131$856
Urza's Legacy Foil (Complete)Set$4,750$855$5,605
6th Edition (Complete)Set$325$59$384
Urza's Destiny (Complete)Set$800$144$944
Urza's Destiny Foil (Complete)Set$4,500$810$5,310
Portal Three Kingdoms (Complete)Set$4,250$765$5,015
Weatherlight (Complete)Set$500$90$590
Tempest (Missing 1 card)Set$975$176$1,151
Stronghold (Complete)Set$1,100$198$1,298
Exodus (Complete)Set$700$126$826
Unglued (Complete)Set$130$23$153
Portal Second Age (Complete)Set$225$41$266
Urza's Saga (Complete)Set$2,200$396$2,596
Mercadian Masques (Complete)Set$200$36$236
Mercadian Masques Foil (Complete)Set$2,700$486$3,186
Nemesis (Complete)Set$425$77$502
Nemesis Foil (Complete)Set$800$144$944
Prophecy (Complete)Set$130$23$153
Prophecy Foil (Complete)Set$450$81$531
Invasion (Complete)Set$225$41$266
Invasion Foil (Complete)Set$1,400$252$1,652
Planeshift (Complete)Set$150$27$177
Planeshift Foil (Complete)Set$775$140$915
7th Edition (Complete)Set$190$34$224
7th Edition Foil (Complete)Set$9,000$1,620$10,620
Apocalypse (Complete)Set$90$16$106
Apocalypse Foil (Complete)Set$750$135$885
Odyssey (Complete)Set$275$50$325
Odyssey Foil (Complete)Set$1,500$270$1,770
Torment (Complete)Set$160$29$189
Torment Foil (Complete)Set$575$104$679
Judgement (Complete)Set$180$32$212
JudgementFoil (Complete)Set$650$117$767
Onslaught (Complete)Set$450$81$531
Onslaught Foil (Complete)Set$3,000$540$3,540
Legions (Complete)Set$140$25$165
Legions Foil (Complete)Set$725$131$856
Scourge (Complete)Set$120$22$142
Scourge Foil (Complete)Set$675$122$797
8th Edition (Missing 8 cards)Set$200$36$236
8th Edition Foil (Missing 9 cards)Set$1,100$198$1,298
Mirrodin (Complete)Set$350$63$413
Mirrodin Foil (Complete)Set$775$140$915
Darksteel Foil (Complete)Set$675$122$797
Fifth Dawn (Complete)Set$200$36$236
Unhinged (Complete)Set$110$20$130
Unhinged Foil (Complete)Set$900$162$1,062
Champions Of Kamigawa (Complete)Set$225$41$266
Betrayers Of Kamigawa (Complete)Set$190$34$224
Saviors Of Kamigawa (Complete)Set$170$31$201
Ravnica (Complete)Set$250$45$295
9th Edition (Complete)Set$200$36$236
Dissension (Missing 4 cards)Set$150$27$177
Guildpact (Complete)Set$100$18$118


Magic Alpha SinglesI personally bid on a handful of graded singles and a bunch of the “lots” that had multiple ungraded cards, but I wasn’t very lucky. I almost won a few of them, but last minute bidders decided to take me out at the last second. Needless to say, there was some loud cursing going on in my home office, but I guess that’s the advantage of doing this remotely online.

I ended up winning just one lot, a group of (18) ungraded MTG Alpha Cards that came up towards the end of the auction. From what Bodnar’s had said, they were going through one of the miscellaneous tubs near the end of setting up this auction and found a number of 9-pocket sheets that they originally thought were going to be nothing special. Well, they ended up finding another 140+ Alpha cards packed away in 9-pocket sheets that they found a little bit too late to send to BGS for grading.

Magic Alpha Cards 2

So what was in my lot? It was a nice assortment of (10) Commons, (7) Uncommons and (1) Rare (Dingus Egg) that I was happy to pick up for my personal collection. I ended up driving out to NJ to pick up the item and I’m pretty happy with the cards overall. Considering how nice the rest of the collection was, I took a chance that these cards might be in similar condition. I was right for the most part, although the Dark Ritual (the one I was hoping would be in nice shape) ended up being in played condition with a pretty bad crease. Oh well. At least I was able to get some iconic Alpha cards in really nice shape like Drudge Skeletons, Cursed Land and Dragon Whelp. Also, I was just really happy to have something in my collection from this amazing sale.

After going through the lot I took the best of the bunch and immediately sent them off to PSA for grading. I’ll follow up later and let you know how that turns out. Considering PSA has like an 8-month wait, it might be late 2021 before I find out the grades. My guess is I’ll have a nice Christmas gift so more to come on that towards the end of the year.


I don’t know who the single owner collector was, but I hope he/she is happy with the prices he got (and by the way, if that person happens to be reading this, reach out to me as I’d like to ‘interview’ you about the collection for a future post.) I’m sure this collector had a lot invested over the years into this collection, but based on the estimates I would have to think this exceeded expectations by a long shot.

I also think Bodnar’s did a great job with this Magic card auction.  Considering it was so successful, I fully expect to see them doing more with Magic: The Gathering in the future. Not only was it very profitable for them and the consignor, it was a fun experience for everyone involved including the many bidders, collectors and investors. To top it off, I can now say I’ve found a new addiction…..ONLINE LIVE AUCTIONS! Wow, that was a blast.

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Brian Cooper has been a part of the trading card scene since the 1980s and is the driving force behind MAGIC CARD INVESTOR. His mission is to help bring back the fun and nostalgia of collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and other Trading Card games to everyone young and old.

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