The rarest card in Magic: The Gathering‘s pricey Anniversary Set has a pull-rate of one in every 410 packs, meaning players would need to spend more than $100,000 on average to find one.
Statistics provided to IGN by Magic: The Gathering drafting website DraftSim show that one retro Black Lotus card – a reprint of the most coveted trading card of all time – is present in exactly $102,897 worth of booster packs.
Wizards of the Cost is only selling the Anniversary Set as a $999 product containing four booster packs with random cards. Despite the high price, however, the Black Lotus (alongside every other card) is only a proxy version and therefore can’t be used in tournament play, and it’s currently unknown if they will be worth anything to collectors.
Magic: The Gathering’s 30th Anniversary Edition Set
Normal versions of each retro card, which feature a modern Magic: The Gathering style compared to the classic look, are also available at a slightly increased rate, but this version of the Black Lotus is still only available in every 95 booster packs (so 96 given they’re four per set), meaning $23,976 worth.
These packs are completely random though, meaning players may pull a Black Lotus after buying one set at $999 or may not even pull one after dropping the $100,000. Using binomial distribution to calculate the risk, DraftSim shows there’s still a 36% chance of not getting a normal Black Lotus after 96 packs and a 1% chance of not getting the retro after opening 410 packs.
The Anniversary Set caused frustration for Magic: The Gathering players when it was announced in October, with YouTuber PleasantKenobi saying what’s claimed to be a “celebration” of the game only reinforces fan concerns that Wizards of the Coast are sacrificing its quality for the sake of making big money.
Analysts agree, as earlier in November the stock price of Wizards of the Coast’s parent company Hasbro dropped nearly 10% after Bank of America criticised its handling of the trading card game.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and acting UK news editor. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.