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Card Grading System

In the collectibles industry, there are all kinds of systems in place to determine the quality of an item, which shows how well the item has been preserved. There is a scale in place that dictates the condition; words like “excellent”, “good” and even words as casual as “fine” are used. This system for collectible cards however, historically comes from what has been used for baseball cards. While these grading systems are helpful for those truly looking for specific conditions, it can be very confusing to new players and especially when trying to compare to the multitudes of different systems in place. After all, the grading system was historically created for items that were collectors items only, which Magic cards are not.

Here at TokyoMTG, we want to keep things simple. We understand that for almost any player, being able to actually play with the cards they buy is top priority. Over the many years of interacting with our players, we know that as long as there are no major flaws and the card is sleeve-playable, they are happy. This is why we have decided to go with an easy to understand grading scale that only makes one important distinction: does this card look good or not at first glance?

Regular Condition

Upon visiting our online store, you will see a price below each language; this price is for the regular condition version of that card, in that particular language. Regular condition means that the card has no major issues, as well as no minor issues that are noticeable in a sleeve. There might be some minor nicks on the border, especially on the back, or minor scratches on the front that are not immediately apparent. In general, the cards look good and when playing them sleeved, there should be no difference when compared to other cards.

Played Condition

The played condition category will only show up sporadically for any given card and it does so right below the regular condition stock. Next to the language on of the card, it will say “played” in addition, indicating that the card has some issues in regards to the condition. Firstly, and most importantly, a played will still be playable in a sleeve and usable in tournaments. We do not sell any cards on our website that are damaged to the point where you cannot use them in a competitive setting.

A played condition card will be more or less obvious at first glance and might have all kinds of different issues. That list includes, but is not limited to scratches, nicks, dents, creases, water damage, grime, ink markings - all in varying depths and sizes. However, none of these issues will be of a degree so bad as to make the card unrecognizable. For example, while some ink markings around the border might be possible, a revised card altered to look like a black bordered card would no longer be considered played condition and therefore would not be sold through the website in the first place.

Due to the nature of a played condition card, both the sell price and buy price will be different. As a rough outline, we will discount a played card by about 20% when compared to the regular condition price. So if you don’t care too much about the condition, this is a great chance to find good deals through our website!