When grading cards, we primarily grade cards from the back side of a single-faced card, and both sides of double-faced cards and foil cards. All condition guidelines listed below refer to the back side of a card unless otherwise specified.
Conditions for double-faced cards and foil cards are determined by the lowest condition on either side of the card (front or back).
Our staff are trained in all the condition guidelines listed below.
Near Mint (NM)
Cards in Near Mint condition may show minimal wear but are still close to Mint condition. Cards in this condition are generally indistinguishable from other cards in this condition. Near Mint cards are always legal for tournament play.
If there are multiple issues present on the same card, the card is likely to be graded as Played.
Minor Scratching Minor Foil Scratching Minor Border Wear Minor Corner Wear Minor Clouding Minor Foil Clouding Minor Printing Defects Minor Misprints Minor scratching indicates scratches that do not remove any color from the card (they're not visibly white). Scratches should be either isolated to a single area, or be minor in two or three small areas.
- Examples of cards in Near Mint condition that show minimal wear but are still considered to be Near Mint condition. Minor Scratching, Nicks, Impressions, Clouding, Printline and Misprints do not affect the grade of the card.
Cards in Played condition show definite wear. Cards in this condition could have a number of grading issues to the card, listed below. Played cards won't necessarily look similar to one another. Played cards are always legal for tournament play in a sleeve.
Played cards can have multiple of these listed issues. However, the more unique issues a Played card has, the more likely it is to be graded Heavily Played instead.
Scratching Minor Bends Shuffle Crease Moderate Border Wear Moderate Foil Border Wear Moderate Corner Wear Minor Mid-Card Whitening Very Minor Dirt Very Minor Water Damage Binder Impressions Any Non-Flat Cards Any Non-Flat Foil Cards Moderate Misprints/Printing Defects Signed/Stamped Cards Any clearly noticeable scratching on the face or back of the card. Scratching on Played cards may show white on non-foil sides of cards or silver on foil sides of cards.
- Examples of cards in Played condition that show moderate wear, usage and damages along different parts of the card. Such examples shown above are: Noticeable scratches, bends that are not creases, shuffle creasing, noticeable border wear, silvering along borders of foil cards, slightly bent/compressed corners, whitening, dirt on card and cards that have been signed or stamped.
Heavily Played (HP)
Heavily Played condition cards may show extreme wear. Heavily Played are tournament playable sleeved or double sleeved. We sell very few individual cards in this condition on our website in addition to selling Heavily Played cards as part of some clearly-named lots.
Heavily Played cards can have the widest range of condition issues.
Any Inking Dirt Moderate to Major Water Damage Major Whitening Major Corner/Border Wear Massive Shuffle Creasing Bulk Shuffle Creasing Creasing Any Indention Any Delamination Any Foil Delamination Anything other than a small or largely unnoticeable dot of ink is Heavily Played.
- Examples of Heavily Played condition cards. Traits of such cards in this condition are as follows: Inkage, beyond a small amount of dirt on surface, moderate water damage, large and visible whitening on surface, significant wear/damage to borders, shuffle creasing (>15%), visible bends, major indentations.
Damaged condition cards are torn or have holes, have significant water damage over the entire card, are bent or warped, or have severe bends.
Any Tearing/Holes Odor Other Any tearing on the card.
- Examples ofDamaged condition cards. They have the worst damages possible which commonly include: tears along any part of the card, cards that are unable to lie flat, cards that have foreign dirt/stains, cards surfaces peeling/peeled, major creases/bends visible, indentations and folding