By: Jared Yost
At the time of each set release I like to review that set’s event deck to see if it is worth it for you to go out and procure that deck based upon the uncommons and rares that Wizards decides to design the deck around. You are not going to win many FNM’s with the deck but it is an easy way for you to boost your collection of more powerful utility cards that could see play in Standard or in other formats. Let’s take a look at Journey into Nyx’s event deck to see how much value it can provide you.
4 Izzet Guildgate C
1 Anger of the Gods R
2 Divination C
1 Fated Conflagration R
2 Flames of the Firebrand U
1 Harness by Force R
4 Lightning Strike C
3 Magma Jet U
1 Mizzium Mortars R
2 Searing Blood U
1 Steam Augury R
2 Turn // Burn U
Let me say this right away – you are not buying this deck for the rares. The rares in the deck are very underwhelming. They couldn’t even include Temple of Epiphany or Steam Vents (I guess it was too much hoping for Mana Confluence) to help smooth out your mana? Lame. The wasted rare slot prizes go to Ogre Battledriver, Oracle of Bones, Fated Conflagration, Harness by Force, and Steam Augury. All of these rares can be had for $0.50 retail and are basically bulk rares on TCGPlayer.
The other rares, while nice, also don’t provide you much value. One could argue that Battlefield Thaumaturge is highly underrated right now and its price could go up in the future. Barring this, there is no single card in the deck that is worth more than $4. Mizzium Mortars has been printed in an event deck before (Return to Ravnica) so there are plenty of copies out there to suppress its price. Aethering is a cool, flashy card however it is never played as more than one copy and is barely breaking $1.50 retail. Anger of the Gods is a great Modern card but does it really need a reprint now at $2.50? Chandra’s Phoenix already has two printings in addition to this event deck so I’m not exactly thrilled about its inclusion even though it is $3 – let’s be real, the price wasn’t going any higher regardless of its inclusion in this event deck.
The heart of this event deck is the uncommons. There are so many juicy uncommons. I had to do a double take when I saw that they were including three Young Pyromancer and three Magma Jet and three Guttersnipe – each of these uncommons are worth more than half the deck’s rares. In addition to this, two copies of Turn // Burn and Searing Blood also looks appealing. Spellheart Chimera, Flames of the Firebrand, and Izzet Staticaster are all popular uncommons and the deck includes several of each. Elixir of Immortality is a popular casual uncommon but it has been printed several times already so it is the least exciting uncommon in the deck.
MSRP of the deck is $25. Based on the retail value of the singles, what is the deck worth?
Total value of cards individually:
1 Izzet Guildgate C @ $0.26 each
1 Ætherling R @ $1.67 each
1 Battlefield Thaumaturge R @ $2.12 each
1 Chandra’s Phoenix R @ $3.24 each
3 Guttersnipe U @ $1.06 each
1 Ogre Battledriver R @ $0.44 each
1 Oracle of Bones R @ $0.42 each
4 Spellheart Chimera U @ 0.30 each
3 Young Pyromancer U @ $2.58 each
1 Anger of the Gods R @ $2.34 each
2 Divination C @ $0.13 each
1 Fated Conflagration R @ $0.45 each
4 Flames of the Firebrand U @ $0.17 each
1 Harness by Force R @ $0.53 each
4 Lightning Strike C @ $0.45 each
3 Magma Jet U @ $0.95 each
1 Mizzium Mortars R @ $3.06 each
2 Searing Blood U @ $1.12 each
1 Steam Augury R @ $0.44 each
2 Turn // Burn U @ $0.50 each
2 Dispel C @ $0.19 each
2 Elixir of Immortality U @ $0.40 each
3 Essence ScatterC @ $0.22 each
3 Izzet Staticaster U @ $0.26 each
3 Negate C @ $0.19 each
Total Value: $39.89
This Seems Wrong…
This value is very misleading even though technically it is correct according to retail. Many of the cards in the deck are commons and uncommons and could probably be picked up for way less than the retail price that MTGPrice reports. If we look at just the rares they add up to only $14.71. Desecration Demon and Hero’s Downfall, when they were reprinted in the Born of the Gods event deck, were together worth more than all the rares in this deck combined. That tells you a lot about how terrible most of the rares in this deck are. This also means that the uncommons and commons add up to $25.18 retail. It’s pretty sad when an event deck’s commons and uncommons are worth more than its rares.
This deck is way less powerful than its Born of the Gods counterpart. I included every card in the deck barring basic land, even the cards which would probably be considered bulk and valueless, and it still didn’t even come close to the value of the BNG mono-black event deck. Sure, if you were to buy each individual part of the deck retail it would cost you more than if you just bought this deck as a package at $25 MSRP. However, most players are looking to pick up event decks so that they can get some of pricier Standard rares while also being able to pick up any chase commons or uncommons from the newest set. Here, you’re only really getting good uncommons, which unfortunately I’m guessing that anyone who plays Standard already has. It’s really aggravating to think that there aren’t even any Journey into Nyx uncommons in the deck which are what people need to pick up when the set comes out, another blow to the deck’s already terrible build from a financial perspective.
Regrettably, when uncommons are reprinted it is much more devastating to the price than rares. Since there are already tons of Young Pyromancers, Guttersnipes, and all the other uncommons in the deck out there already, adding more of them to the pool will suppress their prices. This makes me think that the retail value I calculated above for the uncommons will only go down over time since so many of each are included in the deck. You really only want to buy the deck if you don’t have the uncommons and I’m guessing most players already have them. This is a disappointing event deck.