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How Much Does It Cost to Play Magic the Gathering?

How Much Does It Cost to Play Magic the Gathering

Just because you are starting to play Magic the Gathering does not mean you have to purchase rare cards like the 1993 Black Lotus (which has been sold for over $511,100 by the way!). In fact, unless you truly want to explore the world of Magic the Gathering, there really is no cost required to try it. 

You can start playing Magic the Gathering with as little as 20$ for an Arena Starter deck which consists of two ready to play decks. Magic the Gathering is inexpensive and there are plenty of community features that help newcomers accommodate themselves to their new hobby like cheap boosters, free packs, and an active trading market.

The cards of Magic: the Gathering differ in price which is why you will see fluctuations between collections. More expensive cards tend to be powerful but they can take up mana and be space-wasters in your deck unless they are used right. That means just because you are missing a few rare cards, does not mean your beginner’s deck is not powerful. Sometimes, you do not need to spend any money to get new cards!  

Is Magic the Gathering an Expensive Hobby?

Because cards vary in price, Magic the Gathering is a hobby in which your investments are only as large as you want them to be.  

The following prices common card prices in $USD:

  • Average price per common card: $0.46
  • Average price per foil card: $1.55
  • Cheapest Card: Free!
  • Most expensive card: $24,000

Magic the Gathering is no more expensive than any other trading card game. Most common cards can range anywhere between $0.30 to $1.00 a piece which means your average pack will cost around $25.  

Can You Play Magic: The Gathering on a Budget?

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It does not cost a lot of money to play Magic the Gathering. The most affordable way to play Magic the Gathering is by purchasing booster packs which are pre-constructed decks that include a variety of card types like common cards, uncommon cards, rare cards, foil cards, and many more. 

Take for instance the Strixhaven Collector Booster pack which costs less than $25 and includes up to four mystical archive cards and two foils. It is the perfect start to the latest Magic mage deck and a nice asset for anyone looking to find a game that they can play on a budget.

Different Types of Magic: The Gathering Decks (Beginner to Advanced)

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The type of decks players use can range anywhere from a beginner’s kit all the way to a custom-built deck. I recommend you start with a beginner’s kit and slowly build your collection with booster decks and single packs. Once you are experienced, you can start structuring a deck of your own!

Purchase a simple deck like the core booster set which is affordable and has the potential to earn some of your money back (given you obtain the right cards). This 60-card deck has the right number of cards to play against a friend and get to know the flow of the game.

As you familiarize yourself with Magic the Gathering, consider purchasing single packs for casual building or single “collector booster” packs which is a single pack of cards that has been packed full of rares. 

As players become more experienced, their collection begins to grow which means you frequently see more rare, uncommon, and foil cards in a veteran player’s deck. That does not mean they spent hefty sums of money getting those in their deck though.

Tips for Building Cheap Magic the Gathering Deck

Whether you want to trade your cards or are more interested in spending as little money as possible, these are the best ways to build a cheap Magic: The Gathering card collection.

Purchase Magic the Gathering Cards Individually

Purchasing cards individually means you decide which cards go into your deck and you can control the amount of money you spend. Instead of $15 on commons, you can choose to spend that $15 on rares if you want to. Choosing your cards is a money-saver that can help strengthen your deck!

The one downfall to purchasing your cards online is that it eliminates the surprise factor. Face it, no matter how old you are, the best part about getting new cards is not the smell, it is ripping open the packaging!!

Get a Free MTG Deck From Your Local Game Store

Head down to your local games store and ask them if they have a free beginner’s Magic: The Gathering deck and odds are, they will!

There are two thirty-card decks inside the beginner’s pack so you can get used to the game alongside a friend.

Buy Magic: the Gathering Starter Kits

Starter kits are easily the most affordable purchases you can make, and they are a fantastic way to start your Magic: The Gathering collection. If you are looking to start your collection the right way, you should begin by starting broad so you can familiarize yourself with the Magic the Gathering territory before you begin pinpointing. 

Check Secondhand

If you are okay with purchasing used cards, you should check your local secondhand pawn shops, thrift stores, or yard sales and see if you can find a lot of cards.

You may be able to purchase a lot for the same price as a new booster pack. It is likely there will not be anything of value in there but this can be the perfect way to start building your collection. Even more, you can do some resale and trading with all the duplicate cards you choose not to keep. 

What Is a Good Starter Deck for Magic the Gathering?

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Ideally, beginners should start with a variety of cards. That means any 60-pack starter deck is a great way for new Magic players to begin. The 60-pack starter deck helps you grow your collection quickly and gain perspective into several things.

I suggest starting with the Arena Starter Kit. This kit comes in two 60-pack decks with 1 traditional foil card in each. It is the perfect introductory tool for beginners not only because of the wide selection of cards but also because they do an excellent job teaching you to play the game.

The Arena Starter Kit comes with a special Guide Booklet that teaches you how to play Magic the Gathering using clear and explicit instructions. This guide booklet is a long-term investment that you can use throughout your Magic career. At less than $10 for the whole thing, it is an absolute steal!

The ready-to-play deck and booster cards are two other great introductions to beginning your Magic journey because they contain just the right variation of cards to get you started. As you continue playing and learning more about the game, you will begin to use different cards. 

Final Thoughts

Magic the Gathering is an entertaining and community-driven hobby. If you are worried about affordability, you should not be. Magic: The Gathering is entirely affordable and it is convenient as well. Just purchase a pack of cards on Amazon and begin playing with a friend!

Using Amazon is the best way to find Magic the Gathering cards, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic which cleared the shelves of trading cards in most retailers. Amazon has all types of packs for beginners, rookies, and collectors and they come at reasonable prices, often with Amazon Prime delivery discounts!

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