Cards in Near Mint (NM) condition show minimal to no wear from shuffling, play or handling and can have a nearly unmarked surface, crisp corners and unblemished edges outside of a few minimal flaws. A Near Mint card may have a tiny edge nick or a tiny scratch or two, but overall look nearly unplayed with no major defects or flaws.
The acceptable range of cards within the Near Mint condition include both cards with no imperfections and cards with a few minor imperfections.
NEAR MINT FOIL
On foil cards, wear and blemishes are more easily noticed. As a result, grading Near Mint Foils (NMFs) is fairly simple: They canʼt have any scratches, clouding, print defects or visible damage or marks. Near Mint Foils are nearly pristine cards because itʼs the most scrutinized card condition.
Cards in Lightly Played (LP) condition may have minor border or corner wear or even just slight scuffs or scratches. There are no major defects such as liquid damage, bends or issues with the structural integrity of the card. Noticeable imperfections are okay, but none should be too severe or at too high a volume.
The acceptable range of cards within the Lightly Played condition include both cards with a handful of minor imperfections and those with a few more noticeable imperfections.
LIGHTLY PLAYED FOIL
Lightly Played Foils (LPFs) show minimal wear and very few surface flaws. Any flaws such as scratches are very slight, and no major imperfections or flaws should exist. Scratches in the art box tend to be more noticeable and factor more heavily than other flaws. Foils in Lightly Played condition may also have slight fading or signs of wear or slight warping.
Cards in Moderately Played (MP) condition can have border wear, corner wear, scratching or scuffing, creases or whitening or any combination of mild examples of these marks.
A Moderately Played card may have some form of a more major marking, such as creasing that doesnʼt affect card integrity, but not in combination with other issues such as scratches, scuffs or border/edge wear and not impacting a large area of the card.
MODERATELY PLAYED FOIL
Warping, clouding, scratching and a little flaking are all fine on Moderately Played Foils (MPFs). They are also allowed to have minor border wear. As long as there are no major defects, these minor flaws are okay on MPFs.
Cards in Heavily Played (HP) condition show a severe amount of wear. Cards with less than 30% of the surface being liquid damaged are typically accepted but may be considered Damaged if especially detrimental. HP cards can have one small instance of missing ink (such as if something is stuck to a card, then removed and pulls away part of the card), along with major creasing, whitening and border wear if the card can still be sleeve playable.
Cards in Damaged condition can exhibit a tear, bend or crease that may make the card illegal for tournament play, even in a sleeve. If more than 30% of the card is damaged by liquid, it’s considered Damaged. Cards in Damaged condition may have extreme border wear, extreme corner wear, heavy scratching or scuffing, folds, creases or tears or other damages that impacts the structural integrity of the card. (Note: No one likes to receive a card that is covered in a foreign substance, such as food, liquid or other material. Cards like these are not accepted through TCGplayer.)
Heavily Played and Damaged Foils
Heavily Played Foils (HPFs) and Damaged Foils follow the same rules as their non-foil counterparts.
Common things to look out for:
The card is not a different version than what is expected. The card must be the specific edition.
Common defects are typically okay, like when many copies of a particular card feature a uniform defect. Cards with print errors, ink inconsistencies and miscuts will be sold with separate images.
Not all cards pulled from a pack are Near Mint. Cards can be opened that have markings or damage, inking inconsistency or factory defects.