Last updated on October 31, 2022
I remember my 30th birthday. There were dragons, planeswalkers, and foil promos everywhere. Wait for a second, I might be getting my 30th mixed up with Magic’s birthday. Oh well, at least there was cake at mine!
But that’s right! Magic turns 30 this year, and to celebrate WotC is spreading the love with a batch of “30th Anniversary promos” to give out to players. Whether you’re a collector or a Commander enthusiast you’ll want to get your hands on some of these cards, and I’m here to tell you how.
Let’s get into it!
What Are the Magic 30th Anniversary Promos?
Fyndhorn Elves | Illustration by Igor Kieryluk
The 30th Anniversary promos are a collection of cards that were hand-picked to celebrate Magic’s 30th “birthday” as a game. There’s a different promo for each year, all the way from 1993 leading up to 2022.
Each promo comes in a premium foil version and features a date stamp in the art to indicate which year that card was printed. Some have new art or flavor text while others come exclusively in different languages. Others, like 1993’s Serra Angel, just represent an iconic printing from Magic’s history.
How Many 30th Anniversary Promos Are There?
There are 30 total promos in the 30th Anniversary collection, one for each year Magic’s been creating cards. Each one corresponds to the year that card was originally printed. Only three have been officially released to players so far.
List of Magic 30th Anniversary Promos
Here are all of the 30th Anniversary promos you have to look forward to. Note that the 2022 promo comes from Magic’s upcoming The Brothers’ War and hasn’t been revealed yet.
- 1993: Serra Angel
- 1994: Ball Lightning
- 1995: Fyndhorn Elves
- 1996: Wall of Roots
- 1997: Wood Elves
- 1998: Windfall
- 1999: Loyal Retainers
- 2000: Kor Haven
- 2001: Vindicate
- 2002: Exalted Angel
- 2003: Temple of the False God
- 2004: Eternal Witness
- 2005: Chord of Calling
- 2006: Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
- 2007: Tarmogoyf
- 2008: Glen Elendra Archmage
- 2009: Acidic Slime
- 2010: Terastodon
- 2011: Hornet Queen
- 2012: Harvester of Souls
- 2013: Kalonian Hydra
- 2014: Goblin Rabblemaster
- 2015: Dragonlord Atarka
- 2016: Dramatic Reversal
- 2017: Path of Ancestry
- 2018: Beast Whisperer
- 2019: Dovin's Veto
- 2020: Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
- 2021: Deadly Dispute
- 2022: TBA
How Do You Get the Magic 30th Anniversary Promos
Attend Prerelease Events
These promos are going to be released in batches of three or four at a time. They’ll be linked to every prerelease event leading up through the end of 2023. Game stores are going to get an allotment of promos for each upcoming prerelease event, and it’s at each store’s discretion to decide how to distribute those promos.
I personally played DMU prereleases at two different game stores, one of which handed out these promos to each participant as a sign-up bonus while the other awarded a single promo to any player with a 3-0 record for the event. Talk to your local game stores to see how they intend to distribute these cards at their events.
Buy/Trade for Them
These particular promo versions are only going to be printed and distributed as part of the “Magic 30th Anniversary” celebration. This means your only option to get them if you miss at a prerelease event is buying or trading.
I’ll go over some of your options for buying these promos down below.
Why Are Some of the Promos Non-English?
The intention behind the non-English promos is to further celebrate the diversity of the game by showcasing cards that are representative of different countries and languages. Seven of the 30 total promos will come exclusively in a different non-English language that Magic cards are printed in.
There’s no correlation between which language was used on which cards. Some players speculated that the alternate languages were used on cards that represented the year that Magic started printing cards in that language, but this isn’t true. For example, 2001’s Vindicate is printed in Italian despite Italian Magic cards being first printed in 1994.
Here’s a complete list of the non-English promos available through this campaign:
- 1995’s Fyndhorn Elves is German.
- 1999’s Loyal Retainers is Chinese Simplified.
- 2001’s Vindicate is Italian.
- 2005’s Chord of Calling is Portuguese.
- 2007’s Tarmogoyf is Japanese.
- 2011’s Hornet Queen is French.
- 2013’s Kalonian Hydra is Spanish.
Are the 30th Anniversary Promos Worth Anything?
The prices of the Anniversary promos are likely to fluctuate depending on the card. It’s hard to say how much these will be worth in a year or two with only three currently released, but there will certainly be “highs” and “lows” in terms of expected value.
For example, the German Fyndhorn Elves handed out at Dominaria United prereleases currently goes for less than $10 on TCGPlayer, while the Ball Lightning handed out at the same events goes for less than $3.
How Much Are They Worth on Average?
Using the TCGPlayer market value of the three promos released so far, the average value of those cards is just under $5 each. It’s difficult to predict the prices of some of the upcoming promos, but this average is likely to increase given the playability of some of the later promos in this series.
Where Can You Buy Them?
Listings for the 30th Anniversary promos can be found on TCGPlayer, CardKingdom, Card Shop Live, and most other online Magic vendors. You can also find these cards available from individual sellers on eBay, but there’s less quality control over Magic products being sold on their platform.
Interestingly I couldn’t find and listings for the first three promos on Amazon, but I expect that’ll change over time.
Happy Birthday Magic!
That’s a wrap on the 30th Anniversary promos. Your best bet for getting your hands on these promos is to attend prerelease events at your local game store, so have a conversation with the stores in your area to see how they intend to distribute the cards. You might be out of luck if you miss a batch.
Hopefully I’ve answered any questions you have about the promos. Did I miss anything? What promo are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments below or join the discussion in the Draftsim Discord.
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