MTG players question longevity of serialized cards and their worth

Multiple MTG cards from 2023 are worth over $1,000.

A rat standing atop other rats in motion
Pack Rat anime | Image via WotC

Heading into the holiday break, players are questioning whether serialized Magic: The Gathering cards can sustain their hype and profitability on the secondary market going forward.

Wizards of the Coast changed MTG forever with the release of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth through a serialized The One Ring card. The highly sought-after one-of-one card helped bring in an astonishing amount of money for WotC and Hasbro while earning the lucky fan who pulled The One Ring $2 million in a private sale to Post Malone. It also started a trend, with even more serialized cards showing up in the second holiday LTR drop. Despite the overwhelming success of including serialized cards in Magic packs, a Reddit user recently questioned whether WotC needs to change things up to keep the hype for chase cards alive. And the community responded.

Fblthp looking at a map, lost in Ravnica
You can still pull a serialized card worth thousands from MTG packs. | Image via WotC

“When baseball cards started doing stuff like this in the ’90s, the value of them dropped and people stopped getting into the hobby,” one Reddit user said. 

Of the most expensive MTG cards from 2023, a majority are serialized. It began with Phyrexia: All Will Be One, thrived during Lord of the Rings, and continued to succeed through Doctor Who. The strategy is working for now and most players are happy with serialized MTG cards as they have an overall effect that carries over to the secondary market prices of regular cards. 

“The point is to include them in collector boosters so whales buy the product and flood the secondary market with all of the cards they don’t want,” a Reddit user said. “This makes everyday players happy because there’s enough singles opened to keep the price of playing the game fairly low and manageable. This makes whales happy because getting serialized cards scratches certain covetous itches.”

Nothing can last forever and the MTG community knows this. At some point, WotC will have to change up the chase card strategy once again. But for now, the serialized double rainbow foil strategy with 500 or fewer versions is working. 


Danny Forster
Lead MTG and TFT scribe for Dot Esports. Danny is a gamer beach bum residing in Spacecoast Florida—who also enjoys anime, fishing, and Star Wars. You can typically catch Danny playing TCGs and a variety of strategic games. He also hangs out on Twitter @Dannyspacecoast.