MTG Reserve List

Yo! I am trying to enter MTG investing and am looking to buy some of the reserve list cards. Are there any that should heavily invest in (I.E. certain sets, lands, creatures, anything specific)? Would it be a better long term (10+ years) bet to buy booster boxes of newer sets like Eternal Masters or Hours of Dev.?

I am thinking about buying a hundred or so Rainbow Vale from Fallen Empires… but its Fallen Empire so I think it will probably be a sleeper for a few years.

Honestly if you’re asking on here for Magic investment advice on a Poke’mon forum the best advice will be to save your money. This may sound harsh but its the honest truth.


Here’s a great investment idea for mtg. Collect multiples of the most valuable card in each set.
For example, Phyrexian Dreadnought from Mirage or Force of Will from Alliances. Even Black Lotus from Alpha would work;)

Watch ALL AlphaInvestments’ videos on MTG Reserve List investing and i think you will get an idea of what some people and stores are doing with the Reserve List Buyouts. Like Pokemon, blindly buying into WOTC cards will get you no where financially, unless you know what you are doing. Personally if i were to ‘invest’ in MTG, i would get cards that are in the RL and are playable as well like Demonic Tutor, Juzam Djinn, Library of Alexandria, bazaar of baghdad… you get the point :blush:

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This kind of question really depends on the individual … budget, goals, opportunity cost, expected ROI, risk level, how long you can afford to hold the investment etc. A hundred rainbow vales is only $150-$200, but that is only half the cost of a single underground sea. I could tell you to go get an alpha black lotus but that’s useless advice if you don’t have a spare $10k minimum to get a good condition copy.

I wouldn’t be buying any new booster boxes for long term holds, even after their print runs finish you’ll be able to get them cheap in the secondary market due to the quantity that’s being printed these days. You can still get return to ravnica and theros boxes at under retail and they’ve been out of print 2-3 years now.

As for reserved list cards I stick to the real collectibles … Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Legends. That said there’s not guaranteed answer to your question and if there was everyone would’ve already done it. This isn’t something you should just jump into based on the comments of a few people on a forum, the best advice I can give you is go do a lot of research and come to your own conclusions on what you think is best for you - there’s a heap of resources out there that can help you.


That’s fun advice, but not a great investment idea.

I am out of MTG now, but I will mention a few things they should know.

  1. Dark Beta- A long time ago someone seems to have access to a very high end printing press and made very good fakes, as in these 20 year old fakes blow current Chinese fakes out of the water. In a sleeve out of sleeves they are good.

  2. Rebacks- When MTG was still a new game WOTC made a collectors edition and re-printed basically Alpha but they had a gold border around the back of the card. What people have done is split the card into two (front/back) on two cards and then put the Collectors Edition front on the real card back. Now you have a real card, well a fake that when done well many people can’t spot.

  3. Prices are driven buy players and collectors for old cards. If a deck isn’t popular they price of some cards could stagnate for a while if the price is driven by players.

  4. Lots of cheaper reserve list cards, as in hey I can get in on this card it’s only $40, are garbage and are only that price due to buyouts. They are very hard to move and may even have bad buy prices from dealers.

  5. I believe MTG might have stopped growing. I am out of the game but I knew they really screwed everything up the last couple years when they changed the standard rotation.

I would stick to Iconic cards and Alpha PSA 10 maybe 9.

Fallen Empires was way over printed. It took until 5 years ago or so for FoW to hit $80 and that is a card that is a 4 of in almost every Legacy deck. Is that card (Rainbow Vale) some kinda tech in any commonly played deck? Being or becoming tech in a deck like Lands Deck won’t help as the deck is full of rare cards. Even if it gets bought out I would worry that stock would be available quickly and demand wont be there.

Fallen Empires was the first time WoTC basically printed something close to orders. But because they never printed to demand and product up to then was always scare everyone way over ordered to try to get enough product. The set was a dud, not many good cards and it was a small set.

The last set that was short printed was The Dark, and sets before that were printed a lot less than The Dark.

While I can’t give you the advice you need, hopefully this gives you a start to the knowledge you will need to make some good investments.

Thanks for you guys’ advice on MTG! After reading all the posts and thinking it over more, I think it would probably be best if I just stuck to Pokemon for the time being. I will just continue to do MTG but solely as a player and not as a collector (I least for the next few years).

Thanks guys!



As someone who has invested in MTG and knows the in’s and out’s of it - you are best staying far far away unless you have some serious cash flow and a lot of time on your hands. MTG investing is NOTHING like Pokemon investing and there are thousands more people trying to do it and most of them have seriously deep pockets. It’s just not worth getting in to. Collect what you love and if you have the money for a $15,000 graded Black Lotus - then that is your most stable investment piece. Alpha cards are going no where but up. Print run was less than that of 1st Ed Base Pokemon and much of it was tossed or damaged. Good luck whatever you decide to do.


Especially his last Reserved List Buy-Out video

Hf and welcome to the floppy taco team =)

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Ive never watched his videos before, I used to collect/play magic in 2000-2001. Do you know any ytbers like this guys…for pokemon? I watch a lot of youtube and apart from Smpratte and a couple others maybe…I haven tfound real informative Poketubers.Most are looking at new releases, standard, expanded, rotation…psa returns, openings with info slotted in.Anyone know a list of content makers like AI and Sm, that deliver good quality, wel informed information about collecting, the market, investments, numbers and the hobby in general?

Please :blush:

EDIT: Please note, I am not knocking the videos above…I love all kinds of videos :blush: I would also like more indepth knowledge into the hobby…the above video…even though i dont know what he was talkign about card sets wise…it was very informative. This forum, personal experience, youtube, bulba, ebay, pokebeach and other sites are great to build my knowledge and experience but knowing some more places would be great

For Pokemon there is nobody like Rudy. Scott is doing a great job, but the other one million Pokemon Youtubers do nothing but pack openings, eBay ‘steals’, PSA returns and hyping product.

I think we need another 2-3 years before a channel like Rudy appears completely dedicated to Pokemon with crazy insights, massive buys and insane accurate advice.

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I personally attribute this pattern to the age of Pokemon. We are 6 years younger, and the target audience is generally younger. Therefore the older/adult serious or mature collector is not the majority, where it is in MTG.

Also, just a personal side note, I don’t publicly share majority-all of my purchases, partly because of this reality. One of the recent videos I recorded is on the pros and cons of Pokemon. Pokemon has a layered market because of the different generations, youth-adult. This is why it has grown so quickly, something is always happening in the hobby and is great for product releases. The cost from this layered market are the layered maturity levels. In MTG or sports, if I publicly state some of my purchases, the majority response will be “oh this was purchased or sold for $xxx”, not “this is bullshit, etc”. In Pokemon, objective price discussion does occur, but there is a larger blow back from the younger or immature side of the hobby.


Exactly. But people like Rudy, Daniel (VintageMagic) and …whatshisname (OpenBoosters) are real open about their prices, how they obtain their product and due to MTGStock everything is very easy to track. In the GPVegas video you can see Daniel making a 21k deal on the spot, I won’t see any Poke-Tuber doing this. Rudy being open about picking up PSA10 Alpha cards almost monthly and OpenBooster just flat out mentioned in one of his early videos that he just completely bought out stores in the past to get his tock of Alpha-Unlimited.

Also, with the market of Pokemon and it being a lot broader than MTG is, having anyone run a channel like Rudy or Daniel is troublesome. It has to be someone that’s already in the game, like Gary, Rusty or yourself, with plenty of knowledge and financials and the product to back it up with. Or some massive buyer you probably know of that is living and doing his thing in the shadows and appear out of nowhere like Rudy did and just make one insane channel.


The openness is primarily centered around the difference in age and maturity. I remember publicly disclosing 50k illustrator sales a couple years ago, and it was almost entirely met with negativity, denial, butthurt and jealousy. Hell even that heritage auction had two douchebags retract bids towards the end, in attempt to drive the price down. Heritage literally stated, “we have never experienced this before, ever”.

Point being, Pokemon as a whole is simply not there, yet. I would gladly publicly discuss purchases, sale prices, and more detailed information, but from experience, it will not have the same response or reciprocation as it does in MTG.


Can this be caused partially by MTG having its primary release in English? For which numbers of print runs etc. are our there, while it’s only guessing how many actual cards been printed in No Rarity, Base, Base 1st/Shadowless, Unlimited?

For MTG Alpha it’s known to everybody, since it started, that Black Lotus only has had 1100 prints. On every rare sheet only 1 Lotus appears.
But what do we know about e.g. No Rarity Charizard? How many were there on a sheet? How many have been printed?

For Pokémon we only know (or very close estimates) the print run of Trophy and Illustrator cards. The rest is just not out there.

And I think that’s one of the reasons MTG has this whole maturity feel to it. Collectors and players know that finding an Alpha Lotus is 1/1100 of which probably 20-30% has been trashed during play testing, promotions etc. while for let’s say this Illustrator card nobody ever came out in the clear and said “Ok people. We have printed 27 copies of this card. And these 27 people own the copies.” And this will also never happens since we deal with a Japanese company.

We can only estimate how many print runs Base Set had. While the exact print numbers of all the early MTG sets are out there, easy to find info for everybody. And Rudy demonstrates this very nice in his latest video. Set X has this many cards printed. Why does card Y spike this much?

@genosha I envy MTG’s transparency of early print run numbers very much so.

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@genosha Very good points! I would agree with your assessment. MTG has such a luxury knowing the specific numbers for alpha. I think everyone wishes we had exact data for at least 1st Ed base, and ideally for all sets.

I still think the market maturity has more to do with the average age. The Pokemon “market” is still very new for most collectors. Even collectors who have been around awhile are still adjusting. IMO we are in the 101 intro era of understanding the Pokemon market, where MTG is in graduate school.

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Print runs aside I think one of the core reasons the 1st edition Charizard and Lotus is so valuable is because it IS quantifiable. Thanks in part to our own @garyis2000 who graded many of the very first cards… it has now been 18 years of PSA submissions ultimately adding up to a little over a 1,400 sample size as of today if the pop is right. What this data helps to inform the casual collector for example is, “hey, this data shows that there’s only this many of these graded over 18 years. There’s a proven track record.” That is why No Rarity are such fantastically volatile territory for what they have previously been priced and sold for. No Rarity which has been documented by PSA since only 2015 and I suppose only unofficially recognized since 2012 has still never touched the mainstream. There’s so much that is still unknown in these markets.


It’s interesting to hear about this attitude towards pokemon purchases, coming from someone heavily invested the magic world I can tell you it’s almost the opposite. Even at the LGS level these days when I tell casual players and non investors about some of my purchases their first question is usually along the lines of ‘how much higher do you think it will it go?’ or stating their assumption that it will be worth more in a few years. I’ve never gotten a negative reaction, people just seem to accept that this is the reality and what some cards are worth.

I think part of this is that MTG price spikes on vintage cards happened about 5 years ago now. I remember there was some complaining from people when a NM unlimited black lotus jumped from $1500 to $3000+ … people were saying in the comments of sales posts that the cards were not worth that much. IMO those people were in denial, holding onto the the time when they could have bought one at half the price just a few months earlier even though that boat had sailed. I think one of the turning points was November 2014 at GP New Jersey which was a legacy event, SCG (StarCityGames - the largest magic vendor) raised their buy price on NM unlimited lotus’ to $5k which was an unheard of price at the time. Anyone selling their lotus could point at their buylist and say clearly it’s worth this, because SCG is buying them at this price. One other point to note is at this time, an ungraded NM alpha lotus was already $5k+, so magic players and collectors were already used to these kinds of prices unlike pokemon players & collectors when comparing to ungraded 1st edition base prices. This period of time I’m referencing was of the exponential growth of unlimited, arabian nights, legends, antiquities etc. and the start of reserved list buyouts which shocked a lot of players who wanted these previously accessible cards.

I feel like there is a parallel when looking at that point in time to where pokemon is at the moment. Pokemon’s growth in card value is still relatively fresh and people haven’t accepted that they’ve missed the boat on some of these cards and may never be in a position to afford them again. There are still multiple consistent public auction prices on 1st edition cards coming in that can be used as reference points to help justify the current price point and push it up further. More media like the July SMR articles and Gary on Pawn Stars bringing exposure to cards and prices also helps establish that this is the way things are moving forward. I think in time people won’t be as shocked or outraged when discussing vintage pokemon prices and it will be far more accepting as the norm like it is now with vintage MTG.


I am entering the realm of MTG.

Soon all black lotus shall be mine. :nerd_face:

the no rarities of magic the gathering shall become mine.

the journey shall begin… next time on dragonball z.