Buy Individual Magic Cards Online
Game Theory specializes in buying and selling individual Magic the Gathering cards and collections. We have an inventory of nearly 300,000 individual Magic the Gathering cards, ranging from Legacy to Standard and everything in between! Our cards are graded using the guidelines below. We update prices regularly to stay on top of pricing trends.
buy individual magic cards online
You can order cards in the Duraleigh and Wake Forest locations or place an order online at shop.gametheorystore.com (Duraleigh) or wakeforest.gametheorystore.com (Wake Forest), and we will have them waiting for you.
We are currently only buying cards at our Duraleigh location. We purchase individual cards and entire collections. If you have individual cards you'd like to sell, please use the Buylist feature on our online catalog to check prices and create a buy order.
The buylist prices in our catalog are cash prices, or we offer a 10% bonus if you select store credit. For individual card orders, we only purchase cards in Near Mint condition unless the cards are high-value Legacy or Modern staples.
A player in Magic takes the role of a Planeswalker, a powerful wizard who can travel ("walk") between dimensions ("planes") of the Multiverse, doing battle with other players as Planeswalkers by casting spells, using artifacts, and summoning creatures as depicted on individual cards drawn from their individual decks. A player defeats their opponent typically (but not always) by casting spells and attacking with creatures to deal damage to the opponent's "life total", with the objective being to reduce it from 20 to 0, or 40 to 0 in some group formats. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, the gameplay bears little similarity to paper-and-pencil games, while simultaneously having substantially more cards and more complex rules than many other card games.
Cards in Magic: The Gathering have a consistent format, with half of the face of the card showing the card's art, and the other half listing the card's mechanics, often relying on commonly-reused keywords to simplify the card's text. Cards fall into generally two classes: lands and spells. Lands produce mana, or magical energy. Players usually can only play one land card per turn, with most land providing a specific color of mana when they are "tapped" (usually by rotating the card 90 degrees to show it has been used that turn); each land can be tapped for mana only once per turn. Meanwhile, spells consume mana, typically requiring at least one mana of a specific color. More powerful spells cost more, and more specifically colored, mana, so as the game progresses, more land will be in play, more mana will be available, and the quantity and relative power of the spells played tends to increase. Spells come in several varieties: non-permanents like "sorceries" and "instants" have a single, one-time effect before they go to the "graveyard" (discard pile); "enchantments" and "artifacts" that remain in play after being cast to provide a lasting magical effect; and "creature" spells summon creatures that can attack and damage an opponent as well as used to defend from the opponent's creature attacks; "planeswalker" spells that summon powerful allies that act similarly to other players. Land, enchantments, artifacts, and creature cards are considered "permanents" as they remain in play until removed by other spells, ability, or combat effects.
Individual cards may be listed as "restricted", where only one copy can be included in a deck, or simply "banned", at the WPN's discretion. These limitations are usually for balance of power reasons, but have been occasionally made because of gameplay mechanics. For example, with the elimination of the "play for ante" mechanic in all formal formats, all such cards with this feature are banned. During the COVID-19 pandemic which drew more players to the online Magic games and generated volumes of data of popular deck constructions, Wizards was able to track popular combinations more quickly than in a purely paper game, and in mid-2020, banned additional cards that in specific combinations could draw out games far longer than desired.
Most cards in Magic are based on one of five colors that make up the game's "Color Wheel" or "Color Pie", shown on the back of each card, and each representing a school or realm of magic: white, blue, black, red, and green. The arrangement of these colors on the wheel describes relationships between the schools, which can broadly affect deck construction and game execution. For a given color such as white, the two colors immediately adjacent to it, green and blue, are considered complementary, while the two colors on the opposite side, black and red, are its opposing schools. The Research and Development (R&D) team at Wizards of the Coast aimed to balance power and abilities among the five colors by using the Color Pie to differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of each. This guideline lays out the capabilities, themes, and mechanics of each color and allows for every color to have its own distinct attributes and gameplay. The Color Pie is used to ensure new cards are thematically in the correct color and do not infringe on the territory of other colors.
The color wheel can influence deck construction choices. Cards from colors that are aligned such as red and green often provide synergistic effects, either due to the core nature of the schools or through designs of cards, but may leave the deck vulnerable to the magic of the common color in conflict, blue in the case of red and green. Alternatively, decks constructed with opposing colors like green and blue may not have many favorable combinations but will be capable of dealing with decks based on any other colors. There are no limits to how many colors can be in a deck, but the more colors in a deck, the more difficult it may be to provide mana of the right color.
Richard Garfield had an early attachment to games during his youth: before settling down in Oregon, his father, an architect, had brought his family to Bangladesh and Nepal during his work projects. Garfield did not speak the native languages, but was able to make friends with the local youth through playing cards or marbles. Once back in the United States, he had heard of Dungeons & Dragons but neither his local game store nor his friends had a copy, so he developed his own version of what he thought the game would be based on the descriptions he had read, which considered closer to Clue, with players moving from room to room fighting monsters with a fixed end-goal. When Garfield eventually got copies of the Dungeons & Dragons rulesets, he was surprised that it was a more open-ended game but was "dreadfully written". Dungeons & Dragons's open-endedness inspired him, like many others, to develop their own game ideas from it. For Garfield, this was a game he called Five Magics, based on five elemental magics that were drawn from geographically-diverse areas. While this remained the core concept of Five Magics, Garfield continued to refine the game while growing up, often drastically changing the base type of game, though never planned to publish this game.
Garfield returned to Pennsylvania and set off designing the game's core rules and initial cards, with about 150 completed in the few months after his return. The type of gameplay centered on each color remained consistent with how Five Magics had been and with how Magic: The Gathering would stay in the future, such as red representing aggressive attacks. Other games also influenced the design at this point, with Garfield citing games like Cosmic Encounter and Strat-o-matic Baseball as games that differ each time they are played because of different sets of cards being in play. Initial "cards" were based on using available copyrighted art, and copied to paper to be tested by groups of volunteers at the university. About six months after the meeting with Adkison, Garfield had refined the first complete version of his game. Garfield also began to set the narrative of the game in "Dominia", a multiverse of infinite "planes" from which players, as wizards, can draw power from, which would allow for the vast array of creatures and magics that he was planning for the cards.
Garfield had established that Magic: The Gathering took place in a Multiverse with countless possible worlds (planes), the game's primary events taking place on the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica, Zendikar, and Innistrad. Only extremely rare beings called Planeswalkers are capable of traversing the Multiverse. This allows the game to frequently change worlds so as to renew its mechanical inspiration, while maintaining planeswalkers as recurrent, common elements across worlds. Players represent planeswalkers able to draw on the magics and entities of these planes to do battle with others. Story elements were told through the cards' flavor text, and a driving narrative. The first expansion Arabian Nights designed by Garfield was based on One Thousand and One Nights folklore and include figures from that like Aladdin.
The secondary market started with comic book stores, and hobby shops displaying and selling cards, with the cards' values determined somewhat arbitrarily by the employees of the store. Hobbyist magazines, already tracking prices of sports trading cards, engaged with the Magic secondary market by surveying the stores to inquire on current prices to cards, which they then published. With the expansion of the Internet, prices of cards were determined by the number of tournament deck lists a given card would appear in. If a card was played in a tournament more frequently, the cost of the card would be higher (in addition to the market availability of the card). When eBay, Amazon, and other large online markets started to gain popularity, the Magic secondary market evolved substantially, with the site TCGPlayer.com launched in 2008 being the first that not only compiled the pricing data but allowed for players to buy and sell cards for Magic and other CCGs directly via the site. TCGPlayer developed a metric called the TCG Market Price for each card that was based on the most recent sales, allowing for near real-time valuation of a card in the same manner as a stock market. Buying and selling Magic cards online became a source of income for people who learned how to manipulate the market. 041b061a72