I often talk about values of booster boxes here on Magic Card Investor but this time I wanted to strictly talk about Booster Packs. No boxes, decks or singles (well, maybe a little) in this conversation. This is all about the Top 12 Most Valuable Magic The Gathering Booster Packs ever made by Wizards of the Coast.
What Kind of Magic Booster Packs Made The List?
So I’ll put this on the table right now. We’re talking about REAL mainstream booster packs with playable cards. We’re not going to discuss anything to do with last year’s 30th Anniversary packs….mainly because I’m still salty about that whole mess. So those are NOT included.
The packs that we’re talking about here are generally ungraded by PSA, Becket or any other grading company. As you might know, grading does tend to influence the value and the higher the grade the higher the price tag.
If there’s a Magic Booster Pack and it normally sells for $1,000 but it’s graded a PSA 10, it could go for 5-10 times that price or even more. I want to compare apples to apples here so we’re just talking about MTG packs that are in excellent to NRMT condition and are ungraded.
However, there are some packs that are extremely tough to find in ungraded condition (or any condition to be honest.) The Alpha packs are nowhere to be found and you might find one or two online if you search hard enough or see one coming up in a major auction. So for something like an Alpha pack, we’ll take whatever information we can find and try to determine current value.
Determining Magic Booster Pack Prices and Values
Prices listed below will be in a range because they tend to fluctuate depending on any number of conditions. In most cases we’ll take an average price of all sources but there are a few older vintage packs that had a wide range of prices. In those cases we’ll give you a range of a few hundred dollars to give you an idea of what recent sales have been.
One other thing to mention. Some of these packs have very few recent online sales. In those cases we looked into a few different sources and came up with an approximate value. It’s not every day you see a BETA or UNLIMITED pack being sold so we needed to adjust things for those rare packs that only come up for sale every so often.
One last thing I’ll mention. The booster packs I’m talking about below are strictly English/US versions. I know there are some International versions out there (Italian Legends for example) that are quite pricey. However the bulk of the market in this particular area of research is in the English versions.
That being said, let’s do this…….
#1 – Limited Edition ALPHA
Booster Pack Value: $30,000-$40,000
As one might expect, the farther back you go into Magic: The Gathering history, the higher the booster pack price. This one is no exception.
Back on March 6, 2021, Peter Adkison (founder of Magic: The Gathering) confirmed that there were 70,000 15-card Alpha Booster Packs made. That’s about 1,944 Booster Boxes which is an amazingly small amount of product that was first issued back in 1993.
Over the last 29+ years I would venture to say a majority of those packs have been ripped open. There are very few unopened boxes and packs in the market or even in private collections when it comes to Magic Alpha.
It’s the holy grail of Magic The Gathering packs and I don’t ever see prices going down. Actually I see this price being an absolute steal years from now.
#2 – Limited Edition BETA
Booster Pack Value: $5,500-$7,000
A few of these packs will be obvious choices for our most valuable list even if you didn’t know the exact price per pack. The Magic Beta Booster Packs are not nearly as limited as Alpha but they still come in at a solid number two on our list.
While Alpha had 70,000 packs printed, there were a reported 210,000 printed packs of the Beta Boosters. That’s roughly 5,833 booster boxes in existence.
How many packs are actually left in the wild is anyone’s guess but I can tell you that based on my research online the answer is not much.
You’ll still see Youtubers opening packs here and there (see below) so you can still find them. They are super pricey though but will never again be at this level. Years from now you’ll probably wish you had a 100 of them!
#3 – UNLIMITED
Booster Pack Value: $3,500-$4,500
Next up we have the Magic Unlimited Booster Packs which were released in December of 1993. Although we don’t have clear numbers on how many Magic Unlimited Booster Packs were released, we do know approximately how many Unlimited cards were printed. That allows us to estimate the number of packs.
Based on the numbers and our research, Magic Unlimited had a print run that was about 5-times larger than the Beta set. There was also an indication that Wizards printed more Unlimited Booster Packs as those normally sold better than starter decks.
That being said, we can estimate there were about 1.7M to 1.9M Unlimited booster packs printed (an approximate figure) which equates to around 50,000 to 55,000 Unlimited booster boxes released in December of 1993. As history shows, the Unlimited product was completely sold out by January 1994.
Knowing all of this and also knowing Unlimited had the final printing of the original Power 9 before they were removed from the set, we can understand why prices are so high. If you can still find them, packs are still going for a few thousand dollars each. It’s an expensive gamble to try and find that elusive Black Lotus!
We’re valuing the packs in the $3,500 to $4,500 price range but there are asking prices as high as $7,500 out there right now. When there are so few in existence, I guess you can name your own price.
#4 – ARABIAN NIGHTS
Booster Pack Value: $2,000-$2,500
We know a bit more about the history behind Arabian Nights and thus we have more specific information on print runs too.
The Magic Arabian Nights set was released in mid-December 1993 and the print run was 5-million cards. They were released in 8-card packs and 60-pack boxes. That gives us a Booster Pack print run of 625,000 packs and 10,417 booster boxes.
Arabian Nights was considered a “disposable expansion” while Wizards concentrated on getting out the remaining Unlimited product and eventually the Revised set. But over time this disposable set caught on and players and collectors tore through the rest of the print run.
Today it’s easier to find Arabian Nights packs (as compared to Alpha/Beta/Unlimited) but that doesn’t mean they’re cheap. Be ready to shell out a cool $2K to own one now and probably way more a few years from now.
#5 – LEGENDS
Booster Pack Value: $550-$750
I remember opening a box of Legends Booster packs with my friends back in 1994 in the basement of my college roommate’s home. Little did we know that the box we were tearing into would eventually be worth somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000!
The Magic Legends print run was approximately 2.3M packs and just under 65,000 booster boxes. But over the last 28+ years we know that a majority of those packs have been ripped open by millions of collectors and players.
So what makes a Legends pack so special? Outside of the sheer rarity of the booster packs in today’s market, the set is freaking LOADED with big time cards. There are 34-cards in the set priced over $100 and 5 of those cards are priced over $1,000! And one card alone, The Tabernacle At Pendrell Vale, is valued at $3,000!
Packs are still fairly easy to find online and on eBay, but expect to pay somewhere in the $550-$750 range. More recent sales have been on the lower end and I think you’ll see prices sit around this range for the next year or so.
In my personal opinion, this is the one booster pack on the list that I believe is the best value. It’s the perfect combination of scarcity and iconic cards that makes this pack stand out from the rest. If I had to pick one favorite on the list, it would easily be the Legends Booster Pack and I think the sky’s the limit when it comes to price over the next 2-3 years.
#6 – ANTIQUITIES
Booster Pack Value: $500-$600
The Antiquities set was very similar to Arabian Nights except that Wizards decided to print a whole lot more of it back in 1994.
It was a small set of only 85 cards and the product was originally marred by numerous issues including duplication of cards in packs, overprinting and complaints of the set being too artifact-centric. At the time, it appeared Antiquities was doomed to fail.
However, as time went on, certain cards in the set caught on with players (Mishra’s Workshop and Candelabra of Tawnos to name a few) which sent booster pack prices soaring.
The print run was approximately 1.875M packs which equates to 31,250 booster boxes. As mentioned before, over the many years packs were ripped open and the supply dwindled to only handfuls being left.
Prices remain pretty solid in the $500-$600 range for booster packs and I expect that they’ll slowly creep up over time and make this price look cheap.
#7 – PORTAL THREE KINGDOMS (English)
Booster Pack Value: $400-$450
I’ll bet you were thinking that an older Magic The Gathering pack would be in the 7th slot of our list but you would be wrong. A surprise booster pack comes in right in the middle of the list and it’s bringing some serious bucks.
Magic Portal Three Kingdoms booster packs were released back in May 1999 and was designed for the Asian market (not sold in North America.) The set was mainly printed in Japanese and Chinese and only a very small amount was ever printed in English. The English version was meant for Australia and New Zealand only which is why it was never released in the US.
There has been wild speculation over the years that print runs were extremely low on the English version. But to this day no one knows for sure how much was printed outside of the folks at Wizards. But we know it was extremely small, rivaling Beta and Unlimited print runs.
A subject for another day for sure as we’ll dive into Portal Three Kingdoms more in depth some other time. For now, the packs make our Top 12 list very easily as they routinely sell for $400-$450. We’ll see what the next few years does with this low print run set.
#8 – REVISED (3rd Edition)
Booster Pack Value: $270-$290
Although Revised was one of the original Magic The Gathering sets, prices for Revised Booster Packs are still somewhat cheap because the print run was much larger back in the day.
The Unlimited print run was 40-million cards while the estimate for Revised was more along the lines of 200-million cards (which is debatable but we’re sticking to this number.) If you want more information on the print run for Magic Revised Booster Boxes, we did a write up a few months ago. Check it out HERE.
That being said, we figure there were 10 million MTG Revised Booster Packs and an estimated 277,778 total Magic Revised Booster Boxes printed. That’s certainly a crap-ton of product.
But, think of how many Revised packs were opened in the last 28+ years since it hit shelves.
Prior to 2020, Magic Revised Booster Boxes were well under $1,500-$2,000 each. And going back as far as 2012, boxes were selling for $800-$900 each. We’re talking many years of ‘low’ prices which means a lot of packs got ripped open.
The bottom line is that every year that goes by, more Revised gets ripped or put away in back closets. There won’t be much of this stuff out there soon enough and I can only wonder what prices will be 5-10 years from now.
For now, prices are stable in the $270-$290 per pack price range. It’s definitely a gamble at that price to rip it, but I don’t think it’s a gamble to save them sealed. One day, they’ll be super scarce and people will want some of that nostalgia back for sure.
#9 – URZA’S SAGA
Booster Pack Value: $250-$265
The years 1993 thru 1999 were magical (excuse the pun) for Magic players and collectors and it was a great time to be in the game. The three Urza’s sets which came out between October 1998 and June 1999 were especially awesome and wrapped up what was easily the greatest 6-years in Magic: The Gathering history.
Coming in at number 9 on our list of most valuable Magic The Gathering Booster packs for 2023 is the first of the great Urza’s sets and the largest in the block with 350 cards, Urza’s Saga.
It’s right around this spot on our list where we start to lose solid information when it comes to print runs. By this point late in 1998, it was like pulling teeth to get any information related to print runs and it was pure speculation at best. Word on the street was that Urza’s Saga had a larger print run than Magic Revised which would put the total number of packs over 10-million.
That seems like a lot but remember that studies show there are currently 40-million people around the world that play and collect Magic: The Gathering so that’s less than a pack per person in today’s numbers.
Beyond supply and demand, there are six big cards helping to drive up prices on Urza’s Saga Booster packs. Gaea’s Cradle is the big one that easily brings in $900 for NRMT condition. From there you have Serra’s Sanctum ($275), Gilded Drake ($275), Yawgmoth’s Will ($200), Tolarian Academy ($150) and finally Time Spiral ($100.) Not to mention the handfuls of cards that bring $20-$40 a piece. The set is LOADED.
Again, like all of these I don’t expect prices to dip anytime soon. It’s just too darn tough to find these packs. And over time as they get sold and put away or ripped open, they’ll become even more scarce.
#10 – DOUBLE MASTERS VIP
Booster Pack Value: $165-$185
Released in August of 2020, the Double Masters VIP booster packs have to be some of the most fun to open and watch being opened on YouTube too! These 33 cards (plus 2 foil tokens) packs are just full of foil rare cards, borderless showcase foil rares, mythics and everything you would expect from a premium “collector booster” type pack.
The cards you can find in VIP boosters are simply awesome AND expensive. There are more than a dozen cards priced over $50 each and half of those are valued at over $100! Whether it’s the Borderless Foil Mana Crypt at $300 or the Borderless Foil Force of Will ($150-200), the booster packs are simply loaded.
I think Double Masters VIP Booster Packs will go down in history as one of the greatest products Wizards ever released. And when it comes to future values, I think booster pack prices will continue to rise over time, but it will be a slow-go. I think inventory levels are still high enough to sustain this current price for a while but I think by the end of 2023 you’ll start to see prices tick up again.
#11 – STRONGHOLD
Booster Pack Value: $140-$150
Stronghold was released back in March of 1998 and was the 13th expansion of the ‘Golden Era’ of Magic: The Gathering. It’s also considered the first small expansion of the Tempest block which ran from 1997 to 1998 and included Tempest, Stronghold and Exodus.
Stronghold was a relatively small set with only 143-cards and it’s the last Magic set ever issued that didn’t have set symbols colored to match the card rarity.
What cards are driving up prices on Stronghold booster packs? Mainly the $600+ Mox Diamond and the $250-$300 Sliver Queen. If you open a $150 pack and nail the Mox Diamond, you’re loving life! Outside of those two cards, the set is pretty mediocre with handfuls of cards in the $1 to $25 range. That being said, the Mox Diamond and lack of supply are certainly the driving factors on pack value.
I’ve been able to find a couple of sources that indicated the print run of Stronghold to be 180-million cards. Since Stronghold was released in both Booster Boxes and Theme Decks, that total would have been spread out between both products. My guess is a majority of the print run was dedicated to Booster Boxes as most other products of this timeframe were.
So where does that put Stronghold on the print run map when compared to other Magic sets of the Golden Age? I would say it’s definitely not the highest or lowest print run of that era and it probably falls a bit less than the Magic Revised print run which we believe was around 200-million cards.
The bottom line is that the amount of Stronghold that hit shelves back in 1998 is considerably less when compared to print runs of modern Magic booster boxes. There are very few Stronghold Booster Packs available on eBay as of today and the booster boxes all have mid-high 4-figure asking prices. It’s a definite long term keeper in my book!
#12 – URZA’S LEGACY
Booster Pack Value: $100-$125
Coming in at a solid #12 on our list of the most valuable Magic The Gathering Booster packs in 2023 is Urza’s Legacy, released back in February of 1999.
It was the first small expansion set (only 143 cards) in the Urza’s Block and has one main card driving the set…Grim Monolith which is valued in the $200-$300 range. Plus, Urza’s Legacy also has one main claim to fame – it was the first set to contain foil cards.
Most sources are showing that Urza’s Legacy had a print run that was right around 180-million cards. That puts it inline with sets like Stronghold and just a bit smaller than the Revised set from 1994.
Urza’s Saga Packs are by far not super expensive. But that low price is the perfect example of an older Magic booster pack that has a fairly weak lineup of expensive cards . Outside of the Grim Monolith, there are 4-5 more cards priced between $30-50 and then that’s about it for the heavy hitters. Thus the reason why these packs are $100-$125 and not over $200.
It’s still a tough to find pack that you won’t see at the local game store anymore. For that reason, it will continue to grow in value but I don’t see it spiking anytime soon. But then again, you never know what will happen in the world of Magic: The Gathering!
That Wraps It Up!
This is a list that I think will fluctuate over time when it comes to prices, but again anything can happen in Magic: The Gathering. I think a bulk of this list will remain on the Most Valuable list for quite some time but it wouldn’t surprise me to see some other packs vie for a spot on the list as time goes on (i.e. Exodus, Tempest and The Dark to name a few.)
One thing I want to mention is that the value of a booster pack is not solely based on the cards in the set. The value of a Magic Booster Pack is mainly derived from the scarcity of the unopened pack.
Yes, the cards in the set matter a lot, but there’s a reason why Alpha packs cost as much as a car these days and that reason is SCARCITY. If you open an Alpha pack, unless you hit a Black Lotus, you’ll probably lose money on the cards you do find. But the value is in the unopened pack because of how tremendously scarce that pack itself is.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading about the The Top 12 Most Valuable Magic The Gathering Booster Packs Ever Made! If you want to chat about this list or have something you would like to add, I would enjoy hearing from you. Check out our contact page and send me a note and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Take care and keep investing in Magic cards!