March of the Machine features loads of cards with special frames and artwork, but one treatment in particular seems to have left fans cold. The rare special frame cards featuring dinosaurs from Ixalan are, unexpectedly, less valuable on the secondary market than the regular versions.
The relevant MTG cards here are Ghalta and Mavren, and Etali Primal Conqueror. These cards feature a new showcase treatment, one of many developed for March of the Machine. This one’s specifically made for Ixalan, and shows the heads of the characters engraved on a gold coin, with aztec style artwork around the border.
But, it seems fans prefer their giant dinosaurs in full colour, with bodies attached, as it’s actually cheaper to pick up these special variants than it is to buy the normal versions. Neither card is exactly expensive, but regular Etali is $5.99 – two dollars more costly than the special frame version. Meanwhile, opting for the coin version of Ghalta and Mavren nets you a 50 cent discount.
If you compare this to the other MTG MOM cards with newly designed frames, it seems to be the rule that the special variants are slightly more expensive, so it’s definitely notable that the trend is reversed here. It certainly does seem to suggest that they’re unusually unpopular with the fanbase.
Redditor Desperada, who first called attention to the discrepancy between the cards’ prices, points out that this could be a bad sign for the upcoming Lost Caverns of Ixalan MTG set, if the border is used again here. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens or not, but it seems highly likely.