Condition Guide

The condition of a Magic card has a significant effect on the value of the card, so it is important to have an understanding of how to value the condition of a card. We at The Card Collective have created this guide to give you an idea of what to expect when you sell or buy from us.


Common terms used when valuing Magic cards are NM, LP, EX as well as an array of other abbreviations. It can be overwhelming if you don’t know what these abbreviations mean. Additionally there are both American and European terms and as such the same condition can be described by different terms dependent on which of the lists below you refer to. On our website we follow the American standard when valuing our cards. 

American

European

Near Mint (NM)

Near Mint (NM)

Lightly Played (LP)

Excellent (EX)

Moderately Played (MP)

Good (GD)

Moderately Played (MP)

Lightly Played (PL)

Heavily Played (HP)

Played (PL)

Heavily Played (HP)

Heavily Played (HP)
Damaged (DMG) Poor (PO)

A Lightly Played (LP) card on the American scale is a lot nicer than a European Lightly Played (LP) card.  

  

Near Mint (NM)

Near Mint cards are generally cards without scratches, though tiny errors along the edges or corners are allowed. A Near Mint card is not allowed to have a scratched or damaged surface, nor can it have any types of bending or damage from use.

Examples of near mint

Lightly Played (LP)

Lightly Played cards are allowed to have the same sizes of damages as Near Mint cards, though they are allowed to have a bit more of them. They are allowed to have 2-3 smaller scratches or one larger scratch along the edges or corners. The surface is allowed to have tiny scratches that are only visible by closely examining the card. They are not allowed to have any types of bends or damage from use.  

 Lightly played example

Moderately Played (MP)

Moderately Played is a very wide category, which covers two of the European categories (GD and LP). Cards in this category are allowed to have the same type of damages as a Lightly Played card, but is also allowed to have more of them, as well as a bit larger damages. Clearly visible damages to the surface or plentiful scratches, places these types of cards in the MP-category even though their edges may be in Near Mint condition. A moderately played card is not allowed to have any bends but is allowed to have smaller damages from use e.g., if it has been played without the use of sleeves.  

Moderately played example

Heavily Played (HP)

Heavily Played cards are clearly worn along the edges, corner, and on the surface. Even though Heavily Played cards are damaged they are still playable when carried in sleeves.

Heavily played banner

Damaged(DMG)

The Damaged category can be a bit confusing, as these cards can, at first glance, look like cards from every other category. Common for these cards though, is that they are all worn in some way. Some cards may be bent or buckled, or there may be drawings or writing on the surface (this is also called an inked card) etc.
The severity of the damage can vary greatly, which means that some DMG-cards can look a lot nicer than cards in the HP-category.  

We do not sell cards in this category, if we believe they are no longer playable even in a sleeve. The price for the card is determined based on how severe the damage is.

Damaged card example

Foils

  • Bent Cards - Foil cards, also known as premium cards, can in some cases begin to bend. This occurs when the cards have been stored in an environment with a high or low humidity, which can affect the foil-layer applied to the card’s surface. A bent card can still be considered Near Mint if the rest of the card meets the criteria.
    Be aware that this can affect whether the card can be played at officially tournaments sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast, as a bent card can be categorized as a “marked card” and is as such not recommended for competitive play.

  • Clouding - Dark areas can also occur on the card and is referred to as clouding. In case of noticeable clouding the card will not be able to be categorized as Near Mint even though the rest of the card may meet the required criteria. Depending on how severe the clouding is, it can still be considered a Lightly or Moderately Played card.

 damaged foils banner

At The Card Collective we store all of our cards safely and responsibly under the correct conditions to make sure the cards are kept in the best possible condition.