Card Conditions & Grading

At Star City Games® we strive to be an industry leader in accurate grading of Magic: The Gathering cards.
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 is 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.

Played (PL)

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.


Heavily Played (HP)

Heavily Played 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 are primarily sold in-person at events so the purchaser may view the card before making a purchase. Heavily Played cards can have the widest range of condition issues.

Damaged (DM)

Damaged cards are torn or have holes, have significant water damage over the entire card, are bent or warped, or have severe bends. We do not sell damaged cards online, and only occasionally sell them in person at events.

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