Card Condition Grading Guide

Vault Single's marketplace aims to give you the clearest guide to conditions of what you're purchasing from, and sending to us. This guide should reduce ambiguity and make sure your expectations are met.

The challenge here is that there are no defined rules regarding the amount of marks a card can have or how severe those marks can get - every card is unique. With these guidelines, we aim to identify the best methods for evaluating card condition.

NOTE: Vault Singles does not accept Heavily Played or Damaged cards.

Signed or Altered Cards

All artist signed or altered cards, regardless of proof or not, are treated as DAMAGED cards. 

Near Mint

Near mint cards have minimal or 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 small nick or a few tiny scratches, but overall, they look unplayed. A Near Mint card will have no imperfections, or a few minor imperfections.

Near Mint Foils

Near Mint Foils canʼt have any scratches, clouding, print defects or visible damage or marks. They are nearly pristine cards because itʼs the most scrutinized card condition.

Lightly Played

Lightly Played cards may have some minor border or corner wear, or even some light scuffs or scratches. There's no major issues, like water damage, bends, or structural integrity problems. Noticeable imperfections are ok but none should be too severe or high in volume.  The acceptable range of Lightly Played cards include both cards with a handful of minor imperfections and those with a few more noticeable imperfections.

Lightly Played Foils

Lightly Played Foils 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.

Moderately Played

Moderately Played cards can have border wear, corner wear, scratching or scuffing, creases or whitening or any combination of mild examples of these marks. It 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 Foils

Warping, clouding, scratching and a little flaking are all fine on Moderately Played Foils. They are also allowed to have minor border wear. As long as there are no major defects, these minor flaws are okay.

Heavily Played

Heavily Played cards 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. These 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. Vault Singles does not accept Heavily Played cards.


Damaged cards can exhibit a tear, bend or crease that may make the card illegal for tournament play, even in a sleeve. If more than 10% of the card is damaged by liquid, it's considered Damaged. Damaged cards 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. Vault Singles does not accept Damaged cards.