Cubing on a budget – World Championship and Collector’s edition

Let’s dive straight in!

World Championship decks are packaged versions of the 4 decks which ranked top in the Magic World Championships, and were printed from 1999-2004. In this four year gap, we saw Urza block through to Mirrodin block, so there’s plenty of juicy cards to be picked up here.

The downside for us is that these cards have gold borders, and have their own distinctive black and red backing, dependent on the year, so we’ve got to play with them  sleeved, but bearing in mind noone should cube unsleeved, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people. The upside is that cards from these decks are not legal in any DCI event, which means there’s a very low demand for them, which means they’re dirt cheap.

Taking a quick sample of notable cards printed in world championship decks, and their costs, both gold bordered, and normal.

Card – Normal cost – Gold bordered cost

These costs are taken from the average prices from

Exalted Angel – $8.44 – $1.73

Wrath of God – $13.33 – $2.40

Recurring Nightmare – $12.88 – $5.45

Volrath’s Stronghold – $19.53 – $7.56

Yawgmoth’s Will – $13.39 – $4.72

Survival of the fittest – $36.36 – $5.94

Rishadan Port – $36.46 – $2.57

This means on average, a gold-bordered version costs about a quarter of the real thing. This means you can spend that extra money on more and more cards. Or dinner with your girl/boyfriend. Whatever, you save money, and that’s what counts here.

Collectors edition cards are square cuts versions of the beta print run, with gold borders on the back, with the words ‘Collector’s Edition’ written in gold ink.  This is not a good option for buying cards like Wrath of God, Armageddon, or Birds of Paradise, since they’ve been reprinted since and therefore have cheaper alternatives. This is an option almost exclusively if you’re buying the power 9 or original duals. A CE Ancestral Recall costs about $80, instead of the $600-$900 for the real thing, and a CE Black Lotus is a paltry $200,so you can see this is a pretty big saving on the power 9, if you choose to run them. For duals, they’re only usually about a third or a half the price of the real things, but across the cycle, that can easily be a saving of $100-$200.

International Edition is identical to collector’s edition in all respected bar one ; Instead of the words ‘ Collector’s Edition’ printed on the back in gold, instead the worlds ‘ International Edition’ are written. Therefore, some traders will treat them as identical cards. Collectors edition and international edition cards are not legal in DCI tournaments.

Thanks for reading,



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