Magic in the CGC Cards Grading Room with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Posted on 1/11/2024

Originally released in 1994, several Legends booster packs were discovered by MTG employees, and the cards were distributed in modern packs.

Since CGC Cards™ began certifying trading cards in 2020, the grading room has seen many rare and valuable cards pass through. From high-grade examples of Magic: The Gathering’s Black Lotus to hundreds of Pokémon’s First Edition Base Set Charizard, CGC Cards has certified some truly impressive cards. Those cards stand out as the top target in their respective sets, and CGC Cards has recently certified a few more high-grade examples of another coveted early trading card set: MTG's The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale.

The History Behind The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

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In 1994, Wizards of the Coast released the sixth set in their wildly popular TCG, Magic: The Gathering. The set — dubbed Legends — introduced several card types and game mechanics that would carry into future MTG sets, including Legendary lands, multicolored cards, Rampage and cycles.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale is Legendary Land card that was not initially sought after when it released, but later proved to become one of the most powerful cards in the set. The land makes all players destroy their creatures unless they pay an upkeep cost of one every turn. The card was also a Land, which made it uncounterable. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale’s ability could take an unprepared player by surprise and end games quickly, so many players eagerly opened Legends packs to look for the fabled land.

Unfortunately for its fans, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale was included in MTG’s Reserved List when it was published in 1996 — a list of cards that WotC employees vowed to never reprint in future sets. Due to its obscurity and continued use in the Commander and other eternal formats of MTG play, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale has become rare in modern markets, and very expensive.

A "Legendary" Second Chance

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale remained in obscurity for decades, until Wizards of the Coast made a stunning announcement in 2022. WotC released a blog post on Magic: The Gathering’s website announcing that several palettes of Legends booster boxes had been recovered from a warehouse. After carefully opening all of the packs, the WotC team decided to include some of the pulled Legends cards in collector booster boxes of their upcoming Dominaria United set.

Players who opened collector booster boxes of Dominaria United had a chance of finding a Legends card in place of a common foil card. For the most part, most Legends cards were included in the re-release, though some Uncommons were excluded due to a distribution error during Legends’ initial release. Seven Rares, four other Uncommons and five Commons were also excluded due to being culturally insensitive.

One of the cards that was included in the re-release was The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and it was a rare find indeed. Wizards of the Coast warned collectors that they would only have a 3% chance of finding a Legends card in any Dominaria United collector booster pack. Meanwhile, the odds of finding a Rare Legends card was significantly less. According to additional sources, collectors would only have an average of a 0.02% chance (or 1 in 5,042) of pulling The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale from a Dominaria United booster box, which contains 12 booster packs.

Even with the additional pull chance in Dominaria United, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale remained incredibly elusive, and the second chance of pulling it only made the card more popular and sought after. Today, high-grade examples of The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale are worth thousands of dollars, and it is considered the top target in the set. According to the CGC Cards Population Report, CGC Cards has certified a total of 69 examples of The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, with one certified CGC Pristine 10 and five more CGC Gem Mint 10.

Do you have a rare card like The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale? Submit it to CGC Cards for expert authentication, grading and encapsulation services! Learn how to submit by clicking here.

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