Premium Planeswalkers to pilfer your wallet.
Planeswalkers are an enduringly popular card type in MTG. From generating value turn after turn to serving as control deck finishers or as the centerpiece of the Superfriends archetype, you can find these powerful game pieces ticking up loyalty counters on tables across the globe.
While planeswalkers are largely printed at mythic and rare, meaning they are already rare and potentially valuable at base, certain printings and special promotions are worth infinitely more than their standard counterparts. Excluding particular rare variants, such as misprinted cards or graded game pieces, these are the most expensive walkers you can find on the market:
#10 Basri Ket (1st Place Japanese Planeswalker Event Promo)
Planeswalker Event Promos
Market Price: $263.32
The Japanese-exclusive Planeswalker Events are some of the more hyped events outside of the States. They feature similarly exclusive promos for those that participate, with the winners walking away with unique walkers that are all but guaranteed to fetch a commanding price. Basri Ket is among the “least” valuable of these (basically only because the walker himself is pretty mid) but shipping these across the sea adds dollars (and yen, for that matter).
#9 Karn, the Great Creator (Prerelease Japanese Alternative Art)
Market Price: $284.75
Be prepared to see plenty of Japanese on these cards, as their exclusive alternative art treatments have a lot of appeal to collectors. A large part of that appeal lies in the playability of a card, and Karn, the Great Creator sees plenty of play as an artifact hate piece. Combine that playability with stunning art and the extra rarity bump as a prerelease promo and you’ve got the perfect recipe for money.
#8 Gideon Blackblade (Prerelease Japanese Alternative Art)
Market Price: $337.98
Magic: The Gathering doesn’t see as much pull from the “waifu effect,” but Gideon is a curious example of what can only be described as the himbo phenomenon. The buff meathead of a heroic character is well-loved by a substantial number of players, and the rarest version of him yet printed has a price tag to reflect that. This is the most premium way to show your love for Gideon, period.
#7 Jace, Memory Adept (SDCC 2013 Exclusive)
Market Price: $349.95
Magic’s poster child, Jace has been the face of the game for quite some time. The somewhat edgy, hooded mind mage is loved by many (and reviled by others), but the iconic nature of the character regularly boosts the value of his cards. The SDCC 2013 version of Jace is the most valuable variant of the character, the limited edition making it very hard to find.
#6 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (Prerelease Japanese Alternative Art)
Market Price: $479.92
The most powerful version of Nissa (and mono-green Commander staple) is still another popular planeswalker. Once more, the extremely limited print run of prerelease Japanese promos skyrockets this card near the top of the price charts. Combine that with the attractive and evocative “anime” style art and this almost breaking into the top five is no surprise.
#5 Liliana, Dreadhorde General (1st Place Japanese Planeswalker Event Promo)
Planeswalker Event Promos
Market Price: $499.99
Take everything I said about Basri Ket above and (literally) multiply it by several factors. In addition to being a rare, international promo that’s only handed out to a select few players, Liliana is one of the most iconic characters in the game. Jace may have gotten more screen time, but Liliana steals essentially any “scene” she is in. Dreadhorde Liliana has the added bonus of being another great Commander card attached to a lovely iteration of the character.
#4 Liliana of the Dark Realms (SDCC 2013 Exclusive)
Market Price: $579.93
Drop dead gorgeous. The most valuable SDCC exclusive card is genuinely one of the prettiest cards in the game, the black treatment with Liliana’s trademark purple scars shining out is genuinely something to behold (digital renders just don’t do it justice). While the card itself is decidedly mediocre (often serving as a one-shot buff or kill spell with the -3 and not much else), the remarkable aesthetics here at least has it looking great on its trip to the graveyard.
#3 The Wandering Emperor (1st Place Japanese Planeswalker Event Promo)
Planeswalker Event Promos
Market Price: $650.00
While this one might be inflated slightly by recency bias, The Wandering Empreror as a whole has seen plenty of play and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. The power of the planeswalker, aided by evocative art and the rarity of 1st place wins earning these promos, all join together for a valuable package. Interestingly, Japanese promos of Kamigawa cards also tend to fetch a slightly higher price for players who just love that Japanese aesthetic, which is no doubt helping this out as well.
#2 Narset, Parter of Veils (Prerelease Japanese Alternative Art)
Market Price: $780.49
One of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed, Narset has seen play across essentially every format in the game. She may be simple enough in design, but it turns out neutering opposing draw power, making Wheel of Fortune effects discard spells, and piling on value over time is an impressive package.
Now, take that card, find the most rare printing of it, making it only available in Japan, and give it the anime-inspired art that many players absolutely adore. It’s the perfect package if you’re trying to imagine a card worth a significant amount, especially as she’s popular in certain cEDH decks that players often love to make as shiny as possible.
#1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General (Prerelease Japanese Alternative Art)
Market Price: n/a
While the rarity of the cards themselves is often the driving force behind their value, this variant of Liliana has a very special difference that makes it worth many times more than its counterparts: the fame of its artist. Yoshitaka Amano is a renowned artist in his own right, but he is most famously known for his work creating the artistic, visual designs for the Final Fantasy series of video games.
The prerelease, Japanese alternative art version of Liliana here features his evocative style, transforming what is already a rare and powerful game piece into a coveted item that many consider a genuine work of art. As a fan of Amano’s work myself, I am more than pleased to see this recognized as the most valuable planeswalker.