Tag Archives: Grinder Finance

Grinder Finance – WTF is Printing and Collation?

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I’ve decided to start a little mini-series, appropriately titled “WTF is _” to take some time to discuss some topics that might not necessary be the most important finance topics but tangentially related to the cost of cards as a whole.  The first topic I’m going to talk about is collation.

Well if you go look up the word collation, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the way it’s used to describe Magic product so I’m assuming someone made the stretch to fit at some point in time.  I don’t know the etymology of the phrase but I know what it means.  Collation in Magic terms refers to the distribution of cards in a booster pack (or packs in a box, etc).   But before we can really dive into Magic’s collation process and what it’s doing today, we need to talk about the printing process first.

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Sheets

Since the dawn of time Magic cards have been printed on huge sheets of card stock and cut down into the much smaller cards we all play with today.  It’s not uncommon to see foil uncut sheets like these available at Grands Prix’s prize walls.  Generally each set has 3 sheets for each of the 3 rarities.  Generally…

Alpha

As a young upstart company without presumably a ton of financial resources it’s no surprise Alpha was a huge source of printing problems.  You ever want to make a vendor roll their eyes?  Ask them if they have any Alpha Volcanic Islands for sale.  Alpha was missing two cards that were part of Beta (Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection: Black) and that’s not even the worst part.

Here is a picture of Mark Rosewater standing in front of an uncut sheet of Beta rares.  You might not notice it quickly but I count 4 (FOUR!?) basic islands on this rare sheet and I can’t even see the whole thing!

mm45_beta1

In this second picture (of presumably a common, rare, and uncommon sheet) there yet still more basic lands on the uncommon sheet.

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mm45_betaAll

The short version of this story is don’t buy an unopened pack of old Magic.  You could get some very bad cards as your rare.

Experimental printing processes:

Have you ever heard someone say something’s rarity is “U2?”  No they’re not talking about the band, but rather another experimental and now defunct printing process (kind of).  Most people assume that the Legends Karakas is an uncommon and so is Mana Drain.  They’re from the same set, right? Well yeah but technically, Karakas is a U2 and Mana  Drain is a U1 which means there are twice as many Legends Karakas in existence than Mana Drains.  The U1/2 distinction is how many times each card appeared on the uncommon sheet.  That also happened with the common sheet which lead to some weird situations.  Hymn to Tourach is a C1 in Fallen Empires but it has 4 different arts so it’s on the sheet 4 times…  Some commons only had 3 different arts (this different art experiment was also a bad idea) which means despite them both being C1, there are more of some than others.  But Fallen Empires also has other problems like it only being printed on two sheets (the other sheet had U3, U2, and U1 cards – which were Uncommons, Slightly more Uncommons, and Rares).  Wizards has since learned something from these mistakes.

Modern Day Printing:

Today, there are 3 sheets.  Commons, Uncommons, and Rares.  But wait, what about mythics?  Well it’s pretty simple to explain.  With the introduction of the colored set symbols to denote rarity, it became imperative that each card at the same rarity was the “same rarity.”  Some cards, like Mythic rares appear slightly less often than other cards in the same slot so they have a new symbol but they are printed on the same sheet.  The rare sheet for modern sets has 2 of each rare and 1 of each mythic – making mythics twice as rare as rare without the confusing R2/1 notations. But wait, there’s more!  Flip cards can’t be printed on the same sheet as normal cards because they don’t have the same backing.  Thus we have sheets that contain only flip cards and they are cut and inserted into the packs later as well.  BUT WAIT – there’s still more!  With Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon I am going to go out on a limb and make the assumption that they have split the flip cards into two sheets.  One with commons and uncommons (1 goes in every pack) and one with rares and mythics (1 goes in some packs but doesn’t replace the other flip card).  This printing process is different from Innistrad and Dark Ascension where there was only ever 1 flip card in a pack.

Collation

Okay so now that we’ve had that history lesson on what printing is – let’s talk about collation.  In the oldest years of Magic there was no collation.  The cards were printed, packed, and shipped.  Many cards appeared in the same order in booster packs and the same rares in the same order.  I vaguely remember in my earlier years, while drafting Onslaught, that there were some cards that often appeared before or after Sparksmith on a sheet.  With this information I was able to tell if a Sparksmith was likely in the pack and base my further decisions on that.  If you didn’t draft Onslaught you probably don’t get why Sparksmith is so important.  Basically it’s like opening a Pack Rat at common.  Maybe not quite that bad, but whatever – I’m getting off topic.

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Recently

There have been strides made in order to limit the ability to know what rares would be in what packs.  This is also called “box mapping” and while I don’t do it or endorse it, many people try.  Some boxes are especially susceptible as a few years ago there was an app you could download to help you do it.  I don’t want to say it was box mapping for dummies, but it was.  As you can see here, it only took 8 packs to map out the entire box’s contents.  This is obviously very unsettling to people and had gone on through Gatecrash and Dragon’s MazeTheros introduced new colation processes that had some packs shift and/or columns move that made it much harder to do.  As far as I can tell, going forward it has been pretty hard to map boxes.

Problem Packs

On more than on occasion we have seen some colation failures and it’s almost always at the expense of the player.  Modern Masters 2015 had a comical number of errors.  I experienced two different drafts where the number of cards in the packs was not correct (missing foil, missing rare, extra foil, or extra rare).  Then you have weird stuff like this box where every pack had a mythic.  This also happened in Fate Reforged where there were a number of people that opened a fetchland in every pack.

Eldritch Moon

So we have another problem this time.  “Box Mapping” has become too easy for the average player.  As you can see in this video, you are able to tell which art packs in a case has all of the non-flip mythics in that case.  While it’s not quite as bad as knowing where every card is in a box of a set, you can find most of the mythics pretty easily across multiple boxes with this technique.  In fact, after you find one mythic you are very likely on your way to finding them all.  This is a big colation problem and might be a result of using a different colation process from Oath of the Gatewatch which weirdly had 4 booster wrappers instead of the usual 3 of a small set.  It might also be a problem with how they decided to package flip cards from this set and it was masked by the 5 booster wrappers in Shadows over Innistrad.  The short version of this story is don’t buy loose packs.  The long version of this story is all of the words it took to get here.

Final thoughts from Last weekend

  • So, Spell Queller.  Who’s ready for a year of this guy?  I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the next few days since it’s already a $10+ rare but man there are so many Spell Quellers in the T64 of SCG Columbus.
  • Moving forward I think there will be an uptick of 1 mana ways to kill Spell Queller (Aerial Volley, Fiery Impulse, etc) but I feel they may fall short of killing the rest of the Bant Company deck.
  • Not a big splash of Eldritch Moon cards in Modern.  I wouldn’t give up on your Allosaurus Riders / Eldritch Evolution deck but I’m not saying it’s likely to happen.
  • Pro Tour is a few weeks away.  If you see cards under performing don’t ditch them yet.  You have a good chance to cash out during a weekend of spikes.  Last Pro Tour I was able to sell all of my Dark Petitions for far more money than I should have been able to get for them.
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Grinder Finance – Eldritch Moon Spoiler Pt 2

lilianathelasthope

Are you not impressed?

Okay, so people are really down about the new Liliana.  I’m not so pessimistic about her chances of being good.  Let’s look at some hard data.

3 mana walkers

This is every three mana planeswalker ever printed in Magic.  For argument’s sake, I’ve included the 3-mana flip walkers from Magic Origins.  By my memory, the only two cards here that did not see significant play were Ajani,Caller of the Pride and Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh.  The other eight planeswalkers were pretty close to staples at some point during their lifetime.

So if we just go by the odds, 80% is a pretty high rate of success on 3-mana Planeswalkers.  The fact that three of the four most recent ones have also been successes leads me to believe there may be more than meets the eye on Liliana, the Last Hope.  My look on the card right now as a player –  I’d buy four copies instantly for $10 without giving much of a second thought.  I’d probably consider buying them at $15.  If I was sure I needed them day 1, I wouldn’t be opposed to spending $20 on my copies.  I don’t want to try to sell you on Liliana but I am pretty sure I’m happy paying 3 mana for a Gravedigger since that’s most of what Liliana, Defiant Necromancer did anyway.  And you have to jump through less hoops.

oathofliliana

I think Oath of Liliana is a fine card but right now it will likely be relegated to bulk duty.  Similar to Oath of Gideon, Oath of Jace, and Oath of Chandra – this Oath costs a little too much mana to be a reliable card to play in Standard.  It will often nab a token, a 1 mana 2/1 human, or 3-drop that someone only paid two mana for because it was put into play with Collected Company.  I think casually these will be worth a nice bit because it finishes the cycle.  I’d expect them to be $2-3 in 2 years so it will be a great card to throw in a box and forget you own.

deploythegatewatch

Well I never thought I’d see Liliana on art for a white card but here we are.  This card is going to either be busted or a casual all star.  As such, I wouldn’t recommend doing anything with copies you open for a year or so.  There’s almost no upside to move any of your copies before the PT.  That being said, I am not sure what they will pre-order for but I have a feeling the number will be a trap.  Due to how many mythics are typically in pre-constructed decks (like Commander, Duel decks, etc) I don’t see this card having a high chance of getting reprinted.  It’s going to be a blue chip stock for years due to being a small set mythic.  Think Akroma’s Memorial.

decimatoroftheprovinces

This isn’t Craterhoof Behemoth and you have to non-bo and sac a guy to get the 7/7.  There are worse things but It’s not terribly hard to fit this into a G/W Tokens sideboard or as a finisher in Cryptolith Rite deck.  I’m not bullish on his ability to emerge as a top tier standard card.  He will probably be a $5 EDH card for a few years.

elderdeepfiend

This guy may or may not be the truth.  He has a lot going for him when you think of him as a Mistbind Clique.  You get to tap down their lands and then brick their attacks with a sizeable 5/6 body.  Flash and Emerge are a match made in heaven so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eldrazi Skyspawner or Matter Reshaper being turned into an Elder Deep-Fiend.  It does cost 8 so you probably can’t play a ton of them without it clogging up your hand but it does give you an exceptionally cheap way to trigger Kozilek’s Return and Sanctum of Ugin.  I’m probably going to try to order a set for $10.

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distendedmindbender

I am less excited about this guy but he is awkwardly very good against collected company decks.  He can grab a Company and the cards that Company hits.  So he’s in this awkward spot where he’s best against an opponent that has a very good hand already.  Black isn’t a color I’m thrilled to play at the moment but this guy may find his time in the spotlight.  I wouldn’t be disappointed paying $1 for this.

voldarenpariah

Yeah whatever man more black cards.  Okay this is a really weird card because it’s extremely powerful but the casting cost restrictions are so ass-backwards with the last set.  The aggressive vampires deck theoretically wants to play early red mana because the red vampires are better at the lower points in the curve but the most powerful vampires out of this set have heavy black requirements.  Voldaren Pariah is certainly much better than Incorrigible Youths if you can figure out how to cast it.  Which then leads to the question – is this even a card that kind of deck wants to play?  I think it looks much better paying the full retail in a Cryptolith Rite deck and then binning some Eldrazi Scions to kill their army of 2/3s.  You’re left with a 6/5 flying creature which is rather large.  I’m not sure where we end up but I think there are some lines to make this card very good.  If its the kind of card you’d like to play $3 seems like a good pre-order price.

eldritchevolution

This is a rare.  Not a mythic.  Remember that when you go to pre-order a bunch of copies.  It won’t be this expensive in a few months, especially if it doesn’t pan out in Modern.   I think this will be a relatively shallow role player but it could see a big spike with Modern adoption.  If you’re a casual player and want one for EDH just wait until Kaladesh spoilers.  You’ll likely be able to find them for $5-8 unless they break out in Modern.

In Standard I don’t see this really making waves because it will likely just upgrade your guy that can get Reflector Mage’d into another guy that will probably get Reflector Mage’d.    I’m not expecting it to be as ubiquitous as Collected Company.  I’m not buying them for more than $5 and I’m selling during the Pro Tour.

tamiyofieldresearcher

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is played as 4 copies in multiple different Standard decks.  I’m not sure Tamiyo can be support as more than 2 of in a few decks.  As such I think any of the pre-order price tags above $10 are pretty insane.  This card’s planeswalker tax is a little too high for me at the moment.  I think it’s likely she ends up in the $8-12 range as a support walker like Ob Nixilis, Reignited.  She will probably be a bit more than Ob because she’s in the summer set.

ishkanahgrafwidow

This guy will also probably be a bulk mythic near release but I think he’s got some possibility of being good in Standard.  He blocks Avacyn and Gisela reasonably.  His delerium trigger makes him less embarassing than Gitrog Monster against Reflector Mage.  And although his activate ability is pretty expensive, it’s not terribly unreasonable that you might activate a few times to finish a game.  Green and Black decks have typically enjoyed mana sinks no matter how “bad” they may seem.  This card might slot into the Sultai Midrange deck as a way to combat pesky humans with Gryff’s Boon.  I’m expecting foils to be expensive but I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds a $3-5 price tag in Standard while it’s dominated by Angels.

spiritofthehunt

Here’s another way to not timewalk yourself while flipping your werewolves.  It’s kinda cute that you can Collected Company into him for a few months.  I’m not sure this is the missing link to push our lycanthrope friends over the top.  I imagine it will be a solid $1-2 casual card.  The rate for the creature isn’t terrible but it’s got much less utility than Bounding Krasis.

collectivebrutality

I guess this is another way to discard a Fiery Temper?  If we get some 0 mana madness cards that aren’t embarrassing then the stock of this spell goes up greatly.  It’s got some reasonable modes for 2 mana so I wouldn’t be surprised to see people discard lands to drain their opponent.  This seems like a solid role player.  I would pick up a set after release and try to stick around $1.

Final Thoughts

  • This set looks really good, much like Oath of the Gatewatch.  I’d keep a close eye on supply and buy the cheaper rares and mythics in a few months before Kaladesh spoilers start.
  • We’re only a month away from the release of Conspiracy 2.  I have to imagine money crunch is going to be worse than Magic Origins last year.
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Grinder Finance – Building on a Budget & Eldritch Moon

*Ding ding ding* It’s all over folks.  I bring to you, the back to back StarCityGames.com Open series champion, Boros Humans!  While this deck has been piloted both times by the Boss of aggro himself, Tom Ross, it is clear it’s a contender to win any large tournament.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Tom Ross doesn’t build decks with a shoestring budget and his card choices are just because they are the best.

Boros Humans is the best competitive deck to play on a budget

The entire main deck of Boros humans costs approximately the same amount as a playset of Archangel Avacyn.  When was the last time you could spend $100 on a main deck that has won two SCG Opens?  In fact if you wanted to skimp early on Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Secure the Wastes you can build the whole sideboard for less than $13.  This deck is an insane amount of power for how cheap the cards are.

kytheonheroofakros

It’s future proof

The main deck only contains 11 rares that will rotate in the fall.  Kytheon, Knight of the White Orchid, and Battlefield Forge are the only causalities and it’s unlikely to really cause that big of a drop off in the deck.  We’ve already seen strong green and blue human strategies that can pick up some of the slack of the rotating cards when Kaladesh comes out.  It’s important when you have a small budget to spend on Magic to pick a deck that the majority isn’t rotating soon.  That makes it a lot harder to keep up with the game when you need to buy a new deck every 6 months.

Starting Small

Don’t have $200 to drop on a new deck right now?  No problem.  You can buy the bulk of the commons and uncommons for a few bucks and focus on the chase rares as you can.  I’d strong recommend getting the Shadows over Innistrad rares first because those are the best investments long term.  When building decks that are not “quite” to spec it’s always best to get the newest cards as they will last you the longest.  Thalia’s Lieutenant, Always Watching, and Declaration in Stone are all your army of 2/1’s really need to rattle off a few big wins.  Getting them earlier will greatly increase your win percentage at local tournaments.

Eldritch Moon

We got some spoilers yesterday, let’s talk about them.

emrakulthepromisedend

13 mana 13/13 on the plane known for it’s love/hate relationship with 13? Triskaidekaphobia indeed.  Ok let’s break down this card to see it’s financial relevance.  Currently in Standard there are 7 card types (Enchantment, Planeswalker, Creature, Artifact, Land, Instant, and Sorcery) so best case scenario this will cost 6.  The power and toughness alone makes it a bargain at 6 mana but more likely it will cost 8 to 10 mana.  Still not bad for a 13/13 creature with Flying and Trample.

The next important thing to realize is protection from Instants is especially good at keeping it alive for your opponent’s Mind Slavered turn.  Many people have pointed out that Stasis Snare gets a lot better because it is an answer that you can play at instant speed that is not actually an instant.  At three card types in your graveyard, Emrakul becomes a lot like Ulamog in terms of stabilizing and winning the game.  She’s larger and flies and has the potential to cost less mana but has more trouble killing permanents that can’t kill themselves or aren’t creatures.  She kills similarly fast (two attacks) to Ulamog and has some build in protection (Protection from instants).  I’m not honestly sure which is better.

If you’re trying to kill someone with damage (say with a Nahiri) then the 13/13 flying trample is obviously much better than a 10/10 indestructible.  All I can say at this point is it’s not clear cut which is better.

coaxfromtheblindeternities

So this is the new Spawnsire of Ulamog?  It’s rather lackluster and will likely end up a bulk rare.  The only thing I will mention is that this wish is not templated like the other wishes from Judgement or Future Sight.  The older Wishes were originally able to pull cards from exile because it was called the “removed from the game” pile at the time.  This card functions the same way as those cards used to.  It will allow you to coax Emrakul out from a Stasis Snare or bring an Ulamog back that had been exiled by Nahiri.

ulrichofthekrallenhorde ulrichuncontestedalpha

Ulrich is a really interesting card.  It’s the new Huntmaster of the Fells in a way.  It rewards deck building that can flip the card back and forth.  Ulrich naturally synergizes with instant speed cards (like Collected Company and Moonlight Hunt) as well as cards that can find a use for your mana that isn’t casting spells (like Duskwatch Recruiter and Eldrazi Displacer).  This sounds like he could be a good fit for a more aggressive Collected Company style deck but it’s hard to top Reflector Mage’s power level.  We need to see more cards from Eldritch Moon but there is definitely potential for him to be a Standard power house.  I’m also cautiously optimistic in his ability to combo with Commune with Lava.  It allows you to pass the turn to flip him and then cast 2 or more spells on your next turn to flip him back.  But again, it’s really hard to make any real predictions until we’ve seen more than 3 cards.

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Grinder Finance – Eternal Masters part 2 : The Masters Quandry

ema class of 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s welcome the Eternal Masters class of 2016.  Otherwise known as the 21 cards currently pre-ordering for at least the cost of an Eternal Masters booster pack (at MSRP).  That’s right guys, of the 53 rares and 15 mythics, only 10 rares and 11 mythics are worth at least the cost of a pack.  But how does this compare to a normal set?  Currently (at retail prices) there are 24 cards in Shadows over Innistrad worth at least the cost of a booster (which for this exercise I assume is $3).  Shadows over Innistrad is a little weird with it’s flip cards but the number of break even cards is roughly the same.  What’s the problem then?  Finding Eternal Masters boosters at MSRP.  It is suggested, after all.

The Masters Quandry

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, can’t reprint expensive cards into oblivion.  It gets brought up often, but, Wizards of the Coast, a non-Hasbro subsidiary, did that exactly once.  Chronicles was a big problem and they are slowly trying to creep toward a middle ground.  This set will be a lot like Modern Masters and kill the price of a few casual cards but otherwise not make a dent in the prices of decks it is supposed to help.

The other issue with Masters sets is the need to “hold things back” for future Masters sets.  Modern Masters 2015 was generally perceived as underwhelming by the majority of people although it was more widely available at MSRP.  Without another round of reprints from the first set it was difficult to find enough new cards to print.  At some point, if they find it too difficult to reduce the over lap in Masters sets we might just get full set reprints (ie Modern Masters released in 2019).

These issues all culminate into a rather complex question: “How do we satisfy everyone?” I’m not sure there is an answer.

The Future of Eternal Masters

Well some of these cards will likely fluctuate up and down but there are some I am sure will see a sharp decline going into the end of the year.

shardless agentbaleful strixmaelstrom wanderer

All three of these cards made their debut in Planechase 2012.  Coincidentally, Planechase Anthology has already been announced to be including the Planechase 2012 decks and all of the planes.  Baleful Strix has already been reprinted in one supplementary product so it’s already not very expensive but Shardless Agent and Maelstrom Wanderer will likely quickly fall from their $10 pre-order price.  In fact, they may already be lower than $10 by the time this article is out.

Commander

The great Commander resource website, EDHrec.com, was able to get me some data about the playability of Eternal Masters cards. Here is a dump of the frequency of cards from Eternal Masters in the decklists they parse.  Unsurprisingly, Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, and Sensei’s Divining Top are 3 of the most played cards in their study.  They’re all extremely flexible, cheap, and powerful.  I woudn’t be worried about the prices of any of those changing much (although foils might get a little cheaper with more copies).  The biggest loser I can see on this list is Regal Force.  I expect this card’s price to take a bath similar to Adarkar Valkyrie.  Once a nearly $10 card based mostly on rarity the tiny print run has brought Adarkar Valkyrie into basically bulk rare territory.

Commander players tend to be more casual and even though you don’t need to pay for the cards you put on your decklists online, many people leave out prohibitively expensive cards in large numbers.  As a result I believe that we will not see much of a dip in the price of Mana Crypt.  It’s functionally very similar to Sol Ring (the most popular card in Commander – beating the next card, Command Tower, by about 30%) so the appeal to own a copy or five for your Commander decks is pretty high.  As a result, if the price drops any significant amount it will cross a lot of player’s thresholds into “purchasable.”  Mana Crypt started pre-order pricing on StarCity Games for $50.  As of this writing, it’s sold out at $90 which is just $30 less than the original printing.  The original printing is also sold out so it’s unlikely the demand for these can be satisfied this time.  I’m expecting Mana Crypt to follow Tarmogoyf as the chase mythic in all Eternal Masters sets.
spirit_awakening_riley2

Foils

Is it a little misleading that I’ve intentionally ignored the foil slot in calculating cards you can open in a booster pack to pay for it?  Maybe a little.  However, as of this writing, no stores have posted pre-order prices for foils.  It’s possible they don’t know the math exactly on how little they plan to open for pre-orders or they just don’t want to be the first one to blink.  The first store to set the prices of foils will be planting their flag in the ground and seeing if it sticks.  Some of these foils will be uncharted territory and it’s possible they could be leaving a lot of money on the table by being the first to sell out.  Let’s do a little recap on first time foils.

Technically first time foils (for completeness sake)

emmessi tome field of souls humble monk idealist giant tortoisephantom monster roots tidal wave wake of vultures

These cards all have original pack printings from Urza’s Saga or earlier.  There were no foil cards in those packs yet.  It’s unlikely any of these cards will light up any price graphs.

Expensive first time foils

ashnod's altar tooth and claw worn powerstoneperegrine drakepyroblasthydroblastbaleful strixcontrol magicgamblemalicious afflictionpyrokinesistoxic delugeunexpectedly absentwinter orb

Originally I had separated these into different groups.  One group of Commander foils, one group of Pauper foils, one group of Vintage and Legacy foils, one group of Cube foils, etc.  But I realized that breaking them down that way implies that there is no overlap and that’s just not true.  These first time foils will be worth some order of magnitude more than than their non-foil counter part.  Despite being an uncommon, I think Pyroblast foils will likely command the highest price tag on this list.

Missing Link

So as I stated earlier, Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, needs to hold some of the best cards for the next set.  What are the biggest missing cards from this set?  Well one obvious one is damna…

port

As many people have already become well aware, Rishadan Port was left off the reprint list this time.  I don’t often talk about Magic Online but this miss hurts MTGO the most.  Rishadan Port was creeping down to about 150 tickets (1 ticket is about $1) while people feared a reprint but immediately shot up 50 tickets once it was announced to not be in the set.   There is some incentive not to reprint Port again so quickly after it was just announced as a Judge foil but this one stings.  Rishadan Port is part of one of the few Legacy decks that doesn’t use any reserve list cards (Death and Taxes).  This card was likely selected to be held back for another Eternal Masters set in 2 years.

jitte

Umezawa’s Jitte is one of the best equipment ever printed and one of the few cards from Betrayer’s of Kamigawa  worth talking about.  This card is not quite as pricey as a lot of things included in Eternal Masters but it’s a really hard card to reprint in a draftable set.  Jitte is frequently seen as a one-man army type card that would almost assuredly be a mythic these days.  Every time we get a set that can reprint Jitte and is evades another printing there is a possibility the price goes up.  Umezawa’s Jitte has a GP Promo version but this was before full year promos.  As a result only 6 months of Umezawa’s Jitte promos means there are not that many to go around.  It’s only saving grace is you don’t often want more than one of this legendary equipment in your Legacy deck.

flusterstorm

Flusterstorm is a card that was “printed” many times online but only twice in paper.  Currently your choices for Flusterstorms in paper are the original Commander printing or judge foils.  At a minimum of almost $60, it’s fair to say Flusterstorm should be on Wizard’s radar for a reprint.  It’s possible that it still is on track to get reprinted this year.  Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to be released in two short months and could include some Legacy and Vintage reprints with multiplayer applicability. Flusterstorm’s Storm ability plays nicely with a 4 player game (as it was originally intended as a Commander counter spell).  I’m not saying it’s likely, but its possible we get Flusterstorm in Conspiracy: Take the Crown.

show and tell

Show and Tell is a wonderful card.  It’s wonderfully pricey and part of two Legacy decks that don’t lean heavily on the reserve list (Sneak and Show and Reanimator).  It’s also the card that I am most surprised is missing.  If there is anything they could leave out of Eternal Masters to be in Conspiracy: Take the Crown it’s Show and Tell.  That card is easy to put into a draft set because you can control the worst thing put into play.  It also plays pretty nicely with a multiplayer game.  I just hope if it get’s reprinted they use the Urza’s Saga art.  Nothing against Zack Stella, but this one is so much cuter.

counterbalance lotus petal

These last two are not terribly expensive, yet.  I would have expected them to get a reprint to help ease the price while it’s not high.  Wizards has shown reluctance to reprint very expensive cards close to their original rarity especially if they can be detrimental to a draft format.  I’m guessing when we see a Lotus Petal reprint it won’t be at common.

aether vial chalice of the void damnationSnapcaster

Some cards are notably missing from Eternal Masters but I would never expect them to print in an Eternal set.  Aether Vial, Chalice of the Void, Damnation, and Snapcaster Mage are all Modern cards first and foremost.  If we get those in a Masters set, it will be Modern Masters not Eternal Masters.  I know every set goes by and people wonder if we’ll ever get Damnation again.  I’m sure it will come eventually and it will be in a Modern Masters set.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

Eldritch Moon

We just got the full spoiler for Eternal Masters and we’re about to hit the ground running with Eldritch Moon spoilers.  Generally for Standard sets, spoilers last for two weeks and end the week before the pre-release.  Based on this, Eldritch Moon spoilers should start in about 3 weeks, on June 27th. Eternal Masters will have been released for 17 days before spoilers for the next set start.  I’m expecting some Magic fatigue in the worst kind of way.

Shadows over Innistrad logo

Have you been paying attention to the card prices for Shadows over Innistrad?  They’re reaching near time lows.  When the spoilers start for Eldritch Moon people will begin to buy more as they get re-excited for Standard.  If you’ve been waiting for some prices to go down before they rise again you’re nearing the best times until the late summer.

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