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With an extremely large variety of Magic: The Gathering Cards that exist out there from so many sets and a loose definition of utility and value in the game, it's often hard to gauge a card's individual worth/price without checking it out online. Of course, the rarity is generally a good indicator, but there are plenty of expensive common and uncommon cards too.

My question is What is the most efficient way of determining card value without individually loking up each Magic card?

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There are apps out there that can quickly scan cards as you flip through them, and provided estimated prices. Delver Lens is a good one. Not to mention it can keep track of your collection, or export to other collection tracking websites.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site! Just curious but how did you come across this app? – Malco Jun 4 '18 at 20:31
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    A friend told me about it. I know it sounds like an advertisement, but I'm in no way related to this app or it's devs. – Ben Jun 5 '18 at 12:21
  • No problem, was just curious. It is a good answer and the app looks decent from the store page. – Malco Jun 5 '18 at 14:05
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The most time efficient way to sort the wheat from the chaff is hard to gauge, there are a number of different ways that will work for different people.

One option is to take a buylist from your preferred website, which will give you prices for most cards that are valuable. This lets you quickly look through a list of cards (often sorted in alphabetical order and set) all in one place, and check if its on the list.

This wont give you the ACTUAL value of your cards, but generally a buy list price indicates whether a card has much value.

many websites will also let you type in a list of cards and bring up their sale prices of each, which might be quicker depending on how quickly you can go through them.

a further option would potentially be a mobile app, many apps have collection trackers where you can enter your entire collection and then traverse the list in the app to get values for them.

whatever you choose, it will probably be pretty time consuming. Rather than going through your cards and comparing them against the web or a list, it might be better to try and learn as many commons and uncommons worth more than a specific threshold (e.g. $1) as possible, and then go through your collection looking for those specific cards, seperating out any rares and foils to check later. While there are plenty of commons and uncommons that are worth money, there arent so many that you cant have a good idea of what most of them are. having a threshold as low as $1 makes it significantly harder, but starting at $5 cuts out a huge number, and gets you most of the value in your collection quite quickly, before making further passes to pick out the rest, knowing you dont need to look for anything above $5.

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If you didn't want to go online, you can go to a local gaming store and get them appraised. A good gaming store should be able to list out what each card is worth and what they are willing to buy it for.

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If you know which sets you have, there is an excellent tool for doing this exact thing at http://mtg.dawnglare.com/?p=viz Simply select the set(s) you own and click submit. You will get a picture of every card in those sets with the most expensive on the left & largest, with descending price towards the right. Then you can simply leave that page up and flip through your collection looking for image matches.

Dawnglare pulls prices from TCGPlayer.com.

  • I searched for Google for "magic card prices by set sized images". Apparently the site that I was looking for was taken offline by the creator, and this arose in it's place. I don't know where I first saw the other site I was thinking of- probably on a MTG forum. – VolleyJosh Feb 10 '15 at 23:06
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I found the online card manager Deckbox to be quite useful. It allows me to add any card to my inventory with a single click and will display prices, has some nice search and filtering functions and even provides a platform for deck building and trading.

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My preliminary sift through a collection is usually just looking through all the cards and looking for things that see a lot of competitive play. This, of course, requires at least some knowledge of the competitive meta at the time of searching. You can learn the meta quickly in 2 ways: looking up Star City Games on YouTube and watching their most recent open series events or (the faster way, but with less joy from watching play) looking on mtggoldfish.com 's "Metagame" tag. If your cards are from very recent sets, the Standard format is what you're looking at. Otherwise you're probably looking at Modern.

And a word from the wise: look at land cards. Other than basic Forest, Plains, Swamp , Mountain, and Island, there's a fair chance you have something of value in your pile of lands.

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The site mtggoldfish.com is my source if I want to know if there are any valuable commons or uncommons in a set.

Click on Prices in the top left and choose either a format or a set and it will list all cards that are worth more than 50 cents (or 0.5 tix if you need online prices).

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